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show, don't tell

I am in need of some solid direction on the whole showing, not telling thing.  Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages has done a better job of letting me grasp this concept than anything else I've come across but it's probably my weakest point as a writer, not because I can't do it - because I suspect I could - but because I just can't get it.

Any good tutorials on the Web about this sort of thing?


And, I'm not done writing for the night but here's a status update. Moving right along and all that.

I've also set a tentative deadline for myself of May 18 to complete the first draft of the book.  My hope is to have it completed long before this but there are some potential life changes coming up that I will talk about later and if they happen, my time will be significantly restricted in the coming month or two.

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i hate subject lines

I hate them. I can never think of one.


Why is it that it never starts raining hard until I get to where I'm going and will have to get out of the car?  It was drizzling as I drove to work.  As soon as I'm about to turn into the parking lot, it's pouring. 

Here's to hoping that getting published isn't about luck, because if it was ... I might as well quit now.

In other news, I'm actually making progress on Immortal Sin, despite the growing desire to work on my other idea.

That desire is stemmed slightly in that I'm getting the feeling that the book I'm currently reading, Bitten (Kelley Armstrong) is very similar to the plot I'd planned out for my next project.  My MC is very different, though, and I have some things planned that will help differentiate.

We shall see.

Immortal Sin
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office = relaxation ... ?

I've decided I'm really not cut out for a normal working life.  I'm too much of a night owl

I could easily sleep til noon and work a three to midnight shift.  However, my industry doesn't function in that capacity.

Like, my manager had something I needed for work today and I couldn't get my hands on it until 7 oclock tonight.  So I left work halfway through the day and ran errands (like driving back to Massachusetts to pay my damned car loan because it's the only thing I can't pay electronically and I perpetually forget to mail the check on time), and now at 8:30 I'm back at work, in jeans and sweatshirt, drinking coffee and listening to my ipod.

And I have no problems with sitting in my office at this time.  None whatsoever.

All the more reason I need to hit it big with writing and then I can set my own hours.

*end delusions now*


cliched plot twists

Shanna Swendson posted in her LJ about how George Lucas seemingly ruined that classic plot twist wherein "the hero and the villain turn out to be related."

That got me thinking.

No secret that I've written plenty of fanfiction and the fact that the majority of said fanfic was written in the Star Wars universe makes this issue near and dear to my heart.  It also brought to mind a bigger issue I've seen touched on in myriad discussions of Mary Sues all across the internet.

One of the biggest flags for a Mary Sue (in fanfic) is that the character is related to a canon character.

And in how many of those Sue-driven fics does this familial relationship suddenly become exposed in some oh-so-dramatic fashion?

I think that's what does it for me when I'm reading something.  I have no problem with, in purely original works, two characters being related.  I don't even care if they're, for whatever reasons, on opposite sides.  But when you have the big revelation halfway through the book, and it's news to at least one, if not both, of the characters, then I'm rolling my eyes.

When is it okay to have characters, particularly enemies, turn out to be related? 

I'm wary of dismissing the idea entirely because, as Shanna writes, it's a great thing to play with.  There's a ton of possibility for character development within this sort of plot twist.  Parent/Child relationships are some of the most complicated you can write, I think, because how often do parents and kids (particularly kids) really understand each other?  A sudden revelation adds another layer (or ten) on top of that and provides great angst potential.

Soooo.... has anyone read anything wherein the hero and villain turn out to be related that didn't make you roll your eyes and think "That's not true; that's impossible!" 

(For the record, Luke's face there never fails to make me cringe)

30 Days of Night

I haven't seen this movie and, though I'm not generally a horror fan, I want to.  I don't know the ratings it's gotten but one thing struck me about the movie from the first time I saw the preview.

A new twist on an old storyline.

I've read a number of agents saying that they're not interested in vampire stories because the ideas have been done to death.

But this idea just seemed so cool to me.  Not all vamp lore is the same, and I know this doesn't hold true in the Supernatural realm, but generally speaking a vampire's greatest weakness is sunlight.  Exposed to sunlight, they turn to dust.  Even in Supernatural, where sunlight doesn't kill a vamp, it hurts like hell.

How many movies have had a vamp die, or have the hero/heroine be saved because the sun comes up?  In so many movies and books, it could be as *simple* (if surviving a blood-sucking vamp could ever be called simple) as trying to last until sunrise.

This movie takes that away.  This Alaska town doesn't see sun for thirty days.  What better setting for a vampire movie?

Again, I haven't seen it and I don't know how well the idea was executed, but it just struck me as an example that even ideas that have been done to death can have a new spin put on them.

i remembered how to work the vacuum

If I didn't have fifty million other things to do right now, I'd go looking for some quote about how a clean house calms the mind or an organized house symbolizes an organized life.

And then I'd laugh about what a lie it is.

Didn't get a whole lot of writing done over the weekend... well, I got about a thousand words done on Saturday and a couple hundred Sunday, but I have a halfway-clean house.  The kitchen is clean, and my work area, and the dining room save for the dining table being a mess because things like sheets that have been washed but not folded (because who has time to fold laundry??) and junk mail end up there.  And while it is refreshing to not see clumps of fur or sprinkles of kitty litter (because I have three cats and somehow they never learned to wipe their feet on the little mat that sits under their litter boxes) on the floor, it doesn't do a whole lot for making me feel like my life is organized.

Eh.  I'm pretty sure if I googled hard enough I'd find some quote about disorganization feeding the creative mind, and that I could use to reassure myself.


*peaks out from under her rock*

Soooo, since it's only been about 6 months since I last posted to this blog, I thought it might be time to get it up and running again. 

I've started work on yet another new original, something that falls into the urban fantasy genre.

I might post snippets from either the prologue (the discussion of whether prologues should be included in a first novel, or even should ever be written period, is a topic for another post) or the first chapter sometime in the relatively near future.

I hope.

Actually, I'm really just hoping to remember to post to this at all.

Right now, though, I'm curious.  As I mentioned, my current project falls into the urban fantasy genre.  I've been reading a lot of urban fantasy lately, particularly Rachel Vincent, Kim Harrison, and Patricia Briggs.  The fantasy shelves are fairly full but it seems to me that there's more high fantasy than urban.  Do any of you read urban fantasy?  Is it just a fad, like chick lit, or is it going to stick around for awhile?

Not that chick lit doesn't still sell, but it certainly doesn't move like it did in the aftermath of Bridget Jones' Diary.

And I'm not asking this because I'm questioning whether I should write an urban fantasy; I know better than to let fads guide my pen.  I'm just curious what y'all think.

Happy 21st, Ev

Happy 21st, Evan. 

I know you can't read this, wherever you are, but we're proud of you.


Rest in Peace, Jeremy Bouffard

I wish I'd known you better.  My heart goes out to you, Molly and Meagan, and the rest of your family.

High School


Passports & automated phone lines

I need to get a passport for next Sunday.

Can someone explain to me how an automated appointment line can be too busy to connect?


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December 2008


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