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Monday, August 22, 2016

Come See Me at Salt Lake Comic Con! Here is my Schedule:

Next week is Salt Lake Comic Con, and I spent a good part of last week getting ready! And I'm getting excited. Salt Lake Comic Con is the third largest Comic Con in the world, and I get to be a presenter, moderator, and a panelist. ^_^

Here is my schedule:

Thursday, September 1st

2:00 p.m.

Room: 253A

15+ Tactics for Writing Humor

Learn the secrets to writing humor with over 15 methods that make readers laugh, with examples from The Office, Harry Potter, The Amazing Spider-man, The Fault in Our Stars, Zoolander, Enchanted, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Emperor's New Groove, The Series of Unfortunate Events, Elf, and more. Come prepared to laugh. Leave never having to feel clueless again.

Friday, September 2nd

 10:00 a.m.

Room 151G

 What We Know and Don't Know About "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

Newt Scamander entered New York with a case... A case full of magical creatures... but what might happen next and what can we learn from the book? This panel is your magical key.

Cheree Alsop 
September C. Fawkes (Moderator)
Jonathan Kroupa
Sara B. Larson
J. Scott Savage
Jaclyn Weist

Saturday, September 3rd

6:00 p.m.

Room 255B

"Dumbledore is What?" The Fan Theories of Harry Potter

The Harry Potter fandom has long since had a reputation for wicked fan theories (thank J.K. Rowling for giving us a series rich with potential). Join us as we share, discuss, and weigh-in on some of the most thrilling, shocking, and convincing fan theories, past and present. Then feel free to share your own.

Lola Binkerd
Brittany Casselman
September C. Fawkes
Susan Phelan (Moderator)
Dawn Pink
Lynette White

Come say "hi" if you can ^_^

Other Stuff 

This isn't really Comic Con related but doesn't belong in its own post either. As some of you know, the Harry Potter franchise was looking to hire freelance writers for Pottermore this last week. (Cue heart eyes.) And I met their qualifications! It was like dream! I never imagined having a chance to apply for a job with Harry Potter. I pulled out my CV and started updating it. I didn't think I would get hired, but I thought I had a pretty good chance--enough of a chance to get a second, third, or fourth glance... and maybe get hired. They wanted pitches and samples of people's work, so I was going to pull those altogether too. And then, and then--they got so many applications, they closed before I could apply! I'm not surprised. But there was no way I could have gotten my application in earlier--it just wasn't in a position to send in. Darn. But let's just say that was a heck of a 12+ hours of my life that I spent on cloud 9!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pairing Behaviors with Odd Demeanors for Originality

When it comes to characters, writers, especially new writers, tend to match their character's demeanors up perfectly with their behaviors. The bully is a straight-up jerk. A class clown is always laughing and joking. Someone who is brave tends to be a bit loud-mouthed.

But the reality is, people aren't really that clear cut and standard. Honestly, it's been since elementary school since I met a bully who was straight-up jerk. But we tend to want to match up demeanors and behaviors stereotypically.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Traditional Publishing: Short Stories and Poetry

This week is my last installment in my publishing post series, and this one is about the small stuff. Here is how to publish short forms of creative writing.

Short Stories

1. Write the story.

A short story is a narrative under 7,500 words. Keep in mind that short stories that are on the shorter end tend to have a greater chance of being printed, if you are seeking physical publication. This is because it's less costly for the magazine. If you are only getting published online, word count probably doesn't matter as much. If your short story is accepted into a printed anthology, word count will depend on the anthology. Whatever the case, make sure your story is short enough to stay interesting, but long enough to cover the important parts. Sometimes I see unpublished short stories that are too short--the story isn't properly developed or fleshed out. Other times they are too drawn out, the author including too much information. When writing short the powers of implying and subtext are your friends. But this post isn't about how to write a great story. It's about how to get one published.

Monday, August 1, 2016

So I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child . . . (Book Review)

(No Spoilers in this Section)

Initial Reaction to the News

When I first heard about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I had cautious expectations, and maybe even some skeptical ones.

First, adding more to an already satisfyingly complete story can do more harm than good.

Second, I know J.K. Rowling is listed as a writer, but she didn't really write the script, just gave the other guys a few ideas to run with. I've seen this done with another franchise I love and the result was terrible.

Third, it's really hard to pull off something like this. The audience usually has high, but very vague expectations, which makes it very difficult to deliver.

As for actually reading the book, well, there's a problem. It's a script. And really, scripts are meant to be watched, not read. I'm an English graduate, so I've read a few scripts in my day, and I almost never enjoyed it. The only exception was Dr. Faustus. So, again, I was skeptical, but I mean, let's be honest. This is Harry Potter, of course there's going to be something I like about it because I'm so biased toward it. I love plays themselves, I just don't like reading them.

I considered not reading it and waiting until the play came to the U.S., but I only considered it for a few seconds--I'm going to Comic Con next month as a guest, and people will expect me to have read it.

So, basically, I wasn't sure what to think about it and personally didn't expect much. But then months ago, I accidentally-on-purpose read some of the spoilers, because honestly, how much of a "spoiler" could they be? The main story is complete.

Man, was I wrong about being unspoilery. The two I read I did not see coming--and I loved them. So two points to Cursed Child on that--and I was excited to read it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Self-Publish or Traditional Publish? Why not Both?

September asked me to write a post about my experience with being a hybrid author, which (for those not in the know) means being both self-published and traditionally published. Many well-known authors are now hybrids, having years ago made their name as bestselling, traditionally published authors, and have recently released their backlists through self-publishing. Other authors make it big on their own and then are offered mega contracts by big New York publishers who can help those superstars achieve things that are difficult to attain through avenues open to self-published authors.