Facets Of Fiction

TSTL* – Too Stupid To Live

A while back, I finished reading a book by a big-name author and was completely disgusted by the hero and heroine.  About three-quarters of the way into the book, the hero makes a TSTL* (Too Stupid To Live) decision that I couldn’t believe, and then to make the situation even worse, this TSTL decision was promptly followed by the heroine upping the TSTL quotient, to the point that I almost threw the book against the wall.  The only saving grace was that I bought the book off the bargain rack…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

Critical Reading of a Beginning

A friend is trying to sell her first book but not getting good responses from agents and editors, and she’s getting very frustrated and depressed about the whole process.  I read her book a couple times during the editing process, but I hadn’t seen the version that she’s shopping around.  When she emailed me the other day that her new website is live, out of curiosity, I popped over to check it out, and I couldn’t resist taking a quick glance at the first chapter she had posted. When I…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

Editing Is The Hard Part

From the email bag: Editing is the hard part, and I keep trying to avoid it. It’s easier to get on with the next book, but I’ll never move up the ladder to published if I do that. Writing, getting that first draft out of your head, is just so much fun. The rest, editing, is painful, but challenging.   And yes, I understand completely about the “editing” part of the writing process.  It’s not fun.  🙁 When the words of the story just pour out of you in that…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

Revision Letters Part 1: Ego

You have received a revision letter from an editor or agent, or any kind of detailed critique, and you’re falling apart at the seams.  How can you fix the situation so you can do what needs to be done? First, you need to: Take your ego out of the whole situation. You can do this by remembering two things: 1) Edits requested for a manuscript have no bearing on you as a person. Just because your manuscript wasn’t perfect when you sent it in doesn’t lessen your worth as a…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

Revision Letters Part 2: Symptoms

You have received a revision letter from an editor or agent, or any kind of detailed critique, and you’re falling apart at the seams.  How can you fix the situation so you can do what needs to be done? First, you need to: Take your ego out of the whole situation.  See Revision Letters Part 1: Ego After you’ve done this, the second part of dealing with revison letters and critique is to: View every critique as a list of symptoms not a list of factual problems or issues.  …

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

Deciding Your Story’s Genre

Deciding your story’s genre is one of the first decisions you have to make when writing a novel or short story.  Experienced writers often know the genre before the story is begun, but it’s not unusual for the inexperienced writer to be faced with the decision after the first draft is completed. Why is a story’s genre so important?  Can’t I just write any story I want? For a short story, its genre decides which magazines/e-zines you can send your story to, or which anthologies you can submit to.  Therefore,…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

Genre & Sub-Genre

Fantasy Science Fiction Romance Horror Mystery Thriller Western Young Adult Children’s Literature The basis for the following lists are from http://www.FictionFactor.com/genre.html and  http://www.cuebon.com/ewriters/genres.html (see their website for definition of the sub-genres), with additions from various other sources. Fantasy Sub-Genres Alternate worlds Arthurian Bangsian Celtic Christian Comedic Contemporary Court Intrigue Dark Dying Earth Erotic Fairy Tale Fantasy of Manners or Mannerpunk Feghoot Heroic High or Epic Fantasy Historical Historical High Fantasy Juvenile Low Fantasy Media tie-in (Buffy novels, etc.) Medieval Mythic (mythopoeia, mythpunk) Prehistoric Quest Romantic Science Fantasy Series Superhero Sword…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

There Is NO Privacy On The Internet

For a couple days, this issue has been going around the various loops and blogs that I read, and I’ve resisted posting it because I figured y’all have seen it already. But John Scalzi came up with another twist on it, so I thought I’d share. Here’s the initial story: “Today’s Writing Contest To Run Like Hell From” And here’s the update: “First One Publishing and 404 Pages” In essence, the first one talks about a writing contest with really awful rules, like: “By submitting an entry, all entrants grant…

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

My Blackberry Is Not Working!

I got this from my brother and couldn’t resist passing it along. If you love British humor and plays on words… this is for you. “My Blackberry Is Not Working!” One warning: Put your drink down The moral of the video (to make this a writing-related post) is to be very careful about the words you use in your stories. Do the words that you use mean the same thing to your readers as they do to you?

Read More
Facets Of Fiction

False Suspense

A long while back, I edited a manuscript from one of my mentees.  The manuscript was aimed at a romantic suspense publisher, and while the story was good, and the characters were well handled, and the setting well done, the way she handled the suspense drove me absolutely bug-nuts. I tried several times to explain my issue, but I didn’t have the words to explain the troubles I was having.  A couple weeks ago, I read a published novel that was obviously a first book, and this book used the…

Read More