Archive for August 1, 2009

Well, July has finished and we are into August, so it is time to look back over the last month and see what was achieved.

In total I put out around 56,000 words, making it my most productive month I can remember. Much of that was rewriting, but still, they were words that were written.

I finished off, and uploaded, four new stories to the Pure Escapism collection during that time frame, as well as starting on a few new ones, the main one being the rather lengthy ‘prequel’ to Tears of the Mountain. It is at 15,500 words and still in editing and proofreading. This was a story that didn’t exist at the start of the month, so I am rather proud of that.

As for August, the first aim is to finish off that story and make it available, then get stuck into Tears of the Mountain heavily, plus doing some side work on the next lot of stories in the queue for Pure Escapism.

Continuing on working through the list of Fantasy Writing Clichés to Avoid as listed on Obsidian Bookshelf.

Fight Scenes.
The improbable and the overly detailed.
Improbable? No – I like to think I keep it realistic. Overly Detailed? Maybe. I like writing good long fight scenes, while at the same time keeping them a bit hectic. I guess you could call them on the gritty side, for which I take my queue from a few of my favourite authors, like David Gemmell and Bernard Cornwell. If they are overly detailed, then so am I.

Flashbacks.
Try not to use them AT ALL!
Very rarely use, so I get a pass mark for that. And if they do crop up, it is generally only a line or two, a person remembering something someone had said or done. Not looking into a pool of water and going into a long winded recount of every detail type flashback.

Heroine, Too Pissed-Off
Girls just want to kick ass!
I can safely say I have never fallen into this trap. My Heroines are normal people – well as normal as you can be for adventuring types – and don’t fall into the traditional traps of being either 1) A bimbo or 2) more blokey than the blokes.

Horses.
Apparently, you don’t guide with your thighs.
I admit to knowing little about horses, but I am certain I’ve never had anyone guide them with their thighs. Many of my characters walk everywhere anyway, horses not being cheap. They weren’t like cars after all where everyone had one. And if they don’t ride, I can’t make many mistakes about horses.

Info-Dumps.
Don’t drop all the details on your reader all at once.
I admit that I have, and still do, info-dump at times. It is hard not to when trying to convey important bits of backstory. Something I still need to work at not doing as much of. I could whack it all in an appendix or footnote, but that may seem a little pretentious 🙂

Languages, Arcane.
Leave it to the readers’ imagination.
I’m not Tolkien. I don’t have his gift for languages. As such I don’t make an effort to make up in story languages. There may be the odd phrase or word (Yes and No for examples), but normally it is just a mention that someone is speaking in another language, one the characters don’t know, and maybe a description of how it sounds. It is safer that way – just look at how jarring a lot of these made up languages appear when used by other authors.

Tomorrow we shall conclude the list of clichés to avoid.