Nov 08 2012

Word of the Day – Catawampus and Argufy

Posted by Mathias

cat·a·wam·pus
[kat-uh-wom-puhs] Show IPA Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.

adjective
1. askew; awry.

2. positioned diagonally; cater-cornered. (more…)

Nov 05 2012

The TARDIS Principle for Writing

Posted by Mathias

One thing that I dislike, but that seems to be rampant in the genres of fantasy and science-fiction, is over description.  Unless it is necessary, don’t tell me what color the tiles of the castle’s roof is.  If it’s Autumn, a short description of the color of the leaves is good, but a long, multi-paragraph description of all sorts of minutia that tells me it is Autumn is overkill.  Yes, occasional delving into literary prose is fine.  But fantasy and science-fiction authors do way, way, way too much of it at times in my humble opinion.

Those of us who read these sorts of stories do have imaginations after all.  Let us use them.  We can easily envision what the countryside our heroic knight is traveling through might look like.  So, again, unless it is necessary to the story, there is no need to go into great detail.  Besides, as I have already learned, great detail can lead to great problems with continuity.  The more detail you put in, the more you had better make sure that you remember it later on when you write the next scene where that detail comes up. (more…)

Oct 29 2012

Why I Am Still, A Year Later, Editing My Novel

Posted by Mathias

Every day I get asked the same question, “Why are you still editing that novel of yours?”

I don’t think the answer is that complicated.  I simply want to produce a quality story in the end.  And, while I and others who have read Under the Darkened Moon think that the story is good, I personally don’t think it is good enough quite yet.  Although, I do think it is quickly getting there.

For me, there is no rush.  I’ve been writing off and on for over twenty years.  My very first novel, which I started back in high school, had three years invested into it and never got even half way done.  For Under the Darkened Moon, I opened the file (started writing the story) on June 18th of last year.  It is now October, nearly November a year later.  I could have pushed this work out there six months ago, at least according to some opinions, but certainly not my own.   As one person in my review group said, “It’s already better than 95% of what is self-published on Amazon and other sites like that.” (more…)

Oct 21 2012

Words of the Day: Apse & Donjon

Posted by Mathias

apse
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
(more…)

Oct 19 2012

Today’s Words Of The Day: Motte and Bailey & Quay

Posted by Mathias

motte and bailey
noun
: a medieval Norman castle consisting of two connecting ditched stockaded mounds with the higher mound surmounted by the keep and the lower one containing barracks and other buildings (more…)

Oct 14 2012

Warning: Readers Have Comfort Zones

Posted by Mathias

Writers sometimes get a little too crazy.  One thing we often do is try to show how smart we are by using what are known as ten dollar words.  I call it the Plethora Rule.  What is the Plethora Rule?  It is best described from the scene that made me realize long ago that fancy words are not always good.  Here is that scene from ¡Three Amigos! that introduced 90% of people who know what plethora means to the word:

(more…)

Oct 13 2012

An Honest Agent …

Posted by Mathias

A friend of mine is a sports agent for some low to mid level talent in the National Hockey League.  I once asked him what exactly it was that he did.

He said to me: (more…)

Oct 12 2012

Today’s Words Of The Day – Asperse and Kerf

Posted by Mathias

as·perse
transitive verb \ə-ˈspərs, a-\
as·persedas·pers·ing

1: sprinkle; especially: to sprinkle with holy water

2: to attack with evil reports or false or injurious charges (more…)

Oct 08 2012

Words of the day – Ullage and Edacity

Posted by Mathias

ullage
noun \ˈə-lij\

the amount that a container (as a tank or cask) lacks of being full (more…)

Oct 05 2012

I Do Keep A “Liars List”

Posted by Mathias

One thing I started keeping a few years ago was what I deemed as the “Liars List”. This list is composed of people who leave blatantly false reviews for books on sites like Amazon.com and Goodreads.

Mostly the “Liars List” contains people who rate incredibly awful books as “great”, “awesome”, or some other unwarranted praise. A few are those who trash books that are actually good. But the majority of them are people who, for whatever reason, give bad books unwarranted praise. Presumably this praise is to try and get people to believe the book actually has some redeeming qualities. (more…)