Archive for the ‘On Writing’ Category

dice

Roleplay, if you are into it, and you’ve got a like-minded partner(s)  can add a bit of variety to the bedroom- Wait. No, this isn’t that article. Whoops.

 

Right, back on track then.

 

What I meant to say is that playing role-playing games is good for you as a writer. I’m not talking about computer games either (though they can be useful in other ways, especially when looked at as a piece of media and you want to parse out the character and story elements), but the old pen and paper games where you get together with a bunch of friends, get a bunch of dice and go on and adventure together. (more…)

query letter

 

The submission process can be a daunting one, even for veteran writers. You’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into a piece, and now you are sending it out into the great wide world. It doesn’t matter if it’s a poem to an online journal, a non-fiction piece, a short story, or a manuscript submission to an agent; you are opening your writing up to a larger world, and what’s worse, rejection. (more…)

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…)

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.

A Lesson Learned

Posted: March 24, 2014 in On Writing

I tend to be one of those people who writes something, maybe spends a small amount of time editing, sends it to some friends, and promptly moves on to the next thing.

That’s a great thing… if all you ever want is for your friends to read you. I’m starting to move past that though, have been submitting to more places, looking for more places to get paid for my writing, and in general working hard to turn in my amateur card.

I’m writing more, and more consistently. Not every day, to be sure, but writing all the same. I’m averaging about one short a week, and, this the good thing, expanding my audience. I’m not in a position to win any awards to be sure and definitely not ready to quit looking for  day job so I can focus on writing all of the time, but it’s moving along the continuum from “I write occassionally” to “I am a writer.”

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