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DVD Review

I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

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May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Editing, Self-taught

As I'm doing the 6th or 7th re-write of my novel I'm learning. This time I'm going over an edit I paid for. Now I'm usually pretty thick-skinned, but this gal hits where it hurts. Really. I already told you about all those words that Christian publisher's frown upon. Oh, yeah, add to that the word "Sheeesh." Apparently that is also unacceptable because it is a substitute for a know swear word. (Isn't that what we're supposed to do, find substitutes so we don't have to use actual profanity?) I guess this one hurts more because I paid for it, but I'm learning through the process.

Rule #1 - Don't go switching your point of view (POV) all over the place. Try to make your switches come at logical intersections and give readers a heads up. I still struggle with this. I guess I should just write from an omniscient point of view and be done with it.
Rule #2 - I'm told not to use adverbs. I don't know why this is. I spent the better part of elementary and high school learning about adverbs and how to use them. Now I'm told that they are frowned upon. I have noticed that in some instances certain adverse muddle a verb up rather than describe the action, as they are supposed to. Anyway, that's rule #2, cut down if not eliminate adverbs.
Rule #3 - Learn to spot the fat. Fat are those words that are not necessary in the sentence. Here's how to tell if you are using fat or not, read your sentence without one of the suspected words. If it reads well, then eliminate the word. I really appreciate the help I'm getting spotting these tid bits, although we don't always see eye to eye even here. So I have to learn. I have to stop complaining and learn. That is if I want to be a writer that glorifies my Heavenly Father.
Rule #4 - Be consistent. Words like alright can also be written as all write, but if you are going to do it one way, be sure to do it the same way through out.
Rule #5 - Dialogue must be treated differently than the rest of the text. This is something I think this particular editor has to learn. If something is a little crass or if the words aren't exactly grammatically correct in the dialog, well, then you have to consider your character. Would he or she talk that way? If so, let the dangling participle dangle. If it's found outside of your dialog, fix it. This is where I need to learn. So Rule #5 is for both the editor and myself. While they need to learn where things can be poor grammar, I have to learn where things cannot.
Rule #6 - Don't trust your own eyes, get someone else to read your work. You'll be surprised at what they find. Writers tend to piece together the thoughts in their mind and think they have it written out, when they often don't. Only someone reading it without your insight can find those mistakes. And these are blaring mistakes. They're the ones that make you cringe when you read them. So, I beg of you, before you self-publish that awesome novel of yours, have someone else check it first. You'll be glad you did, and it will save you a lot of embarrassment.

Just a few thoughts as I travel this journey of writing. Take care and God bless. Oh, and thank you Ellen C. Maze, for the extra copy of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider. Our library now has a copy and soon, hopefully, the kids into vampire stories will be reading something edifying, rather than just the blood and gore. - David

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