In Proper Proportion

HL Carpenter takes over my blog today and provides good advice for writers. So there we were, with a packet of strawberries threatening to go soft and the need for a recipe to make good use of them. None of the sauce recipes we found called for as many berries as we had. And then…

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Write What You Know with Sara Daniel

Sara Daniel Finds her Niche Write what you know, they say. But what happens when you’re a romance author and congenital heart defects and their repair surgeries are what you know? You end up accidentally creating your own heart surgery romance niche. To be clear, the books I’ve written that involved heart surgery aren’t a…

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World Building: What’s on the Menu?

Food plays a principal role in the world-building of fiction realms and that some of the most famous and successful speculative fiction authors like Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Suzanne Collins devote a extraordinary amount of narrative time to the central questions of how, why, and where their characters eat.

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Writing & Perseverance

The following is a post from the summer of 2013 on the perseverance needed when reaching for any goal.  I hope that you enjoy! I took a picture of these lilies today. They are planted in a row along the side of my house and I think they are beautiful. They did not really bloom…

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The Importance of Voice in Fiction Writing by Rita Monette

Rita Monette joins my blog today with some writing advice and an exciting new release. Take it away Rita! You may have heard the term voice in writing. However, there are two types of voice in writing fiction. One is the voice of the author: How you write and express yourself, tell their stories. That…

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A Writing Catalyst by Elliott Baker

Elliott Baker visits my blog today with some good writing advice.  Take it away Elliott! In 2007 I began to write a story that had been in my head for years. A friend turned me on to NANOWRIMO a magical concept and creativity catalyst that I’ll write about in a later blog. In 2008, I…

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Summertime Writing Essentials

Warm weather and bright sunlight are especially tempting this time of year. Their siren call leads me away from my computer and into my backyard garden. I have yet to find a good way to write on my Macbook or iPad outside in the sunlight. So to keep myself indoors and locked to the screen for enough time to be productive, I make my writing area as comfortable as possible and pack it with a few essentials to keep my motivation level high.

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Empathy

I remind myself of this whenever people don’t act the way I think they should. In the irritation of the moment, it is easy to forget that there is more to every situation than I might at first know. It goes along with my favorite quote from J.M. Barrie: “Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.”

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Positive Writing Support

Why is this type of support important? Because novel writing is very much a solitary event: It is just the author and his/her writing implement of choice desperately trying to get the words in his/her head out there for the world to read. This leads to a lot of isolation on the part of writers, so having a month (or two) during the year when you can spend time writing, being cheered on by other writers, and encouraging them in turn is priceless.

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Why I resisted including romance in Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna Gunn

There were many struggles on the road to publishing my first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn. One of the biggest struggles came when Lai, my leading lady, came out and told me she was in love with her roommate, a woman named Tara.

I immediately resisted the idea, though probably not for the reason you think. I didn’t care whether my character fell in love with a man or a woman. What bothered me was that she fell in love at all.

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Writing Advice with Carol Browne

In my working life I wear many hats. Those worn by the writer and the proofreader you would assume to be created by the same milliner, but they are mutually exclusive. This is one of many reasons why we all need proofreaders.

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A Choice of Evils: How Roger Zelazny Created a Heroic Jack the Ripper

In 1888 a killer stalked the streets of London’s Whitechapel district, brutally and ritualistically murdering women. The killer, dubbed Jack the Ripper, captured lurid headlines and the imagination of the public. Fictionalized versions of his story started appearing as early as October of 1888, only a few weeks after the discovery of the first victim. Since then hundreds of stories have been written about Jack, his victims, and his legacy. No fictional treatment of the character, however, has ever been approached like the character of “Jack” in Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October. Rumor has it that someone bet Zelazny that he couldn’t write a story in which the reader rooted for Jack the Ripper as a hero. According to the rules of the wager, Jack could not be a “modified version” of the character where it wasn’t “really” Jack who committed the murders; the character had to be the 1888 serial killer who committed the crimes. Whether the rumor is true or not, Zelazny created a fascinating narrative with a host of characters from literature, history, and film—including Jack the Ripper, Dracula, Frankenstein, Rasputin, Sherlock Holmes, and more—in which a deadly game is played in a rural suburb of Victorian London.

