Five Links 5/30/2020
1. https://stevelaube.com/beating-writers-block/ “Some writers scoff at the idea of “writer’s block”—that moment when the writer’s brain seems to freeze and the flow of words seems to have turned off like a faucet. Others swear that it’s a real thing, the bane of the writing life.
I tend to think it has more to do with personality than other, more objective, factors. Some are prone to it. Some aren’t.
Since I’m in the latter category, I asked some of my clients who have struggled with writer’s block in one form or another to share how they cope with it. Here’s what they said:
It’s helped me to see my creativity as a finite quantity. Usually I’m so full of ideas…but if I’ve been pouring into, say, freelance clients and my own work is constantly kicked to my B-priority list, writer’s block charges at me a lot faster. For me, writer’s block tends to snuggle up with burnout. Am I feeding my creativity with life-giving activity? Usually the answer is “fat chance” (Janel Breitenstein, author of the upcoming Zondervan release, Permanent Markers: Spiritual Life Skills for Work-in-Progress Families)”
3. https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/building-blocks-sequels/ “Sequels are the “reactive” units of a story. They include reactions, dilemmas, and decisions. Sequels must contain all three items before advancing to the following scene. Why? Without each, there isn’t a proper resolution and the sequel doesn’t work. Also, this is the time to give your reader a breather. The scene is all about motion, energy, drive. It’s fast-paced. But readers can’t sustain a prolonged adrenaline rush. The slower downtime of a sequel is critical for pacing. That’s what they’re for.
Let’s look more closely at the three parts of a sequel.
A reaction is how your POV character emotionally responds to the disaster. Remember, disasters are devastating. There’s going to be sorrow, fear, frustration, anger. Your guy is in pain, and the reader needs to feel it with him. Flex your literary muscles a bit. We want this section to be palpable and powerful. This is where the reader bonds with the character, relates to his predicament. Becomes invested in the outcome.”
4. https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2020/05/29/where-to-send-review-copies-of-your-book-to-get-more-book-reviews-clients-media-attention-and-other-opportunities-by-stephanie-chandler/ “Whether your book is coming out soon or it has been out for a while, sending out review copies of your book can lead to a variety of opportunities:
- Acquire reviews on Amazon and beyond.
- Attract media coverage, podcast interviews, etc.
- Build word of mouth.
- Gain exposure with influencers through blogs, social media, etc.
- Entice a new prospective client to work with you.
- Get your book considered for bulk purchases.
- Be invited or hired as a speaker.
It’s important to be really clear about your target audience, who should receive a copy of your book, and why you’re sending it to each person. I can’t emphasize this enough.”
5. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/05/character-building-how-much-planning-should-i-do-part-2/ “As I mentioned in my last post, knowing exactly how much to brainstorm when it comes to character building can be a question mark. How deeply you need to plan depends on the character’s role and importance, and the writer’s own comfort zone. Obviously a main character is going to need more development than a secondary character or a walk on.
This is why we build a role guide into our Character Builder. It contains suggestions on what to plan based on a character’s importance in the story and relationship to the protagonist. That way, no matter what the person’s role is (a mentor, sidekick, love interest, or someone else), you’ll know what details will come into play in the story.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/05/29/finding-the-path/ ““We should write a book…”
Over the wineglasses, it seemed like a good idea. Not that anyone would believe the half of what we would have to recount. Far from exaggerating our adventures and jumping on the bandwagon of sensationalism, we would probably have to tone them down a little. Not everyone believes in magic.
There was no lightning strike called down by some evil villain, no waving of wands or chanting of barbarous names… but magic was what we found in the living land, its ancient and sacred places… and in the birds that appeared to be guiding us on a quest we barely realised we were beginning. It was a journey that would see us questioning the meaning of beheaded saints painted on the walls of a medieval church and the arcane stories hidden in plain sight. It would lead us along the dragon lines, teaching us to listen to the whispering of the land and into the realms of vision.
It was a journey where “nothing happened”… and everything changed.”
3. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/05/28/dear-don-romans/ “Dear Don,
Seems a bit daft writing when I will probably see you before you get this, but you know what my memory is like… except for ‘useless’ information.
We really are going to have to go back up north… and this time via Hadrian’s Wall. If it hadn’t been for the snow we could have gone that way on the Scottish trip. Still, I’d like to show you the Mithraeum up there. Miles from nowhere and very little to actually see, of course… but you will feel it. The landscape wraps around it somehow.”
4. https://acoup.blog/2020/05/28/collections-the-battle-of-helms-deep-part-v-ladders-are-chaos/ “This is is the fifth part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. In our last two parts, we looked at the organization of the two opposing forces. In particular, we noted that while Saruman had built what appeared to be a professional force capable of complex operations, in practice he had not done the legwork in organization or training to actually facilitate those complex operations. This week, we’ll see those flaws in action, as we look at the conduct of Saruman’s host’s siege operations, along with Théoden’s last minute defensive preparations. How can an understanding of medieval siege warfare inform the catastrophe that is Saruman’s fortress assault? And how do the organizational failings of his army lead to their tactical failings on the battlefield?”
5. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/helping-michael-with-poetry/ “Home schooling isn’t always easy. Sometimes I look at Michael’s assignment and wonder why he is doing university work in grade 8. I am sure my assignments were no where near as difficult as his are.
This week the battle was with poetry. He has an assignment to read a poem about a windstorm and then write his own poem in a similar form. The poem he had to read was packed with descriptions about the wind and how it sounded, felt, looked and even tasted to the poet.”
Some Things More Serious:
2. https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/how-to-stay-motivated-when-working-from-home/ “With the exception of 6 dreadful months, I’ve been working from home for over 25 years now. So I was blessed in that the COVID-19 lockdown didn’t hit me as hard as most. Talking to friends who aren’t used to working from home reminded me of how hard it can be for some.”
4. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/05/true-crime-thursday-armed-and-dangerous.html “Montanans are no strangers to bear encounters. Most times, it’s hard to tell who’s running away faster—the bear or the human. But when bears are hungry, not much stands in their way. They push through fences to eat calves, bust into chicken coops, knock down bird feeders, and pillage unattended campgrounds.
If bears become aggressive, pepper spray is recommended. However, if that’s not handy, you might have to improvise.
In 2010, near Huson in Missoula County, a woman let her three dogs out around midnight, not realizing a bear was a short distance away, snacking in an apple orchard. Two dogs started out into the yard. A third dog, a 12-year-old collie, remained with the owner in the patio. The two dogs sensed the bear and ran back into the house.”
5. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/05/27/case-study-the-mandalorian/ “Hi gang! Craig here with you today. Every once in a while I like to pick something apart for the sake of a writing study. I always use film because more people are likely to have seen what I’m discussing.
I’ve never done this with a television series before, so we’ll see how it goes because there is no end in sight. I was feeling bad during lockdown, because I hadn’t binge watched anything, so I rewatched The Mandalorian. If this post is going to spoil something for you, stop here.
This series is eight episodes long, so far. That means every episode is 12.5% of the total. Keep this in mind as we go along.”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://teagansbooks.com/2020/05/28/review-by-teri-polen-fiona-finch-and-the-pink-valentine-bookreview-steampunk-books-and-such/ “Put your feet up and enjoy a whimsical break with this quick, lighthearted story. There’s some romance, and a lot of silliness. It’s a steampunk/Victorian setting. You might call it a long-short story or a novelette. This is a tale of an old lost valentine and the shenanigans that ensue when it turns up. Fiona […]”
2. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2020/05/28/immortal-wars-the-summoning-part-20-fiction-throwback/ “(Again, we shall revel in my teenage originality. Everyone groan in unison.)
Disclaimer: Immortal Wars was the book I came up with and wrote in high school. I hadn’t even hit college by the time I wrote the first two books. That means I hadn’t developed my style yet, wasn’t good at self-editing, and the story was fairly basic. So, you’ve been warned that this is the ultimate author throwback segment for my blog and will show my author origins. FYI- I put the first book (The Summoning) through a Print-on-Demand publisher and the second one (Light, Blood, & Tears) never saw the light of day. Enjoy!”
3. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-reviews-yafantasy-jean-lee-humour-geoff-le-pard-poetry-m-j-mallon/ “About Fallen Princeborn: Stolen
Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.
In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.
Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.
One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads
Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee is a fabulous, fantastical, young adult novel that will keep you captivated!”
4. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/look-out-for-those-below-the-tree-house-by-matt-hayward/ “With this new novel, Hayward delivers a coming-of-age story with all the horror, and heart, readers have come to expect with his work.”
During his thirteenth birthday, Tony’s stepfather is severely wounded from a strange bite on his neck. The sole police officer in Riverside searches the woods for the attacker. They tell Tony not to tell anyone, don’t start a panic. His father’s condition becomes worse overnight, and soon the town is ripped apart as people begin to change into moss-covered abominations.
Tony’s friends Ben Rodgers and Lee Tally, along with the local town bully, seek refuge in Rodgers’ tree house. Neighbors, even family, try to claw their way up the trunk of the tree, while the boys realize they’re going to run out of food and water.
All hope is lost, so the boys begin to have their first of”
5. https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt-tudor-historicalfiction-katherine-tudor-duchess-by-tonyriches/ “I was first introduced to Tony Riches historical novels when I read the books in his Tudor Trilogy, about the founding and growth of the Tudor family. The history is compelling. For Mary – Tudor Princess, and this book, Katherine – Tudor Duchess, the reader experiences the Tudor family from a woman’s point of view. The author hasn’t lost a step in the transition.
Katherine Willoughby was born at Parham Hall in Suffolk in 1519, daughter of the 11th Baron of Willoughby and his second wife, Maria de Salina, who had come to England as a lady-in- waiting to Katherine of Aragon. With her father’s death, Katherine inherited the barony. Her wardship fell to King Henry VII, who sold it to Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, his brother-in-law.
Her story begins as she is about to leave to join the Duke’s household. Her mother, who will continue in her service to Queen Katherine, sees her daughter as a good match for Henry Brandon, the Duke’s five-year-old son who is in the line of succession to the throne. Katherine is not so sure.”