The Importance Of a Good Theme

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If you couldn’t already tell by the few excerpts of my WIP that I’ve posted,  I write mostly fantasy. And sometimes, when I read fantasy, they tell really good stories with complex characters and a back story that pulls me in and hold on tight, even after the very last page. But there aren’t many out there that speak to something greater than itself.

I think this goes for all genres, too. The best sci-fi is known for examining our world through another, different themes such as identity, or gender issues, or even familial connections. I love those stories, because they speak to something greater than just those characters in the story. They talk about our world. Continue reading

Waiting For Perfection

103301385173046409_l1KzX8o9_fFor as long as I can remember, I’ve done this exact thing. It’s probably the number one reason I haven’t been able to finish anything I’ve written thus far. I write kinda-sorta first drafts, and while I’m writing, I show it off to trusted readers. Then I edit earlier scenes and chapters over and over so that they read well, so that they’re as perfect as I can get them at this stage, even though I’m not completely sure of the ending, or even the beginning(sometimes). Continue reading

Good Advice: Raising the Stakes

While searchingGabriele Negri Photo for more writing tips/advice, I found this post on Jami Gold blog about raising the stakes in your story (along with this one and this one, too, from Janice Hardy). In theory, I’ve always understood how this works. I get that there are reactions to every action, that there are consequences, and that each time things should get a little tougher and harder.

But in practice? Most, if not all of my stakes are something like “If she doesn’t do this/get this thing….. she will die.” Dramatic, I know. Continue reading

Confession: I’m Vague and Secretive

5337779196_990602b427_oI tend to keep a lot of secrets in my stories. It’s a bad habit. I mean, really, really bad. So bad that, after a long talk with a few of my critiquing buddies, I realized that I basically say a lot of nothing. It’s not exactly flowery writing; it’s just really… vague.

I’m so afraid of telling the reader too much too early, of leaving them with nothing to look forward to, that I’d start to hide things that shouldn’t be a secret at all.

Like a character’s back story.

Or details about the war they’re living through.

Or even what the characters (mostly minor ones) think about the happenings of their world. Continue reading