Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, Links, Links, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

The Design of Genres by Traci Kenworth


The Design of Genres

Traci Kenworth

The design of genres is meant to showcase what each has to offer the reader as well as the writer. Each genre has its own set of expectations. Rules, if you like. You can follow them or break them to a degree but you’d better know the why behind each. It’s like when you begin that new book. You don’t expect to find a herring (mystery clue) in a romance, for example. And, if you do, you need to explain how that came to be.

Just like, if you set off in a train under a golden sunset and ended up awakening to a traveling wagon train in the 1800s, you might want to check what you know. Things like that don’t happen in the normal world. Ah, but in fiction, they do. It’s merely how you bring things about. You can take the straight path, or you can simply drive off the cliff.

That’s what excites readers: the unexpected. No, boring holes for them.  They have to be occupied by a hobbit. Or a village. That skyline on the horizon? It must be dotted with witches and their wyverns. Or even to bring it down to a normal world: something we haven’t seen before or at least, not on a usual basis, has to occur. It can be a St. Bernard on a hot day when we stop by to service our car with our son. Or the crest of a fin in the water.

Every genre relays its foundations on what’s gone before. And then stays on the same page or defers. No two stories are the same though. Even on a calm day, the same sidewalk can be shared by different people on their own adventure. One might be going to buy an orange kitten who loves the taste of lasagna. Another might be off to Scotland on a writer’s retreat and discover there’s more to the people and the land than its history.

Some writers groan about genres stifling them with boundaries. I say there are no boundaries, if you think about it. Dragons can be brought into any era. Aliens into any environment. Humans can walk among the stars or tread the depths of the oceans. Black holes puncture the atmosphere for a reason. You just have to figure out what that reason is. And make use of it.

Even if you’re in a “normal” world, there can still be frills. Not all bank robberies go according to plan. Construction sites get botched. Subways become a hazard. Maybe it’s the weather. Or just a villain that enters the fray. Anything can happen in any genre. You just have to use your imagination. Think about what would’ve happened if those children hadn’t explored that closet at their uncle’s house. No Terabithia.

If Harry hadn’t gone to Hogwarts, what would’ve ended up happening to the Wizard World? There’d be no Twilight if Bella hadn’t gone to Forks. But you say, it had to be that way. For that story, sure. But there are other stories. Other solutions. The boy doesn’t always get the girl. Unicorns exist somewhere. And fairies can be devious individuals. It’s all about perspective. The design of genres can take you anywhere from Walton’s Mountain to the moons of Alderaan.  

Happenings: This week I suffered through something I wonder if a lot of other disabled individuals do as well. That is, the feeling of being “useless.” Now, my daughter and son were quick to assure me it wasn’t true but I just felt like I couldn’t do the number of things I did say ten, or twenty years ago or even to the quality of such. My mobility has become a real issue for me and tbh, I have a secret fear of losing the loss of my legs or hands altogether. They sometimes feel so numb and unable to respond to what I want them to do. Anyway, I wondered if others shared these helpless emotions and worried about them? I mean, I don’t know where my life’s headed. I could end up in a nursing home in the future, unable to care for myself. I always thought that getting dementia or Alzheimer’s would be my greatest fear but now I wonder if it might not be, loss of mobility or even God forbid, amputation of limbs. Depending on someone would be very hard for me. I’ve had to depend on myself for so long, the idea seems preposterous. It’s odd the things we consider. I know I could still write. V.C. Andrews was very successful even though she was paralyzed. I’m sure there have been others. Even when I fall now, it’s hard for me to let someone help me up. I don’t know why accepting help stresses me. Unless it’s part of the PTSD I suffered for years.

Some links around the web I found interesting and you might as well:

  1. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2023/01/writing-insecure-characters/ All successful novels, no matter what genre, have one thing in common: emotion. It lies at the core of every character’s decision, action, and word, all of which drive the story. Without emotion, a character’s personal journey is pointless. Stakes cease to exist. The plot line becomes a dry riverbed of meaningless events that no reader will take time to read. Why? Because above all else, readers pick up a book to have an emotional experience. But they don’t want to be told how a character feels; they want to experience the emotion for themselves. To make this happen, we must ensure that our characters express their feelings in ways that are both recognizable and compelling to read. How we convey a character’s emotional state is vital to the reader’s experience. They don’t want to be bashed over the head with this information, nor do they appreciate clunky methods that jerk them out of the story. This is where show-don’t-tell comes into play. Show the character’s emotion through their natural responses to it, and readers will figure it out on their own. Use universal responses, and you’ll have the added benefit of readers connecting to the character through a sense of shared experience. I often think of the Writer’s Digest Book, “Open Your Veins.” It says a lot. Let that emotion bleed down on the page. Become the character until you’re done for the day and then pick up that yoke again the next and the next until you’ve got a book and edits begin.
  2. Life in the Realm of Fantasy https://conniejjasperson.com/2023/01/11/the-business-side-of-the-business-managing-inventory-writerlife/ Authors make readers when they do in-person book signings. We have the chance to connect with potential readers on a personal level, and they might buy a paper book. If we are personable and friendly, they might tell their friends how much they liked meeting us. Those friends will buy eBooks. (We hope!) Most shows and events will require you to have a business license if you intend to sell books in person. This means you will have a small amount of paperwork after each in-person signing, so I am revisiting a post from 2022 detailing how authors can manage an inventory of books and have the right numbers for tax purposes. For eBook sales, you have no obligation to report sales taxes, only your royalties as listed on the 1099 issued by Amazon or Draft2Digital, or other eBook sellers. Whether you are traditionally published or indie, if you intend to make personal appearances at local bookstores, fairs, or conventions, you will have an inventory of books on hand to manage and account for at the end of the year. But more importantly, even if you are traditionally published, you pay for the books you sell at shows. The good businessperson has a spreadsheet of some sort to account for this side of the business, as it will be part of your annual business tax report. An excellent method for assembling the information you will generate for your tax report is discussed the previous post, The Business Sequence for Writers. Ellen King Rice has given us a great framework for keeping our business records straight. This is an important part of the writing business. She simplifies what you might keep on file for your tax purposes, Indie or traditional.
  3. Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2023/01/11/growing-bookworms-teaching-children-about-nature-and-conservation/ Teaching our children about the natural environment and conservation is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. There are a few good ways of making sharing about nature and conservation with children, as follows: Reading books about nature with your child; Exploring nature with your child; Art and play; and Watching documentaries Teaching young readers to read is close to my heart as my son struggled with reading at a young age and his school admitted that they failed to help him in this regard.
  4. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2023/01/the-importance-of-great-mentors-for-you-and-your-books/ All of us here at Writers In the Storm know that veteran-WITS contributor, Julie Glover, is both funny and wise. She and I were talking about the importance of mentors and she made this observation: “Being storytellers, we’re likely all fans of a good mentor. Where would Harry Potter be without Dumbledore? Wilbur without Charlotte? Peter Parker without Uncle Ben? Cinderella without her fairy godmother?” She’s got a great point. Even though it seems like the mentors always die or disappear in every genre except romance (where they get their own book in the series), we never forget a great mentor. I mean, come on…what would Star Wars be without Obi Wan, or Yoda? A lot of the ladies at YAFF taught me things I didn’t want to learn at first. As did my first few cps, Steve and Pat. They both taught me to love the story for the story and the YAFF ladies helped me to whip things into shape. I had some bad ones in between but that happens to everyone. I also had a lovely cp, Lisa, who helped me with my romances. I continue to work with Rebecca, Barb, and Pen on occasion.
  5. Tel Aviv Feral Cats https://telavivsferalcats.home.blog/2023/01/12/cute-feral-cat-with-huge-eyes/ It’s not easy to shoot a video of feral cats, but I was walking back from my brother’s apartment, which is maybe five minutes walk from my building, and there was this cat with extremely expressive eyes, and two cute kittens up on the windowsills, and I had to try. A lot of people don’t consider how those feral cats ended on the street: some careless person didn’t fix their pets and they multiplied and the results were carelessly tossed out. Ferals can be rehabilitated. I have a tiger cat that was on the streets till he was six months old.
  6. Story Empire Blog https://storyempire.com/2023/01/13/birth-order-and-character-development/ When we craft our characters, many of us include comments about their placement in the family. We attach traits we’ve experienced with siblings or others close to us. I will explore some of those traits in my posts over the next several months. Full disclosure, birth order theory is somewhat controversial because, in and of itself, it is not a determinant of someone’s personality. Many other factors include genetics, physical environment, gender, culture, family trauma, and much more. Still, birth order offers writers a tool for developing their characters. For that reason, in the next posts, I will focus on the traits of the (1) first-born, (2) the middle-born, (3) the last-born, and (4) the only child. I leave you with a curious detail. Per the research, if there’s an age difference of three or more years between siblings, the birth order restarts. Given this tidbit, each of my four children is an “only” child. Between my eldest and my next child, there are seven years. Then there are five years between the next, and three and a half years between the final two. No wonder I had my hands full, right? Just for fun consider these three sets of accomplished men and women: I definitely think birth order plays a part in who we are in life. I’m a second to the last child. I missed the middle by one. My oldest sister got most of the responsibility put on her shoulders all these years. I didn’t get away with a lot like some might think of a younger child. In fact, I was the first to go to college in my family then my older sister tried her hand. I respect her for trying to make her life better and not giving up on things. I’m a lot like that. I push for the things I want and don’t give up easily. I’m also more open to change than some in my family as I educated myself to think for myself in a lot of instances. Reading and writing, I think, allows you to accept unpopular opinions and come to respect other’s opinions on things.
  7. Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2023/01/13/blogtour-a-tale-of-two-princes-by-eric-geron-bookreview-romcom-lgbtq/ Will these long-lost twin princes be able to take on high school, coming out, and coronations together—or will this royal reunion quickly become a royal mess? Edward Dinnissen, Crown Prince of Canada, loves getting the royal treatment at his exclusive Manhattan private school and living in a fancy mansion on Park Avenue. But despite living a royal life of luxury, Edward is unsure how to tell his parents, his expectant country, and his adoring fans that he’s gay. Billy Boone couldn’t be happier: he loves small-town life and his family’s Montana ranch, and his boyfriend is the cutest guy at Little Timber High. But this out-and-proud cowboy is finally admitting to himself that he feels destined for more . . .
    • When Edward and Billy meet by chance in New York City and discover that they are long-lost twins, their lives are forever changed. Will the twin princes—“twinces”— be able to take on high school, coming out, and coronations together? Or will this royal reunion quickly become a royal disaster? This description sounded like a blend of Red, White, and Royal Blue (a pure delight) and The Parent Trap. Royal twins separated at birth? A Canadian monarchy? I was intrigued.
  8. Syl’s 65 blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2023/01/14/sketch-comedy-%f0%9f%98%83-key-peele-cool-teacher-vs-class-clown/
  9. Angel Messages https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2023/01/14/angel-messages-jan-14-2023/
  10. Smorgasbord Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2023/01/14/smorgasbord-public-relations-for-authors-recycled-part-two-author-biographies-tips-and-translations-by-sally-cronin/ With approximately 150 authors on the Smorgasbord bookshelf, I am in Amazon and Goodreads oftn checking for updated information new releases and reviews to share in the author features. In the upcoming series of Meet the Authors I will also be updating biographies to include and I am afraid that I have had to update quite a few myself with new books, or the numbers of books that have been written. My suggestions today are not carved in stone, and how you write your biography is entirely your decision. The one area that is key and seems to be echoed around the writing sites is the fact that a biography that is overlong will be overlooked. The biography is your advertisement that combined with your photograph is going to grab the attention of the potential reader who has landed on your author page. Last week I shared the fact that there are 20,000 new ebooks uploaded each week on Amazon that are in direct competition with your books. Provided you have listed your books with the genre or sub-genre, when searching for books a reader will be offered a selection to choose from. Hopefully that will land them on your book page or your Amazon Author Page.
  11. Marcia Meara Writes https://marciamearawrites.com/2023/01/14/enterprisemuseum-centralfloridawildlife-hugefun/ Off to visit with the good folks at Enterprise Museum today, to chat about two  of the more unusual critters which live here in Central Florida: opossums and armadillos. It’s been months since I was feeling well enough to give one of these presentations, and I’m looking forward to this one more than I can say! Especially since I’ll be talking about two animals which are so very interesting, yet so misunderstood. If you happen to be in the area, come on by and see exactly what I mean for yourself! The little restored 1930s schoolhouse is worth the trip all by itself!
  12. Myths of the Mirror https://mythsofthemirror.com/2023/01/14/weekend-blog-share-silent-pariah/
  13. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2023/01/14/am-i-done-maybe/ My only goal today was to do some writing. I’ve previously mentioned that Once Upon a Time in the Swamp required a long denouement. My intent here was to wrap things up, but also provide a potential future for Mari. I have no intention of a sequel, but I want readers to know life goes on after her traumatic events. Today, I reached that point. Mari’s tale came in over 70,000 words, but that’s not real lengthy. I’m of the mind a story will be as long as it needs to be. I like the story, but there are always things to second guess about one. Time for that later. At some point, I’m going to have to spend some real money on cover art for all these stories. I think they’re worth the cost of good art, and that industry also needs a few patrons. In fact that gives me an idea for a possible Story Empire post in the future. It’s time for me to embrace the thing I hate most about these projects… editing. I have three finished books at this time. They are tentatively called: I’m in the same mess with three manuscripts in need of edits in my hands at the moment.
  14. John Howell https://johnwhowell.com/2023/01/14/the-last-drive-tour-with-dan-antion/

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, humor & fun, John Howell, author, Links, Links, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Genre Sorts What We Write by Traci Kenworth


Genre Sorts What We Write

Traci Kenworth

Do you have a struggle to figure out what you’re writing? Let genre sort that out. What I mean is, instead of tearing at a piece to get the feel of it, mind what genre/s you have chosen to write in. Mystery? How about a cozy? Or a more traditional who-dun-it? Either one will shorten the time it takes to come up with a great idea to run with for the story.

Now, I hear you. That didn’t exactly tell you what to write. Well, I can’t give you a bare-bones-fits-all outline, but I can shave time off finding a story to run with in the days ahead. What do you like to read? That usually brings up a few promises. Narrow them down. Are you more sci-fi or fantasy? Get that outline ready to go with again, either more traditional or something new hatched up for the occasion.

Once you know what genre/s you prefer, you can outfit your story. I write in the YA category so there are endless possibilities to choose from there. You can have romance in your story. Mystery. A shade of horror. Or more if you want. Blending genres is also fun. I often write fantasy-horror or even sci-fi-horror. You can do this somewhat with the adult audience as well.

Want a romance? Historical or contemporary might intrigue you. You can weave in time travel if you like. Or bring on the pomp of the gilded ages. You see, coming up with the genre usually falls into something you like to read. Because if you don’t read that genre, you won’t know the structure and details of such a world.

Knowing what to expect in a genre doesn’t make the formula hard and fast. You won’t get bored from the staleness. Instead, you’ll find new boundaries to stretch and bring in something new and exciting with each. It’s not just a group of campers on Crystal Lake that intrigues us. It’s the story of each and how they survive or fall.

It’s the characters that do the hard work in a story. They have to make an impression, good or bad. If we’re willing to follow them down that hall, evade the killer, and win the day, that’s what makes a character grow on a reader. It instills fear of what might happen to that mother and child all the way out in an abandoned part of town when a dog goes mad.

Now, I’m not saying if you ever hit on a story outside your regular writing, you shouldn’t stretch your writing muscles. I’m just saying that when you’re starting out, getting to hit those marks, you want to consider what type of genre you like. Sticking close to home will teach you the basics. It will improve your skills before you move on. After all, Agatha Christie wasn’t famous for her characters sunny dispositions.

Happenings:

The Topiary meds they prescribed me have been doing a good job to take away a majority of the pain most of the time, thankfully. I feel better than in a long time and I’ve been able to do more. I’ve started walking a bit again. I’m almost ready for Christmas. I have a few more presents to buy. I’ll pick a day or two to do the wrapping of all that I have. How are you all doing on your plans? Enjoy your holidays!

Some links around the web you might like:

  1. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/12/16/fairies-myths-magic-ii/ Let’s welcome a special guest to Entertaining Stories today. Coleen is a long-time friend and she has something to share with us today. This is her newest book baby, so feel free to use those sharing buttons. She also shares one heck of a great story hook. She also has a prize to be drawn from those who leave comments along her tour. *** Thank you, Craig for the opportunity to share the news of my new book, just in time for the winter solstice and Yule. Every Halloween, Craig joins me to celebrate the holiday. I think we’ve done this for eight years now, so I couldn’t think of anyone better to share my spooky Halloween tale with from Fairies, Myths, & Magic II, called The Changeling. In this second book in the series, I start with late autumn and work forward into winter and Yule. What do you know about the scary fairies? Celtic traditions share with us the fey, or Good Neighbors, are nothing to mess around with. During the darkness of autumn and into winter, the Unseelie Court of fairies makes its appearance. The darkness and lack of sunlight during this time of year spawned many a myth and tale. Here’s a short excerpt from The Changeling, in Fairies, Myths, & Magic II: “Alyssa, it’s time to come inside. Daddy’s home.” I read a book like this by Mary Downing Hahn. I don’t think they were called dark fairies though. Changelings, yes and it had to do with a witch. The book was twisty and turny just like I like.
  2. Marcia Meara Writes https://marciamearawrites.com/2022/12/16/booksforchristmas-boldblatantselfpromo-theemissary-review/ Looking for something different to read over the holidays? Check out my Emissary series of novellas. Available for download for just $1.99 each, or free with Kindle Unlimited. BLURB for TE1: An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed.
  3. Syl’s 65 blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/12/16/friday-inspiration-ryan-stevenson-ft-gabriel-real-eye-of-the-storm/ Such powerful poems!
  4. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/12/fear-thesaurus-entry-being-physically-touched/ While many people are sensitive to physical contact, an actual fear of being touched can lead to a host of difficulties. It can come about from a past trauma, learned experiences (through growing up in a family where touch was discouraged or punished), a physical sensitivity, or a mental health condition, to name just a few possible causes. What It Looks Like Backing away from handshakes, kisses, or other cultural greetings Sticking to the fringes of crowds Avoiding romantic relationships Not eating certain foods due to their texture Not participating in contact sports, dancing, and other activities that require touch Difficulty making new friends Only being able to wear certain kinds of clothing that don’t chafe or irritate the skin The character keeping their hands in their pockets I can’t imagine this fear. It must be so overwhelming to live with throughout your day.
  5. Annette Rochelle Aben https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2022/12/17/angel-messages-dec-17-2022/
  6. John Howell.com https://johnwhowell.com/2022/12/16/friday-johnku-aka-tgif-fri-yay-good-news-29/ End-of-year bonuses are always a welcomed sight, but these smiles bear witness to an extraordinary act of corporate generosity. Ruppert Landscaping gave bonuses of between $7,000 to $200,000 to all employees with a tenure of over one year “as a thanks for the role they’ve played in the company’s growth and development.” A total of 1,200 workers, excluding those in top leadership positions, received the enormous thank you presents which added up to be $28 million. The company says normal end-of-year bonuses were not deducted or altered by the gifts, which were announced at staff meetings, nor were any of the other benefits, which include 401(K) matching, health insurance, paid time off, and holidays. “Everyone receiving this bonus was instrumental in helping create the value that we’ve been able to realize,” said CEO Craig Ruppert. “This bonus is money that is well-deserved and a way for us to acknowledge the value of our teams’ contributions and the essential role that they will play in our company’s future.”
  7. This is Horror https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-16-december-2022/ Monsters and monster-killers come in all shapes and sizes in this collection of three horror novellas by Glenn Rolfe, Tom Deady, and Nick Kolakowski. In ‘It Came From The Lake’ by Glenn Rolfe, Owens Lake is protected by a reclusive war vet by the name of Francis Owens, but this man is not the only threat around. In ‘In The Glastenbury Woods’ by Tom Deady, It was supposed to be the road trip to end all road trips. The summer of 1986, a few weeks before Dave and his two friends went their separate ways to college and the military. One last hurrah to Toronto to see Hulk Hogan and the rest of the WWF in The Big Event. It all goes wrong when they take a detour through Vermont’s notorious Glastenbury Woods. In ‘Groundhog Slay’ by Nick Kolakowski, It’s the summer of 1987. Around Lake Legionnaire, locals whisper tales of an unstoppable monster rampaging through the night, killing everyone in its way. But what if the monster’s just trying to stop something far worse—a threat that could destroy all existence? Available now in paperback and eBook editions, you can grab your copy here.
  8. AC Flory https://acflory.wordpress.com/2022/12/18/theres-no-such-thing-as-them-theres-only-us/ If you watch only one video today, please, make it this one:
  9. Smorgasbord Magzine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-book-fair-new-book-on-the-shelves-memoir-fifteen-first-times-beginnings-a-collection-of-indelible-firsts-by-d-g-kaye/ This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal steppingstones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor. From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning. Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it and navigating by the seat of her pants. Editorial Review: D.G. Kaye writes with heartfelt regard and unabashed honesty. The life experiences she shares in Fifteen First Times evoke tears as well as laughter. Kaye’s candor and compassion will no doubt appeal to and help many seeking to grow and come into their own. I highly recommend this book and all others by this forthright author. The reader will be left with an ardent desire for more. ~ Author, Tina Frisco
  10. Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/12/18/3-action-reaction-misfires-that-flatten-your-writing-by-lisa-poisso/ Cause and effect. Stimulus and response. Action and reaction. Everything in a story depends on what the characters do about whatever the story pushes them up against. Stiff, disconnected, or missing character reactions snap the chain of cause and effect that constitutes your story. When readers can no longer see how and why the characters are doing what they’re doing, they lose the thread. She’s got good points here.
  11. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/12/welcome-to-the-future-part-3/ Story is core to the human experience and is a fundamental part of how we communicate. People who are unhappy in their day-to-day existence like to escape into a world of story, and that trend has not gone away. While sales trends show a decline in print, the digital reading trends show readers want to be even more immersed in a story than ever before. Readers love it when their favorite authors allow the story to grow and bring them into it. How we Interact with Story is Changing Have you noticed “dark mode” on your devices? I read a fascinating article about holographic technology. In some ways, dark mode is a gateway to preparing our technology for holographic displays. Important Geek note: WordPress and other websites are using “blocks” in their design so they can control the way different types of words — think headings, paragraphs, pull quotes — display, preparing for this transition. You want to be using the latest technology in your website designs and in your writing. You want your writing to be stored in such a way that readers can use it in this future technology. TBH, not sure how I feel about this. Yes, I know. The future is advancing. I like to play around with ideas on my own. But then, new tech is harder for me to learn these days. I suppose it always will be and one day I just won’t be able to anymore. I’ll rant against the AI wall when I’m ready, I suppose.
  12. Smorgasbord Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-book-fair-new-book-on-the-shelves-supernatural-adventure-the-last-drive-by-john-w-howell/ In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing. The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943. This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good. I’m trying not to read this as I haven’t been able to read the first one yet and don’t want spoiled.
  13. Rosie Amber https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2022/12/19/%f0%9f%8e%84two-historicalromance-christmas-novellas-rosies-bookreview-of-under-the-mistletoe-by-margueritekaye-and-bronwynscott/ Under The Mistletoe is a book containing two historical Christmas romance novellas written by Marguerite Kaye and Bronwyn Scott. Each novella can be read as a stand-alone, but they are also connected to series by the authors, individually.
  14. Story Empire https://storyempire.com/2022/12/19/mktg-22-wrap-up/ Greetings, SE’ers. It’s Jan again. Since July 2021, I have explored a variety of different avenues of book marketing opportunities, and I’ve come to the end of that journey. This is my last Story Empire post for 2022 and my last book marketing post. That’s not to say I won’t pop back in with something new if it comes to my attention, but for now, I’m leaving the subject of marketing behind.
Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Links, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

The Thing About Genre… Traci Kenworth


The Thing About Genre is…

Traci Kenworth

The thing about genre is that you’re not limited to one, but it helps to remain focused on one for at least three books before you switch to another. I hope to be able to concentrate on two in the future: my Traci Kenworth as a young adult author and my Loleta Abi as a romance author. Concentrating on three at a time at first, helps an agent to place your work better and gets your brand known for that genre.

If you’re bouncing all over the place, it doesn’t give readers the feel that you’re committed to that area until they come to know your work better. It’s like anything: practice makes perfect or in this case, better seen. Now, I have seen Indie authors make this work opposite, where they write what they want but if you want to go traditional, think branding.

I know a lot of authors are slanted either way: Indie or traditional. My preference is traditional, but I may go hybrid later on, who knows? I hear romance does really strong in that category Indie-wise. I had thought to go more Indie for a while, but my thinking has swung around to traditional. Mostly for the brand recognition. I think they have a better way of getting you into the places you want to be than Indie does.

Now, I’ve heard that some big Author Indies can open doors others can’t but remember that Colleen Hoover and several other Indie authors swung around to traditional after going Indie because it helped strengthen their brand and let’s face it, it’s where the money is. Unless you’re someone like James Scott Bell, a traditionally grounded author, who successfully transferred to Indie but again, his branding was already established I think where he can count on his fans buying his work in higher numbers.

Whichever way you go, have fun with it. Get in there, dig, and explore your genre. Learn what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to take risks. To try twists not invented yet. But I strongly caution, to learn the genre first. Training ground has a reason. It’s for us to be like Bambi on that ice. Fall but get back up. Make mistakes. That’s how we learn.

So, there you have it. The thing about genre is to love the one that you choose and run with it. Until you’re ready to go beyond and try another. Or stay put and expand the genre the way you want to go. None of the greats would be the greats if they hadn’t taken chances. Be confident. Be creative. Love what you do. If the genre doesn’t work for you, move on. It’s never too late to take that next step. Good luck and have a great week! God bless!

Happenings:

Covid is at last, behind me, but I’m having extreme pain in my legs and they are ice-cold in the mornings. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment to see about them next week. I have arthritis already but this just feels so, so painful. I know in my family, legs have been a weak area. My brother had to have operations on his. And my father, toward the end of his life, couldn’t let his legs be touched even in passing by a toddler without writhing in absolute pain. I’ve had to go back to my cane to support me while about right now. I’m very tempted to use those carts you drive at the bigger stores. I know I need to get some exercise in though, regardless, so I’m trying to keep going. How’s your week going?

