Saturday, March 17, 2018

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 185

This Week's Writing Links
Photo Courtesy of Visual Hunt

Between being sick with a bad chest cold all week and my wife spraining her ankle, there wasn't much progress on the writing front. And now I have to focus on critiques I owe three other authors.  Spring can't get here quickly enough. 

The family and I saw A Wrinkle in Time last weekend. It was okay, in my opinion, but I admit I was expecting more. I never read the book, but my impression was that they skipped a lot of the story in order to give us lots of visuals. 

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy it? How did the book compare to the movie?

Anyway, have a great weekend and enjoy the writing links! 


Foreshadowing in a sentence: Connecting story events

Assemble Your Street Team: How to Mobilize Your Fan Army to Promote Your Books

Want to Push Your Protagonist Over the Edge? Add an Emotion Amplifier

Back to Basics--Imagery

The Difference Between YA and MG Novels

3 Tips to Hook Your Reader’s Emotions

Character flaws: Creating lovable imperfections

Friday, March 9, 2018

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 184

Woo-hoo!  Both a Wednesday AND a Friday post this week.  Will wonders never cease.  Actually I have to thank the Insecure Writers Support Group for making me post on Wednesday. There's nothing like the threat of being dropped from the group for not posting on the first Wednesday of the month to keep those juices going. 

Last night's critique group meeting went well, and I just discovered my other critique group is meeting on Monday.  Whoops, I should have paid better attention at last month's meeting. I hope my submission is in good shape, or I'll be staying up late tonight polishing it up for critiquing.

Have a great weekend! 


Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – February 2018

5 Quick Ways To Shift Description and Setting Into Deep POV

6 Tips for Writing Characters Who Captivate Readers

Writing a Synopsis with Pintip Dunn

Garlic Breath For Writers (aka, Bad First Pages)

The 5 Turning Points of a Character Arc

How Should a Character Say Nothing?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Insecure Writer and Deciding Your Genre

Today is March's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because I don't know which genre I should use to describe my story. 

I mean, that’s kind of weird, right? Not knowing what genre my story falls into? It’s not as if I’m writing some sort of weird crossover that’s never been done before. It’s straight fantasy about a college freshman who suddenly finds herself thrust into the middle of an alchemical war that’s been secretly raging on Earth for nearly a millennium. There’s no magic, but these alchemists have the power to manipulate chemical elements. 

My original thought was that it would be considered urban fantasy. However, these days it seems that urban fantasy falls into one of two camps. Either the protagonist is female and she’s a demon/vampire/werewolf/etc slayer in a world full of paranormal creatures or he’s a male warlock, usually with a checkered past who needs to fight some terrible evil to redeem himself. And I’m a little concerned that if I call my book an urban fantasy, people will be expecting something my book is not. 

My story does have subatomic-sized creatures (the ones responsible for the manipulation of elements), so some writers might classify my story as paranormal fantasy. In fact, according to this post, the main thing that differentiates urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy is the presence of magic. Since there is no magic in my story, that would make it paranormal fantasy. 

Heck, I’ve even considered just calling it science fantasy, since I basically take one fantastical element (the subatomic beings) and weave a story around them using science to work out most of the rules and consequences. But I’m not sure if anyone uses the term science fantasy any more. 

This may seem like needless worrying, but book covers these days are highly dependent on the genre and if my cover gives the readers the wrong impression, they won’t be happy. 

Let's move on to the IWSG question of the day. 

How do you celebrate when you achiever a writing goal / finish a story? 

Since I haven’t finished a story, I can’t answer that part of the question yet. As far as smaller goals are concerned, every time I finish a submission for my critique group, I consider that a victory. I celebrate by allowing myself a little time to work on my fan fiction. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, and as such, feels like a reward. 


So how would you classify my story? 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Using Modern Day Slang In Non-Modern Day Stories

No Way!

Photo provided by Visual hunt 

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in the books I read, a habit of using modern day language or euphemisms in stories set in other time periods or other worlds. The example that pushed me into writing this post was in a story set in late medieval times. The language used by the characters wasn’t particularly old sounding, but it was good enough—that is, until one of the teen-aged characters complained of being put “on lockdown” by his parents. Man, did my suspension of disbelief take a kick to the gut.

Now I don’t mind an occasional deviation from period language for the sake of readability. “Thee”s and “Thou”s can get hard to read after a while, but the use of slang that’s only been around for about a decade or so (at least in the connotation of “being grounded”) is just too much.

And it’s not just stories set in the past. I’ve read science fiction set in the far future that used current day slang, pop phrases I’m pretty sure will be dead and buried long before that future arrives. For example, I’m reading one book populated with spaceships and space stations, and was jarred when one of the characters used the phrase “you go, girl.” Now I’ll admit this phrase has been around for a while, and may hang around for a while yet, but it’s already in decline, used these days mostly as a punch line in TV comedies or to make the person saying it appear unhip.

Maybe this doesn’t bother anyone else, but contemporary slang in non-contemporary settings just irks me.

What about you?


 P.S. If the writer is deliberately doing this to have fun, for example, A Knight’s Tale, then that’s different.

Source: Tumblr

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Insecure Writer and Forgetting ISWG Blog Post Day

Today is February's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because I forgot this was the first Wednesday in February, which means my IWSG post is due.  Arg!!!!

My only excuse is that it’s been a busy week for me, writing-wise.  My monthly SCBWI meeting was on Saturday, I met with one of my critique groups on Monday evening, and my other critique group meets tomorrow night. At least I'm keeping busy.

Thank goodness the IWSG supplies an optional question to answer every month.

What do you love about the genre you write in most often? 

I write fantasy for the same reason I read it.  The sense of wonder. I love escaping to worlds different from the one I live in.  But it's not just about escapism. I love how fantasy (and science fiction) trigger my imagination, letting me see and experience things that would never happen in real life (or at least not in my lifetime).

I enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers too, but wrap them in a fantasy setting and those stories just seem to pop for me.

My IWSG post is kind of short today, but that just means you all have more time to visit the other writers in this blog hop.

So go forth and read! 

And don't forget to stop by this month's co-hosts.  Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!


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