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Showing posts from August, 2013

Wave Goodbye: Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs

(Formerly a FFQ Article)


Creatures such as Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs have been popular characters and races since the dawn of the modern fantasy movement. When I mention these races, I mean Tolkien Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs. Tolkien began the era of these magnificent and sometimes terrible races. However, like any trope in any genre, they often enough become overused and begin to flood the genre. It is in times like these when they begin to fade and make their epic journey to Valinor or wherever they soon call home. It is becoming more and more visible that the races in the Tolkien tradition are making this journey.
Authors such as R.A. Salvatore have done an excellent job in reinventing the elves. The dark elves were a great addition to the fantasy genre, and characters like Drizz’t Do’Urden and Bruenor Battlehammer won’t soon be forgotten. However, other auhors like Patrick Rothfuss are using supernatural or other worldly creatures like those of the Fae that seem to be replacing the c…

Wednesday Writing - Setting in the Story

(Formerly a FFQ Article)


Setting is an often overlooked aspect of storytelling. And contrary to popular belief, setting isn't just the land that the character is standing on, the mountain view from the end of a prairie journey, or the tumultuous waves capping on a pirate ship. Setting is the foundation of every story. It sets up the history of a place, the identity of a people, and the possibilities that may come to life. In Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, he created the world to contain different people with different histories. The setting of the land includes customs, language, politics, and local trades. The Lord of the Rings had multiple races with multiple myths and legends that built the world as much as the current events did. The Elves had a history that led up to the events in the book, so did every other race in Middle Earth. The place in which a person lives is dependent on the history in which it exists. An author should remember that when they pick a certain set…

Podcasts for Beginning Writers

(Formerly a FFQ Article)

I'm currently listening to a couple different podcasts right now, The Dead Robots' Society and I Should Be Writing. Both shows give some great advice about writing, publishing, and marketing. One thing that I really like is that both shows have many episodes in which they interview authors, editors, or agents. You really get a great perspective on not only the craft of writing, but also, there is some great information about the publishing industry as a whole.
Another aspect of these shows comes in the way of networking. The hosts of the shows go to a collection of Cons (Conventions), such as DragonCon, WorldCon, BaltiCon, and many others. These are great places to meet other writers, editors, and to immerse yourself in the genre that you are interested in writing by going to panels and other events.
Podcasts are a great way to deliver information and even entertainment to the world. Using this type of platform for delivering information on the writing …

Wednesday Writing - Getting Inspiration

(Formerly a FFQ Article)

Inspiration is something that doesn't happen at will. It comes on you suddenly while driving down the road, while in the shower, out jogging, or listening to music. It just happens and no one knows when the next gust of inspiration will strike. It’s different for everyone. I get a lot of my ideas while listening to movie scores or classical music. For me, movie scores are perfect for inspiration. They are filled with emotion. I can tell what is going on in the movie from the type of music that is being played. It doesn't matter if I've seen the movie or not, I can make up a situation for that music. It’s perfect for me as a writer. Movies in general are another great source of information. Take a bit of plot from one movie or one aspect of a character and poof, a story idea or main character is born.
Like I said, inspiration, or at least its source, is going to be different for anyone. Look towards something that makes you happy, stirs your emotions…

GORGEOUS cover reveal for the Grimoire Saga by S. M. Boyce

Fantasy & paranormal novelist S. M. Boyce is releasing brand new covers for her YA Fantasy series, the Grimoire Saga. And man, are they visually stunning. Take a look!  

Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1)
Fans of The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre
---------------- Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea. Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hu…

Laying the Groundwork for Your Novel

(Formerly a FFQ Article)


The EASY (dramatic eye roll) part in the process of writing your novel is done. You've come up with the idea that has sparked your creative genius, but now what? Lots of writers have that spark of genius and that remarkable idea for the next best seller but stall because, they aren't sure how to move forward. So, what is the magical solution for writing your novel? Well, I don’t know about a magical solution, but planning goes a long way. Roz Morris writes a very informative book, NAIL YOUR NOVEL. It lays out some ways to help focus your creative information through organization and some very easy and helpful strategies.
Every writer has their own strategy when it comes to writing. Some people, also known as pantser, just sit down with their idea and start plugging away at the keys and let the story take them where it will. Others, myself included, need a little more structure and foresight to successfully bring a novel from initial spark to joyous conc…

Wednesday Writing - Genre's Effect on Your Story

(Formerly a FFQ Article)

What is the importance of genre when it comes to your writing? It kind of depends on your take on writing. Do you have the genre already established when you sit down to write? I normally do have a genre in mind when the story planning stage begins. While I think it is important to establish genre early, it isn't a writing law to do so.
Knowing the genre up front provides you with guidelines to the story you’re writing. Fantasy has some rules that normally are followed within its boundaries. Romance has rules that make it romance. Each genre has some sort of rule or rules that define it as a specific genre. The rules are there for a reason and help readers to correspond your story to that genre. However, it is important to understand that some rules can be broken if you understand what the rules are and how they work.
Some writer’s simply start typing and let the story decide the genre. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a more all-natural form of genre f…

Hemingway's Iceberg Theory by Kelli Beck

“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured, or well-bred, is merely a popinjay.”  Ernest Hemingway

Everything that you don’t say in a story makes what you do say all the more powerful.   For instance, the reader doesn't need to be told that Beth Anne is scared.  The reader picks that up by her mannerisms, the way she’s breathing, what she says.  It’s a cop-out and an insult to the reader to come right out and say, “Beth Anne was scared,” especially when the scene being built…