Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012!!

Ok, so I know it's still  four months away, but I'm already gearing up for my first stab at NaNoWriMo and I'd love to have some writing buddies! The main idea is, during the month of November, to write a novel with a goal of at least 50,000 words. It should be all new material - no using a half-finished piece that already has 15K words completed - but encompasses any and all genres and levels of ability. The forums are there to provide inspiration, help if stuck, a place to vent and moan (and we know how we all love to vent and moan!), as well as post contest support on things like editing, etc. 

There are prizes to be won, if that's something that'll help your motivation, and I'd really love some writing buddies! lol My username there is Mazuri (go figure) and I'm using my little metal birdie for an avatar. Let's hook up and do this!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There's a Fine Line: Ch 02 Live

Lit posted early so I'm scrambling to get everything in place lol Chapter Two of There's a Fine Line is also available on the blog for those who prefer it here. Please read, review, vote, whatever is appropriate on whichever site you choose. Let me know what you think and how you like it, hate it, or find it simply not to your tastes. I'm currently working on chapter 8 so things are going smoothly in the story and there's already another brewing in my head...though I might actually dip my toe into publishing with it. Or not. I'm undecided at this time :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snippet Time!

Since the two week mark from the date I submitted TaFL: Ch01 is steadily approaching, I'm going to throw the snippet out today as well as submit the second chapter to Lit. This chapter is a bit darker than the first but continues to develop the characters as well as give a peek into the mysterious Daevas Malphas. The snippet can be found in the Teasers tab or you could just click HERE for instant gratification. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Realism in a Fantasy Setting

In two separate conversations with two separate nonhuman authors from Lit, the subject of realism came up. Mainly: how much realism is needed to overcome the fantasy aspects of a story involving creatures like werewolves, vampires, demons, and djinni. All three of us seemed to agree that "as much as possible" was the right answer. For us. YMMV.

I know that I have trouble with a suspension of disbelief when the ridiculous far outweighs the plausible. Unless the entire thing is intrinsically silly, the disconnect of reality and fantasy makes a piece (movie, book, whatever) unentertaining for me. Yes, I like fantasy settings but the people should be believable as people; their actions should be logical and 'normal' for want of a better term. I also love fantasy creatures in real settings, but again, there must be an offset. The creatures can be powerful but should have some semblance of humanity or something gets lost for me.

This is probably why I never could really get into Superman. He is essentially perfect. Strong, handsome, chivalrous, innately good, honest, caring, etc etc etc... Oh, and he can't be killed or hurt. At all. It was only in later books that the writers introduced Kryptonite. His world was also fairly black and white. The good guys were generally good; the bad guys were generally really bad. There was little, if any, shade of grey (not in the 50 Shades of Grey Twilight fanfic sort of way) which made the entire thing totally unrealistic and, therefore, unentertaining for me. In Superman's defense, the story was written in a time when almost everything followed the same formula. TV shows were about perfect families, books were about perfect heroes, etc. It really only chafed when they added the supernatural element to it as that just highlighted the lack of realism and broke the already fragile veil of the story.

Maybe I'm rambling now.

In The Other Half, I tried to place my nonhuman creatures into a world as fraught with varying shades of the moral spectrum as the one in which we live. There are good guys doing bad things and thinking they're right to do so. There are bad guys doing bad things - some believe they're doing it for the 'greater good' and some because they truly enjoy being bad. There are hate groups and support groups and groups that try to cash in on both angles. There is fear and love and hatred and acceptance. There is tolerance and xenophobia. It is the world we know and see every day on our local news and that grounds the fact that the current focus isn't white vs black, straight vs gay, or religion vs atheism - it's human vs nonhuman.

In Jaisen's More Than Just a Fairy Tale, her werewolves lead normal lives. They have jobs and go to school and deal with family matters just like everyone else. The fact that they turn furry every so often is almost a side issue. I love the sheer normalcy of the setting as it makes the rest so much more believable. There is no mating bond to pull their other half to them - they date and marry and divorce. It's refreshing and normal with just enough fantasy to titillate the senses without bashing you over the head with it.

So, before I ramble even more than I already have, I'll sum it up in this way: FOR ME (notice the emphasis there, again, ymmv), the best way to ensure that a fantasy story (movie, book, tv show, etc) is wholly able to suspend my disbelief is write it in such a way that, if you removed the fantasy element from the characters, the story could stand on its own. MTJaFT succeeded in a way TOH did not. The fantasy element is too intrinsic to the basic premise for TOH to survive without it. There's a Fine Line might do better...time will tell.

Yeah, I'm totally rambling at this point but I think you get the general idea. Opinions are most welcome.

Monday, June 11, 2012

There's a Fine Line Teaser

Yup, I'm impatient. It's a major failing of mine. What this means is that I've posted up the teaser for Chapter One of There's a Fine Line a few days early. There's also a bit of a contest included that I hope you enjoy. The chapter will be submitted to Lit today which should put it going live sometime on or around the 15th, my projected publish date.

Posting schedule is currently set for every other week or the 1st and 15th of the month, whichever works out best for me. The only things that will change that will be if I run into severe writer's block and eat through the chapter 'padding' I currently have (making the posting times longer, as seen with The Other Half) or if I finish the tale entirely (possibly making the posting times shorter). Otherwise, every other week is the plan.

Thanks and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shake up on the blog

With the posting date for chapter one of There's a Fine Line looming ever closer, I spent the first part of my morning revamping a few things on the old blog. What had originally been the tab for Fine Line is now the Character Bios tab. Since it is likely that I will, in the future, wish to add more bios other than characters only contained in Fine Line, I thought it best to have a spot just for them. Also, once the story starts getting posted, it might clutter things up to have a chapter, then a bio, then a chapter, etc. I don't like clutter. All the links in the older posts should have been fixed up but, if not, please let me know and I'll fix them.

I've also added a Teasers tab. Again, I thought it would be useful to have a place just for those snippets before a story/chapter goes live. Since I do plan to write something beyond Fine Line, and since I don't want to clutter a story's page with snippets, I gave them their own home. Teasers will probably get posted when a chapter is submitted to Lit (or elsewhere if I decide to post elsewhere) so that they're only a few days early. Not much of a wait, really. There might be ways to win earlier snippets or entire chapters before they go live and that, too, would be posted here. Yes, I'm a sucker for trying to pull more folks to the blog. So sue me.

A note on the background: the artwork that serves at the background for the Teasers tab is a diagram for an orrery. I thought it appropriate to have a blueprint style background since you're only seeing parts of a story. And I think the artwork is simply cool.

Next, There's a Fine Line gets its own new, shiny tab. There's nothing in it yet, of course, but I do plan to begin posting towards the middle of the month. I'm still working on personalizing it so the look and feel of the page will change as I get more and more comfortable with fiddling with blogger.

And finally...I haven't forgotten Laelah's Folly, it simply isn't high on my list of priorities at the moment. My main goal is to get Fine Line off the ground and posting and to maintain enough of an excess chapter inventory that, if I were to suffer horrible writer's block, I won't miss a posting deadline. During those times when I just want to nuke Blake and Alicia will be when Laelah and Khraygor will resurface. I apologize if that upsets anyone but I did warn folks at the beginning that it wasn't my primary focus at this time.

Wow, that was wordy. Thanks for making it to the bottom. :)