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The primary objective of this organization is to promote and provide assistance to creative writers through peer review, outreach programs, writers’ workshops, surveys, conferences, symposiums, blogs, internet tools, and forums.
From Rick Taubold's and Scott Gamboe's Write Well, Write to Sell blog
On blog after blog about writing, writers are inundated with rules. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much the so-called rules of good writing really matter. Thinking about that triggered another random thought. In the Broadway show, and the movie My Fair Lady (for those of you who know and remember it), there’s a song that Liza Doolittle sings that begins, “Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words…” and, coincidentally, the title of the song is “Show Me.” Here’s a link to the song’s lyrics, with a nice “show, don’t tell” reminder for writers–
In some of the self-published novels I’ve recently read, I keep coming across examples of the “bad” writing habits that Scott and I (and others) have talked about. I put the “bad” in quotes because, if we’re being honest, there are different degrees of badness, ranging from the egregiously bad to the marginally acceptable. Not every broken rule represents a mortal sin.
Clearly the worst ones are the outright grammar errors:
reprinted with permission from Write Well, Write to Sell
We’ve all read a book where a seemingly random object or event will suddenly interrupt the story. This interjection is so out of place that we know it has something major to do with the plot. We spend time trying to figure out what the effect on the storyline will be... perhaps even long after we’ve put the book down for the day. And finally, we come to the end of the story, only to find that the interruption was an extraneous loose end, having nothing to do with the book.
Every new writer, and quite a few old ones, is familiar with that sinking feeling that happens when you start a new tale and wonder, “Where do I begin?”
Many times when I’m judging a story for Writers of the Future, I’ll come upon a story that seems somehow malformed. The writing is great, but the story is wrong.
(this is a cross post from Rick's blog Write Well, Write to Sell)
Among the several sins that many new writers commit, premature flashbacks is often one of them. Two other big sins are launching into backstory too soon after the opening (or in the opening), and the use of a prologue when one isn’t warranted.
Silver Pen's primary purpose is to help writers be the best they can be, and that means helping them to improve their writing to the point that it's publishable. This is a peer-review environment, which means that everyone is here to review the work of others and in turn to have their work reviewed. In that regard, it's also teaching environment, but it is not a classroom setting where instructors (or the Silver Pen Directors) do the teaching exclusively. The members should be here to learn from one another.