Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Links of Interest

MISTAKES NOT TO MAKE WHEN CONTACTING A REVIEWER:


SELF-PUBS, CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRICE  FOR YOUR BOOK:


GETTING MORE READERS ON NON-AMAZON VENDORS:


FORENSICS, WILL A CORPSE PRODUCE OR DECREASE ALCOHOL IN ITS TISSUE?


KEYWORDS, THEMES, ETC., TO SELL MORE BOOKS ON AMAZON:


GRAMMAR, THAT VS. WHICH:


THE PROS AND CONS OF SMASHWORDS:


COPYRIGHT 101:


ONE AUTHOR’S EXPERIENCE WITH NETGALLERY REVIEW SERVICE:


FLASHBACKS WHERE AND WHEN ARE THEY APPROPRIATE:


PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR HEALTH AS WELL AS YOUR WRITING, WARNING SIGNS:


LINKS TO ARTICLES ON CLICHES:


CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOU:


THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN DURING PHYSICAL FIGHTS:


REVISING TO IMPROVE PACING:


TIPS FOR PARANORMAL WRITERS:


CRIME SCENES, LIVE ACTION VICTIM TRAINING AND WHAT IT TEACHES RESPONDERS AND AUTHORS:


GRAMMAR, THE HYPHEN, DASH, AND ELLIPES:


THE FINAL  MANUSCRIPT READ THROUGH:


MANAGING YOUR SITE’S EMAIL:


20 KEY SCENES IN A ROMANCE NOVEL:


FIVE COMMON PLOT MISTAKES:


TWITTER 101 FOR WRITERS:


CREATING MOOD BY USING LIGHT AND DARK:


SPY JARGON:


FIRST PERSON, PT 2:


AVOIDING THE ANTICLIMATIC ENDING:


SEVEN KEY ELEMENTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR FIRST CHAPTER:


GENRE VS. MARKET CATEGORY:


PUBLISHING, B&N’S NEED TO CHANGE TO SURVIVE:


HOW TO WRITE ABOUT THE DISABLED:


CHOOSING THE BEST POV:


HOW TO CODE AN EBOOK:


FIVE REASONS YOUR PLOT STALLED:



Monday, August 22, 2016

On Literary Greatness

Until the last sixty years, literary permanence wasn't bestowed, it was earned by an author and a work still being read and admired after many years of being published.  

In the Sixties and beyond, critics and scholars started labeling current books as great and part of the literary canon.  Not surprisingly, the books declared great have mostly disappeared into obscurity and only those of us forced to read these "masterpieces" in graduate school still remember them.  

One major criteria of a work lasting is that one generation passes the book to another.  If the book continues to speak to that next generation, it will continue to survive.

If anything, books moving from print into the digital format will make it much easier to pass a story from generation to generation because it won't be out of print.  

~*~

On a side note, I've collected a few review quotes which have proven to be really wrong.  Here are a few:

"Sentimental rubbish... Show me one page that contains an idea.”-- Odessa Courier on Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, 1877.

"Shakespeare's name, you may depend on it, stands absurdly too high and will go down.”-- Lord Byron, 1814.

"His fame is gone out like a candle in a snuff and his memory will always stink.” -- Wm. Winstanley on Milton, 1687.

"Monsieur Flaubert is not a writer.” -- La Figaro, 1857.

"This is a book of the season only.”-- NY Herald Tribune on The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

"We do not believe in the permanence of his reputation.  Our children will wonder what their ancestors could have meant by putting Dickens at the head of the novelists of today."-- Saturday Review, 1858.

"Nothing odd will do long.  Tristam Shandy did not last.” -- Samuel Johnson in 1776 on a novel that has never gone out of print.


"The only consolation which we have in reflecting upon it is that it will never be generally read.” --J. Lorimer reviewing Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, 1847.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Links of Interest

GENERATING GREAT STORY IDEAS:


THE COPYEDITOR:


MAKING YOUR SELF-PUBBED TEXT ACCESSIBLE TO BLIND READERS:


WAYS TO IMPROVE BLOG TRAFFIC:


PROOF READING TIPS:


AGENT CLAUSES INSERTED INTO CONTRACTS TO BEWARE OF:


BEWARE OF WORDS THAT WILL DATE YOUR BOOK:


FIGURING OUT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE:


HOW TO FIND AND BE A GREAT CRITIQUE PARTNER:


CHARACTER DESCRIPTION IN MYSTERIES:


SELF-PUB BOOK PRICING STRATEGIES:


USING SLIGHT PAUSES FOR PACING:


FINDING THE RIGHT CRITIQUE PARTNER:


HOW TO LAYER SCENES IN A ROMANCE NOVEL:


WHAT MAKES YOUR PROTAG HEROIC?


IS YOUR NOVEL CHARACTER OR PLOT DRIVEN?


THE EVIL THAT IS THE DANGLING MODIFIER:


EMOTIONAL RESONANCE:


SELF-PUBS, WORKING WITH COVER AND INTERIOR DESIGNERS:


PERFECTING FIRST PERSON:


MYSTERY RESEARCH, MANHUNTS:


YOUTUBE BOOK REVIEWS:


HOW TO WRITE AN AMAZING SYNOPSIS:


THE BASICS OF DIALOGUE:


THE BALANCE BETWEEN HOOKING THE READER AND SETTING UP THE STORY:


FINDING OVERUSED WORDS:



Monday, August 15, 2016

Defining Urban Fantasy

In the late 1980s, a number of fantasy authors began to write about the various creatures and tropes of fantasy like elves, other supernatural beings, and magic in contemporary times in big cities rather than the past or in mythic places.  

