Monday, August 18, 2014

Pros Part 6, Jenn Hubbard and Long and Short Reviews 7th Anniversary Bash

For those who haven't been here before (tsk tsk) in the past weeks I've  featured some writer friends who have some excellent books out this year. I asked them to send me their latest book, their tagline and a short piece of advice they wanted to pass on to writers, especially those still seeking publication. Last week CRYSTAL COLLIER with her books, MOONLESS AND SOULLESS This week I have an old friend of mine, JENN HUBBARD. We debuted together, and she writes some excellent books. UNTIL IT HURTS TO STOP (Viking 2013) is her latest.


Available at B&N
TaglineJust when Maggie starts believing she can outgrow her history as the local outcast, the girl who once bullied her returns to town.


Advice: Never underestimate your audience.


Jenn's advice is quite similar to Medeia's, but while Medeia's focused on young adult writing, I think Jenn opens it up to include writing across all categories. At the word level, the danger in following this advice might be in our trying to impress the reader with our knowledge of those stupendous--sublime--exotic adjectives and adverbs. 

I love all of our words, but we risk falling into the quick fix called "telling" when we grab for the adjective or adverb and don't create images with active verbs to "show" what we mean by things like, "Marsha was repulsed by her mother." For me, a better way to capture that repulsion is through action. "I wanted to strangle Mother, but I'd have to touch her do it." That last sentence gives me the chills. The first one, not so much. What do you think?


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Long and Short Reviews 7th 

Anniversary Bash

Reviewing Fiction One Happy Ever After at a Time


You can find them on FB and follow on TWITTER



There's a party you might like to come to, and you don't have to bring anything. However, you might win a $100 Amazon/BN GCs that are being given away– along with publisher GCs, books, ebooks, and author swag!  There will be dozens of winners. 

My quote for the day: "If you chase two rabbits, you catch none." Confucius

49 comments:

  1. Big difference in the two sentences.
    That advice is what I would give as well, but for different reasons. I learned after my first book not to underestimate who my audience would be.

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    1. Yes. We do learn by our experience, all right. Best way, but also the hardest.

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  2. I get such a sense of longing in the cover of Jennifer's book. And yes, there's much more punch in the second sentence.

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    1. I think you chose the right word, Bish. Longing is perfect.

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  3. The second sentence definitely leaves a bigger impact. I think it's tricky to go through a manuscript and try to get rid of all those "telling" moments. Sometimes it takes a lot of work.

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    1. Oh yes. Sometimes I just don't "see" them.

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  4. I'd have to touch her to do it. That is a very chilling line.

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    1. It does bring up some questions, doesn't it?

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  5. It's amazing that even with a big concept, it still has to work at the word-choice level. That touch line grabbed me too!

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    1. Sometimes I agonize over the right word.

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  6. Hello to Jenn Hubbard!! I'm happy to say that I know her In Real Life, and her advice is spot on!

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  7. Those two examples are excellent. The sentences about touching her did give me chills.

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    1. I was wondering where I could use that. :-)

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  8. I so agree on the advice and when the writer does it really well our imaginations are allowed to fill in and...run wild!

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    1. You touch on another part of this writing. What's too much? What's not enough? We have to decide what to leave to our readers and what to spell out. Quite a challenge.

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  9. It's all balance and what works best for you. Sometimes a "tell" can be more showy than a "show," if that makes sense. It all depends on the context of the story. Also, nice Confucius quote:)

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  10. I like the quote. Certainly something to make you think!

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  11. Great quote! And I love Jennifer's cover. Have a lovely week. :)

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  12. I do agree with this advice, and you're right, the second line you shared would have me much more intrigued!

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    1. That second one creates a question, doesn't it?

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  13. Great advice. I know to "show" not "tell" and thought I was doing it until an editor told me otherwise. She pointed out places where I was telling. Back to the drawing board.
    Congratulations to Jennifer on the book. It sounds like a good one.

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  14. Thanks for hosting me, Lee.
    I think the trick is knowing when to tell and when to show. Telling is good for summary; showing belongs in scene. If Marsha's repulsion for her mother is an important part of the book, showing will be better--in fact, essential.

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    1. It does take practice to know when summary is perfect and showing is preferred. Great to have you here, Jenn. We've hung out together for a while now. :-)

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  15. Love the advice and I like the difference in those sentences.

    That saying is so true.

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  16. I used to chase Bunnies and never caught any--Confucius was right. Oh wait, he said rabbits. Nevermind.

    Arlee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. You must keep the bunnies and the rabbits straight.

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  17. I was judging a contest where I was reading self-published books and I was amazed how often authors didn't follow the "show don't tell" rule. I think these rules have to be reiterated because there are a lot of newer authors who don't know about them. Showing IS much more powerful than telling, for sure!

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  18. Great showing example. It does take a little more thought to show rather than tell, but the payback is worth it.

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    1. Thank heaven for first drafts, second drafts and tenth drafts. :-)

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  19. Hi Lee and Jenn - I quite agree with the sentences - the first one put me off. We never know where our social media will go in this day and age, let alone a book ... but you're right - write well and write imaginatively with caution.

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. We can only get better, right? At least that's the goal.

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  20. Ah yes my editor will agree. She likes to point out when I slip into telling.

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  21. Great advice about showing. And I loved the quote!

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  22. great tagline! and very good advice - know your audience & dont underestimate them!
    also checkig out LASR! thanks!

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  23. Excellent advice, and I LOVE that example. There are definitely strong ways to help readers feel an experience, we just have to be ambitious enough to write them in. Of course, who doesn't want to be a lazy writer on occasion?

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  24. Excellent example. Chilling is right!

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  25. Great advice today! The bit about "telling" can easily apply to comics, too. (Not allowing the art itself to tell the story and relying too much on dialogue/narration, for example.)

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    1. Of course. And I hadn't thought about that in comics. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

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  26. There's a huge difference between the two sentences! I'll have to remember the "show don't tell" rule! Thanks Lee and Jenn!

    Julie

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  27. I think in terms of the word usage, sometimes telling has its place. Though that last quote IS quite chilling. Fantasies and interior thoughts can be used effectively for a variety of things in novels.

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