New Book Announcement!!!

Hi Everybody!

I know I haven’t been around in a while and I deeply apologize for it! I just wanted to give a quick update and explanation as to why;

If you didn’t figure it out already from the title, I’ve got a new book coming out!!!

When? Well… we’re still working on that.

I’m currently working on the second draft of my book and will be looking for beta readers/editors if interested.

So what’s the story about? 

Ah, glad you asked! The title of the story is Drakin: The Story of Raiya.

Here are the details:

Setting: Post-Apocalyptic North America.

Characters: Lt. Jagger Bishop, Raiya, Eric Fausten, Dr. Andrea Wagner, and Miranda Foster

I won’t go into too much detail there yet.

The story starts off with a massive meteor crash-landing in Manhattan, destroying the city. Its revealed that the meteor is infact artificial and is actually an escape ship from another world, carrying refugees looking for a home.

Those refugees are rather massive flying lizards. Thats right, you guessed it, Dragons.

The main setting of the story takes place 30 years into the future where humanity is locked in a massive world war against dragons from another part of the galaxy… and humanity is losing, badly.

Raiya is our main character, again, not going into much detail here, but she is essentially… not quite human. Her odd biology grants her certain abilities that give her the key to defeating the dragons and restoring peace on Earth.

I’ll post an official synopsis once I have it.

To my loyal readers, I want to thank so much for waiting it out. To any newcomers, I can’t wait to finish this book and hand it off to all of you. Just please be patient with me for a little while longer!

 

Thanks all,

Jim



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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Magnifica: Tears of the Fallen Revised!

Hi All,

I’m happy to announce the Magnifica Tears of the Fallen has been revised, a few small changes have been made and is in the process of being re-released. Hope you all enjoy the improved book!

Thanks!
Jim

Book info:

ISBN: 978-0615942612
First Printing: December 2013

Cover Art by Helder Olivier

Editing By Meghan Harrington

Copyright © 2013, James Harrington

Amazon Listing.

 

Sample Chapter:

|

“Ariel, what is it? What has happened? Our world…”

“Oh my God… why… this was not supposed to happen!”

“Ariel, I don’t understand. It’s like an outside influence affected them.”

“Yes Roselyn, I can feel it, the ebb of time. There was an inter-dimensional shift… something terrible has happened.”

“What should we do, sister?”

“I have a feeling I know what caused this… I think it’s time for us to check in on our friends.”

“Ariel… you know the laws…”

“I know sister, but it’s a risk we have to take. The influence of our kind is what sent their world into chaos in the first place. We have to see…”

|

 

Chapter I

 

Come on Toby, get up!”

Toby groaned as his dream world gave way to a light blur. His eyes opened as he spoke, “All right, I’m awake…”

Lia’na glared at him with an annoyed look, “Ever since Hawaii you’ve been getting lazy! Come on, we’ve got stuff to do today.”

Toby shook his head as he sat up, “Yes… I know, don’t remind me.”

“I already did. We’ve got to go check on your uncle’s house to make sure that the lock was repaired and the cleaning crew did their job, and then you promised that you’d take me somewhere fun.”

“I know…” Toby replied. “I guess I’m just dreading it. I haven’t set foot in that house since before… well you know.”

“Yeah… look if it’s that big of a deal, I can just go and look for you.”

She crawled onto the mattress until her face was right in front of Toby’s, “I’m sorry. I guess I’m just anxious. Classes start on Monday and I know we won’t be able to go out much when things pick up.”

Toby turned to the side and put his feet on the floor, “Don’t worry about it. I know we need to get this done at some point. It might as well be now.”

Toby looked Lia’na over as he stood up. She was once again sleeping in his Red Sox jersey instead of the pajamas he’d bought for her. The white shirt complimented the tan on her skin from the weeks they’d spent in Hawaii.  Her hair was a mess and her braids were coming out, but she didn’t seem to care.

Toby liked this look on her much more than when she got all dressed up. He took it as a sign that she was comfortable and relaxed around him. Why she preferred his jersey to cotton pajamas was anyone’s guess, but the one time she wore the pajamas he got her, she tossed and turned all night.

Lia’na smiled as he pulled himself up, “All right, shower time.”

She grabbed his hand and led him into the bathroom. Toby followed close behind and shut the door. He quickly turned the dial and activated the fan in the bathroom to prevent the moister from building up.

Lia’na reached down to the bottom of the uniform and pulled the end up over her head. All she had been wearing underneath was a pair of white bikini bottoms. Toby watched her undress as she got ready for the shower. It was something he’d seen several times before, but he never tired of it.

