Don’t Be a Libby

So I just spent 5 days at the beach.

I never actually made it to the beach. But there was all that driving to get down there, and the fixing of the flat tire once we got there, and the flowers to pick out and buy and plant and deliver and the great seafood to eat and the bands to give a listen and so today–today–I just wanted to pull a Libby:

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(Libby goes to stay with Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Cappy and their four dogs whenever we take a trip. And when we get her back home, she lays about, pretty much like the above for…oh, a week or so.)

But I’ve got a revision that ain’t gonna write itself. Still, I needed a little more motivation than a dog picture. So I decided to review Pixar’s Practically Perfect 22 Rules of Storytelling to just, you know, get the old gray cells working again.

And right off the bat–

Rule #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

I was like, yes. This. This is what I need to keep in mind as I tackle the revision, as I strive to keep this 12-year-old protagonist…well, twelve. So how about you? If you have a minute, read the 22 Rules and let me know which one resonates with you.

And if you’d rather just pull a Libby, well, maybe keep that to yourself.

Make ‘Em Laugh (Or Just Make Me Laugh)

2009-07-12 11.53.16If you hang out here often, then you know I write funny. Though honestly, I didn’t start out to write funny. I just can’t quite write a hundred percent serious.

Lord knows, I’ve tried. I thought I could be Ms. Literary Writer of the South (or at least the Southeast). But one day I woke up and smelled the Cathy C. Hall coffee–and it tasted funny. So humor sort of stuck to me and now I couldn’t not write funny. (And yes, I know that’s a double negative. I’m making a point here, people.)

Anyway, all this to say that sometimes, I miss the comedy mark. Yes, friends, I do. But I have a couple tricks up my sleeve that get me back on the humor writing track. I wrote about them today over at The Muffin in “What’s So Funny? (Serious Tips for the Humor Writer)”.

Yep, I might write funny, but I’m a hundred percent serious about this career of mine. So if you have a tip about writing humor, I’d love to hear it. ‘Cause honestly, I’ve got a ton of edits to get to today and I could use a joke or two.

Never Too Busy For Writing Gems!

dogwood tree 001Oh, I hope you all had a lovely Easter! It was a bit busy around here so I forgot to mention my Saturday post over at the Muffin, “Closet-Cleaning and First Drafts.” I think you’ll find a writing tip or two.

And speaking of writing tips, I came across Tuscany Press and their writer resources called “Required Reading (if you want to be published and successful)“. Lots of great gems in that list of required reading, but if you only have time to read one, don’t miss The Story Question. Whether you’re working on a novel or just a short piece of writing, you need to know the question you’re answering, the question that will keep readers reading.

Like, in this blog post, the story question is: “Is this writing advice Cathy’s going on and on about worth my time?”

And as I know you’re busy, I’ll leave you to it!