Tag Archives: fantasy

Plot Development: Ending Your Novel

Plot Development: How to write the climax and ending of your novel.

If you’re at all like me, you have trouble writing endings.  I don’t want to make this a lengthy post.  I only wanted to share the above link, and encourage you all to have a look at it.  =]

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Writing Life: “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll”

Today’s post comes from my friend Jade Bennett over at Jade Bennett Writes. Who also, if you hadn’t heard, launched her IndieGoGo campaign today!  She’s aiming to raise money to self-publish her first novel Mechanics of Magic, the first in a series titled Mechanical Maladies.  Check her out, and if you support her cause, please donate or share her IndieGoGo page!  Thanks, everyone!

Now, about Writing Life.

I’ve spoken on the topic of saying what you mean to say, how you mean to say it, multiple times, and this post isn’t going to change that tune.  I’ve been asked by several people why I choose to portray controversial subjects in my writing, how I approach those topics, and how I deal with the “backlash.”

Truth?  I’ve never really had any backlash.  I own what I write, and if people don’t like it, they can go complain on the internet.  (You know, like I do all the time.  You guys know.  =P)  If something means a lot to you, and you want to put that down on paper, that’s your call.  Gaining the courage to show the world is an entirely different matter.

Let’s face it: a stranger’s opinion is the difference between the cost of one book in our pocket and one less digit on our sales sheet, and that’s big.  But not as big as how we feel about, say, our mother reading that gay romance novel we wrote, chock full of drug abuse, rape, and our main character’s struggle to get by in an anti-equality society.  Or our father running across our heart-rending essays on teen suicide or our flash fiction about parental alcoholism.

It doesn’t matter.  I swear to you, write what you’re passionate about.  It may not be pretty and it may cause some controversy, but that’s okay.  Our modern world was built on controversy.  Voices rise and things change, but if we keep silent, we’re stagnant.  Even if it’s in your fiction, in a small, indirect way, say what you mean.  Even if it’s through your characters in a fictional realm on a fictional planet, address those things that call to your heart because only you can say them the way you intend them to be said.

Stand up.  Your friends and families will judge you.  Strangers will judge you.  But at least you can say that you stood for something.  So few people see what courage there is in writing fiction.

Be blunt.  You don’t have to be crass, but be honest.  If it’s not honesty from your perspective, be honest from an opposite perspective.  Fiction always displays at least two sides, if not always evenly.

Moral of the story?  Don’t be afraid to write about the hard things in life.  Your family may not approve, but you’ll be a voice for so many people who stand beside you.   More than you might realize.  Don’t let fear silence you. <3

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Don’t forget! G&L is accepting fiction submissions!

Remember, Goggles & Lace’s second anniversary is coming up!  Anyone interested in submitting some short fiction for the anniversary contest: the submission deadline is April 8th!

Please see this post for more detailed information, and don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions!

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Big Changes on the Horizon! (an invitation to submit to G&L)

As you know, G&L has been up and down for the last several months.  I’ve been a bad blog-mommy.  But, as I mentioned before, G&L’s 2nd anniversary is coming up in April, and I want you all to be a part of it!

I have some surprises in store for you, and maybe even for me, as I work my way up to April 22nd.  This particular “surprise” though, isn’t going to be much of a surprise, as it requires a bit of forethought.  Ready?  I know you’re ready.

G&L would not have come this far without all of you.  I’m not known for my ability to keep on one thing for any length of time, and if it wasn’t for my readers, G&L would have been one of the many things I would have given up for no apparent reason.  So, for all of you and everyone who promoted the posts here at G&L over the last two years, I want to extend the invitation to enter a small short story contest.

Now, I don’t have the means to pay anyone, keep in mind.  You’d retain all the rights to your work.  This would simply be a means of promoting your writing/blogs/websites through a small short story collection.  (For those of you who have read my collection  Something Peculiar, it would be exactly like that.)

Contest Details:

  • Of the entries, 7 will be chosen to be included in the collection. Submission deadline is April 8, 2012.

  • All submitters that are not chosen will have their names and websites listed on the final page of the ebook and receive a copy of the ebook to use in any promotions they like.  (The object of this ebook is to get our fiction out there, remember.)
  • No corrections or alterations can be made to any entry once its submitted.
  • The ebook will be sent out on April 22, 2012.

Contest Rules:

  • There is no set theme.  The genre must fall in the categories of fantasy, science fiction, or spec fic.  YA or adult fiction are both acceptable.  (Not “adult” fiction, by the way.  Erotica will be discarded.  I have some young readers, and I’d like any submissions to be a strong PG-13 at the worst.)
  • Entries must not exceed 1200 words.
  • If published previously, authors must currently hold the publishing rights to that particular piece of fiction.  I’d rather not get into a copyright battle.  Though, I’d prefer if the entries were not published previously.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Format:*
    • Page Information

      • Margins — 1.5 inches all the way around
      • Font — Courier, Courier New, or other clean monospace serif font from 10-12 pt. (I use 12 pt. Dark Courier.)
      • Line spacing — Double-space
      • Paragraph indent — first line, 5 pt.
      • Header — right justified, contains the following information:Last name/ TITLE/ page#A header does not belong on the title page. Start headers on page two of the actual manuscript. First labeled page number should be 2.
    • Cover page
      • Do not use a cover page with short work, either fiction or non-fiction
    • First page
      • Contact information — Name and address, phone number and e-mail address in the top left corner of the page, single spaced, left-justified
      • Word count — top line, right justified (you’ll have to do this with a table if you’re working with a word processor), either exact count, or rounded to the nearest ten
      • Title — drop down four double-spaced lines, centered
      • by — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the title
      • Name or pen name — centered and one double-spaced line beneath the word by
      • Body of the story or article — drop down two lines and begin.
      • Scene or section breaks — drop down two double-spaced lines, insert and center the # character, drop down two more double-spaced lines, and begin your new scene.
    • Second and subsequent pages
      • Header — should be in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and page number should be 2.
      • Body text — begins on the first line, doublespaced throughout.
  • All files must be in .doc or .odt format.
  • Must be fantasy, science fiction, or speculative fiction.  YA and adult fiction are acceptable.  (Not “adult” fiction.  Erotica will be discarded.  PG-13 rating cap.)
  • All submissions must be sent to gogglesandlace-at-gmail-dot-com with “Anniversary Submission” in the subject field.
  • Judging will begin on April 8, 2012.

Any questions, comments or concerns can be sent to gogglesandlace-at-gmail-dot-com.  Please include “Anniversary Contest Question” in the subject field.  If I missed anything above, please feel free to let me know.  I’ll be happy to make the correction.  =]

 

*  “Format” section borrowed from Holly Lisle.  If you don’t know of her work, check her out.  She’s amazing.

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Prompt: Fob Watch

Prompt Fridays are back!  And here’s your new one:

You’ve come into possession of a fob watch, mysteriously or otherwise, and I want you to write about it.  Tell me its significance to you.  If it has supernatural qualities, tell me about them.  Or, give me a character-perspective of this fancy new accessory and how your character came into its possession.  Go!

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LfBH – 14: Parting Ways

An intensely rocky start back into LfBH, so I hope you’ll forgive me.  A more action-packed piece will be up on Monday.  Thanks to everyone who enjoys LfBH for your patience. <3  LfBH is nothing without you.

+~+~+

There was little time. The skies, even here, were a dismal gray, as if Blackford Hill was reaching out to offer its misery like a plague upon the people of the small village. Every time a guard entered the village, he brought with him a depressing silence that lasted for hours after he left. Phaedra knew that their presence was wearing thin on the residents here, and so, once they were healed enough to move about safely, she proposed they leave.

Felix was unhappy. He knew his father would be looking for him. He knew that this wasn’t over for him, and if Silas insisted on tagging along (which he knew he would), then things would be very dangerous for him, indeed. As far as the young Count was concerned, his life had been thrown away the moment he set the flame to that temple. The gallows were the place for him, but Silas had a chance at a new life.

Tully, on the other hand, was eager to be out of here; eager to be as far away from their prison hellhole as humanly possible. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be where it was safe, warm, and dry. She wanted Phae and a life of their own.

Standing at the mouth of the village, where the only broad road led in, the stonework ending at the edge of the populated area and melding into packed dirt, Phaedra shouldered a crude canvas bag with a single strap over her shoulder, and glanced to Tully.