 

Lia’na noticed him staring and slowed down a little with a coy smile on her face. The moment Toby realized what she was doing he stopped watching her and quickly stripped off his own t-shirt and boxers. Once they were both ready, Lia’na stepped into the porcelain tub and bent down to turn the water on. It took her a moment to find a comfortable temperature, but once she had, she pulled the level and activated the shower head.

Toby got in behind her as the water poured down her body. She stood up straight, closed her eyes, and released a deep sigh as the heat caressed her skin. The water made her skin shimmer as Toby pulled her close and let the water fall around them.

Lia’na nuzzled her head into Toby’s chest as he squeezed her and wrapped her arms around him. She was breathing deeply, allowing the water to sooth her nerves. Her back arched as Toby put his hand over her spine and her skin broke out in goose bumps.

Toby’s body began to glow and little wisps of light appeared around them in the shower. Lia’na looked at them with worry, “Spirit embers… this is the third time in two weeks.”

Toby nodded as he looked at his skin, “I know. I don’t understand it either. The radioactive properties of the Lux Mundi are gone. By now, the residual energy should have worn off. Shouldn’t my powers have at least weakened by now?”

“I don’t know, ta arshana. From what I know from elven tradition, when the Lux Mundi was destroyed, enchanters saw an immediate dip in their powers and over time they became more and more like regular people. You powers haven’t dipped at all though. In fact, it feels like they’ve gained strength! We need to figure this out… and soon, otherwise you’ll become a target.”

“How do we figure that out?”

“Masarabi might have been able to tell us, but we’re not allowed to go back there. I checked every historical piece I could find on the Lux Mundi online, but they didn’t have anything either. Maybe when we get back to campus the library will have something.”

“All right.” Toby replied. “Then we’ll check the library when we get back. For now though, can we just not worry about it? It’s been bothering you since we got back from Hawaii and I would just like to have a day or two where we don’t worry about things.”

Lia’na nodded as the embers slowly vanished and gave him another squeeze, “Deal.”
Getting out of the shower was agonizing for both of them, but they had a long day ahead of them and knew they had to get started. Toby would have been okay with staying in the room and relaxing, but he knew that Lia’na was still getting used to her new home closer to the city, so he decided to do things her way.

Lia’na slowly rinsed herself off by turning around a few times under the water. Finally she stepped out from under the shower and wiped the water from her eyes. She smiled as her eyes met Toby’s.

They stayed in the shower for a few more minutes before Toby twisted the handle and turned it off. Once the last drops of water had fallen from the shower head, Toby reached out from behind the curtain to the rack above the toilet and grabbed two towels. He handed the first one to Lia’na and wiped himself down with the second one.

Toby quickly brushed his teeth and hair and left Lia’na to tend to her own hair. He headed over to his dresser and grabbed a clean black shirt out of the drawer with a decent pair of khaki shorts. Unlike college, his underwear drawer was full of clean shorts, so finding a decent pair was easy.

Toby dressed quickly as Lia’na worked on her hair in the bathroom. When he was done, Toby quickly went through the closet he’d given to Lia’na for her clothes. He found a nice pair of flats and a black dress that he had bought for her, but she had yet to wear. He went back to his own drawer with her clothes in hand and grabbed a black collared shirt and a pair of longer pants from his drawer. Now’s my chance…

Once Toby had everything he wanted, he snuck out of the bedroom, through the living room, and down to his bike in the garage. He moved quietly, hoping Lia’na wouldn’t notice he was missing.

A familiar purr came from the garage as he opened the door. Toby shook his head, “Shh…”

The bike quieted down as Toby slid the clothes into the leather side bags on the motorcycle. He quickly threaded the straps back together, concealing the bags’ contents as he looked at the bike’s headlight, “Don’t say anything okay? I’m taking Lia’na somewhere special.”

Vroom!

“Thanks buddy. I’ll be right back.”

Toby quickly made his way back upstairs to the condo. He opened the door, walked back into the bedroom, and sat down on his mattress. Thankfully, Lia’na was still in the bathroom. He was about lay down when his phone went off. The loud music made him jump as he turned to his nightstand. The display was lit up and a horrible picture of his dwarven friend appeared.

Oh God… what does he want? Toby asked himself as he picked up the phone, “Hey buddy, what’s up?”

“Nothing,” Gishan replied, “just checking in. How you guys doing?”

“We’re fine. Lia’na’s pretty much all healed up. The Ulium is gone and the emotional damage seems to be going away as well. She seems to be getting more used to living here.”

