Posts Tagged ‘Writers Resources’

Galaxy Collision in Action (NASA, Chandra, 7/0...

Galaxy Collision in Action (NASA, Chandra, 7/09/09) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

So… here we are, all anniversaried and stuff, and nothing to contribute. Last year I gave you a dose of ‘Natural Selection,’ and, while I do still plan to do something else with that eventually, I have yet to get around to anything. I could still do a Flash before the day’s out, but I have nothing motivating one right now (but I’ll see about looking for something). Best I can give you is the strong possibility that I will be able to give you a review for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ tomorrow, since I plan to see that. I Amazon Instanted ‘Transcendence’ last night, but I don’t know if it was really worth reviewing, but I don’t know.

See, this is one of the key reasons I put this blog on hold for so long. Trying to keep working on top of keeping this running is a pain, simply because I have to keep trying to come up with things to talk about, and that’s difficult to do for even just the anniversary entry. I have a few categories, but coming up with anything to fill those categories with takes time too. I have to take time to develop a recipe, well enough to be able to explain it in as plain detail as possible (and I don’t even get time to cook anywhere near as much as I would like, let alone develop a new recipe), or I have to watch TV within a certain timeframe to review it (and you’re lucky if I’m not just catching up on a series about 3 or more eps at a time with OnDemand), and then movies, they just cost money on top of time. And of course stories are a whole issue of their own ‘cause not only do I have to take time to write them, I have to decide on who gets them (you or a publisher), which is why you’re always more likely to get flash-stories, there’s only so many places to submit those—although ‘Natural Selection’ is for the most part for you people, as I mentioned in a previous entry, I wrote something in that universe a bit ago, but held it back for submission possibilities, so, that’s no completely for you either, and money has to come first (that’s just how the game gets played).

And, so, that’s your sad anniversary entry. I’ll try to put up a Flash in a little bit, but that’s the best I can do for you for now. Here’s hoping for a review tomorrow.

Legends of the Dark Crystal

Legends of the Dark Crystal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, kids, how you doin’? I’m pretty much just posting to let you all know that I’m still alive. I’ve been stuck in novel mode while working around hell at the day job, so I haven’t really been able to even think about anything to post here, let alone actually post (I was actually meaning to post this bit a few weeks ago).

So, update on things. ‘Stiym’ is making progress, third act should be underway and things should be coming to a close (hopefully). I should be, with luck, requesting betas and proofers soon.

Results for Dark Crystal’s short-list came, and they said I was too awesome for them and they just weren’t worthy of me (their words, I swear). So, Dark Crystal is a no-go, and I’m now left with time to work on already running projects (never stop moving forward).

Last week while in a really shitty mood, I started working on a short set in ‘Natural Selection’ that takes place where everything left off (think of that with said shitty mood, and you get the basic idea of the story)—it will probably undergo a rewrite at some point later, but as it is, I my plans for it will depend on how it comes out—meaning, if I can get it to stand on its own, I might try throwing it at mags before throwing it here (I love you all, but I love your money more).

And… that’s about the gist of things. I’m lost in work with only hopes of finding my way out and getting back to keeping this thing moving.

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Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater...

Rainwater harvesting systems channel rainwater from a roof into a storage tank via an arrangement of gutters and pipes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago, a friend of mine, Catrina Taylor (whose books you should be reading), started her own indie-publisher, the Writing Network. It’s still in its very young stages, but it’s being lead by someone that knows what she’s doing.

As one of her draws, she started a Word of the Day Flash Fiction, and while I haven’t had the time to do much with it since she started (because I was writing a bunch of deadlines), I will try to get more into it (especially since I need something to give my flashes structure). Back for her opening, I did do one for the word “sunshine” (even though her rules were a max of 500, I kept my rules of 300):

The sunshine shot deftly through the boarded window directly at my eyes, prying me from my sleep—something that used to be the most irritating way of waking up, but now was a comforting sign that I survived another night.

I stumbled to my feet with my head still spinning of an uneasy sleep, and made my way for the door. After a couple minutes worth of unlatching locks, I let in the new day and walked out into its warmth. My first step was into a pile of ash splayed across my porch—I had to force it from my head for now—convince myself it was only dirt as it seeped between my bare toes.

I walked to the end of the yard where the overflowing rain barrel sat and splashed the sun-warmed water at my face. Staring down at my reflection, I saw a face so worn and tired I barely recognized it as mine.

Then the extra eyes glimmered just over my shoulder.

I barely had time to dodge as the draugr swiped at me from a shadowed corner. I jumped back as it lunged forward, and burst into white flame—instantly consumed by the sun, with only the traces of it ever existing left behind.

I staggered back for the shelter of my home and re-latched the door behind ‘til I could work the courage back up to venture out again. I slumped back to my tattered mattress, and let the beam of sunshine comfort me with warmth. As I lay, I felt the warm slowly turn to a subtle burn across my arm. I sat up, and saw, slightly beginning to smolder, a slight scratch—not much—but just enough. Enough to know this would be my last taste of sunshine.

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Playground Temporarily Closed :-(

Playground Temporarily Closed 😦 (Photo credit: Adam Arroyo)

Well, it would seem that it is coming close to the time for me to take my traditional annual hiatus from the internet that I just started last year (it’s a tradition now). Though, last year it was for NaNoWriMo, this year I am not participating with NaNo (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t—unless you’re also too busy with paying projects), and I’m taking off a month early. I mentioned a list of things that I’m trying to get done, ‘the Dark Crystal’ submission, a couple contest submissions, etc, and I’m really trying to squeeze all that in, and so to make that more doable, I must temporarily remove the land of the internet for a bit.

So, much like last time, I’ll be popping in to check mail and such, then popping right back out to never see it again until the next day to check mail, all the while writing ‘til my fingers cramp and arthritis themselves into permanently awkward positions.

But, being as how leaving this place unsupervised for a month last year allowed some of you to wander off and completely forget your way back here altogether, I will at least try to bombard you with reasons for why you hover here to begin with before I go. I have two ‘How I Write’ posts that I will be posting (the POV thing that I promised forever ago, and one about openings), I have at least one flash that I’m going to throw in, plus I have a review that I plan to do for ‘Agents of SHIELD’ (I’m waiting on the second ep before I do a review—plus, since I normally do two reviews for TV stuff, I need to find something else to review… open to suggestions). And, I haven’t done a food post in awhile, I’ll see about throwing something in… not sure what right now, since I haven’t really done anything new lately (though there are a few things I would like to do).

So, yea, next week, I’ll throw all that at you, then you will no longer see me until… dun-dun-dun! December! Assuming that I have the Dark Crystal thing done and ready to submit by then… which I should, but still, that’s my key goal with all this, but finishing my novel for submission on top of everything. So… yep.

Today is a very sad day for the writing community. We have lost someone that meant a lot to all of us, even if some never realized it…

Rest in Peace, Ann Crispin, you will be missed…

English: Bratislava; New Year 2005; FireWorks

English: Bratislava; New Year 2005; FireWorks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have little to post on this week, but I skipped last week’s, and I’m late on this week’s, and I don’t really like going too long without posting if I can help it.

So, last week, I got a bit overly side-tracked with an editing project for a fellow writer, then on to my own stuff, and then next thing I know the week went by. And in this week, I’m late because of holiday stuff—I did a BBQ, and blew off enough fireworks to help keep all emergencies workers ensured of job security.

As with ‘Natural Selection’—two weeks have gone, and there has been no change in the vote, so, with only a week left, I’m pretty sure we can assume it is a done project. To those who actually want to know what was going to happen next… sorry, but I guess you should have tried to want it harder.

But yea, it’s been a long and tiresome week so far, so this is about all I can keep focused to write, but I will try to post something more productive next time—I still owe you my view on POVs post.

Great Battle

Great Battle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I need to post something for today, and the only thing I can think of right now are more writing exercises.