“I’m ready…” Tully responded to the wordless request. “I don’t want to leave them behind, Phae, can’t they come with us?”

Phaedra sighed. “They’re a liability to us, just as we are to them. It’s safer for everyone if we split up. We need the best chance possible at not being picked up again.”

“I suppose that means we’re not going back to The Willow?”

“Tully…”

“It’s fine, Phae… it’s fine. Let’s go, alright? We’re losing daylight.” Tully turned to face the road, just as Silas came bounding up behind them, a hand falling heavily on Phae’s shoulder, accompanied by a good-natured laugh.

“Thought you’d run off just like that, yeah? I don’t think so,” Silas laughed as Felix sauntered up beside him, and cast his eyes away.

“We didn’t want to make this any harder,” Phae explained, and gave a faint smile as she turned. For as skeptical as she had been of these two men during their first hours together, she had gained more respect and affection for them during their time here than she had expected. They were good friends, even Felix, the mouthy pain in the ass. It was because they were good friends that they deserved a fair chance; it would be selfish to hold them back by traveling with them.

Tully threw her arms around Felix and kissed his cheek. “If we ever go back home, I’ll find a way to let you know. You can come visit. You’d love the bakery, Felix.”

Felix’s cheeks flared a bit red and he smiled faintly. Friendship had never been something he had been good at, but with Tully, it was so easy. She a sweet person with good intentions and a love for just about everyone.

“I’ll come visit with you, I promise. At the bakery, or elsewhere, I’ll find you when things settle, Tully. Maybe Silas will be with me.” Another faint smile.

“Don’t look so grudging. He likes you. Let him stay. You need someone to support you, Felix. You can’t possibly let yourself be miserable forever. Let him enjoy your company, and for the love of the Gods, try to enjoy his, hm?”

Another dark blush from Felix and he laughed. “It makes me feel guilty.”

“You shouldn’t. Go. We’ll talk again soon. I promise you.” She shoved him lightly, and turned to take Phaedra’s hand, a slight wave behind her to signal their departure. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she inclined her head, as if doing so would keep them from falling.

“It’s for the best,” Phaedra stated yet again, giving her hand a little squeeze. “It’s safer for all of us if we split up. And our work will take us to places where they have no business being.”

Sniffling in finality, Tully brought her hand across her eyes and nodded. “I know. And Felix has business with his father. I just hope he comes out of it in one piece.”

Phae gave a grim nod, and kissed her beloved’s fingers. “We all will.”

Felix cast a glance to Silas, his eyes sliding over him head to toe, and he gave a very bare, helpless smile. If Silas were ever to change his mind, Felix knew that it would be now and he would be left alone. Silas was a good man, and he knew that he liked him, but how could the Count expect someone like Silas to suffer his upper-class woes?

“That was hard, yeah?” Silas drawled, drawing on his cigarette and tossing it aside.

“Smoking is disgusting…” Felix muttered and turned toward him, pulling his cap over his head and meandering alongside Silas.

“I know. So, what’s the plan, Count?”

Felix rubbed his forehead. “I don’t know. Go to my father. Kill him. Take what he doesn’t deserve and try like hell to do some sort of good with it, I expect. We need to do something about Blackford Hill.”

Silas slipped a hand discreetly into his and tugged him between two buildings, where he promptly stole his lips in a reassuring kiss. “Let’s do that, then.”

Felix swallowed hard and stared at him, before he dropped his eyes to their clasped hands. “Let’s,” he breathed with a faint nod. “Yes. Well, to my father’s then.”

With a single glance back to the departing women as he came out of the narrow alley, Felix drew a breath and pulled Silas down the road in the opposite direction.

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Prompt: Familiar

Gwin © Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

This is vague.  I want you to really reach here, because this concept has been done a thousand times five times over.  I want you to… *drumroll*  ….. tell me about your animal companion/familiar!  Or a character’s animal companion/familiar.  How did you/they come to be together?  How do you/they communicate?   Tell me the story. <3

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Something Peculiar!

The e-book exclusive I was promising all new subscribers has finally been finished and released!  If I had (or liked) champagne, I’d be popping a bottle right now!

