Tag Archive | Fantasy Fiction

New Year + New Goals = New Novel

So, I’m setting myself up with a goal for 2016. It’s a goal I haven’t achieved since 2003. Yes, my lovelies… I’m going for the novel.

Novella.

Novellette.

Too many definitions abound. I am trying for 55,00-75,000 words of one story. There. Clearly defined.

Wheee!

So. In order to meet this goal, I’ve been getting ready. Started kind of sort of plotting it out. I have most of the arc of the story, as well as a few bright bits to write towards. I like having those bright bits… It’s like a way-point reward 🙂

One thing I will have to be careful of is that this story uses characters defined and originally written in my first novel (If There be Dragons), that was never published. I think that’s ok, that I can work with it. My writing style has changed, but..  Of course, my world building and description have always been spotty so am going to have to work on that.

Work on that a lot!

So I asked my very dear friend, my sister from another mother, my favoritest editor in the whole wide world if she can coach me through this. Because knowing me, if the descriptions aren’t there… by the time I’m done with the rough draft I will make tweaks but not add majorly with description and world building. I suppose I could… it’s just that historically I never have.

I’m really excited about this. I’ve started writing (is it cheating if I start now? or does anyone really care? I just want to write it to completion, edit and be sending it out this time next year).

Hopefully, we’ll be going on quite a nice journey together. I know I’ll be having fun playing with my favorite imaginary friend.

Let’s go play with dragons!

 

 

 

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Changing Voice

Picture this: Your favorite author writes a series that you love. You love his/her work. Then a new book, a new series comes out.

And you hate it.

As a reader I hate it when that happens. Beth Bernobich finished one series, then her next book was actually a collection of interconnected stories. She went from fantasy to steampunk. I like both genres… but I hated the second one. Did not care for it. At. All. The voice was too different from the one I fell in love with.

Sometimes a series can shift and change underneath you. I loved L.E. Modesitt’s Imager series. The last two… not so much. But the very last one… nope. The voice was the same, but the story fell flat. The voice was…stagnant.

As a reader, we can identify these things and bemoan the horrors! But as authors, we need to take careful notes. Some authors can skip through genres, or even different tones in the same genre (fantasy and romance are famous for that) and do it successfully. Others not so much. Some can write in the same tone over and over and still achieve the stretching that keeps writing fresh.

Because as writers, we do have to stretch. We need to reach with our writing, either in scope, genre or voice. Even if they never see the light of day, we need to keep honing our skills. Patrick Rothfuss wrote what ended up being the best non-story story I’ve ever read (The Slow Regard of Silent Things). While set in the world that his series is in, it is completely different. Rothfuss has taken a lot of flack for it, but here’s the thing. I think he probably would have written it regardless of whether or not it was published. Many mocked him for the “apology” that he prefaced his work with. I say this: he merely let rabid fans know that this was not what they were waiting for. It had meaning, but it was substantially different.

So what’s the answer? I don’t have it… but I know this much. The story I’m starting on now might have light and fluffy parts to it. But at it’s core it’s something different than what I’ve been writing lately. If  it’s published, cool. If not, at least I will have strengthened those writing muscles.

Till next time, my lovelies!

Avast! Ye Airships!

Coming February 26, 2015  the anthology that I love love love! Avast, Ye Airships!, Edited by Rie Sheridan Rose.

AvastYeAirships

I love even more that I actually did make it in!

Why the vote of no confidence in myself?

Steampunk is a genre that I came to a few years ago. Rie, actually, is the one who suggested Gail Carringer to me, and it was love at first read. But it’s not especially in my wheelhouse, writing wise. I’ve never attempted anything other than traditional fantasy or paranormal/urban fantasy. And on the last, I just finished the first complete manuscript.

So. We have a sub-genre that I love, but am wholly intimidated by. How does a poor writer deal with that?

Wellll………….

One of the things I have been really wanting to do was a tribute to The Secret Garden by Frances Hogson Burnett. Not a straight retelling, but more of a nod to a story that meant so much to me growing up. Since receiving my first copy (coughcough) years ago, I have never been without it. It speaks to me.

I know you’re going to love it!

And that cover! Swoon!

I will try to get my fellow pirates to come over and play with us, too!

Say it with me now… “Ahoy, ye mateys!”

Argh! I couldn’t resist *big grin*

Talk to you soon, my lovelies!

Mercedes Lackey can do it…

But does that mean you can too?