The Encyclopedia of Fantasy defined these urban fantasy novels as “texts where fantasy and the mundane world interact, intersect, and interweave throughout a tale which is significantly about a real city.”
Authors like Charles de Lint created stories where the real urban world and Fairy met.  Other writers during this period include Emma Bull and Mercedes Lackey.

The heart of these stories are folkloric in tone with a sense of a fairy tale being retold in modern terms.  The language of the novels is lyrical and poetic, and events from the main characters' point of view have a sense that something may or may not be happening.

This type of urban fantasy is now called traditional urban fantasy, and a current writer is Neil Gaiman.

In the late 1990s and beyond, a different type of urban fantasy began to appear.  These novels had their basis, not from fairy tales, but from the horror and mystery genres.  Other media influences included the TV show, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.  

These contemporary urban fantasies were popularized by Laurell K. Hamilton with her Anita Blake novels.  They have a strong protagonist who has some form of supernatural power.  

The narrative is usually in first person, and the world has a strong sense of good and evil.  

The real world is the gritty reality of the big city where the natural and the supernatural mix, often to disastrous results.  The main character usually has a probable sexual and crime-solving partner who is supernatural and a forbidden sexual partner either by society’s or her/his own standards.  

The main driving plot is a mystery which the main character must solve to prevent chaos, whether it be preventing bad supernaturals from harming humans or some form of disaster from occurring.  

Most often, the main character is in law enforcement-- a police officer, a private detective, or a bounty hunter.  

Mysteries by themselves have many varieties including the cozy and the detective novel, the police procedural, the spy novel, and the thriller.  

Each type of mystery has an urban fantasy equivalent.   Here are some examples.


COZY:  An amateur detective solves a murder with minimal blood and violence involved.  (Think Miss Marple or MURDER SHE WROTE)

Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse/TRUE BLOOD novels.


PROFESSIONAL AMATEUR DETECTIVE:  A professional in a specific setting uses his insider information to solve a crime.  The Dick Francis novels about horse racing are a good example. 

Marjorie M. Liu's   "Hunter Kiss" series. The heroine's job is to kill demons, and she must solve mysteries involving them.  


POLICE PROCEDURAL: Think LAW AND ORDER or any serious cop show. 

Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson series

Anton Strout's DEAD series.  Paranormal NYC government agency which takes care of paranormal threats and covers them up. Hero Simon is an ex-thief who uses psychometry to read objects.

CE Murphy series. Shaman cop Joanne Walker.


PRIVATE EYE:  

Many of Kelley Armstrong's "The Otherworld Series."   

Kat Richardson's “Greywalker” novels.

Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files."


THE FORENSICS MYSTERY:  CSI:Magic Division.  

Laura Anne Gilman's HARD MAGIC.    Magic (the current/electricity) is seen as a science with spells.  A group of young Talents is brought together to create the first forensic magic investigative team. 


THE SPY NOVEL:

Simon R. Green's Eddie Drood novels.  

Some of these novels are marketed as paranormal mystery rather than urban fantasy.  Often, this is because the author is already an established mystery writer like Charlaine Harris.  








Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Links of Interest

TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR MAILING LIST:


FACEBOOK CHANGES AUTHORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT:


AN ANALYSIS OF THE BIG 5 PUBLISHERS:


SELF-PUB PREDATORS:


WHAT’S YOUR NEWSLETTER PLAN, PART 1:


WRITING FROM THE ANTAGONIST’S VIEWPOINT:


BUILDING YOUR WORLD ONE DREAM AT A TIME:


USING LAYERS TO CREATE RICH CHARACTER EMOTIONS:


CREATING TRANSITIONS:


SELF-PUBS, HOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR PRODUCTION FOR A  HOLIDAY STORY:


THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP ON CREATING SETTING:


CREATING PROMO FOR HOLIDAY SALES SEASON:


ARE EMAIL NEWSLETTER NOW BETTER THAN FACEBOOK?


COPYWRITING TIPS TO HELP YOU WRITE FICTION:


WHAT’S IN A BLURB:


WRITING RESOURCES:


PROMOTING YOUR BLOG:


HOW TO PACE A NOVEL:


HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT CRITIQUE GROUP:


LAYERING SUBPLOT INTO YOUR NOVEL:


STUCK WITH YOUR BOOK?  GO TO THE END:


GUIDE TO FACEBOOK ADVERTISING:


USING SONG LYRICS IN YOUR BOOK:


TIPS FOR A LONG-TERM BLOG:


USING INTERNAL CONFLICT TO CREATE PLOT:


THE SET UP AND THE INCITING INCIDENT:


PUBLISHING NEWS, SELF-PUB SLANT:


A SUCCESSFUL $100 MARKETING CAMPAIGN:


USING MAILCHIMP FOR YOUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER:


HOW TO TURN AWAY READERS: