He was walking home when he heard the faint cries of a cat in distress coming from a nearby park. Curious and worried, he followed the sound to a tree. Looking around, he spotted a scared kitten stuck on a low branch. He hadn’t climbed a tree in a long time, but the kitten’s plaintive cries spurred him into action. He climbed up and grabbed the kitten, then carefully made his way back down. As he reached the ground, he gave thanks that he was able to rescue the kitten and that he hadn’t had to climb very far. Otherwise, there might have been two creatures stuck up the tree in distress.
This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “distress”:
We all know how adverbs are supposedly an author’s archnemesis. They are to be avoided like, well, passive voice. We’re to go through our manuscripts, find each and every one of them, and kill them while crying out, “die, rebel scum!”
Hemingway has a lot to do with this, but so does Stephen King, with his famous quote: “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Or, as the full quote goes:
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique.
If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions.
Writers can mostly agree that writing is a time consuming process. You write a first draft, step back, revise into a second draft, send out for feedback (beta readers or developmental editor), receive and revise, send for final edits, then finally submit and (possibly change) and then publish. Whew. I get tired just writing that list.
We’re sensible indie authors, we can often sniff a scam out. But scammers are getting smarter and it’s getting harder to tell a legitimate email from a scam. In today’s Alliance of Independent Authors Watchdog post, John Doppler explains how to tell the legitimate from the scam.
Your book has been on the market for a few months now, and maybe sales are starting to lag. Then one morning, you open your inbox, and a wondrous email springs forth with a fanfare of trumpets:
This is Joseph Monicker from Reputable Press Solutions, a traditional global publisher affiliated with Penguin Random House.
We are very interested in the book that you published and we would like to help you get a contract from one of the biggest traditional publishing companies…
Because you are a wise author, you immediately suspect a scam. But how can you know for sure? Are…
She hadn’t been in a festive mood and hadn’t done any decorating all season, causing her neighbors to start calling her Scrooge. But when her soldier husband called the day before Christmas Eve and said he would be able to come home for Christmas after all, she was zealous in her efforts to get all the decorating done.
This day-late post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “zealous”:
Ciao, SEers! Back in 2018, I gave a brief overview of story middles, touching on scenes and sequels and covering the falling and rising actions before the end of the novel. Today, we’re going to get a little more in depth and talk about what makes those middles so messy and what makes those boxes so mysterious.
The middle of your novel is where fifty percent of the activity takes place. It’s bound to get messy in there, especially if you don’t have a plan or if you deviate from it. Here are some things you need to make sure you take care of that will make your character’s life messy but, if you’re careful, will keep your novel tight and tidy:
Stakes: external (physical), internal (emotional), and philosophical (beliefs and conflicts of values). Each of these need to continue to escalate.
Make characters (especially the protagonists) suffer. This…
Pursuing a career in writing comes with plenty of obstacles. Overcoming those obstacles — especially when your barriers involve other people — can be overwhelming. The stress of trying to Make Writing Happen can be draining enough to force you to consider quitting. Even though you shouldn’t!
As an early Black Friday special, I’m putting the e-book of Chronicles of Riss on sale for the low, low price of just $0.99!
Confronting evil sorcerers. Fighting monsters. Dueling metal golems. Searching for a sea monster. Hunting lost treasure. Finding a missing show dog. Competing in talent contests. Helping lost children. These are just some of the widely varied exploits that the young mercenary sorceress Marissa “Riss” Cobalt shares in this second Adventures in Sorcery book. Riss reveals how she ended up as a mercenary and chronicles some of the many adventures, ranging from fun to serious, that she’s had prior to the events of Kismet and Tell.