The Bride Price

The Bride Price

““The Bride Price” by Sean Patrick Little (Spectacle Publishing). Sun Prairie author Sean Little transports us to a medieval world where Constable Canby Simon must discover who is killing the young girls of the walled Red City before an innocent man is hanged for the crime. Little’s prose is spare and evocative, and while unraveling his mystery, he sweeps us along on an imaginative journey down cramped alleys and subterranean lairs to arrive at the story’s surprising conclusion. Although, is everything really solved? Stay tuned for future installments. “Game of Thrones” fans will find this story particularly appealing.” -Maddy Hunter http://www.amazon.com/Bride-Price-Sean-Patrick-Little-ebook/dp/B00IFGFQ5U/ What are you waiting for? Just read it! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Write a Novel in 2014

Write a Novel in 2014

by Alison Lyke I’m going to finish my next novel in 2014. That’s not as much a resolution as a necessity. For one, I promised the good folks at Spectacle PMG at least one more book. I also have this need to write fiction, and to do justice to my characters by seeing their stories through to the end. I won’t presume to tell you how a novel is written, except for word by word, but I will give you some of the techniques that have helped me to reach writing goals and complete my books. Daily Diligence Those of you who “wake up extra early to get writing done,” are maniacs. I can’t even begin to understand you. For everyone else, it may be difficult to fit writing in between work, chores, children, and binge watching Ancient Aliens. I overcome this by making a goal to write a certain amount of words every day, no matter what. Out of optimism, I set this goal at two to three times the amount of words that I know I’ll actually have time to write. Sometimes, I have strings of weeks or months where I can write almost everyday. I often fall off the wagon though and have to rely on other techniques. Carrying Stories My stories are written, either in full or in part, in my mind before they reach the page. I carry them around in my head, nurturing character personalities, filling in plot holes, and adding interesting bits from everyday life. That way, when I do have time to sit down and write, I don’t have to stare at the page and wonder what the hell I’m going to come up with. Fits of Inspiration Something breaks—the fountain of stories in my mind overflows. I have a dream that belongs to my novel. However it happens, inspiration takes over and I have to write and write. I can write chapters in hours. If it was always this easy and I always had time enough to see these fits through, I could finish each book in about two weeks. Inspiration attacks are usually followed by exhaustion and crankiness. Late Night Drinking A few glasses of wine with some friends or a night out at a bar may be followed with writing under the influence. This is great for areas of stories that are weird, otherwise awkward to write, or fantastic. Be prepared to heavily edit any work done using this technique. Deadline Panic I used to have company-imposed deadlines, but I have more freedom in the latest incarnation of my writing life. This means that I have to set my own targets. It’s harder to finish a story on my...

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Revision: Beta Readers

Revision: Beta Readers

by Nicole Galloway-Miller Beta readers are an essential part of the revision process. They are readers who volunteer to read a piece of writing and offer criticism on it. Sometimes there is an exchange. They agree to read a piece of work if the writer of that work agrees to read a piece of their work. The term beta comes from the software industry, which uses “beta” to describe an imperfect release. The release is used by beta testers who try to identify problems before it is released to the general public. These testers deliberately attempt to break the software looking for points of weakness which could pose problems. Beta readers for a piece of writing provide a similar service to the writer searching for weaknesses in a piece. Ideal beta readers are opinionated and willing to express those opinions without killing an author’s hopes and dreams. They are passionate about quality writing and storytelling and willing to collaborate and share their knowledge with others. Beware, though, friends and family often do not make good beta readers. If a beta reader is too close to the writer, he or she may not feel that they can say difficult things or negative opinions about the piece of writing and feel comfortable offering criticism about weaknesses of a piece, which is essential to this process. Most beta readers read regularly. They prefer to read broadly and do not restrict themselves to one genre or type of novel. Ideally, they read a variety of popular fiction and literary works and are not “book snobs” who prefer impenetrable literature. Very often they are writers themselves, because fellow writers understand the challenges of creating a book-length manuscript and what makes a good book. Great beta readers are knowledgeable about the publishing world and have good instincts about what it takes to get a book noticed by a literary agent or book buyer. A good beta reader will be able to identify weaknesses in characterization and plot which the writer has missed. In addition, the beta reader will proofread the work for typos and grammatical errors. Many authors use several beta readers to solicit a wider opinion of the work as a whole. When choosing beta readers for your manuscript, make sure that at least one of them has an editorial or proofreading background and that one or two of the others is in the target audience in terms of age, gender and interests. If your book is about a character with special knowledge such as a golfer or detective, try to include a reader who is golfer or detective or knows a lot about the subject. This way, you can double-check your facts. The...

