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Posts Tagged ‘Encounter’

I’ve Decided To Take My Own Advice

October 27, 2012 Leave a comment

As I’ve blogged about several times, getting Chapter 9 for my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon) ready for the manuscript has been a real struggle. The problem is that the chapter is one of those necessary bridges to get Kyel, the story’s main character, from point A to point B. Point A is Chapter 8. Point B is Chapter 10.

Alas, the scene has been really fighting me. Read more…

Are You Really An “Award Winning Author”?

July 13, 2012 2 comments

The other day I was introduced to an “Award Winning” author. Really? I though, how interesting. But I knew, as the friend who introduced us immediately turned a face when this “Award Winning” author introduced herself as such, that something was not right.

It took a while, but I was eventually able to broach the subject in the course of conversation. “So,” I asked, “what award did you win?”

The author beamed. “I took second place in my writers group awards for poetry last year,” she informed me.

“Oh?” I said, “That sounds wonderful. So happy for you. You must be thrilled with the recognition.”

“I am,” she grinned, “the other girl I was up against -” Read more…

Even With Imperfect, Even Stupid, Scenes A Story Can Still Be Good

July 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Are you one of those authors that frets over everything being nothing less than perfect?  Do you spend hours thinking how stupid something that happens in your story is, and how it will completely destroy any hope of it being published, or making money even if it does get published?

Don’t lie.  We all do it.

Yet, the fact is that every year stories with major flaws, and just generally goofy things happening within their pages get published, made into movies, etc.  Some of them even make those that wrote them filthy, stinking rich.

And if you doubt this, just think about the movie Star Wars.  Then think about that absolutely weird scene with the monster in the Death Star’s Garbage Compactor.  WTF is up with that?  I mean, seriously, what really was up with that? Read more…

Compiling My Agents List

May 10, 2012 Leave a comment

I have begun compiling a list of literary agents to whom I will query and otherwise send my manuscript to once it is completed. My plans are that after this latest edit of Under the Darkened Moon is completed and the review group has given their comments that I will do a polishing edit. Everyone reading the story seems to think it good and have only minor comments such a the occasional awkward sentence or the misspelled word the spell checker missed. But once that polishing edit is complete, I am allotting one day per chapter so about a month and a half, I have to have some idea of what to do with it.

Side note:
I already had an encounter with one lit agent who a friend referred to me. She claimed to be accepting epic fantasy for review and lobbied for me to send her a sample. However upon me sending her the first 50 pages of my novel she then claimed that she was not looking for epic fantasy. Her web profile, however, says that she is. I don’t know whether or not she is just confused as to the what the genre is that she claims to want submissions on or she just hated the story and did not want to say so. Either way, it certainly annoyed me because I went though the bother of doing a polish on the first 50 pages and rushed it off to her.

Book Review: Green Rider by Kristen Britain

March 16, 2012 Leave a comment

NOTE: Released in 1998, the first story of Karigan G’ladheon has since spawned three more books with the latest, Blackveil, released in February 2011

Warning: May contain spoilers!

Green Rider is considerably better than the last book I read and reviewed, Vengeance by Ian Irvine. The debut novel by Kristen Britain written more than a decade ago tells the story of Karigan G’ladheon, a runaway school girl who gets caught up in the events of a plot to overthrow the King of Sacoridia. She is pursued by those desperate to keep the conspiracy a secret after making a promise to a dying Green Rider to deliver a message of great importance.

The story bounces between the points of view of several other characters, but Karigan is indeed the main character of the story and most of the focus is on her. Most of the character development of Karigan is through her evasion of danger and getting out of tight spots. There are points in the story where things seemed out of sorts. Unfortunately, one of these points is near the beginning when Karigan stumbles upon the Berry Sisters. The whole encounter seems to have just been placed into the story and dropped out of thin air to land with a thud. The impression I was left with was that the entire chance meeting was a tedious way of discussing some back-story elements, particularly concerning the nature of the world’s magic as well as provide convenient and simplistic ways to help Karigan escape from danger later on. The entire episode left me drained in a manner than was reminiscent of Karigan after using her broach for its power of invisibility. It gave me a good reference point to draw on to sympathize with the main character at those points.

I honestly almost did not push on with reading the story because of this point. But I did. The story gets better as it moves on through a myriad of dangers Karigan faces to complete her quest as well as her struggle with not wanting to be the Green Rider everyone else seems to think she is or should be. The story borders on Karigan escaping from too many unlucky situations however, but it does tread the line just enough to not become wholly unbelievable. Some things like the however Anti-Monarchy Society seem to be just thrown in as filler and are dwelled upon too much for their minor role in my opinion. Also, the story seems to drift a little towards the end, especially during the final battle with the symbolism of a board game that makes its appearance several times throughout the book.  Although there are quiet a few pleasant twists.  Even if some of the foreshaddowing as to where the author wants to go is not all that subtle.

If you want to read a typical coming of age fantasy story with some unique elements and a hero struggling to come to grips with her inescapable fate, Green Rider could be up your alley. The plot is certainly believable enough. I give Green Rider three and a half stars.

Using Passive Voice Is Not Wrong

February 21, 2012 2 comments

Ok, time to vent on a pet peeve of mine; people who claim that using the passive voice in writing is wrong. It is not wrong. In fact there is nothing grammatically wrong with writing in the passive voice. Yet I just had another encounter with another author, unpublished of course, who swears that the passive voice is grammatically incorrect.

What is the passive voice? Passive voice is when the object of an action becomes the subject of a sentence. For example, saying “Why was the paper written on by you?” is perfectly grammatically correct but is passive in its voice. The paper is being acted on and also where one expects the subject to be. One would expect the question to be asked, “Why did you write on the paper.”

The two sentences however have the same meaning. But the first is slightly more advanced, potentially leading to someone with a lower reading level being confused by it. That’s ok though. And here is why. Because repetitive, predictable sentence structure in prose is boring. I have read enough of it. And a lot of it exists in so called “Best Sellers” that numb my brain with robotic English.

I am here however to say that it is ok to throw in a couple passive sentences as long as they are not overly clumsy. Of course, writing too much in the passive voice can indeed be awkward. If half of your sentences are passive people are not going to like that. But if you judiciously make 3% or so (that’s just 3 out of every 100) sentences in the passive voice, it breaks up the inevitable monotony of your structure. By being smart about when you use the passive voice, a reader probably will not even recognize that you have pulled such a sentence out of your bag of tricks.

Most successful fiction authors seem to have their passive voice sentences down to a very low number. But they do not eliminate them. Remember all this next time someone tells you such a sentence is “wrong”.