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Whenever this came up during my school days I tuned out; boring. That is until the teacher had to say “onomatopoeia” a few times.
I always learn interesting things from Alan, but this time I had fun too. I had no idea focusing on figures of speech could bring so much interest to writing.
Some of the ones you may be familiar with are personification, simile, metaphor, implication, allegory, hyperbole, and oxymoron. Alan mentioned many more and gave fun examples to go with them.
I went on the internet to check some of my spellings and was overwhelmed by the number of Web sites that focus on figures of speech. I’m going to make an effort to study more of these.
Thanks, Alan, for making writing a bit more fun and interesting.
Steven P. Wyner spoke at Dog-Eared Pages Used Books a couple of weeks ago. He writes fiction set in the Phoenix area, where he has lived since 1981. One of his pet peeves is inconsistencies in books and movies and he set out to write well-researched stories that Google searchers won’t be able poke holes in.
As a paralegal and ghost writer Steve draws on a number of cases he has viewed over the years. He uses various characters and composites of people he has known to develop the characters in his series of books.
Murder on Camelback Mountain was a fun read about a private detective caught up in a local murder as a suspect. Herb Nash introduces himself and the city to the reader in a fast-moving story.
When Steve sat down to write the characters started “jumping out of the keyboard.” He then moved on to interview them just like he would the clients he interviews for the lawyers he works for.
He suggests that writers visit the place and “inhale” it.
Murder on Camelback can be found on Amazon or through his Web site. The second novel in the series will be available soon. He has already started writing the third.
Friday Night Writes at the Dog-Eared Pages bookstore had another great guest speaker on Friday. Krista Cantrell, M.A., works with dogs, cats and horses as a cognitive
behaviorist, healer, and nationally published author. Her books include Tao of Puppies: How To Raise a Good Dog Without Really Trying,
Catch Your Dog Doing Something Right: How To Train Any Dog In Five Minutes A Day,and Housetrain Your Dog Now.
You can learn more about Krista and order her books here.
That said, I wish every one of my readers could have heard Krista’s talk. She had us envisioning other worlds and taking
the time to ask questions about Everything. She stresses that we use power words – words that have an impact on the
story. To always have surprises. When she reads a line she starts asking questions. What did the hand look like? What type of
fabric was used? What was behind the curtain? Why were the fingertips purple? Why? What? Who? Where? The questions went on and on.
I can’t even begin to explain the energy and ideas she shared with all of us.
I forgot to take my camera so instead of a photo of Krista I’m introducing you and her to my own magnificent dog: Maggie. She is a rescue
that the Humane Society thought was an Australian Cattle Dog. However, Maggie kept growing and at about 8 years old weighs around 70
pounds. We’ve decided she is actually a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, at least in part. I love to tell people we have a catahoula. They
always say, “A cata what?” Now why is that? How did Maggie end up on the streets of south Phoenix lost, dehydrated and covered in ticks? How does she feel about
dressing up in costume and visiting Tombstone, Arizona? What is she thinking?
All the questions.
Thank you, Krista, for opening my writing to so many more possibilities.
Romance writer, Kris Tualla, paid another visit to the Dog-Eared Pages bookstore last week. This time she spoke about adding humor to your novel.
She said that throwing in something funny can wake up a scene and the reader. If a moment is becoming too tense and full of anger a bit of humor can lighten the mood, just like in real life.
It can also be used to bring down a character that is a little too full of him or her self. Even heroes and heroins can appear more human with a bit of humor. Kris read several examples from her own work and had the group laughing and sharing some of their own hilarious stories.
Kris also announced that the conferences she is involved in will be five days next year. Buildin’ the Dream: Authors Helping Authors and Arizona Dreamin’: A Romance Reader Event were well attended this year and I’ve heard nothing but good reports. For more information visit: TheDreamsConvention.com.