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 [...]
Continue reading PLOTTING WITH BUNNIES (or whatever other animal you like. Want a hippopotamus? By all means, plot with hippos.)
PR in today’s market is both easy and difficult, and yes, I am fully aware of the contradiction in terms. It’s easy, because we have access to all sorts of social media. It’s hard because there is so much social media out there that it’s difficult to stand out amidst the crowd of authors who are releasing books.
I have four (count em. Oy) four releases between Dec. 3 2013 and Jan 7. 2014. KICKING IT
(antho, co-edited with Kalayna Price) will be out first, on Dec 3. On Dec 10, the Audible release of CAT O’NINE TALES, with exclusive content will be out, and on that same day, ROC’s THE JANE YELLOWROCK COMPANION will be out, also with new content. That’s a lot of releases. You gotta see the covers, ‘cause I’m just so excited about them all!
Then, to [...]
Continue reading Getting Creative for PR
Finally! How to get ready to push a book. Yep. I’m gonna dish.
Used to be when a writer had a book, they (yes the writer herself, or her significant other, posing as her PR company) contacted book stores all over and set up signings. The Hubs used to spend one solid month before a book came out setting up signings. And then, together, we spent three months on the road after a book came out. Back then, books spent three months on bookstore shelves before having the covers stripped and the naked books sent back. We’d do scheduled signings all over, and drop in signings in every city we drove past.
Our horrid schedule was thus: I would get off work at the lab at 7 am, Monday, grab some shut eye (3 hours or so), then pack. Or repack, depending on where we were in the post-book-release schedule. [...]
Continue reading PR for Writers, Past and Present
James R. Tuck
Whew to the Dragoncon.
I miss it. I miss my peeps. It is always awesome seeing my fellow magical words family although Dragoncon is SO busy we only get to spend minutes together. (Lucienne, I still owe you that drink and AJ I didn’t even SEE you) But after Faith and John ‘s excellent con reports I have decided that this will NOT be about Dragoncon.
Instead I am going to talk to you about writing. (Inspired by a panel at Dragoncon)
I know, crazy right?
Let’s talk about character. Character is story. Some of you are looking at me going: “No James, PLOT is story. Characters are the subject of story.”
You’re kinda right, but not really. You see your plot is determined by your characters decisions. Every character, from the main protagonist to the most minor walk on character can radically change your story if they make their [...]
Continue reading OMG WRITING Y’ALL (or not another con report)
Last time I posted it was on the benefits of networking in the business. And frankly the benefits are astounding, even for a social misfit like me. For some people networking is easy—thinking here of David, who seems to make friends like nobody’s business. It’s harder for me. It just is. Partly because I don’t remember names. (It’s a social affliction. I forgot the Hubby’s name on our honeymoon after knowing him since 8th grade and dating him for over 7 years.) Partly because of foot-in-mouth disease. But I still have made more friends as a writer than I have enemies. I hope. And a lot of them appear here regularly, and I have seen them at Cons regularly, and I plan to see them at more Cons, and I plan to do PR with them, and I really like them!
In fact, Misty Massey and David B. Coe (DB [...]
Continue reading When networking and PR turn into something else entirely. Part Two.
Last week Kalayna posted asking our readers for ideas of what they’d want us to post about, and you all responded with lots of great suggestions. Some of those ideas, though, wouldn’t really be substantial enough for a whole blog post, so Carrie had a great idea herself – we’d have a day on which everyone answers the question, and we post all of our answers at once. We’ll do this every now and then when there’s an open day, so we hope you all enjoy it.
The question for today is What was the last “Don’t ever break this rule” rule that you broke and did it work?
Diana Pharaoh Francis
I originally thought I would write my Horngate books from Max’s (the main female protagonist) point of view and I did try at the beginning to use the first person perspective. But it didn’t work for me. [...]
Continue reading Magical Words Party Talk
Morning everyone!It is 12-12-12.How cool is that!
I was asked a question by Nathan Elberg last time I posted about InfoDumps. He asked: >>But what if the info we’re dumping is part of back-story, previous events that need to be known, but don’t warrant a chapter of history? I’ve had trouble with that. Do we do it as memory flashbacks interrupting action? Someone telling a story? How do we introduce the behavior and deeds of characters who were dead before the novel began (protagonist’s father and grandfather)?<<
It was a great question, and it warrants a full and complete answer. Unfortunately, I can’t give one in one day’s posting because it involves a lot of examples. So I am going to start with a very difficult info-dumpish-scene from the first novel in my own Rogue Mage series, BloodRing. Rogue Mage is an alternate reality post-apocalyptic series, sorta like X-Men meets [...]
Continue reading The InfoDump Scene, part 2.