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Very Few

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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Home

 

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An Ode to Fanfiction

I first started really writing when I was probably about thirteen or fourteen, and it was fanfiction for the Legend of Zelda video game series. My first story was horrendous.

My second story wasn’t too bad and, while I have definitely have improved with my writing skills since then, it was well-received by those that cared to review and tell me they enjoyed it. It was a long story, one that a pantser like me probably shouldn’t have embarked on without a plan regarding the length, and it was inevitably dropped when life obligations got in the way of fanfiction writing.

Still, writing the fanfiction was fun, and I even dabble in it nowadays by handwriting in fun notebooks. I also read fanfiction whenever I find myself dissatisfied with the idea that the book or game I had just completed is over.

Fanfiction is amazing to me. Here are novel-length works printed online for free by some very talented writers. With fanfiction, bad scenes can be fixed, characters be saved (Fred Weasley, anyone?), a setting can be explored and expanded with a mere set of 26 letters all rearranged in various ways. Not only can these stories, these expanded works for some favorite franchises and series, be fascinating, but the capacity of a writer’s imagination just blows me away.

Here are people that love a story so much that they are compelled to share what else might have happened after the back cover was closed, what could have happened had the villain defeated the hero or if the hero got lost or if the sidekick had been the star of the show or if this side character had joined the party–

The possibilities are endless when it comes to stories, and fanfiction writers are brilliant for sharing.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Home

 

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Writing Lessons from Snoopy

snoopy

As writers, I think we could learn a lot from Snoopy.

Here’s this dog — created by Charles Schulz for his famous comic Peanuts — who finds a typewriter and just goes to town with his imagination. There are plenty of comic strips where he’s trying out his stories, showing them to the other characters to get feedback, and sending them out to publishers.

snoopy

Even if, you know, the result isn’t what he wants. Nevertheless, he persists, even when he’s having bad writing days.

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You could always count on Snoopy breaking out his typewriter again to write, ever with the famous first line, “It was a dark and stormy night.” He took time to experiment with genres, switching it up once in a while to try science fiction, mystery, an autobiography, and even adventure stories with a beginning like, “He was a dark and stormy knight.”

No matter how many rejections from publishers, Snoopy always continued writing. He’d get tips and praise from the other characters — and the occasional snide comment or joke about his writing — doing his best to learn and grow with the critique but always staying true to his own style. To continue writing despite doubt, to continue writing what we want to write, to continue writing because we love it…

It’s why we became writers, isn’t it?

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Posted by on June 27, 2017 in Home

 

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Dangerous People 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2016 in Home

 

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Get Rich Quick

So, there was a random article I read today that detailed a list of ways to make some side money while working a full-time job. Out of curiosity, and figuring knowing more ways to pay the bills wouldn’t be bad, I skimmed the list.

One of the bullet points was, more or less, “Write romance novels and self publish them for lots of cash.”

… What?

Is that seriously all it takes to be a writer? Apparently I’ve been writing in the wrong genre all these years. And self publishing is easy too, right? Just click a button, throw the book out in the world, and money will sprout wings and fly to me, right?

I don’t know whether to laugh or be offended at the casual “advice.” Self publishing takes so much dedication, not only to polish your book to its brightest shine, but to also market yourself and the story. Most self publishing platforms, as far as I’ve seen, take money out of your pocket as well.

And, ya know, writing is a lot of hard work, too. Romance is not my genre and if I tried to write it in a get-rich-quick scheme, my writing would be bland. The passion that I have for my fantasy novels would not transition well into a genre that I dislike writing. Readers are astute, they’ll pick up on those feelings in a heartbeat.

Kudos to anyone who is able to go down that road, to build up their own market, to craft amazing romance novels, to self publish their tales for the world. You’re amazing, and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

But kudos also to the rest of us who aren’t able to simply dash off a novel as quickly as this list is suggesting. Kudos to all of us writers who are persevering through day jobs and social obligations and rejections from publishing houses.

Writing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a lifestyle.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Home

 

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What’s Your Sign?

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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in Home

 

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Celebrating Comics and Diversity

Those of you who may have been following me for a while know how important the subject of diversity is. Diversity — of any kind, race, gender, sexual orientation, whatever — is needed for everyone in all kinds of media, like books, art, or video games. So, I got excited when I found this piece of news recently:

Meet the East Coast’s First Black Female Comic Book Store Owner.

The title is kind of a mouthful, but it’s an important piece of news. Other than Ariell Johnson, there are only five other African-American comic book shop owners in the United States. Considering comic books tend to cater to the white male demographic, this is an awesome accomplishment.

According to the article, Johnson states that it was the X-Men’s Storm that inspired her and got her into comics, proving how proper representation is needed. I love comics as well, most notably X-Men, and it was always strange to me how skewed most superhero teams were towards men. For example, while Batman is my favorite DC hero, I am so damn excited for the Wonder Woman movie coming out (Marvel, is a Black Widow movie in the works yet?).

Another of my favorite points about this article is Johnson saying how she’s interested in shelving some of the smaller-named comics as well, aiming to give lesser-known writers and artists some time in the spotlight.

Stories of people celebrating others for their differences just makes my day.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Home

 

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