“That’s good… really good.”

Toby rolled his eyes, “Seriously dude, this is the fourth time you’ve called in a few days, what’s going on?”

“Ah I don’t know.” Gishan’s voice replied. “I guess I’m just bored. Giselle is out of town for another few weeks and God only knows where she is.”

“Comes with the job, you know?”

“Yeah I do… Doesn’t make it any easier.”

“I didn’t think it would.” Toby admitted as Lia’na came out of the bathroom. “Don’t worry about it though. We’ll all be on campus in another day or so.”

“Yeah I know. It just won’t be the same having to share my place with a new roommate.”

“Matteus is a good guy. You’ll do fine.”

“Did you get all of your crap out of the room?” Gishan asked.

“Yeah. We rented a van a few days ago and got both mine and Lia’na’s stuff before turning in our keys to the office.”

“Don’t seem right dude…” Gishan said softly.

“I know Gishan. Look, if it gets that bad, you can always come here and shack up in the spare bedroom. You’ve got a key, you know?”

Gishan’s voice perked up a little. “Yeah I do. All right thanks Toby.”

“Don’t mention it. I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Looking forward to it, see ya man.” Gishan said as he hung up the phone.

Lia’na turned and looked at Toby as he put the phone down, “Gishan again?”

“It’s a big adjustment for him. This will be the first time we’re not living together in a while. I guess he doesn’t like having to let go.”

Lia’na rolled his eyes, “He doesn’t have to, you know? He can always move in here! Now that you’ve bound me to you, I don’t mind giving it up. I never sleep there anyway.”

“I know, I offered it to him… but he’s stubborn. I’m sure after a few weeks with Matteus, he’ll come around.”

“I hope so. I don’t think Giselle likes the idea of hanging out on a college campus now that she’s not posing as a student.”

“Probably not. Come on; let’s go out for some breakfast.”

Lia’na’s eyes lit up, “Oh, the Tumble Inn Diner?”

“Why not?”

“All right!” Lia’na cheered, “Give me a minute to get dressed.”

Lia’na quickly threw on a pair of black bikini briefs and a matching bra, jean shorts, and a green lace top with spaghetti straps. It was still warm out, so she thought that would be sufficient. She quickly looked at herself in the mirror and nodded in approval.

Once Lia’na was convinced she looked presentable, she turned to Toby, “Okay I’m ready! Let’s go!”

The couple left Toby’s condo and headed down to the garage. The moment the door opened, Lia’na was startled by the loud roar of a motorcycle engine. Toby’s bike was powered up and ready to go.

Lia’na shook her head as she looked at it, “I still don’t understand how she still has powers. That’s a little worrisome.”

Toby frowned with a hurt look on his face, “I like it. The bike is much more fun with a personality, though it can be a little too pushy at times!”

Vrrr…

“Aw, Toby, you hurt her feelings!”

“And how do you know it’s a girl?” Toby demanded.

Lia’na ran her fingers across the seat as the bike’s engine purred appreciatively, “Women just understand each other, Toby.”

Toby’s eyes rolled as he sat on the bike, “Oh whatever, let’s go!”

 

 

 



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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

 

A Picture or a Thousand Words?

Hey, Jim.

 

I wanted to ask you a rather strange one. I’ve been working on my book for a while and I use a lot of concept images when I write. I like them because they help me better describe my characters. You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words?

Well I’ve been looking at a few of my recent works and thought that they might look good in the book itself. Do you think its a good idea to put these images in?

Thanks,
Nohri


 

Hi Nohri,

I actually do the exact same thing. I like creating visuals for my characters. That way I can really visualize what they are supposed to look like. So kudos on that.

As for putting them into the book itself…

Well I’ve heard two trains of thought on that one and unfortunately they conflict;

On one side, you have people saying that you absolutely shouldn’t do that. These are the same people who will tell you that adding too many visuals to your cover will take something away from the story because the reader will no longer be able to create their own visuals based on the writing. This argument has merit and in many cases, these people are absolutely correction.

That being said, on the other side you have the people who say that readers will form their own opinion and visuals regardless of what’s on the cover or if there are pictures in the pages. In fact many successful stories out there are indeed enhanced by good visuals. (See Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.)

Personally, I like to take the middle of the road, as usual. A few visuals aren’t a bad thing. Leave a lot to the reader’s imagination, but you don’t need to leave everything. I do also feel that the second crowd is correct that the reader will form their own vision regardless.

