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Posts from the ‘WRITING’ Category

Opt out of mandatory opt-ins

Many of you are familiar with the CAN-SPAM act, and how it changed things for newsletters with North American subscribers (US & Canadian). Now, there’s a new act that’s affecting all your EU readers, called GDPR. Read more

Oh, Diversity

As I sit here, I’ll admit part of me wants to go on a tear about several things currently taking place in and around the con circuit. I’m not going to. Partly because I’m still so angry about one item that I’m not sure I could be anything but profane in my comments. It is also partly because I have neither the time nor the desire to deal with those who would skim until outraged and then pitch fits here or elsewhere. Instead, I’ll deal with another issue that is currently trending when it comes to publishing (and most anything else). Diversity. Read more

The chances of anything coming from the stars…

The chances of anything coming from the stars

Are a billion to one, they said.

The chances of anything coming from the stars

but still, they come… (with apologies to Jeff Wayne)

Poncha and Belly sat looking out a vast expanse of ocean from their seat on the upturned hollowed out log – a log that taken Poncha and four of his cousins three months to chip out with clam-shells, and could now transport – when it didn’t tip over, two people and as much as half a man-weight of clams. Well, as long as one of the two men wasn’t as fat as Belly. And it was fast too. Nearly as fast as a man could jog… If the tide was going the right way, and the wind wasn’t against you.

Poncha shook his head. “Nonsense, Belly. I mean even if there really are other tribes out there,” he pointed vaguely at the horizon, “Why would they come here? It would take weeks and weeks of poling, even if it wasn’t too deep. And how would they carry enough food?”

“Maybe they got bigger trees. Maybe they make bigger hollowed out logs,” said Belly.

Poncha sighed. His cousin was fond of imagining impossible doomsday things. Only last week he come up with the crazy idea of someone making a spear that could be thrown more than fifty paces. When Poncha said a spear was just too heavy to throw that far, let alone further, Belly said you could make it smaller and lighter. Ha. As if such a spear would do any harm to anything. “Look, Belly, if they have bigger trees, and can build bigger hollowed out logs – why would they bother to come here? We only got little trees, and with a big hollowed out log they can collect far more clams from the outer banks than anyone could eat. Why come here?”

Belly was silent for a while. The he said: “For our women.” Read more

Folktales in Fantasy

Something fantasy this way comes…

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about using folktales in fiction, especially fantasy. I bought a CD of Songsmith, filk written to go with the novel of that title. The book was a collaboration set in Andre Norton’s Witchworld, and the songs are about events in the book, or are referred to by one of the main characters (a bard). Norton uses a lot of folk tale and historical references in the Witchworld series, but so deftly that unless you are really looking for them, you’ll miss how she weaves them in.

That’s what I want to focus on. Not on re-working fairy tales and folk-tales as Mercedes Lackey, Diana L. Paxton, Robin McKinley, and others have done, but using details from folk-tales and history as story elements. Read more

Tuesdays Are Mine!!1

Mine! *thunder cracks* MuahahAhAHAhahAHA!!!

*cough*

Thank you. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let me give you a brief rundown on some of the changes around the ol’ MGC. I’m moving from the fourth Friday of the month to every Tuesday afternoon. That’s right: more Dave. (I’ll pray for you, you poor, lost souls.)

To that end, I’m going to be starting a couple of regular series. First off, Noob Notes. Since afternoon posts are often shorter, punchier, and full of great pith, I’m going to reach out and grab an aspect of the writing process and wring the juice out of it, then serve it up with my characteristic verve- Read more

Know Your Genre – Paranormal Romance

I’ll admit, this post stems from a Facebook discussion I was part of yesterday. A friend of mine mentioned a “paranormal romance” he was reading and my first instinct was to yell, “It’s not PNR!”. The problem was that book is on this year’s shortlist for a RITA as a PNR. Except it’s not. Or is it?

So, what is a paranormal romance and why does the sub-genre leave such a nasty taste in the mouths of some readers?

Let’s start with what it’s not. It is not urban fantasy. There was a time when you could safely walk into a bookstore, pick up a title filed under urban fantasy and know you would not be hit with a major romance plot. More than that, you wouldn’t be skipping — if you’re wont to do so — page after page of explicit sex. You’d get a fun mystery or suspense read, maybe humor but romance? Nope. It wasn’t in your urban fantasy, at least not as anything more than a passing plot point. Read more

Book stuffing, KU reads, and Amazon’s Doing Something

While I would hope that everyone who reads this is interested in being a real author making up real stories that are your own, writing them down, and publishing them, we are all aware that there are scammers out there, and people who care more about the money, than acting ethically or the readers. We also know that Amazon has a habit of taking a wide swath of potential wrongdoers, then filtering out and restoring the innocent.

Yep, they’re doing it again.

Read more