Today I have a special feature here for your enjoyment. This has been a long journey that took inside a year to accomplish. I have this showcased over on my design blog along with this one. The purpose of this spotlight isn’t to ramble on forever like I do occasionally. My friend Alfredo Pachicano and […]

via #Christian #Fantasy Author Spotlight: #Cover #Reveal — K.M. Jenkins

#Christian #Fantasy Author Spotlight: #Cover #Reveal — K.M. Jenkins

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From My Writing Playlist

I admittedly wasn’t huge into the original song, but this version is actually really good!

When to Listen:  More positive energy. Put this on your general playlist!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Entertainment or Activism?

Hi Jim,

I was hoping you could talk a little bit more about your views on politics in entertainment. You seem to be of the mindset that a writer or entertainer either has to choose to write a good story or write a political piece. Why can’t they be one in the same? Why can’t someone accomplish both goals at the same time?

Thanks,
Chris


Hi Chris,

I suppose it isn’t impossible, however from an anecdotal standpoint, I’ve never seen it and IMHO it’s a fool’s errand to even try. There’s an age-old saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

In most cases, in order to produce an ideologically-driven narrative, you have to reduce other aspects in favor of that narrative. Now, one could argue that you could include both in a story, but that would make for a particularly long and drawn out story. In this day and age with attention spans being what they are, this is something that is typically discouraged if you want your writing to draw a crowd.

Think of it like a comedian. People pay to see them or they’re paid by the location to get on stage. People want to be entertained when they’re on their own time trying to escape the horrors of reality. That comedian only has between 20-60 minutes to entertain the crowd. At what point does his act suffer when he stops telling jokes and goes on a political diatribe? It’s one thing to tell jokes with a political slant, it’s another thing to use your platform solely to push your political view.

In writing, I believe this is the difference between using political/social issues to push a story forward and using a story to push a political narrative. The latter is simply ill-advised. You do a much better job making your point when you’ve successfully entertained the audience while addressing the issues you wanted to.

When you make your agenda the forefront of your story, you take the risk of reducing the story elements to the point where they’re either non-existent, unbelievable, or unrelatable and thus deviate almost completely away from what is traditionally considered entertaining.

Think about it, people don’t go for fantasy and sci-fi stories for political messages. They want to immerse themselves in different worlds, be introduced to new possibilities and ‘alien’ ideas that they never imagined before. Simply put, they want to be entertained. It is a lot easier to deliver your political message when you’re not entertaining people.

This is why I say that it is very difficult, if not near impossible to shape a political narrative into a good story. The focus should be writing a good story and using that political narrative to drive it forward, not the other way around.

However, as I’ve said before, this is simply my opinion based on my own experiences, not only in the writing world but in the entertainment world in general. Take it with a grain of salt.

Anyway, thanks for the question. Hope this helps you understand a little better. Readers- what do you think? Is it possible to do it the other way around or should escapism be preserved? Let me know in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Idea Expansion and Growth

How do you expand an idea? I have this idea for years now, but as soon as I try to expand it, it starts to sound boring and then I just dunno which way to go with this.

-Journal of Chrissie


Hi there!

Thanks for the question. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to expand an idea, even if it’s a good one. Sometimes there just isn’t enough meat to expand an idea, at which point it could remain a short story or an essay. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just what happens sometimes.

However, if this is something you’re constantly running into, then there are some things you can do to try to expand upon it. The first thing I would do is put your ideas down on paper. Get it down and then read it, then re-read it. Try adding a line if you can here or there to see where it goes. You can also try ‘what if’ scenarios to see what would happen if the story goes a different way then you originally want it to.

While adding to the summary you’ve written, don’t be afraid to come up with characters on the side. Come up with a few main protagonists and antagonists that would work in this idea. Now answer the following questions:
What’s their background?
What are their vices?
What would you include about their backstory?
What’s their personality like?
In the antagonist’s case, what circumstances pushed this character into the ‘bad guy’ role?

If you can answer these questions, you’ve already expanded on your story. Now add them in with everything you answered in these questions and build your idea around them. There you go, you’ve expanded your idea by adding in new ideas and new topics to cover in order to enhance the initial idea.

Another thing to try is simply talking about the idea. I know that may sound obvious, but a lot of people are worried about sharing their ideas with friends or in a writing circle community due to someone stealing their idea. It’s a risk that we all have to contend with, but it’s honestly something that rarely happens in writing circles, one because litigation can happen, two because no one want’s their own IP being copied either.

Finally, and I know no one wants to hear this, but be open and willing to accept that the idea may not be great. It’s okay to have a good idea and not have it pan out into anything. Sometimes ideas will simply stay as ideas. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, let’s turn it over to my readers. Do you have any advice or anything to add? Am I right on or do you think that there’s more to it?

Thanks!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

I know… I’ve been posting a few videos of these guys recently. He’s super talented and I love how he makes a lot of really dark songs even darker. Plus he ranges from metal to what sounds like 80s hair rock.

When to Listen:  Pure positive energy in this song. Even in the original, it was supercharged with a rush of positive force. Use this song when experiencing writer’s fatigue. Otherwise, general playlist works fine.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Drakin: The Orphans of Haven Update

Hi all,

A few quick updates.

We’ve made significant progress on the cover. My artist estimates that we’ll have a good draft copy by the end of the week.

The legal paperwork has been submitted and we’re waiting on the ISBNs.

Still no hard release date as I’m still waiting on the final draft submission, but we’re getting there!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

From My Writing Playlist

Just saw this movie with my wife and… actually to my surprise, I really liked it. Hugh Jackman ruined Les Miserables and Oklahoma for me with his subpar singing, but he was actually very good in this one. Though… I have to admit, singers with more skill did it better! 🙂

When to Listen:  This one is currently on my general playlist, though you could make the case for it being used during a scene of competition, like a sporting event or something of that nature.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim