Mark Terry

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Shameless Lion (Lying?) Award

December 10, 2007
awarded me theShameless Lion Award. And refers you to the originator. She explains that the award originated with Seamus Kearney of Shameless Words and the Shameless Lion Writing Circle, who wrote:

“Those people I’ve given this award to are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc etc. Let’s send a roar through the blogosphere!” (read award details here)

What three things do I find important?

Okay, folks. Yes, I'm being sort of lazy about this. But here goes:

1. Clarity

I guess this falls into "say what you mean, mean what you say." Don't confuse me, don't use long words when short ones will do, don't try to impress me with your vocabulary. Get to the point and make your writing clear and easy to understand.

2. Effectiveness

Ah, well. To each his or her own, but this ties into #1. I think writing that accomplishes what it's trying to accomplish is important. If it's trying to scare you, by God it had better be scary. If it's trying to inform, it should be authoritative and clear. If it's trying to make you feel sad, it should. If it's supposed to be entertaining, it should be entertaining. I'm surprised at just how often published books and other materials are ineffective at what they seem to be attempting to do.

3. Voice

We could argue what "voice" is until Dick Cheney is made a saint by the Pope, and at some level it's just word choice and style all wrapped into one. But what voice is to me is the distinct, unique word choice informed by the writer's personality and experiences. By that definition, almost all writers should have a unique "voice" but often don't. I think that's because they haven't written enough and haven't paid attention to what appeals to them in their own writing. Anyway, Stephen King has a unique voice. Joe Konrath has a unique voice. Barry Eisler has a unique voice. Sue Grafton has a unique voice, and so on and so on.

I'm supposed to pass this award on to five other authors, but I'm too lazy to dig up links and I've got to leave for an appointment in about five minutes, so let me just say that if you're reading this (Joe Moore, Natasha Fondren? I'm thinkin' of you two specifically!), then congratulations, you've just won The Shameless Lion Award.


Mark Terry


Blogger Mark Terry said...

Man, I don't know how I did that. That's really weird. BLOGGER must be having a seizure or something.

6:27 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Your blog is roaring, LOL! Maybe you cut and pasted some code with the words, by accident?

Thanks for the award! I'm so grateful. Now I have something to write about today!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Joe Moore said...

Thanks, Mark, for passing on the Shameless Lion to me. I have placed it in a virtual brushed aluminum frame and hung it on my wall for all to see. Happy Holidays.

6:13 AM  
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