Some Basic, Useful Scene Advice With Addendums

2 12 2023

For “One”, I suggest asking “What do my characters want to do, or are the plot needs organic to the character needs?”

“Five” is a succinct phrasing of John Irving’s advice “If you’re stuck, bring in a bear and have the characters react to it” or Hammet’s(?) famous “If your scene is going nowhere, have someone enter with a gun.”

Alternative Plot Beat Structures Based On Mood! Bet Your Ass I’m Going To Use This!

27 11 2023

Kathleen Jennings does really deep analysis of story structure. She’s had stories in Years Best anthologies, in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and is also a graphic artist of note. She seems not to worry about escalating tension so much as “what emotion does an action invoke?”

Her website is an eye-opener. She has this table of story structures based on emotional impact. Here’s the first four…

humorous sketchelements clash/conflagrationfall out
and a LOT MORE. I’m copying her table (found at the link) and using it.

The two stories I’ve submitted are on this table, which is way encouraging.

Seriously, click the link. I’ll be visiting this site often.

Got the link from Mary Berman, maker of quality fiction.

Better Self-Editing Advice From This Professional

24 11 2023
Click on the date to see the Twitter thread. This is very good advice I’m trying to implement.

World Fantasy Convention Pt 3: “Hybrid Publishing” and “The State of the Industry”

7 11 2023

This is another summary of panels at World Fantasy 2023.

“The Best of Both Worlds: Hybrid/Self-Trad Publishing” with Ginni Koch and Summer Hanford:

Ginni Koch: Go to Absolutewrite forums “Water Cooler”. I learned everything from these forums.

Summer Hanford: Pen names allow for greater flexibility in genre and voice. Reader expectations can limit an author from growing or trying different genres.

GK: Traditional publishing provides more professional, experienced resources paid by others, plus an established distribution network. Book stores still matter!

SH: Do seven months prep before self-publishing; cover, promotions, a mailing list, ARCs.

GK: Hire an editor to edit your damn book!

GK: If you have a traditional agent for your publishers, whenever you self-publish, give 5% to your agent. It will keep your agent invested in your progress.

“State of the Industry” with a representative from Knight Literary Agency:

“Publishers are looking for feel different, look different, and sound different. Translations are very popular now for that reason. If you want to get away from Amazon’s pay scales, try for audiobooks and”

World Fantasy Convention 2023, Pt 2: Writing “Do’s” With Adam Troy-Castro, Usman Malik, More

4 11 2023

With Ted Chiang, Phillip Dunlop, and a really good article by Annie Dillard.

The first panel I attended was Friday’s “The Worst Advice I Ever Received”. Translating the negative definitions were a little tricky, but here is what the panelists said THAT YOU SHOULD DO AND IS QUITE OKAY TO DO:

Adam Troy-Castro: “‘Said-Bookisms’ are OK. Use them.” (‘Said-Bookisms’ are when a character dialogue has ‘explained’ or ‘stated’ or any description of intention versus physicality. I use them sometimes to reinforce physicality, but maybe I’ll use them more).

Usman Malik: Quoting Annie Dillard’s article Write Till You Drop “You were made and sent here to give voice to your astonishment.”

Phillip Dunlop: “Never listen to your own advice.” (I phrase that often as “You got your own ass lost in the woods. To get out, get a Ranger.”)

Ted Chiang: “Writing for a living limits you.” (Meaning having to rely on writing to pay your bills urges you to write what is financially practical and stop experimenting.)

All: “Tax pros are worth the money.”

AT-C: “Do not listen to people who tell you to stop trying.”

UM: “What is ‘success’, anyway? Anyone can make salable art.”

PD: “Know your objective. Know your audience.”

AT-C: “Publishers, answer your emails.”

UM: “You can use slurs, as long as they are necessary to the plot.”

All: “There are no limits. Write your style.”

AT-C: “Editors and editorial staff are your friends. Be nice to them. Bring donuts.”

Sarcastic Writing Advice I’m Going To Use

23 10 2023

Emotion Wheel

5 10 2023

Brandon Sanderson on Epic Stakes

2 09 2023

How do you create tension in an Epic Fantasy setting? How do you build community? What is a reader’s most basic expectation? This piece on Brandon Sanderson and his surrounding industry answers all those questions.

Brandon Sanderson Is Your God | WIRED

Sensory Triggers To Prime Your Writing Brain

29 08 2023

From Holly Henderson via SFWA:

Using Sensory Triggers to Prime Your Brain for Writing – SFWA

35 Ways To Keep Your Story Short

25 08 2023