Some posts about the web you might like:

  1. Smorgasboard Magazine https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/10/21/smorgasbord-bookshelf-new-book-on-the-shelves-fantasy-the-midnight-rambler-the-hat-book-6-c-s-boyack/ Something evil is after the hat. The ageless enemies have battled many times, but this time Lizzie is wearing the hat. She’s also up against a ticking clock, in that if she can’t find the maker of her new friend’s medicine he will die. The Rambler has kidnapped the only witch capable of making Ray’s medicine in an attempt to make the hat sloppy in his efforts. He’s also flooded the streets with deadly minions to impede any progress our heroes might make. As if that weren’t enough, Lizzie is facing more of life’s struggles, both financially and mechanically. This all goes down in the middle of a huge flood event that she’s ill equipped to handle. Join Lizzie… This is one I’m looking forward to snagging asap.
  2. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/10/7-ways-to-increase-your-creativity-through-workspace-design/ The life of a writer can be unpredictable. Family, medical issues, housing issues, and many more personal-life interruptions can disrupt the flow of words. Many of you may not have options and write when and where you can write. For example, right now I’m writing in the waiting room of a car maintenance shop. The environment here is nice but definitely full of distractions. When we can choose our writing environment, it makes sense to choose a space that optimizes how we write. Keep in mind that not all of us will respond in the same way to the same physical space. In the list of elements I offer below, choose the ones that speak to you, and that feel more creative to you. Brain Science The theory that people are right-brained (creative, intuitive) or left-brained (logical or linear) or both is a popular myth unsupported by neuroscience. The brain’s right and left hemispheres are not separate organs. While the right hemisphere performs more complex functions, and the left hemisphere controls most (if not all) physiological functions, the two hemispheres work together. While the right- versus left-brain theory is a myth, it’s an easy way to understand how people think. At the extremes, a few of us are nearly 100% logical thinkers and a few are almost 100% creative thinkers. A few of us fall into the moves fluidly between the two. In a reality, we are all a mix of the two. Many of us continue to perceive one or the other thinking style as our primary way of perceiving the world. We’re not wrong, but it’s more complex than which hemisphere controls what. Still, we can use brain science and psychology to help us set up a work environment that supports our creativity.
  3. Syl’s 65 blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/10/21/friday-inspiration-francesca-battistelli-the-breakup-song/ I LOVE this song!
  4. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/10/fear-thesaurus-entry-being-pitied/ Debilitating fears are a problem for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental health condition, or stem from a past wounding event, these fears influence a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear will drive characters away from certain people, events, and situations and hold them back in life. In your story, this primary fear (or group of fears) will constantly challenge the goal the character is pursuing, tempting them to retreat, settle, and give up on what they want most. Because this fear must be addressed for them to achieve success, balance, and fulfillment, it plays a pivotal part in both the character arc and the overall story. This thesaurus explores the various fears that might be plaguing your character. Use it to understand and utilize fears to fully develop your characters and steer them through their story arc. Please note that this isn’t a self-diagnosis tool. Fears are common in the real world, and while we may at times share similar tendencies as characters, the entry below is for fiction writing purposes only.
  5. Roberta Writes https://roberta-writes.com/2022/10/21/roberta-writes-thursday-doors-riverstill-guest-farm/
  6. Charles French https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2022/10/21/favorite-horror-films-5-frankenstein/ The movie that I will discuss in this installment is Frankenstein.  This 1931 film was directed by James Whale and produced by Carl Laemelle, Jr. Universal Studios was following up its huge success with Dracula earlier in the year, so this film seemed like a natural choice to make. While the title and characters come from the 1818 Mary Shelley novel, it is a loose adaptation of the text.  Interestingly, the sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, is a much more faithful treatment of the novel than this first film. This movie, one of the most important in horror film history, introduces Boris Karloff as the Creature. Karloff gives an impressive performance as the lost and lonely being who is unsure of who he is and his place in the world.  This sounds like so many teenagers and young people, and while frightening, Karloff also gathered empathy from viewers in his nuanced performance. Bela Lugosi had been offered the part of the creature but apparently turned it down because of its lack of speaking lines.  Lugosi made a terrible career choice because Karloff would supplant him after this film’s success as the top box office star and would continue to dominate Lugosi’s subsequent film career. I recall seeing this when I was very young. The movie of course, scared the daylights out of me but I was fascinated with it as well. I didn’t know the background behind the movie until now and that in itself is also fascinating.
  7. This is Horror https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-21-october-2022/ Out now from Dark Matter Inc, edited by Sadie Hartmann and Ashley Saywers, Human Monsters: A Horror Anthology Not all monsters are fantasy. Some are very real, and they walk among us. They’re our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. They’re the people we’re supposed to trust…and they know it. Contained within this anthology are 35 never-before-published works by supremely talented authors and best-selling novelists. Brace yourself for the unexpected and unimaginable horror of … Human Monsters. Featuring stories by Linda D. Addison, Gemma Amor, Andrew Cull, Andy Davidson, Chad Lutzke, Catherine McCarthy, Josh Malerman, and many more you can pick up your copy in paperback and eBook formats now.
  8. Teagan’s Books https://teagansbooks.com/2022/10/22/spook-tober-shorts-surar-fiends-featuring-robbie-cheadle/ Hello everyone, and welcome back to Spook-tober Shorts.  A couple of weeks ago I introduced some new character-friends, the Pumpkin Hat Girls.  They’re back for some more Twilight Zone-ish fun. BASED ON COMMENTS, I REVISED THE STORY TO INCLUDE AN EPILOGUE. Haunted Halloween Holiday is a delightful story by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.  I mentioned it back on August 20.  When I found out about Robbie’s story, it reminded me that every year, I kept forgetting to do a Halloween story until it was too late.  So, I got busy writing A Peril in Ectoplasm.  My latest novella has nothing to do with Robbie’s new book.  Neither does the short story below, but it was inspired by her fun promo image and many of her fondant characters.  I’ve used her photos of some of them as illustrations for my story.
  9. Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2022/10/22/badmoonrising-house-of-sorrow-by-joan-hall-thriller-shortstory-suspense/ I share this author’s disappointment in ghost tours – we’ve yet to see a ghost. Seems like it’s something that should be guaranteed on that kind of tour, right? The Legends and Lore posts on her blog feature jaw-dropping and uncanny mysteries/legends – I highly recommend you check them out. Furry friends have been stealing the spotlight this month, and she brings a couple of cuties with her today. Welcome, Joan Hall! Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most? Can I cheat a bit by mentioning another type of unsolved mystery? The story of D. B. Cooper has always intrigued me. He hijacked a commercial airliner in 1971, demanded 200K in ransom money, then parachuted out of the plane somewhere over the Pacific Northwest. A portion of the ransom money was found years later, but there’s been no sign of the man (living or dead). Specific to a murder, it would have to be the story of Lizzie Borden. Did she really give her mother forty whacks, then gave her father forty-one?
  10. Stream of Consciousness https://johnwhowell.com/2022/10/22/stream-of-consciousness-saturday-prompt-bowl/ The coffee machine has a mind of its own today. While waiting for the life-saving potion, a bowl of store-brand raisin bran crunch is making a poor substitute. Before long, the machine decides a strike might not produce the best result and coughs up the brew. Abandoning the bowl in favor of the mug, a sip reminds me that today is a safe blow-up day. The security system is already down, and Wile E Coyote is busy in the backyard placing packages around the perimeter of the safe. Joining him and seeing he is using ACME C4 charges. All wired to a plunger, and Wile slowly walks away from the safe with it in his hand. He is allowing the wire to slip from the coil around his arm. “Everything okay?” My question catches Wile by surprise. “Of course,” he says. “Where’s Yosemite Sam?” Wile pulls on his chin for a mini-second and responds. “I locked him inside the safe.” The statement causes my eyebrows to join my hairline. “Is he safe in the safe?” My hand immediately goes to my mouth but too late cause that awful question is already out there.” Wile rolls his eyes. “He’s a lot safer in there than we are out here.” Another statement that threatens to send my eyebrows over the top of my head. It is clear that Wile is about to push the plunger as he gets down on one knee and yells, “Fire in the hole.” “Just a minute.” The words hit Wile like a baseball headed for an infield double. He rises and walks to meet me. “Let me explain,” he drawls. For the first time, his Texas accent comes to prominence. Must happen when he is angry, my brain tells me.” Look, friend.” He pauses, then continues. “You and I have a contract, and how this goes down is entirely up to me to execute. Why did you stop me?” Lol.
  11. Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/10/23/meet-guest-editor-and-author-alison-williams/ Thanks so much to Chris for this opportunity to tell you about myself and my editing services. I have been providing services for authors since 2016 and have worked on more than five hundred projects in a wide variety of genres. I have a first degree in English Language and Literature and trained as a journalist. I have worked as a freelance writer and have been published in print and online. I completed a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow and my journey into editing began when I was asked by fellow students to edit their work. I found that it was something I greatly enjoyed and that I have a knack for spotting issues that often writers are too close to their work to see. I have been very lucky in working with some wonderful writers, many of whom ask me to edit subsequent books. It is lovely to see how the advice I give them shapes their later writing and to see their writing craft go from strength to strength. It is always the biggest compliment when authors get in touch because I have been recommended by other authors. The publishing world is changing all the time. It is becoming harder and harder to break into the world of traditional publishing. A polished manuscript is essential when approaching agents. And if, as many authors have done, you decide to pursue your own writing journey through self-publishing, then it is even more essential to make sure that the work you put out there is the best it can possibly be.
  12. Charles French https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2022/10/22/my-favorite-horror-films-6-the-bride-of-frankenstein/ The next installment in this series is what I consider to be one of the very best horror films ever made: The Bride of Frankenstein. I also want to mention that I have taught this novel, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus several times at both Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, and the Department of Graduate and Continuing Education at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. It is also interesting that the sequel The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) to Universal Studio’s Frankenstein  (1931) is a far better film and a more faithful adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel than the original movie. James Whale directed and Carl Laemmle Jr. produced this film. This is one of my favorites as well. I can remember sitting and watching Scream Theater with my friends back on a Saturday when this was on. The bride’s rejection of the groom was brutal and instantaneous and the repercussions to follow horrific.
  13. Annette Rochelle Aben https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2022/10/23/angel-messages-oct-23-2022/
  14. Smorgasboard Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/10/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-poetry-dorothy-cronin-1949-2006-tuffy-a-much-loved-family-pet/
Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, Links

Washing Your Life of the Bad by Traci Kenworth


Washing Your Life of the Bad

Traci Kenworth

Don’t we all wish we could do so? Wash the bad from our lives? Get rid of all the old regrets, all the baggage we carry in our days? There is a way. It comes with acceptance. It comes with forgiveness. For ourselves. For others. We’re human and we all make mistakes. Of course, though forgiveness helps with some more serious topics such as abuse of any kind, murder, or so on, I don’t recommend returning to a relationship with that person/s at any time.

Usually, by the time something like that’s happened, it’s too late. And dangerous still. I’m just suggesting getting rid of the horribleness associated with those crimes. It takes time. God knows, I’ve had my share of nightmares about such things. Slowly, over time, you do start to heal. The wound doesn’t always close all the way, but it helps to get to a point where you can wash that bad from your life and learn to live again, free of the past or at least, at terms with the past.

In my life, I’ve always considered a personal relationship with Jesus rather than religion in itself. That might sound odd. It might not be your spice. What I mean by personal relationship is one of looking at him as more of a friend/guide through life rather than someone who condemns. He’s their to instruct you in what happens from here, how to let go, how to improve your life. A lot of people don’t get that idea, I know.

To each, their own. I’m not going to argue one way or another. Simply explain how I deal with things. Without Jesus, my life would be dimmer and less healing. He lifts my spirit in days when I feel I couldn’t take another step and helps me to carry on. If Buddha or the teachings of Gandhi do that for you, that’s fine. We all rely on what we can in these times.

Anyway, it’s hard at first, letting go. You wanta scream. Shout. Punish those who wronged you. But the truth is, very often we don’t get that release from the person or persons at hand. Instead, we have to make a conscious effort to let go ourselves. Releasing that negative/that black spot so to speak takes effort. Some days you’ll do fine and then the pain will hit you again. You’ll go through the emotions time and again.

There’s nothing to stop the repeat. Or lessen the strength at first. But eventually, it does get smaller. One day, you’ll notice that it’s hardly a scratch anymore. Be careful though. Because scratches can open again. It doesn’t take much effort for that. Forgiving is a continuous thing. It’s work. To be honest, sometimes, it feels like too much but if you can reach that drop off, you’ll be so much better.

I won’t lie: the pain almost did eat me alive at times. Clawing my way back from nightmares do that. But I’m stronger. The kids are stronger. Every day, they thank me for getting them out of that situation, that space where time seemed to forget that we mattered. That we had a future to carve out. A past to extinguish. You don’t come back from something like that unchanged. Our lives are so different and fulfilling now.

Yes, washing the bad out of life is difficult but so much worth it. It’d be nice to skip the darkness, the period of “mourning” so to speak and just get to the healing. But unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Instead, we pluck at the bleakness day after day until it is simply gone. We become new people, just learning about ourselves and our new roles in life. Everything does have a season. Let this be yours. Good luck to you and God bless! Have a great week.

Happenings:

I’m a bit late with this blog this month due to testing positive for covid. My head’s been splitting with headaches and the aches and pains of the fluish symptoms are horrendous. I even have had shortness of breath and a burning in my chest feeling that my inhaler and Symbicort have held at bay. I tested on Fri. and called my dr.’s office but they didn’t get back to me until Mon. which made it a day too late for the meds so I just have to go through it alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Thankfully, I had the three shots due to the risks. Hope you’re all staying healthy out there.

Here are some links around the internet you might like:

  1. Writers Helping Writers: https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/10/writers-fight-club-story-contest-winners/ Thank you for celebrating the release of the SILVER Edition of The Conflict Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles. Angela and Becca create amazing books—and find fun, generous ways to celebrate. The Writer’s Fight Club Story Contest has been incredible. We enjoyed your entries and hope they’ll be published one day! Thank you for sharing your creativity, talent…and amazing conflicts. Two of our Resident Writing Coaches donated edit prizes and judged the second-round entries. I can’t wait for the talented winners to see their prizes below! If you didn’t win and are looking for an editor—check these coaches out to see if they’re a good match for you (you can see full bios for all our amazing Resident Writing Coaches here.)
  2. Robbie’s Inspiration: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/10/07/robbies-inspiration-a-visit-to-the-circus-via-cake-and-a-guacamole-salad-cakeart-fondantart/ On 25 September we had a family gathering to celebrate my parents’ 48th wedding anniversary. It was a lunch event and everybody contributed to the fare. I made a circus cake display and a guacamole salad. I worked on the fondant figures for the cake for about three months as they are quite time-consuming and detailed to make. I made a clown, two acrobats, two empowered circus bears, a strong man, and a ringmaster. The cake comprised three layers of my giant round cakes baked in my biggest wedding cake tin. I made a double-mix orange sponge, a triple-mix chocolate milk sponge, and a triple-mix vanilla milk sponge. All the cakes were very delicious and I took some of the leftovers to the office for my colleagues and our building management team. Always lovely displays of cakes.
  3. Syl’s 65 blog: https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/10/08/sketch-comedy-dave-allen-train/ Sylvester knows good comedy when he sees it!
  4. Smorgasboard Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/10/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-milestones-along-the-way-ireland-waterford-the-american-connection-by-geoff-cronin-2/ Following on from The Colour of Life, my father-in-law Geoff Cronin wrote two more books with stories of life in Waterford and Dublin from the 1930s. He collected the stories on his travels, swapping them with others in return for his own and then treating us to the results of the exchange. Geoff also added some jokes overheard just for the Craic…Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing selected stories from Milestones Along the Way. The American Connection My great uncle Richard Condon who was my grandfather’s brother-in-law lived in Chicago for most of his life and was reported to be worth at least three million dollars. In 1930, my father was his sole heir and was to inherit the fortune. However, my father received a telegram about that time to say that his uncle, Richard Condon, had just got married. The man was near eighty years old at that time and my father said “he’s got married now with one leg in the grave and the other on a bar of soap!” Apparently, he had been involved in a car accident and was seriously injured. A long period of recovery ensued and he was nursed back to reasonably good health by a lady nurse called Jessie Barr? And this was his new bride. She was a Scots Presbyterian, twenty-nine years old, and weighed about twenty stone. Quite a handful!
  5. Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo https://scvincent.com/2022/10/07/through-new-eyes/ A weekend exploring the landscape in my local area draws to a close in a few minutes. My friend is in bed, I sit here glowing pink because I caught the sun today. It was glorious weather and we have spent the day on the Chiltern hills. I miss this lovely lady’s outlook on life!
  6. Friday JohnKu https://johnwhowell.com/2022/10/07/friday-johnku-aka-tgif-fri-yay-good-news-25/
  7. Ohio Dog in Shelter Over 2,555 Days Finally Finds His Forever Home: ‘Flip Is a Very Loving Dog’
  8. Flip’s new pet parent told PEOPLE the rescue dog is adjusting well to home life and recently enjoyed his first nap in a big bed. Who doesn’t love it when an animal finds their forever home! Awesome!
  9. RosieAmber https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2022/10/08/%f0%9f%8d%82whats-flowering-in-my-garden-for-this-weeks-sixonsaturday-post-gardeninglife-gardeningtwitter/ I had great plans to bring you photos of a trip to Longstock Park Water Gardens in Hampshire, however, Covid has circled back to my household and the friend I was going with agreed it was best to postpone our trip. So I have had to scramble around my garden in search of six items for this week’s post instead. The first photo is of a lone Linum (Bright Eyes) flower. This is from a packet of seeds that I bought very late in the season. I sprinkled a few seeds out in the flower bed to see if they would still germinate. The rest I will sow next Spring.
  10. Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/10/08/5-ways-to-use-community-marketing-for-your-book-by-amanda-miller/ Locally and globally, in your community and around the world, it’s possible to create connections and memorable experiences with readers by using fun and interesting ways for them to interact with your book. This only requires a few copies of your book to give away. If the cat scratches the cover, don’t throw it away—use it for one of these nifty, inexpensive opportunities to get others involved in the marketing. I think any of these ways would be valuable and on the personal level for any author out there. They sound like such fun!
  11. Word Craft Poetry https://wordcraftpoetry.com/2022/10/07/working-up-a-sweat-with-poetic-forms/ How long does it take you to write a poem that you’re truly proud of? For me, it usually takes a fair amount of time; and this has led me to a recent realization that I’d like to share. My friends and readers know that I am constantly experimenting with sundry forms of poetry and rarely write free verse. This is not to say that I never employ free verse. I do- but not nearly as often as most poets I follow on WordPress on Twitter. Free verse really does seem to be king.
  12. Cold Hand Boyack https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/10/06/guest-author-c-s-boyack-new-release/ Joan Hall Hey, Readers. Everyone knows how much I enjoy good music – especially classic rock. Today’s guest author, C. S. Boyack does as well. He’s no stranger to this site, having been a guest several times. It’s always a pleasure to host him. Craig is not only a friend but also a contributor at Story Empire. These books remind me of the Scooby Doo gang! Fun!
  13. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/10/storytelling-and-psychology-the-yin-and-yang-of-storytelling/ Writers need to know psychology for four main reasons: They need to know how readers think and feel and use that knowledge to engage them. They need to understand the psychology of experiencing so they can create story experiences that have a real-to-life feel. They need to design characters with plausible traits, flaws, talents, motivations, etc. They need to know themselves — why they write, what they really want to write about, and how to get out of their own way. This article explains how to create story experiences that feel real to life.
  14. Marcia Meara Writes https://marciamearawrites.com/2022/10/07/thankyou/ Just a quick note to say thanks to this week’s guests, Jackie Lambert and Kassandra Lamb. I’m sorry I was unable to respond to all the lovely comments, but we have been busy every day cleaning up debris from Hurricane Ian. It’s been a long, hard week, but we’ve made substantial progress, and really appreciate your understanding and support. I’m hoping I’ll have more time to be here next week, even though I have no more guests scheduled through year’s end. But I do still have a few little surprises tucked in here and there through Christmas, along with my regular #GrannySays and #ThorsDaySmile posts. I’m hoping by slowing down a bit over the next couple of months I can finally kick Long COVID and return to both blogging and writing at my usual pace. We’ll see how that goes. Meanwhile, I’m so grateful for each and every one of you who has sent me well wishes, and who’ve been so wonderful about commenting on our guest posts. You guys ROCK!!!
Posted in a bit of seriousness, Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge, Family life, Uncategorized, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Beauty and the Person by Traci Kenworth