I just bum-rushed the last 3 episodes of ‘Vikings’ on History Channel to catch up, and I’m now listening to Amon Amarth, and I’m more eager for epic battle or at least writing about it, but instead, I will be posting to you… so, to make up for it, ‘How I Write: Epic Battles!’ shall be woven into this glorious thing. This is mildly also fueled by a writer friend of mine, Catrina Taylor (author of the ‘Xarrok’ series that you should be reading), who asked the question of defining “epic” for a blog entry of her own. My answer used epic battle as an example and now my mind is on the glory of epic battle!

A true epic battle by my concept of what make it truly epic, is a battle that is as grand scale that any battle can be. If you can think of something that could be in that battle but isn’t in that battle, then by the gods, put that thing in there and let it scream to the heavens ‘til they rain down blood! In most stories, the climatic battle is the usually an epic battle, but not all epic battles are the climatic battle—also, squares are rectangles, but rectangles are not always squares… just sayin’…

Battle a

Battle a (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I consider battle scenes to be commonly the most challenging things to write, but yet, I also find myself needing to write them often (my stories are very violent). The more going on in the battle, the greater the challenge. All those images of sword clashing, arrows flying, fists smashing, and fire spew blazing in and unending pan of fast paced chaos have to all be crammed into a little box we call “written word.”

The choice for an epic battle will actually come early in the planning of your story (even considering how little planning I usually do). The reason for this, for me, is that if I really need to have it truly, truly huge, then I need the story to have more POVs (point of views). ‘Ravenblood,’ for example, will have a few different POVs entirely for the battle I have planned for the second book (there will be fighting in the first, but I got so much fighting in the second… so much battle—but still, keep in mind the early planning bit… this is planning for a whole book later just to make sure the battle can happen at the scale that I need it to). Think about ‘Lord of the Rings’ (movies for now, I’m trying to get you to see visual scale clearer). They had at least one epic battle in each, trying to out-do the last, and for all of them, they kept jumping between POVs everyone fighting. ‘Avengers’ in the final battle did the same thing… one moment we’re in Thor smashing aliens, next we’re in Hulk smashing aliens, next we’re in Captain America… also pretty much smashing aliens… at some point a really big alien was being smash also.

The Battle of Helm's Deep in Peter Jackson's T...

The Battle of Helm’s Deep in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t get me wrong, it can be done with only one POV also, but may the gods have mercy on you for trying it… ‘cause now you have to figure out how to have a whole lot of stuff happen to one guy, all in one battle, and make his survival make complete sense—completely doable, but never very simple. The end-battle in ‘Natural Selection: Elimination’ is probably the best I’ve done with it, but even now, every time I re-read it, I wonder if I could have put more in somehow (I’m sure if I had more time with it, I could have, but having time wasn’t really the point of the exercise—I had to Iron Chef that shit… make a crazy ass feast with the ingredients that were thrown at me in very little time… because you can make ice-cream out of any-damn-thing!).

The main focus, no matter the number of POVs will always be to make as much happen as you can possibly make happen. Everything.

Now… exercise… for… that… hold on… I got something… um… wait… no… ok… maybe…:

You stand in the middle of a field… you are surrounded. Who/what are they? Why are they coming for you?

Are you standing alone? If yes, why? If no, who’s with you and why?

What is your weapon—sword, ax, guns, magic, and/or fists? Same for everyone else with and/or against you, what do they have?

What comes at you first? What do you do in response? What next? Keep going…

Next time I’m going to try to talk more about my point of view on POVs in general, since this kinda will spur some thought on that (and if anyone knows anything about the writing world, this is an unending debate on how POV should be handled).

And Bonus exercise I think some of you really should try. This will be a team effort, so find a writing friend, I want you to try playing your own Flash Round with them (for you lonely types, you can just play on here with me if you like—it’s ok, I’ll be your friend). This exercise will probably frustrate the crap out of many of you because each round will not go quite in the direction you planned… there’s a double lesson learned in that: one, you will work on your ability to create in any given direction, and two, you will be inspired to write your own story in order to subdue that pain caused by someone going a different direction… and look, you’re writing.