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Five Links 3/27/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by JacekBen from Pixabay

Five Links 3/27/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/03/conflict-thesaurus-bad-weather/ “Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Bad Weather”

2. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/20/10-signs-writing-success-is-actually-closer-than-you-think/

3. https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2020/03/24/how-to-plan-a-novel-ep-6-free-podcast-for-writers/

4. https://jamigold.com/2020/03/writing-craft-basics-how-to-format-dialogue/ “If your brain is any amount of scattered like mine, now might be a good time to cover some of the basics of our writing craft. So let’s tackle a subject I haven’t dug into here before: dialogue formatting and a few do’s and don’ts.

I originally started this post intending to dig deeper into a dialogue point-of-view question a reader asked, but the introduction of these formatting basics took up the whole post. Oops! So rather than shortchanging either topic, I’ll cover the basics today and we’ll come back to the more advanced stuff on Thursday. *smile*

Most of us who want to write also love reading, so we might think we already know everything about dialogue formatting, but sometimes a tricky situation can catch us by surprise. So let’s make sure we know all there is to know about dialogue formatting.”

5.  https://rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/brainstorming-by-yourself/ “All across the nation, people are staying home, socially distancing, and generally isolating themselves. Which means, getting together with your critique partners has become a national no-no, unless you’re FaceTiming or using one of those conferencing aps like Zoom.

So what’s a writer to do when you’re staring a new book, and that writer’s retreat that you scheduled where you were going to plot it out with friends has been postponed indefinitely? Short answer: you gotta suck it up and figure it out on your own.

Here’s something I do whenever I get stuck, or I’m just starting a book, and my critique partners and brainstorming posse is unavailable.

Step One: I get a piece of paper and at the top I write the character’s name. And right under that I write down his/her major external goal or problem.

Step Two: For ten minutes I write down stuff that could happen that would make it harder to achieve that goal, or which would make the goal more important. I write down everything including dumb ideas, cliches, and stuff that’s just silly. When the timer goes off, I usually have a list of at least 20 things that could happen, and usually the last few are kind of interesting.

Step Three:  I get a second piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top.  And then instead of thinking about things that would make the goal more important or harder, I think about all the things that could happen that would make the character’s goal more important/problematic for the community in which the character operates.  In my case that’s always a small town, but for a police procedure it could be the local government or police force.

Step Four:  I get a third piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top.  And then I list out all the things that might happen that would make achieving the goal or solving the problem a life or death proposition.  This one is harder than the rest because of the kind of books I write.  But I always find ideas when I do this.

When you’re finished with this exercise you will have more ideas on how to “raise the stakes” in your story, and add conflict, which is what people want to read.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/03/20/found-mounds-the-call-of-albion/ “‘…Maybe it is because it is our third visit or maybe it is because there are three of us, or maybe we had to work out the St Andrew thing before we were allowed to ascend, who knows?

Whatever the reasons, we re-convene on top of the man-made-conical-mound which hides behind the Church of St Nicholas, High Bradfield and Wen has an interesting take on proceedings.

“If St Andrew of Scotland is Andrew the Disciple of Christ then he may have come over here with Joseph of Arimathea.”

2. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2020/03/20/types-of-spying-in-war-of-nytefall/ “Now, this may be a better topic for War of Nytefall: Ravenous, but I felt like I couldn’t risk forgetting it.  Spying and gathering intelligence is still very important in Eradication, especially when you see one of the big moves that Leo Kandrel makes.  In fact, the Dawn Fangs and their enemies have come to see that gathering information is more important than battles.  This is where the real struggle comes from since many events come down to who knows what and who learns of things first.  The side that pinpoints the location of the Fist of Durag could very well turn the tide of the slow-moving war.

Now, I’ve noticed about 6 types of spying that goes on in War of Nytefall.  It’s actually 3 to each side.  There is a 7th that I can’t talk about though because of spoilers.  Let’s leave that one alone and dive right into the methods.”

3. https://jenanita01.com/2020/03/20/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shortstory-horses-satin-and-cinders-by-jan-sikes/ “A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.”