Please Note: If you are a fan of the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey and have not yet read the Last Herald Mage (Vanyel) trilogy, or Brightly Burning (Lavan?). Quit reading this. Right now. Unless you are ok with unwanted spoilers. And these are huge.

Because there’s something Mercedes Lackey can do that most of us cannot. Well, she does a lot of things mere mortal writers such as us can’t do, but this one is very specific and very, very spoilery. In that it might, literally, spoil the novels for you.

 

Are you still here?

I love Mercedes Lackey, I prefer some of the earlier books but I’m still reading her, she can still catch up my imagination and keep me firmly in the grip of the novel. But there’s something she has done in not one book, but two that has floored me. Yes. She did it. It should have made me flee from reading her books ever, ever again.

Ok. So here it is.

She killed her heroes.

I know you guys know I am a firm believer in happily ever after. So how on earth can I stay with an author who routinely does this to me? I’ll tell you why. Because it was the only possible ending to the respective stories. Vanyel and Lavan, being who they are in the books, could have done nothing else. It broke my heart, both times. Made me sob. I gave up reading for a day or two while I processed my grief. Yes, I felt grief.

But I got over it.

Because those two heroes and their respective journeys were breathtaking.

I’ve written a novella here the heroine dies at the end. So does the hero. It needs a lot of work, but I’m still not sure that I’ll take it up and try to strengthen it and make it better or not. The ending makes sense for the story, the heroine already knows how it will end. But readers… we can be a finicky bunch. 

Here’s the thing. I’m *not* Mercedes Lackey. I only wish I could grow up to be like her. But you know what, being me isn’t so bad. Maybe I’ll go back one day and edit that story, tighten it up and make it shiney and new. Maybe it will languish in my Word Documents. No matter what, that story is precious to me, as are Mercedes Lackey’s stories. They taught me that the hard endings can be written, can be written beautifully… And i have the courage to try it.

Oh. And one other thing she can do… She completely took me by surprise with Moving Targets (with Larry Dixon). I didn’t catch on until just about the last minute, and i normally can suss these things out. All I can say is make sure to pack extra snacks. He. he. he.

 

BWAH HA HA

Till next time my Lovelies!

 

 

Shards of Time by Lynn Flewelling (APRIL 2014)

Review: Shards of Time by Lynn Flewelling

 

I love Seregil and Alec. They, and their adventures, have captured my imagination and my heart. So when I heard that this was potentially their last novel, I was saddened. And then I read Rex Regis, the last in the Imager Series by L.E. Modesitt, and I was afraid of what would happen to my favorites (Alec and Seregill). I cried with frustration with Rex Regis. It was a book too far, something that should have been an extra few chapters on the last book.

I didn’t need to worry.

Although I did cry.

Several times.

This one is gonna yank you in and not let you go until the end. It takes what is best from all the varied stories and wraps them together. While it harkens back to the first trilogy, with a nod to the Tamir Trilogy, this book will stand on its own two feet. The characters feel as if they are living, breathing humans that live just beyond our sight. Which is what great fiction is all about.

And most importantly, she leaves the boys where we love them. Enjoying their life, having adventures. While the story may be over, their story is not. It’s a happily ever after for the fantasy set.

Make sure you turn the page, and read the Afterword, too. I can’t wait to see the new adventures that await us with Ms. Flewelling.

 

Wyn

Moth and Spark

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard Published by Penguin Group

 Oh my lovelies, this one is a good one. It’s currently out in hard back, but if you have a Nook you can find it front and center on the channel for Epic Fantasy and for Here be Dragons. And it is worth it.

Epic fantasy with a good whallop of romance, this is the story I’ve been dying to read. Many throw a romance or relationship into their epic fantasy, or romance writers might write with fantasy elements… but normally it doesn’t come together quite this well.

A prince with a calling he is unaware of falls for a lowly doctor’s daughter with powers she doesn’t know about. This is not a fairy tale, and they know it. Although it’s hard, they accept the situation for what it is. Then things go horribly, horribly wrong. In all the best ways.

All of the plot lines are dealt with deftly, with no strings hanging. After reading the final words what I really wanted to know was…

When’s the next one?

Because really, when you find a writer this good, they can’t write fast enough.

 

Next up this week is the open letter to Smash Words authors and a question. I’ll actually put that in the system tonight so all I have to do is hit Publish. I have several other ones that I need to do as well, including several fantasy series.