DANGLING PARTICIPLE ALERT!
Accelerates Under Demonic Influence
Always Unsafe Designs Implemented
Beautiful Mechanical Wonder
Business, Money and Woman
Big Money Works
Bought My Wife
Brutal Money Waster
Big Ugly Indestructible Car Killer
Can Hear Every Valve Rap On Long Extended Trips
Cheap, Hardly Efficient, Virtually Runs On Luck Every Time
Darn Old Dirty Gas Eater
Drips Oil, Drops Grease Everywhere
Failure in Italian Automotive Technology
Fix It All the Time
Fix it again, Tony!
Backwards --> Driver Returns On Foot
First On Recall Day
First On Rust and Deterioration
Fix Or Repair Daily
Found On Road, Dead
Fault Of R&D
Fast Only Rolling Downhill
Features O.J. and Ron's DNA
Found On Russian Dump
First On Race Day
Garage Man's Companion
Got a Mechanic Coming?
Had One Never Did Again
Happy Owners Never Drive Anything else.
Hope You Understand Nothing's Driveable And Inexpensive...
Most Always Zipping Dangerously Along
Old Ladies Driving Slowly Make Others Behind Infuriatingly Late Every day.
Overpriced, Leisurely Driven Sedan Made Of Buick's Irregular Leftover Equipment
Send Another Automobile Back
Swedish Automobiles Always Breakdown.
Too Often Yankees Overprice This Auto
Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
(a short collection of quotes, etc. to motivate the writer within you)
“My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard that, I was glad … I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness.”2 Cor. 12:9 (The Message)
God won’t allow you to use your weaknesses as an excuse for avoiding the task He’s called you to.
Hi! I heard that you don’t think you can write for God.
You may be surprised to hear me say this, but I agree! If God’s called you to do it, then you shouldn’t be able to do it without Him. I know you’re feeling that what God is asking is something that works against your strength. We both know there are other people who could do it better.
But you know what? He didn’t call other people to this task. He called you!
One of the reasons He gave you weaknesses is to keep you on your knees before Him.
If you could do it without Him, then it’s really not a God-thing. Besides, if you’re like me, you’d just get prideful if God hadn’t built these weaknesses into you. They’re meant to drive you back to Him so that you rely on His strength and not your own.
The problem is - most people try to hide their weaknesses. They refuse to acknowledge them. They ignore them. They act as if the weaknesses aren’t a big deal, even though everyone around them can see that they are.
God doesn’t want you to hide your weaknesses.
Wasn’t it our brother Paul who said,
“I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift? It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness … and so the weaker I get, the stronger I become” (2 Cor. 12:9-10, The Message).
And God won’t allow you to use your weaknesses as an excuse for avoiding the task He’s called you to. Like the old preacher says, if God’s called you, then He’ll equip you. What you’re avoiding right now may be part of that equipping.
Know this: I'm with you in this. I'm praying for you every step of the way. I know that the work God started in you will be completed because He never leaves His work unfinished. So keep writing . . .for the glory of our great God! – Dru Ashwell, Executive Editor (College Press & HeartSpring Publishing— Joplin , MO )
"Don't wait. Writers are the only artists I know who expect to get somewhere by waiting. Writing is what teaches you. Writing is what leads to inspiration. Writing is what generates ideas. Nothing else-and nothing less." - Daniel Quinn
"Planning to write is not writing. Outlining... researching... talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing." - E.L. Doctorow
"The idea is to get the pencil moving quickly. Once you've got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three, throw them away and look for others." - Bernard Malamud
"Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else." - C S Lewis
"If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack." - Winston Churchill
"Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing." - Meg Chittenden
"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long." - Leonard S. Bernstein
"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." - E.L. Doctorow
"Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes all the pressure off the second." - Robert Frost
"Write without pay until somebody offers to pay." - Mark Twain
"A professional writer is an amateur that doesn't quit." - Richard Bach
"Leap, and the net will appear." - Gaelen Foley
"Go, then - there are other worlds than these." - Stephen King
”If your words are boring, it's because you've been reading too many newspapers and magazines. Read the works of literary giants and you'll start thinking giant thoughts.
