WHAT I WRITE—PART 3


WHAT I WRITE—PART 3

Lynnette Jalufka

I was surprised when my critique group called my current book a young adult novel. It does have a seventeen-year-old heroine. In fact, I have a young adult either as a protagonist or a major character in all my ideas for future novels. And I’ve been reading several young adult books lately. I like journeying with young people as they struggle to find their place in the world.  But I didn’t write this book for a teenage audience, which is the main component of YA. I’m writing what I want to read as an adult. Then again, adults make up half the YA readership.

There is another problem with categorizing this novel as YA. It is the first in a series about a noble family determined to protect their kingdom. The second book concerns the relationship between a mother and her son as they deal with tragedy along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The third one chronicles a woman as she deals with her teenage daughter and her mother-in-law while they’re lost in enemy territory. These sound more like women’s fiction than young adult, except with battles, sword fights, narrow escapes, and other fun stuff like that. I just don’t see how to market my current work as young adult without drastically changing the entire series into something I don’t recognize.

So, is my novel YA? I think young people will enjoy it. But branding it as such is a different matter.

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What Choice


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

What Choice

By Nandy Ekle

I have always had a healthy sense of humor. I got that from my dad. I also got a love of words and love of reading from my dad, and my mom. My dad’s favorite genre is science fiction, but he also loves the old scary movies. My mom loves murder mysteries, and she also loves the old scary movies.

It should come as no surprise that I grew up watching Rod Serling’s Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, and The Night Gallery. It also should not be a huge surprise that to this day, I am an avid fan of The Addams Family.

Therefore, it should not be any kind of surprise at all that I write all things dark. It doesn’t matter how my story starts. I could have the most romantic intentions of writing a beautiful love story—boy meets girl, they instantly love each other, they overcome the greatest odds ever, and their love continues to eternity. But what usually happens is boy meets girl, they instantly love each other, but he is a serial killer and she loves the taste of blood, and they die together in a huge feast of souls.

See, it can’t be helped. That is why I say I never chose my genre. My genre chose me. Somewhere the world of horror stories looked into my head and noticed my dark sense of humor, my fascination with monsters (except spiders, which even that horror can produce some pretty good stories if you’re focusing on emotion), my understanding of people and how the mind works, and my eternal people watching skills, and said there she is. That’s our girl.

And really and truly, I’m pretty lucky because this means the stories come easily to me. I don’t have to draw detailed outlines and storyboards, making the craft of writing more like a fill-in-the-blank. And that means my writing is pure-dee-ole fun.

Congratulations. You have just received a postcard from the muse.

My Favorite Horror Movies: Revisited


My Favorite Horror Movies: Revisited

by Adam Huddleston

Here’s a blog from 2017.

Favorite Horror Movies

by Adam Huddleston

Since this will be my last blog before Halloween is upon us, I thought I’d share some of my favorite horror films.  In no particular order:

Night of the Creeps

Night of the Living Dead

The Thing

Silence of the Lambs

Jaws

Coraline

Poltergeist

The Shining

Psycho

Alien

Creepshow 1 and 2

If you are a fan of the genre, I highly recommend giving any of these movies a watch.  They are entertaining as well as wonderfully written, shot, and acted.

Happy viewing!

Memoirs


Outtakes 391

 

Memoirs

By Cait Collins

 

I never thought I’d write a memoir.  But after my husband died, I got a little lost. Writing about my life-long love affair with the northern east coast, I realized the genre could be cathartic. First Love Forever Love is not a sad story. Instead, it follows a journey to recovery. I didn’t write it as a poor-me journey. It’s a story of hope and the endurance of love. I have some final edits to make before sending it to my beta readers.

Tables is based on memories of growing up in the fifties and sixties as a military brat. I want my nieces and nephews to understand that there is a happy life without a Smart phone and a list of “friends”. We had a great life and could spend hours in the woods playing or picking wild blueberries. It was a time when moms were at home when school let out. Snacks were homemade, and homework was done and checked before we were allowed to turn it in. It was a time when families gathered around the dining table at the end of the day to talk and catch up. Yes, times have changed, but we can still learn from the past.

Memoirs don’t have to be dull or self-serving.  They can and should tell a story from the eyes of those who lived during the time and have so much to say about bygone years. Truthfully, I wish I had listened better when my parents and grandparents told about the Depression and Dust Bowl days. I wonder if I would have a different view of life if I could see the world from their eyes.

The Place Where Writing Flows


The Place Where Writing Flows

Rory C Keel

For me, reaching that place where writing flows happens when I put my self into the story. For a reader to be drawn into a story while reading, the writer has to go there first. When I see the setting and know the character’s good traits and flaws, when I feel their emotions, that’s the point when the writing flows. That place becomes very personal because, by putting myself in the story I must reveal pieces of myself, both good and bad.

Thanks for following WordsmithSix!

THE JOURNEY


THE JOURNEY

By Natalie Bright

This month we’re blogging about genre: what do you write and why? Some days it’s all uphill, chasing this writing fever.

My youngest son graduated high school this year and as we complete the paperwork process for college, I realized he may take his life in a whole new direction than what I had planned. He is a talented artist, since a very early age with a gift for color and design. I made him go to summer art camp as a pre-teen and he says I ruined the joy of drawing for him. He is a gamer, so I tried to steer him towards graphic design,  and he could build a resume by redesigning my website and helping me with social media memes and promo videos. That’s not happening.

Our oldest is also very smart with a talent for business and math. He loves to read, particularly history, and has asked me several times about book premise ideas; “Have you ever read a book where this happens? …” I told him to write it, and that he would find tons of fans with that idea. I had visions of him going to writing conferences with me, and maybe I’d be standing in line at his book signing event one day. But his passion lies in an entirely different area than anything I’d ever considered. It’s not going to be the family business or writing, and that makes me sad.

