"Corcoran’s fantasy debut is equal parts thrilling and ridiculous. [...] Readers will look forward to the sequel."

March 20, 2019

Editing Advice Part 1: Continuity

Although I said I wouldn't be giving writing advice on this blog, I never said anything about editing advice. Plenty of people give (unhelpful, short-sighted, or far too niche) writing advice, but few focus on the crucial final part of the writing process, and yet, editing is what gives a lot of writers the most trouble. I personally love editing far more than the initial writing stage and so am here to offer my advice in not one, not two, not even three, but fouryes four!blog posts!

First, let's look at continuity, in three categories: Time, Place, and People. Technically, you ought to keep continuity in mind throughout the writing process, but it's still easy to forget one or two things. Thus, when you finally decide "I'm going to edit this WIP!", you need to double check that everything is consistent, not just from a plot standpoint, but from a spacial, chronological, and personal standpoint as well.

March 11, 2019

The Music of Styx!

Last week, I received a special treat. A reader, Aaron Veazie, sent me musical compositions he had written that were inspired by my books! All authors dream of getting fan art, but fan music is more than I ever hoped for! With Aaron's permission, I thought I'd share his compositions with all of you:

March 5, 2019

Why I'm Running Off to Become a Hermit

Okay, okay, so I'm not really running off to become a hermit, no matter how much I want to, but I am doing the modern-day, cyber equivalent. Let me explain.

Last week I got up early, opened my curtains for probably the first time in several months, and sat in the sun, typing up a blog post. A thought hit me: "Wow, it's so quiet!" It was warm enough that the heater was momentarily off; no music or videos were playing in the background, no one was talking. It was so peaceful, so non-distracting. I got a lot of writing done that morning, because I could actually focus on writing, rather than noise.

February 20, 2019

Magic by Any Other Name

I, like most fantasy writers, think a lot about magic. I mean, a lot. I love thinking about different magical systems and how they work, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how they can be employed to make the coolest story possible. Dark magic, light magic, elemental magic, you name it. Magic cast with wands, or words, or motions. Magic that comes from special creatures or from the hearts or minds of humans. I love magic. What I don't love is when writers have weird hang-ups about magic.

The most notorious example of this is when a character says something along the lines of "It's not magic, it's bending/semblance/alchemy/etc." I assume this is an attempt by the writers to make their magic system seem more interesting and original, despite the fact that it's clearly magic with a different name. I wouldn't mind this, except that by coming out and stating "it's not magic", you're acknowledging that your setting has the concept of magic. So... what exactly is the distinction between "totally-not-magic" and, you know, regular old magic?

February 6, 2019

Thoughts on Slice of Life

A frequent lamentation of many writers is, “I have all these characters, but no plot!” or “I’ve come up with this awesome world, but have no story!” Though this may cause trouble if you really wanted to tell a gripping and exciting tale from the get-go, I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem in and of itself. This is because not all stories need a plot, or at least what many people might consider a plot. These stories focus on the small moments of life and relationships, and fall under the genre umbrella of slice-of-life.

January 23, 2019

When a Plot Hole is Not a Plot Hole (or, at Least, When It Doesn't Matter)

Much like 45 million other people, I have recently viewed Bird Box. I also watched The Ritual and re-watched A Quiet Place. All of this got me thinking about the horror genre, yet again, but it’s too soon for another “Thoughts on Horror” post. Thankfully I also watched a Youtube video about world building in the Divergent series, which gave me an idea for a more far-reaching analysis not just of horror, but of genre and plot holes in general.

January 9, 2019

New Year's Resolution

Happy (slightly belated) New Year! Since the beginning of December, I've been thinking of what writing resolutions I wanted to make in the coming year, but my future is a little uncertain at the moment. I'm still job hunting and have applied from everything from a supervisor job to overnight work to overseas work, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to devote to writing. That being said, I really want to finish my novella-in-verse this year, as well as complete a few other projects that involve more editing and planning and less actual writing. “Write everyday” is of course not my speed, and even “do something writing related everyday” can be difficult, so I’ve settled on weekly goals instead.

December 25, 2018

Writing Q & A #2

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Have another Q & A!

Q: Do you title your chapters, or just have “1″, “2″, “3″ etc.?
A: I almost always title my chapters. I like chapter titles because they can sort of set the theme or mood. Styx's titles often involved puns and word play, while Love & Chaos has each section titled to refer to which of the three duels to the death it features. In my alternate-history/fantasy/mystery WIP (AHFM), not only will each chapter have a title, I think I will also include a relevant, real-world quote under each, similar to what Cornelia Funke did in Inkheart. The novella-in-verse, however, will only be labeled "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2", and so for; each chapter, however, will have a slightly different version of the cover picture.

December 14, 2018

Writing Q & A #1

I have just recently moved back to Flagstaff, started working again at the Flagstaff City - Coconino County Public Library, applied for (and will apply) for several jobs, and turned in my last ever essay in my entire life! Needless to say, that's why this post is late!

Anyway, this post is actually one of three "ask" posts I created on Tumblr, but I thought it would be fun to share the answers here. At some point in the future, likely during another busy week, I will get around to the next two Q & A "asks", but for now, enjoy!

December 1, 2018

The Perils of Point of View

In the early stages of writing, there can be a lot of road blocks that prevent writers from getting into their stories. Most people seem to struggle with something like not having a plot figured out, or not having a good opening scene, but for me, the biggest struggle when beginning a new project is pinning down a point of view, or POV. While I advise the aforementioned writers to just wing it or to write later scenes, respectively, there isn’t really a work around for POV. You can’t write a text-based story without a POV.