Friday, April 15, 2011

Snow Faery Story (Fool's Gold) Update & Said-Bookisms

Twice, I blogged about the short story I'm working on right now:

There Are No Snow Days in Writing

More on My Snow Faery Short Story

I am in the final edit of Fool's Gold, a YA cautionary tale in the tradition of the Grimm's darker stories. Normally, it would be finished already, but my writing got sidetracked by some health issues I've been battling in the past few months.
Fool's Gold received good reviews on Critters; I've spent the past few days plowing through a slew of critiques. My inbox got swamped! Overwhelmed by all the responses, I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my story. Your comments and suggestions have been very helpful.

I'll share my intro paragraph with you here.  It's changed since I first blogged.
Nell stared in horror at the tiny body of the man curled up next to their snow fort. If she held him upright in her palm, he would stand only a few inches tall. The man clutched a small bowler hat to his chest. She could see tiny threads of veins running across the hard angles of his translucent blue face, his chin pointy as an icicle. His hair, the color of fresh snow in moonlight, gleamed. His clothes were of the palest blue as sky reflected on water. He wore a long frock coat ending just above the knee, a frost blue cravat tied tightly at the collar of his band collar shirt.
In reading my critiques, one Critter offered a helpful article from the SFWA site. I am going to share it with you, in hopes it might improve your own writing. I learned the term "said-bookisms" in the past week. The SFWA defines this as:
Large words that mean ‘said,’ designed to connote additional information not conveyed in dialog or description. If used to excess, they result in overwriting: “I’m climaxing!” he ejaculated.
I removed the said-bookisms from my story and found it greatly improved the flow of my writing.

There are many other terms in the article used to critique someone else's work, they can be found here:
http://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/being-a-glossary-of-terms-useful-in-critiquing-science-fiction/

The Turkey City Lexicon - A Primer for SF Workshops also discusses useful terms for critiquing.

Both articles hold invaluable information for me.
As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!

9 comments:

Paige W. Pendleton said...

Hi Nora! Nice to meet you!

Lizzie's Blog said...

Great information!

Nora B. Peevy said...

Thank you, Lizzie.

Paige, I visited your blog this week to see what Follow Friday was about.

Julee J. Adams said...

I saw your link on Follow Friday and decided to stop by! I saw you follow Locus and I'm a big SF fan, too (under my real name, my husband and I were Fan Guests of Honor at a RiverCon). I'm just starting the whole blogging thing, but wrote hundreds of essays for our SF club newsletter and the one for a local writers' guild. So, please stop by and say "Hi"!
http://fateandfaith-julee.blogspot.com/2011/04/follow-friday-whats-in-name.html

Victoria said...

Hello Nora. It's nice to meet you! I loved your intro paragraph and I look forward to reading more of your work.

Pamela Mason said...

Helpful blog you have here! I'll look those up... Critter and the SFWA glossery. Thank you!
Stephen King says the same thing about 'said-bookisms'. I didn't know it was an official -itis. Thanks for the info.
Interesting you write in the Bros.Grimm tradition. I follow the fairy tales' tradition. See Red Riding Hood?

Nora B. Peevy said...

Thank you everyone! I'm hunting down your blogs as you post your comments. Might have to get some guest blog articles going here...

Hmmmm ...

-Nora

Lisa said...

Hi Nora, I reviewed your story on Critters. I'm glad you're still working on this piece. I thought it really had something going for it. :)

Nora B. Peevy said...

Thank you, Lisa. I am sending it out for submission today. Got a little sidetracked in the past week, but am back on track now. I hope it gets accepted the first time around! Wish me luck! The crits were helpful. :)