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Re: Adventures in Writing Well an agent enjoyed my novel partial (3 chapters) and requested I send in the full manuscript.
*watches email for next few weeks/months* *refreshes* *sighs*

May 29, 2015, 03:04:42 PM
Re: Favorite part of writing fantasy?
Describing the fantastic is absolutely my favourite part.

The book said we would see nokken this night, and we did. They came as expected, beautiful white horses stampeding towards us, backed by the thrill of violins played by unseen hands. I was expert now and between us the chatter of our rifles soon stilled the hoofbeats of those devilish shapechangers. I saw only one change; a nokken that reared up in front of Mama, scorpion tail erupting from its back as its front legs melted and thickened into chitinous plates. Mama’s rifle laid it to rest with a bullet to the heart. She never even blinked.

I just adore writing stuff like the above and honing it and honing it until it sounds just right (for me). I'm not sure there's any other genre that I could indulge in like this.

^ That passage is kind of... creepy, and cool. Very cool.

November 10, 2015, 08:40:24 PM
Re: Questions for super star Jen Williams?
Jen (@sennydreadful), if Marc doesn't select all these questions for his big interview, you still have to come here and reply to the missing ones ;)

I just tell you this: "yay, Rey!" ;D

I certainly will! :D

February 05, 2016, 09:11:56 AM
Re: Adventures in Writing
My latest adventures...

Sold the last story I was discussing - Mother Salt and her Sisters -  to Fantasy Scroll Magazine. Should be out sometime this year.

Had The Magician's Whisper get through to the 2nd round at Clarkesworld before being rejected. That's in slush somewhere else now. It's been rejected by 6-7 top tier markets but I really think it has something.

Have The Moonlight Circus story with Apex. It's past slush and sitting at number 6 in the queue so I presume I'll hear something over the next week. The wait is killing me!

Struggling to maintain any focus on new stories or The Novel at the moment. The last month or so has been so full on I've lost a little direction with my writing.

Good news! :) Well done on selling to Fantasy Scroll Magazine and fingers crossed for the other two stories! Getting to the second round of Clarkesworld does mean it has something, and was probably just not quite right for them at that time.

February 08, 2016, 10:22:26 AM
Re: Adventures in Writing Good stuff, @JRTroughton!
February 08, 2016, 06:54:10 PM
Re: Why Do You Want to be an Author? Nobody writes the stuff I want to read.
March 25, 2016, 10:51:41 PM
Re: Work Critiqued? I get over book critic with a little heart ache and a sigh, because it's not the same as having your parent refusing to get you piano lessons because they dim you too bird brained to go through learning scales, and that's the kind of father I had, so a little constructive criticism ain't gonna make me cry.

And I sure hope that I use it to make my work better. What's the point of seeking critic at all if you're not trying to use it? Either you ask for critic to use, or you cruise by yourself and risk it all. Editors/publishers would be the potential wall of critic that you can bypass, I imagine, not that I've reached a level where my work gets this much attention.

April 04, 2016, 03:17:29 PM
Re: Work Critiqued? I think the key to accepting critiques (good or bad) is removing your ego from your work. I remember when I first started getting my stories critiqued probably ... 20 years ago now? I was ready for my writer's group to tell me how amazing my work was. I was lucky enough to be part of a writer's group with much more experienced writers, and the first time I brought in my perfect, amazing story that was lovely in every way - they called out a ton of problems.

Initially, my reaction was shock and disappointment. My story was perfect! How can you dislike it? But as I got better at listening to critiques and saw that my stories were becoming BETTER thanks to feedback, my feeling disappointment over people not liking every aspect of my stories began to be replaced with gratitude for how my work improved. I doubt I would have ever started selling stories, or be as comfortable writing as I am now, without people pointing out the tons of places where I could become a better writer.

Also, if that doesn't get through less than positive reviews or critiques (which you should always learn from) the other thing to remember is that entertainment is subjective. There are people who think Harry Potter is tripe and Game of Thrones is bloated and terrible. Not everyone is going to like everything, and that's especially true of your own work.

To give you an example? My first book has been fairly well reviewed, and a lot of people have liked it. But some don't.

Here's an example of a positive review for my first book:

I laughed at this book. I cursed at this book. I sighed in frustration and mentally beat my head against a wall at this book. Basically, against the type of books I normally read, it was a good book. For a fantasy book? Its the best I’ve read in several years.

And here's an example of a negative review of my first book:

A friend dropped a book off for me today and I thought I'd quickly finish this and see if there were any redeeming features, but when I saw I still had an hour to go, I couldn't do it. I did finish 75% and honestly it just got worse as I read on...never have I read a book so filled with action which was so boring. I just couldn't care less...way too many wacky machinations and the charcters are 1 dimensional at best.

Like ... ouch. I'm a terrible writer. I can never write again! :0

Not everyone is ever going to like all your stuff. If that's going to bother you, you're going to have a rough time as a writer.

If you want an even more basic example, imagine telling a joke to your friends. Not every joke is going to make them laugh, and they're going to hate some of them. But that doesn't mean you should stop telling jokes! And even negative feedback (in most cases, at least) offers clues to how you can improve.

April 04, 2016, 03:22:43 PM
Re: Work Critiqued? I enjoyed reading the bashings I received more than the praise, actually. Maybe I'm a bit of a masochist, though. But bad critiques help you more, I believe, unless you get discouraged really easy.

It does have a... curious feeling, for lack of a better word, when you read your piece later and realize "I don't think this part of that is actually good" or "wow, this was actually bad", then someone comes and says that too, but points it more eloquently than you could.

Also, bad parts/plot holes/mistakes in books annoy me and sometimes I talk about them with others, so if I actually do something bad like this and someone points out, I'm actually grateful for them and pissed off at myself for not noticing it. It's always striving for the better.

April 04, 2016, 03:29:46 PM
Re: Any good redrafting advice? Advance readers are, by far, my biggest guide in what to change or improve in a second draft of a novel. Especially if they've all commented on the same element or elements. Until you've had some readers or an editor sink their teeth into your novel, it's easy to fall into the trap of moving pieces around for no good reason.

If you don't have any advance readers, however, then I'd focus on the fundamentals - eliminating passive voice, looking for things you could show instead of tell, trimming words you don't need, fixing typos, and other things that will objectively improve your draft. Plot and pacing, unfortunately, is always subjective, so once you're relatively happy with what you have, second guessing yourself without outside input is inefficient.

But regardless, you have completed a novel. So congrats on that! :)

April 21, 2016, 04:10:08 PM