Writer Wednesday: Using Chemistry To Define Character Relationships #writerwednesday #amwriting #science #IARTG

Yep, I’m talking about using chemistry, that good ol’ science requirement, to help define your characters relationships within your work-in-progress. Honest, it works!

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First, here’s a bit of history regarding yours truly: my first (and some would say one true) love is science. I have a degree in environmental science, and am therefore well acquainted with the building blocks of that discipline, namely botany, biology, and our friend chemistry. Today we’re going to discuss denaturing. Here’s the definition according to Merriam Webster:

denatured; denaturing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1:dehumanize

  3. 2:  to deprive of natural qualities :  change the nature of: such as a:  to make (alcohol) unfit for drinking (as by adding an obnoxious substance) without impairing usefulness for other purposes b:  to modify the molecular structure of (something, such as a protein or DNA) especially by heat, acid, alkali, or ultraviolet radiation so as to destroy or diminish some of the original properties and especially the specific biological activity.

Basically, when you denature something you alter it to a point that it becomes a different substance. A great example of this is when you bake a cake: when you have just the dry ingredients–flour, baking powder, cocoa, etc–you could (theoretically, with a very powerful microscope and very tiny and precise tools) separate all the ingredients out into their component parts. It’s really nothing more than a few types of powdered substances sitting in a bowl.

Once you add the wet ingredients, things get interesting. You could still separate the ingredients, but that’s fast becoming a Sisyphean task. Then comes the point of no return–you put the batter in the over and apply heat.

When heat acts upon the various ingredients and changes their chemical composition, that’s when denaturing happens. The components can no longer be separated out into the sum of their parts. The ingredients have been changed, and there’s no going back. This change is permanent.

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Let’s take this concept and apply it to our characters. What forces have acted upon them? Have they merely been tossed into a situation with a few other characters, and will eventually emerge relatively unscathed? Or have you added heat in the form of an action or chain of events that will forever change them? These are important plot points that every author needs to consider in some form or another. After all, who wants to read 80,000 words about a few characters who stumble from one situation to another and never change their approach or outlook? That would leave your story devoid of character growth, and that would be a very bad thing indeed.

Chemistry: it’s not just for lab work.

 

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

Click to purchase—> http://amzn.to/2vKKEU9

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

 

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Writer Wednesday: Rejection, The Dirtiest Word In A Writer’s Lexicon #writerwednesday #IARTG #amwriting

Without a doubt, a rejection is the most soul-crushing blow that can be dealt to a writer, its sting far worse than bookstore returns or one star reviews. Quite often they’re also bewildering; you read the submission guidelines, crafted a piece especially for said guidelines, and stayed within word count and on theme, yet they still said no. What gives?

Adorable smile

Sorry, no publishing contract for you!

There are myriad reasons why a publisher chooses to reject a particular piece, and many of them have nothing to do with the writer or what’s been written. For instance, when I read submissions for a mid-sized press, one particular imprint had eight slots for the coming year…and we got over one thousand submissions. You don’t even need math skills to understand that I sent A LOT of rejection emails. Publishers are companies that rely on revenue, and once those initial eight slots were filled we just did not have the capital to take on more work, no matter how awesome it was. Was it discouraging, to both us and the writers? Yes, it was. It was also an opportunity for the writers to expand their reach and keep submitting, and for us as a publisher to surpass our sales goals so we could take on more stories. Remember, publishers WANT great stories.

Here are a few other reasons your work might be rejected:

  1. Your project is too similar to something recently published – Let’s say you’ve written an awesome retelling of Snow White. We (the publisher) love it, but we just acquired a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (insert theme of your choice here). Unless we want to be known as the fairy tale retelling press, odds are we’re not going to publish two retellings in one year.
  2. Your project is too long for the genre – My first novel was 177,000 words. Yup, it was a crap ton of words long, and the only reason I got away with that (by the skin of my teeth, mind you) was because it was an epic fantasy. Certain genres have generally accepted word counts, and epic fantasy is one of the few that can swing the occasional door stopper. Many other genres don’t stray above the 80k mark, so if you’re fielding a lot of rejections you might want to take a second look at your total word count.
  3. You live in a different country from the publisher – You know what they say, location, location, location! All kidding aside, when the writer is on one country and the publisher is domiciled in another, contract negotiations can get tricky. Many publishers circumvent the issue altogether and only sign those from their native country.

There you have it, a few of the million reasons why your work might get rejected. These points aren’t meant to discourage you, but to encourage you to keep writing, hone your craft, and keep on submitting. The world needs nothing as much as great stories, including yours.

Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qaTKuM

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gallowglass-jennifer-allis-provost/1126185405?ean=2940154110164

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/gallowglass-4

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gallowglass/id1225187436?mt=11

Free and 99 Cent Ebooks (including Gallowglass), And A Chance To Win A $25 Gift Card!

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Gallowglass Promo Graphic 1

TRADITIONAL, INDIE, AND HYBRID, OH MY! #amwriting #publishing #MASFFA

faestock

Let’s face it, publishing is not like it used to be. Thanks to innovations in ebook and marketing technology, literally anyone can upload a book and become a published author in hours or even minutes—but not everyone wants to do that, and frankly, not everyone should.

Whether or not the relative ease of self-publishing is good for the industry is a can o’ worms for another post. What we’re going to talk about today are the three broad categories of authors that the rise in self-publishing has created: traditional, indie, and hybrid.

Disclaimer: for the purposes of this article, I’m referring to publishing a novel-length work. Practices differ for other forms, therefore I advise that the writers of such works research accordingly.

Read the rest of this article on the MASFFA blog: https://masffa.com/2017/07/24/traditional-indie-and-hybrid-oh-my/