August 20 Writing Tips, Tricks, Thoughts,

Birthdays: H.P. Lovecraft (1890), Jacqueline Susann (1918), Jeff Brown (1926), Edgar A. Guest (1881), Sue Alexander (1933), Lionel G. Garcia (1935), Heather McHugh (1948), Kevin Baker (1958), Diedre Madden (1960), Greg Bear (1951), James Rollins (1961), Etgar Keret (1967)

Quote: “The hardest theme in science fiction is that of the alien. The simplest solution of all is in fact quite profound—that the real difficulty lies not in understanding what is alien, but in understanding what is self. We are all aliens to each other, all different and divided. We are even aliens to ourselves at different stages of our lives. Do any of us remember precisely what it was like to be a baby?” – Greg Bear

Tip: Weak words: Shakespeare didn’t call Katherina a “mean woman”. He called her a “shrew”. When a cat is chasing a mouse, it doesn’t “jump suddenly”; it “pounces”. A starving person “wolfs” his food. The words shrew, pounce and wolf are stronger than the lukewarm phrases they replace. Check your work for weak words.

Jumpstart: The moon has disappeared from the sky. What happened? What effect does it have?