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Showing posts from January, 2014

Stairway to Heaven

I was feeling a bit discouraged this week.  I had been reading several posted works on Scribophile (I swear I'll stop plugging it one of these weeks) and was marveling at the skill and depth I had seen in the stories.  When I had written enough critiques to earn the points to post my own work, I posted the first chapter of my Nombie novel (I talked about some of my feedback I received last week).  I received some great feedback, some from others that I had critiqued, but I had to keep reading to get more points to continue posting chapters.  The more posts I read, the more I felt like the quality of my writing was dismally juvenile.

Granted, I wrote the majority of my Nombie novel in November of 2012, nearly a year and a half ago.  I tried to make myself feel better by thinking about how far my skill had progressed in that time.  But there was a small voice in the back of my head that asked, "Have you really gotten better?  How do you know?"

So, I wasn't feeling ve…

Utilizing Feedback

Today is Friday, there must be a post!

Last week I received some really good feedback from my chapter posted on Scribophile.  A sum total of 3,588 words as in-text critique, plus copious notes!  So I decided to pare down what I got to the basics, to find the common denominator, and make the best use of what I received.

The first is the department that was harped on the most:  line editing.  I did edit the chapter in question before posting it, but the edits I received were very detailed, and almost all of them made the passage sound better, so that was very helpful.  Here is an example of a sentence every reader wanted me to change.  After reading the first two critiques it was almost funny waiting to see what the next few had to say about it!
The bathroom mirror was greasily streaked over the sink. The options I was provided with for replacement read:
The bathroom mirror over the sink was greasily streaked. The bathroom mirror was streaked with greasy smudges. Greasy marks streaked t…

Status Report

Hello friends!

This post is kind of an update on where I am, but I will manage to wedge some encouragement and inspiration in, never fear.

Last week my blog topped 1000 views total!  This really is inaccurate because many of these views are from bots spamming my blogsite to see if it gets enough traffic to take down or to latch on to my readers, so be sure you are clearing your cookies and using security software.  But I will take my milestone any way I come by it :)

Yesterday was my birthday, and I celebrated turning a quarter of a century by doing as little as possible.  One of the presents I received from my husband is an online writing course from Gotham Writers' Workshop.  I would gush about how awesome they are, but you have the internet and I gave you the link, I believe in your ability to connect the dots.  Needless to say, I am ecstatic!

A couple weeks ago, my partner at work asked me what I thought made a good author.  He was thinking it would be something like being wel…

Tools of the Trade

Good morning friends!

Writing has been in existence long before paper and ink, and now that those tools are less productive than others available, will be around long after they fade into obscurity.  Today I'm talking about the software I use.

When I started seriously writing, I used Scrivener.  I was starting NaNoWriMo, and they had a free version to use during the month of November, so I thought, "Why not?"  And I am so glad that I downloaded it.   Scrivener is a software that allows you to word process in outline form.
You can create an outline before starting or add chapters as you go, leave the outline open in the side bar while you create your body of text, make notes in a separate column, have two different panes of text open at once, create versions of your story, and store your research all in one place.  Once you are done with your writing you can compile it into a manuscript in nearly any format you can imagine.  As a new writer, and having been bit by the pl…

Tips On Writing Speculative Fiction From OSC

Hello and Happy New Year!  This week I finished reading How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card.  While some of the information he covers is a bit dated (it was published in 1990) the book still offers some great insight on writing speculative fiction from one of the greats himself.
First, if you are not aware, speculative fiction is an umbrella that covers both sf and fantasy, as both types of stories "speculate" on what could happen in a reality that is not exactly like our own.

The book is divided into five parts.  The first is a definition of sf and fantasy, with references going all the way back to the beginning of the genres, before works we now classify separately were thought of as anything but "fiction."  Card is very thorough and gives a reading list of "the basics" which he admits is still far less than complete.

The second section of the book deals with world building.  This is not only a creation of the setting that yo…