Five Links 4/27/2020
1. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/04/21/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-plotless-novel-damn-it/ “This week I’d like to channel some of my COVID-19 quarantine frustrations by quickly and angrily debunking a bit of literati bullshit that has always pissed me off. One of many ways in which people without imagination try to belittle people with imagination is by looking down their noses at genre fiction for a variety of reasons, the most absurd of which is a disdain for plot.
Plot, these nitwits would have us believe, is neither necessary nor desirable for a novel, and is instead a sign of weakness in the author and ignorance in the reader, which honestly makes me want to go on some kind of violent rampage. I’ve heard this over and over again but was triggered this past week when I read “How Pandemics Seep into Literature” by Elizabeth Outka at (of course) the Paris Review:”
2. https://writersinthestormblog.com/2020/04/writing-past-the-fear/ “Having a hard time sitting in that chair and watching that cursor blinking at you? You are not alone. I’m afraid. Every. Single. Day.
We make excuses, like:
- No time – I have a busy life!
- Classes – I don’t know enough
- Research – I don’t know enough
- Too many plot ideas
- Not enough plot ideas
- No writer space – people keep bugging me
- I will. When…
- Never finish” I think this is the hardest thing to do sometimes. Fear gets you in the gut. Changes you. Backs you in the corner. And you have to learn to stand and slay it like a dragon.
3. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/04/23/karaoke-at-the-saddle-up-saloon/ “In a world gone crazy, or at least to keep yourself from going stir crazy, why not a virtual wild west saloon run by fictional characters? Something different, served fresh every Monday.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/character-archetypes-the-guardian/ “Hi gang, Craig with you today. This is post number seven in the character archetypes series. In the Hero’s Journey, there are some common characters that are likely to show up in all stories. This doesn’t mean each archetype shows up in every story, and aside from the hero, the rest are kind of optional. Almost every story will have an assortment of them.
This series is to introduce you to them. Once you’re aware of them, you can decide if they can benefit the story you’re writing.
The Guardian has a few different names, the Threshold Guardian, the Gatekeeper, even The Wall. They all mean the same thing. This is another one that can be a character, but can also be a situation or a physical obstacle. Your hero cannot complete the task without conquering the Guardian.” A new character idea for me. I can see where they’d be useful. Going to thing more on this.
2. https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/04/24/fairy-tarot-friday-april-24-2020/ “Welcome to Fairy Tarot Friday. Each Friday I’ll share a card from the Fairy Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue & Radleigh Valentine, featuring an uplifting message from the fey. I’ll also include a bit of syllabic poetry inspired by the card reading.
The Major Arcana contains 22 cards that describe major events and turning points in our lives (marriage, pregnancy, relationship and career changes, and overcoming personal challenges). The Major Arcana cards also represent the different phases from childhood to old age.
Doreen Virtue numbered the Minor Arcana cards to comprise four suits representing different aspects of human life. They number the Minor Arcana cards 1 (Ace) through 10, plus the four court cards (Princess, Prince, Queen, and King). The Minor Arcana reflects the day-to-day aspects of our lives and the people in them. Court cards represent either a situation or a person during a reading.”
3. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/04/23/guest-post-my-approach-to-marketing-flirting-for-fun-and-profit-by-thomas-gondolfi/ “Let me ask you a question. Answer truthfully as the answer is only to yourself. How many times a day are you the center of good attention? My guess, based on some solid data, is that even if you have a focused partner, a loving child, or an exceptional parent, your answer is going to be fairly low. If you don’t have one of those, the number approaches nil. Along comes a vendor who is eager to engage with you as his only focus. He isn’t pushing his product on you. He is genuinely interesting in finding out how you are different! Isn’t that appealing? This is the essence of my F2F marketing strategies.
The essence of flirting is the wholehearted, one-to-one focus that one person can give to another if they are sincere. No, it’s not about trying to get a date. No, it’s not plastered on as a veneer until you can have what you want. No, it’s not about hawking your books at them.
I know you have a preconceived notion of what flirting is. I’ll tell you that you are almost certainly wrong. I have many more credits than those required to have a minor in psychology (but my school didn’t offer one). I’ve done some of my own studies in this area. I find that the meanings given by the professional wordsmiths are wrong. What I’ve learned as a definition: Flirting – To give attention to one or more persons and / or their interests in a wholehearted way.”
4. https://telavivsferalcats.home.blog/2020/04/24/how-cats-communicate/ “Cats language is largely made of body language, physical contact, sounds, and scents, like most animals. Without words, cats still manage to show affection, tell you what they want, and warn off whoever annoys them.
So, how do cats communicate with humans? How do cats communicate with other cats? Mostly, the way cats communicate with each other and the way cats communicate with humans is similar.”
Some Things More Serious:
1. https://wilfredbooks.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/free-writing-course-by-rayne-hall/ “If you want to write good fiction (but you’re not an absolute beginner), you can sign up fro this free online course, starting tomorrow: just follow the link in the post.”
5. https://mybipolarmind.com/2020/04/23/pregnancy-and-birth-during-the-pandemic/ “It’s been a while since my last post and there was a crazy and unexpected turn of events. When I wrote my last post, I would never have imagined I would be giving birth during a pandemic. I was so happy and excited to meet my little guy, but that quickly turned to fear. I was scared to give birth and bring a baby into the world during a time like this.
