Archive for April, 2014

A Story So Far

Posted: April 24, 2014 in On Writing, Writer's Carnival

I’ve been writing, off and on, for most of my life.

I remember being in the first grade, being given spelling words that we were supposed to put into sentences and crafting short connected stories with them.

My first publication came in high school, writing for a small student run publication called LEGION. It was a short piece featuring a vampire. Ahem. Yes. (more…)

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The Last Assignment

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Fantasy, Fiction, horror

This week’s Wendig flash challenge. I went with the opening line “The prisoner could pass for human.” It went dark quick at the end, more so than I originally planned, I think. If you do read this, please feel free to leave a comment at the end, especially if you are visiting from terribleminds.com. I’ve noticed replies get misplaced at times.

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Swords are Overrated

Posted: April 22, 2014 in On Writing
Tags: , ,

Swords in fiction are overrated. There. I said it. They show up everywhere, being the weapon of choice for heroes and villains. Even pieces set in futuristic societies can’t escape the ubiquitous nature of the weapon.

Here’s the thing, swords were never that common. For one, they use an extraordinary amount of costly material to make. A spear with a wooden shaft, a hammer or axe with a wooden haft . Iron, and more importantly, steel, was never cheap. It requires quite a bit of specialized skill to forge a sword that will stand up to combat. It’s a time consuming process, and not something the village blacksmith is just going to be able to bang out with a bit of pig iron. To be sure, some armies were equipped with swords. The Roman Legions for example, but they are an anomaly as they were the product of a well-organized military state. The auxiliaries that fought alongside the legions? Not nearly so well equipped.

Swords require a lot of training.  It was a weapon of the warrior class, a group of individuals who were trained almost exclusively in warfare from a very young age, and not the sort of thing a commoner would ever have reason to learn.

So if not the sword, what then? (more…)

(Originally written for and posted at the Writer’s Carnival Blog on tumblr).

 

Dialogue can be one of the most daunting tasks facing a writer. How do you make it sound natural? How do you make sure the reader knows who is talking when? How do you handle multiple people involved? Do you include accents or not? (more…)

I write a lot of action scenes in my fiction, and of them, most are a fight of some kind or another. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the subject by any means, but I feel I am a well educated journeyman. Earlier this year, I took the time to write out what I felt are some important considerations when a writer sets out to depict a fight scene.

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It’s all well and good that I’m being published places like Dark Futures and Reader’s Carnival, but one only pays a token and the other only pays in exposure. The truth is, I submit to Reader’s Carnival because it ties-in to Writer’s Carnival, and as a start-up e-zine, they struggle for submissions. Speaking of, if you are looking for more of my fic, some of it is posted there as well.

I have submitted pieces to paying markets in the past, but nothing has been accepted as of yet. So one of the things I’d this weekend was take a previously rejected piece and find a new market for it. To that end, I am ever grateful for ralan.com which is a great site for finding paying spec fic markets.

I have a few other pieces sitting there, collecting the proverbial dust. My plan for the week, in addition to my usual duties over at Writer’s Carnival, is to polish at least one other piece up for submission and send it out into the wild. I understand my style of fantasy is about fifty years out of date. Seriously, does anyone want sword and sorcery style fantasy any more? It seems everyone wants the big sweeping epic these days. Ahh well. Maybe it will see a Renaissance.

This week’s Chuck Wendig challenge: Five Little Words. I went with hermit, topaz, djinn, whalebone, and orphan. More an urban fantasy piece, and surprisingly, not the first time I’ve used a curio shop as a setting. Slightly over the word count of 1k, but only just.

 

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