Wednesday, 14 September 2016

L is for Little Women

Well that surprised you, didn't it! It's true that I despise these books and have done since a girl. Nevertheless, Amy, Beth, Meg and Jo are well-known characters and that's all I need. So I've chosen them as the characters of the day for my Grammar Without Tears dialogue, which is going to deal with the misuse of 'bring' and 'take'. Purists may carp about this not being, strictly speaking, an issue of grammar. They are quite right. Nevertheless, I have addressed many errors of this type in my book, and will continue to do so, for they are the death of good writing and in speech, a dead giveaway that you were brought up in a trailer park.

I start work in a timely manner, always mindful of the client work which must occupy the bulk of my working day. A man is paying me to edit his book, and he deserves not to wait for it longer than necessary. However, as I've mentioned before, the daily average is key to productivity, so I take the first hour of the day to do another dialogue. 

I've been working on new material for this edition since the beginning of August, and I'm getting well sick of it, too. It's fortunate that I limited myself from the start to one dialogue a day, or I'd not have done as much as I have. Back when I first started doing these dialogues, on a sort of proto-blog, I used to write perhaps one a week, and having to produce them every day is starting to be very wearing. In the six weeks I've averaged about one every three days, but at least the work is moving forward.

This brings me to another point I'd like to mention about writing and productivity. Although the last thing you want to do is fritter away your days on social media, as I see so many wannabe writers doing, it's a great thing to have a community. One of the things that have been bothering me in the last weeks is the difficulty of coming up with ever new actors for my dialogues. So far I have not used anyone twice, and I hope not to, but I have been starting to run out of ideas. I have my friend Patti to thank for sending me a link to one of those 'great classics' reading lists. It's full of people I've not yet used, and that, in fact, is where I got the idea to use the Little Women characters. Today's subject matter, too, like so many of the ones I've been doing lately, was contributed by another writer friend.

So, to work! I hammer away for half an hour and get well started, and then it is time to break for some housework. As I've mentioned before, probably often enough to reach the point of tedium, frequent breaks when concentrating on something are hugely beneficial to one's productivity. A quarter of an hour sees the kitchen and bathroom redded up, and it's on with the job. One more session finishes the dialogue, which you will be able to read when the second edition of Grammar Without Tears comes out.

Get the first edition here:

Since today's effort was so helpfully inspired by my two writer friends, you will want to check out their work.

Patti writes wonderful fantasy, and you can find all her stuff HERE.

Carla writes literary humour, with a sharp wit that cannot fail to delight the reader, and you can find her work HERE.

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