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Posts by Pam Uphoff

Conversions and Culture Clashes

Conversions and Culture Clashes

“Ah! A balmy twenty degrees out!” He eyed the kids, grabbing for their parkas . . . “Umm, that’s almost seventy degrees for you Fahrenheit troglodytes. Beautiful day out there.”

So my main audience is American, but I have readers in Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada . . . and even the younger Americans are comfortable with most metric terms. They have an instinctive grasp of how large four meters is, they don’t have to think about “why is he getting a ladder?”

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Let’s Make a World

 

A friend was bemoaning the necessity of making a world the other day. Now, since I happen to think that is one of the fun parts of pre-planning a story, I found his reluctance baffling. So I decided to think about how to do such a thing in a methodical fashion.

With my gaming dice.  😀

Now, first and foremost are the plot requirements of the story that’s being planned. They can load the dice at any point, including backing up and rerolling four steps ago.

So let’s start with the big picture.

A star, or stars. Roll a die. Read more

Reality Check

Track sales, look for trends, they said.

Shudder.

But I did it anyway, and the take away is pretty straight forward. Being a visual type, I graphed it. This is the total sales in the first two months after it was published, in the order the books were published.

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NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, that’s National Novel Writing Month.

November of every year.

NaNo is a rah rah, gung ho support for fast writing. A site that’ll graph your writing and cheer you on, or nag you, about how you are doing toward writing FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS IN A MONTH!

Seven years ago I thought that was impossible . . . but I gave it a try anyway. Read more

Chopsticks

Chopsticks
A Blast From the Past
MGC 12/19/2014

 

Two decades ago, I injured my right hand. Good doctors, good hospital, good antibiotics, brutal physical therapists . . .

I never think about it. Until I try to eat with chopsticks. Something in the motion finds a hidden weakness, and by the time I’d finished dinner yesterday, well, “survived without having to shamefully ask for a fork” pretty much sums up my relief.

I suspect we all have hidden weaknesses. Physical, mental, emotional. Sometimes just hidden from outsiders, sometimes hidden from ourselves

Our written characters need those as well Read more

Working the Stereotypes

 

Diversity’s the big issue in fiction these days.

Well, not really. The howling mobs of the perpetually offended only care about race and sex. Of the author, and of the characters.

True diversity of thoughts and emotions, behavior, opinions, and politics? The mob doesn’t seem to care. But most readers do. They don’t want every character to be the same, except for details of hair, eye, and skin color. A good story is the story of human interactions, even in a book full of running gunfights and explosions. Read more

Hurricane Basics for Newbies

So, all you central East Coasties ready?

No? Is this your first time? Well, relax. It’s just the biggest whooping wind and rainstorm you’ve ever seen. Read more