Back to Basics: compelling short stories and character motivations

I have gone into back to basics mode: what does it mean to tell a story? I have been reading a lot of short stories since giving up on A Game of Thrones for what must be the eightieth time. Not just fantasy or science fiction, but authors of all nationalities, genres, and styles. I have been reading Chekhov, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Flannery O’Connor, and others who I used to read before I got the idea that I had to give myself assignments and read stuff that was current. I’ve noticed a couple of interesting things: Continue reading “Back to Basics: compelling short stories and character motivations”

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Strong Female Characters, Point of View, and The White Queen

A story has to be told from the right point of view; the author can’t always choose that.

Yesterday was the Summer solstice and marked two interesting divisions. The summer solstice (or “Langesttay” in the language of the book) marks a critical division in the plot of The Queen’s Night, and four months ago Mark Gottlieb submitted this book, and we haven’t heard anything back. Although Mark has assured me it’s not time to give up hope, he does think it’s time to try to sell the next book, so that’s where my focus is. I am not giving up hope primarily because every person I’ve shown this book, or pitched it to, has said it looks fantastic. I am extremely skeptical that out of fifteen editors who might see it, none of them would like it. It’s gotten to the point where I hope someone will tell me what’s wrong with it so I can fix it. But nevertheless I am moving on with the next book. Continue reading “Strong Female Characters, Point of View, and The White Queen”