I found this fantastic blog post about building worlds and drawing maps on The Story Reading Ape’s blog. It’s a guest post, written by Jaq D Hawkins. What a very informative post. Thank you, Jaq.
I’ve been a Fantasy reader pretty much all of my life, but I’ve never been enamoured of maps. It isn’t that I have trouble reading them; I’ve travelled many real places relying on the navigation of accurate maps and find them very useful. However, a map of an imaginary place in the beginning of a new book is fairly meaningless to me until I’m well immersed in the story and the occasional glimpse back at the map at the front can provide perspective on where places relate to one another.
Even then, I’ve often held the opinion that lazy writing is what makes the image necessary, even though maps characterise the epic tales from such luminaries as J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin.
Charles Yallowitz published two blog posts about the difficulties of physical descriptions on his ‘The Legends of Windemere’ blog. I decided both are worth sharing. And here they are. Thank you very much, Charles!
The Physical Description: A Necessary & Surprisingly Difficult Piece
I think we can take this for granted. Physical descriptions come off a little like a ‘duh’ concept. We need to know what our characters look like to some extent. Otherwise, every reader gets their own visual with no similarities. Not necessarily a bad thing until people begin fighting over it. You also lose a dimension if you avoid it entirely. Yes, we have a personality, actions, and words, but there can be a sense of lacking if we don’t have even a basic appearance. This goes for places too, but we’re going to focus on characters for this week. So, why is this?
Readers have these things called the five senses . . . Oh, that’s going too far back into the details. We all know this. We also know that an author should try very hard to hit as many of them as possible. This is much easier…
Questions 3: How Do You Describe the Physical?
It’s been a week with a topic that was more difficult than I expected. You would think doing a physical description is basic and easy. It’s part of a foundation for a character and a story when your goal is to create an image in the reader’s head. Everyone has their own opinion and strategy. So, let’s not beat around the bush and end the week by opening the floor:
- How important is physical description to you as an author?
- What tip would you have for a new author struggling with this?
- What is the funniest thing you’ve done with a physical description? (This can be accidental or on purpose. For me, it would be the switching eye color on Luke Callindor.)
Derek Haines informs us about five essential book promotion tools for authors. Thank you so much for your helpful blog post, Derek!
on Just Publishing Advice:
For self-published authors, book promotion is always a challenge.
It takes time to plan your book marketing ideas before your book launch. Then you need to keep the buzz going after you publish a book.
There are many ways to market a book, yet for an indie author, the most critical factor is your time.
You want to get your book noticed by potential readers, but you don’t want to spend all your waking hours trying to sell your book.
Time-saving book promotion tools
1. Publisher Rocket
3. SNAP Auto Poster
5. Kindlepreneur Book Description Generator
Louise Harnby published a blog post that provides us with tips for writing about physical pain in fiction. I find this a very helpful post and decided to share it. Thank you, Louise!
Writing about pain is hard, but there’s no shame in that struggle; it’s difficult to articulate even when we’re experiencing it.
This post featured in Joel Friedlander’s
Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies #85
‘Pain is […] the kind of subjective and poorly delineated experience that is difficult to express satisfactorily in language […] Indeed, pain shares some of the characteristics of target domains that have received considerable attention in the cognitive linguistic literature. Like LOVE, for example, it is private, subjective […] cannot be directly observed,’ says linguist Elena Semino.
When researching this article, I was surprised by how little has been written about the art of depicting physical pain in fiction. And, yet, the act of hurting is prevalent in most genres; it deserves as much attention as emotional distress.
Anne R. Allen wrote the perfect blog post about the first bad review, and I would recommend every young/new author to read it. She writes with compassion and humor. Thanks for this one, Anne! You rock!
I’m not sure anything stings as much as that first bad review. You’re riding high in triumph. You finished the project that may have taken decades to complete. Then you survived the crushing editing/ querying/ rejections/ revising/ editing again process. But now you’re finally a published author.
Whether the publisher is yourself or the Random Penguin House, the feeling is the same. It’s your baby and you just gave birth. You are experiencing a moment of bliss.
That review. Somebody hates your baby. They really hate it. You are a talentless hack and a worthless defiler of language. They say you should never write another word and suggest you take up underwater basket-weaving or making throw pillows out of dryer lint.
And it hurts like #$&@.
Thanks a lot for this great and educational blog post, Derek Doepker! This is definitely something to think about.
on Build Book Buzz:
Audiobook sales are booming.
In fact, Written Word Media said that audiobooks are the number one publishing trend of 2020. With this increase in audiobook popularity, savvy indie authors can reach a whole new audience of readers by creating audiobooks.
Just about every indie author can benefit from having audiobooks. There are a few exceptions, of course, including cookbooks and technical manuals. However, most genres make great audiobooks. This includes fiction, nonfiction, and children’s narrative books.
If you’re in one of these categories, read on to discover five reasons why you’ll want to tap into the audiobook market.
Do you plan to write your memoir? If yes, don’t miss Karen Coiffi’s blog post. She provides us with rules to write our memoir. Thank you very much, Karen!
on Writers on the Move:
Writing a memoir is different things to different people. Some people are looking for closure, or a cathartic release from a traumatic event in their lives, others simply want to share their experiences with readers. Or possibly, the author wants to impart some wisdom or insight to the reader.
Whatever the reason behind writing a memoir, there are a few rules that should be adhered to.
Kristen Lamb, wonderful person, talented author, patient supporter and humorous advisor in one attractive body, provides us with a new great blog post! Thank you, Kristen.
Advice floats around everywhere. We get it from friends, family, cutesy memes, gurus, life coaches, books, television, podcasts and…bloggers *giggles*. We’re subjected to advice, whether we want it or not.
Please, let me be clear. Wise counsel is a good thing. Definitely.
We certainly don’t want to try and do this “life thing” with zero guidance. But the influx of so many opinions can be confusing, maybe even make us a tad crazy.
But these days, advice has gotten out of hand. It’s even invaded fortune cookies. Our FORTUNE COOKIES! Yes, we’ve been ordering a lot of take-out recently.
Remember those who persist enjoy success.
Okay, I’m throwing a flag on the play. THAT???? Is NOT a fortune cookie. Fortune cookies don’t offer unsolicited advice. I have a mom for that (I love you, Mom).
A fortune cookie is FUN and something we know is probably bunk, but would be super cool if it were true.
You will soon have good fortune in your endeavors.
Author Kawanee Hamilton reports that her writing is progressing. I cannot wait to start reading her work. She’s a wonderful writer and just recently picked up her work again. Way to go, lady!
It’s been a long time coming, but I FINALLY finished editing my Paranormal Romance called Nwa Pante Rising… (I’m not married to this title, so if anyone has suggestions, I am open to them.)
Nwa Pante is Mayan for Black Panther, the book is sprinkled with phrases from the Mayan and Lakota languages. It has a little bit of everything; magic, science, romance, sex (I mean when a were-panther goes into heat, it’s gonna happen. If this offends you… please don’t bother reading it.) there’s kidnapping, torture, murder, mystery and yeah, scifi as well. 🙂 As usual, the book is written with my weird sense of humor, and our heroine has a bit of it.