Archive for September, 2010


In My Mailbox (11)

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

Oops… almost forgot to post this today! *facepalm*

Nothing technically came in my mailbox this week… but we purchased two books last week before heading out for vacation, so I’ll include those here. I finished one on the plane, and my husband finished the other one yesterday… seriously, the Sanderson tome is so HUGE that he actually got a pinched nerve from carrying it around all day. No joke. Crazy!!!

FYI: In my mailbox is a weekly meme started by The Story Siren to showcase books you’ve received for review, bought, borrowed, or swapped. Anyone can participate, and it’s a great way to showcase new books and encourage blogger/commenter interaction!




(Parasol Protectorate, Book 3)

by Gail Carriger




The Way of Kings


Archive, Book 1)

by Brandon Sanderson









What came in your mailbox this week? :D


Self-Editing #8: You’re Not Nora

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

Big surprise, huh? All right, let me explain.

You love your characters. You love them so much that you get deep into a scene, are writing a particularly emotional moment, and your heroine is aching from the rejection of the man she loves. We’re seeing things through her eyes, feeling her pain, when the hero says something devastating, and then… we read this line:

“Clutching the locket, Julie bit the inside of her lip and turned away from Bryce. He frowned, confused by her reaction.”

I’ve already told you that we’re in Julie’s POV. So, what’s wrong with this scene?

“Clutching the locket, Julie bit the inside of her lip and turned away from Bryce. He frowned, confused by her reaction.”

The words highlighted in red show where the scene slips—if briefly—into the hero’s point-of-view. That’s where the problem lies: Julie can’t see certain things or know certain things in her POV, so we shouldn’t either.

This is commonly known as head-hopping. Sounds painful, right?

And it can be, especially for your reader. Imagine trying to keep track of knowing everything about multiple characters and seeing everything through multiple pairs of eyes throughout an entire novel, without changing scenes!

Oh, wait…

I hear you. You’re shouting things like “Tolstoy!” and “Binchy!” and “Roberts!” and even “Tolkien!” at me.

The fact of the matter is… you’re not them. In fact, 20+ years ago, omniscient POV was the common, nay, preferred POV. It was typical for books to give POV moments to characters such as the dog or a horse, and yes, it could get confusing (though it adds an interesting dimension to the storytelling).

Today’s authors who use omniscient POV are established writers who’ve practiced and perfected this in their craft. It’s very difficult to do, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a publisher (let alone an agent) willing to take a chance to an omniscient POV novel.

Once you’re published and have proven you’re capable of it, omniscient POV may be within your grasp. However, readers these days prefer deep third person (or first person), and until the trend comes around again, it’s your best bet to stick with this.

To change POVs the right way, wait for a scene break, then switch. But only then!

So, get out that red pen, and remember: You’re not Nora. But someday, you could be! So for now, make sure your reader isn’t seeing or knowing anything that isn’t apparent to your main character.

Do you head-hop like a bunny on speed? Sometimes I do it without even noticing, but I find it only happens with novels. This is one of those things I tend to be hyper-aware of… how about you?


‘Amish Proverbs’ Giveaway Winner(s)!

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

Hello my wonderful bloggy friends!

I have some exciting news for not only one, but two of you!!! Yes, that’s right… I’ve decided to give away my copy as well. I wish I had enough copies for everyone, but apparently that’s amishnot how giveaways work (don’t you wish it was, though?!).

To pick the winners, I gave everyone a number (ie. your comment number from the blog post), stuck them on little slips of paper (old-school style!) and tried to get my parrot to pick the winners, but instead he just got angry and pushed my hand away, so… uh… I just got my Very Patient Husband to draw the slips. Haha.

So, without further ado, here are the giveaway winners!

Winner of Amish Proverbs, copy #1:


Winner of Amish Proverbs, copy #2:


You’ll both receive emails from me to let you know… congratulations, and I hope you each enjoy the book!

Thanks again to Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. for providing copies of the book for the giveaway. :)


Where’d She Go?

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

Don’t worry, I’m right here!

My apologies — I didn’t get the book review up that I promised you, and you’re also waiting for the winner of the book draw. I know, I failed, alas!

