I dare anyone…
A N Y O N E
…to deny it.
But if you wanna try?
Deny it now.
*hides under covers*
Check out these ten tips for writers…
from J. R. R. Tolken:
[via writersinthestormblog]10 Tips from the “Master of Middle Earth”:
1. Vanity is useless.
Truly, Tokien wrote his books to please himself and answer the writer inside him. He expected them to go “into the waste-paper basket” after they left his desk, not live on in popular culture. I’m not saying we don’t need to learn good story craft however, if you entertain yourself, at least you know one person that enjoyed the hell out of your book.
2. Keep writing, even through adversity.
It took the man SEVEN years to write The Hobbit. He balanced a demanding day job, illness, and worry for his son who was away in the Royal Navy. I’m reminded of Laura Drake, her brick wall, and her 400+ rejections.
3. Listen to critics you trust.
When his editor said, “Make it better,” he didn’t throw the advice away. He read and re-read, and he tried his best.
He credits listening to knowledgeable feedback, and working to make it better, for what he considered the best scene in the Lord of the Rings: “the confrontation between Gandalf and his rival wizard, Saruman, in the ravaged city of Isengard.” Oh, and the editor he listened to? C.S. Lewis, the creator of the Chronicles of Narnia.
4. Let your interests drive your writing.
Tolkien’s original interest was in languages. He took that and created new languages, and then an entire culture, around it. Our own contributor, Kathryn Craft, was a dancer, choreographer, and dance critic. She tapped all that experience to write The Art of Falling, exploring themes of love, dance, friendship, and distorted body image. that passion and truth will resonate with readers.
5. Poetry can lead to great prose.
When he could not express his thoughts in the prose he wished for, he wrote much of it in verse. Authors as diverse as Charlotte Brontë and Langston Hughes started in poetry before moving to longer mediums. Next time you get stuck, you might try Tolkien’s trick of writing your scene as a poem first.
6. Happy accidents.
No matter how much you plan, happy accidents occur on the pages of every book. Jennifer Crusie calls it “the girls in the basement,” saying they hand her up treasures as she writes. Others might call it “the muse.”
One more kick in the pants from our own Laura Drake: If you don’t put your butt in the chair and do the work, you won’t have any “happy accidents.”
What makes a good story? For me, there are a few elements that are critical.
Elements such as adventure, suspense, horror… Humor, romance, intrigue… Darkness, light and love.
Nothing makes me happier than to come across a story that takes all of my desired elements, tosses in a little Gothic noir, gives it a little shake and then lets the goodness pour out.
Thou, I must admit, when it comes to reading? Seems like that delight of discovery has been happening a little less of late.
Often at times, I find myself scanning over link after link of books on Amazon, reading the book description and leaving the site without nary a purchase. All because I am just so bored with the commonplace, the normal, the average literary fare.
I want a story, and a unique one. I’m so tired of reading stories that can be easily interchanged with another, by simply swapping character names. The current themes found in popular literature are exhausted: dystopian, new young adult, mom porn, witches and zombies—oh my!
When was the last time you read something, something new, something different…That grabbed you by the throat and didn’t let go?
When was the last time you read something that changed the way you experienced what you read…A story that stuck with you long after you read it?
If your answer, much like mine, is: “Far too long.”
Well, maybe I can help you out with that…
Penny Willan and the Well, excerpt:
No one really knows,
how the true story goes,
or where the curse had started.
But the curse is one,
forever darkening the sun,
damning the dearly departed.
Thy know no rest,
for the best,
are taken as payment for wishes,
from a magic so dark,
it fills one’s heart,
and the very soul it bewitches.
‘Tis by the old church,
that something there lurks,
deep in the wishing-well.
There something hides,
on its insides,
ready to damn you to Hell.
So drop in your penny,
whenever you’re ready,
and wish for all you could dream.
Wishes come with a price,
so please, think twice,
Envy will tear you apart till you scream.
Eight days and counting.
The demon Envy, from ‘Penny Willan and the Well‘…
It is ready.
Excerpt: Penny Willan and the Well, Pride
So, keep this close in mind,
when the day soon ‘twill find,
the next step in Envy’s wicked scheme.
For a girl’s soul now desired,
and today Envy conspired
another chance to make Penny scream.
‘Tis her true love it’s a’holdin,
and now, Envy, quite embolden,
that to it, Penny soon will revert.
For with its fangs it did imbed,
into Beau’s neck, as it fed,
dreams of evil unto Penny ‘twould besmirch.
The well waits for its Penny,
and after years ‘tis ready,
‘tis her goodness it desires to derail.
For Envy now has the ammunition,
to make her crave its vile perdition,
sacrificing her soul, evil soon ‘twill prevail.
“The course of true love never did run smooth” ~William Shakespeare
Nor, if the story is good?
Excerpt, Penny Willan and the Well, Book of Pride:
To his feet Guy jerked,
from his brother’s grasp he worked
his body free from Beau’s strong embrace.
“Brother you’re far too late,
for though that I may hate
your conclusive view of me, I must deface.
A once idolized brother, though I may be,
when it comes to your lovely lady?
I’ll claim her love, by wish, despite of you.
For ‘tis she that I alone deserve,
and how unfair you’d once reserved
her heart, for you only has it been true.
So, through feats profaned in Hell,
‘tis your love I will dispel,
by its very hand, whom God did He throw.
For down in Hell I come a’callin,
for a love I seek to trodden,
my pride returned, by it, my token ‘twill bestow.”
“You villain.” Beau growled,
and from the ground up he prowled,
ready to fight all for his true love.
Set to battle again, was Guy,
for Beau’s acquiesce he couldn’t buy,
he’d take it through force, by jove.
And I would like to think Penny Willan and the Well turned out very well… But, you know, I wrote it, so I’m biased. I sincerely hope you are enjoying these little peeks into a very unique, original tale, unlike anything you have read as of late. This story is very niche. And if you are more the dystopian, war hero, vampire romance or mom porn type, when it comes to reading? Sorry, this definitely will not be your niche.
In fact, honestly, I am not sure there has even been a category invented that this story can fall into, and properly. But, hey… That’s me. I like forging my own path, so why not? Consider me a new niche maker!
Regardless, if this story coincides with your usual literary fair or not, I do hope these little excerpts wet your appetite for the March 10th, 2015 world-wide release date.
More excerpts to come!
I enjoy reading fairy tales.
Well, maybe I should say, I enjoy reading fairy tales before they were hijacked by Disney. Not that there is anything wrong with a nice, pretty ‘Happily Ever After’ in a story, there isn’t. I like dancing mice, talking crabs and funny snowmen as much as the next person.
But with my nice HEA, I want some substance, some grit and some dark spicy flavor. What I love, when it comes to fairy tales, are the dark, tragic cautionary tales of old. Fairy tales, originally? Were meant to be scary. So scary in fact, just hearing them would strike fear in the hearts of every child who heard them, to prevent them from partaking in certain activities their parents warned them against… activities such as talking to strangers, wandering far from home, the hazards of pride and the perils of love.
I miss the days of fairy tales of old, when one was unsure of the outcome of the story. When you questioned, fretted and grew anxious about the end.
Imagine, if you will…
Being haunted, hunted, by a magic so dark you know no escape. All of your life lay veiled, shadowed and coldly brittle, by a voracious entity who has been after you as long as you can remember. From a time born in the cusp of your childhood, and hence forever since, this evil specter has reached for you with clawed talons. It has craved you with malicious intent. Thus far, the strength of your valor has held the monster at bay, but you know it waits for the moment when the weakness of your sinful desires will release from Hell the wrath of all its abhorrent desires down upon you.
And that moment draws near.
Penny Willan and the Well, will be released and the fairy tale description of ode above, will not have to be imagined…
No, by you it will be experienced.
Excerpt, Penny Willan and the Well, Book of Pride
The night strummed with resolve,
into the night Guy dissolved,
from his brother’s retribution he did flee.
Knowing Penny would tell
of his attack, which she befell,
his brother would enact vengeance for she.
Chanted whispers slithered through tress,
the air hissed of the coming, so pleased,
from a dark power disjointed and broken.
The Hell-well called to Guy,
with a lyrical chanting cry
of malicious dreams bespoken.
The moon was shaded red,
from blood-light the night fed,
a celebration of powers soon returned.
Wolves howled loudly, they screamed,
and their prey quickly gleamed
ill needs upon them would be churned.
The wind whispered, so cold,
and within it foretold
of the evils it was about to impart.
The air trickled with ice,
that gripped the lungs in a vise,
from the mortal ‘twas about to outsmart.
A return to fairy tales of Ode…
More excerpts to come.
Excerpt from, Penny Willan and the Well:
Love is the most terrifying of emotions,
for it can inspire acts of devotions,
born of the heart or a dark night of a soul.
The worst of them is wrath,
which is born on the behalf
of fears just waiting to take hold.
With love ‘tis simpler to fear,
that what you hold so dear,
but if you concede, the price might be your life.
Trust that love it will find you,
because if love is true it will bind you
forever to a treasure that’s without a price.
For ‘tis true love has the power,
which can seek and devour
an opposing strength, no matter how dark the might.
Love can break terrifying curses,
brought upon by wrath, which nurses,
pure evil brought upon by fear and avarice.
But to benefit love’s power,
one must trust in it, not cower,
believe in it and its power is yours to wield.
For no evil can withstand,
the strength of love’s high command,
when love is brandished defiant and unconcealed.
So, now the well does it wait,
for your penny with astounding hate,
though dormant, ‘tis not fully at rest.
Never doubt soon ‘twill come a time,
when another mortal’s sins will unbind,
the fetters cursed at true love’s behest.
More excerpts to come.
Release date, March 10th, 2015.
Be ready for it!