4. https://scvincent.com/2020/03/21/dignity-and-memories/We were supposed to be in Scotland this week, revisiting a magical place. However, that cannot happen at the moment. As things are rather up in the air, I thought I’d revisit a past trip this week and share a bit of history from a past adventure… and a Yorkshire parish church with an awful lot of history:”

5. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/03/23/character-archetypes-the-trickster/ “If you’ve been following my reblogs of C. S. Boyack’s series on archetypes, you’ll really enjoy his Story Empire post today on Tricksters. What are they and how can writers use them to add surprising elements to their stories? Just head on over and check it out. You’ll be glad you did! Oh, and please don’t forget to share so others can learn more about archetypes, too. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for such an interesting and helpful post. 🙂

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/what-does-this-pandemic-mean-for-writers/ “his is the question I’m getting over and over again from my authors. COVID-19 has changed everything. How is this going to affect us? What’s going to happen to publishing?

The short answer is: Nobody knows. But there are a few truths we can point to.

First, people are going to continue to read. If you’re a writer, keep doing what you do, because we need you.

Second, publishing has already survived pandemics, recessions, the Great Depression, two world wars, the advent of television, the growth of the Internet, and the proliferation of ways to entertain ourselves. Publishing has changed with the times and will continue to do so. My best guess is that books will still be published and people will continue to read them.

In the short term, there may be fallout. Some independent bookstores, which have thankfully been doing well lately, might not survive. That would be a big loss. (You can help by supporting your local indie right now!)”

2. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/03/23/writing-through-the-perilous-times-amwriting/ “We live in difficult times. You might be temporarily unemployed unless your work is the sort where you can telecommute. My husband falls into the “work from home” category. My brother does not. Like many others, he is mostly unemployed once again.

If you live in Washington State, you have some help available. They’re small, but better than nothing. Our governor immediately put our fallback resources in place, trying to help our struggling workers and our healthcare system.”

3. https://chelseaannowens.com/2020/03/23/11100/ ““Every persons’ definition of happy may hold a different meaning. I feel it’s important that you recognize what that meaning is for you and once you have defined it, understand that it is up to you to walk toward it.

“It’s so very easy to blame those around us or circumstances we find ourselves in for our happiness. What we do not always realize is that we have control of nothing but our inner voice and a choice. A choice to make our lives more amazing than we thought possible.

“Your happiness depends on you, and while it may not always be clear or it may seem like a dark path to walk, when we realize the light comes from within, the search for it elsewhere is no longer required.”

4. https://whenangelsfly.net/2020/03/23/6-ways-to-help-anxious-children-during-coronavirus-behaviour101/Do you have an anxious child right now? Will they benefit from direct strategies to combat this feeling or will a subtle approach work better? This article provides both.

via 6 Ways to Help Anxious Children during Coronavirus — Behaviour101

5. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/23/when-you-learn-writing-gets-lonely-the-blank-page/ “The Blank Page is a new weekly series on Novelty Revisions dedicated to any writer who is just beginning their journey or starting again after a long pause. Check back every Monday for more tips and inspiration.

Writing — and being a writer — is as fulfilling and worthwhile as it often sounds. There are downsides to every hobby and profession. Writing is also exhausting, sometimes overwhelming and frustrating. But that just makes the entire experience worth the occasional struggle.

Something that isn’t talked about enough is writing and its relation to socialization — mainly that you don’t always understand how lonely writing can be until you experience it firsthand.

It must be discouraging to finally dive into the hobby that could one day become your dream job, only to realize how isolating and lonely it can feel. Especially on days writing is more of a struggle and you wish you had someone to talk with about your frustrations.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/there-are-mowers-mowing/

2. https://kittysverses.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/choice-2/

3. https://www.djranch.org/2020/03/20/flash-fiction-the-storm-to-pass/

4. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-whats-in-a-name-vanessa-in-a-dilemma-by-sally-cronin/

5. https://susansplace.blog/2020/03/23/thank-you-for-all-that-you-do/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-20-march-2020/

2. https://pitchwars.org/happy-book-birthday-to-the-derby-daredevils-kenzie-kickstarts-a-team-by-mentor-kit-rosewater/ “A highly illustrated middle-grade series that celebrates new friendships, first crushes, and getting out of your comfort zone

Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and Shelly (aka Bomb Shell) have dreamed of becoming roller derby superstars. When Austin’s city league introduces a brand-new junior league, the dynamic duo celebrates! But they’ll need to try out as a five-person team. Kenzie and Shelly have just one week to convince three other girls that roller derby is the coolest thing on wheels. But Kenzie starts to have second thoughts when Shelly starts acting like everyone’s best friend . . . Isn’t she supposed to be Kenzie’s best friend? And things get really awkward when Shelly recruits Kenzie’s neighbor (and secret crush!) for the team. With lots of humor and an authentic middle-grade voice, book one of this illustrated series follows Kenzie, Shelly, and the rest of the Derby Daredevils as they learn how to fall—and get back up again.”

