Writing dragons is a popular topic here at Invisible Ink, and one of my personal favorites. We’ve talked about general tips for writing them and some of the common types, and today I want to look at some of the more technical aspects of writing these mythical creatures. My number one piece of advice when writing dragons – or any other creature, for that matter – though? Ask the writer. ;)
The difference between dragon, drake, wyrm and wyvern –Contrary to light hearted fantasy, these four are not always the same creature. Though drakes are sometimes called young dragons and wyrms extremely old, they each have their own characteristics. Dragons are six limbed creatures, possessing two pairs of legs and a pair of wings, all fully developed evolutionary. Drakes are usually considered to be smaller and less capable version of dragons, though tending more towards evildoing in disposition. As a result, their cunning and trickery is said to surpass most dragons. Wyverns on the other hand only have four limbs (two legs and two wings) and are sleeker than most dragon species. The winged appendages usually function as forelegs, giving wyverns a markedly different appearance from a dragon. Lastly, wyrms are snake-like creatures with massive and powerful tails, double jawed heads and wicked sets of teeth. If they have limbs at all, they are small and likely useless. Especially if you’re going to have more than one dragon-type in your work, keep your terms consistent and make it clear which one is which. Continue reading →
Sunday, hubby and I attended a christening. My distaste for and mistrust of anything Christian aside, the day was… upsetting. More so than either of us expected. It was the kind of experience that you know going into it will be difficult, so you brace for the things that you know are likely to upset you. There are going to be infants there. You’re probably going to have to endure unintentional jabs at your failure to give life to a healthy baby. You’re going to see the almost two-year old who was born ten days before your own child, and you should probably do your best to not look at him with tears in your eyes.
But as we pulled up in the parking lot, I realized that the day was going to be a much bigger challenge than I could have prepared for. This was my first time being back in a Catholic chapel since the day we buried Eevee, and I hadn’t anticipated the flippant rage that rushed up to the surface. Every tiny little thing tested my fragile composure, so that by the time the ceremony had concluded, I literally bolted for the door and walked blindly through the parking lot, just trying to breathe. Hubby wasn’t in any better shape, either.
It took us some time, but we eventually rallied for the early dinner that followed. “We can go to the dinner, if you want,” I told him. “The hard part is over now.” Yeah… Sometimes I’m not very smart. If the ceremony had been uncomfortable in air, the dinner took that to a whole new level. Continue reading →
We see them all the time, plastered across Google searches and in our magazine subscriptions. Heck, there are probably more of these than there are actual writers out there. Yup, I’m talking about writing related tutorials, tips and tricks articles. The simple truth about searching for tips and tricks is that in reality, you can look for ideas, but what gets you to sit still and write and what works for the girl next to you are likely going to be different things. Deciding that you’re going to make things work for you in your own way is probably the best, most honest advice you can give yourself. When you know that you’re going to make your own decisions, you stop looking for direction from others and just look to incorporate the things that strike you and leave behind what doesn’t.
That being said, every once in awhile I do organize some of the techniques I’ve been using lately into an article. Full disclosure, too: these change. I change up my routine to address writer’s block so much easier than I hit the delete button, though that too is a lesson. Writers have to protect their time and ability when writing. If something isn’t working, don’t spend too much time trying to force it together.
So here are some of my current writing tips and tricks. If you’ve got something that’s been working really well for you lately, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. :D
This morning browsing my reader, I came across a writing prompt over at the Mad Chronicler. I’m such a sucker for prompts, so I spent some time this morning working on a piece of short fiction. I would love to see what else comes from this prompt, so if you take up the challenge, please do leave me a link!
Peace guys. <3
It had begun to snow. Even in the night sky the rolling grey clouds that brought the heavy flakes were clearly visible. In less than an hour, there would be a fine layer of muting white across the town, and if he was quick there would be no disturbing that quiet perfection till morning, long past the Dark Hour.
Leaning slightly out of the alleyway, Clement looked across the street and up, to the third floor window he’d been watching since shortly after dusk. Almost every window in the house had been lit when the sun had gone down, and he’d kept sentry, watching as each one dimmed the later the hour became, until only the one was left. The soft candlelight glow had been steady for the past two hours, and through the light curtains he had seen glimpses of the inside: a man standing at the window and tucking his shirt back into his pants, leaning down and staying there for several minutes, as if studying something on a desk.
She thudded ungracefully down the basement stairs, the laundry basket clasped against one hip, bumping against the wall with each step. The fifth step down gave a familiar squeak as she gathered scattered pieces of cat litter between her toes. She double checked the bottom step out of absentminded habit – months ago, she had stepped out for the concrete below too soon and twisted her ankle on an awkward landing – before clamoring the rest of the way down.
She turned almost 360 degrees and all but tossed the basket onto the dryer. It was simply too early to be awake, despite the fact that she knew if she went back to her warm covers and neglected these early morning tasks, it would catch up with her in the afternoon. Absently, she pulled the little string on the naked light bulb, illuminating the little room with weak light. The last incandescent bulb had burned out a while ago and she’d replaced it with one of those energy efficient ones that takes several minutes to warm up to full strength. Time which it never had since she was only ever down there two minutes.
The old socket and wiring didn’t seem to like the new hardware either. Three days after she’d put in the new bulb, it had begun to flicker. Twisting the bulb to different levels of tightness had no effect, and short of doing laundry in the dark there was nothing to do except tolerate the electric clicks and whiplashing light. This morning, it was no different. She measured out soap and softener to disco flickers, trudged back past the hole that was the sump pump as it shuddered on and began pumping water, and added both liquids to the washing machine. Continue reading →
My current to-read list. Super excited to get to KMM’s Burned!
If you’re anything like me, I have a hard time writing if I can’t get a story’s hook correct. It will bother the daylights out of me, so that I write a sentence or two, then go back and try to edit the first line, which usually results in having to hit the backspace button on the following sentences as well. Even the tried and true advice to write now and edit later is only minimally effective here.
Part of setting up an effective hook though is effective follow up. If the first sentence is the bait, the entire intro (whether it’s a prologue or chapter one) is the hook, and the two need to work exceptionally well together. In addition to walking the tightrope between setup and info dump, here are a few other things to consider weaving into your intro:Continue reading →