Book of the Week: August 21st, 2015

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Wow, I totally forgot to upload this yesterday. So you get a Book of the Week on a Friday, this time. Anyway, this week we’re doing a bit of a different genre, and going toward the lighter side of things after going really dark with The Real Story last week. This time, the Book of the Week is Rifles for Watie.

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Rifles for Watie

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Cup of Dcaf: Short Fiction and Scenes

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After finishing the first draft of All Flames Cast, my mind has become increasingly bent on filling out the world and details of the next book(s) I’m going to tackle. I’ve found myself writing little character sketches, scenes, and short stories to help myself with building a new world for a new book. Over the course of this, I’ve gotten a clearer view of the differences between short stories and scenes, which is something I’ve found over the years to be a bit of a blurred line for many writers.

I went through a university degree in Creative Writing, as I know many, many other writers have, and as a result I kind of went through a crucible. There are a lot of pressures on an undergrad writing student—including the pressure to abandon genre fiction because of the flawed idea that it’s inherently inferior to lit fic—and one of those pressures is to learn how to write short stories. Continue reading

Drew’s State of Writing – April 2015

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It’s that time again. Six months ago, I posted about Drew’s State of Writing, and talked a lot about the new things with Dcaf Copy, All Flames Cast, and updated writing schedules. Of course, for those who have been following along, you know that that schedule ended up being wildly optimistic.

As things stand right now, I’m closing in on the end of All Flames Cast. Harael’s chapters were finished in January; Eritan’s are nearly done right now, though I may need to add in another one, depending on how the timeline ends up working out with Tymun’s chapters. I’m still working on reconciling events across character arcs. Tymun has a start already, but will be getting the majority of work during the last half of April. It’s my goal to finish the first draft of this book by the end of April/early May, and get it through alpha reads by this summer so I can start revising. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Thoughts and Internal Dialogue

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Anyone who reads a lot of fiction will be familiar with italicized font, and what it signifies: internal dialogue or thoughts. This is a very common tool used in first- or third-person close points of view, and it helps bring the reader more intimately into touch with the character’s identity and personality. After all, people can very easily say one thing while thinking another.

This, when used judiciously, can be very effective in making your stories deeper, your characters more fleshed-out. When I think about the ways that Robert Jordan used thoughts to demonstrate Mat Cauthon’s recalcitrance despite his overt heroism, or how Scott Lynch cleverly hints at plot details in Locke’s thoughts while not quite giving it away, it’s very clear that this can be an incredibly effective tool for enriching a story. Continue reading

Cup of Dcaf: Flashbacks

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Flashbacks are a troubling and wonderful thing. They can provide essential insight into a character’s personality or motivations. They can develop dramatic tension by making the reader privy to events in that past the character isn’t aware of. They can set up thematic fulfillment with scene changes.

They can also be confusing, or a crutch for weak characterization or plotting. They can mess up the flow of a story, throw off pacing, and stick out like a sore thumb.

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Drew’s Wheel of Time Reread – The Great Hunt Part 2

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Welcome back to Drew’s WoT reread! Today we will be covering the second part of Book Two, The Great Hunt. Going from the departure from Fal Dara to Tremonsien and the male Choedan Kal, there’s a lot of fun stuff in this stretch.

As always, spoilers for the entire series are present. The introduction post is here. You can find all previous entries here. And now, onward. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time! Continue reading

New Short Story – Winters Past

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The sun-tanned door creaked against the weight of his body pressed against it. Trayan reveled in the sight of Mar Denan’s nervous sweat popping out from his forehead; Mar’s eyes bulged as Trayan’s hand found purchase around his throat.

“Didn’t want to die in a desert, did you?” Trayan crooned, her voice low and sulfurous. “Didn’t want to die at all, I imagine. Too much trust in your little talent.”

Mar stared into her eyes, gurgling incoherent nonsense through a compressed throat. The summer sun burned down on them, their shadows pooling around their feet on the crackec clay steps. Trayan leaned in, not bothering to mitigate the pressure of her hand. Tessi filled her thoughts, the little girl from a week ago. The girl who was gone, now. Continue reading