Something Peculiar will still be available to anyone who subscribes to G&L between now and October 31st, so if you thought you missed your chance, think again!  All you have to do is sign up to receive email updates of any posts by G&L, and I’ll send you your copy.  If you’ve subscribed since May and haven’t received your copy, email me at gogglesandlace [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll send your copy right out. <3

It’ll arrive as a PDF, but I have other formats available upon request.  (Honestly, the MOBI is a much better presentation than the PDF, but PDF is a bit more popular.)

In any case, I feel victorious. <3

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Writing Prompt: Between Genius & Insanity

Steampunk Demotivational

Writing Prompt Friday lives on!  This week, you’re an inventor.  Give me some insight into your current big project.  Not working on anything, O great inventor?  Tell me how you’re making ends meet, being an inventor with no commissions.  Don’t want to air your dirty laundry?  Give me a typical day in your lab, introduce me to your staff, your favorite materials to work with.

Remember, the world may not see your genius, but that shouldn’t stop you from showcasing it!

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LfBH 12: Stitches – revisited

Do you guys remember Stitches?  It was the first flash fiction I wrote involving Phaedra and Tully.  A Letter from Count Malrais was the first, and together, they sparked Letters from Blackford Hill.   I had to add and alter a bit, but here’s Stitches, revisited.  Enjoy. <3

~+~+~+~

“You haven’t even flinched.”

Phaedra’s eyes flicked up to catch a dreamy smile on her friend’s lips, before glancing back down again. The gash on her forearm pinched together at the top when Tully pulled the thread taut, tying off the third in a series of stitches.

“Would you rather I were howling in pain?” asked Phaedra, her voice soft as it always was, though for once a light humor crept into her tone. The woman was always so severe, Tully couldn’t help but worry for her sometimes.

“Of course not,” replied Tully, pressing the point of the curved needle through the split flesh. Still, Phae didn’t react. “I just… admire your strength.”

She was still smiling. Phaedra gave her head a light shake. Tully baffled her sometimes. It was a long fight to get out of that colony, free from the fences and the locks, and rifles trained on them every second of every day; still, Tully smiled. Even when they were captured, bound and carted off to that awful place, Tully still managed to smile. Fiona was left at the edge of the woods, lifeless. Phae knew Tully was pushing back the pain that dwelt there; the pain that exploded from her love when Fiona took that bullet. There were tears, tantrums, fury from everyone else, dozens of others all desperate for answers….

Tully tried to stay on the bright side.

Phaedra wasn’t aware of any bright side.

Their lives had gone completely out of control, all because they had chosen to share an inn room while Phaedra helped Tully find a cure for that awful cough she’d had. Fortunately, the cough was alleviated, but they had hardly gotten their things packed to go back to work at the bakery, when the door came crashing off the hinges—

Phaedra shook her head and sighed. Going back to the bakery seemed useless now. Would they go so far as to wait for Phae and Tully where they worked?

The small town they’d stumbled across in their escape had no knowledge of the horrors of Blackford Hill. They knew only that the government had a compound there, but were left in the dark about what was held within it. The soldiers made it clear that they would shoot anyone on sight if they came snooping around. Now, huddled in yet another inn room, together, though this time accompanied by Silas and Felix—two married couples on holiday? Could they pull that off?—Phae submitted to Tully’s pleas to stitch the gash in her arm, and rub balm on the bruises and scrapes.

It killed Phae to see the blond’s arm wrapped up in blood-stained linen. Tully deserved so much better.

“Done.” Tully started packing up her first aid kit, and Phaedra lifted her arm to look over the other woman’s handy work. The stitches were clean, and the cut wasn’t even bleeding through the gaps.

“Thanks,” murmured Phaedra, and grabbed a strip of cloth that had been torn from Tully’s underskirt, starting to wrap the newly-sewn arm. Torn and used clothing was suddenly a luxury she’d never appreciated before. “Where did you learn to do that, anyway?”

A sad smile was cast over Tully’s shoulder as she tucked her things away. “I wasn’t always a baker, Phae. Somehow, I don’t expect you were, either.”

Their eyes met, and a silence passed between them, understanding and steadying. Something in that silence earned a smile from Tully, and Phaedra’s eyes fell to the fabric on her arm.

“No. Not always.”

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