Luckily, I started couponing again weeks before my due date to stock up on baby supplies and household items. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, it was nearly impossible to find diapers, wipes and as you all know, toilet paper! I’m so thankful I stocked up on these items before this happened.
My baby shower did not turn out as planned, since we were all in fear of being around people. My boyfriend still planned the most beautiful baby shower I’ve ever had. We didn’t have as many people as planned, but I was still thankful for the people who were able to make it. I was able to have an amazing day, during an otherwise scary time.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://middlegrademojo.com/2020/04/21/mo-books-rival-magic-by-deva-fagan/ “Antonia may not be the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, but she’s worked hard to win her place as apprentice to renowned sorcerer Master Betrys. Unfortunately, even her best dancing turnip charm might not be enough when Moppe the scullery maid turns out to be a magical prodigy. Now that Betrys has taken Moppe on as a second apprentice, Antonia’s path to wizarding just got a bit more complicated.”
2. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2020/04/21/molly-tanzer-five-things-i-learned-writing-creatures-of-charm-and-hunger/ “wo young witches, once inseparable, are set at odds by secrets and wildly dangerous magic.
In the waning days of World War II, with Allied victory all but certain, desperate Nazi diabolists search for a demonic superweapon to turn the tide. A secluded castle somewhere in the south of Germany serves as a laboratory for experiments conducted upon human prisoners, experiments as vile as they are deadly.
Across the English Channel, tucked into the sleepy Cumbrian countryside, lies the Library, the repository of occult knowledge for the Société des Éclairées, an international organization of diabolists. There, best friends Jane Blackwood and Miriam Cantor, tutored by the Société’s Librarian—and Jane’s mother—Nancy, prepare to undergo the Test that will determine their future as diabolists.
When Miriam learns her missing parents are suspected of betraying the Société to the Nazis, she embarks on a quest to clear their names, a quest involving dangerous diabolic practices that will demand more of her than she can imagine. Meanwhile Jane, struggling with dark obsessions of her own, embraces a forbidden use of the Art that could put everyone she loves in danger.
As their friendship buckles under the stress of too many secrets, Jane and Miriam will come face to face with unexpected truths that change everything they know about the war, the world, and most of all themselves. After all, some choices cannot be unmade–and a sacrifice made with the most noble intention might end up creating a monster.”
3. https://pitchwars.org/happy-release-day-to-late-to-the-party-by-kelly-quindlen/ “From author Kelly Quindlen comes a poignant and deeply relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, and what it means to be a Real Teenager. Late to the Party is an ode to late bloomers and wallflowers everywhere.
Seventeen is nothing like Codi Teller imagined.
She’s never crashed a party, never stayed out too late. She’s never even been kissed. And it’s not just because she’s gay. It’s because she and her two best friends, Maritza and JaKory, spend more time in her basement watching Netflix than engaging with the outside world.
So when Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is highly skeptical. Those parties aren’t for kids like them. They’re for cool kids. Straight kids.
But then Codi stumbles upon one of those cool kids, Ricky, kissing another boy in the dark, and an unexpected friendship is formed. In return for never talking about that kiss, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and draws her into a wild summer filled with late nights, new experiences, and one really cute girl named”
4. https://amytruebloodauthor.com/quite-the-query-remember-me-archie-mg-contemporary-w-fantasy-elements/ “Today I’m sharing my friend, Ryan Dalton’s successful MG query. I love how Ryan has done a really effective job of detailing the story while still giving it a jab of emotion. After reading, it’s easy to see why he connected with his agent. This book would later go on to get a deal with Lerner Books.
Archie Reese’s fondest memories are of sharing stories with his grandfather. So, when Ulysses Reese is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, thirteen-year-old Archie desperately turns to stories to save him. Using his grandfather’s old journal entries, he creates shared fantasies with epic quests for them to tackle together. Dragons, pirates, raging infernos, and more–all to remind Ulysses Reese of the hero he was and bring back his fading memories.
But the biggest monsters lurk in the real world, and so far, they’re winning. Archie tries to help Mom cope with what’s happening, but just makes things worse. School wants to know about his plans for the future, but he doesn’t have a clue what he wants to be. Then there’s the question he can’t keep ignoring–are these fantasies the key to saving Grandpa, or just a distraction?
If Archie’s going to become the hero of his own story, he must embark on the most epic quest of all–finding the courage to face the real world. REMEMBER ME, ARCHIE has been described as Big Fish meets Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a middle grade contemporary novel with a dash of fantasy, complete at 45K words.”
3. http://www.fantasybookcafe.com/2020/04/women-in-sff-month-robin-kirk/ “Today’s guest is Robin Kirk! She’s an award-winning poet and essayist, and her short fiction appears in Beyond the Nightlight, Tomorrow: Apocalyptic Short Stories, Wicked South: Secrets and Lies: Stories for Young Adults, and more. The Bond, her science fiction debut novel, received the 2018 Foreword INDIES Bronze Award for Young Adult Fiction and was a finalist in the 2019 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy. The second book in the Bond Trilogy, The Hive Queen, is coming out on August 3!”