Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Links of Interest

MARKETS: Part 3 of Jim Hines' survey on how authors made their first sale. This looks at what these authors did to improve their odds of being published.


http://www.jimchines.com/2010/03/novel-survey-results-part-iii/


WORLDBUILDING: Making the world more specific for your story needs.


http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-building-week-building-out-rooms.html


Making each scene specific according to your worldbuilding.


http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-building-week-painting.html


Keeping the characters and plot in the front of your neat new world.


http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-building-week-showing-it-off.html


MARKETS: How to give a winning verbal pitch to an agent or editor.


http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/2010/03/29/insider-tips-for-preparing-and-delivering-a-winning-pitch/


CRAFT/QUERIES: Using the query to figure out what your book is about before you write it.


http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/testingtestingis-this-query-on.html


MARKET: Anthology seeking urban fantasy set during the Roaring Twenties.


http://twelfthplanet.livejournal.com/11064.html


FIRST SALE DATA: Jim Hines has put up the complete data about novel first sales.


http://www.jimchines.com/2010/03/survey-results/


CRAFT AND MARKET: Learning through helping others learn. (As a teacher, I really agree with this.)


http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/doing-the-other-guys-job


THE FUTURE OF PUBLISHING: An article on where big publishing should go and why it won't. Really smart and thought provoking.


http://www.idealog.com/blog/my-advice-is-not-alwayseasy-to-follow-but-sometimes-it-proves-right-anyway


HISTORICAL RESOURCES: Slavery records, court records


http://library.uncg.edu/slavery



Monday, March 29, 2010

The Special Problems of a Wizard's Duel, CRAFT

When I think of a wizard's duel, I think of the Disney movie, THE SWORD IN THE STONE, where Merlin and Mim are taking turns throwing spells at each other and themselves. If one becomes an elephant, the other becomes a mouse which frightens the elephant, or they change the other into a mouse so they can become a cat.


Or the duel between the Death Eaters and the good wizards in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX where the wands are used almost as swords to parry and thrust spells and counter spells.


Or the final confrontation between the hero and heroine and the dark powers in Andre Norton's WITCHWORLD fantasy novels where the viewpoint character's emotions are more clear than what is actually happening from a magical perspective, and the fight is more about emotional strength than magical spells.


The trick in creating a wizard's duel without pushing it into a caricature of those I mention above is to personalize the duel. It's not the spells that are important, but the characters themselves. At the same time, you have to give better detail than the Norton novels' duels which often made me scratch my head and reread them several times before I figured out exactly what has happened.


If you keep true to your characters, their powers, and the unique world you have created, you should be able to avoid most of the cliches and create a duel worthy of your characters and your readers.


~*~


WORKSHOPS: I now have two workshops scheduled with another TBA.


The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question, April 11-May 8, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com


http://www.savvyauthors.com/event.cfm?EventID=172


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you create a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy, or SF World. October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com


http://www.savvyauthors.com/event.cfm?EventID=173


Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the right background for your paranormal romance, they will be to a reader. I'll show you how to create a fantasy or paranormal background from scratch and how to make it utterly believable.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Links of Interest

CREATING A NOVEL: How ordinary activities can give you extraordinary ideas.


http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/conjuring#more-4964


CRITIQUES: Letting your gut tell you when they are valid.


http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/gut-instinct-you-have-more-of-it-than-you-know/


WRITING OPENING SCENES WITH ACTION: How to


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/11/TheBiggestBadAdviceAboutStoryOpenings.aspx?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: Picking the right details.


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/12/NoDescriptionDumpsCraftingAStoryWithDetailsImmersion.aspx


THE VIEWPOINT CHARACTER IN YOUNG ADULT


http://www.genreality.net/the-apprentice-not-the-wizard


PROMOTION: Is a blog a platform or not?


http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/i-have-a-blog/



QUERIES: What to be specific about in a query or plot summmary.


http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03/secret-strength-of-killer-queries.html


THE BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: The steps through the publication process.


http://editorialass.blogspot.com/2010/03/whats-standard-submission-process-like.html


WORLDBUILDING: Building worlds in outer space. (Great links to articles)


http://www.mikebrotherton.com/?p=2071


TRAVELING TO OTHER PLANETS: Software that simulates 3-Dtraveling through real space to specific planets and stars.


http://www.shatters.net/celestia/


http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/ (Add ons)


REAL SPACE MAPS:


http://www.solstation.com/


CRAFT: When it is okay to tell rather than show.


