Showing posts from October, 2013

Why do I suck SO much?!?

E.E. Cummings dedicated his book of 70 poems, “No Thanks” to well, ‘No Thanks.’

Some argue that rejection is a part of the writing process. Personally, I've always felt rejection hinders creativity. Each and every single time I got my ‘No Thanks’ email from an editor or agent, my will to write and my fragilely accumulated self-esteem would wash away with my tears.
So when an editor replied to my full manuscript with, “yada, it’s great, yada, yada BUT…” I braced myself for the inevitable sting of rejection. And it was there. But she returned my manuscript lightly edited and gave me two pieces of advice.
Remove as many passive verbs as possible – was, were, could, should, would, etc. She mentioned an easy way to eliminate most ‘was’s is to change ‘was <>ing’ verbs to ‘<>ed’ verbs. For example: He was walking à He walkedShow don’t tell. Hrmf!
I know. I know exactly what you’re thinking with #2. Heard that before? Me too. I thought I’d done a great job of showing, not tellin…

It's already been done!

In 'The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories,' Christopher Booker explains the seven (7) basic plots all novels have (Stevens, 2006). According to Booker, no matter what you've written, your book will fall into one of these categories:
Overcoming the MonsterRags to RichesThe QuestVoyage and ReturnComedyTragedyRebirth A psychologist named Carl Gustav Jung outlined the twelve (12) common character archetypes, later known as Jungian Archetypes. According to Jung, no matter what main character you've written, if they're realistic, they will fall into one of these categories:
The innocentThe orphanThe heroThe caregiverThe explorerThe rebelThe loverThe creatorThe jesterThe sageThe magicianThe ruler By the logic of Gustav and Booker, that means there is a finite number of stories that exist, based on the main character and plot. How many, exactly? Let's do some math. Literacy and Numeracy: Together at last!

(12 archetypes) x (7 plots) = 84 story possibilities

Seems li…

Humans are parasites

This blog post of mine originally appeared on Jo-Ann Carson's Lovin' Danger Blog on October 11th, 2013. (I wish WordPress and Blogger had a reblog button that allowed for reblogging WP posts on Blogger sites - if you know how to do this, please enlighten me).

I'd like to thank Jo-Ann Carson for the opportunity to be a guest on her blog. She's a writing colleague of mine, and also happens to be my mother! Her love for books and the craft definitely inspired me to take up writing.

Humans Are Parasites:

In “The Hot Zone,” author Richard Preston makes an argument that hit me hard. He postulates viruses are a part of Mother Nature’s immune system and human are really the parasites. After all, it's only when humans try to delve into uncharted territory or cultivate pristine wilderness, that we are exposed to extremely deadly viruses, such as Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Marburg Virus and Lassa Virus (to name a few). There are other arguments for why that is, but I like P…

The crazy little things...

I've been working on the third book to the Carus series. I've had a lot of fun writing the first two books and developing the world, especially paying attention to the little details, such as how emotions smell to supernaturals. I had to create an index for myself to make sure I kept all the details straight. What did anger smell like again? Oh right, burnt cinnamon.

Now that I'm two, almost three, books deep into my world, a lot of the little details have been taken care of--ironed out, but I'm not done with introducing crazy little things. One of the ongoing themes in my books is technology, and the inability for the older supes to adapt to the ever changing tide of new products available. Andy, my main character, is one such supe, but in book three, she learns how to give specific ringtones to her personal contacts. What fun!

What type of ringtone should Wick, Tristan, Lucien and Clint get? What about her best friend, Mel? Or any of the witches, who have a hankering…

I dedicate this book to...

As I skip down the road to getting published, I keep getting ahead of myself and my proverbial feet tangle up while I think of all the little things I need to do. Who do I dedicate the book to? Who should I thank in my acknowledgements? And how do I want to fill out the cover request form? All three of these questions had me paralyzed in fear. What if I chose wrong? What if I forgot someone? What if I don't put in enough information and I hate the cover, or worse, what if I over explain and kill the artist's creative process? The cover is important, after all, and in my opinion (with no marketing background whatsoever) directly impacts sales.

But the cover information aside, the acknowledgement and dedication questions got me thinking...and as it often happens, said thinking lead to Googling. What do other people do? I went on a search to find out.

Here are some funny ones I found along my researching journey:

1. The Heart of a Goof (1926), P.G Wodehouse
"To my daughter L…