As you read, so will you write.
What have you been reading lately?”
--Roy H. Williams
Drop the Cat in the Punch Bowl
Great titles cause browsing eyes to pause and investigate. Powerful opening paragraphs entice the reader to keep on reading.
“Growing up in a household of women you get to hear what women say to each other when there aren’t any men around. My theory is that women don’t think of you as a male until your voice changes. Until then, you’re just a gender-neutral ‘kid.’ It’s because of this loophole that I know about Harry Hippenhonda.”
– Roy H. Williams
Do you want to know more about Mr. Hippenhonda?
"All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me."
- Dorothy Parker
Are you curious to know more about Dorothy Parker’s childhood?
Better stories begin with better opening lines; so pay wide-eyed attention to your FMI (First Mental Image). The FMI in your story is the first thing your readers will see clearly in their minds. Most writers bury their most vivid FMI about a third of the way into the opening chapter. They lead up to the main point of their story rather than simply dropping the cat into the punch bowl - SPLASH.
Write your rough draft without thinking, then, find your FMI and rip a big X through everything that occurs prior to it. Splash. Fling open the curtain on those dancing words and you’ll find it much easier to seize the reader’s attention.
Here are more opening lines that drop the cat:
“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
“It came down to this: if I had not been arrested by the Turkish police, I would have been arrested by the Greek police.”
– Eric Ambler, The Light of Day
“My first act on entering this world was to kill my mother.”
– William Boyd, The New Confession
“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.”
– Stephen Crane, Red Badge of Courage
Generally speaking, if you don’t own the reader within the first seven seconds you might as well pack your bags and go home. So open Big.
Action words are big. Especially the ones with tread left on them. Avoid verbs that are worn slick with use. Wallop, sting, smack, snip, jolt and vibrate the reader with verbs. Write with too many adjectives – modifiers – and everyone will think you’re a moon-eyed poet in junior high. So croak the modifiers with action-word bullets. Shoot to kill with unexpected verbs.
It takes a second pair of ears to hear weakness in a story, so don’t be a whining Prima Donna pansy. Brilliant writers want their stories to be edited by someone who won’t spare their feelings. Soft-shell writers want to explain and justify every little thing. That’s why their stories suck like a Hoover . I think Holly Lisle said it best:“If you assume that the words that flow from your fingertips were dictated to you by God and are thus sacred and immune from revision, only you and God are ever going to get to read them.”
Great endings are more important - and even more difficult to write – than great opening lines. Your Last Mental Image (LMI) is the closing scene of the mental movie your words will project onto the screen of your reader’s imagination. Like a tender kiss, the impression of your LMI should linger long after the reader has moved on to other things. Here’s what I’m talking about:
“He stayed that way for a long time and when he aroused himself and again looked out of the car window the town of Winesburg had disappeared and his life there had become but a background on which to paint the dreams of his manhood.”
– Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg , Ohio
“But if we’ve succeeded in boring you instead, believe me, we didn’t do it on purpose.”
– Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed
“Whether they lived happily ever after is not easily decided.”
– C.S. Forester, The African Queen
“The old man was dreaming about the lions.”
– Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
“For some minutes, before she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, she just lay quiet, smiling at the ceiling.” – J.D. Salinger, Zooey
If you will make your story hard to forget, you will:
1. open with a vivid FMI
2. trigger voluntary mental participation
3. employ unexpected verbs
4. minimize adjectives and modifiers
5. cause the listener to see the action
6. close with a lingering LMI.
Say what you want to say, and say it hot. It’s how bestsellers are written.
Roy H. Williams
New York Times best-selling author,
Writer of the Wall Street Journal’s
#1 business book in America