Beauty and the Person

Traci Kenworth

Beauty touches every human being whether we realize it or not. Oh, not the makeup but the part of us that shines within our souls. There, we’re all unique. Growing up, I spent a lot of time running from who I was. I was convinced if I could just find the right concealer, the right lipstick everything in my life would change. Nowadays, I don’t usually wear much makeup. Instead, I hope that who I am emerges through it all.

Pieces of the same girl remain but not the whole. I’ve lost fragments here and there. Everybody does. It doesn’t matter if you have freckles, braces, or a big lump on your face. You’re still you. Still loveable. It took me a long while to realize this, to believe it. They’re right when they say that some people’s heart blares through in opportunities presented to them. Those are the real heroes. The ones that can reach out to the hurting, the vulnerable.

The essence of who we are, what we’re willing to give to make ours and others lives better begins to develop when we’re just a small child. We learn certain responses get us rewards. It’s not until we break free from what’s expected of us however, that we truly develop our individuality. Who we’ll become is important because when it’s all said and done, what you make of yourself inside that soul is what counts.

We want people to be proud of us. Sometimes, that happens easily. More often, it takes work. Even a person so far gone from the grid can turn their lives around. It might take a lot of time and more road than we have, but you can get there. I’m not proud of all the decisions I made in my life, but I stand by who I am and the two children I raised. They gave me a better future because they made me fight to find that truth, that hope inside myself.

Just the other day, I saw the truly awfulness we can be inside an old lady at the store when she thought I’d cut in front of her in line. I’d been waiting over twenty minutes for my meds, and they called me. She considered me a bastard among other things, shaking her fist and flipping me off without even letting me explain. I have never been confronted by an older person like that before. Oh, I’ve seen mean, yes but not such hatred. I don’t know why it was there, only that it shocked me. And that she could get others behind her in a place that wasn’t even the line to attack me as well, I just know that that isn’t how I want to live.

All pruned up and ready to assault another person because I think they’ve offended me. I was in the process of having my order stapled up when she started her rant, and I heard them call for security. I took my order and headed out, wishing her a good day. It was hard to say that after everything she’d said to me. It reminded me of my past and other times I’ve run up on such cruelty. You never see it coming. It’s like kicking a dog. That poor animal doesn’t even realize what they’ve done to harm you. They don’t get it. Don’t live like that, please. It’s not good for anybody. Least of all, yourself.

Put your good into everything you do. It’ll win you peace. Not to mention, less wrinkles. Why are we so concerned with the outside of our person when it’s the inside that houses who we are? We store our love there to be showered on others. We hold on to the wisdom we’ve learned, the fun we were offered. Life is meant to share there not bottle it up. When we stop giving a piece of ourselves to those around us, we start to die, I think.

We’re not meant to be hermits, left to our own devices. That’s what makes me so sad when elderly people are shut off from their loved ones later in life. We all need each other to stay alive, to hope, to find a reason to go on. It’s easy to give up when you think no one cares any longer. There’s nothing to bring you back. Don’t exclude anybody from gatherings if you can help it. You just might change a life, open their heart. They might’ve been kept from others for so long they forgot what it was like. How to participate.

That goes for younger participants as well. You never know what teenager is isolated and needs to be drawn back into the fold, to feel someone cares. They might be getting less and less from the emotional stage of their time in school, in sports, whatever. A job they took might not be working out. Dreams they have might’ve been put on hold for financial reasons. Find a way to make them believe again, to make them soar.

It’ll come back to you tenfold. All this time we’re here on Earth could be used for something better. To help others. To bring them back to life, to spark their dreams again. It’s never too late for anyone. It just takes a helping hand. That reaching out and bringing things back to the beauty and person inside themselves. We’ve all got a reason for being a reason to go on. It’s in that face next to you, in that hand you hold. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Live. Rejoice. And let those dreams grow. You won’t regret it, and neither will they.

Some products that you might like. I may receive a small compensation from the seller.

Some blog posts you might like:

Enjoy your Labor Day, everyone! God bless!
Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Family life, Links, Links, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Are We Haunted By Our Pasts? Traci Kenworth


Are We Haunted By Our Pasts?

Traci Kenworth

Sometimes what we write comes from within. Something in our pasts, a memory trying to break free. When we stare at the words, we’ve written we realize there’s a familiarity there. Considering what it might be, we wonder: where did that come from? Did it touch upon the time we fell from a bike on the gravel and skinned our knees, too eager to get home to Mom’s apple pie. Or was it even deeper? The unpleasant memory of a relative who assaulted us? My whole life, I’ve learned about forgiveness. Sometimes, that’s hard.

There were those in my family who couldn’t understand why I could “let” my ex get away with what he did. Simply, it was because I prayed and gave it to God. Not that I didn’t get angry about the events of my marriage and the days following after the end. The hurt. The realization. Tears. How could I not have realized what or who I’d married? The remembrance of his words telling me to slit my wrists like his girlfriend’s husband did, to prove my love to him. That was the last straw for me.

When we’re writing a character or a scene, we often don’t realize where or when we’re going to take them to a place where we ourselves have been. Things happen unconsciously. The good thing is because we’ve been there, we can identify. We can add the details that are true to the scene. How far we push the memory depends. We can go deep. Or we can just outline the events. Sometimes that’s easier for us to handle. The pushing helps us to relive what we went through and perhaps to release the pain. However, it can also trigger memories. We have to decide how far things go for our own comfort.

            Sadness sometimes evades my writing where needed even without me realizing I’m going there at times. I want to turn away. To put those memories to rest. But I realize, by telling my story, by relating through the character’s perspective, I can help others who’ve been through the experiences. That’s the thing about books. People think we pick them up and their words go away when we’re done. And granted, that happens with some books. Others pull us in, they get inside our skin. They transform us and our circumstances. They help us. We see others familiar with our pasts and relating to what they’ve been through. Books hit us in our guts and help to root us in healing and going forward.

            We may think we’re nothing like some characters. That we couldn’t do or say what they have. After the book is finished and out there, we stumble when we realize we may indeed have a streak or a pinch of them inside us. We wish we were as brave or adventurous as them. That we could have life turn out differently for us, if only. Sometimes, that’s crippling. Others, we realize that even if we knew, even if we could change things, the biggest turnover would be in our character. I wouldn’t change who I am now for anything. Not that I’m perfect. I’ve done and said things, horrible things, but I’ve also been at the pit of violence and made it out along with my children.

            They know me. They accept me for who I am. Flaws like everyone caused me to change, to grow, to learn better. I’m still striving to get better. To be a kinder, gentler person. Sometimes, my mouth betrays me. I swear way too much at times. I wish I didn’t. I pray that God would help me to tame my tongue. But as I age and settle into who I’ve become, I give myself a break. An allowance. Forgiving others is hard. Forgiving ourselves is even worse. We think we should’ve seen things. And we did. We just didn’t know to pay attention. If only can cripple a soul if you let it.

Our pasts judge us. They weigh us down. Nothing quite condemns our actions as we ourselves do. Moving beyond that takes mercy. For ourselves, for others. We don’t necessarily have to let that person back into our lives but holding on to that cliff of unforgiveness can ghost us. Moving on may be difficult. At the pinnacle of despair, I didn’t know how or what to do. For myself, for others. My illness forced me into a darkness I didn’t understand or know how to battle. I gave up. Only to find a peek of myself again.

Guiding myself back to health and life beyond has been one of the hardest challenges I had to face. When you hate others, you can bottle that up and beg God to take it from you. When you hate yourself, sometimes it feels like there’s no end. I couldn’t understand how a miserable wretch such as myself deserved to live. A conditioning I’d learned over years of abuse. I had been weak. I’d let myself be fooled and disgusted with myself, felt drained. Near death. It was my children who pulled me out at that point. Just remembering them. Journaling about them while in therapy. Their smiles, their hugs. They were my world.

They’re still my world. Are we haunted by our pasts? Heck, yeah. There’s not a single person I’ve met over the years that hasn’t done something they regret. Whether it was getting involved with an individual they shouldn’t have to abandoning their families. We may look down on others for what they’re going through but that’s just it. You DON’T know what someone’s going through. Health-wise. Relationship-wise. Morality-wise. Judging someone for their perceived failings is forgetting to look at ourselves in the mirror.

