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Archive for the ‘Form and Style’ Category

Words of the Day: Apse & Donjon

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

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Pronunciation: \ˈaps\
Function: noun
Etymology: Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin apsis, from Latin Date: 1822
1 : APSIS
2 : a projecting part of a building (as a church) that is usually semicircular in plan and vaulted
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Another Word For A Short Space Of Time …

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Instead of saying “a moment”, to denote  a short space of time, how about and interstice

(noun) \in-ˈtər-stəs\ Read more…

Is your character mercurial?

August 5, 2012 Leave a comment

1mer·cu·ri·al    adj \(ˌ)mər-ˈkyu̇r-ē-əl\

3 : characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mercurial

Suffuse – Today’s $10 Word

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Main Entry: suf·fuse
Pronunciation: \sə-ˈfyüz\
Function: transitive verb

: to spread over or through in the manner of fluid or light : flush, fill

http://i.word.com/idictionary/Suffused

Here I Am … Under the Darkened Moon Update

July 9, 2012 Leave a comment

So, I have, I admit, been spending too much time on Twitter as of late and not doing enough editing on my novel, Under the Darkened Moon. I have been editing, just not as much as I should be. I’m nearly 75% complete with my polishing edit and, of course, after a year is when I now decide to make the main character 23 years old for the bulk of the story rather than 28. That of course means some timeline editing, etc. but nothing major.

I weighed the pros and cons and decided to make the change I have been batting around in my brain for the better part of the last six months. I give up some of the maturity aspect that the character would have had, but that is about it. Plus it makes some of my possible sequels work better by shifting the entire story ahead five years. This allows me to keep certain characters alive more plausibly than having passed to the ravages of time or being 70 years old at best. Read more…

Painting Yourself Out Of A Corner As A Writer

July 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Nearly every novel has them, that scene or chapter that just never feels right when being read in context with the story. Sometimes they are minor. Other times they are major. But the fact that they exist so often, sometimes multiple times in a single story, is a reality.

In a way, their very existence sort of gives us aspiring authors hope. We tend to fret about every bit of our story being so perfect. Not as good as it can be mind you, but one-hundred percent infallible. It seems that this is what holds us back more than anything else. So many people never submit the novel they have written because they are certain that it has faults. Even though every story every published has faults too.

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Start Your Own Trend, Don’t Copy!

June 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I hear aspiring authors such as myself say it all the time. They say they are going to write a vampire novel because vampires are hot. They say they are going to write chick lot because that’s where the money is. They say they are going to write a novel about this teenage wizard because Harry Potter was a smashing success. They say they are going to write a post apocalyptic adventure with teens fighting each other and struggling to survive because, well, because look how many copy’s The Hunger Games has sold.

What these people are doing is writing for other people and trying to hop on a trend. They are not writing for themselves. And, if you ask me, it shows in their final products. I’ve read more than my share of these concoctions.

It seems that every time one of my friends opts to put up a novel on Amazon written in such a manner they ask my opinion on it. Ok, ignore the fact that vampire (the blood sucking type) novels are not really my thing. But I do like a good story. Note I said “good”. It doesn’t even have to be great! Read more…

Comma Rules Are Like The Pirate’s Code

June 4, 2012 Leave a comment

I know there are rules for using commas. I know there are people out there who jump down your throat it you don’t use one where you “should”. But the more I read, the more more I realize that published authors break these rules all the time.

In essence, the rules for using commas are like the Pirate’s Code in that, “They’re more like guidelines anyway.”

Being Practical With My Showing

June 4, 2012 Leave a comment

You hear it all the time as an author.  They say, “show, don’t tell”.  The problem with that advice is that it is just too simplistic.  You can’t always show.  Everyone who has written anything knows it.  Prose becomes too unweildy and awkward if everything you do is “showing”.  A recent example of a book that I read which, I felt, suffered from bout after bout of over showing was The Scar by Sergey Dyachenko.

By about halfway through this story, I’ll be honest, I was burned out by the author trying to find new ways of “showing” the lead character’s fear.  Even when the showing was good, the constant showing still had ground me down.  As an author myself I would never do as much showing as Dyachenko did.  But, even though this is my opinion, there are people out there that love this sort of prose and over showing.

That makes it even more difficult as an author to determine how to balance the showing and telling in a story.  I’m still struggling with it.  All I know is that I have to pick my spots.  Every time I edit, I swap a show for a tell here and a tell for a show there.

Showing takes words.  It takes a lot more words than telling.  Telling can make prose move fast and has its places.  But short shows can have the same effect.  I

I’m trying to be more practical with my showing.  I’m not a flowery writer.  So I don’t try to write puffed up descriptions of what is goin on.  I try to make my shows short.  They almost seem like tells at times.  I’m trying to not speak outside my voice and so far, I have gotten no complaints from any of the reviewers that I did not “show” enough.  The problem is, what will publishers think? Will they agree?

Sad thing is, I won’t know for a while.  Here’s hoping that my trying to be practical with my shows versus tells is what publishers are looking for.

Why Review Groups Are Helpful

May 30, 2012 Leave a comment

A trusted group of people you can use to review what you write is invaluable. Gathering up the feedback from my own group, I compiled the information into a list that has helped immensely during the latest edit of my novel, Under the Darkened Moon.

My review group consisted of a few published authors, some unpublished authors and friends and acquaintances who like to read fantasy fiction. At the end of the last edit here is what I learned based on their feed back:

Strong points:
1 – Characters and character development
2 – Plot
3 – Pacing
4 – The ability to keep the reader guessing

Weak points:
1 – Comma usage
2 – Non main plot elements/background

So this tells me where I needed to focus. Grammar was the big thing. Sentences weren’t horrid, but many of the could definitely been improved. That is what I am focusing on fixing at the moment.