Tuesday, August 31, 2010

La, la, la....whoa!!

Avoiding Plotholes: Inconsistencies, Character Behavior, and Story Structure

I just finished reading a rather steamy fantasy romance over the weekend. The writing was pretty good, the characters interesting, the storyline unique. However, I hit a huge plot hole that I don't know how the author or an editor missed (not to mention some pretty bad typos too, but I won't go into that). In this story, the main female character discovers toward the end of the book that whatever she writes will come true, as she happens to be a sorceress and didn't know it. Anywho, the villain is after her and her fantasy macho lover who's from another world. The villain wants to get to this world to rule it, etc, etc. She is desperate to get down to the tournament arena where her lover is fighting the bad guy, but the police have put the woman under guard in her hotel room....she gets the idea to write down "The police will pay no attention to me when I leave the room." So, off she goes past the police officer guarding her, down to where the fight is taking place so she can help her lover.

Anyone see the plot hole here? Why didn't she just type, "The bad guy has a massive heart attack and dies. The End." ?? This particular issue wasn't addressed, to my disappointment. If he had perhaps been so powerful that she could not change anything that HE did by writing it, then that should have came up (perhaps I missed it, but I ain't goin back).

This article from Women on Writing addresses plot hole issues, which I will be paying closer attention to as I write my tales.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today's Winner is...

Becky Jarvis, who gets a signed (by me) copy of Hearts of Tomorrow. Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Emotional Scenes

There are times, like today, when I write a scene that literally makes me tear up and almost cry. Even when I know what the outcome will be. I hope that's a good sign, that my readers will feel the same emotion when they read, and that they won't put the story down before then. That's my goal, anyway.

To be able to write so that my readers see, feel, and relate to the story and not the words--that is what I am aiming for. Any writer can throw nice big words around, but putting them down in such a manner that it brings the reader in to the scene instead of having them stumble over it, is challenging.

But I figure if I'm crying as I write something, that the scene is probably good as is...I guess we'll see :)

Don't forget to comment on the previous post for your chance to win a signed copy of "Hearts of Tomorrow"! I'll draw a name tomorrow or Friday....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy 200th visitor

In celebration of the two-hundredth visitor to Unwritten, I'm holding another raffle to win a signed (by me) copy of Hearts of Tomorrow, the anthology which includes my novelette Let There Be Love.

Just leave a comment here on this post and I'll draw a name Thursday or Friday depending on the responses I get.

Adults 18 and over only please--happy reading!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Set the Night to Music

I love to listen to music when I'm writing. Specifically music that seems to match the theme of my story. Sometimes, I get ideas from the songs, or they just keep me in touch with the tone I'm going for. Do any of you writers use music as a writing stimulus? Do you pick "theme songs" for your stories? Tell me about em here...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

If You've Read "Let There Be Love"...

Care to write a review? You can do this in a couple of ways. Either by commenting on here, or go to the link where you buy, click on Lulu, and leave a review on Lulu's site. If you've only read LTBL, mention that, but if you've also read the other author's stories, mention them specifically.

Good or bad, I want to hear from you!

I need Facebook Friends!

Hey, peeps and future fans (a girl can dream, can't she?), I've got a Mysti Parker page over on Facebook. If you haven't already, click on my Facebook badge in the right column here on the blog, and friend me. You'll get updates on new stories, giveaways, random thoughts (you're dying to know what's in my head, I can tell), and whatever else I might dream up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Didn't I See That?

Don't you love those de-motivational pics? My husband and I crack up at these. This one speaks to me though--not in a Mr. Ed sort of way, either.
It reminds me of all the "problems" I encounter in my writing. They ought to be obvious, and sometimes they are, but more often than not, I have to rely on other readers to point out the horse in my hole, er, issues that effect my story.

Which is why I highly recommend getting some good critique partners if you are serious about writing with a goal of publishing. These, unfortunately, shouldn't include your friends, coworkers, spouses, significant others, parents, Sunday School teachers, or your mechanic. Ideally, look for other writers who wish to be critiqued as well. They'll point out your proverbial horses in the hole, and if you do it often enough, you'll finally start to see your own horses in the hole before they become a problem.

Many critiquing sites exist either online or in your larger towns. You can even form your own, if you know some other writers locally. If you're a reclusive full-time mama like me, I'd suggest www.critiquecircle.com. Membership is free, unless you upgrade to a premium membership. You'll find a place for any genre you're interested in there. Since I joined last fall, I have learned to spot my horses in the hole better than ever before. Now if I can just keep them from falling in there in the first place...

We have a winner!

Congratulations bakabailey! You've won a free signed copy of Hearts of Tomorrow, which includes my novelette Let There Be Love! Stay tuned for another raffle soon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's RAFFLE time!!

Are you a romance fan 18 years and over?

I will draw one name tomorrow for a free copy of Hearts of Tomorrow, which includes my novelette Let There Be Love, along with four other great stories.

All you have to do is leave a comment here. If you are the winner, I'll ask for your info so I can send your book to you!

**EDIT: Raffle extended until Tuesday--I'll draw a name then and pick a winner!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Waiting, waiting...

I chose the free shipping option for the "Hearts of Tomorrow" prints. Needless to say, that was also the slowest option. Soon as they arrive, I'll ask everyone to post a comment, and I'll draw names to pick a winner. You'll get a free signed copy, shipped to wherever you are. Or delivered if you are local.

Hopefully, this will occur next week, and I'll consider it a celebration of reaching 100+ visitors to my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Looking Back

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Drop a line here and tell us about it.

