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Get Some SASS PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 07:12

The Savvy Authors Summer Symposium (SASS) registrations are in full swing. Don't miss this line-up of amazing participants!

From August 21, 2013 to August 25, 2013 it's the online writer's conference for those of us who are vacationing at home! :)
Check out the event here: Savvy Authors Summer Symposium. From this page you can review the Chats, Pitches, Workshops, Prizes, and also Register for SASS! Soon you'll see the Brainstorming Sessions and Sprints, as well as a Printable Event Schedule.
SASS is FREE to Premium Savvy Authors members, or $30 for Savvy Basic members (or non-members!). Note that a one-year Premium membership costs $30, and we hold multiple events every year for our Savvy Authors Premium members. Newbies can sign up for Premium membership and attend SASS for free!
You will receive a full year Premium Membership as part of your participation in SASS. New to Savvy Authors? Join here as a basic member. I will ensure you're upgraded appropriately prior to the start of the event. If you're an existing member and haven't yet visited our sparkly new site, you'll need to reset your password using your existing email address.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 07:19
Grammar Basics PDF Print Write e-mail

Grammar and Style Basics class starting August 1st with Outreach International

Come join me for a series of lessons that will expand your writing skills in amazing ways! Here's what a recent student had to say after taking this class:

The first thing that struck me about Kat was how clear and entertaining her lessons were. She has a great sense of humor. And smart, smart as a Mensa member chowing down on a limitless pill while checking out a cheat sheet. The second thing that struck me, her feedback and examples were amazingly on target, as was her dedication. A hot data bed of writing insights! Third, I noticed every novel I was reading showed real world examples of the techniques she described, to the point I thought these bestselling authors may have studied with her. Likely, she studied them. Either way, she delivered me the three piece dinner of knowledge when I’d only been snacking on the hungry man meals. Lastly, and most importantly, I saw my writing improve dramatically. I would highly recommend every course I have taken that she has taught and there are several. Want style, character voice, hooks. -Adam


Grammar and Style Basics
August 1, 2013 - August 31, 2013 with Outreach International RWA - Registration link

What's a style or a voice and where do I get one? Whether you "get" grammar or not, your style and voice come from how you use grammar. This grammar-based style-enhancing workshop is for writers who don't "get" grammar or for those who think they don't want to get it. Proper use of grammar and style makes a story flow smoothly, page after page. Poorly constructed sentences and paragraphs ruin the pace of your novel and make editors and agents pass up your manuscript. Let me guide you through a review of basic grammar terms, punctuation and capitalization, some clever ways to combine sentences and sentence pattern techniques you can put right to use the day you learn them.

A Lesson from Maass PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Kat Duncan   
Saturday, 29 June 2013 14:24

A Lesson from Maass

Moments in Time

Immersing ourselves in another world is one of the pleasures of reading a well-written novel. How can you capture the world of the story and the lives of its characters in just the right way? It's a matter of selecting individual moments to freeze for the reader.



One author uses the details at hand along with the drunken rush of kissing imagery to suggest a moment suspended in time. She does not describe emotions, be evokes them by saying what they are not: not loneliness, not sorrow, not worrying, not anger, not missing the departed. Kissing is the opposite of that. We see exactly what she means. This frozen moment is warm because it captures the out-of-time feeling of kissing.


An extremely fine distinction between one place and another is drawn by another author. He describes one area where people "owned" and another where people "rented". He does not even need to define what they owned or rented. We know. Why does the author even bother to delineate the difference between the two places? Because it becomes a difference in attitudes. The difference between justice as a badge and justice as a baseball bat.


Another author uses a brief pause in a train journey during wartime Poland and provides a piece of incidental detail to freeze a unique moment. It is only a few days into the occupation of Poland by the Nazis, yet already the people have begun to adjust to the new reality. They are newly flexible. Their experience has not yet hardened with long oppression. They are defeated, yet it is the early days. The author further evokes the atmosphere as the character stops for a coffee on a cafe terrace. It is the ordinariness of the autumn day that is described, but it is the unordinariness of the situation that is evoked. Before rationing, before restrictions in one's occupation, before the walling off of the ghetto, before the deportations to the concentration camps. The author gives us a snapshot of the minute, the mood, the public shrug of acceptance, the remoteness of far-off politics, the sunny stillness in the cafes and plazas.


Another author gives us a moment of American social history and relates it to what is happening to a character during one childhood summer. It goes to show that elegant prose isn't the key to success. A great story is, and capturing a story's social context is one way to give it a sense of resonance. Ripples that spread outward and lend a story a sense of larger significance.


Whether it is suspending a single moment and isolating its emotional details from all other moments, or whether it is capturing the shifts in the public mood from one week to the next, or whether it is picking up the social nuances that make one place different from the place next door to it, freezing a moment in time is a highly effective way to heighten the reality of the story. How do you delineate these in your current manuscript? Can you identify six passages in which you go beyond simple scene setting to capture the flavor of a moment in time, the feeling of an historical era of the uniqueness of a place like no other? If not, is there any reason not to put that stuff in?


Please join me at Savvy Authors for more useful story techniques. This next Maass Session includes exercises on pitching. Click here to register...

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 14:26