Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writing Exercise

I read writer's digest and each month they have a writing exercise to try in order to hone your skills. A recent exercise was the write a first person story from the perspective of someone in a coma who could hear everything around them. I really liked the idea of the exercise, but instead of writing what they suggested, I turned it into a one-liner contest.

So here is the challenge: Write one line of dialogue that would be the worst possible thing to hear if you were in a coma.

Now the rule is that it has to either be humorous and/or horrifying, but not mundane. For example, writing that your spouse says that they are leaving you while horrifying is also mundane, but writing that your spouse is leaving you for the coma patient in the bed next to you is humorous if written well.

So have fun with this and I look forward to your ideas.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Last week on Twitter the hash tag #sadchildrensbooks was all the rage. What you do is take a current childrens book title and change it so that it describes a sad or wrong book that would no longer be suitable for children. Here are some examples (mine are starred):

Stuart Belittled
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie You Can Track His Web Usage and Invade His Privacy
Wikipedia Brown
The Mixed-Up Meds of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler
Mr. Popper's Penguin Pies*
The BFP (The Big Fondling Priest)*
Homophobe and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Gay
Danny and the Dinosaur meet the Great Asteroid *
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Awkward Family Secrets
Sarah Plain and unable to find a date *
Harold and the school's cancelled art program*
Are You My Mother (no change needed)
Are You There God, It's Me, Anne Frank

So my challenge to you is to try to come up with your own sad children's books, and have fun with it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Great Critique Partner

I have the greatest ever critique partner. Sure, she is nice and sweet whenever I talk with her, and she wades through my drivel and somehow comes up with useful writing suggestions. She has a great blog. But those are the characteristics of a good critique partner, so what makes her great? She visits me in my dreams and kicks my butt.

Two nights ago I had a dream where Abby was beating me over the head with a published copy of my own book. As she beat me around my headparts, she was yelling, "WRITE!, WRITE!, WRITE!" Then as if in frustration that I did not immediately jump out of bed and start writing, she opened the book towards the back and shouts, "If you don't write, you will never get to this part, and you have not even thought of this yet!"

Yesterday, I confronted Abby about her nighttime foray into my head and her subsequent buttkicking of my brain. She laughed when I told her the story and then said that it was future her come back to tell me that I need to write more. I thought this was appropriate considering today's re release of Back to the Future. So to current and future Abby, thanks for being a great critique partner, and for believing in me and my writing, but please don't feel the need to come back and abuse me in my sleep. I got the point.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Writing for Guys

I know that without punctuation that title can be a bit nebulus, but I do plan to cover both major means in this post.

First, I want to address writing for a male audience. When I write, I want everyone who reads it regardless of gender to get lost in the story and love my world and my characters like I do. However, I do also try to make my writing accessible to a male audience. In my adult fantasy series I have 3 male main characters. I plan on having some beautiful women, (one of which I have already introduced) I have internal narration from the male characters that you will not get from the female characters. As a male reader, as I walk down the fantasy aisle at Borders, this is what I am looking for as a reader. I look for a male author with a male main character in a series that does not cross into Scifi. So really I am writing the book that I am looking for to read.

Second, I wanted to talk a little about being a male writer. Writing seems to be such a female heavy profession. Yes there are very successful male authors, in fact there are a lot of them, but just walking around bookstores it seems like the number female authors greatly outweighs the number of male authors. I think I understand why, I think that people do not believe that guys should be authors unless it is nonfiction and or about sports, video games, or they are writing articles for Playboy. When I tell people I want to write a book their eyes glaze over, twice. First, they think, "oh great an artist, no future here." Then I get the double glaze, "yeah real guys don't read or write." I would like to change these stereotypes. Guys get out there and write for guys. Write because you loved it, not because you want to get rich as an author. (because most of the time you won't.)

And if you see someone looking for writing direction, encourage them to try to write for guys. How many great books are we losing because there are a lot of guys not being pulled into our realms of imagination?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Time Travel

My friend and critique partner Abby at Above Water was talking about time travel and it got me thinking.

How do you choose to portray time travel in books.

I think there are three different methods: Time accounts for any time travel and so time travel is irrelevant, time travel creates a new time space continuum and so each timeline is possible and different, or time is not an active force and so travelling time allows the traveler to change the past and future.

Which time travel theory do you use in your writing? Why?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Meet My Newest Distraction

Distraction comes to me in many forms.

I have ADD which makes sitting down to do anything tough.

I work full time. I love playing video games (World of Warcraft and Console based...FYI WoW Cataclysm release date is Dec 7th!)
I have a beautiful wife. I have a sweet three and a half year old Wheaten Terrier named Wrigley.
But Saturday we got my newest and biggest distraction. Meet Zedd:

He is our new 11 week old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy. He is a bundle of energy but worth all of the hassle. So welcome to the family Zedd.

My First Blog Award

A huge thank you to my Critique Partner, Abby Minard at Above Water for giving me my first blog award. She may think the blog award is girly but it is the thought that counts! I will happily put it on my blog.

Now the rule is that you have this blog award on to 5 others, and here are the five I have chosen.

First, I want to give this to back to Abby! So definitely check her blog out.
Second, I want to give it to my wife Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen she has an awesome blog and I do not say that just because she is my wife.
Third, to my brother who is blogging about his life and faith. You can find him at God, Love, Life, Joy.
Fourth, to my good friends The Lundgrens who blog about the struggles and triumphs that their family has had due to the difficulties that face their twin sons who were born two and a half months early. You can find them at Life With The Lundgrens.
Fifth, goes to Colene Murphy at The Journey. She is an aspiring YA author who has an extremely entertaining and beautiful blog.