Saturday, August 29, 2020

Description Exercise


Lately I have been looking at abandoned places.  They tell a story.  What happened here?  It looks like this mansion was in mint condition before it fell apart.  There must have been history here.  Or a natural occurrence.  

What can you smell, feel and see here.  Watch  your step and if you have allergies, it would be good to wear a mask.   Pictures tell us a lot of things as writers.  Take a break from your project and use this time to express this picture as you see it.  Good luck! 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Chapter Variations

Good Evening fellow writers and editors as well aspiring ones.  That includes students and those grammarians who remind us to refresh our grammar.

My topic reflects many who are in a similar dilemma.   For fiction authors, do some writers have variations of chapters?  For example some short and some really long chapters in their books?  It would seem the proper way to complete a complete duration of a character's current struggle that is consistent with the pace of the story.  If a book has say, 40 chapters, some are about twenty pages while some are forty.   I have read many books with a variety of numbers of chapters.  If there is a finale near the end,  some seem exceptionally long to wrap up he plots coming together.  They are concise and wrap up the story this way. My pondering thought for this great blog audience is I think it is logical to have a variety of long to short chapters throughout the book?  Do they have to be consistent?,1,2,6

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Best Dialogue

Good afternoon fellow writers, editors, teachers and those aspiring into the literary field.  It has been a wonderful holiday.  I think it took me a few weeks after New Year's just to regroup.  

My topic today is the best dialogue you ever read, heard.  Please copy & paste them. It can be from anywhere, such as plays and the big screen.   I thought of this topic because I think dialogue is so expressive and the way it is said is also important.

It is not on the list, but Princess Bride's  "My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die."

Gone with the Wind, "I don't give a damn, my dear!"

"Luke, I am your father."

The 20 Best Dialogue Scenes in Cinema History

Inglourious Basterds
When two people gather in a room to talk things through like adults, what happens in mostly pretty standard; if everything goes right, both individuals shake hands and go back to the world with a smile on their faces and one reason less to worry.
However, in the movie world, when you see a dialogue-heavy scene coming, you know it’s about to go down.
Unlike the real world, two individuals having a conversation can’t just be a friendly encounter (unless you’re watching an indie, low budget or Richard Linklater film); tension has to be present, with plenty of drama and rage. In short, shenanigans are likely to ensue and at the very least, something important will be revealed that may change the course of the plot.
If you decide to continue reading this amazing list, you’ll find the 20 best one-on-one verbal confrontations of recorded film history.

20. My Dinner with Andre
This movie consists of a single scene of dialogue, stretched for over two hours, in which the protagonist reunites with an old friend named Andre, who has been involved in an interesting series of activities in a search for real meaning in his life.
Wally calmly listens as his friend enthusiastically describes what he has been doing all this time: being buried alive, making a weird play with no audience in a forest, adopting a Buddhist monk for a few weeks, joining a group of people who were trying to achieve a kind of enlightened extra-human state. Andre seems to be into new age culture, and he and Wally are very dissimilar.
Watching them talk for almost two hours nonstop is quite interesting. The protagonist disagrees with Andre’s extremism about how the modern world is pointless, but he does appreciate the comforts that technology offers, whereas Andre prefers a more animalistic and natural state of being and savagely critiques the vices and problems of our contemporary civilization.
Their philosophical dissertations show some of the blatant issues Western society has to face, such as alienation, routine, self-deception, lack of empathy. It’s an analysis you shouldn’t miss.
Best lines: Andre: “Our minds are just focused on these goals and plans, which in themselves are not reality.” Wally: “Goals and plans are not… they’re fantasy. They’re part of a dream life.”

