How Strong Is Your Protagonist?

3 01 2017

Have a look at Fiction University’s checklist and find out.





Writer Advice: Tastes and Smells

27 09 2016

You can tell an experienced writer by the sensory detail. New writers concentrate on action. Over time, writers will add how things look and sound, then progress to hearts pounding against ribs and other physical sensations, then to how they taste and smell. The proper use of flavors and smells can evoke strong emotion.

I did not create these tools, as you can see. I am anxious to use these tools and will let you know what kind of response I get.

scaa_flavorwheel-01-18-15smells





Writers: “Start Small, Then You Build”

4 09 2016

 

Here’s a feller who invokes Pixar and Hugh Howey to let you know:

  1. Enovels don’t need to be all that big no matter the genre
  2. Take your time with your ideas
  3. Redraft and redraft. There are award-winning professionals who start with neat ideas, but do not put the work in on polishing.
  4. Will I say any names? If I get annoyed enough one day I just might.




Story Prompts: Megadeath to Survival

15 08 2016

A star gone supernova 4000 years ago could scorch a hemisphere in the next minute with very little warning. Old news for astronomers and the paranoid. What would that be like having everything going up in toast where you are right now? How about now? Now?

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What if you had been in a parking garage? How would you live once you saw what happend? After a year, everything would start growing back and the rest of the world would only start on the fringes of the Doom Zone. Memorize these videos. The lack of narration makes them strangely restful.

 

Scavaging for civilization would be deadly dangerous. Identifying warning logos would have been burnt away. The rewards for finding the correct gasses would be great as they could be used for everything from air conditioning to fuel to weapons against rival gangs. Here’s a fellow who knows all of the uses at “Things I Won’t Work With”. Touch the deadly molecule to learn more.

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More Story Prompts and Resources

29 06 2016

Dan Brown is paying to have one-of-a-kind esoteric volumes digitized for the internet. Click the picture to learn more. Prompt: What the hell is the green crap these guys are eating? Why?

polyglot-bibble_e_tp_c_342mb-copy-e1466606424999

beyond

Wonder what the Koran really says? Wonder about Jainism, Sikhism, Discordianism, Swedenborgism, or the SubGenius Manifesto? Try Sacred-Texts.com. Click the guy giving the moon to the sun. Prompt: Now that he can see beyond, what will this lad do? Why?

newblue

This blue hurts to look at. Friggin’ blue powder, just sitting there being smug. Scientists found this pigment by accident. Prompt: Did it want to be found? What will it do now that it’s going to be used by art school students?

Click this painful bastard and learn what science meddled with this time.

 

 





Famous Writing Advice With My Addendums

21 06 2016

Write what you know. Your life is a great place to start. You have something you are doing that no one else knows about, like a job or location or life challenge. Start there.

Write what you know. Be sure to talk to lots of people so you know more.

Write what you know. So write about monsters you invent, because who’s going to argue?

Monsters shouldn’t glitter unless they kill people with glitter.

Write things that would embarass your mother. This may not work if your mom likes the Kardashians. If your mother has no shame, try for “dismay” or “repulse”.

The best subtext is unintentional. That is, if you write to convey a message, that message will consume everything — characters, plot, and eventually your ability to interest others. Those you wish to persuade will dismiss you for preaching and those who agree with you will think you’re a dilletente and ignore you. Write your story. If you realize, hey, this story is awkward and makes me look nuts, then work with that. Embrace it. There is a market filled with people who are also awkward and nuts.

Remove as much as possible from your story, especially if you’ve seen it before in other stories. That goes double if you are writing a pastiche or a monster that’s been done.

Writing is not theraputic. Speaking with a cleric, health professional, or mature friend is theraputic. Writing can improve you the writer if you write with the idea that you the writer are wrong and have been for many years. That is “cathartic”. You may have a really good story when you’re done, too.

If you wish to inspire with your writing, make sure your conflicts and antogonist are treated with respect.

Everyone disagrees. Even twins disagree. In theory, clones raised in identical circumstances would disagree. Your character has to do impress you and also make you facepalm.

Even locations have character arcs. Game of Thrones wouldn’t have worked in a thriving, newly born empire. If Salem’s Lot had been a vitalized town filling with immigrants or yuppies, Barlow would have been burned before his antique store opened.

 





Hero’s Journey and The Plot To Romance Stories…Now In Handy Charts!

24 09 2015

I do not own or take credit for these handy reference tools. I was a sap and did not note from where I had downloaded them. But these are quite useful for those who wish to do the Epic Fantasy or to do the Romance Plot in their books. Myself, I am going back to the first novel I wrote (tried to self-publish before Smashwords or Amazon Publishing was available; expensive and frustrating. Then I tried to outsmart the market by using a distinctive cover that was black-and-white with a complex pen-and-ink portrait. This is how I learned I CANNOT OUTSMART THINGS.).

Hero's Journey

Romance Plot

 

 

 





The One Piece of Advice That Made Me A Better Writer

9 07 2015

Is not about writing. It’s about pride in your work and the threshold of what you will do for your work.
This advice made me send my work to loftier markets, where I was surprised to be accepted. This advice forced me to up my game and not be comfortable with my current skills. This advice found me friends and advisers of high caliber, who have done more and who know more. Editors, pro writers, semi-pro writers all follow this advice.
What small success I have had I owe to this:

Do not work for free. Yes, “for exposure” counts as “free”.





I Have To Kill A Character! How Do I Tell The Kids?

10 06 2015

I’ve mentioned Unreality Mag before. Here is an older article I came across with advice on giving your characters to a nice farm family where they have lots of room to run and have other characters to play with.

Can you imagine if Martin did that on Game of Thrones? “Joffrey’s got his own yard by a lake where he can chase rabbits and geese and romp with other Grimdark psychopath royalty.”





Super Short Story Formula! This Is Boss and Should Be Read!

26 04 2015

How to write a short story from author Vylar Kaftan!








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