I for one absolutely love sharing my concept art and have included it in a couple of my stories… if the art is good enough, that is;

cropped-untitled-3.jpg

20170425_114339

So yeah, go ahead and throw some imagery in there, my advice is just not to overdo it. Don’t dictate to your reader what they should or should not be thinking, but feel free to give ‘hints.’

 

Hope this helps!

-Jim



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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

The Double Standard of Art

 

I recently got into a discussion with someone over the rules of writing and grammar. He suggested that the rules of grammar and writing were too rigid and should be subject to change based majorly on what is/is not politically correct at the time.

While I agree that the rules can be very rigid and should be subject to change. Slang changes, words change meaning, period pieces really should be written in the vernacular of the time, and there are as many writing methodologies as there are words in any give language.

My issue comes with how/when the rules need to be changed and how much they should really be followed. As a writer, I don’t always follow the rules of grammar because when writing characters and having them speak with slang terms is often a nightmare to try to sort out. Thus I usually rely on my own personal style to fill in the blanks of how that is supposed to go. Not only that, there is no rule about how to write in a foreign language and then translate it should you want to, no rule about writing thought vs. speech, etc.

Thus in many cases the rules are more like guidelines and really should be references more than followed to the letter.

Now here’s where I don’t think the rules should be changed… they should not be changed to follow the passions/prejudices/social political issues of a time. What I mean by that is that a writer shouldn’t feel constrained to write within what is considered socially acceptable at the time. If you want to write something that may trigger someone, go for it. If you’re worried that someone will get offended or upset, that’s they’re problem, not yours.

Don’t get wrong, I don’t like the idea of someone writing something for the express purpose of pissing people off. That’s unprofessional and bad form, but if you’re trying to write something provocative and want people to think, I have no problem with that. As long as its not incitement, slander, or written for the express purpose of causing harm, I don’t have an issue with it.

I call bull! You’re constantly calling people out for what you consider bigotry and bad writing.

That is true, but have you ever seen me demand that they take down what they wrote? I call out the logic, hypocrisy, or negative stigma that comes with what they write. I do NOT report them or demand that any of it be taken down. They have a right to say what they say and they have a right to be heard. I have a right to disagree with what they say, voice my concern, and have an equal right to be heard. If someone doesn’t like what I have to say, they can unfollow me, block me, or call me out on it. I have no issue with it nor do I hold it against them. I welcome a little discourse and discussion because that’s how you get things done. The ONLY time I shut someone down is when the discussion turns into childish name-calling and insults. That is personally attacking someone and it is uncalled for and unprofessional.

Anyway back on topic. Why do people feel that writing needs to be censored and needs to cater to the passions, prejudices, and hurt feelings? History books omit certain triggering issues in classrooms, writers are hiring sensitivity editors, and even pieces like Mark Twain’s writing is being censored!

Why is this allowed to happen, when in most cases these are the same people who think that works of art like this should not be censored despite how offense it can be to christians:

Piss_Christ_by_Serrano_Andres_(1987)

They’re the same people admire Carroll Dunham’s work… despite how visually displeasing others (myself included) find it… They’re the same people who say that nudity in any medium, including movies shouldn’t be censored.

So why then is it okay to say that writing should cater to political correctness with literally no other art form does?

 



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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Writing Music in Literature.

Hey, Jim.

 

I’m in the middle of writing a novel and I really want to convey the emotion of the scene I’m working on. I noticed you give out writing advice, so I wanted to ask you about this. I want to use songs the people know in my writing and give my characters reaction to the lyrics, but I’m worried about copyrights and what is/is not allowed. Is there a way I can pull this off without getting sued?

Thanks,
Meaghan


Meaghan,

Listen to me very carefully because I am deadly serious about this. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you be writing anything more than a brief quote (one line, TOPS!) into your novel from any copyrighted works, be it a song, a book, or any other written medium without written consent, a contract, or royalty agreement in place.

I can not stress this enough, don’t do it. Its a big no-no and it could land you in a lot of trouble. I personally don’t even quote full lines in my works. At most, I put in the artist’s name and song title. Then I’ll say something like;

“The couple came together as Linkin Park belted out the first line of Castle of Glass, their bodies twisted together as the song picked. When they were as one, unable to pull away from each other as the chorus played around them. Neither wanted the moment to end and as the last line was sung, their lips came together.”

 

You shouldn’t have much trouble conveying the emotions you want to by using this method. Other than that, you may need to choose a different song… I’d recommend writing your own or choosing something that’s in the public domain.

