Look! It’s a Friday’s Fun Find (And it’s an Infographic!)

There’s nothing like a fun infographic in the old inbox to remind one of good excellent times…

So anyway, I often hear from interesting folks who want me to feature something right properly here at Cathy C. Hall. But even the most cursory of glances will tell you that this is a blog about…well, me. But also, it’s a blog about writing.

And yet, writing is rarely the topic that these interesting folks want me to share. Perhaps they want me to write about outdoor furniture, or barbecue sauce, or fancy shoes. Not that there’s anything wrong at all with any of those things goods. They just don’t have anything to do with me. Or writing. So when I received a lovely email from someone who a. clearly had read my blog and knew what was what around here and b. asked if I’d like to see his infographic about boring words, I said sure. I mean, it seemed showed signs of being a perfect fit.

And P.S. I just simply think you’ll like adore it, too.

Boring words

To see more of what Jack Milgram blogs about, go here.

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Quick! What Grabs Your Attention?

hook-159682_1280Don’t overthink it, y’all, just quick consider what almost always hooks you, whether you’re reading the first chapter of a book, the first paragraph or so of a short story, and especially the opening paragraph of an article.

Want to know if you came up with the same surefire hook as I did for my Muffin post this week? Then go check it out here.

And then maybe you could let me know if great minds really do think alike! Did you come up with the same hook? I’d sure love to know.

(Also, the BIG deer now has BIG antlers. Which will make much more sense to you after you read the Muffin post.)

The Search For the Great Beginning

file000495818648I came across a post, “Ten Great Openings to Recent YA and MG Literature by Jim Woehrle” over at Nerdy Book Club and of course, I had to read it. I mean, great openings? I was hooked.

There is nothing in my writing that I spend as much time on as my opening. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post over at WOW!Women-on-Writing or one of my full-length manuscripts. I agonize over the beginning because…well, the beginning is almost everything.

The first line–or lines–must hook the reader. And those introductory words set the tone for all that follows. A good beginning is golden, and can make up for a multitude of messes that come later. But a bad beginning? There is no later with a sucky start.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck on the beginning, I’ll just start writing the meat of the post or story or book. The ending will often help me when I go back to write the beginning. But other times, I just can’t get anything right if I start out wrong.

And I can feel it in my writing bones when I’ve nailed a beginning. In fact, I’ve come up with a great first line with no idea for a story when suddenly, the story takes off. Just because of a great beginning.

So, I’ve read a couple of those books recommended by Jim Woehrle, and I’ll add a few of them to my To Be Read list, based solely on the beginning. And now, how about you?

Do you write your beginning last? First? Any tips on those 0h-so-important first lines? And what’s your recommendation for a great beginning? Because I often learn from reading, and besides, I just love a great beginning!

 

What’s The Word?

DUSTY  VINTAGE KEYBOARDGosh, another year? So soon?

I mean, dang. I’m still pondering. Though there’s one word–challenge– that keeps circling around in my head. I’ve pondered quite a bit on this word.

I’ve been so blessed this past year, seeing my books published, finishing a manuscript that not only I love but that my lovely agent, Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary, loves as well. I’ve enjoyed writing retreats and conferences and getting to know so many wonderful writers. Truly, a bounty of blessings.

And yet, I wonder if I haven’t got just a wee bit complacent, writing-wise. Sticking to the sure things, shying away from the scary challenges.

You see? There’s that word again: challenge. Perhaps that needs to be my word this year, as Margo Dill wrote about in her New Year’s post over at The Muffin. Her word is “organization.”

It just so happens that despite my lack of challenge last year, I did hit my stride in organization. You can find out how in The Best And Simplest Time Savers of the Year over at The Muffin.

So here’s to a year of words. May we find all the words–or maybe just the one word– to make 2016 a winning year!

Putting My Feet Up Till 2016

file2701263517189Ah, the week after Christmas. Let me just put my feet up for a minute and I’ll tell you all about the absolute wonderfulness of the December Lull.

Hold on a sec. Why don’t I just direct you over to the Muffin where I expounded on Late December Questions?

Well, maybe not expounded. I mean, it’s the December Lull and I’m sort of taking it easy. Let’s just say I loosely explained why these couple days are so perfect for us writer types.

And then you’ll know why I’m here in my big, comfy chair. And maybe you’ll join me for your bit of pondering.

(In your own chair, people. Your OWN chair.)