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Showing posts from September, 2013

Letting the Characters Speak

I'm terrified of rambling in stories.  Of all my pet peeves when reading, I think rambling ranks #1 or close to.  I hate it.  The long, drawn-out descriptions of nature or yet another conversation on why the hero and heroine can't be together... snooze fest.

But I think this fear of rambling has held me back in some ways.  In an effort to ensure the plot constantly moves forward I sometimes cut things a little too short.  Some description is a good thing and is possibly one of the most powerful tools a writer can use to affect the pace of their plot.

So I've been trying a new tactic lately.  I've been trying to let the characters unfold.  I figure I've been so anti-rambling that I could probably swing pretty far in the other direction and still be safe from falling into the rambling trap.

It's easier said than done.  Other than just jotting down basic, basic ideas for plot direction, I've stopped outlining.  I found that when I outline I adhered to the note…

Review of "Unyielding," short story by Shane Ward

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Summary: A battle for right, a battle for a child. One ship, two enforcers with a conflict of interest.

Review: This story wasn't really a short story in concept.  Ward presents us with the intriguing but grandiose of a ship full of humans traveling to what will be the next Earth.  Because it takes hundreds of years the occupants have formed mini economies, caste systems and, naturally, must have strict controls on how many babies get born.
Interesting, right?  Is this a short story idea?  Ehhh....
There's just too much going on.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing when you have the luxury to add layers and layers of depth to a story.  Short stories don't have room for such luxuries.  The concept presented must be simple.
I don't dish this judgement out very often but: it needs to be way longer.  I wanted the time to really hate the bad guy.   I needed to fear him before he even attacked the hero's wife.  Not oh here's the bad guy and he's done bad stuf…

Writing Every Day Continued

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I realize that in creating this post it will start to sound a bit like the journaled ravings of a woman that writes her way into madness.  But it can't be helped.

I'm now making headway on the first work I've started completely from scratch since the newly established writing every day goal.  On our last episode I was writing every day and finishing up a work I already started and outlined.

I'm not a huge fan of extremely detailed outlines as I think it sucks the fun out of writing and is unnecessary for shorter works.  But I did recognize the necessity of organizing my thoughts and staying on track.  So pre-writing-every-day I would jot down major plot point that I wanted to occur in each chapter.

And this worked quite well when I was on my Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.  With basically 48+ hours between writing sessions I needed those little reminders when I sat down at the computer to get me back into the zone.  Subtle points that I wanted to bring up more tha…

Review of "Cold," short story by Martin Pond

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Summary: No workplace relationships (they get messy). And no relationships with married men (they get messy too). Lisa broke both these rules when she met Daniel. But when their affair ends, and Lisa realises she cannot get him back, she decides to get even instead, and exacts her revenge in a series of acts that start small but quickly escalate. And as the old saying goes, revenge is a dish best served... cold.

Review: A compellingly told story marred by unlikeable characters.  But let me be clear: In general, I like the antihero types.  I think they actually end up being more interesting and complex than your regular ol' hero.  But in order to get into this type of character you have to be completely immersed in their twisted minds.
We watch as Lisa, our protagonist, changes from a semi-normal woman to bordering stalker.  But that was my problem.  She never really made it past bordering.  A plot like this can't play it safe.  What makes this type of story chilling is watching…