In any case, I hope this helps. My words of caution can’t really be overstated, for your own good I hope you heed them.

Readers, have you seen writing done this way? What advice would you give Meaghan? 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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

The Love/Hate with Relationship Writing

There seems to be a trend that is pretty well-established in Hollywood, but unfortunately has also inked its way into literature and other various art forms as well, and its one I do not like nor do I think its effects are positive.

What do I mean by that? Well let’s think about this for a moment; Name one TV show in recent memory where a relationship between two characters sprouted, and it actually survived the series. Same thing with movies… While I’m sure there are some out there, none immediately come to mind.

I started noticing it little by little over time, but then it really came to a head when it came to my wife’s turn to pick a movie for us to see… and she chose La La Land…

Okay my own issues with this movie aside, it ended on a real downer with the couple splitting up and going their separate ways, each getting the fame they wanted, but neither necessarily the better for it.

This is not the only example either… in Jurassic Park, Dr.s Grant and Satler split up between movies despite all the build up and character development that hinted towards the two of them having kids one day… essentially making the first movie’s character development pointless.

Indiana Jones wouldn’t see a recurrent love interest until the forgettable fourth film. National Treasure saw our lead kicked out of his own home by the love interest. In How I Met Your Mother, ONE a single relationship survives the series giving the series a .00001% success rate (blame Ted). In one of my wife’s favorites, Grey’s Anatomy, not even the marriage between the two main characters survived and a couple characters are struggling through their second marriages… the show is still ongoing so we’ll see how this goes…

In comic form, Cyclops leaves his loving wife and young son, and BOTH go through a character assassination for Jean Grey to return. She later gets killed off and Cyclops winds up with the White Queen. Colossus is now gay so… sorry Kitty!

Worst of all, perhaps the most entertaining relationship in Marvel; Mockingbird and Hawkeye didn’t survive.

Really the list just keeps on rolling. I see it in written form too…

But Jim, in this day and age, marriages don’t last. The odds are actually against it.

Actually the latest statistics are that between 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. That likely places the number at 45%. It also doesn’t take into account marriages of convenience, people who marry, remarry, and remarry again, nor does it take into account the behavior of the Hollywood cesspool.

Well Jim, wouldn’t you say that’s part of the problem? Look at the role models!

Not really… first of all, anyone who views the Hollywood elites as role models needs a dose of reality. That place is a cesspool of corruption, deviancy, and KNOWN child sex trafficking. Anyone who has children that look up to Hollywood celebs really need to re-examine their parenting.

Also, that statement doesn’t hold true anyway. Celebs that choose to keep their relationships out of the public eye… usually by moving out of LA, but also through other means which sometimes include reducing their career-load and/or exposure, survive just fine.

Christopher Lee, one of my all-time heroes was married for 54 years until his death.

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. have stepped back from the spotlight taking more… behind the scenes and voice acting roles and they’ve been married for 12 years.

Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn, two big names from the 80s and early 90s have been together for 34 years. You don’t see them in much anymore, but they do pop up from time to time.

Matt Damon has gone to impressive lengths to keep his family out of the spotlight and he’s been married for 12 years.

I get that these are the exception, not the rule, but they do further my point.

Anyway, yes I get it, we’re in the middle of a family crisis which I think writers and artists in multiple mediums are taking WAY too lightly. In many of these cases, we see these relationships end, and both parties go their separate ways. They don’t take into account the emotional, financial, and even psychological damage that can take place. It’s sort of glossed over in many cases.

That’s not even taking into account the effect it has on children, whom statistics and most mental health professionals show that children do better in stable, two-parent households.


This is really not good people. In my opinion, this has had a negative effect on almost ALL storytelling mediums in a very drastic and sad way. How you might ask? Consider… you watch a show or a movie and two characters get together that you really like. The couple is… for lack of a better term ADORABLE together. They get married and everything is going great. Given what’s been going on lately, are you going to get invested in that couple? Are you going to savor it?

Unlikely.

Given that the chances of said relationship surviving, especially if its early in the movie/book/series/etc, getting emotionally involved will just lead to disappointment later. The result? The great character development and immersion is lost on people who subconsciously put up walls to prevent the disappointment. Most of the time they aren’t even cognoscente of the fact that they’re doing it.

A few of my friends who have read my stories have said that they’re a little romance-heavy… well those are also friends who all to often turn out to be shocked when a relationship actually survives a movie series, TV series, or Book series.

That’s right, a strong successful relationship has been reduced to a PLOT TWIST!