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/15/ShowingTellingInScenesDialogue.aspx


MEDICINE FOR WRITERS: How to have a doctor sound like one.


http://www.sfwa.org/2010/03/how-to-kill-your-imaginary-friends-how-to-talk-doctor-lesson-1/


WORLDBUILDING: Sometimes, science is magic, or magic is science.


http://bordersblog.com/scifi/2010/03/16/a-lee-martinez/abracadabra/


KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE:


http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/03/knowing-our-genre-audience-and-market.html


PLOT CONFLICT: It's not just about the hero and the villain.


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/17/ConflictRatchetItUpByMovingCloserToHome.aspx

HOW TO FORMAT AN EMAIL QUERY:


http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03/how-to-format-query-letter.html


REVISION: What to look for when you revise.


http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/03/edits-and-revisionsguest-post-by-l.html


BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: The decision to leave your publisher. One author's choices.


http://www.genreality.net/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do-choosing-to-leave-a-publisher


PROMOTION: The 10 things an author's website should have or do.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri/your-10-point-website-che_b_505157.html


MARKETS: Short story anthology. Horror/urban fantasy. (An annoying but short ad opens the page.)


http://community.livejournal.com/specficmarkets/227923.html


WORLDBUILDING: List of paper books authors recommend for research for writing sf/fantasy. Most are mainly historical resources.


http://odysseyworkshop.livejournal.com/30352.html



CRAFT: Choosing the right narrator for a story.


http://talktoyouniverse.blogspot.com/2010/03/right-narrator.html


WORLDBUILDING: Creating the foundation characteristics of your world.

http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-building-week-foundation.html


WORLDBUILDING: How the foundations of your world affect the main character.


http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-building-week-putting-up-walls.html


WORLDBUILDING: How your worldbuilding affect plot and vice versa.


http://storyflip.blogspot.com/2010/03/world-building-week-building-out-rooms.html


CRAFT: Writing action science fiction.


http://www.philippalmer.net/2010/03/22/how-to-write-action-sf/


PROMOTION: Ideas for timid promoters.


http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/03/tips-for-skittish-sellers.html


AGENT INTERVIEW: Meredith Bernstein


http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/meet-agent-meredith-bernstein


Monday, March 22, 2010

The Death of a Minor Character, CRAFT

Every once and a while, a minor character must die. Often, they give their lives so you can show the reader the danger the main characters face.


A good point to remember is one Stephen King recommends. First you create a real person and make the reader care, then you massacre him. Two examples --


STORY A: A man is walking through the darkness, and the monster eats him.


OR


STORY B: Fred is walking to the 7-11 at midnight because his beloved pregnant wife is craving pickles and ice cream, and she ate the last gherkin at supper. A monster jumps out and kills poor Fred.


Story B makes the act and the monster more horrific.


*~*


WORKSHOPS: I now have two workshops scheduled with another TBA.


The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question, April 11-May 8, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com


http://www.savvyauthors.com/event.cfm?EventID=172


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you create a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy, or SF World. October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com


http://www.savvyauthors.com/event.cfm?EventID=173


Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the right background for your paranormal romance, they will be to a reader. I'll show you how to create a fantasy or paranormal background from scratch and how to make it utterly believable.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Links of Interest

CREATING A NOVEL: How ordinary activities can give you extraordinary ideas.


http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/conjuring#more-4964



CRITIQUES: Letting your gut tell you when they are valid.


http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/gut-instinct-you-have-more-of-it-than-you-know/



WRITING OPENING SCENES WITH ACTION: How to


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/11/TheBiggestBadAdviceAboutStoryOpenings.aspx?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter



CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: Picking the right details.