19. Manhattan
All Woody Allen films are dialogue driven. His scripts are influenced by a number of literary authors, and most of his texts could be easily adapted into a play. He also borrows often from the Hollywood golden era and classic foreign masterpieces, such as “Casablanca”, “8½”, “Citizen Kane” and “The Seventh Seal”.
“Manhattan” is a mixture of many of his inspirations, including New York, which may be considered his biggest one. Allen plays Isaac, a chatty New Yorker who’s dating a 17-year-old named Tracy. He doesn’t seem to be taking the relationship seriously, but Tracy has fallen in love with him.
Throughout the whole movie, Isaac treats Tracy like a child and is condescending toward her in an attempt to undermine their mutual affection. He prefers the pseudo-intellectual Mary, but it’s clear that he would rather be with Tracy if not for her age.
At the end, Isaac’s attempts to seduce Mary get hampered by his best friend. Isaac runs toward Tracy’s building, realizing that he had always loved her, while the wonderful soundtrack transports us into ancient Hollywood history. Gershwin’s famous “Rhapsody in Blue” carries the whole movie until the end.
She’s getting ready to leave for London on a scholarship, and when he realizes that it’s too late to convince her, Tracy comforts him by saying that when she comes back in six months, she would still love him. Isaac is not so sure about that, but is convinced when Tracy says the famous line: “You have to have a little faith in people.”
This scene nicely ties up the film in a nice bow. Shot in glorious black and white, and with amazing performances from both actors, it’s one of the greatest dialogues in film history.
Best lines: Tracy: “You have to have a little faith in people.”

18. The Third Man
The Third Man mono
Considered one of the best classic thrillers of all time, this movie’s smart plot was decades ahead of its time, inspiring future generations of filmmakers with its flawless black-and-white aesthetic and memorable scenes; namely the famous dialogue on the Ferris wheel.
Holly Martins has arrived to post-World War II Vienna, following an invitation from his old friend Harry Lime. Just after his arrival, Holly is informed that Harry was run over by a truck and died instantly. He assists with the funeral and everyone seems to think that Harry was a criminal. Holly then starts a difficult investigation process to prove the innocence of his best buddy.
After asking around, the protagonist is convinced that his friend isn’t what he used to be. Everything points at Harry being a cruel racketeer who faked his death, so Holly tells one of Harry’s associates that he’ll be around the Ferris wheel waiting for him to clear things up.
Harry, played by no less than Orson Welles, joins Holly at the meeting spot as though everything were normal. Holly starts talking about all the evidence he has found against him; meanwhile, the Ferris wheel has started spinning, and we see the landscape moving behind Harry. He doesn’t seem to care about any of this and threatens Holly’s life if he were to rat him out. The dialogue itself turns very poetic, as Welles’s character is marvelously written, and he carries the conversation like a master of manipulation, while his friend is perplexed at his change of personality.
This is a key moment for the film, in which Welles solidifies his awesome performance and the mystery is cleared.
Best lines: Harry Lime: “Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly.”

17. Goodfellas
In an attempt of reprising the role of “himself”, Joe Pesci plays a psycho mobster named Tommy, who’s as crazy as he’s funny, although Pesci’s character is in denial of those aspects of his personality.
Martin Scorsese structures this dialogue scene wonderfully, using two camera setups that allow us to see each character’s reactions.
Tommy is telling a story to a group of other mobsters in a restaurant, about how he refused to be interrogated by cops when they approached him as he was resting in a park. Everyone is laughing due to the actor’s hilarious way of telling the tale and Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) instinctively says to Tommy that he’s funny, who replies, “funny how?” Henry doesn’t know how to answer and starts mumbling, so Tommy questions him again with a bit of anger in his voice, as silence takes over the table.
Soon enough, Henry finds out that Tommy is only messing with him and everybody starts laughing again. However, we also see how much of a lunatic Tommy is, which makes us wonder if Henry is safe by his side.
This scene is based on a real experience Joe Pesci had when working on a restaurant. He told a mobster that he was funny and things went downhill from there, as the guy didn’t take the compliment too fondly. The director didn’t add this bit to the filming schedule, only he and Joe knew about it, so the other actors improvised around Pesci’s great performance, and their reactions are real and priceless.
Scorsese portrays the relationship between these two in a single masterful dialogue that, on top of being amusing, establishes the movie’s whole rhythm, which is dynamic and unexpected.
Best lines: Tommy DeVito: “No, no, I don’t know, you said it. How do I know? You said I’m funny. How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what’s funny!” Henry Hill: [long pause] “Get the fuck out of here, Tommy!” T: [everyone laughs] “Ya motherfucker! I almost had him, I almost had him. Ya stuttering prick ya. Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.”

