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Jan 12

Susan Shiney

5 Ways to Improve Sentence Variety

As I line edit my novel, I am writing blog posts to focus on aspects of writing I need to work on. For example, this filter word article : https://susanshiney.com/fumbling-around-with-filter-words/ .

In my last feedback session with critique partners, they mentioned my repetitive sentence structures. So true. My go to is complex sentences that start with a pronoun, in first person pov it tends to be I went...I walked...for every sentence, for 85,000 words, and that is a problem.

Dec 31

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: Jellyfish Graveyard

Agave Lillyhogan spent the first seventy-five years of her life following the rules of society and the last seventy-five making her own. Her mauve-tinted hands placed the home-made candle on her plate and she lit it singing and dancing to herself and her purple poodle, "Happy Birthday to me, one-fifty I see, oh Violet, it's been an eternity." She blew out the candle and said, "I have been telling everyone for years, those store bought candles with their chemicals seeping into those processed cancer-filled cakes, but do they listen, nope, I'm the crazy one."

Dec 24

Susan Shiney

5 Reasons Why I Love Magical Realism

What is Magical Realism?

Maggie Ann Bowers in her book Magic(al) Realism, pg.3 defines it as something that ¨relies most of all upon the matter-of-fact, realist tone of its narrative when presenting magical happenings." Famous authors of magical realism include: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salmon Rushdie, Isabel Allende, Toni Morrison, and Arundhati Roy.

Dec 15

Susan Shiney

Five Things I Learned from Reading Alice Munro

An Analysis of the Short Story: Dance of the Happy Shades

Alice Munro is a Canadian short story writer that won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. I remember hearing bits and pieces about what a gifted writer she was, but I never made the time to actually read her until my writing group decided to start analyzing short stories this year. Alice Munro is the first author we have been studying.

Dec 06

Susan Shiney

Fumbling Around with Filter Words

My name is Susan, and I am a filter word fanatic. At least in the initial drafts for getting the story out, I naturally insert them everywhere. Could you have this problem as well? Let's see...

First of all, what is a filter word?

I saw a man dancing in the street as the clock struck midnight.

Saw is the filter word, this kind of sentence has an easy fix of cutting the beginning and making it a more direct experience for your reader.

A man was dancing in the street as the clock struck midnight.

Nov 28

Susan Shiney

An Origin Myth of Magical Mist...Or Whatever

Flash Fiction + Revision Discussion

So, I am working on releasing a piece of flash fiction each month. This month I also wanted to include an earlier draft and discuss how I approached my revisions. Enjoy!

FINAL VERSION:

An Origin Myth of Magical Mist...Or Whatever

I woke up that dawn to deep breathing flapping against my tent. The closest animal sound it resembled would be a horse, when it is tired, but more powerful, something with a long neck that has a large area for reverberation. Nostrils nudged into my tent frolicing in the buoyancy of the fabric. I flittered out the sleep crusties from my eyes and opened them wide as if that would help me comprehend what was transpiring.

Nov 19

Susan Shiney

How your Social Media Platform Will Make you a Better Writer

In this digital age, social media marketing and presence is everything for authors establishing their brands. The hard part is that you need to start way before you actually publish, because it takes time to build a following and if you launch your book without an audience, that is a recipe for disaster.

10 Reasons your Social Media Platform Will Make you a Better Writer

1. Gets you to read more books. What you are reading will give you a lot of great content. You can find quotes to turn into photos for postings, take pictures of the books with fabulous backdrops, and contact authors and tell them what you think of their work.

Nov 10

Susan Shiney

10 Reasons Why I Have an Author Blog

Why it might be good for you, too.

Welcome! This is my revamped website. My second attempt at a blog. I am currently reading Julie Otsuka’s book The Buddha in the Attic and did some digging into her as an author and read an interview where she describes herself as a failed painter that turned to writing. That seems harsh, but you could say the same thing applies to me. My first blog and website was to sell my paintings. You can check out my paintings here on pinterest.
https://www.pinterest.com/susanshiney/susan-shineys-30-paintings-in-30-days/.