Jeanne: Thoughts on Voice and Metaphor

On Sunday, Jilly talked about writing voice.

After 40 years of writing, my own voice has developed a lot over the past 5, due in large part to my trusty beta reader and queen of metaphor, Nicole Amsler. Because the experience of developing a stronger voice is so recent, I have some thoughts to offer on this topic.

I recommend going here to review Jilly’s post before you read this. If you don’t have time to do that, here’s a brief overview:

Jilly’s protagonist, Alexis, is a six-foot-tall, shaven-headed girl who was raised as a boy in a monastery of fighting monks. In her first real fight, she fells a much larger opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Jilly was looking for a metaphor to capture the way he falls to the ground. Continue reading

Jeanne: Critiquing Beginning Writers

I’ve been doing a lot of critiques for friends in my various writers’ groups lately. Some of them are still fairly early in their writing careers, and it occurred to me that the feedback I give to beginning writers is very different from what I share with seasoned veterans of the Writing War. Here are a few tips:

  • Stay positive. I read somewhere once that, when providing criticism, you should offer two items of positive reinforcements/praise for every bit of negative feedback.To be honest, I can’t usually pull that off, but I do shoot for a 1:1 ratio of positive to negative.

Continue reading