I've found a great way to come up with ideas for new blog posts is to just steal them from The Literary Lab and I've done that again. This post of theirs on revising has been percolating through my mind for some time now: I consulted a poet friend that I have mentioned once or twice here before. His name is Craig Cotter, and over dinner I asked him why he made certain word choices or phrase constructions in several of his poems.... What I realized was that Craig had initially limited himself to what edits he was allowed to make. The source of his inspiration, the motivation that got him to write this poem in the first place, he felt, was preserved in that first draft, not in the idea of that first draft. That meant that he couldn't revise everything. He couldn't start from scratch with the same idea, because that would be a different poem--one that he could write at a different time. My gut reaction reading this was to think, "But prose is different from poetr
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Christine McConnell Villains are tough for me to write. Here's three tricks that I use to grapple with them. 1. Nature as a villain, a villain by nature I harbor a secret wish to redeem everyone, even the worst villains. In a story where I control all the parameters, it's easy to give in to this temptation. Yet an antagonistic force is necessary for a good story. Few books can pull off using the environment alone (Person v Nature) as the antagonistic force. It's not impossible; one fantastic book to do this recently was The Martian. The enemy in that book was Mars itself: life versus death. Simple, stark and utterly believable. When you pit one man against an entire planet, any extra villains would have only detracted from the majesty and terror of the real enemy, surviving on a planet completely alien to the one where our species evolved, a planet alien to life itself. Some villains, for instance, an animal, an alien or a demonic force, could be evil simply by nature. 2.
Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Historical Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors). She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic and more. Her short onlineclasses for writers intense with plenty of personal feedback. Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, Writing about Mag
Rather than drone on about how edits on The Unfinished Song: Sacrifice are going (except to say they are indeed ongoing), I thought I'd let you have a peak at my next project-in-progress. This is going to be a military hard sf series called STRAT. On a hell world where feudal mech lords use memetic tech to imprint loyalty onto their vassals and thralls, all Charlie and his people ask is to be left alone, free to think for themselves. Then, on his wedding day, Charlie's bride is kidnapped to be a thrall. As he fights for his life and her freedom, he discovers the war helm of an ancient and powerful lord. He needs the knowledge in the helm to bring the battle to his enemies. But if he uses it, he risks losing himself... I'm going to release it in novella-lenth episodes of about 25,000-35,000 words each. Charlie is gonna fight in a lot of wars, and each episode will cover one war. I'll start with a trilogy and may expand from there.
Squeeeeeeeeee! *ok, fan girl glee that my book is parallel to George R. R. Martin out of the way* They say it takes 1,000,000 words to become a good writer. I have written more than that... most of it so awful, dreadful and nausea-inducing that a goblin wouldn't even feed it to his mutant rat-horse. Many a day I despaired nothing I wrote would ever be worth sharing. Now, it is true, that George R.R. Martin's book is $15 and mine is free , but a lot of people must still want to read it to make it the number one downloaded epic fantasy on Amazon. And that feeling... it's just... I'm going to have a write a whole new book just to capture that feeling in words. For now, all I can say is... This picture was worth a million words.