I remember hurrying home to tell my father about the English and poetry classes I had taken in college, and about my poetry journal. I wrote a book when I was in high school. His reply, “You should take some business classes.” I followed his advice and didn’t get back to writing until twenty years later. Dad had a different idea for my journey, just like I had envisioned our kids’ path.

Light bulb moment: we each have our own path to find. My journey in writing and publishing is MY journey, and MINE alone. No one is going to make me sit down at the computer and hold my hand. I have so many ideas and projects in my head. So many opportunities. The only problem I have is time.

This week has been particularly difficult with day job deadlines, the stories tug at me every minute, but that’s okay. I can do this. I can make everybody happy. I took my laptop with me while we were out of town last weekend, only to realize that I can’t write with someone in the same room. I read over what I had worked on in critique this week and it was horrible. The struggle is real.

Time. I wish I would exercise more and plan healthier meals for my family. I wish the day job would go away, but since my husband is the boss that’s not likely.  I wish I could join the five o’clock morning writers’ group, but my brain doesn’t come alive until seven. I wish I could stay awake all night and finish something. Time.

What I can do is give in to the journey and the stories in my head. What I must do is shut the door and write. Wish me luck. But first, I told my husband, “Yes, I’ll watch Season 3 of Stranger Things with you.”  One-half a step forward and three steps back is my journey.

How do you stay true to your writing? How do you carve out time to get things done?

Thanks for following WordsmithSix!

WHAT I WRITE—PART 2


WHAT I WRITE—PART 2

Lynnette Jalufka

I used to work at a Christian bookstore, and it was rare to see a fiction book concerning the Middle Ages, historical or fantasy. It still is. The fantasy books tended to be all allegorical and hard to believe. I decided to write a book that I wanted to read, and I wasn’t finding on the shelves.

Here’s the problem. I wrote a fantasy book. But in my mind, Christian and fantasy don’t mix. Even the biggest awards in Christian fiction, the Christy Awards and the Carol Awards, don’t call it fantasy. Instead, they refer to it as visionary or speculative fiction. What makes fiction Christian is that it’s about a Christian worldview. Christian fantasy does exist, though I have only seen one book series similar to mine, the Tahn Dorn series by L. A. Kelly. (Check out my review of Tahnin a previous blog.)

I always thought of myself as an inspirational writer. I want to encourage people, to give them hope. My Christian faith plays a huge role in that. The books I have planned show that faith in the midst of trying circumstances. So, I’m a Christian medieval fantasy writer. It’s who I am.

 

Favorite Quotes: Revisited


Favorite Quotes: Revisited

by Adam Huddleston

     Here is a blog from 2015.  Enjoy!

 

Favorite Quotes

Writers love a good quote.  What classifies as “good” may differ between individuals, but most would agree that it should be witty and memorable.  That being said, here are a few of my favorite quips:

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

                                     Mark Twain

“When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did–in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.”

                                   Bob Monkhouse

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

                                  Douglas Adams

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.

                                   Albert Einstein

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

                                    George Bernard Shaw

 

Happy writing!

Women’s Fiction


Outtakes 390

Women’s Fiction

By Cait Collins

I have written several different genre’s during my career.  Most of my work is from my years as a broadcaster. I have commercial copy, sales materials, three half-hour documentaries, and a 13-week TV series on local racing activities to my credit.  I have two children’s plays.  One of them won a silver medal in a state-wide Bible competition.  I have written two memoirs.  I also have Bible teaching materials for upper elementary students.  But I must admit my favorite genre to write is women’s fiction.

I enjoy creating women who face major issues but battle back from the brink of disaster to become strong and happy people.  Sometimes there is a suspense element. Other times the enemy is herself.  Often she fights the misperceptions others have invented for her.  There is always romance.  The trick is keeping each story fresh and exciting for the reader.  Each woman must have a unique problem to solve. Above all, she must grow from who she is at the beginning of the story to who she is destined to be.

Happy writing.  Thank you for visiting the Wordsmithsix blog site.

What is the RIGHT Genre for YOU?


What is the RIGHT Genre for YOU?

Natalie Bright

 

The discussion at a writer’s workshop many years ago led by Jane Graves, an award-winning author of contemporary romance, changed the way I think about writing.

Her advice was to, “Hone in on the one thing that speaks to you. Freshness and originality comes from what you can imagine.”

I attended several romance writer’s conferences because that’s what I thought I’d be writing. In the beginning of my writing journey, the whole creative process was a chore; I hated my characters, the dreary plot line, and the editing process seemed like torture. What made me think that I’d ever be able to write a romance novel?

Janes’ words got me to thinking. What I’ve been obsessed with since a very early age, besides writing a book, is Texas history, stories set in the American West, and the great tribes of the Plains, most especially Comanche.

Believe me, I’ve tried to follow the advice of my husband who said if I’d write a spicey,  marketable romance it would make me a fortune, and to consider the ideas of well-meaning editors who suggested I should add a vampire or werewolf to revive that boring western tale. I never could follow through. The stories that didn’t seem like a chore are for middle grades set in the Texas frontier: the Trouble in Texas Series. True stories for emerging readers about rescue horses. And now I’m working on a nonfiction book about cattle drives and chuck wagons. I’m loving the research. Okay, so maybe a little romance in the form of a contemporary women’s fiction book set on a Texas Ranch, still in the early stages, but hopefully a published series one day.

The RIGHT genre is the character that wakes you up in the middle of the night, the endless edits that light a fire in your gut, and the finished piece that feeds your soul. That’s what you should be writing.

Keep writing, my friends!