Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Links of Interest


HOW TO DEAL WITH CYBERBULLIES AND TROLLS:


SHOULD YOU CUT OUT THAT CHARACTER?


GETTING RID OF “THE STUPID” AFTER THE FIRST DRAFT:


LINKS TO PROMOTION RESOURCES:


WORLDBUILDING A GUILD:


USING ADVERBS THAT ARE STRONG, NOT EVIL:


THE SCIENCE OF SPACE BATTLES (VIDEO):


COMMONLY MISUSED IDIOMS:


YOUR SCENE NEEDS A PROBLEM:


FINDING YOUR BOOK’S AUDIENCE:


MAKING READERS CARE BECAUSE THE CHARACTER CARES:


THE TYRANT AS CHARACTER:


TEN THINGS PEOPLE HATE ABOUT SECONDARY CHARACTERS:


BAD BOYS CAN’T BE TOO MUCH OF A JERK AT THE BEGINNING:


COPYRIGHT RELATED NEWS:


USING RITUAL AND ROUTINE TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING:


FIVE TIPS FOR PLOTTING A MYSTERY:


ENDING WITHOUT CLOSING UP THE WORLD:


TIPS FOR POV WHEN IT’S COMPLICATED:


HOW MOVIE ADAPTIONS OF BOOKS CAN TEACH YOU WHAT TO PUT IN AND WHAT TO TAKE OUT:


Monday, September 29, 2014

Time Travel


"I hate temporal mechanics!" --Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE

Lately, it seems every time I start flipping through TV channels, I come across some old TV episode that involves time travel. STAR TREK in all its permutations travels through time, the CHARMED witches travel through time, some poor fool on THE TWILIGHT ZONE travels through time, etc., etc. 

Time travel also seems to be one of the new spices added to different paranormal book series to change them up a bit. 

The biggest problem with time travel, beyond the mind-numbing paradoxes, is the “never mind” factor when the author uses time travel to fix things.

Something really horrible happens to the main characters, more than a few die, evil starts taking over the world, and life as we know it is about over, then one of the good guys uses time travel to go back before it starts and stops whatever the original cause of the whole mess was. Everything returns to exactly the way it was before the story started.

In other words, nothing really happened because nothing changes. I always say “never mind” in my best Emily Litella voice then something rude about the writing.

That “never mind” moment means you are cheating the reader of genuine experience. If unhappiness, danger, and death no longer can be trusted to have meaning, the reader may stop caring when permanent changes happen.

The reader can also feel cheated to the point she no longer trusts anything you write and may very well say “never mind” when your next book is out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Links of Interest


THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS AND TWO VIRTUES OF PROLOGUES:


PRE-ORDERS AND HOW TO BUILD THEM:


WORLDBUILDING, HOW RELIGION SHAPES CHARACTER:


CREATING THE SOCIOPATHIC CHARACTER:


CREATING AN EDITORIAL MAP FOR REVISIONS:


THE FOUR TYPES OF VILLAINS:


DIVERSIFYING YOUR REVENUE STREAM:


BASIC OVERVIEW OF WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION:


THE POWER OF A CHARACTER KEEPING A SECRET:


ENGAGE YOUR READER WITH DEEP POV:


URBAN FANTASY SHORT STORY MARKET:


FREE APS FOR WRITERS:


WHAT NEW ADULT IS:


SELF-PUBLISHING CHECK LIST:


THE BASICS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR AUTHORS:


WHAT IS YOUR THEME?


POINT OF VIEW BASICS:


THREE COMMON PROBLEMS WITH TELL VERSUS SHOW:


HOOKING A READER FROM PAGE ONE:


BRAINSTORMING THE MAIN CHARACTER BEFORE YOU WRITE:


CHOOSING YOUR POV CHARACTER:


CONNECTING YOUR CHARACTER TO THE SETTING:


NANO WRITE TO DO LIST FOR STARTING THAT NOVEL:



Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ethics of Critiquing , A List of Rules


Never talk about what you critique to others.

Never show someone else's work to others.

Never "borrow" a critique partner's ideas or characters.

Respect others' time. Critique in a timely manner, and don't send your life's work at once.

Agree upon an amount of work (a chapter or more) and stick to it unless the other person agrees to see more.