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Resurrecting Dead Ideas

Resurrecting Dead Ideas

by Yen Ooi Do you have story ideas that you have forgotten, left for dead, given up on, or worse, ignored? Well, why not take this spooky Halloween season to resurrect them? Perhaps they could be revived for a dramatic entrance as a new novel this NaNoWriMo? As a writer, I have notes in many formats, but thankfully, I’ve learnt to keep them all in one of two places; my computer, or my notebook. I don’t think that this is the best method, but it works for me. What methods do you use for note-keeping? Do you keep everything that you think would inspire a story someday? Being a writer is an ongoing learning process for me. I am always doubting what I should write down, and what I should just throw away, but I’m glad that I generally decide to keep most of my ideas. It can be anything from a word to an actual scene, or even a breakdown of a storyline. Sometimes, when I am feeling uninspired or just needing a kick up my creative backside, I pull out my notes and read through them as something would always jump out of the page and scream ‘write me’. Don’t be afraid to be different. Writers have their own quirks, which can be seen in this brilliant compilation of writers’ notebooks. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/writers-notebooks/ Every story begins differently; some small, some large, some complete, some making no sense at all. Every story also has a different incubation period. It might take years to mature into an actual story, or it might take minutes from inception. Stories cannot be rushed and need to be worked with at their own pace. Earlier this year, I looked at my old notes and found just a short description of a young man whom I saw working at a Starbucks near where I had lived in Tokyo. I had written the description in 2008, wanting just a memory of that moment that might somehow be inspired into a story. I had looked at the same note various times in the last five years, but nothing came to it, until sometime earlier this year, when the idea for a short story came to me. I knew then, that my Starbucks boy will be written into a story and that was how the story of the same title was born. So, how will you react to your old notes and ideas? Do you think there’s something there that is screaming to be written soon? Don’t throw out old ideas, or ignore them. Keep them in a safe place where you can refer to them periodically. You’ll find that they each have a moment in which to shine in...

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With Love: An Interview with Genilee and Sharon

With Love: An Interview with Genilee and Sharon

by Judy Spring Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up to the authors of Twist of Fate, F. Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope Parente. This mother-daughter writing duo has offered insight into their lives, collaborative process, and a bit about the upcoming sequel in their Sam Osborne Detective Series, Wretched Fate. Sharon and her husband Robert live in Woodbridge, Virginia, while Genilee lives a little ways down the road in Dumfries with her husband Ray and daughter Christina. Although Sharon has had dogs most of her life, she currently doesn’t have any pets. Genilee’s household is shared with a mom cat and two kittens, and a dog that would like to make friends with the feline crew, but hasn’t yet succeeded. Music is a must in this family, and Genilee thanks her ma and pa for the introduction to swing music from the wonderful 40s, as well as a shared love of classical music. In addition to listening to acoustical folk music, country, and Irish music, Genilee offers an extended thanks to her daughter for sharing the popular genre, and also to her talented brother for a love of instrumental. In down time, Sharon relaxes by playing games of any kind: card games, mahjong, and computer games are a mentionable few. Genilee, however, relaxes by “doing ANYthing but play games. Mom did not pass down the competitive gene. I read, write, and watch movies.” Each of these ladies had a favorite quote to share. Sharon believes in fairness and hard work, citing two quotes that demonstrate these qualities to her: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and, “God helps those who help themselves.” Genilee shared the quote: “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” She says that this quote has been overused in recent years, but she has a copy of it on her refrigerator. She applies this quote to her craft with these words, “Writing is about focusing on those moments.” When asked what advice they would give to their younger selves, they offered a ponderable thought. Sharon shared this piece of heart, “Don’t wait so long to pursue your dreams.” This is a powerful observation by one who is respectably pursuing and achieving her dream. It’s no wonder her daughter Genilee offered the same words of wisdom following it with, “But never give up on them, as they can happen at any age.” Below are a few detailed questions, followed with replies from both of the authors, and we hope you enjoy. Who is your favorite author? Sharon:  Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsay, and Mary Higgins Clark. Genilee:  Mary Higgins Clark,...

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