We’ve all been on a journey we wished we hadn’t taken. Now I’m not talking about someone who has obviously done something like murder or rape. All acts are not the same. I’m suggesting that you give your neighbor or your coworker or that person in the seat across from you on the subway some compassion. We all make mistakes. We all deserve to come back from them. Provided we’re sincere. With God’s forgiveness as well as our own. We often haunt our own lives with condemnations more than anything others could throw at us. Maybe that’s how God brings us to our knees. To accept redemption.

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Here are some blog links you may enjoy.

  1. Kill Zone https://killzoneblog.com/2022/05/tkzs-words-of-wisdom.html This site has all kinds of advice for writers and not just the mystery/suspense writers. Come explore.
  2. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/05/fear-thesaurus-entry-a-secret-being-revealed/

Debilitating fears are a problem for everyone, an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether they’re a result of learned behavior as a child, are related to a mental health condition, or stem from a past wounding event, these fears influence a character’s behaviors, habits, beliefs, and personality traits. The compulsion to avoid what they fear will drive characters away from certain people, events, and situations and hold them back in life. 

In your story, this primary fear (or group of fears) will constantly challenge the goal the character is pursuing, tempting them to retreat, settle, and give up on what they want most. Because this fear must be addressed for them to achieve success, balance, and fulfillment, it plays a pivotal part in both character arc and the overall story.

This thesaurus explores the various fears that might be plaguing your character. Use it to understand and utilize fears to fully develop your characters and steer them through their story arc. Please note that this isn’t a self-diagnosis tool. Fears are common in the real world, and while we may at times share similar tendencies as characters, the entry below is for fiction writing purposes only.

3. Angel Messages https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2022/05/21/angel-messages-may-21-2022/ An inspirational site!

4. Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog https://twodropsofink.com/2022/05/20/writers-are-you-trying-too-hard/

Especially after a success or two, I become elated and, believing (finally) I really am a writer, attempt to duplicate that last glory. 

I giggle to myself at the puns, murmur self-approval at the turns of phrases, and hear imagined readers’ gasps of delight at my ingenuity. 

Then, a red-yellow warning flare shoots through my brain before I can heap more accolades on myself—Uh-oh, ego ascendant.

The signs are unmistakable. If I ignore that flare, I know it heralds disaster: I’m trying too hard to write. 

5. This is Horror https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-20-may-2022/

Out today from author Holly Rae Garcia and Easton Falls Publishing, Parachute, a horror novella

Angela Rodriguez and her friends aren’t sure what they want out of life now that they’ve graduated high school, but they think there is plenty of time to figure it all out. When a trip to an abandoned elementary school leads to a break-in, they discover an old gym parachute. Raising the fabric above their heads, the group expects it to balloon out around them like it did when they were younger. But instead, the parachute reveals alternate universes and terrifying worlds. There’s only one rule… DON’T LET GO. Available in paperback and eBook formats, you can pick up your copy here.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, John Howell, author, Links, Muse, writers, Writing and Poetry

A Little Bit of Rouge There… by Traci Kenworth


A Little Bit of Rouge There, A Little Bit of Shade to Our Characters

Traci Kenworth

Foreshadowing has never been my strong suit. I see authors such as J.K. Rowling that have snuck items in books that the reader wouldn’t have even noticed in the beginning. And then you just look back in awe. How did they think that far ahead? I know mystery writers do it all the time. Sneaking things in that the reader might see as a diversion but are the absolute truth.

How do they know when to do that? I have a hard time figuring out when to add things as you can see. I know I have to slip it in somewhere but where is the question? Do you find yourself in the same boat or do you totally get those details in just where they need to be? Of course, I know the majority of writers go back through in drafts and add what they need. My problem is knowing how much to put in and where exactly.

I’ve read that some writers know the significance of every detail in the scene including the green curtains in the background. Elsewhere, a butterfly could symbolize rebirth. I’m not that meticulous when it comes to framing things. I would love to be. As I’ve said before, adding something in the second book that shows back up in the sixth is just phenomenal talent for some writers.

I know that in school, stories are examined by teachers and students to determine just what that antique doll sitting on the shelf means. What did the author mean by focusing on that sled in the movie? Theories are sought and discussed over and over. I’ve never been a fan of pulling things apart like that. I like to be more subtle. What does the story mean to me? What are the relevant details and how did they fit in that spot? Would I have done something different? It’s hard to say.

In college, further studies of the classics happened. If Beale Street Could Talk. The Catcher and the Rye. Both books to make you think. Especially as a younger person. It broadened your world. Made you see that everyone has their own suckish life but once you work through things, you discovered life is what life is. You make the best of it. It helps to put your own in perspective. Maybe you didn’t have it as bad as you think.

That’s what books do. They help us explore options. What could be versus what is. It’s only in the learning and exploring that we understand what the story is about. Foreshadowing is a tool writers use to set up a scene further in the future. Discovering when and how to add the clue is done differently by every writer. And let’s face it, some of the clues readers discover ended up there by accident.

I know it’s popular nowadays to think that a writer might have broken down every scene with objects that meant something to the story. The chair in the middle of the floor might showcase a kidnapping. A chest might lead a character on to a quest. Sometimes however, a detail in the story is just there. A character needs a place to rest. To discuss options with his or her friends.

I suppose I’d understand the ways writers insert shade into their stories more if I did the breakdowns of stories. Somehow though, that feels like almost an intrusion into them. I like a bit of mystery, a bit of wonder as to where the writer pulled that out of their page. Mystery writer I may never be, but from what I’ve learned while reading and absorbing the story, I can see the value in adding the clues.

It’ll be something I need to observe more in my reading so that I can apply it to my writing in the years to come. How about you? Do you like to tear stories apart and put them back together? Are you like me and don’t like to study every detail down to the author’s name? I just know what I like when I read it. It’s in the pages that we uncover the magic, the talent of each writer before us and how they came to weave their genius into the story.

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Below are some links you might like to view:

  1. Pitch Wars https://pitchwars.org/upcoming-release-red-thread-of-fate-by-lyn-liao-butler/ Two days before Tam and Tony Kwan receive their letter of acceptance for the son they are adopting from China, Tony and his estranged cousin Mia are killed unexpectedly in an accident. A shell-shocked Tam learns she is named the guardian to Mia’s five-year-old daughter, Angela. With no other family around, Tam has no choice but to agree to take in the girl she hasn’t seen since the child was an infant. Overwhelmed by her life suddenly being upended, Tam must also decide if she will complete the adoption on her own and bring home the son waiting for her in a Chinese orphanage. But when a long-concealed secret comes to light just as she and Angela start to bond, their fragile family is threatened. As Tam begins to unravel the events of Tony and Mia’s past in China, she discovers the true meaning of love and the threads that bind her to the family she is fated to have.
  2. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/01/how-to-use-touch-in-writing/

Touch is a basic human need. It’s the first sense we develop and our first social interaction at birth.

The Power of Touch.

Imagine walking barefoot through a forest. The softness of moss between your toes, the cool slime of mud, the pokes and scratches of pine needles, sticks, and stones.

Think of the kitchen and the intense heat of the oven. Remember kneading and punching bread dough, making deep indentations in the mixture, releasing stored aggression on the dough. (Good therapy.)

Touch has two different systems, factual (location, movement, and pressure) and emotional. Both types are used in writing.

3. Story Empire Blog https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2022/01/28/what-can-be-done-if-the-desire-to-write-is-missing/

Hi SEers, John is with you today. I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend. I know I am. Today’s post is all about providing some perspective on those times when no matter how much a writer knows they should get to their writing, they just dread it. I have had those moments. It’s that awful time where writing sounds like it will be a miserable experience.

These times may not last long, but while they are there, they become a cause for unreasonable concern about the future as a writer. I mention unreasonable since, like most things that go bump in the night, these concerns under the white-hot light of reality tend to fall away.

So, what kind of white-hot light can be switched on to expose these feelings of not wanting to write to a reality check. The title of this post gives a hint. Some things can be said out loud that will chase the specter of doubt to St Louis. I am suggesting some things can be said when faced with a lack of desire to write. Once any of these are expressed, writing will take on a revitalized characteristic. Some of these are meant to be humorous to show how laughable it is not wanting to write.

4. Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/01/27/robbies-inspiration-my-word-for-the-year-patience/

Several people in the blogosphere had selected a word to inspire them for 2022. One of the best such words I’ve encountered is curator shared by Marsh Ingrao of Always Write blog. You can read her post here: https://alwayswrite.blog/2022/01/26/wqw-4-word-of-the-year-or-writers-choice/

Seeing as the bloggers have collective colluded to twist my rubber arm with regards to a wordy inspiration, I have chosen ‘Patience’. I shared my choice with my long suffering husband and, after he’d picked himself up off the floor after laughing himself silly, I composed this poem to keep me on the path of patient virtuousness:

5. Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2022/01/27/light-years-from-home-by-mike-chen-blogtour-bookreview-scifi-family/

Every family has issues. Most can’t blame them on extraterrestrials.

Evie Shao and her sister, Kass, aren’t on speaking terms. Fifteen years ago on a family camping trip, their father and brother vanished. Their dad turned up days later, dehydrated and confused—and convinced he’d been abducted by aliens. Their brother, Jakob, remained missing. The women dealt with it very differently. Kass, suspecting her college-dropout twin simply ran off, became the rock of the family. Evie traded academics to pursue alien conspiracy theories, always looking for Jakob.