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/12/NoDescriptionDumpsCraftingAStoryWithDetailsImmersion.aspx



THE VIEWPOINT CHARACTER IN YOUNG ADULT


http://www.genreality.net/the-apprentice-not-the-wizard



PROMOTION: Is a blog a platform or not?


http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/i-have-a-blog/



QUERIES: What to be specific about in a query or plot summmary.


http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/03/secret-strength-of-killer-queries.html



THE BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING: The steps through the publication process.


http://editorialass.blogspot.com/2010/03/whats-standard-submission-process-like.html


WORLDBUILDING: Building worlds in outer space. (Great links to articles)


http://www.mikebrotherton.com/?p=2071



TRAVELING TO OTHER PLANETS: Software that simulates 3-Dtraveling through real space to specific planets and stars.


http://www.shatters.net/celestia/


http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/ (Add ons)



REAL SPACE MAPS:


http://www.solstation.com/



CRAFT: When it is okay to tell rather than show.


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/15/ShowingTellingInScenesDialogue.aspx



MEDICINE FOR WRITERS: How to have a doctor sound like one.


http://www.sfwa.org/2010/03/how-to-kill-your-imaginary-friends-how-to-talk-doctor-lesson-1/



WORLDBUILDING: Sometimes, science is magic, or magic is science.


http://bordersblog.com/scifi/2010/03/16/a-lee-martinez/abracadabra/



KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE:


http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/03/knowing-our-genre-audience-and-market.html



PLOT CONFLICT: It's not just about the hero and the villain.


http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/03/17/ConflictRatchetItUpByMovingCloserToHome.aspx



Monday, March 15, 2010

Murderers and Methods, CRAFT

The type of fight and the type of characters control all elements of a fight or a killing.


A professional killer will handle a murder very differently from an amateur murderer or someone who pulls out a knife during a heated argument.


The killing will also be different according to the victim's abilities in self-defense, their weapon or lack of weapon, the amount of surprise in the attack, etc., etc.


The way the knife is used can tell a great deal about the killer. Did he put the knife into the heart without hitting a rib? Did he grab the victim from behind in a certain way and hit the artery in the throat for a quick kill? Was his killing method distinctive enough to mark him as a pro or someone trained in a certain style of military skills? Was his knife unusual or a standard hunting knife used by most local hunters? Was it sharp and well-maintained, or did it bruise and tear because it was dull?


A murder or killing should be as distinctive as the victim and the murder, and all elements of their personality, weapons skills, and location will determine the type of murder.




WORKSHOPS: I now have two workshops scheduled with another TBA.


The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question, April 11-May 8, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com


http://www.savvyauthors.com/event.cfm?EventID=172


Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.


How do you create a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.


Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy, or SF World. October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com


http://www.savvyauthors.com/event.cfm?EventID=173


Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the right background for your paranormal romance, they will be to a reader. I'll show you how to create a fantasy or paranormal background from scratch and how to make it utterly believable.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Links of Interest

CRAFT: Writing sexual tension.


http://www.genreality.net/our-guest-shayla-blank


THE BUSINESS OF WRITING: Having what it takes to succeed as a writer.


http://www.genreality.net/our-guest-shayla-blank


BUSINESS OF WRITING: The importance of good digital copies of your works.


http://www.jonathanstrahan.com.au/wp/2010/03/05/for-writers-manage-your-digital-assets/


CRAFT: Plausibility in your novel.


http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/research-plausibility/


THE TEN RULES OF WRITING: Famous authors list their ten rules or less for writing, and most are different from the others. Pick and choose the ones that fit you.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one


CHARACTERS: The danger and joy of having a character come to life.


http://poweredbybooks.blogspot.com/2010/03/knowing-and-loving-our-characters.html


EDITOR INTERVIEW: Shauna Summers of Random House


http://www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/meet-senioreditor-shauna-summers


CRAFT: Bad writing diseases. Satiric yet true.


http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2010/03/infectious-ten.html


WRITING EVERY DAY: Things you can write even if you don't have time for a long scene, etc.


http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/2010/03/15-minutes-to-write-crazy-writing-life.html