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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let It Flow

Really liking this free-agent gig. Progress on "Seer, Tyro, Fiend" has really taken off this week. I'm sure the pages I wrote this morning will be rewritten, torn apart, resequenced before I call it done, but it's a good start. For this morning, I wrote a scene in which a new suspect emerges, based largely on Stefanie recalling him telling her a big lie. In the next scene, Amy's character is going to add another layer on the story in an emerging theme about vengeance and when it is justified even though someone might get hurt.

I don't actively try to find a message for my stories. Usually, the inspiration comes from an interesting scene or situation or passage of dialog around which I wrap a mystery. I guess that's not very clear, but the whole inspiration/imagination thing isn't all that clear even to me. Still, I think it's kind of nice that a book has something to say beyond "Once upon a time..." I'm not saying authors should try to save the world with their writing, but a little education and/or thought provocation aren't a bad thing.

And now, continuing my new "feature," here are today's Gotchas:

affect/effect This one almost always trips me up. Effect can be a noun or a verb; affect is always a verb. Effect as a verb means to bring about or execute; affect means to influence. So the noun form of effect is easy, as in Tides on earth are an effect of the moon. After that, things get a little dicey as the meanings of the verbs are not that widely separated. One would say, Salt affects (influences) the flavor of food. One would also say, The company effected (brought about) budget cuts. 

lay/lie Another tricky one. Lay means to place. Lay the gun on the table. In past tense, He laid the gun on the table. Lie means to tell a fib, but the most confusion comes from its other sense, to recline or rest in a horizontal position. The past tense of the latter is lay. Note: there is no such word as layed. (Oh, what a language we have!)

farther/further This one is really sort of easy but people misuse these words so often that when you try to think of an example sentence, there's a good chance you've heard someone do so. Farther is used in regards to real distance: it's a block farther to work for me now. Further is abstract, meaning "more": I was further confused by his explanation.

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