Agree on what each of you wants from a critique and give it. Some of the choices are a general overview, copyediting only, or a check on accuracy from an expert.

Be specific. Be fair. Be kind. Don't say, "I hate this." Say, "Your hero is unpleasant because...," or, "He may be rude to the heroine here, but show he is a nice person to others so the reader can like him and see him as a worthy hero."

ALSO mention what works. "The heroine is really charming. I loved the way she...," or "Your descriptions are excellent. I could see the waves around the pirate ship and smell the ocean."

Don't be too kind. If you see a problem, mention it so it can be fixed. It's kinder in the long term for her to know this problem now rather than in the rejection letter from an editor.

Ask questions if you don't understand a comment, but don't defend your work. It's a waste of time for both of you.

Anger is a waste of time, as well. It's no fun to be told that your writing isn't perfect, but you'll have to learn to deal with it. Even the best writers in the world have editors who change things so learn to deal with criticism or forget about a writing career.

Respect each other's voice and individuality. Don't suggest rewrites as you would do it, but rewrites to improve the author's vision.

Respect your own voice and vision. The critiquer can only give SUGGESTIONS. Only you can decide whether to change your work. Only you know what you are trying to achieve with the entire book.

Thank your critiquer because she gave up writing time to help you.

NOTE:  Feel free to copy this to share with a critique partner, but if you'd like to share this text otherwise online, please ask my permission.  You need not ask permission to link back to this article.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Links of Interest


KNOWING YOUR SECONDARY CHARACTERS’ STORIES:


SMOOTH SCENE AND CHAPTER TRANSITIONS:


THE GRANT OF RIGHTS IN PUBLISHING CONTRACTS:


TWEET 101. @REPLY:


FIGURING OUT A CHARACTER WHEN HE REFUSES TO TALK TO YOU:


WHEN YOU HAVE TO MAKE RADICAL CHANGES IN YOUR BOOK:


WORLDBUILDING, THE BASICS OF A SF PLANET:


PLOTTING WITH MINI ARCS:


FOR HISTORICAL WRITERS, A BOOK RESOURCE ON THE HISTORY OF FORENSICS:


THE COMIC FANTASYISH NOVEL:


INSPIRATION-ONLY WRITING IS JUST A MYTH:


SETTING THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHARACTER:


NANOWRITE RESOURCES:



Monday, September 15, 2014

LIsten to the Force, Luke Skywriter


I'm of the firm belief that a writer's subconscious is busy planting things the writer is blind to at the moment. 

When I rework a novel, I'll find lots of foreshadowing of events I didn't think I'd planned until the moment I wrote it, and I'll discover that certain types of metaphors or images keep  appearing that fit  a theme or event I didn't know was coming.

Part of the trick for a writer is going back over your work and building on the bread crumb hints left by your subconscious.  Make it obvious enough that the reader’s subconscious also picks up these crumbs to create more resonance in the novel.  

NOTE: My subconscious  just showed its unhappiness of my comments by making me unable to spell "subconscious" which is a word I normally spell with ease.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Links of Interest


FIXING EPISODIC CHAPTERS:


HOW TO START RESEARCH:


USING BACKSTORY TO INCREASE CONFLICT:


SCIENCE AND TIME TRAVEL, VERY GEEKY:


CREATING AUTHENTIC SOCIAL RELATIONS:


FIVE WEAK WORDS TO AVOID:


FIVE TIPS FOR LONG-TERM WRITING SUCCESS:


BACKSTORY, WHEN DOES IT HELP AND WHEN DOES IT HINDER:


TWISTING CHARACTER STEREOTYPES IN FANTASY:


CREATING INTERESTING PREY/VICTIMS  IN YOUR FANTASY WORLD:


THE MIRROR MOMENT:


HOW AUTHORS SABOTAGE THEMSELVES AND HOW TO AVOID IT:


PUBLIC SPEAKING TIPS FOR WRITERS:


HOW TO AVOID HEAD HOPPING:


PROMO, 15 TIPS TO REVITALIZE YOUR SALES:


SETTING THE STAGE:


THE ANATOMY OF THE SHOWDOWN BETWEEN THE HERO AND BAD GUY:


CAUSE, EFFECT, AND STORY FLOW:


HOW SETTING AND LOCALE SHAPE CHARACTER: