Thursday, February 28, 2013

Which way does your writing swing?

Do men and women write differently? Can the gender of an author be determined by the words they choose? Some say yes and there's a test to prove it.

I was curious to see if this really worked, so I copied a few pages from my work-in-progress and pasted everything into the analyzer. My results?

Genre: Informal
  Female = 243
  Male    = 970
  Difference = 727; 79.96%
  Verdict: MALE

Does this mean I can stop shaving my legs?
~ Dawn

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hero to Zero in Three Minutes Flat

Allow me to serve as a warning for others.

A little while back, I found myself shuttling my daughter and her BFF to some sort of angst-ridden teenage event. They're huddled in the backseat, heads down over their cell phones and whispering about things I probably didn't want to hear anyway. Then, quite unexpectedly, they spoke. To me.

I never prepared for this particular eventuality. I mean, how often does a person engage their cab driver in conversation? I regrouped, and the following conversation ensues:

"I hear you wrote a book, Mrs. Jayne."

The honorific and overly- polite tone should've been my first clue something dastardly was afoot, but I just bobbed my head, grinned like an idiot, and hoped she had e-readers and expendable cash. I checked the rear-view mirror. I sense genuine interest. Score!

"So...what's it about?"

Eeek! Okay, play it cool, no big deal, just a question. I can do this. Don't look too anxious, keep it short. Don't want to scare her off.

"It's about angels, and...." I proceed with the synopsis, almost verbatim from the back-cover. I'm cool as a cucumber. I am rocking this!

"'s fiction?"

I would've thought the whole angel-element already cleared that up, but I don't say so. I make every attempt to sound quasi-bored as I answer various questions: How many pages? Did it come out this year? This is more interest than my own family has shown, and my leg is bouncing around like a dog getting a belly-run.

Then, unbelievably, the BFF asks about the characters!

At this point, I'm Sally Field.

Most writers talk for-ev-er about their characters. At least that's what I'm telling myself, because...well, I pretty much did.

There's more furious discussion about the plot and other things. I'm spending more time watching her decidedly not-bored expression instead of watching the road, so I wrap things up with a strategically placed verbal cliff-hanger. Then I hear this:

"What are the primary themes in the story?"

Crickets. Lighbulb. Devastation.

My reaction to finding out my pen-name is Cliff Notes?

Trust no one.

Peace ~