Now we reach the part of our program in which Sarah gets testy. Yeah, I know, that’s such a rare sight that you’re all going to be awe struck.
No, seriously. Stop laughing.
One of the weirdest things about writers it’s that we love language, and we study it and pet it, and take it home, and call it George. What we tend to forget is that Language is really used for ONE thing: communication. Read more
Today’s guest post is by J.L. Curtis, who blogs at Old NFO, and writes awesome contemporary westerns with cowboys vs. drug smugglers, as well as science fiction.
Get your guns…
A 10,000 foot view…
First, forget everything you’ve ever seen in the movies, it’s all BS! Read more
I’m quite fond of this device, though I admit that in its simplest form (“and then I woke up and it was all a dream”) it has been done to death. No, I didn’t think Agatha Christie was cheating in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and I enjoyed the double-impostor twist of Mary Stewart’s The Ivy Tree with its narrator who misleads us delightfully by telling the truth… just, not all the truth. So I was pleased to see a new twist on this in one of the fantasy novels I’ve been reading via Kindle Unlimited, and I’ve made a note of the author for further reading.
In W.B. McKay’s Bound by Faerie the narrator is hired to retrieve a magical artifact. She’s warned in advance:
Today, however, we’d gotten word that Lou was in possession of a heavily enchanted necklace. I hadn’t been given any particulars about its power, just a strict warning not to put it on and a description.
Of course she puts it on – what do you think? It’s part of the rules of the game, isn’t it? Psyche brings in a lamp to gaze on Cupid, Beauty picks up the only remaining spindle in the kingdom, and McKay’s Sophie Morrigan puts on the necklace, part of whose enchantment is the power to lure her into doing exactly that. Read more
I hope everybody has survived the Annual Feast of Gratitude followed by the Annual Frenzy of Materialism. I managed to find several virtual opportunities to replace or upgrade items, which was nice. I also ate too much. There was pie. Most of it happened for breakfast the following morning. I also stumbled into one of the classic blunders. Not the Asia thing, or even the Sicilian one, no: I peopled for a week as an introvert and expected to get things done after returning home. Oops. Suffice to say, I’ve gotten nearly sufficient sleep, barely-adequate nutrition, and the Vitamin M hasn’t really touched my headache. So I’m just going to ramble for a while and hope it coalesces from inherent gravity. Foolish? Then I shall become that fool!
You may remember I mentioned last week having trouble with a story because it was one-paced. Pace is one of those terrible things to try and do well, because there are several components to it. It’s a bit like patting your forehead and rubbing your belly, or like my efforts at operating an excavator. Yes, it DOES look easy when someone skilled does it. Ridiculously easy in fact. Appearances can be deceptive: I mean you might look at me and say ‘ugly and dim-witted…’ oh. Well, moving rapidly on. A lot of writing is like my excavator ditch-digging efforts, where because there are four ideally co-ordinated actions and I find one on its own a bit of a challenge, the trench tends not do what I want it to do.
Naturally this is the silly ditch or trench’s fault, just as it is the reader’s fault when he gets bored and decides that it’s the right time to clip his toenails or pluck his ear-hairs, rather than bothering to read your book. Read more
As you read this, I’m working toward being on the road again. We’re absconding for parts south, the littles and I. Just a few days, and eating turkey (I think we’ll be eating turkey. I’m not actually sure. I know I’ll be roasting brussels sprouts with bacon, and then mulling cranberries, for my contribution to The Meal.) So I’m writing yesterday, on some thoughts I had the night before, while listening to Matt Colville’s excellent Running The Game series of youtube videos on Dungeon Mastery. Specifically the video on playing evil player characters.
For we were just the product
Of the ever spinning wheel
Round and round we go (The Strawbs, round and round.)
I read a story by a fairly well-known author the other day. The dialogue was good. The character was moderately interesting. The pacing was somewhat monotonous… but what made it a chore was that it had no clear ‘axle’… It was just a recitation of events. It had a beginning and a middle and end. The hero did something… but something essential was missing. That ‘axle’
Hmm. One of my own writing concepts. Therefore, probably mildly loony, at best. I’m going to have to explain what I mean. Read more