In Support of Predictability for Fantasy Plots

New, different, unexpected – these are the things we all want in a story, right? After all, if the story is too predictable, too much like all the others we’ve read, then why bother with it? While this is very true – both readers and writers are always looking for the unique element – I believe there is room for some degree of predictability.

Genre Matters

First off, there is the conventions of the genre. This can be very broad, but I believe it’s the most important form of predictability. Readers pick up certain genres because they enjoy the conventions of that type of story. A reader of classic sword and sorcery will not be pleased to find space ships and vampires half way through the novel. Pick your genre/sub-genre, learn your genre, and gain an understanding of what some of the most common or popular elements are. The fantasy/paranormal sub-genre of vampire romance involves – you guessed it – vampires and romance. If your story is lacking these key elements, then it’s not a vampire romance. Continue reading

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Writerly FAQs: 5 Common Questions Writers Ask

This post is for all you new writers out there – or for anyone who feels like they’re not an expert yet. That probably covers most everyone.

Since I’ve been blogging for a few years and I have a few books published on Amazon, I’ve had a number of people ask me questions about writing. Apparently, they view as an expert. Which I’m certainly not – but anyone who is a few steps further down the road can offer advice to those who are coming along behind, and so that is what this blog post is about.

So here are five questions that I’ve people ask me about writing and becoming a writer:

Should I write a book?

Do you want to a write a book? “Should I write a book?” is not a question that anyone can answer except you. If you feel that you have a story to tell, a message to communicate, or a part of your life that you want to share, then yes, you should write a book. Continue reading

You are the Narrator of Your Own Life

What is a narrator? A narrator is someone who tells a story.

In literary terms, a narrator can be “I” – called first person point of view. To borrow the first line from a classic Gothic romance novel, an example of first person narration would be “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.” (from Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier)

A third person point of view narrator is someone else telling the story. This is either a character written as he/she/they (not “I”), or an outside onlooker relating the tale (as when a story begins with something like “Listen, dear reader, and you shall hear a tale…” Continue reading

Why Do You Write?

Every writer has a different reason for writing.

Some write from a place of pain, and their writing is both healing to themselves and a message to the world about true hurts.

Some write from a place of joy, wanting to share the positive experiences that tie all humans together.

Some write because they have a message to deliver, a cause they want others to support, or a lesson they want others to learn.

Some write to explore the inner workings of their own minds, or to help others explore theirs.

Some write just to tell a good story. Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late to Set a New Goal

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t done any writing for several weeks. No writing at all. No journaling, no writing on stories, not even blogging.

I’ve been busy ever since Christmas with a new job, and then in mid-January I got sick. Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things – just an energy-sapping bug that lingered for a good three weeks. Getting out of bed and making breakfast left me exhausted for the rest of the day, and so summoning the energy and willpower to write was just too much. Not very professional of me, I know. A professional writer writes whether they feel like it or not. Whether writing is a full-time job or not, treating as seriously as one is key.

But anyway, apparently I’m not quite there yet. I am, however, slowly getting my life back on track, so at least I’m moving forwards. And I’m finally setting my new year’s goals and resolutions. Continue reading

Research for Fantasy Stories: Dieselpunk Research

Yes, you can – and should – do research for your writing, even if you’re writing fantasy. Especially if you’re writing historical fantasy. 

The dieselpunk short story series I’m working on is just that – historical fiction with elements of fantasy. While dieselpunk traditionally involves retro-futuristic technology (think the flying jetpack from The Rocketeer), it can also include elements of the paranormal or the fantastical. And to write any or all of these nuances well requires a bit of research.

Here are some of the things that I’m currently researching for my historical fantasy/dieselpunk series:

Jazz-Age Fashion and Aesthetics

The stories I’m writing take place during the Roaring 20s, and my protagonist, Cornelia Jones, is a wealthy socialite. While Cornelia’s adventures don’t really focus on the details of day-to-day life, I do want to give the readers an accurate feeling for the setting and the time period. The clothes that an upper-class woman in the mid-twenties would have worn, the kind of car she owns, other details like the use of telegrams and iceboxes and gramophones all help to build the world. Check out my Pinterest board where I’m gathering ideas! Continue reading