Here’s something that I’ve been struggling with for always because I, like a normal human being, struggle with the dreaded Writer’s Block from time to time.
Writer’s Block (I capitalize it because it’s its own entity at this point that shoves my head down in a cotton-filled well where I can neither think nor create) can transform into something even nastier when unchecked – Creator’s Block. Creator’s Block is something that we all grapple with, whether we call it that or not. Most often, unless we’re just inhuman, it nails us to the floor and doesn’t let out of its choke hold until one day it just vanishes. Continue reading “How to Work Through the Funk”
So you’ve labored to get into the thick of it all. You got through that underbrush. You and your characters are covered in scrapes and bruises and probably a headache not to be matched by any hangover. And then, you see it – the light at the end of the tunnel. The End…
But then you realize, “Shit. I still have to edit this.”
Never fear, Selene is here.
Continue reading “Tips for Fiction Writing (Part Five) – The End and Editing”
Fragments, Recovered is a poetry book coming up for publication within the next month or two that focuses on loving women, loving men, and loving life in a way that borrows from new and old traditions. It also features art of my own as well as art from my personal friends and contributors.
The poetry book is finally finished as far as the actual writing of it all, meaning that somehow over the last few months, I’ve cranked out a hundred poems all at or under 140 characters. Yes, you read that right.
This book of poems, titled Fragments, Recovered, is a book of poems exploring the visual nature of poetry as well as mushing together Free Use material (I double checked all of my sources, and they’re included in the back of the book) with my own poetry and word choices. I figured if Billy Boy Shakespeare can do it, why can’t I? Copyright Laws usually… But, this book features fragments (you see what I did there) of Sappho, Ovid, Amy Lowell, Spenser, and many more, all published before 1923 or that fall in that weird time period before semi-permanent copyright that lasts for a billion years where people had to renew their copyrights and then didn’t do it.
The projected publish date is fast and loose, but I expect to be putting it up in the next… month or two? Hopefully.
This, like Songs of the Old Gods (which I’m still working on), will be published on Kindle Direct Publishing! I’m debating on price, but it’s safe to say that it’ll be a little more than the novels – probably 12-15 USD.
Here are a few illustration examples thanks to my dear friend Alexi also found on Twitter!
“Here’s a question for you, Doctor of Love and Sentinel of the Scribe. I have the beginning of my story all fleshed out, from character origins and personalities to how they meet. I’ve got a decent end in mind. I know what their main objective will be … although I don’t know how they’ll accomplish it. How in the world do i write the middle?” –Mystified in the Midlands
It looks like I had definitely misunderstood some of the major concerns of fiction writing, but that’s what we’re all here for. We’re here to learn from each other and to grow. (That’s foreshadowing for the whole post, by the way.) And you’re in luck! While Parts One and Two focus on other things, this post and Part Three deal with plot.
The bad wiggly middle is always something that can make me put down a book or a series and never pick it back up. Some middles “sag” and others just seem to drone on forever (I’m looking at you The Gunslinger, which I loved but hated because of its middle). Here’s some ways to not only make a middle but prop up a middle like a good bra.
To fully explain a few different ways, I’m going back to a book I mentioned at the beginning of the series – The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass – and a couple different posts from writing blogs and whatnot to give you a bunch of different ideas.
Continue reading “Tips for Fiction Writing (Part Four) – Plot 2.0 – Midlands or Badlands?”
“Love Doctor, can you tell me how to take my story bits and make it something more cohesive? –Plotless in Portland”
Okay, I realize that in Part One and Part Two, I gloss over plot, which I foolishly assumed is natural to everyone, and that’s my bad. I was starting with the assumption that the plot had been developed prior to writing, but there are stories that creep up on us when we aren’t expecting it and manifest themselves in little snippets of daydream. I find myself doing that with my own stories frequently.
Having story bits without having a full story outline (a plot, as the cool kids call it) is a bit like having decorations and icing made before you’ve ever even gotten the recipe for the cake you’re making. It seems out of order, but it isn’t detrimental. You just need to put those little decorations on the back burner for a while and then see how they fit into your tale.
Continue reading “Tips for Fiction Writing (Part Three) – Plot???”
This is going off of this last post that I made Tips for Fiction Writing (Part One of Many Probably) – Starting Your Novel.
Now, I know you’re thinking, “But Love Doctor, you haven’t told us shit!”
That’s why this is multi-part. This post is going to address some of the actual writing aspects of your novel, which is not to say that I’m going to tell you that this is the only way of doing things because it sure as fuck isn’t. This post is mostly about the bullshit argument about “showing vs. telling” since that’s the Big Hot Topic since the 50s and been misinterpreted by literally every since creative writing professor I’ve ever talked to.
I talked a lot about opening dos and don’ts in the last post, but I’m going to talk a bit about something super applicable to all forms here – the problem with exposition walls. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You’re in the middle of a book that’s pretty reasonable, and then, it happens. You end up reading four pages about a wedding cake you care nothing about because it doesn’t even really have any symbolic value. You’re just stuck in four pages of cake hell, and all it’s really doing is making you hungry and pissed off. So you skip a few pages of it to get past it, and suddenly you’re balls deep into a fight scene? How did this happen??? You know what happened.
Continue reading “Tips for Fiction Writing (Part Two) – The Writing of It All”
“Love Doctor, I wanted to ask you, and you probably get this a lot, but do you have any tips for fiction writing? –internetnawab”
OH DO I……. Since I have so many thoughts about this, I figure this will be a multi-part track that wraps up with a post linking to other good advice and whatnot.
I’ve been here more than once. How do I start? (for starters) *Shia LaBeouf voice* JUST DO IT.
Seriously. 100% serious. Just start writing something. Don’t wait for the Perfect Beginning™. All you have to do is start somewhere.
Okay, reality check time, I guess. Sure, you might have snatches of daydream here and there (excellent! Write. It. Down.), but more often than not, you want to get a feel for your characters before you do any sort of serious writing (or daydreaming) because, let’s be honest, your characters are going to drive your story more than any intentional plot. Besides, almost everyone knows how to write a plot. Reading anything has given you a sense of what plots are like. You don’t really need advice on plots themselves, but what people, in general, need most advice about it how to facilitate that plot. Which, might I say, is absolutely through good and proper character development.
Okay, Selene, where do I start?
Continue reading “Tips for Fiction Writing (Part One of many, probably) – Starting Your Novel”
“Dear Love Doctor, Could you write something about possessives with names ending in “s”? For example, I’ve seen both “James’ car” and “James’s car” in print, and nobody seems to know which, if either is right. –Possessively Challenged in Virginia”
Never fear, Selene is here.
Continue reading “Possessive Apostrophes?”
We’ve all been there where we’re neck deep in the middle of a book or story or fic with pretty decent prose and then WHAM. You’re hit in the face with someone’s Meat Thermometer or Throbbing Special Zone, which is fucking ridiculous, honestly.
From the infamous My Immortal on fanfiction.net (which is infamous for tons of reasons) to Fifty Shades of Inaccurate by E.L. James, we see more and more bad sex scenes being written every day. Literary Review has an annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award (this year’s award) for terribly written sex scenes in “an otherwise good novel.” These are all exemplary of the phrase “to breast down boobily” with absolutely no regard to how bodies, minds, and activities actually work. All this to say, I’ve seen better sex scenes from virginal teens than fully grown adults.
Not all of us can be the next Chuck Tingle, and I get that (though it’s incredibly unfortunate). But I will discuss a few ways to make your sex not so… sticky. Slimy. Bad. Flat Out Wrong and Unrealistic.
Continue reading “So You Want to Write a Sex Scene”