16. Hunger
Steve McQueen cast young Magneto and Davos Seaworth for his first feature film. I was surprised when I didn’t encounter any swordfights or metal bending/murdering in the whole film’s runtime, although I did came across a sweet dialogue scene.
Michael Fassbender plays Bobby Sands, an Irish republican who leads a hunger strike while imprisoned. He has a conversation with Father Dominic about his life, religion and motives, a relaxed chat while smoking and displaying a great amount of chemistry. The camera is static as both men interrogate one another.
Both actors do a great job, as filming a single take from the same angle and with an extreme amount of lines to remember couldn’t have been an easy task. Though we only see their shapes due to the dim lighting for most of the scene, the performers are able to express every emotion and keep us interested for almost 30 minutes and with minimal cuts.
Best lines: Father Dominic Moran: “I want to know whether your intent is just purely to commit suicide here.”
Bobby Sands: “You want me to argue about the morality of what I’m about to do and whether it’s really suicide or not? For one, you’re calling it suicide. I call it murder. And that’s just another wee difference between us two. We’re both Catholic men, both Republicans. But while you were poaching salmon in beautiful Kilrea, we were being burnt out of our house in Rathcoole. Similar in many ways, Dom, but life and experiences focused our beliefs differently. You understand me?”

15. Casablanca
Holding the unbeaten record of the world for “most times the movie’s title is mentioned in its runtime”, “Casablanca” is really the classic of classics. People don’t usually think that is the best movie ever made, but within its historical context, “Casablanca” set the tone for decades of cinema to come.
American Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and his squeeze Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) were forced to flee Paris just when their relationship was consolidating, because Hitler just couldn’t go down without committing every crime imaginable, he also had to cockblock Humphrey Bogart. However, Ilsa suddenly decides to ditch him with a letter, which is the equivalent of sending your loved one a Snapchat of you raising your middle finger as a breakup tactic.
They see each other again, after a long time, in Rick’s popular nightclub. He possesses some special visas that Ilsa and her revolutionary husband need in order to escape from the Third Reich persecution and flee to the United States. He’s reluctant to give up those documents, because of the great harm Ilsa caused him; Bogart’s character often states that, after what happened to him, he only cares about himself.
However, in the final scene, Rick makes a huge sacrifice for the greater good. He was planning to give Ilsa’s husband the visa but stay with his former girlfriend in Casablanca, because she claimed she still loved him. At the moment of truth, he gives them both the visas and stays alone, with one of the most memorable lines in the history of film.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Deceptive Writers

This has been a topic that has nagged me a bit.   Does anyone recall the age fabrication of a writer known as Felicity who lied about her age?  I believe it was the standard age policy of Disney that required a teen writer to play the part.  Was it discrimination or just a wacky way they went about the business.  Disney is a powerful company after all and will not tolerate scammers.   What do you think really happened?  Quite a hustle if you ask me.  How many teen writers are what Disney really wanted, and that a 32 year old was able to pass to do the job?    I can relate because I am still screened if I buy a lottery ticket or buy beer because I still look like my twenties?   It seems Disney could have reworded their job opportunity because I don't recall a teen writer well established at their age.  Maybe I am wrong. 

