The TARDIS is, after all, the Doctor’s ‘Thing’. It’s what makes him stand out as a truly unique character. Many characters in fiction have travelled through time and space; many are aliens; many speak in BBC English but no one else has a space/time capsule disguised as a British police box. If anyone did, we would all cry ‘Plagiarism! A space/time travelling police box is the Doctor’s Thing!’ Almost all of the most memorable characters in fiction have a Thing. It might be a physical object they carry, something they wear or perhaps even something they simply say. When one thinks of James Bond, we imagine a man who carries a Beretta 418 (though in reality, he did occasionally use other weapons) and drinks vodka martinis, shaken not stirred. Batman dresses like bat, drives a Batmobile and operates from a Batcave; no prizes for guessing what his thing is. Even characters from history are often assigned Things that make them recognisable when they are portrayed on stage or on film today. For example, one of the first plays I recall ever seeing included a portrayal of Henry XIII, who spent most of the play munching a turkey leg.Your Character’s “Thing”
This is a scheduled post and I will answer any comments tomorrow.
Recently I read a blog from a self-published author who was thrilled to bits to gain a publishing deal. She had signed the rights to her book over to the publisher, and of course now looked forward to the royalties from many future sales.
However, I’ve been on a steep learning curve over the past 8 years regarding the integrity of small publishers. In order to satisfy my own curiosity I went on to Google and typed in ‘Writer Beware‘ and the name of the lady’s publisher. As I suspected, there were many complaints about this particular publisher regarding the amount of ‘set up fees’ needed and the lack of any royalties.
I’m sure most of us have been taken in by small publishers at one time or another at the beginning of our writing careers…
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Hi, SEers. Mae here today for my first post of 2021! I hope all of you had a spectacular New Year. Let’s hope 2021 is going to be FAR BETTER than the wretched mess that was 2020.
I’m going to start this post with a question, and it may seem like a strange one given we’re talking about new beginnings, but—how long do you stick with a problem WIP before abandoning it for greener pastures?
We’re all acquainted with the first flush of love for a new project—the excitement of jotting notes, working up character profiles, and choosing our setting. If you’re a plotter, you’ve worked out all, or most of, the details. If you a panster or planster, you have a general idea of where your novel is headed. Either way, you start with a bang like a racehorse bursting from the starting gate.
And… you’re off!
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His heart raced as he knelt and gazed up at the object of his affection, at the woman who had won his heart, and as he pulled out the small object she’d noticed hidden in his pocket, he hoped she would not object to the question he was about to ask.
This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “object”:
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I’m in a cliché sort of mood today and since I don’t want to burden thenovel I intend to work on this afternoon with clichés, I’m afraid I’m going to burden youwith them instead. Behold,myTen Writing Commandments,
predictably humorously written in a crude approximation of ‘King James English’ and with helpful expositions of each rule.
Most of these rules are as old as the hills and are probably familiar to you. I am not, for one second, claiming tohave invented any of these rules.However, thisisacompilation of ten writing precepts, from a variety of sources, that I have found to be particularly useful to me.I should add thatthe expositionsI have included are allmy own.
So, without further ado…
1. Thou shalt show; thou shalt not tell.
This is what separates quality prose from a technical manual. Allow me to demonstrate with an excerpt…
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2020 was a terrible year in so many ways. But one group seems to have thrived: the scammer community.
Publishing scammers are everywhere now. I hear about new ones every week, each more heartbreaking than the one before. And more outrageous.
on Live Write Thrive:
Anton Chekhov wrote: “My country house is full of people, they never leave me alone; if only they would go away I could be a good writer.”
I bet you have your own “if only …” sentence that tells why you haven’t reached your writing goals.
Mine change from time to time. “If only I was more knowledgeable about this topic, I would feel confident enough to finish this novel” (my present “if only”). “If only I wasn’t so easily distracted” … “If only I felt more motivated” …
I’ll tell you one thing that does help me break through my “if only” dilemma, and that’s working on something I’m really excited about.
on Just Publishing Advice:
Succeeding at self-publishing, gaining readers, and selling books are not easy tasks. However, some of the self-publishing mistakes new authors often make can make success even more difficult.
If you avoid making the following mistakes, you will give your book a much better chance of success.
For new authors, you need to change your mindset from being a writer and to start thinking like a publisher.
What can you do to avoid making mistakes?
Ciao, SEers. I’m back again to talk about story structure (admittedly an obsession of mine).
Love him or hate him, one of the twentieth centuries most influential and prolific authors was Kurt Vonnegut. Though he studied at some of our nation’s finest institutions (including my alma mater), he never studied writing. And when he wrote his thesis for his master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago, it was initially rejected.
Why am I telling you this?
One, to tell you to keep at it. Because years later, his thesis was accepted. Eventually, hard work pays off.
And two, because even though Vonnegut didn’t study writing, he was a master of the craft because he studied people. And you can’t write good fiction without knowing people.
Vonnegut posited there are five basic types of story structures: Man in Hole, Boy Meets Girl, Cinderella, From Bad to Worse…
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