Look I understand that not every relationship is meant to last, and you can argue that most people go through an average of 5 or 6 relationships before they find ‘the one,’ and you’d be right… but not marriages, live-in partners, or long term (4+ years) relationships!

So I’m not saying don’t write in breakups, don’t kill off the love interest, don’t not write about infidelity or divorce… what I am saying is that it might be refreshing to have successful relationships become a little more common… or at the very least try to take the damage done by parting ways more seriously instead of just glossing over it!

Anyway, readers what do you think? Am I being melodramatic or have you noticed something similar?



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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Let’s Get Down to the Details

Hey, Jim.

I was wondering if you could give me some writing tips. I have a blog on WordPress where I write stories and poems. I’m not the best when it comes to giving details in stories, so I was wondering if you could help me out with that. I would really appreciate it

MJ


 

Hi MJ,

Great question, I’d be happy to help. Believe it or not, you’re not alone in this venture. Authors have struggled with how to provide detail for the longest time, while keeping the story interesting. There’s a bit of a disconnect between how to keep a story interesting so that your reader stays engaged, but not overloading them on details. Many an otherwise good novel has died on the alter of TOO MUCH FREAKEN DETAIL!

There is also the idea that the reader should be free to draw their own conclusions on what a world looks like based on a limited amount of information provided. It’s a good philosophy, but it’s one that puts extra burden on the writer to determine how much detail is just the right amount. With an audience that has a notoriously shrinking attention span, getting this right is absolutely crucial.

The best way to combat this is by using metaphor and comparison. Let me give you an example…

Here’s a fairly generic description of a scene from a story I was working on a while back:

“The night was cold. It must have been easily less than thirty degrees. The wind blew hard against Mike’s back, causing him to go numb. Not helping matters was how dark it was. The street lamps couldn’t compensate for it, making it hard to see where he was going. The road was long, easily about two miles. He could easily tell that he had a long way to go.” 

Believe it or not, this is actually really good description. It tells you exactly what’s going on, what the weather is like and how our character feels… but it’s not very interesting, is it? It’s almost robotic in its description, like it’s not intended to be interesting in any way. Now imagine a full book being like that…

Those are the types of stories that tend to get used to prop up furniture later on instead of holding a prominent space on ANYONE’s shelf.

So obviously we’re not going to get much out of that, are we? That’s not going to hold anyone’s attention… so let’s try adding comparison and a little metaphorical writing to it…

“The night was so cold that Mike was certain an Eskimo would have felt right at home. The wind felt like a sharp knife against his skin, causing him to go numb as he walked. The fact that it was so dark that he could not see where he was going didn’t help. The night loomed over him like a black veil that was so thick that even the dim yellow glow of the street lamps could barely shine through it. His journey was not going to end any time soon. The road appeared to stretch on forever, as though the path disappeared into the heavens on the horizon.”

Now which story are you more likely to want to continue reading, the first or second one? Chances are the second one held your attention longer, why? Because it let your mind get an idea of how cold it was, it let you feel the character’s pain instead of just throwing information at you. Even if it is a little bit longer than the bare bones description, this will keep a reader engaged a lot easier.

But Jim, how much is too much? 

Well that’s struggle number 2. How much information is too much? Again, it’s in the details. Let’s take a look at a description of something from a story:

“The tapestry was blue, bright blue. John honestly couldn’t decide if it was royal blue or navy blue. There were several different shades of blue that fit into those two categories that it could have been either in the spectrum. It also had gold trim that was shiny and knitted together with little red lace. It must have been hand-sewn because the lace was so delicate, no machine could have done that. John started to wonder what that thread was made of.”

Oh God…

These are stories where you can easily skip over entire paragraphs without missing anything essential to the story and believe it or not, there are enough of these to fill the Library of Congress. So what could we honestly do away with here? Well unless the detailed description of the tapestry were somehow crucial to the story (which it rarely is), we can probably do away with most of that:

“The tapestry was blue, bright blue. John honestly couldn’t decide if it was royal blue or navy blue. There were several different shades of blue that fit into those two categories that it could have been either in the spectrum. It also had gold trim that was shiny and knitted together with little red lace. It must have been hand-sewn because the lace was so delicate, no machine could have done that. John started to wonder what that thread was made of.

Yeah, even that could be considered too much. Simply saying ‘blue tapestries adorned the walls’ would in most cases be sufficient

So MJ, I hope this helps. The use of metaphor and comparison writing will give the reader a lot more to think about than just a bland description.

Readers, what do you think? Do you have other advice you can offer MJ?

Let us 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

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim