Author has written 7 stories for General, Supernatural, Life, Action, and Romance.
I'm a twentysomething who enjoys writing both fiction and poetry. Most of my background as a writer is in short fiction, so I try to keep my stories short enough for readers to finish in one sitting. The shorter length also helps me focus more on the technical aspects of fiction writing.
FictionPress Supernatural Stories Awards: See all the nominees and nominate your favorites at http:///
Favorite Authors: Tolkien, Dostoyevsky, Dumas, Boris Pasternak, Lee Smith, Dai Sijie, Jung Chang, Gogol, Neal Stephenson, Geling Yan, Frank Herbert, Tony Hillerman, Dave Barry.
Favorite Poetry: Lorca, Wang Wei, Cai Wen, Du Fu, Li Bai, Rumi.
Best writing resources ever used: Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway (really good technical guide for writing fiction), Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens by Stephen Policoff (less technical but very good for developing creativity and style), What If? by Anne Bernays (good writing exercises).
Forum: On Writing Fiction Novels http://www.fictionpress.com/forum/On_Writing_Fiction_Novels/3179/ A great place for Q&A on the writing process.
Suggestions for Writers: I’ve noticed a few elements that differ between published works and unpublished writing (such as most of what is found on Fictionpress). Writers intent on being published at some point may want to take these into consideration.
In unpublished writing:
1)Many authors place too much focus on a character’s physical appearance. If an author gets wrapped up in what a character looks like, focusing on the exact shade of her hair or the structure of her face, other parts of the character’s development tend to be shortchanged. Generally this ends with the author becoming too focused on appearance to develop interesting, realistic interactions with other characters, and a great story disintegrates into a soap opera. The author also can become so attached to the beautiful character they’ve created that they fail to give readers other reasons for liking the character (beyond the fact that she’s pretty), which means readers have a harder time empathizing and making a connection with the story.
a. There are a lot of ways to avoid this, but the quickest is to limit character descriptions to hair and eye color unless it’s a key plot point. If a character needs to be tall so that in the middle of a climactic battle she can reach a magical amulet that no one else can get to, that’s a plot point. If a character is tall just so she can look stunning in a floor-length off-the-shoulder ball gown at a school dance, that description can be cut.
b. Also, in-depth character descriptions shouldn’t occur more than once per novel. Repeated references to a character’s long auburn locks will only become white noise as the story progresses – readers will tune them out anyway, so they might as well be cut.
2) Many authors rely on a romance between two lead characters as the only plot to move a story along. It’s great watching two characters fall in love with each other, but without a secondary plot to give them a reason to interact, readers are left watching two characters sit quietly in class together or have long conversations about how they don’t like each other until, suddenly, they do. A secondary plot gives them a reason to interact and work together and move their relationship along, whether it’s to solve a murder mystery or foil a plot to take over the world.
3)Details, details, details. A great story can get tripped up by careless details because readers will sense that something “isn’t right,” and that pulls them out of the story. If an author plans a key scene where two characters fall in love during a tennis match, it would be helpful for the author to spend a few minutes looking up how long tennis matches last, how they are scored, etc. Otherwise readers will realize that the game is too long or the characters don’t know how to swing a racket, and they will stop paying attention to the scene because the author didn’t pay attention when it was being written.
4)Many authors like to borrow characters or plots from published works that they admire, and incorporate them into their own work. Imitation is the best form of flattery, but it’s still imitation if the author lifts too much from the published work. Not only will this cause copyright issues if the author wants to be published later, but the author has given up a chance to express their own creativity. Instead of writing something that parallels an already-published work, authors can borrow elements from stories they admire and rework them into their own creations. For example, rather than writing a story about a magical high school because the author admires Harry Potter, what about writing a story about a magical trade school? Something like “Western Career College” for the magically inclined. This way, the author can still write about a magical educational environment, but the plot will follow a different trajectory and the author will have an entirely new set of issues to creatively resolve.
Reviews are both greatly appreciated and reciprocated. I can't improve as a writer unless you tell me what's working and what isn't. :-)
8/9/2012 - I know it's been a while since I last posted - changing jobs and jumping continents hasn't left much time for creativity. However, I do still check my profile and email account! Message me if you have any questions. I'm working on something new, something lighter with a couple of plot twists. Not sure when it'll be up but hopefully within the next few weeks.
9/23/09 - Apologies for the unexpected hiatus; apparently summer is the busy season at work and I was the last to find out about this. I'm back on track now, though, and will post new chapters to "Bloodborne" shortly.
6/29/09 - Still working on "Bloodborne" and posting regular updates. I expect to have it completed sometime in the next couple of months.
3/17/09 - The first draft is finished! It needs a lot of work, but the editing should go quickly since the raw material is all there. I estimate the final draft will weigh in at around 50 pages. Still aiming to have a draft ready for FP by the end of the month.
3/1/09 - The first draft of the sequel, tentatively titled "Bloodborne," is over half finished. A draft should be ready for publication on FP by the end of the month.
1/28/09 - Started working on a sequel to "The Guardian." I will start posting chapters after I have worked through a couple of complete drafts, since the plot is somewhat complicated and I want to make sure everything matches up first.
Tawny Owl (0)