It’s taken me longer to recover from my vacation than I thought, but I’ll get back into the swing of things today… post something useful, check your comments, and try to get back to visiting your blogs (I have so much to catch up on!).

So… talk to you soon! And I’ll announce the winner of the Amish Proverbs giveaway on Thursday. Yay! :D


In My Mailbox (10)

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

Whoo-hoo! Ten official IMM posts so far… I should have started this a long time ago! This week will only showcase what I received for the first half of the week, since I’m AFK at the moment and wrote this earlier in the week. So… here we go!

FYI: In my mailbox is a weekly meme started by The Story Siren to showcase books you’ve received for review, bought, borrowed, or swapped. Anyone can participate, and it’s a great way to showcase new books and encourage blogger/commenter interaction!

Review Copy of


Running Around
(And Such)


by Linda Byler






It looks adorable! I haven’t read any ‘bonnet fiction’ in a long, long time, since the genre seemed to become so saturated with repetitive tales and mediocre writing… but this one was written by an active member of the Amish community, and is based on her true experiences. I’m excited to find out what it’s like!

How about you… what came in your mailbox this week? :)


Self-Editing #7: Redundant Pleonasms

   Posted by: Faith    in Creating Coldcuts

…and yes, that title is an example of a pleonasm. In case you were about to point fingers. HAH!

So, what the heck is a pleonasm, anyway? Sounds to me like some kind of strange bacteria you’d go to the doctor to get medication for.

“Sorry, ma’am, but you have a serious case of the pleonasm virus. It’s been going around, so don’t worry, I’ll write you up a prescription for that…”

But that is NOT what a pleonasm is. Nay, a pleonasm is defined as such by the ever-reliable


[plee-uh-naz-uhm] Show IPA


1. the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.

2. an instance of this, as free gift or true fact.

3. a redundant word or expression.

Ah… okay, now it’s making more sense. I think. Now, not to repeat myself (har har), but it appears that a pleonasm is a word or phrase that repeats itself.

This is really easy to do in first drafts, and I bet we all do it without thinking. Here are some more examples (redundancies in italics):

  • “It cost $10 dollars.”
  • “He saw it with his own eyes.”
  • “We got to the bar at around two a.m. in the morning.”
  • “The table was square in shape.”
  • “He yawned tiredly.”

Yes, I’m guilty of this… anyone else? Fortunately, this is really easy to cut out of the manuscript, though not always as easy to catch (that’s what critique partners are for!).

As always, thanks to the lovely agent Kelly Mortimer for inspiring this post and the others in the self-editing series. Her grammar guide made me think long and hard about certain things in my own work, and I wondered whether others had similar issues… so hopefully you’re learning things along with me! :)


Self-Editing #6: Be Wise, Italicize

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

…by which I do not mean, pour Italian dressing all over your keyboard or manuscript. Yes, it would be tasty, but not entirely sanitary. So, how about using the Italics feature in your word processor instead?

“But I already know how to use the italics feature,” you say.

“Writing in second person won’t convince them,” I reply.

Er… moving on, what I’m talking about here is using Italics for any and all media references included in your manuscript. This can apply to any genre – coMmm... zesty AND value sized!ntemporary, fantasy, historical – because it includes all of these things:

  • TV shows
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Radio Shows
  • Plays
  • Operas
  • Newspapers
  • Movies
  • Specific works of art

All of these things need, nay, deserve to be named in Italics on the pages of your manuscript.

“That’s all well and good,” you may say, “But I thought we were supposed to use quotation marks for some of those?”

Ah… quotation marks are a different beast altogether. You would use quotation marks for media like:

  • Songs
  • Stories (which are not full-length books)
  • Poems
  • Articles
  • TV episodes
  • Famous photographs

Why do those items get the short end of the stick and only receive quotation marks? Well, my friends, that’s simply the way of the world. A good general rule to remember this by is: If it’s a complete work with multiple components, put it in italics. If it’s a work that belongs in a larger collection, put it in quotation marks. Of course, this will just confuse you when it comes to things like paintings/works of art/photographs, but I did say it was a general rule.

Have you used this system in the past, or have you been playing a guessing game with media in your manuscripts?