Ten Ways to Tighten Your Writing & Hook the Reader

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 9.40.52 AM Image via CellarDoorFilms W.A.N.A. Commons

When I used to edit for a living, I earned the moniker The Death Star because I can be a tad ruthless with prose. Today I hope to teach you guys to be a bit ruthless as well. Before we get started, I do have a quick favor to ask. Some of you may know that I practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so I’ve taken on our dojo’s blog to see if we can try out new and fun content and am using the moniker Dojo Diva.

I posted about how hard it is to begin and the fears that can ever keep us from starting. The way others try to stop us from doing anything remarkable. I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories, so I hope you will stop by and get the discussion going.

Click the word “Comments” and a box should appear…

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Not Knowing…

It’s Steam of Conciousness Saturday! The Prompt for today is:

….use a word, anywhere in your post, that begins with the prefix “de-.” Extra points if your word ends with “ed”! It’s all about the fun – have some!

socs-badgeBen-Josephesus is determined to boo and hiss, point and glare, and be one of the crowd at this afternoon’s crucifixion on the hill called Skull. He despises the mealy-mouthed man and his silent replies given to accusations  of blasphemy, and so, …he participated earlier in the curses of the Romans and jeers of his people. Now, as he follows the Nazarene who lumbers up the rocks, falls face down under the weight of that cross hewn from the wood of a mighty tree, (and still does not open his mouth in defense or beg for mercy) Ben-Josephesus reaches down for a hand of gravel and pummels the man whose blood already soaks him.  He deserves to die a cruel death. He has deceived many Jews, most of them ordinary fisherman, women, and those vile sinners who are not worthy of Jehovah’s notice.

The noon hour approaches as soldiers nail him to the wood, this man who preaches mercy and forgiveness of sin. They plug long steel nails into his hands and feet. There, now…they finally lift him high to hang until sundown. It is the Day of Preparation. Passover and the Sabbath are about to begin. At home, Ben-Josephesus’ wife  prepares the lamb that was sacrificed.  (Home, where she should be.)     Not like these women who stand a short way from the cross and mourn with cries and sobs like those of the lambs tied to two crossed poles,  heads up, shoulders fastened to the cross pole so the fires do not reach their head or scorch their unclean brains. Only a clean lamb can be sacrificed to Jehovah.

Three hours pass and the man who claims he is the Lamb of God lifts His own head towards heaven and speaks, ” Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Then he slumps, whispers, It is Finished and breathes a last sigh.

The women move closer to the Cross; they wait for him, whom they love, to be removed and laid down so they can prepare his desecrated body for burial. Their Day of Preparation. The sky darkens, no sun, no moon. Only three o’clock, thought Ben-Joseph. The earth shakes and rocks fall. He hurries home to his wife, ready to begin his Sabbath… not knowing what he has done.

Join in the fun of SOC! The link to the page

http://lindaghill.com/2015/04/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-415/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!

say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!

Saturday Sream of Consciousness Promt: Pat-Cakes

Hello! Its Saturday and on Saturday I participate in Linda’s Steam of consciousness Prompt.

mother and childsocs-badge

Today’s prompt is pat/pet/pot/put

My mama likes to make what we called pat cakes.  Fun biscuits. We all get to make our own and we can pat them into shapes… any old thang we want. I  make a capital L for my name most often. Sometimes I’ll go all out on myself and make a crown shape. Younger brother  pats out worms.  He’ll roll the flour into skinny long snakes and then  chop them into short wormy thangs. I’ve done forgotten what my little sister makes. Most likely a work of fancy stuff so great it makes me feel like a stupid baby. STUPID. Mama says that’s an ugly word, but I say it anyway. STUPID. That’s why I forget the thangs my sister does ’cause of she always does them better than me.  This living with her has done turned me into a pitty-pot. Mama tells everyone I’m a pity-pot having a pity-party. Not sure what that means, but don’t think it’s so good. My pat cakes look the best until sister finishes hers. Then mine become pitiful lumps of flour. All I want to do was just eat worms…my brother’s worms. He don’t care for biscuits so his is up for anyone’s taking and eating. I care too much and am sure happy to eat them all. I don’t get to eat sister’s pat-cake biscuits because my mama saves them. Before anyone can gobble up those precious little cakes, she’ll say, “They’re so precious, I need to have them bronzed, like her baby shoes.” PRECIUOS. I will never say that word cause mama says it all the time about sister.  See…I only said it just once so you can see what mama says. Mama never has anything of mine bronzed. Little sister has a special shelf in the parlor lined up with her bronzed baby shoes,… bronzed first cup… bronzed first spoon. And right along side them, all in a row, mama puts her many, many bronzed pat-cakes. Sister is mama’s pet. I’m just her first child. No big deal at all.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!

Here’s the Link:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/03/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-1415/#respond

Aerial View of Camden, New Jersey, 2012

benfranklin bridge

“In a dream I saw a city invincible.”

-Walt Whitman
(inscribed on the walls of Camden City Hall
where the great American poet spent his final years.)

View of Camden, 2104

From an aerial view, the city appears blighted
gray smoke from the Ben Franklin Bridge south
even Philly, north, fares better, those sharp-witted
lights of brilliant history.

Boarded row home. Poppy packs powder in zip-locs,
loads them into his son’s backpack, soft and squishy,
explosives up middle-school noses. Says don’t come
home without the money. Daughter struggles with
homework. Poppy says don’t bother. Not necessary.

Red brick school building. Demolition red. Teacher sets
a timer, gestures students back to their desks
for silent independent reading. She pulls out her
own Sue Grafton novel. Teacher example. Yolanda
swears in Spanish. Home language so teacher ignores.
And reads on….

Kinsey Milhone, lady detective, draws her gun
and foils the robber’s break-in…

Quason grunts, takes out his high interest, low-level
book. Snorts from the rest, but they follow…

Kinsey drives her Volkswagon down a Santa Barbara
sea side road. Wind sprays the ocean, colors are warm golden hues…

Someone passes gas. Laughter shatters, fingers pinch noses.
Teacher rolls her eyes, keeps reading. Flies swerve around Joey’s
book bag. Teacher wishes to be Kinsey.

For twenty minutes sixteen troubled students pretend to read,
sleep, swat flies. One teacher gets lost in a world where
lady detectives solve all the problems.

-Leigh Mackelvey

 

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Saturday Strem of Conciuosness Prompt: Get-a-Long Little Doggie

socs-badgeToday’s Prompt given by Linda is the word “go”

http://lindaghill.com/2015/03/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-715/

Please see her page for Rules and Join Us!

Get- a-Long Little Doggie

Not dog poop in  my yard,
Not dog poop anywhere at all.
If it’s fresh, the odor calls,
let’s one know where not
to let your foot fall.
Old poop gives no hint,
no print, no reason
to sprint far or
to avoid to aim
your handlebars.
So go away, please don’t
play in my nice yard,
disregard my garden chard.
Get-a-long little doggie,
and when you go,
don’t bother to send
a good-bye card.