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Christmas/Writing Mixed Post

Back from our little Christmas-tour-de-country, a.k.a. visiting the family. We spent a nice but somewhat hectic Christmas eve (the big day of celebration here) with my wife's parents. All the traditions of Chrismas were observed: tree decorated with old and new... stuff, presents, cookies, carol-singing while dancing around the tree, and loads of roast pork. And of course 'Risalamande' which is rice/milk porridge mixed with whipped cream, sugar, and chopped almonds -- lovely dessert. 'Hectic' because our three-year-old had more than a bit of trouble waiting for his presents ;-)

Christmas day brought a quick visit from friends, before we drove down to visit my parents and my brother. More presents ensued, but with less frenzy from the kids, and we had a couple of really good days there with yet more good food and the kids playing in the snow (which was plentiful).

Now that we're back I'm getting a bit of writing done, esp. putting the last touches to a story for the Writers of the Future Contest. First readers have pronounced it 'slow on the take-off', so I've been cutting down on backstory and focusing on advancing the plot. The end is supposedly interesting, but that won't matter if the readers don't get there.

Another thing I'm cutting back on is description. Setting the scenery has alwyas been tricky for me: Too much is boring, too little leaves the reader confused... But this time I think I've gone overboard in an attempt to control how readers see the world. Since no writer controls the reception of his story, I'll be leaving a little more to imagination, and hopefully tighten the story in the process. (I've cut 450 words so far, and more will fall to the mighty wrath of the red pen.)

I don't know if I'll post again before the new year, so just in case I'll wish you all a Happy New Year! (I probably won't answer any comments either, but I still love you all :-) )



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