Updates sporadically.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Don't Hobbit your readers -- how to keep interest between installments

Today I'm coming to you not as just a writer, blogger, and would-be billionaire author. I am coming to you as a reader and movie-goer with a simple plea: Don't Hobbit* your readers.

I'm not talking about The Hobbit. I'm talking about The Hobbit -- the movie(s). As part of my Christmas celebration, I went and saw The Desolation of Smaug. I have not seen the first installment of this apparent trilogy of movies. (You remember when I discussed splitting a book into multiple movies? This is not an example of a merited case.) I was told I didn't need to. They were right, this movie is a fine set up to another movie all on its own. And ... that's kind of it. It's not that nothing happens. Plenty of things are done and actions are taken. But then the whole thing, the part of the movie that the entire theater had clearly been anticipating ... doesn't happen. Not in a Breaking Dawn "let's-just-not-even-fight" kinda way. In a "let's-make-the-most-frustrating-cliffhanger-ever-MERRY-CHRISTMAS-SUCKERS" kinda way.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Writing what you don't know

Despite the torrent of angst-ridden teen writing inspired by it, "writing what you know" is, generally speaking, not bad advice. In a world of writer advice ranging from horrid to this blog (yes, I am opposed to implying humbly that this blog is a perfect 10 -- I clearly deserve it, did you notice how much effort I put into not splitting that infinitive?) this bit is more beneficial than most.

The benefit of writing what you know is that it really allows you to flower, to show off your prowess, to demonstrate your command of character and story and emotion. Writing about love is easier when you've been in love. Same for heartbreak. The same for jumping out of a plane, or strolling around London, or cooking a pheasant. When you know these things, you can talk about them with poise and eloquence and ease.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Letting it Go, featuring "Wrecking Ball"

Let's warp speed forward for this post. We're going to move past the writing, the editing, the querying, all of it. Today we're going to address how to let your novel go.

Once your novel is out there in the world, once you've released it to see how far it can fly, it's also time to relinquish your control over it. It exists now, it is its own self-contained being, and you no longer control it.

"Whoa," says you, "what are you talking about? I gave it life, I can take it away!"

Okay, so maybe I inflated your ego a bit with that whole, "Writers are Gods!" post a while back. My bad. Because actually: you're not.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Getting Past the Snorlax: Holiday Malaise and Writer's Block

Writing is hard, ya'll. So hard that I am, in fact, affecting a Southern accent to demonstrate the general malaise that has settled upon me. The aforementioned malaise is also why this post is a day late.

Whether your holidays are over or are just kicking into gear, it is pretty much universally accepted that the holidays are draining, mentally, emotionally, chronically, etc. etc. I love the holidays, don't get me wrong. But ever since there's become this expectation that I have to contribute to merriment in ways other than just showing up with an eager, smiling face the whole thing has been a lot more work and a lot less endless wonder. Who knew food didn't just appear fully cooked, amirite?

Still delicious.

What I'm getting at is that, after the frenetic go-getter-ness of November, a little bit of the magic is gone. The whirlwind of ideas and plot lines of yestermonth have been replaced by little more than intermittent thoughts passing by, "Maybe I should try to write today."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Schmantastic List of Fantasy: Fantastic-Schmantastic Holiday Reads!

Happy First Thursday! It's December, which means it's holiday month! I know it's the final day of Hanukkah today, but it's not my fault this whole holiday season is out of whack.
Not a holiday person? Happy Winter Solstice month, my friend. We (the royal We, of course) are very inclusive here at Fantasy-Schmantasy.
Growing up, I remember my favorite part of the holidays was all of the holiday stuff. The cartoons, the music, the decorations, the movies and, yes, the novels. Oh, they exist. So, without further ado, I present you:


The Schmantastic List of 5 Holiday Must-Reads

"But Blog-Lady," you ask. And btw, stop being so impertinent. It's MS. Blog-Lady. "But Ms. Blog-Lady," you ask (much better), "aren't these all going to be kiddie books? Why do I care?" First of all, shame on you for pretending that kiddie books are not awesome. Because they are. Some are about a thousand times better than the typical adult novel. And second of all -- no, they will not be all kiddie books. I'll throw a few grown up ones in just for you, Monsieur Whiny-Pants.

Also, to be up front, I only include items on these lists that I have personally read. Therefore, this list is going to be Christmas-skewed. But keep reading, anyway, it's not all Christmas here!


How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Writers: Cue the sad trombone.

November is over. My belt doesn't even have a notch that will fit my happy sweet potato and turkey stuffed belly. But there's something else I stuffed with: disappointment.

And no, not just the kind that comes along with overconsumption of holiday carbohydrates. I can't regret anything that tastes so good. No, readers and writers. My disappointment is much more apropos to this blog. I am disappointed in my word count.

The end of November didn't just mark the end to the Thanksgiving prep and the full throttle tilt into December festivities. It also marked the end of NaNoWriMo, the 30 day 50,000 word write-fest. And for the 'wrimoers that either means jubilant victory or disappointment and a sad trombone.

Personally, I only managed a anemic production of 11,000 words for the month. Allow me to be the first to say: *mwomp mwomp*.