Tag Archives: critique

Paying It Forward

I’ve been blessed many times in my life and for that reason, I believe in paying it forward. Whether it’s by helping other writers through the Liberty States Fiction Writers or participating in various charitable events, I think it’s the right thing to do.

That’s why I never hesitate to contribute to the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research. This wonderful annual auction has raised over 1 million dollars to date and I hope they set a new record this year.

If you’d like to help Brenda meet that goal, check out the auction by clicking here! Here’s a list of the items I’m contributing to the auction:

SONY PRS300SC Reader Pocket Edition LOADED w/Books: Sony PRS300SC Reader Pocket Edition (silver) loaded with a collection of all the books in THE CALLING Vampire Novels in addition to the AZTEC GOLD, SINS OF THE FLESH and STRONGER THAN SIN e-books. The prize also includes a STRONGER THAN SIN tote bag, AZTEC GOLD T-shirt, Caridad.com re-usable grocery bag and a copy of the ARC for THE LOST (August 2011).

One-Hour Consultation: One hour consultation on any topic of your choice, whether a read and critique of your 30 pages from your work, review of your website with suggestions, recommendations on your marketing plan in addition to a guest visit on her blog and author interview which will be distributed to various news and article web sites.

Autographed CHICAS Collection: The winner of this bid will receive an autographed CHICAS collection of the three books in the series, namely, FRIDAY NIGHT CHICAS, SEX AND THE SOUTH BEACH CHICAS and SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN.

A NOOK COLOR, with Cover, LOADED with E-Books from Carina Press Authors: A Nook color with cover, loaded with e-books from Carina Press authors including AZTEC GOLD by little ol’ me!

A Kindle 3G with leather cover & light, loaded with e-books from Carina Press authors: A Kindle 3G with leather cover & light, loaded with e-books from Carina Press authors including AZTEC GOLD by little ol’ me!

Bidding on the items will run from May 1 to May 31 so save your pennies and mark your calendars for this awesome event.

The Dreaded Info Dump

dumpI was rewriting a chapter yesterday and when I read it to my critique group, I didn’t need them to tell me what I was doing wrong.

I knew I was doing the Dreaded Info Dump.

What’s that? you might ask.

Well, if you’re a reader it’s something you hopefully will not see in a book. It goes something like this:

Mary realized that it was Dr. Smith. He had treated her for bunions three years ago. Then again two years later for a heel spur. Now she was there to see him for an ingrown nail, but suspected it was much more than that. For two weeks her toe had been hurting. It had first been a slightly pink color. Then a few days later a little brighter red. Then after a week it had started getting really nasty. Finally a day ago she realized it was time to go see her favorite foot doctor.

Yes, I know we wouldn’t be interested in a story about her feet, but imagine that the story was a romantic suspense and all that information was about what had happened to the heroine in the last three months – an info dump.

Much like the person in the photo I posted, info dumps inundate a reader with too much info at one shot and in general, are boring. It’s like reading an encyclopedia entry for your hero or heroine.

If you need to provide the reader some backstory, it should be layered throughout the chapter and provide subtle hints and information about what’s put the protagonists in their current situation. In fact, the less you say and make the reader intuit, the more they will be drawn into the story you are writing because the reader is participating in the story.

Of course, don’t make it so confusing or obtuse that the reader will say, “I just don’t get it,” and disengage from the story.

The hints should be clear and lead the reader toward an understanding of what’s happening. They should be like the breadcrumbs that Hansel and Gretel leave behind, enough so they can be followed to a particular point where you, the writer, are leading them.

How do you know you are doing the dreaded info dump as a writer? Look for long paragraphs filled with too much information. Dense paragraphs like that are a clear sign that something is up that you should revisit.

I hope you found this Tuesday Tip helpful.

Also, don’t forget this week’s b’day bash. Just visit any of the blogs listed below this week and leave a comment and you’ll be eligible to win a prize from me! At Barbara Vey’s blog, there are tons of other prizes as well!

I’ll be visiting all of these blogs and if you’ve left a comment at any of them, you’ll also be eligible to win a $25 Godiva gift card! The more times I see your name at the different blogs, the more your chances improve to win the gift card. So take a moment and stop by one or all to improve your chances of winning a prize.

The contest ends on Friday, March 13th at midnight EST, so be sure to get your comments in there on time!

Barbara Vey’s Beyond Her Book Blog for lots of fun and giveaways!
http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288/post/1240041524.html

Fresh Fiction: http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=1602

Harlequin Paranormal Romance blog: http://paranormalromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Liberty States Fiction Writers (leave a comment on any of the blog posts): http://www.libertystatesfictionwriters.com/blog-read-around-the-world/

Long and Short Reviews: http://longandshortarchives.blogspot.com/search/label/Caridad%20Pineiro