3. https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2020/03/24/gods-and-dragons-the-dragon-of-time-book-1-by-aaron-dennis-genre-epic-fantasy/ “Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past…. The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom?”

4.

5.

In need of some post-its?

What about printer paper? Pens?

What about an inspirational book to keep you company during your down time?

Or a good YA title?

Posted in Historicals, Romance, traditional

Excerpt for The Widow of Rose House


cover of The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

Excerpt from Chapter Three              

By Nicole Tone          

Her heart raced. There was a crushing weight on her chest that made it impossible to catch her breath. The voicemail alert went off and Sophie shook. First her hands, then her teeth, chattering like it was the dead of winter.

Did she want this night ruined too?

Wasn’t it already ruined?

Reaching for her phone, she swiped the message, letting the voicemail play over speakerphone. She stood in her kitchen, pot of noodles on the stove she no longer was hungry for, and waited for her world to come crashing down all over again.

“Hi Soph. It’s Dad. It’s around six here, so nine there. I figured you might be home by now. Maybe you’re at work.”

Sophie raised her eyebrow. She hadn’t heard from him since their Skype chat at Christmas. It was normal for them, Sophie’s schedule making keeping in touch with anyone difficult, not counting the physical distance and time difference between Buffalo and Seattle. She’d send him a rambling e-mail here and there, but phone calls were in short supply.

“I was just calling to see how things were. I, uh, talked to your mother and wanted to run something by you. See if you’d be open to the idea. Anyway, give me a call when you can. This is my new number. My old phone now lives with the giant squid. Love you, kid.”

Pouring the now-cooked pasta into the strainer, she pondered over the voicemail. It made sense they’d get a new number; he’d kept his one from here despite living out west for almost two decades. To finally assimilate to his new home was a big step.

She called him back, phone on speaker as she finished dinner.                                                      

“Hey kid.”

“Hey Dad. Giant squid, huh?”

He laughed, warm and sweet as memories. It was the warm summer afternoons she played out on rock beaches as a kid. The Earl Grey and honey on days when it stormed. This had been the way things were for as long as she had been able to make memories. It was only when she started working that her summers with him stopped.

“Yeah. I was trying to take a picture of some orcas I saw while I was on the ferry and, well, I dropped my phone.”

“Seattle’s way of forcing you to become one of them?”

“I guess so.”

Silence fell between them as she scooped the pasta into a bowl. Dinner for one, but enough for two. She’d have leftovers for tomorrow.

“So,” he started, “I guess I should tell you why I called.”

“Yeah, probably.” Sophie laughed. “Or we can keep talking about how Seattle is swallowing you whole.”

“Well, I actually sold my place in the city.”

“Oh?” The loft had been her favorite. She could sit on the floor, legs crossed, watching the ebb and flow of traffic, both car and ferry. The space had been bright and modern, from what she understood of the word as it applied to interior architecture. But more than that, the loft reflected the mix of new and old Seattle embraced. Sophie wanted to live in something similar one day — a dream closer to becoming a reality the more real estate developers took over Buffalo’s deserted buildings.

Selling the loft should have felt like a bigger betrayal. Like she was losing a piece of her, the way it had felt when her mom sold the house Sophie and Will had grown up in. Sophie’d hated painting over the drawings on her closet wall, the mural on her ceiling, any piece of personality so potential buyers could really see themselves living in that space. But the loft wasn’t home. It was the place Sophie and Will would spend a night or two when they’d come visit during the summer just to do city things: Pike’s Place, catch a Sounders game, explore the EMP. It was a stepping-stone in between SeaTac and the ferry that ushered them out to the peninsula for the summer.

“I’m a full time Port Townsend resident now. Port . . . Townie?”

Sophie rolled her eyes and laughed. “Port Townsend . . . ite. Maybe. I don’t think they’d appreciate you calling them townies, Dad.”

“Yeah, I’m still figuring out the terminology. One of the big tech companies wanted to buy the building, so between that and retirement, I figured what the hell.”

“But you kept the summer house, right?”

“That’s where I’m living full time.”

The summer house sat outside a quiet Victorian town that saw more tourists than locals.

To Sophie, it was the version of home she equated with her dad. She loved the area, how quiet it was, protected between mountains and ocean. As a siren bounced off her apartment building, Sophie wished she was at the summer house now, waves her lullaby instead of the sounds of the city.                                                          

Diana Biller