Nearly two decades ago, Riley Weston was doing pretty well for a 19-year-old. In 1998, she was a staff writer for the show Felicity, brought on to provide a uniquely youthful perspective to the show about pretty Dean & Deluca coffee-guzzling college kids in New York City, and had just signed a $500,000 deal with Disney to produce TV shows over the next two years. Entertainment Weekly put her on their “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment” list, where she boldly claimed “in many ways, I am Felicity.”
But Weston was not the wunderkind everyone thought she was. She was actually a youthful-looking 32, not 19. After Entertainment Tonight began working on a segment about Weston, the show discovered she was lying about her age and had even changed her name from Kimberlee Kramer. “In my desperation to find work as an actress, I adopted an age appropriate for my physical appearance,” Weston wrote in a statement published in the New York Times. “I could not be one age in the acting world and another in the writing world, so I chose to maintain the ruse.”
Because it’s the summer of scamming, I’ve been thinking about Weston and how she scammed Hollywood (more specifically, J.J. Abrams) into believing she was a teen. It’s the sort of story that plays out in movies or TV shows like Younger or Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead or Never Been Kissed rather than real life; these shows preach the fantasy that a really good makeover and new wardrobe can make anyone 10 to 20 years younger. At the time, Weston’s lie was scandalous—she lost both her job on Felicity and her Disney deal. And while she was effectively stealing the job from, you know, an actual teenager, in retrospect I respect it.
In an industry where women are repeatedly cast as love interests opposite men twice their age, or denied roles for being too old, and one of the biggest discrimination settlements occurred in television for writers over 40, Weston’s lie doesn’t seem so strange. “You’re going to do whatever you have to do and say whatever you have to say to get them to see you,” Weston told the Los Angeles Times in 1998.
Frankly, it can be hard to figure out what age you have to be, as a woman, to get people to actually see you and not your age. In Weston’s case, she was a Young writer until she was revealed to be an Old writer and nowhere in between did just being a Writer seem possible, though I suspect men have an easier time in nabbing that distinction. Every time I see a 30 Under 30 list, I’m reminded that to many, one’s worth and talent is determined by how little time you’ve been alive, a dismal reality for those like myself who are interested in working past 29. Thirty-five is the new “middle-age,” after all!
Felicity and Disney may have thought they wanted a 19-year-old voice, but what they admired in reality was the voice of a 32-year-old that they could sell as a 19-year-old. What Weston did, as ridiculous as it was, was not just a scam against Felicity, but sort of a scam against aging. She briefly time-traveled back to the age when society found her most compelling and stayed there for a spell, reaping the rewards that people were more than quick to give her. The rest of the “adults” on the Felicity team were pretending to be 18-year-olds every day in the writers room too, after all, but only one of them was weird enough to turn it into reality.
Weston playing Story Zimmer on an episode of Felicity
Weston playing Story Zimmer on an episode of Felicity

Weston playing Story Zimmer on an episode of FelicityWeston playing Story Zimmer on an episode of Felicity

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Literally Planning

Well as both a writer and an artist, it was tough for me to choose the "hill" I wanted to be on.  Both compliment each other.    When it comes to writing, I prefer the outline method.  I like this the best:



And so on.  I also have to break it down further, if my piece is complex.      I write it all in pencil, just in case I get another idea I the middle and have an options side note just incase I go with it.  My goal is to keep it simple enough, organized so I can put it in my three ring binder labeled book 1, book 2, and book 3.

Do you prefer the Web method?  Do you just ramble on till you get a story out, or do you just churn it out etc.
How do you plan out your literary works?

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Coma Splice Repeat Offender

As editing continues, and all writers here as well professors of English, this is common.  We want the elements of English to flow and express what we want our manuscripts to say. 

Comma splices are similar to run-on sentences, which join two independent clauses without any punctuation and without a conjunction such as andbut for, etc. Sometimes the two types of sentences are treated differently based on the presence or absence of a comma, but most writers consider the comma splice as a special type of run-on sentence.[4] According to Garner's Modern English Usage:
[M]ost usage authorities accept comma splices when (1) the clauses are short and closely related, (2) there is no danger of a miscue, and (3) the context is informal [...] But even when all three criteria are met, some readers are likely to object.[4]
Comma splices often arise when writers use conjunctive adverbs (such as furthermorehowever, or moreover) to separate two independent clauses instead of using a coordinating conjunction.[6]

In literature

Comma splices are also occasionally used in fiction, poetry, and other forms of literature to convey a particular mood or informal style. Some authors use commas to separate short clauses only.[1] The comma splice is more commonly found in works from the 18th and 19th century, when written prose mimicked speech more closely.[7]
Fowler's Modern English Usage describes the use of the comma splice by the authors Elizabeth Jolley and Iris Murdoch:
We are all accustomed to the … conjoined sentences that turn up from children or from our less literate friends… Curiously, this habit of writing comma-joined sentences is not uncommon in both older and present-day fiction. Modern examples: I have the bed still, it is in every way suitable for the old house where I live now (E. Jolley); Marcus … was of course already quite a famous man, Ludens had even heard of him from friends at Cambridge (I. Murdoch).[8]
Journalist Oliver Kamm writes of novelist Jane Austen's use of the comma splice, "Tastes in punctuation are not constant. It makes no sense to accuse Jane Austen of incorrect use of the comma, as no one would have levelled this charge against her at the time. Her conventions of usage were not ours".[7]
The author and journalist Lynne Truss writes in Eats, Shoots & Leaves that "so many highly respected writers observe the splice comma that a rather unfair rule emerges on this one: only do it if you're famous".[9] Citing Samuel BeckettE. M. Forster, and Somerset Maugham, she says: "Done knowingly by an established writer, the comma splice is effective, poetic, dashing. Done equally knowingly by people who are not published writers, it can look weak or presumptuous. Done ignorantly by ignorant people, it is awful".[9]

Add some examples of Coma Splices, then correct them.    

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Passive or Active Voice?

What do you think is more effective?

Active vs Passive Voice: Important Rules and Useful Examples - ESL Forums

Monday, November 25, 2019

Experience of Writing

Even as you write your manuscript, sometimes it's good to get off the familiar track and gather more experience.  Some say life experience is necessary to express it more besides just gathering research online or at the library to scope out for books to fine tune your craft.  You have to see it visually, physically and emotionally.

Each year in November my husband and I go on a retreat as he is a Tai Chi, Kung Fu black belt.  He is there when I have questions to bounce off of with scenes in my writing.  Many times it is just to have a change of scenery and take a break as parents to get some rest.  I barely have time for that, as when I am idle I have to stay busy regardless.   Florida has a way of taking one away from the normalcy. As I sat by the lake in Florida, listening to those squeaking ducks, I was taken away briefly as a writer and a mom to letting my thoughts drift
The retreat consists of fifty to sixty people who also like tai chi and push hands.  I watch them spar and practice with broadswords, tumble on the ground etc.  It is a good group, non trying to out spar each other.    As I watch, one lady inspired me as she was a fan of the writing field I prefer the most.  She was a bit of inspiration as I got her email and hope she returns next year, but it encouraged me to finish the troublesome chapter of the story I was working on for about three weeks.

Do you have enough experience to develop your growth as a writer?

Friday, November 15, 2019

Research Thoroughly

Writing your manuscript takes lots of planing, revisions, reshaping and sharpening your craft, your voice.  When you find yourself in unfamiliar territory in your story, your essay, your article,  the reader can tell whether you researched well enough.   Research is essential in bringing out your objective in the manuscript. 
If I wrote about tai chi, which I know little about, but my husband is a black belt so he would know if my manuscript churned out logically according to research.

So let's look at the concept of research.  Write what you know, or think you know.  Tack that on research and blend in the details with staying on track with the plot, the main idea, and so on.

If you do your research, it will empower your manuscript.

Image result for library books

Monday, November 11, 2019

Morning Moving Along

Good morning all you fellow authors and aspiring authors, English students and more!  Running behind today a bit since the time change.  Wearing a bandaid around my left index finger tip as I rapped it hard against the kitchen cabinet door. 

