Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have had a major "a-ha!" moment today. Also known as a "oh crap" moment, as well as a "feel stupid" moment. But overall, today has been tremendously successful for me as a writer.

I went to Tina's PR today (the afternoon one, which normally I don't ever make) and I'm so glad I did because we began talking about things like dialogue tags (see below post), "shooting glances," fake words like 'alright,' and other cliches that are to be avoided when writing. Things that make your writing amateurish. Things that make editors want to take your manuscript, attach a grenade to it, throw it, and watch that sucker explode. And guess what I realized, 30K into my adult fiction and after posting the start of a possible MG novel of mine?

I AM AN AMATEUR. Of course, I knew that. You all knew that.This explains why my work is amateurish. I just started my blog at the beginning of this year. I've never actually written a BOOK before. I've only ever written short stories and picture books, which don't tend to have a lot of dialogue, and let's face it...they're usually too short to get into cliches. Too short to reveal my little "tics," as Mary Kole calls them. In other words, things that are going to annoy the hell out of you once you start reading it. Things that I, master writer that I am, haven't even noticed or are simply unaware of.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not new to writing. I started writing the minute I could hold a pencil. But I'm new to writing to get published. I'm new to the publishing world. I haven't even put my feet in the shallow end in the publishing world. I'm new to meeting other writers, I'm new to the extensive list of "no-no's" in editor-land. I had no idea this would be such a process.

BUT BUT BUT BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, am I glad I "met" you guys. I am so thankful for Tina, for hosting something like The Practice Room. I am so thankful for all you followers who have commented on my blog. Days like today make everything worth it.

Now I can grow as a writer. I'm thank much closer to getting published, thanks to all of you.

Okay, love fest over.
Here's some inspiration.


KrysteyBelle said...

Glad we could help. =)

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Well said, Dena! Grow on!

AlyGatr said...

It's hard not to perpetuate the cliche! So many of them are ingrained in my brain that it sometimes takes me until the 4th or 5th revision before they pop out at me. And hey, there's nothing wrong with being an amateur (so says the queen of all amateurs) :)

ElegantSnobbery said...

"You'll be alright," Marisa cheered excitedly.

Dena Daw said...

"I hope you're right," Dena murmured demurely.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

You are all so funny. Including Rhett and Link. Have you ever seen the Buffet video they made--laugh riot? I do love TPR.

And Dena, cheesy or no, you are beautiful.

Oh, and to make that clear- I am being cheesy.

storyqueen said...

Hey, we are all amateurs, really.

Sometimes the words just come out better than other times.

Never surrender!


S.I.F. said...

I'm so excited for you Dena! And I can't wait to see your name in print! :)

Laura Pauling said...

Hey, I think we've all been there. Are there. I hope I have aha moments every year, so I know I'm not stagnant, bug growing! Yay for learning!

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