Monday, June 27, 2011

Liz's Lair: Encore Vacation Blog

Since I figured most of y'all would be at Nationals or on your way to NY and I'm at beautiful Lake Conroe with myfamily, I decided not to waste some of my excellent advice when no one will probably even click on M & M today, me included. So, I'm going to repost an earlier blog. Sometimes I scare myself with my wisdom!! See for yourself.

When I was thinking what I would blog about today, I tried to remember some of the things I see in contests and comment on. Since I judge at least four contests a year, (not always the same genre) I see a lot of different writing styles. It's my way of getting even for all the crappy scores I've received.

Just kidding - about the getting even, not the less-than-genius scores I've received. In my case, I usually got at least one judge who thought I was the next Evanovich and one who advised me to keep my day job. I've been told it was because I had a strong voice - a politically correct way of saying some love me, some would rather see me back in a nurse's uniform.

So, I try to really be tolerant when I judge an entry. There's a way of pointing out an error and giving a suggestion on how to fix it without shattering the person's self esteem in the process. Sometimes, the only good thing I could say about the writing is that they handled POV well, but at least, it's something positive. In today's economy, people are entering fewer contests, so I try to give them the best bang for their buck

But there's one thing I never let go unnoticed when I see it in an entry.

Nothing gets my blood boiling faster when I'm watching TV or reading a story than having a person with access to the public putting out their political and/or religious views like it was bible (pun intended.) I don't care if you're a Democrat, a Republican or like me, somewhere in between, or if you practice Buddhism or Catholicism. I gave up my time and money to be entertained - so entertain me. If I wanted politics, I'd watch one of the news channels.

Stereo-typing is something else I see sometimes in contests - another no no. I try to remind the writer as gently as I can how many people their words may offend on so many difference levels. And in my opinion, (it's my post, you have to listen. Your opinions will come in the comments.) if even one person refuses to buy your book because of something you wrote, that's one too many. And what we may not realize is that there are readers as well as other writers who buy a lot of books out there reading our Facebook entries and Tweets. I can think of one really big name author, a favorite of mine, who will no longer get the price of her next novel out of me because of exactly what I'm talking about. A certain recording artist also got nixed from my "have to have" list. I know I'm only one person, but I have to think if it made me mad, chances are it affected a few others the same way.

So, every one of us needs to be more aware of making sure there is nothing in our stories that could offend anyone. I use a lot of "Bubbas" as villains. Usually, they're comic relief. I think I'm okay with that because nobody really thinks he's a "Bubba", or as Jeff Foxworthy says - "You're a redneck IF...."

Here's an example of Redneck Water-Skiing in Texas. A visual is better than a thousand words!!!

Enough serious stuff. It's time to add a little humor to the subject. I confess to receiving these over the Internet and have no idea whom to credit.

To be politically correct, remember:

She isn't a BABE or a CHICK. She's a breasted American.
She isn't EASY. She's horizontally accessible.
She's not a DUMB BLOND - She's a light-haired detour off the Information Superhighway.

And my personal favorite:

That's not his Line of Demarcation hanging out of the back of his pants. It's rear cleavage.(I actually put that in my latest book.)

Come on, people, you know you're smiling. Now comment on being politically correct in general or any good ones to add to my list.


magolla said...

Liz, I judge 6-8 contests a year and understand where you are coming from -- up to a point.

Personally, I find PC writing to be extremely boring. With everything becoming PC, there is a lack of energy and lack of emotion in stories--everything is shades of grey. It's right up there with the grammatically correct/perfect punctuation stories--containing no voice or energy. It might be well-written, but where's the life? Where's the passion?

BUT that isn't to say I disagree with you because what you are talking about is AUTHOR INTRUSION--when the author inserts his/her personal opinions and beliefs into the story regardless of the character.

--now THAT's just wrong.

I don't mind stereotypes, provided they add an additional dimension to the story or the character who is utilizing a stereotype to further her own goals. i.e. the dumb blonde playing dumb to get her way is a smart move to work the system.



Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

OMG!! I almost choked on my gum over "rear cleavage"!!! Doesn't surprise me you used it in your book. Too damn funny!

there was a couple at church who dared to have rear cleavage. I thought Diva and I were going to lose it. Not to mention my husband and two teenage sons.

Let's just say someone should have slapped a wide load sign on her and explained to her there's a reason why big girls don't wear skinny jeans, especially at her age. (shivvver) And her man? He seemed okay, only his canary yellow shirt must have been purchased at the big and tall - except he wasn't very tall. So when he stood up, the shirt got pinched between the cleavage (even through the shorts he had on)so we all got to see it!

Yes, as my darling diva says "well, they make a nice couple". LOL...the image is burned in my brain. and it is NOT going in a book.

Can we all say "Ewwww????"

Lindsay said...

Your advise is never wasted, at least by me. Now ignored is another matter.

Liz Lipperman said...

Mags, I was talking more about the racial stereotypes or the political commentary. I agree dull characters are a bore. I love that you have an opposing opinion, though. I actually agree with you.

Thank goodness, OUR characters are fun.

Anita Clenney said...

Okay, I'm late here but my computer was acting up on me. I love your redneck water skiing picture. Have fun on your vacation.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Ha ha too funny Liz! Love the post.

I too am late, but I'm not at RWA...just writing my own rear cleavage off trying to finish this blasted book :-)

Disney Guide said...

writing is a gift..thus writing is a talent. But once its coupled with passion, then you'll be the best writer who is able to create a perfect masterpiece in this imperfect world!

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