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Character or Caricature?

By on Jun 25, 2015 in The Scrawl |

I know, I know, I post too infrequently. But life has happened in the life-iest of ways of late. One of the bigger things I hope to avoid in my writing and am sometimes successful with, is the character vs. caricature problem. If you’re writing fiction, your characters have to be real for you as a writer and for your readers. They have to bleed when pricked, cry when betrayed, and make stupid choices just like human beings always do. They need depth in other words. But the problem with making them real is just exactly how you do that. I can’t speak for all writers, but I can speak for myself. I rarely pluck a person out of real life and then write them, as I perceive them, directly as a character. I won’t say I never do this, but I rarely do. Why? Because often enough writing a character as simply a copy of your total perceptions of a person can lead to some wonky...

The Ditch on Either Side

By on Jun 5, 2015 in The Scrawl |

I am currently getting feedback from beta readers concerning my latest book. It’s going well but it is wrought with risk. Let me tell you about the journey I have been on since I began writing. I remember the first good book I wrote. I asked three people I trusted to read it and get back with me on their thoughts. I recall that they, to the person, thought I did well. They liked the book. I was very happy. I remember one even saying it was as colorful to them as a major author that I will not mention for humility’s sake. So I was puffed up, full of happy, and ready to query. This was 2001-2002 and, at that time, querying required envelopes and postage and headaches and rejection letters you could hold in your hand. And I shopped around, found about ten total agents to query, and did so. And it flopped. It failed. Next book, same process. Third book, I didn’t let...

The Audience is Listening

By on Jun 3, 2015 in News |

So I wanted to give away something on here for writers and readers alike, but I also wanted something that was basically free for me since I am also ridiculously broke. So in the words of Gru, “Lightbulb.” Here’s what I am offering: I will read your short story into my magical microphone with my melodious voice for the purpose of fun and, very likely, no profit. I will not read any erotica so if you enter hoping for that, too dang bad. I will just read some public domain stuff instead and everybody loses. I will give your piece some royalty free bumper music as I have on my other pieces. Something appropriate to the piece overall. Your story must be less than 5,000 words. I cannot read your whole novel and edit it. Who has that kind of time? By entering you agree to my terms and conditions. Here they are for your reading pleasure: There is no cash prize or equivalent....