Muse Wrangling 101

Good morning Minions. The Evil Mastermind asked me to speak to you today on a subject that is close to his heart – productivity prose.

Now I know the P-word can strike fear into the hearts of the bravest of you, but it is a subject that must be addressed. We are all writers. Writing is how we produce prose, and prose is how we earn our daily gruel.

But what happens when our Muse refuses to co-operate? What happens when that gender-neutral beast sits in its cage, sulking and refusing to come out?

We get no gruel, that’s what.

I can see by your faces that most of you know what it’s like to own a stubborn Muse, the kind that forces you to stare at a blank screen for hours on end, or goes on strike mid-way through a piece, leaving you to face a deadline on your own.

It is well documented that such Muses can play havoc with a writer’s life. But what, if anything, can we do about it? Continue reading “Muse Wrangling 101”

Featured Book: Hot Property

Hot Property
by Susanne O’Leary
Available exclusively from Amazon.

When Megan O’Farrell inherits her uncle’s house in a remote part of the windswept Atlantic coast of Ireland, she imagines it will be a romantic hideaway where she can recover from her recent divorce. But the house is a wreck that requires a fortune to restore, and she decides to sell it. An easy choice, were it not for the discovery of an old family scandal and a budding love affair with both the beautiful landscape and a handsome Kerryman. Catapulted into country life and faced with the less romantic side of farming, she also has to deal with a conspiracy to make her leave.

British spelling, grammar and punctuation

Misadventures in Wordcraft

Say what?

Proofreading your own work is a good idea. You’ll catch some typos and maybe a few usage errors or verb tense disagreements. It is more difficult for the author of a piece to evaluate the clarity of his/her own work. After all, we know what we meant when we wrote it. That is probably going to cause us to see what we meant when we read it.

Sometimes, a sentence can be interpreted in more than one way. The results may be hilarious or just confusing. This kind of ambiguity can cause readers to pause, disrupting the rhythm of the story. Alternatively, they may misinterpret the meaning of the sentence and go forward with a key misunderstanding.

Getting more eyeballs on your manuscript will help. Brooks and I have three sets of eyeballs going over the draft of our WIP. When we are done, we’ll get it in front of some beta-readers. That doesn’t mean it will be perfect before we release it. Sometimes 100 people read and understand the sentence just as you intended. That doesn’t mean reader 101 won’t see the sentence in an entirely different way. If there is a way to misunderstand your meaning, there is always someone out there who will. Continue reading “Misadventures in Wordcraft”