Tuesday, June 20, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

WHEN RULES COLLIDE...

When to break the rules, once you know what the rules are and what they're for, is relatively easy. One of the things I've struggled with is what to do when two or more rules conflict with each other. Break one? Break the other? Break both?

Here's one of my worst.
RULE 1. No backstory for 30 pages.
RULE 2. Show, don't tell.

What if I have a past detail that needs to be embedded to make sense of the current action? Do I do a flashback so I'm not Ms. Exposition, or do I quick tell the fact?

Say the fact is that Sir Reginald is main character Tina's father.

I've found most non-author readers will cut you a little slack when it comes to simply spewing a few details. Try not to make it too obvious, like "Tina, of course you know Sir Reginald is your father..."

Readers will cut you a little less slack when it comes to flashbacks, but they'll still go along if it's entertaining and they know it's going to make the current action better. For example,
Sir Reginald held the little bundled form in his arms. "Tina, sweetheart, I'll be the best daddy I can."

But why not try to combine the two? Try to drop the info in as a SHOW into the current action? Better yet, add conflict. Like:
She picked up the picture of Sir Reginald holding the pink-blanket-wrapped bundle and shoved it in Tina's face. "He's your father. Deal with it!"

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2T Repeat Performance

In December, the lovely Magical Musings crew decided it was time to close down their blogging shop. I had three wonderful years with them. I thought you might be interested in seeing those posts now.

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc
Just for Laughs—Favorites #7 Comics & Cartoons--originally posted July 23, 2014

Let's get to know each other!

In these first months as a Magical Musings blogger, I'm sharing my 10 favorite things and hope to hear about yours.

I love humor across the board, but my favorite type is the concentrated form known as the cartoon. It’s such an expressive medium, from subtle to over-the-top, but always bite sized.

To me, cartoons are the visual equivalent of poetry, but for humor :)

This is me. http://xkcd.com/1267/
This is sooo me.

When I start the day by checking out my favorite cartoons, I start the day with a smile. On Facebook I follow Garfield, Pearls Before Swine, and Zits. Online my faves are Freefall, Sinfest, User Friendly, and xkcd (pictured at right).

If novels are movies, comics are a camera's snapshot. They tell a story too, with setup and payoff but in just a few frames. I thoroughly admire the focus and clarity of thought and visualization the artist must have. The best, as with all art forms, shed light on the human condition. Which is probably why I tend toward the geeky ones. lol.

I miss some favorites. Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and Fox Trot, as well as the always perspective-shifting Far Side.
Nixie's lost her mojo!

Cartoons have had a huge influence on my writing, especially with some of the snarkier characters like five-foot-even punk rock musician Nixie. She's my version of a cartoon, tossing out one-liners as she observes her world from her unique perspective. Here's the warning from Murder at Chipmunk Lake, a new Nixie and Julian story coming July 30.

Nixie Emerson, punk rock musician and first-time mom-to-be, has a stalker!

Warning: contains a cranky pregnant lady trying to control her swearing, a master vampire appeasing his wife with food and creative sex, murder, mayhem and several arguments over what to name the baby.

Do you enjoy cartoons? What are your favorites?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1T Status Update

June! The windows here are finally open, at least until summer's heatwave closes them again, lol. Here's what I've been up to:
  • Night's Caress first round of edits is done. Seriously excited about this one!
  • Billionaire Ever After--preorder now and get some fun thank-you gifts!
  • Finishing up Hunt Mates (Pull of the Moon, When Gabriel Met Emma) for the March of Dimes charity anthology Haunted by Love. This set is wide 2 weeks only! Look for it August 1-15.
  • the peonies are blooming!
  • New musical group! This spring, my husband and I retired from the symphony we played with for decades, but we've joined the area American Legion Band. Yes, he's put aside his cello to play percussion, lol. Great group, great music!