Toing and Froing Again, Part 2

This is the second post regarding teaching myself to recognize Toing and Froing when I commit it (a most heinous act done by inept writers on hopeless prose, poetry (it’d be tough but I’m sure it can be done), scriptwriting, playwriting, (possibly) non-fiction, creative non-fiction, …).

And remember, folks, I’m including myself in the above. I’m writing this Toing and Froing arc to teach myself better writing techniques because I Toed and Froed like a marathon runner who’d lost their bearings while writing The Alibi chapter 3 (of my current work in progress which I’ll start posting in August 2022).

Toing and Froing occurs when the writer/author has their characters move around or do things for no real story purpose; there’s no character development, no character revelation, the atmosphere doesn’t change, no plot elements are furthered or revealed, the movement is irrelevant to any established or impending plot points, the movement is unnecessary to the dialogue, et cetera.

Toing and Froing Again, Part 1 ended with “My writing speed slows down,” meaning I’ve lost my rhythm, and I pick up from there…
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Writing Mentoring

Next class runs 5-26 Oct 2022

You are a fabulous teacher. – Parsippany, NJ

 
Let me save you some time before reading this post by starting out as I did with Critiques: Online or via Email; Do you want to improve your writing? Are you willing to pay to improve?

If the answer to either of those is No then read no further, this post isn’t for you.

Answered Yes to both? Read on.
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Writing Critiques: Online or via Email
(paying subscribers get an automatic 50% off regardless of subscription level)

Who’s my hero? Joseph Carrabis. Just finished an edit consult where he kindly, constructively, and expertly ripped my book blurb to shreds! LOVE IT! ‘Atta Boys do you no good. Find someone who will give it to you straight!! Thank you! I owe you. Mine felt soulless. Now I see why. It is humbling to be such a novice at something. I appreciate your help. – Augusta, GA

 
Let me save you some time before reading this post; Do you want to improve your writing? Are you willing to pay to improve?

If the answer to either of those is No then read no further, this post isn’t for you.

Your critique of my novel was priceless. – Hudson, NH

 
Answered Yes to both? Read on.

Your drive for improvement is inspiring. – Houston, Texas

  Continue reading “Writing Critiques: Online or via Email
(paying subscribers get an automatic 50% off regardless of subscription level)”

Mystery Writers of America “Mystery Writer’s Handbook”

Another book purchased years ago and finally read because a work-in-progress, Search, had mystery elements and I wanted to know ahead of time what I should be doing and what to look out for.

 
Mystery Writer’s Handbook, like most of the writing books I’ve reviewed on my website, is a worthy read for all authors, writers, and writer-wannabes. It’s focus is mystery and its view is broad. Romantic suspense novels fall into the mystery fold. I didn’t know there was such a genre, but I do now and surprise! my work-in-progress with mystery elements is more a romantic suspense novel than not.

Like all writing books, it discusses character, scene, POV, dialogue, description, and the like. Its real power is in both plot – because good plot tends to drive most mystery and the plot techniques are gems – and editing – the chapter on revising and editing is truly a standout. An extra bonus is a short section on contracts. Many of the books I’ve read mention contracts, Mystery Writer’s Handbook provides a roadmap of potholes and things to avoid.

Strongly recommended.

Two Pieces for a Workshop

I mentioned back in Four pieces for a workshop that I’m taking an online writing course.

I’ve taken a few courses from this provider since then. It is a fascinating experience. A few of the students are worth the price of admission. I can’t stop thinking of them as characters – truthfully, more like caricatures – and wonder if their behavior is how they believe auteurs should behave or how they genuinely behave.

Some of the other students are also worth the price of admission, and differently; they’re witty, forthcoming, enjoy a good laugh, … I’ve engaged a few of them out of the class. Good folks, all.

Anyway, I’ll be sharing more of the exercises from the class in this and subsequent posts.

Here we have the same story told through Character and then via Description. Fair warning; I didn’t take this particular class too seriously.

Character
Bob sat calmly reading a story about a woman in a barn watching a neighbor drive a car by. It didn’t occur to Bob how amazing this was, nor did Bob’s owner, Frieda, seem to notice.

But Sylvester and Carmine, Bob’s two kits, were incensed.

“Yo! Momma!” they mewed. “Roll over! Give us those teats!”

Frieda looked down at the kits plaintive cries. “Oh, my. Bob. You’re starving your children.”

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Description
“Bob’s not feeding her kits.”

“You know this how?”

“I watched her. She sat curled on a magazine. Sylvester and Carmine practically knocked her over to get at her, poor things.”

“You watched our cat not feed her kits. How long did you watch our cat not feed her kits?”

“Must have been a half, three-quarters of an hour.”

“Were they quiet through all this?

“Wailing like tiny banshees, they were.”

“You sat and watched all this, listened to the kits crying, but did nothing?”

“What would you have me do?”

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