The Story Reading Ape provides us with ‘Winter Funnies’ – or ‘Snowman Funnies’. Thanks so much for the giggle! 🙂 You’re great, Chris!
On Ari Meghlen’s blog, I found a fascinating blog post about sword fighting. I think it might be interesting particularly to fantasy writers. It is an article, written by Morgan Morrow, a writer, sword fighter and martial artist. Thank you very much for all the information Morgan!
by Morgan Morrow
A love of Swords
I’ve always loved stories featuring heroes wielding swords. That love eventually resulted in my finding and joining a dojo that teaches a school of kenjutsu dating back to the warring states period in Japan.
My years of practice have given me an insight into sword fighting that I think is fairly uncommon in this day and age. My experience is limited to the katana, but I feel like much of it could apply to other swords and other fighting styles as well.
Using a sword
Firstly, swords are generally expensive weapons and they are not indestructible. Trying to cut through someone’s sword is unrealistic, but hitting it broadside and shattering the blade is not.
To read the entire blog post, go to:
Erica Verrillo provides us with 52 writing contests in February 2019. Thank you so much, Erica. We really appreciate your hard work!
For a month that is nasty, brutish and short, February packs a punch when it comes to writing contests. This month there are 52 contests and none charge entry fees. Prizes range from $100,000 to a free writing class. As always, read the restrictions to make sure you qualify.
If you want to get a jump on next month’s contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.
Life Writing Prize. Restrictions: Open to UK residents. Genre: Life writing. The Prize defines life writing as ‘intended to be true’, reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences and is not fiction. Prize: Winner will receive £1,500, publication on Spread the Word’s website, an Arvon course, two years’ membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a development meeting with an editor and an agent. Deadline: February 1, 2019.
Jane Martin Poetry Prize (UK). Restrictions: Open to UK residents between 18 and 30 years of age. Genre: Poetry. Prize: £700, second prize, £300. Deadline: February 1, 2019.
To read the entire post, go to:
Don Massenzio published a phenomenal blog post about research, facts, and details. I had thought for a second that writing fantasy books is easier – a little magic and you can turn things the way you need them, right? – Wrong. I tried that once – and screwed up the entire following chapter. Don is right – do your research. Thank you for your valuable advice, Don!
In my first book, Frankly Speaking, my main character, Frank Rozzani, notices someone has broken into his home. He reaches into his glove box for his Glock and proceeds inside with caution. Sounds right, doesn’t it. That’s what other characters in books, television, and movies do.
In my original draft, however, I had him making sure the safety was off. When I let an author acquaintance of mine, who is a retired police officer, read the book, he came to that part and let me know that a Glock doesn’t have a safety. I had no idea. I didn’t know a Glock from a hole in the wall.
This taught me a valuable lesson. I went back through that book and looked for other things. For instance, I used GPS and satellite phone technology in the book and I researched the use of these things extensively to make sure that it was accurate.
To read the entire blog post go to:
Kristen Lamb once again provides us with an excellent blog post, this time about ‘letting go and moving on’. Thank you for your educational advice every week, Kristen.
Quitting. Not a popular word when it comes to motivational quotes. Those of us who are driven achievers often end up overwhelmed, burned out, living in a blanket fort afraid to leave the house. Why? Because we’ve ALL heard that winners never quit and quitters never win.
Which is complete and utter bull sprinkles.
Since we don’t want to be “quitters” we keep going even when we shouldn’t.
So, want to know the secret to success? Quitting. Yes, you read correctly. And, if you’re a creative professional or entrepreneur, it is in your best interests to learn to get really good at quitting.
Maybe you’ve felt like a loser or a failure, that your dream to make a living with your art/idea was a fool’s errand. We have to be careful. Never giving up might keep us from ever succeeding.
Ignore the motivational fluff and understand…
Winners Quit All the Time
I posit this thought; if we ever hope to achieve anything remarkable, we must learn to quit. In fact, I’ll take this another step. I venture to say that most aspiring writers will not succeed simply because they aren’t skilled at quitting.
To read the entire post, please go to:
I found a great blog post, written by successful author Jamie Fessenden. (Around Christmas time last year I read his novel ‘Tomte’ and loved it.) Thank you very much for your writing advice, Jamie! I don’t doubt I’m the only one who appreciates your post.
So my latest novel, Small Town Sonata, was contracted for publication by Dreamspinner Press, and I’m very happy. Hopefully, it signals the revving up of my writing career again.
So, in the spirit of that, and because someone asked about it in a Facebook group, I’ve decided to offer some Writing Advice (capitalized, to show how pompous… I mean “important” it is). Seriously, this is just some stuff I learned over the years. Take it or leave it, as you like. It’s less about writing than about some practical concerns.
To read the entire post, go to:
P.S. To check out Jamie Fessenden’s ‘Tomte’ click HERE