Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – NaNoWriMo First Paragraph Share

November 3, 2022
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Many of us are in the heady first few days of this crazy writing challenge. Time away from our projects is ‘wasted’ time and the pull to immerse ourselves into our new stories is strong. It is our new shiny thing, and we want to spend time with it. We begin to know our characters and their plight, and the tale becomes more real in our minds.

So, my question is, are you brave enough to share your first paragraph? We all know that in the editing process it may not be structured the same, or even part of the novel at all. Let’s see what everyone is writing.

If you regularly read this blog, you know I am creating the last book in a crime trilogy. Killers Match will conclude The Delphic Murders series.

So, I will take a deep breath and expose my unedited, rough first paragraph.

Edmonton was in the grip of winters freezing temperatures, icy roads and sidewalks and snowplowed windrows on every street. Multiple traffic accidents kept the local police patrols busy and ice related falls crowded the hospital waiting rooms. It is in such an emergency room, amid the overpowering aroma of chemicals, vomit, blood and sweat that we find Avril Finn, gritting her teeth as she tries to convince a heavy bodied nurse she is indeed a police detective.

Come on, be brave. Let’s cheer each other on!

Good luck to you all with new projects, whether NaNo related or not.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Book Festival, Meeting Readers and Buying Books

September 20, 2022
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I attended Words on the Street this Saturday in Lethbridge with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing. This was an annual event I enjoyed until COVID postponed it. So, this first in-person return to the book festival since 2019 was a joy. I reconnected with local authors and met new readers to my novels. To discuss my stories is always a fun conversation, as those who know my work, understand my ability to ‘flip’ ideas on their heads and give surprisingly twists and turns in my narratives.

As a reader I also took advantage of an independent bookstore’s weekend sale. The Purple Platypus in Castor, is jam packed with books and picking one or two is impossible. I left with a bag of books! More for my ever expanding TBR pile. (You know the problem all too well, I’m sure.)

Added to these were novels from three Lethbridge authors – Jenna Greene, Bianca Rowena, and Mandy Michelle.

So after I finish Fairy Tale by Stephen King I will have a difficult decision to make – which book do I choose first. Do any of these speak to you? Which one would you choose?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – In-Person Author Events September

September 8, 2022
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September is a busy month for book events and I am looking forward to them after such a long a break. The first is Words on the Street in Lethbridge on 17th September.

It will be great to see the local authors I know there and meet new ones. There is always so much to do and enjoy centered around literature and writing.

The second event is more local, Words in the Park, in Sherwood Park. The event will be celebrating 15 years, which is a fantastic milestone! With local authors, artisans and musicians showcasing their creativity, the event is part of Alberta Culture Days and there is something for all the family.

If you are a writer, author, or reader this is the event you must attend. The pdf form to apply for a table is on this page – just scroll down. Link:

Invite your friends, family and colleagues and discover local talent.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – A Blog Anniversary and A New TBR Pile

August 9, 2022
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It is always surprising when you get a notification from WordPress as to your blog anniversary. This is quite the milestone. There is effort in maintaining my blog schedule and coming up with new content, but the most enjoyable part is the connection I have with my followers. So a huge thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 12 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I have a good friend, Karen who has a book swap with several friends and family and I am lucky to be part of it. I collected my next batch for my ‘to be read’ pile last week. It is, as ever, an eclectic mix of genres and authors. Something I enjoy, as reading outside our ‘comfort’ zone gives us pleasant surprises and a new venture into stories otherwise unread. Some are successful, some not, but without the opportunity to read, we would never know. This is the current stack I will be making my way though.

What do you have on your TBR pile? Is it as varied? Which authors do you gravitate towards?

And remember today is National Book Lovers Day! So another celebration.

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Word Usage to Tighten Your Writing

July 14, 2022
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Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

We all want to immerse our readers into our story as much as possible. To this end we need to ‘carry’ them through the experience with as little actual word usage as possible. An overly complicated or wordy sentence or paragraph, can take them out of the situation you have drawn them into. This can be accomplished by using descriptive words.

The definition of descriptive is: evocative, expressive, vivid, graphic, eloquent, colorful, explanatory, illustrative.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is quiet the list, I’m sure you agree, but we can expand on. A single word can encapsulate a mood, a feeling or a condition, which enables us to create without too much exposition or explanation.

In the revision process of any piece of work, tightening up the exposition ensures the story keeps pace, and large sections can be refined into their essential elements. In using words, such as clammy, for instance, our readers are instantly aware of our character’s physical state without losing the impact of the narrative. In other words -using these descriptive words keep our narrative sharp.

Careful word usage is a learned skill for many and delving into our dictionary and thesaurus on a regular basis enables us to use words to their best affect. For example, if we did not use clammy, we would need to describe cold but sweaty skin, light-headedness, damp beads of perspiration – a lot more words for the same condition and an overly descriptive sentence or paragraph can lose our reader’s attention. We certainly don’t want that.

Use of the thesaurus on our word document screen can assist us, but does have it’s limits. A good dictionary & thesaurus are a good investment for any writer. There are specific thesaurus as well. For example, I have an emotional thesaurus, which is a great tool.

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Take your time while revising any written piece to identify descriptive words that would sharpen it. They are a writer’s best friend, so use them often. The more you investigate words the more you will find that can sharpened your work.

What method do you use to tighten your writing?

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