Tag: writing craft

Home > ArchivesTag: writing craft

A Bad Moon Rising

August 13, 2021 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group, Writing tagged as , , ,
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

By Dianna Sinovic

It must have been at least one in the morning, the inkiness of the night now washed out by the full moon cresting the horizon. Sophie sat up and felt around her for her shoes. She’d been stargazing on the hill, the grassy spot beyond the embrace of the forest. With the moon up, the stars would soon fade until they were too faint to see. Sometimes she felt like that, diminished, dismissed.

Except that the full moon doesn’t rise at 1 a.m. or anywhere near that time. A full moon appears as the sun is setting, giving its full face to be illuminated. 

Jeremy was hopelessly lost, and night was falling. He was walking on what seemed like an endless plain of snow, every direction the same. Zipping up his jacket until it was at his chin, he wished he’d remembered his watch cap. Already his ears felt numb. The sun was now just an orange glow on the horizon, and in the eastern sky, the slender form of a crescent moon had  risen. He headed in that direction.

Except that a crescent moon doesn’t rise at sunset. A slender crescent is either in the eastern sky as the sun comes up. (It often shares the sky with the planet Venus, the “morning star.”) Or it’s in the western sky, following the sun down.

It’s easy to get the sun’s position correct when you write a scene. It rises in the morning and it sets in the evening. And on sweltering summer days it’s usually right overhead.

But the moon follows a different time keeper. And authors who don’t check the phases of the moon before adding them to their fiction risk yanking the reader out of the story. I have been stopped cold in otherwise compelling scenes by a moon depicted in a way that could never happen. 

It doesn’t matter where in the world you set your story, the same astronomical parameters apply. (OK, the poles are different, both for the moon’s and the sun’s appearance.) The details aren’t hard to master. There are websites (NASA is an example) that will spell out the phases of the moon for you. 

So when you’re fact-checking your draft, don’t forget to check the moon. Us astronomy geeks will thank you.

Of course, if you’ve set your story on another world, none of this applies. Instead, just be consistent with the rules of that world or universe. Double moons might be a nice touch.


Books by BWG



0 0 Read more

Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Plotting

August 3, 2021 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger, Starting a Novel Series with a Partner by E. J. Williams tagged as , , ,

Starting a Novel with a Partner: The Plotting

by E.J. Williams

(Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger)

My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write thrillers, the INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

As we began this series, we experienced the same thing as with the previous, Skylar Drake Mystery Series. That is, we had all sorts of ideas stuck in our heads. Each of us had different scenarios we’d developed. We found it challenging to develop and agree on a central plotline for each story that would take the series across many books.

Meeting regularly with specific agendas and follow-up reports for reminders helped us narrow down the many ideas into the main idea, one that could be sustained through many future books. Daily, weekly, and monthly update meetings keep things flowing. Much like each chapter of a book drives the plot forward, the meetings should have a purpose. They should help drive the writing forward. Once we agreed on the plotline for the whole series, we could focus on the individual novels with similar foundations.

Regular meetings are the most efficient way of making a co-writing situation successful. Remember . . . the crucial thing is to write a good story. So, stay tuned . . . there is more to come.

STONE PUB is the first in the series, and yes…we are still married!

Website: Janet Elizabeth Lynn

Website: Will Zeilinger


Read Skylar Drake Mysteries while waiting for STONE PUB.

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS
0 0 Read more

Writing Believable Fight Scenes

May 18, 2021 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , , ,

Writing Believable Fight Scenes

Presented by: J.T. Evans
Date: June 1 – 30, 2021
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15
Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

Knowing how to write a true-to-life fight scene requires getting into fights. Yes, multiple fights. Many of them. That’s painful because your opponents tend to strike back. There is an alternate approach, though. Find someone who has been in their fair share of fights, also knows how to write, and can impart their decades of battle-earned wisdom to the eager student. This class will cover a wide range of topics including the purpose of a fight in fiction, gender differences, martial arts styles, weapon types (melee and ranged), writing mass combat, how to visualize a fight scene, and what happens to people when they are wounded. There are many nuances to each of these topics (and more!) that you won’t want to miss out on.

About the Presenter:

Roughly thirty-five years ago, J.T. was the target of the bullies (yes all of them) of his school. Between seventh and eighth grade, he enrolled in his first martial arts class to learn how to defend himself. This allowed him to not only drive the bullies away the next school year but put him on a path of passionately learning as many different forms of martial arts as he could get his hands on. Through the years, he’s learned “soft forms,” “hard forms,” armed combat, mass combat techniques, and even has some mixed martial arts experience. As a result of bouncing between the different arts in the world, he has never earned a black belt in a single one, but his broad-spectrum approach has allowed him to get out of many a tight situation over the years.

