Surf Report, May 9, 2010

Writer Unboxed blog member, Barbara Samuel, on Layering Depth of Character:

“I’ll begin with a character bio, third person, interviewing her, but not in the usual ways. Alison Hart (Jennifer Greene) once posted a trick she uses, which is to look inside the purse or glove box of a character, or both. I do both. I also like to see the inside of the car—is it messy or tidy? My car usually looks like someone is moving—books and canvas grocery bags and change scattered all over the floors. My partner has tools and running clothes of various weights and dog clutter from his side business. Continue reading

To Contest, or Not To Contest…

We intended to scope out a Gulf beach we’d never been to, but apparently the bridge is out until the Fall of 2009. Fine by me…it was a perfect day for working outside.

Before heading out the door to pressure wash the pool this morning, I picked up the newest issue of RWR (Romance Writer’s Report) and flipped to the contests section in the back. Continue reading

The Importance of Punctuation

Do you have any idea how torturous it is to judge a contest submission littered with incorrect punctuation? One or two misplaced commas are no big thing, but too many and the story is lost in a sea of run-on sentences that make no sense.

Many RWA chapter-sponsored contests don’t take off points for improper formatting. Every one of them should. It would make it easier for their judges to base their scores on only the quality of the story. All contestants hope to final so their ms will be read by the final judge–usually an agent or editor. Imagine the final judge has two manuscripts, but only one can be the winner. Both stories are equally compelling, but one is formatted correctly and all punctuation is perfect. The other drove him/her insane with errors. Which will the A/E choose?