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Monday, May 30, 2016

Sanderson's 3 Laws of Magic Systems

I've never done a post on magic systems. The closest I've gotten to it is my post on writing magical items. One of the reasons I haven't approached magic systems is because others have done a much better job talking about them than I can, and to be honest, I haven't studied them that much. But my work-in-progress does have some magic systems in it, even though I don't always think of them as magic systems, and so today I'm bringing you the source that I use when I need help with magic in my story--and really, it's such a good resource that it deserves its own post on my blog.

Brandon Sanderson is one of the top-selling fantasy writers today, and what's even cooler is that he understands and is conscious of what does in his writing and can teach it well to others.

Monday, May 23, 2016

10 Cheats to "Tell" Well

Back in January, I did a whole post on when it is appropriate to "tell" something instead of "show" it. I talked about the difference between showing and telling, about how telling actually has in important role, and gave eight reasons you should use telling instead of showing. I touched on the fact that some telling is done better than others and also promised that in a future post I would give some pointers on how to tell well. Today is that future.

If you need a refresher of my post on telling, don't hesitate to give it a glance over.

In it, I gave this example of how boring, monotonous, and ineffective telling can be:

They went to their friend's house to see some cats. They liked them a lot. When they got tired, they called their mom to pick them up, but their mom couldn't come for two hours. It was cold out, so they went inside and got something warm to eat. Then they drew some pictures before watching t.v.

Ack! Who wants to read a whole story like that? Not me! One of the problems with telling is that it can be too vague and it fails to immerse the reader in the story. But that is an example of truly awful telling. Here are some techniques to make your moments of telling shine by lessening or overcoming some of those cons.

One approach is to use showing techniques when you tell.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Writing Advice for Middle-School Writers

Owl9710 asked: Do you have any advice for young writers like middle schoolers? I love your posts, you post such cool things for writers both young and old!

Thanks Owl! Here are my thoughts:

1. Write for fun.
I put this as the first point because I think it's the most important. If you love to write, write and have fun. Write as much as you want and whatever you want. If you want to write a nonfiction guide on keeping an aquarium, great. If you want to write fanfiction based off your favorite show or book, go right ahead. Science-fiction? Mystery? A love story? Sure. Anything you want. Explore your stories and characters. When you get closer to the professional world, writing can get more complicated and it sometimes feels like work. It's important to have lots of fun now, so that you can pull from those experiences when things get tough. You need to enjoy writing itself first. You don't have to finish all of your stories, but try to at least finish some.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Updates on Writing and Bloggery

Every once in a while I like to do an update on my writing and blogging life. And when I say every once in a while . . . I mean about once a year apparently.

The truth is, like last year, I don't have a whole lot to update on. About a year and a half ago, I started what turned into a massive rewrite of my novel. I'm rewriting everything. And the quality is so much better, I could sing. Seriously though, guys. I'm not going to say it's like the next great American Classic or anything (cause it's not), but I'm so dang happy with how I've grown as a writer and how much better my novel is! During this rewrite I have written some of the best scenes I've written in my entire life! I'm so, so, so pleased with them. (Let's hope those scenes survive to actual publication.) I feel like I gained full control over them and got them to behave just the way I wanted them to for a powerful experience for the reader.

There are other scenes I'm really happy with because they're just fun and entertaining. I know, I know, it's like I'm boasting about myself, but to me, it's not so much that I'm boasting about myself, as it is sharing how completely happy I am with how this novel has grown and changed and how much I have grown as a writer. And truly running this blog has helped me get to this point. Studying, dissecting, and writing down how things like micro-concepts and subtext and point of view penetration and humor work has helped me use them consciously and purposefully in my writing. And whenever I get confused, I can refer back to the articles here for a refresher. Understanding how great character relationships work has done wonders in deepening the relationships in my story.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Coming up with the Perfect Pen Name

Anonymous said: What is the story behind your name? (Love your posts btw)

Thanks, I’m glad you like my posts! Well, if anyone has come here looking for an interesting or cute little story about why my parents chose the name "September" or the roots of my last name, I hope you won't be disappointed. September C. Fawkes is a pseudonym. But hopefully in some ways that makes the story behind it more interesting.