Let's see--for me, I don't remember the very first thing I wrote. I do remember a very early essay though, called "The Sad Christmas". My grandfather died on Christmas Eve when I was four or five. A few years later, maybe the second or third grade, I wrote that essay about his death. Even then, I liked to write. It helped me cope with things I didn't understand. It was therapy on paper. A way for a shy girl to speak her mind, to articulate what she couldn't put into spoken words. It's much the same today, my therapy, my outlet for a mind brimming with imagination.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Looking for a Writing Class?

Try out Gotham Writers' Workshop. Visit http://www.writingclasses.com/. The classes aren't cheap, but cheaper than a college course. And there's the convenience of doing them in your own home. You get to read, write, critique, and discuss your work and other writing topics with your classmates and instructor. They have a wide variety of classes to choose from, so if you are looking for another avenue to learn writing skills, give em a try.

And, no, this is not a paid advertisement. They get my money, not the other way around.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Thoughts

Mondays have never been my favorite day. Yet, today, I feel stronger, more positive. Death has a way of making you realize how much you take things for granted. My sweet nephew passed away last week, and saying goodbye was really hard. Despite the heaviness that pulls at my heart constantly, despite the tears that threaten to fall at all hours, I know that he is ok now, and I know that we have to go on. We can honor his memory by not taking anything for granted. All our blessings are just that--gifts from God that we should enjoy.

So, I will keep writing. The ideas will be put to paper. Hopefully, readers will find as much joy in reading my tales as I have in writing them. If any of you have read Let There Be Love, let me know what you think. I want to learn and grow, so if anything didn't work, I want to know that too.
Whatever you do this week, remember to count your blessings and enjoy God's gifts!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Want a print version of Hearts of Tomorrow?

I've got a few copies ordered. That means it'll soon be time for a raffle. Stay tuned for details....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hearts of Tomorrow just released!

This anthology includes my first romantic fantasy story, Let There Be Love. Order your copy today, courtesy of Midnight Showcase Fiction. Just click here:

Warning: These stories are for adults only, 18 and over.

Monday, August 2, 2010

An Excerpt from Let There Be Love

While we're waiting for the release, I thought I'd share an excerpt from chapter one of Let There Be Love. Enjoy!

The Ironhaven University was a short, but bleak walk from New Mortyr. Sibylis dreaded the daily trek, where raw sewage floating by in the ditches turned her stomach. The homes and businesses were all built with the same gray stone, with a few narrow windows, where every resident could look out to see a strange contrast on their smelly streets. At practically every corner stood sooty gold-plated statues of the emperor, and at the bottom of each one was engraved a motivational slogan, such as "Let us thank our Emperor for peace and prosperity".

Sibylis smirked at the statue just outside the School of Dark Arts, its arms spread wide in a sickening fatherly gesture. Beside the statue stood one of the many newspaper vendors, selling the only newspaper in Ironhaven, The Emperor's Wisdom. She often wondered what the city had been like in the days of Xegon, when it was said that the dark elves of Mortyr and the humans of Ironhaven had shared the land in peace. All she had ever known was the progressive tyranny of one corrupt human ruler after another, until Sarvonn assassinated the rightful king and rose to power. Now he called himself Emperor, posing as a benevolent leader, brainwashing his people with these wretched statues and propaganda.

Sibylis entered the great library and tossed her bag onto a table. She began to search through the musty tomes on the shelf and found Understanding the Undead, written by the ancient warlock-king Xegon himself. Thumbing through the pages, she tried to discover another secret hidden in the cryptic journal. She paused when a familiar voice whispered to her from behind.

“Why do you insist on studying necromancy, Sibylis?”

The dark elf male sat a box of new tomes on the table, began to sort them alphabetically, and placed them on the shelves.

“My reasons are my own, Ashten. Leave me to my work,” Sibylis whispered.

Ashten D’Vynn sidled up to Sibylis, opened her bag slightly, and peeked inside. She jerked it away and pulled the drawstring shut.

“You’re going to be shunned wherever you go, even among our people.”

Sibylis answered him with silence and flipped through the pages of the old tome.

“Look, I know you’re hurting…” he began.

She jerked her head up to meet his gaze. “What do you know of pain?” Sibylis snapped.

“She was my twin sister. And they were my parents. I was deployed with the army and couldn’t be there…to even try to save them. I have no family left at all. Do you forget that?”

Sibylis lowered her head and tried to concentrate on the words in front of her, but couldn’t seem to make sense of what she had just read.

“You can’t bring Ashanee back, Sibylis.”

“I don’t want to bring her back, but I want to do more than just stand and watch another person I love die in pain."

Sibylis lowered her head and averted her eyes, regretful she had divulged such emotion.

Ashten laid his hand lightly upon hers. “Then why not be a healer?”

“And be forced to mend Sarvonn’s army? Never!”

The head librarian raised his head from a nearby table and sneered at them. Ashten tightened his grip on Sibylis’s hand.

“You may be forced to raise an undead army for them—have you considered that?”

He leaned in closer as he whispered and his violet eyes peered down into hers. For a dark elf, Ashten was tall. Sibylis was tiny. The top of her head barely reached his chin. He had been drafted as a fighter with the militia, but had badly injured his leg during one of the Emperor’s raids in Leogard. Though he had healed quite well, he still had a slight limp. He was grateful, actually, when the militia had deemed him unfit after his injury, so he worked as a courier between Mortyr and Ironhaven, and took on other menial city jobs as well.

Sibylis almost jerked her hand from his grasp, but felt somehow comforted by his touch. She had grown up with him and Ashanee. Her best friend’s twin brother seemed like her own family. They shared a bond formed out of the pain of loss no one else could understand. She wasn’t even sure if she understood it.

“When I am powerful enough to raise an army, I will have acquired the means to lead my family to safety,” she whispered.

“For your sake, Sibylis, I hope you can. If they can kill my family because their taxes were late, I hate to see what they might do to yours if they discover your secrets.”

He gently squeezed her hand one more time and returned to his duties.