I have a terrible habit of guessing who the bad guy in within the first fifteen minutes of a mystery show. Or I suppose it’s not bad that I guess, but that I announce it out loud to the person watching with me. And because television is based on formulas, I’m most often right. (I have learned to keep my mouth shut in movie theaters, for which my husband is grateful. *laughs*)
The other night I started reading a new author, and within three chapters, I’d already guessed the bad guy and his motivation. Sometimes an author intends for his reader to know who the villain is right away, but this book is trying to keep it a secret until the big reveal at the end… and there I was, already nailing it. Which means that the author didn’t do what he wanted. The writing was solid, but the […]
Continue reading It’s All In What You Consume
On Thursday, we lost Sir Terry Pratchett. He’d been diagnosed with a rare, early-onset Alzheimer’s a while back, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But he was only 66 years old (every year that passes makes that number sound younger and younger to me) and I don’t think anyone was ready for him to go. I’m grateful he never had to deal with losing his identity. I also admired his determination to die on his own terms, instead of letting the disease transform him into an empty shell of what he once was. I don’t know if he died by his own hand or not – they’re keeping the specific reason for his death very quiet – but I do know that the world of fantasy is a little less bright now that he’s moved on.
Within hours after hearing about Sir Terry, I got word that a wonderful man […]
Continue reading It’s Been A Rough Week
I can be subtle, really I can. (Waiting for the laughter to die down.) So you might not have noticed how excited I am about the release of KICKING IT, an anthology of all new stories by real powerhouses in urban fantasy who were kind enough to invite me along. I was thrilled to do a story in my Latter-Day Olympians world because a) I love it and b) I got to torture my heroine by putting her in silver booty-shorts and Plexiglas stiletto heels. She’s now out for my blood, but if you read the story, I think you’ll find it a worthy trade-off.
Those of you who haven’t read my Latter-Day Olympians series (BAD BLOOD, CRAZY IN THE BLOOD and RISE OF THE BLOOD, with BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD forthcoming in 2014) might not know that it involves Greek gods running around in contemporary times […]
Continue reading Gotta-Getta-God
Years ago, a pal of mine’s sixth paperback (excellent book) was published, and a buyer at Borders/Waldenbooks read it. He fell in love with the book. He liked it so much that he ordered a ton of books and pushed that writer’s books in Borders-affiliated stores. It was the push that writer’s career needed to get off the ground and fly. Not many writers get that push. Most of us work our buns off and just hope for a chance like that — that push from behind that catapults us to the next level. When it happens it’s luck, blessing, whatever you want to call it.
There are things we can do to help that possibility along, of course. It’s called promotions. I’ve been doing a ton of PR for all the products I have coming out these next few weeks. (If you missed the releases, you can see them […]
Continue reading The PUSH. The Result of Hard Work and …
James R. Tuck
Character and Plot. The two things you need to make a book. (Please don’t cite me examples of books that have one but not the other. Those are outliers and not the main thrust of books.) Generally speaking those are the requirements.
Now for most folks, myself included, character is actually pretty easy. They come swaggering up in our heads all badass and near fully fleshed out. The plots? They’re a different story. Plots are tricky little devils and hard to get hold of sometimes.
But that’s because we overthink them.
We do. As writers our brains are moving 90 to nothing and cruising top speed down multiple tracks. We mix our plot up with the following things: Character, Backstory, World-building, Themes, and Motives.
But we don’t need that for the actual plot.
The plot is the skeleton you hang all that meat […]
Continue reading PLOTTING WITH BUNNIES (or whatever other animal you like. Want a hippopotamus? By all means, plot with hippos.)
James R. Tuck
I don’t know what kind of writer you are. You might be the kind who works each sentence until it’s perfect before moving on to the next one, lining up the words in exacting order for the most impact and literary explosiveness.
If so then this blog might not do you much good. lol
This advice is for the writers like me. The indulgent ones who spew words on their first drafts, who write with an abandon of language, allowing all the sentences to run amok on the page. I sling phrases and concepts around during my first draft, just acting like they are free and I can have as many as my greedy little, or not-so-little fingers can conjure.
The result, for me anyways, is a first draft bloated like Elvis on a toilet and full of sentences that I love, words I adore.
That’s all fine and […]
Continue reading DRINK YOUR HATER-ADE (or editing)