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American Gods & Neil Gaiman: A Wonderful Example on How to Handle False Media Attacks

This is not exactly an article about American Gods, although you may learn some interesting facts along the way. Unfortunately this article is a story of poor reporting and a media attack on Neil Gaiman and The American Gods television series. A failed attempt, I might add, because the controversy simply does not exist. Still, Gaiman provides a wonderful example for anyone who is falsely accused in the media on how to handle controversy in a dignified way.

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Writing Villains into a Story

I like reading advice on writing from other authors. Many times I find really great ideas that help improve my own writing abilities. For example, in On Writing, Stephen King (2001) recommends listening to music to help a writer block out the world and focus on the work at hand. Readers of this blog will…

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True Friends Go the Distance by Vala Kaye

Val visits my blog today and discusses the value of friendship and how her own relationships are reflected in her writing.  Enjoy!  Chris ___________________________________________ “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart” ― Eleanor Roosevelt Not all the people you meet during your…

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In Praise of eBooks by Carol Browne

I am proud to share today’s post by Carol Browne, who writes in praise of eBooks.  Enjoy!  Chris __________________________________________________ In Praise of eBooks As a voracious book reader, I have lived my life believing in the superiority of the printed book; then my beta-reader kindly gave me her Kindle. Once I had figured out how…

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Leigh Goff’s Disenchanted

I hope that you all enjoy the character study as Leigh Goff discusses Disenchanted’s bewitching Main Character, Sophie Goodchild–Chris __________________________________________ Sophie Goodchild is a sixteen-year-old half-witch and the star of my new release Disenchanted from Mirror World Publishing. She lives with her eccentric aunt in the small town of Wethersfield, Connecticut—the sight of the first…

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JuNoWriMo

This looks like fun.  I have extra time this June to devote to writing, so I thought this might be the best way to keep on track. For those of you who are unfamiliar with JuNoWriMo, it’s a month long writing adventure in the style of NaNoWriMo, complete with word sprints and plenty of other writers…

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Nietzsche, Dragons, and Fighting for Success by S.G. Rogers

In this guest blog post, S.G. Rogers talks about the craft of writing and what to do with rejection.  I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I did!–Chris “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche My sword and sorcery fantasy novel, Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel has just…

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The Road Leads Back by Marci Boudreaux

Today Marci Boudreaux shares her thoughts on The Road Leads Back–Chris ◊◊◊◊◊ As I start getting feedback on The Road Leads Back, I’m excited to hear people tell me they enjoy reading romances with characters over 40. As I get older, I’m finding it more and more difficult to connect with the younger characters I’m trying…

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Science Fiction by Tom Olbert

Science Fiction – An Evolving Genre by Tom Olbert Speaking as a writer who primarily works in science fiction, I am painfully aware that the genre holds extremely limited appeal for the public. The genre has dropped out of popularity. Most of the general public doesn’t take SF seriously. Kid stuff, they assume. Maybe it…

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On Writing: Parkinson’s Law

          Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? It originated with Cyril Parkinson in a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and was reprinted in Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress by John Murray (1958). The law states that work will expand and swell in importance so as to fill the…

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A Question of Copyright

This is an interesting article about copyright and the public domain. http://news.msn.com/offbeat/who-owns-this-monkey%E2%80%99s-selfie-1 The issue in summary–a crested black macaque came across David Slater’s photography equipment in the field and, while examining his reflection in the lens, snapped some pictures of himself. Wikipedia placed these photographs online in one of their entries. David Slater requested the…

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On Writing: Emily Dickinson and Poetic Inspirations

Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets. Over the last week I have had what is termed a “summer cold” and have spent a lot of time reading new works and re-reading my favorites. Like Dickinson, I write mainly at a small table placed near the window of my bedroom so that I can…

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On Writing: Researching Accurately and Efficiently

I have always enjoyed learning new things. I can spend hours looking through books on multitudes of subjects and finding out new facts and information. When I am cooking I will watch shows on P.B.S. or National Geographic. (This is one of the few times a day I watch television and shows with no real…

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On Writing: The Road Less Traveled

This starts out with lunch, meanders into a gaggle of geese, gets waylaid by pirates, but eventually does become about writing. I promise! Today was a rare day off for me. I decided to pack a lunch, which included fresh tomatoes from my garden, and have a picnic in the park. I asked my father,…

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