Our writing blog is over two months old so far and how is it going?  Have you adjusted since the disqus channels fell off the cliff?  I think it's good to say adjustment is good and no pressure to post something.  My wordsandbrush blog just acquired a new author.   If you decide you want to contribute sharing your expertise, or have a question, people with their expertise will answer so don't despair too long. The more the merrier we will be here in our little club and you don't have leave the house, the office or such.

Keep on writing and let us know if we can help you with anything to make our blog successful.  I am the current writer, but we're always needing someone new to set this blog off at full speed. Our goal is to make you almost like home, here.  Because of Mr. Write's original blog, I became a better writer. 

Have a great day! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Logic in Physics in Writing an Action Scene

Good morning fellow writers and aspiring ones.  Hope you have a great start to your day.  I have a very bad cold, but my mind is still on the story in my congested state.

I do have an inquiry and appreciate your input.  If you are a horse rider, this maybe your expertise.  
In my story I have a rider that gets jumped on by an assailant.   There are several options to this scene.  Do you recall Indiana Jones jumping on a guy on a horse?  That horse curled in and fell, but got back up again.  It's almost like that.

If my character in my story is an experienced rider, gets jumped and the horse maintains its balance, then all the better in this scenario.   IF the man jumping on my character is meant to kill the character, jumps on the man on the horse, what is the best way to outmaneuver this to survive?

Again I appreciate all your input.  Action scenes are tough when logic, strength and physics of an attack is the focus of the story.   Harrison Ford is a good horseman by the way.,1,2,6

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Have a question or a post?

Give it to us, so we can reach out to more people.  Click on our names on blogger, and it will take you to our emails.  Send us email, then we send you an invite and you are approved.   This is easy! Many on this new site are trusted users and your variety of topic on writing, ethics and words and brush are just what we are looking for.
Since Mr. Write is on many other blogs, you can also be approved instantly for those, too, just in case you get the urge to in the future.

Thanks to all who have stuck it out since the end of the channels.  Hope you have a great day!

Writing Concepts

Good morning, fellow writers. A little extra coffee this morning as we get ready for colder weather coming in the next couple days.   What project are you working on now?  The same one or a new one?  I am working on figuring out the best way to separate the parts in my book 2.
My book has four parts to it.  There is part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.   My current character in part 2 changes scenes and also with a new situation.  It would seem logical for these sections to be too long or too short, nor stall the story.  

Editing is ongoing and I am hopeful to be halfway this week, but it seems like two scenes need extra attention.  I want it to be right.  Many times the scenes will keep going when I'm ready to sleep, but my brain is not. What a dilemma when the idea of sleep is to be a functional parent the next day as one of the kids got over a stomach bug.  Life happens where priorities come up.

One other concept is have two clear sheets separating the parts or scenes that seem optional, like giving the eyes and mind a complete break before the next scene.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Character Development

Good evening fellow writers.  It's been a long couple weeks and it seems like catching up is a continuous task with the house and other priorities.   Hope your projects are going well.  During my editing I came to a character that is a villain.  Even if the main hero characters are created, the villian also needs to have his well roundness.  I have a character sketch and make him stand out more than a cardboard figure in writing.
In your writing how did you strengthen your villain that moved the story along with the plot? What methods did you use?
If you are a reader, what did the writer do well to express the character of the villain?   Thank you!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Best Music to write to

Good evening fellow writers.  Hope it's been a good week and it has been very busy here.  Here in Georgia we have a drought, but the cold weather is coming and I am going though our baby's winter clothes to see if they fit among some fall cleaning.

I found an awesome station that plays a variety of music, 80s, 90s, and 70s and today's.  Music like Depeche mode, U2, INXS and all the goodies that brings me back to high school days.   I cannot leave out music by Sting.  The very best that keeps the creativity going.  I particularly like to listen to soundtracks or music that fits the scene that I am writing.

Enya is on my list, as it seems to fit the many scenes in part two of book 2.   If it is a romantic scene, something with violin or definitely classical.

I also found some of these, of which are on my list.  My Amazon list keeps growing as do my ideas. 

What do you prefer with your writing?