When Evie’s UFO network uncovers a new event, she goes to investigate. And discovers Jakob is back. He’s different—older, stranger, and talking of an intergalactic war—but the tensions between the siblings haven’t changed at all. If the family is going to come together to help Jakob, then Kass and Evie are going to have to fix their issues, and fast. Because the FBI is after Jakob, and if their brother is telling the truth, possibly an entire space armada, too.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Craft, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

The Beauty of Writing by Traci Kenworth


The Beauty of Writing

Traci Kenworth

I was probably twelve or thirteen when I began using makeup. Eye shadow. Liner. Rouge. Lipstick. Any and all of it. I wished in later years, that I’d taken it slower like my one friend in high school whose parents only allowed her lipstick for many years. Of course, I found out from another friend that she ditched that restriction when it came to parties and hanging out with friends. I just thought maybe less was more as I got older.

I guess that’s how we all start off with writing as well. Experimenting to see what worked best. Sometimes, certain words didn’t work at all. I thought you had to be distant from the piece but as time advanced, I learned how close you really want to be with your reader. Almost as if you could whisper to them, “Here, I have a tale I want to tell you about.” That’s what draws them in. It’s what gets them to share the character’s journey.

Truth be told, I’d rather spend time reading the majority of the time. Unfortunately, things continue to get in my way of such and I have to really work to enjoy stories nowadays. There’s something about sitting down, focusing on that character that’s magical. Like the first time you look into the mirror with makeup on and find someone you don’t quite recognize. It’s all about relating to that person you see. Listening to their secrets. Sharing the possibilities.

The tools of makeup bring out the canvas of one’s beauty just like those used for writing. When we begin a story, we have to learn how to contour things just right, so they enhance a scene, bring out the best in a character, or showcase the genre in question. The more we write, the more we learn. We could also say the same about reading. It should go hand in hand with our works. We need to learn what authors who’ve gone before us have done and improve on our own manuscripts with the things we discover. Of course, don’t copy their efforts. We grow by adapting and trying new ideas.

Imitating is fine at first, but you want to break out into your own path. Much like you want to tailor makeup to you, instead of following the trends and looking like every other face out there. There’s room for you in whatever you do. To shine, to explore, to rise to new heights. I’m not talking author intrusion. Still, you want the story to reflect what you want to say and how you want to say it. Don’t channel Anne Rice or Stephen King. Put a bit of you into the work. What do you believe? What matters to you? Show your characters searching for what they want or putting an end to the thing that could destroy their world.

As you age, you become less inclined to wear makeup. There just isn’t the time or anybody to impress. Still, a small amount can do wonders for your confidence. At least it does for me. I was a lonely girl looking for a way to fit in as a teenager. I didn’t quite make it until my senior year in high school. I opened up. Spoke my mind sometimes. And won new friends. When I think about those times, I realize it was training ground. Everyone at some time in their life experiences awkwardness. The best thing to do is to work through those times. Pick up your pen. Put your fingers to the keys. Write about tragedy, hope, and forgiveness. It heals the soul.

Where Genres Collide

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Five Links You Might Find Interesting:

. https://syl65.wordpress.com/2021/12/30/thursdaythoughts-the-year-to-come/ Syl65's Blog.com Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
2. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/12/30/smorgasbord-book-reviews-december-2021-round-up-contemporary-anne-goodwin-romance-jan-sikes-romance-staci-troilo-shortstories-mae-clair-thriller-jane-buckley/ Smorgasboard Blog Magazine.com Welcome to the last of the book reviews for 2021 with some wonderful books that I can highly recommend.

The first book I read in December was the thought provoking contemporary novel Matilda Wilson is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin.
3.  https://teripolen.com/2021/12/29/www-wednesday-what-am-i-reading-amreading-65/ Books and Such The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m literally starting Bright Ruined Things today, so I really can’t comment on it. It’s been on my NetGalley shelf for months, but I’m excited to finally get to it. The cover gives me a Great Gatsby feel.
4. https://conniejjasperson.com/2021/12/29/writing-drabbles-and-exploring-theme-amwriting/ Life in the Realm of Fantasy I think of writing as a muscle of sorts, working the way all other muscles do. Our bodies are healthiest when we exercise regularly, and with respect to our creativity, writing works the same way.

WritingCraft_short-story-drabbleDaily writing becomes easier once you make it a behavioral habit. The more frequently you write, the more confident you become. Spend a small amount of time writing every day and you will develop discipline.
5. https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2021/12/traditional-publishing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email The Blood-Red Pencil Although we now focus quite heavily on indie and self-publishing here at The Blood-Red Pencil, many of our early posts were geared towards helping authors navigate the traditional publishing gauntlet, from completed manuscript, to agent queries and pitches, to landing that much-coveted book deal with one of the large publishing houses.

 



Countdown to a Book

One of the most comprehensive series of posts we ran here was Kathryn Craft's seventeen-post epic account of her journey through the traditional publication process, starting with her realisation that she needed help long before she could even think about querying an agent.
Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, writers, Writing and Poetry

The Three Types of Premise


Writing
Image via Wikipedia

The Three Types of Premises

Traci Kenworth

 

As stated in How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey, premise is a statement of what happens to the characters as a result of the core conflict of the story. Today, we’re going to discuss 3 types.

Type 1: Chain Reaction: This is simply a series of events that blast the character toward the finale. For instance: Darla, out on shopping rounds, finds an envelope of money with no identification to the owner (or perhaps there is and she’s just not saying), and no one but her conscious to tell her what to do. So she keeps the money, spends it even. Later, she learns of a young couple with a three-year-old daughter who has cancer lost their money at the store and is unable to pay for their daughter’s treatments. She is torn between what to do. Should she return the funds from her own pocket book, ignore the situation entirely, or admit that she took it and has no way to replace the money? The answer to this puzzle is the climax or solution. Let’s take this one step further and suppose that $5.00 from that envelope landed Darla the winning lottery ticket/ Now what is her dilemma? Will she make the “right” choice?

Type 2: The opposing forces: Love vs. hate. Wealth vs. poverty. Death vs. life. An example may be: a man of Biblical principles, in applying them to his life, finds himself challenged by the very things he believes. When a woman and her children enter his life under a false set of circumstances, he must decide whether to turn them in, part ways, or help them the best he can. Let’s say he learns she stole to provide for her children, he knows the family she stole from, and his conscious impresses upon him to expose her for the crime. And yet, his heart is at war because she did so to feed her children, to keep them off the streets, to give them a chance in life. Which set of values will win out? Will compassion cause him to cover for her and help her to get a new start? Will they all become, in turn, a new family?

Type 3: The Situational Premise: This is where the same problem affects all of the characters in the story. Example: Each character searches for an anchor. It destroys some, but saves others. This type can easily become a snag if the story becomes too convoluted. Because each might have their own story, you could end up telling too much of one’s and not enough of another’s. Your main protagonists become less. The story has to be cut carefully, set into type just so, if it is blossom into a beautiful tale. The story is Bill’s and Andi’s not the entire cast. That’s not to say the story doesn’t apply to all the characters, it just has to be more Bill’s and Andi’s than the town of Montville.

So how do you handle the above types of premises? I find most of my stories to fall under the situational premise. I just love to bring a problem to a town and drop it in everyone’s laps. Of course, my hero and heroine who have the most to suffer must embrace their strengths and bring about the downfall of the villain/disaster. It’s a tricky balance to keep your minor characters just that, but in the end, the story shines because of it.

Posted in #tanka #haiku #poetry, a bit of seriousness, blogs, Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge, Craft, Muse, Reading, senryu, Short stories, Writing and Poetry

Three Senryu and a Story 8/6/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Dead windows wait for
the joy of the children once
roomed within their walls

curtains hang
limp with dust as a
stillborn cries

pictures 
decay while 
tears drop

The House on Vasket Street

Traci Kenworth

They’d moved in three months ago. Dreams full. Hopes high. Delaney inspected her face in the passenger mirror window. Her face had filled out. She patted her stomach. Any day now. She glanced over at Keith and the twins in the back street. Life was good.

The moving van pulled in front of the house while they parked in the drive.

Shouted orders came from one of the guys in the truck to his fellow crew.

Keith smiled at her and rushed to unlock the door for the movers while she rested her head back and closed her eyelids.

Had that only been three months ago? It seemed a lifetime as they wheeled her into the operating room. An emergency C-section. She ignored the nurses’ whispers about her paleness. She’d heard too much of that conversation of late. She didn’t need anyone to tell her what she saw when she glanced in the mirror: she’d failed.

She bowed her head over the basinet as the moving van came.

The twins giggled down the hall as their daddy played with them for perhaps the last time in a long while.

She’d failed at marriage too.

Tears scattered on the floor, catching on the frame of a picture.

And then a loving-hand found hers and crouched beside her, his sobs mingling with her own.

“I’m sorry so sorry,” he said.

“It’s me you need to forgive.”

“It isn’t your fault.”

“Or yours.”

They kissed. The movers waited out on the curb.

“I’ll tell them.” He stood and she wandered down the hall to the twins.

Perhaps things weren’t perfect. Life rarely worked that way. But it was time for a new start. She hugged her children and led them downstairs to make dinner for her family.

The End.

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