February 17 Round Robin–Description

Topic for February: Description. What is your saturation point? What is not enough? How do you decide what to include and when to hold back to allow the reader to fill in the blanks? Do you ever skim description when reading a book? If so, what description are you most likely to skip? I was inspired to suggest this topic from a book while I was writing. Some days, writing is easier than others. It was not one of those days. I was struggling (which happens when I’m not listening to my characters, but what my brain thinks needs to happen.) How do you describe a place you’ve never been? That is the challenge. One answer is research. Another is travel. (I like both, but I’d like to do the second more than I do the first. Alas, not so much. LOL) My main challenge, though, is I tend to be succinct. (Some would say I’m terse, but not all.) I’ll agree that I’m not a flowery writer, and I firmly believe that description is there to help the reader envision the scene. When an author spends too much time in description, it halts the flow of the story. Without enough, the reader is lost. Too Much Description So, what’s too much? I do believe that’s personal. Some people love the description of everything in minute detail. Not me. If we are in the middle of an action scene or about to get to the good part of a romance, please don’t stop the forward motion with a long dissertation (three or four paragraphs) of what the room looks...

Round Robin–The Writing Bug

The Writing Bug Round Robin topic for January: Everybody wants to write a book, but most do not. Writing is hard work. When did the writing bug bite you, and what helps you get through a complete story? Hm… Writing, creating a world and characters, even when the world is contemporary, fires the imagination and allows us experience things we normally wouldn’t. We escape for a brief time. Some days, the words flow from my fingers onto the screen like an open fire hydrant. Other days, they seep out in a painful ooze. Every day I manage to add to the words that build my stories I consider a good day. The Beginning An avid reader at an early age, perhaps my desire to write was inevitable. The writing bug bit me around ten. It made itself known in a fan fic piece that will never see the light of day. (Not only because I’m not sure where it is, but also because I have no desire to share it…ever. LOL) A dystopian story has been floating around in my brain since that time. I have so many others clamoring to be written I doubt I will ever write it. It’s probably for the best. More than likely, that story has been told a million times over. Other than poetry, I didn’t write more than essays until I opened Wild Child Magazine in 1999. I adopted a few pen names (Kit Wylde and Rosa Orrore) and wrote a couple of stories. Two of them, Last Chance and Hieroglyphs, eventually became eBooks published by Wild Child Publishing and/or Freya’s Bower. My...

Prologue and Epilogue–Round Robin

Round Robin 12-17-16 This month for the Round Robin, we’re opining about prologues and epilogues. Do they have a use? Should they be used? Can you have one without the other? This is an interesting topic. Before I became a publisher and editor, I didn’t really have an opinion on these. I think I was aware of when they worked and when they didn’t, but, beyond that, I didn’t think anything about it. Times have changed. (For the better or worse is up for discussion. grin) Three or four months ago, one of Wild Child’s authors sent in a submission titled A More Perfect Union. Jim is an amazing author. If you haven’t checked out his books, you should. (You can find them here. All of his books are worth reading.) The book had, in my opinion, a prologue that ruined the book because it started at the end of the story. (This is the kind of stuff I’d edit out. As Wild Child is closing down at the end of December, we won’t be releasing this fabulous story, but I’m hoping he releases it–and deletes that prologue before he does. Hint, hint, Jim.) A lot of prologues end up being a device used to either throw in some information from a POV that is different from the main one or from a much earlier time period of the character’s life. Sometimes, this works. Often, it doesn’t. I did this with a short story titled Some Place to Belong that was written for a charity anthology titled Dreams & Desires, vol. 3, released by Freya’s Bower and no longer...

Word Choices and Character–Round Robin

The Round Robin topic for today is: How does wording choice develop a story’s character? How do you use and select your words? This topic was suggested by Dr. Bob: She had to be the sexiest-looking 42-year-old on the planet, the best that money could buy. I believe that word choice is extremely important, especially when trying to establish a character. Whenever someone writes a book, they can’t help but infuse a little bit of themselves in it. That’s to be expected, but no two people are exactly alike. Their phrasing, word choice, their thoughts, and even how they view the world will be different than mine. It can be particularly challenging when writing a book that’s set in a culture far removed from what I know. My current WIP (temporarily titled Red Dawn) is one of those. It’s why I’ve struggled with it. My personality wants to come out, but this character is far removed from who I am. She lives under a communist regime, was raised by strict parents in a household that shows little emotion or affection, and believes women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex. She struggles with the fact that she’s half animal and half human. It has made her an outcast and a fugitive. On top of this, her animal is snow leopard. They are reclusive and shy animals. They freeze when confront by humans. In short, she’s the exact opposite of me. (By the way, I’m not an animal shifter. grin) When I write about certain situations, I want to do it from my experience. My inner voice wants to run right over...

Round Robin–How Important is a Title?

Round Robin Today, I’m participating in Round Robin and our topic is: How important is a title? What attracts you to a certain title, and how do you determine what to title your book? It’s funny that this topic should come up right now as I’ve seen some pretty stinky titles lately. I always wonder what people are thinking when they pick them. Recently, I saw a commercial for an upcoming movie and rolled my eyes the title was so bad. It was so bad that I’ve blocked it from my mind. LOL Obviously, I’m not going to see it. Some I haven’t forgotten, and some I Googled. The following are for your entertainment. Please weigh in whether you agree with me or not. Bad Titles Here are a few bad titles that have kept me from either going to see a movie or buy a book in years past or would keep me from doing either: Movies: F.A.R.T.: The Movie (Yes, that’s really a movie title. What they were thinking, I don’t know.) Santa with Muscles I Know What You Did Last Summer I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? Books: Taken by a T-Rex–I know this one actually sold quite a few copies and spawned a genre of its own. I don’t see the appeal, but several people did. Buttageddon–hahahaha Unicorn: Horn of Desire Scary Stories to Tingle Your Butt Mounted by the Minotaur any title that includes “billionaires in my butt”–I’ve read books with anal sex. That’s fine. It just makes me question the quality of the writing when...

Emotionally Involved–Round Robin 6-25-16

Round Robin Topic for June: How emotionally involved do you need to be to read or write some scenes? Emotion. It’s what I hope to evoke from someone who picks up my books and reads them. (It’s what I hope will happen when I read a book, too.) I want the person to see through the eyes of my characters, to experience what they’re experiencing, to root for them when they’re struggling and cheer when they overcome an obstacle. For me, in order for that to happen, I have to be emotionally involved in what I’m writing, I have to be seeing, hearing, experiencing it in my mind’s eye. Whatever is happening has to be very visceral for me or the scene is boring and stilted, and it’s like pulling out splinters in your sole just to get the words on the “page”. Perhaps if I wrote more regularly, this would be different. Right now, I write when the muse strikes…or I have the time. Lately, that hasn’t been happening at all. L Sometimes, even when I’m emotionally involved in a scene, I struggle to find the words to describe the scene in my head. This scene from my latest release The Whispering House flowed from my fingertips. BEGIN EXCERPT: Eleanor grabbed her coat, pulled on her knit cap and gloves, and stepped out into the mist, determined to re-discover the peace of the first week. As the damp seeped into her skin, she resolved that the quiet of the countryside would, too. She opened the door and looked straight out the back. From her vantage point, she could clearly see the elusive...