Meet the Character: Jack Wendell

Daven Anderson:

Thank you Brian McKinley for letting me guest-blog! :-)

Originally posted on The Ravings of a Sick Mind:

Welcome Guest Blogger Daven Anderson!

1.) What is the name of your character?

Jack Wendell.

2.) Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Fictional.

3.) When and where is the story set?

During the summer of 2011.

4.) What should we know about him/her?

Jack was a Special Olympics champion sprinter, and national record holder for the 400-meter sprint, before his accidental transformation to his current human vampire status.

5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

The carnivorous alien Pure vampires, number-one enemy of the human vampires, want Jack to live with them. The Pures do not trust the human vampires to take proper care of Jack, due to the human vampires’ centuries of systematic prejudice against those of their kind who have special needs. The human vampires want Jack to live with them, to prove they have overcome their previous prejudices.

6.) What is the…

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Solace on 9/11 . . .

Daven Anderson:

One of my favorite passages from Emily Guido.

Originally posted on "The Light-Bearer Series" ~ by Emily Guido:

I woke up this morning with a sigh.

I wanted to shut my eyes and not remember the horrible pictures of death and destruction which had happened.  

I went to the coffee maker and made a cup of strong coffee.  As the day of the attack, I was at work and doing the same thing, trying to wake up.

I hung my head and a shed tear.

I thought about this passage in my novels, and it gave me solace and comfort.  

Let me say, I ‘m not a spiritual person.  I don’t think I have a Godly bone in my body. However, I know there’s a Higher Power and that helps me.

We may not know why this horrible thing happened on 9/11 . . . but to accept the good and evil.  

I thank God or the Higher Power for the great and good gifts…

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Personal Post . . . violence is violence

Daven Anderson:

Thank you Emily Guido for your great post about an issue that affects all too many…

Originally posted on "The Light-Bearer Series" ~ by Emily Guido:

Hello everyone,

This is a rather revealing and personal post.  I never would share this with the public, but I feel I need to reach out.

Domestic violence is different from any kind of violence known to us.Domestic Violence Month

It’s personal – deeply shocking – and extremely complicated.

I was a victim of Domestic Violence for several years.

I am not ashamed of it anymore. However, I was ashamed – very much so. I felt I was weak and not worthy of a good life. Victims often feel that way.  Victims feel that there is no way out. Victims feel powerless . . . HELPLESS!

Like I said, the psychology of Domestic Violence is complicated and intricate.

I won’t bore you about the facts of my situation.

download (1)However, I want to impart on you one thing – VIOLENCE is VIOLENCE – no matter how you stack it up.

More and more…

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5 Tips For Long-Term Writing Success

Daven Anderson:

People with grand unfinished novels love to deride the new breed of “assembly line authors”, but a number of those same authors are MAKING A LIVING off their writing.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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The Internet is overflowing with all kinds of “guidance.” Often, we have to learn by trial and error. What’s sound and what’s a shill? Being a Fort Worthian, I’ve learned that comedian Will Rogers nailed it when he said, “There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

Assuming y’all can delay any plans for peeing on the literary electric fence, I’m here to (hopefully) shorten your learning curve in regards to going pro as an author.

Choose Company Wisely

Mirroring is built into the human brain. Great writers are exemplary at mirroring. This his how these authors can create characters so real they might just have a heartbeat. That’s the good news.

Maybe you find your mannerisms, body language, pace of speech or even your accent changes…

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Done With Dracula!

Daven Anderson:

Vaney the Vampire was published in 1847, ad has never been adapted for film. It’s about freaking time, and then some!

Originally posted on The Ravings of a Sick Mind:

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There’s a movie coming out called Dracula: Untold. You know what my reaction to that is? There’s nothing about Dracula left untold! That fucking vampire has had pretty much every damn moment of his life told, retold, revised, refurbished, re-spun, regurgitated, and re-imagined more often than Jesus Christ. You know how you can tell when an original vampire book series, TV show, comic book, or movie has started to lose its originality?

Count Dracula shows up.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Seriously, when did the Blade movie series fall on its face? The one where Blade fights Dracula. Now, I know that Blade fought Dracula in his original comic series, but c’mon, Marvel comics is not known for the originality of their villains. Half of them are gods and monsters stolen from world mythology. Buffy was doing fine redefining the vampire genre on television, but then they decided that she had to fight Dracula…

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Emily Guido’s Vlog #1 – Challenges, Disappointments and Triumphs

Daven Anderson:

Thank you Emily Guido, for all your support and love!
Big Bear Hugs!

Originally posted on "The Light-Bearer Series" ~ by Emily Guido:

 My first Vlog Folks!!!  

Come in my house for a few minutes and talk!!!

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WHY is there such a thing as “Too Much Description”?

Yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing as too much description.
Why?
Time, or the lack of same.
Attention spans, or the lack of same.

Kristen Lamb has summed this up perfectly in 3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing & Increase Sales.

Attention spans are shrinking. The average time spent on a website is roughly 3.5 minutes. I’d wager most people give a website 3.5 seconds to catch their attention and that 3.5 minutes only applies to those browsers who happen to stay.

 

We can apply these business lessons to our writing, because we writers also have something to sell. Our job is far tougher because 1) discoverability is a nightmare 2) less than 8% of the literate population are devoted readers 3) the remaining 92% equate reading with homework and a chore. Thus, we have the task of convincing 92% of the population to spend time they don’t have engaged in an activity they believe they dislike…and spend money to do it.

One thing Lamb didn’t specify is that we, the “8%”, are the highly influential arbiters for the other 92%. Our rave review of “Book X” might motivate one or more of our “92%” friends to pick up “Book X” and read it.

There’s more to all this than time and money, however.

When I wrote my original “Yes, Virginia…” post back in April 2011, I was wringing my first novel through the hands of a critique group. An environment which encouraged, and “enabled,” lavish descriptions. And yes, I mean “enabled,” in the sense of “enablers” helping you to abuse substances. In this case, words. More than once, I would find myself reading ten pages of beautiful, impeccably-crafted descriptions in scenes where nothing was actually happening.

I found myself motivated to post “Yes, Virginia…”, without elaborating the larger reasoning behind my favoring economy of words.

In the petri dish of the group, many were oblivious to the needs of real-world readers. Without being able to take the entire work in context, people could bring in chapter after chapter of lavish description (with little or no action occurring!) and get “raves” from the group. And the “logical” outcome of this would be a novel full of indulgent prose, crafted for the hardiest of the literati, not the everyday reader.

Kristen Lamb:This tenet applies in a lot of areas. We don’t need flashbacks or lengthy details of why a character thinks or acts a certain way. The more we leave to the imagination, the better.

In general, this is true, but some stories will need a certain level of context to make readers care about the characters. The opposite of the above “description” scenario could, and did, happen. Someone could, for instance, bring the group wall-to-wall action scenes and be lauded again and again, but reading their resultant Kindle novel full of wall-to-wall action (lacking any back story, character development, or any other context which would have made me care about why these characters were fighting) made it clear that the weaknesses of “writing by committee” were hardly limited to an excess of descriptions in lieu of action.

You do have to achieve balance, as well as economy. If you need to describe something, you have to. The trick is to figure out what you need to describe, and what you don’t. You have to figure this out, and not through the process of working with a critique group.

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. ”~ Strunk and White (as quoted by Lamb)

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