Posts Tagged ‘hero’
Good morning! It is a very good morning, even if you’re waking to snow and subzero temperatures. If you are, please stay warm and dry.
It’s not exactly warm here in northern Arizona, either. I’m in the mountains, not the Valley of the Sun, where 60 degrees is considered “jacket weather.” Still, the ground is (for now) snow-free, and daytime temps have been reaching the high 40s and mid-50s.
Temperatures like that are enough to make you start thinking about baseball, right? Heh. Who am I kidding? I’m always thinking about baseball these days. That’s what happens when you write stories about men who play the game.
In fact, spring training is right around the corner. The Cactus League comes to Arizona in mid-February, and the D-backs report to training camp even earlier than that.
Because baseball season is almost upon us, I’m at Fresh Fiction today, blogging about my Boys of Summer, the men of the Arizona Condors. I had fun getting them to answer a bunch lightning-round questions.
This is my first visit to Fresh Fiction, but I hope it won’t be my last!
Stop by to learn some surprising fun facts about Dave, Matt and Greg, the heroes of DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER and SLIDING INTO HOME. (You can get there by clicking the link or the photo itself.)
Once you’re done watching the romantic spectacle that is the Royal Wedding, visit me there to debate the qualities of a good hero.
The hero in my WIP, Cody, has a tendency to use big words and shrink-speak when he’s upset, angry or flustered. (There’s a reason he has a T-shirt that says “I’m fluent in psychobabble.”)
It turns out Cody and I have that in common. Now that I’m writing fiction fairly regularly, I notice myself trying to flaunt my vocabulary in the articles I write for the newspaper, too.
When I was in journalism school (way back in the dark ages … the early 1990s), we learned the average reading level of the newspaper audience was eighth grade. (I think I’ve heard it’s since dropped to sixth grade, but I might be mistaken there.)
I analyzed my writing style with a computer program once (way back in those same dark ages) and it told me I wrote at a 10th-grade level. That has more than likely changed the farther I’ve gotten from college (where everyone used big words in an attempt to show off what they thought they knew) and the more deeply entrenched I’ve become in journalistic style.
We journalists are trained to use simpler words. A school bus is just plain “yellow,” not “canary” or even “that shade of mustard peculiar to school buses.” Don’t use “growled” or “yelled” when a simple “said” gets the point across without embellishment.
Sometimes I wonder if that training has affected my fiction writing. In first drafts, I often go with the most expedient word. Then I scramble to change it later on.
But now that I’m shifting my focus to making a good impression on agents and editors, I find myself choosing words with a little more razzmatazz … well, like razzmatazz. 😉
That’s not a bad thing at all — unless I’m writing a story for the newspaper. When I’m in journalist mode, I have to catch myself before I use words like “eschew.”
At least I haven’t tried to throw “bifurcated” into a sentence. I stumbled across that one while editing someone else’s story one night and spent much time complaining to whoever would listen that “bifurcated” was unnecessary when “forked” meant the same darn thing — and didn’t send readers scrambling for the nearest dictionary.
How about you? Ever catch yourself using words that make you feel like a big fish in a small pond?
I don’t often do this, but after I wrote this post for my other blog, I realized it’d be a perfect fit here, too. Here goes:
Sign me up for the Vince Vaughn fan club
Has anyone else seen “The Dilemma” yet? In it, Vince Vaughn plays a guy who discovers his best friend’s wife is cheating on him. Then he has to deal with his dilemma: To tell or not to tell.
Am I the only one who thinks Vince Vaughn is a great leading man?
“The Breakup”? Hilarious. “Wedding Crashers”? Heck, yeah. “Couples Retreat”? I could watch it over and over. “Four Christmases”? Yes, please — and I’ll take a couple more while we’re at it.
I love the fast-talking, mistake-prone, so-smart-yet-so-dumb, sweet, funny type of guy Vaughn seems to excel at portraying.
He may not be Brad-Pitt beautiful or Gerard Butler gorgeous, but he’s adorable in his own way. He’s more guy next door … the one the girl doesn’t realize she’s in love with until he’s dating someone else. Then she kicks herself ten ways to Sunday and embarks on a campaign to steal him away from the other woman who is, of course, clearly wrong for him.
Hmm … did I just come up with a story idea? I can work with that.
You never know … maybe I can talk Vaughn into playing the hero in one of my novels someday.
You’re nothing without your dreams, right? 😉
(Speaking of Gerard Butler, the movie trivia playing before the film started said he had a law degree. I did not know that … but I bet Kristan Higgins did. She’s always posting “Gerard Butler Grammar Quizzes” on the RWA newsletter editors’ loop.)