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    The Art of Judging and Critiquing

    Scarlett ran this article a year ago, but feels compelled to post it again. The examples are a little outdated, but nonetheless, pertinent to judging entries in TARA’s Contest or critiquing someone’s work. This article, Bleeecchh…Critiquing, by Kristan Higgins, first appeared in CONNECTIONS, April 2007 edition, Connecticut RWA.    The Art of Critiquing Party time! Now you get to be God. Okay, well, God-ish, let’s say. You get to tell the author what’s wrong, and you’re going to be right. Let’s face it — you’re smart, you’re kind, you know books. You rock. You love thinking about (bleeecccch) plot, character development, voice, pacing, dialogue and yes, even grammar. You have…

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    Mammy in “Gone With the Wind”

    Did you know Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award? Hattie won the award in 1940 for her portrayal of Mammy in “Gone With the Wind.” Excepts from The Hollywood Reporter magazine. On a February afternoon in 1940, Hattie McDaniel — then one of the biggest African-American movie stars in the world — marched into the Culver City offices of producer David O. Selznick and placed a stack of Gone With the Wind reviews on his desk. The Civil War epic, released two months earlier, had become an instant cultural sensation, and McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy — the head slave at Tara, the film’s fictional Southern…

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    Psychology of Creating Characters: Part 2

    Part 2 of Psychology of Creating Characters by Laurie Schnebly Campbell written for RWA on Jun 02, 2001. Priorities Another way of analyzing characters for potential conflict is the matter of priorities. Everyone has individual priorities in addition to universal things like “family, job, and world peace.” These personal priorities influence every decision they make, and there are only four to choose from:  Excellence; Comfort; Pleasing; and Control. (To find yours, take the quiz on Laurie Schnebly Campbell”s website: http://www.booklaurie.com/workshops_psych3.php). People usually have one of these on top, with the others ranked in varying order below, but sometimes two priorities can be equally weighted. This choice of priorities is never a conscious one. It’s something…

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    Psychology of Creating Characters: Part 1

    Miss Scarlett is always digging for articles to help her writing friends, and she came across this one by Laurie Schnebly written for RWA on Jun 02, 2001. The original article is quite long, so she picked out excerpts and divided it into parts. Professional counselors and psychiatrists have devised categories into which the different types of people in our culture can be classified. Learning more about these categories can help you write realistic characters engineered to make sparks fly. We all dream of creating the perfect hero. And giving him the perfect heroine. In fact, our hero and heroine are going to be the best, most wonderful, most courageous, most gorgeous,…

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    Redundancies

    You know it’s important to write tight, but most people use redundancies in their written and spoken words every day. Can you find the twenty-five redundancies in the three paragraphs below? The blood in Dave’s veins turned to frozen ice.  He dropped down to his belly on blades of green colored grass. Screams completely engulfed him. Several of the party’s invited guest stumbled pass him at the unexpected surprise of the armed gunman’s appearance. Dave glanced at the expensive wristwatch his lover had given him as a fee gift. She’d told him to meet her here at three p.m. in the afternoon, but he didn’t think she knew her husband…