Channel Your Inner Samurai – How Being an Author is Like Performing Martial Arts

This article is by K.S. Crooks.

SamuraiI began my life-long journey with martial arts at the age of eight, when my mother enrolled me in my first judo class. Being a very small boy, she thought that it would give me strength and confidence. It gave me those, plus much more.

In high school I took up wrestling, becoming city champion and provincially ranked. During university I went back to Judo, started Jeet Kune Do and Karate. Martial arts became one of the staples of my life.Continue Reading

Understanding How Readers Read

girl readingWhen I started writing – three, maybe four, years ago – I just wrote. I didn’t really think much about it as I sat there with my laptop, tapping down my stories and making things up.

I was happy with how they turned out. I had a good time, and I made up some really cool characters – most of which are still around in one form or another.

Then, eventually, I joined a writing forum and began to share my work there. I discovered there were a whole load of do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing:Continue Reading

5 Steps to Effective Editing

This article is by Sydney A. Kneller.

glowing penOnce you’ve agonized your way through a story or novel, you breathe a sigh of relief that your task is finally done. But the truth is, the hard word is just beginning.

Before you can send your work out to be seen by the world, you need to spend some time editing. This is a crucial stage in the life of your manuscript, as this is when mediocre stories may rise to greatness.

Here are a few steps to use in the editing process:Continue Reading

Putting Your Novel Where Your Mouth Is

book over mouthTalking about writing can be fun. Hell, I love it.

But a year ago I realized that I needed to stop yapping so much and start tapping more. The keys, that is.

It’s lonely, hair-pulling work sometimes, but I had to keep my nose to the grindstone. No matter how much I wanted to chat and blab about my newest creation, I tried to refrain.

It sucked.

I know some people view writing novels as mystical shamanism channeled through the hair strands of a thousand muses. I don’t find it to be such. I absolutely adore it, yes, but it’s work.
Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Descriptions – Part 1

pen writingNow and then – both on the forums here on Mythic Scribes and elsewhere – I come across the question about how to write descriptions. This guide is meant as an introduction for beginners and will start with the very basics on how to set up, and write, a description of something.

In this part I will touch upon three things:

  • First Impressions
  • Where to Start
  • What to Include

This guide is based on personal opinions and experience. These are not rules for how to write descriptions, but rather an explanation of what works for me. Continue Reading

Naming Your Characters – 4 Quick and Dirty Tips

This article is by Terrie Quincey.

namelessNaming your characters is often step one in the writing process. Don’t let it hold you back. Create names using these quick tips so you can move on with your story.

1. Consider Ancestry

This is a useful tool to get the ball rolling. Does your character have an ancestry in your mind? You can look up a list of names from that background and see if any seem like what you’re looking for.

If nothing else, this is a good way to narrow your options if you’re struggling. This can be true of characters that come from a distinct ethnic background.Continue Reading

How to Woo the Writer’s Muse

The Muses
The Muses

This Valentine’s Day, I find myself feeling lonely.  My wife and kids are in the next room, playing and having breakfast, while I sit at my computer, wishing that somebody was here with me who hasn’t been around for quite some time.

My muse has left me.  Again.

In the Mythic Scribes forums, I hear terrible things said about my muse.  She’s fickle.  She’s flaky.  She’s prone to flights of fancy, to leading men on, to ditching at a moment’s notice.  And all of these things are true.  She’ll have me smiling one moment, and then leave me cursing and confused and feeling trapped as she runs out the door.  And I never know what to think of the fun we had together.  Was it real?  Or should I forget about it?Continue Reading

Magical Creatures for Magical Worlds: The Phoenix

PhoenixThe phoenix; the firebird. It’s a popular mythic creature for fantasy – beautiful, unnatural and filled with symbolism.

In fantasy, the phoenix is a large bird, usually with red and gold feathers, which is associated with fire and regenerates itself by burning up into ash and being reborn from those ashes. It has been written by big name authors like C S Lewis, Terry Pratchett and J K Rowling, appears in games and TV shows, and is used by cities and sports clubs as a mascot.

But where did the myth come from, and what is the phoenix really all about?Continue Reading

Pilfering Your Novel Graveyard

graveyard“Finish what you start” is some of the best advice one can give a burgeoning writer.

However, what happens when you absolutely can’t finish something? It’s not Writer’s Block nor Creative ADD. You’ve reached critical mass. No matter how long you edit, send off for critiques, and outline, it’s just not coming together.

Writing can be like making a soufflé: if it’s imploded, sure, you can still eat it, but do you want to serve it to others? So what do you do when the recipe is screwed and you have a burnt dessert?

Scrape off the blackened parts and salvage it, right?

Maybe.Continue Reading

Setting Stories in My Own Backyard

TuskersThis article is by Duncan McGeary.

I’ve never subscribed to the notion that one must “write about what you know.”

I mean, what do I know about a wild pig apocalypses?  Or vampires who evolve?  Or Donner Party werewolves?  Or Bigfoot and gold miners?

This stuff is spun out of my imagination, and even when I research, I like to have the basics correct while I allow my ingenuity to create the rest.

But I see no reason why I can’t set my stories in places I know, as much as possible.Continue Reading