Guest Post: Sit up Straight, I’m World-building Here

Here’s to an amazing blogger, author of comments, and giggler: Shim, otherwise known as magicandwriting.  She’s been around for a while and has made her presence known, all but demanding a guest post.  (Okay, she hasn’t demanded anything, but she deserves it.)  She has an awesome post for you, and once you’re finished with that, check out her blog.  Both are well worth your enjoyment.

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I’ve done a lot of world-building lately, and while in the process, I noticed a little something. I’ve come up with a lot of random information, stuff that may never show up in the story itself; however, I realized that it actually still influences the story.

See, there’s this little thing called perception. It affects a lot of things, as is kind of obvious.  Anyway, let’s say you have a scene that happens in a poorly lit room, and you want to describe the room. Chances are, you probably want a better description than the one I just gave you, since that really tells you absolutely nothing. Continue reading “Guest Post: Sit up Straight, I’m World-building Here”

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Guest Post: Sunk Costs in Writing

Because of the awesomeness of all my followers, I managed to secure a guest post from one of my good blogging friends, Leinad.  He’s been around for quite a while and has many good ideas and arguments about what I say, and even better ideas and arguments over at his own blog.  In his post he takes an interesting spin on writing motivation— I hope you enjoy it.

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Hey, I’m Leinad — also known as Keras. You probably know me as the fellow who writes all those long, but pretty harmless essays in the comments section of this blog. If you participated in the December Teens Can Write Too blog-chain, however, you will know that I’m a much more dangerous sort of bore: I’m the guy who wanted to be the economist of Middle Earth. That’s right, I’m the one who wanted to take your favourite fictional world and curse it with the most diabolical brand of monotonous quasi-science. And I won’t stop there. The next victim of my economics-obsession will be your favourite hobby: fiction-writing.

Specifically, today, I want to talk about sunk costs in writing. Now, a sunk cost may seem like a boring, economic concept whose only redeeming feature is that it contains only words of one syllable. (If you are a particularly verbose writer, even that may not be a redeeming feature). To me, however, sunk costs are fascinating, and relevant to almost every aspect of life.

So what is a sunk cost? A sunk cost is a cost you’ve already incurred, or a price you’ve already paid. Imagine John spent $1 buying the first lot of bricks for the new skyscraper he’s building. He can’t get that $1 back (skyscraper brick-sellers are notoriously stingy), it’s sunk. Similarly, maybe he spent an hour laying the first row of bricks for his skyscraper. He can’t get that hour back (assuming the Doctor doesn’t stop by), it’s sunk. Continue reading “Guest Post: Sunk Costs in Writing”

Guest Post: Emotion, Tension, and Zombie-Moms

Robyn Hoode has been my faithful follower for a very long time.  It was only recently, however, that she made herself a blog, so I could give her publicity via a guest post.  Give her post a read, then follow her blog.  It’s worth it.  Enjoy the post.

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(Thank you for this guest post, Liam. This is awesome!)

One of the things I have been working on is the emotions of scenes. This is a concept that I’ve had some trouble in understanding and it’s kind of difficult to work on a specific concept if you don’t understand it.

When it comes to writing emotions, ideally, the reader should be feeling the same thing as the POV character or some sort of sympathy or something like that. Unless there are scenes where the reader just wants to keep reading and doesn’t necessarily feel anything. However, the character should still have emotions and those emotions should still be in the scenes.

This is where I struggled. What if the character doesn’t have a specific feeling? What if they’re almost indifferent, just like the reader who wants to keep reading? Because humans don’t necessarily have constant emotion all the time, either. What about when you’re watching a movie that you’ve seen a thousand times before? What about when you’re just making dinner? Unless you actually are sad about the onion you’re chopping, those tears aren’t emotional.  And what about when you’re sick? I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick, I don’t want to do anything except curl up on the couch, drink hot tea (which I do not normally drink at all), and watch My Little Pony.

But wait a minute. I do have emotions during all that. When I’m watching that movie I’ve already seen a thousand times, it’s because I want to and it’s probably a favorite (unless it’s something my siblings picked and then I might ignore it to write). There’s emotion there, right? It’s how I feel. When I’m cooking dinner, I’m usually thinking about something or I’m hurrying to get done with the hands-on work so I can read or write or just do something else. And when I’m sick, I’m often too emotional and am thoroughly convinced that everything I write is awful. Continue reading “Guest Post: Emotion, Tension, and Zombie-Moms”

Guest Post: The World of Contemporary Fiction

Believe it or not, this blog has reached 500 posts and 15,000 comments in its short lifespan.  To celebrate, I’ve asked the author of the 15,000 comment, the wonderful Amanda, to write a blog post for us about her genre, contemporary fiction.  Enjoy.

Hi! I’m Amanda. I’m a relatively new and inexperienced blogger, but I’ve finally established my topics–writing and sort of philosophical stuff. So when Liam asked me if I’d write about my genre for him, I did so…after quite a bit of deliberation and procrastination, that is. So I now bring you my thoughts about/explanation of the contemporary fiction genre!

First of all, I noticed something. Many of the young writers I’ve met write fantasy. In fact, I can only think of a few I know who write contemporary life me or historical, sci-fi, etc. I’m not sure why, but I do know some people don’t understand contemporary. Keeping this in mind, I’ll do a little myth-busting for you. Continue reading “Guest Post: The World of Contemporary Fiction”