When not thinking about what martial art to tackle next, he writes fantasy novels. He also dabbles with science fiction and horror short stories. Between the times he slings words at his laptop, he keeps computers secure at the Day Job, home brews great beers, spends time with his family, and plays way too many card, board, and role-playing games.

J.T.’s first two novels in his Modern Mythology series from WordFire Press GRIFFIN’S FEATHER and VIPER’S BANE are out now.

0 0 Read more

Characterization by E. J. Williams

May 3, 2021 by in category Starting a Novel Series with a Partner by E. J. Williams tagged as , , ,

Starting a Novel Series with a Partner
Characterization

by E.J. Williams

(Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger)

My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write the thrillers of INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

The first book sets the tone and is the foundation of all future books in a series. The main characters will appear over and over again. They have to be strong and memorable. The character must be able to grow and change through several books while remaining exciting and unpredictable. Keep in mind that you, too, will be living with them for some time, so you, as the author, must like them also.

As a couple, we often think back to people we’ve met or know, then we kick it up a little…or a lot. At first, it wasn’t easy to choose. We had so many. Then we realized we didn’t have to choose…we could combine, which made for powerful, strong, funny, and capable characters that can sustain the reader’s interest over the course of the series.

Supporting each other and valuing the ideas we each bring to the table make for great characters. Remember, the crucial thing is to write a good story. So stay tuned. There is more to come.

STONE PUB is the first in the series, and yes…we are still married!

Website:  Janet  Elizabeth Lynn    

Website:  Will Zeilinger              

    Janet”s and Will’s
Skylar Drake Series

(Hover over the covers for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.)

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

0 0 Read more

WHEN AUTHORS ROAM

March 15, 2021 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , ,

Hiking in Albania. Met a bride & groom. We were invited to the wedding.

I was going through my travel pictures – some as close as another town in Southern California, others as exotic as China and Albania – and was reminded that my writing was richer for each experience. But it wasn’t just the places that fired up my imagination. By far, it was the people I met that made the journey unforgettable. Here are the five groups I seek out on every trip because meeting them always inspires my work.

Keepers of the Keys: A hotel maid, a waiter, a shopkeeper. The interaction with these people might be fleeting, but they know what goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes the small details, the seemingly most insignificant secondary character, can make a good story great.

Merry Makers: Festivals, a local pub, a county fair are where people let their guard down. Join in.  Experience the sights and sounds to enrich your descriptions. Festivals are especially fertile ground for romance writers.

A shepherdess we asked for directions. She told us she had 7 unmarried daughters for my son.

Wise old Sages: A simple hello, an offer to help carry a package, a greeting in their language, will make an instant friend of the elderly. From them you will learn the history of the country and the person. Seeing through their eyes enhances the pacing of your work and the backstory of your character.

The Village People: No, not the singing group. These are the folks outside the mainstream. They are a wonderful contrast to city dwellers. Taking the time to go off the beaten path to meet them is invaluable to those who write family sagas or historical fiction.

Fellow Travelers: Some people travel out of necessity, others are running away from something and some running to their destiny. The traveler you think most humble might be a titan of industry. One of my favorite encounters ended up as a major character in one of my books. He literally inspired a complete novel because he was not what he seemed.

When the pandemic comes to an end, travel. Near or far, it doesn’t matter. Meet one or all of these five people. They will be an inspiration. If you take the time to truly connect, you will inspire them too.


Books by Rebecca Forster

BEFORE HER EYES

Buy now!
BEFORE HER EYES

BEYOND MALICE

Buy now!
BEYOND MALICE

CHARACTER WITNESS

Buy now!
CHARACTER WITNESS

DARK WITNESS

Buy now!
DARK WITNESS

DREAMS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
DREAMS: The 90s Collection

EXPERT WITNESS

Buy now!
EXPERT WITNESS

EYEWITNESS

Buy now!
EYEWITNESS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

FORGOTTEN WITNESS

Buy now!
FORGOTTEN WITNESS

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS
INTIMATE RELATIONS

KEEPING COUNSEL

Buy now!
KEEPING COUNSEL
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller

PRIVILEGED WITNESS

Buy now!
PRIVILEGED WITNESS

SEASONS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
SEASONS: The 90s Collection

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS

SILENT WITNESS

Buy now!
SILENT WITNESS
THE RECKLESS ONES: The 90s Collection
THE BAILEY DEVLIN TRILOGY: BOOK 1-3 (The Bailey Devlin Series)
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S SHIP CAME IN
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

VANITIES: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VANITIES: The 90s Collection

VOWS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VOWS: The 90s Collection

THE MENTOR

Buy now!
THE MENTOR

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>