Wednesday, September 28, 2016

And the winner is...

For the last three weeks, four wonderful writers participated in an online critique camp. They critiqued, they conferenced and then critiqued both their own work and those of the camp. 

Participating in her first fiction piece, Anke Hodenpijl shocked our class with an unbelievable rewrite. From a confusing short story devoid of a setting and motive came a lovable and lonely heroine—one that’ll be a top contender for the Writers of Kern Fall Writing Contest.

Congratulations, Anke!


Anke's work has appeared in the Phoenix Gazette, Denver Catholic Register and the Bakersfield Californian. Her poetry is included in an Art for Healing Anthology. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Macro vs. Micro

Editing your novel, after months and years of a painful pregnancy can be a monumental task.
It helps to do some micro editing along the way and at the completion of a draft to do a macro edit followed by one last micro edit.

The differences between the two edits are:

Micro editing; entails correcting the text for appropriate language including grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, clarity of expression, consistency (both language and visual consistency), and correct citations.

Macro editing; in addition to the above, ensures that the structure, content, language and style of the document are appropriate to its intended function and readership.

This is where the value of critique groups skyrockets. For the most part, word processing programs and inexpensive editors can help create well spelt, grammatically correct papers. But meeting regularly with other writers help decipher whether your character is consistent or weak. Or whether your story rambles on and on without actually going anywhere.

Or perhaps sometimes, they’ll just pat you on the back as you sob—when can’t retype one more word.

If you’re having difficulty finding a critique partner(s), join Writers of Kern. We have online critique groups that meet “in person” via Google Hangouts.

We’re here. Ready and willing to help,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Most Improved Pages

Last night was Week One for the Critique Camp, on Week Three we vote for Most Improved Pages. Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Find the Kind 2.0

Laura dresses each day with a bottle of charm. She can’t help it. Students, teachers even animals can’t resist her dimpled smile. Every year she runs for student council and more often than not, she campaigns for the underdog. Even if it’s her rival. She loves to love and can’t (or won’t) distinguish between compassion and competition.

Hermione is careful. Quiet. And unsure. Despite being the older sister she’s never quite broken the barrier of friendship.

A problem her younger sister was determined to fix. Laura decided they should run together and create an entire campaign using a “Sister Ticket” slogan.

The first day, two sixth grade girls cornered Laura and tore down the Sister Ticket poster, demanding Laura drop out of the race.

Laura suffers from anxiety—which turns into a stuttering mess of unintelligible words. She turned to her best friend, a boy who’s as tender as he is astute. He calmed and comforted her.
She didn’t retaliate. She didn’t lash out. She garnered support and won. By a landslide.

When no one was around she found the girls quietly licking their wounds, she put an arm around each of them and told them how great they did.

My child has become a better human being than her mother. I’ve never been prouder. And I’ve never been more humble.