Monday, November 29, 2010


The genre of romance is easier to describe than most of the rest. It is often coupled with other genres and can stand alone, but usually doesn’t. The plot will mainly focus on the relationship of the protagonist or a possible relationship and the many trials and tribulations that the said hero goes through to find love.

As is the way with most writing, the romance novel has no roof or ceiling and the only one that can limit the story is the writer. The story can be told in any time, place, or world that the writer sees fit. The main key goals that must be met in the story though are; there has to be a main plot revolving around the relationship between two characters that are falling in love or are in love and that the ending must have a happy ending with the pair coming out on top, despite the horrors or tests the writer put them through.

Romance is a simple concept if you think about it and anyone can write it, the only thing that you would need for experience would be to once have felt the feeling of love for another.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Let's go off of the normal beaten path and jump into a sub-genre that is somewhat different than what we have been discussing.

Steampunk is an interesting genre on multiple levels and takes some skill on the writer's part. It is a genre of science fiction that revolves around a period of Victorian times, but what our world would be like if we still lived in them.

The best way to think about it that you are writing a story about what the world would be like if we never kept technologically evolving. In this said world, there would be no blogging, computers, and like Gilligan not a single luxury. Well maybe some luxury for the really rich, but think about what life was like for people in the time period if they weren't royal and that is your character base.

Basically it seems like a fun idea to create a world such as this, but I don't ever see myself being able to write one. If steampunk is your way to go though, then sit back pretend like you have a typewriter and pretend like the world we live in never happened.
Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory (Catalogue Edition)
Thomas Riley (Steampunk Novels)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to all that are reading and I hope that you have a wonderful holiday.



Today we are going to talk about the broad genre of fantasy. It is one of the reasons that I am writing today and defiantly the reason that I became a reader. So, bare with me as I attempt to be as impartial as possible, here we go.

Fantasy and science fiction are often grouped together, but are not the same by a long shot. Fantasy revolves around the imaginative world of well, fantasy. Things that would and could never happen in the real world such as goblins, elves, and other fantastic creatures that your mind can produce. Where science fiction follows a more science based theme of the, could be possible, but we will get to that another day.

These stories often take you to a place that happened a long time ago or in a parallel dimension, but there are key elements that are often there too that make us know we are working with a fantasy.

Key Elements

 There is often a quest for our protagonist to perform,

 There is often a clear line between the forces of good vs. evil,

 Some use of magic/the supernatural/swords and knights/fantasy creatures, be as creative as your little heart desires.

 The sky is the limit in fantasy and if you have covered that then maybe you should go underwater and underground.

Examples of Fantasy

JRR Tolkien - The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Series
J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)

JK Rowlings – The Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
Robert Jordan – The Wheel of Time Series
The Wheel of Time (Boxed Set #1)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thriller Suspense

The thriller/suspense genre has several key elements that separate it from the rest of the others. A thriller has plot twists and turns that keep the reader on their toes and on the edge of their seats as the protagonist faces death or other possible huge significant events, such as saving the world, loved ones, or saving someone from a serial killer.

The difference between a mystery and a thriller is that the a mystery focuses on the clues and solving the crime and a thriller focuses on the event in question and the protagonists attempts at stopping the significant event.

In most cases a thriller's protagonist comes out on top and saves the day, but not always.
There is usually evil around every corner and there is a jump factor
The ante is usually great and important to the protagonist.

Monday, November 22, 2010


The genre of Mystery is fiction that focuses and surrounds itself around puzzles and clues that are followed and investigated by an investigator. The genre is broad but fits into a specific category because of a few key elements which are as follows:

While I know this may not be the entire genre's elements, these are the keys to knowing if you have a mystery on your laptop. If you have written something from the detective's perspective with no psychics and the detective finds clues and follows them to the unknown killer. Then maybe, just maybe, you might have written a mystery. One of the key elements that take a mystery to a new genre would be a killer's perspective or a look into the killer's mind.
Keep in mind a genre can overlap and intertwine, but if the tone and elements are investigator based in your MS then you probably should query as a mystery.

M. Genre

I find that writing the story is the easy part. Categorizing it and putting it into a little gift wrapped box and calling it something is the hard part. I am going to begin researching genres and blogging their definitions so that hopefully we will have a database when it is complete to reference. I will do my best to stay on top of this and keep the information coming, but some of this is new to me so I also have quite a bit to learn.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Unknown Diagnosis

Unknown Diagnosis

M. A. Leslie

The room is shifting, but not like a merry-go-round,
The room is moving from side to side,
Shaking left, shaking right, and the room teeters like a boat,
Seasick and nausea, can’t walk straight, always falling,
Can’t drive, trouble talking, stuttered speech,
Blurred vision that is sometimes double,
Can’t shake feeling, never ending, not always awful,
But the symptoms are never fading.

Doctor’s visits, knowledge aplenty,
Tests and scans, Tubes and darkness,
Blood drawn and taken, tested, and prodded,
Still no answers, still nothing concrete,
Doctors trying, guessing, practicing,
Hypothesis, possible diagnosis, medication, but still not working,
Side effects, symptoms remain.

The walls are moving around, can’t walk through them,
Step forward but go right,
Headache, migraine, pain, constant,
The eyes are moving shifting, crazy,
Can’t see at times, dangerous walking, still seasick,
Headache for days that will not pass,
Eight days go by migraine pulling behind the eyes,
Wake on day nine, symptoms gone, better,
Healed and healthy, problems are gone.

Back to work, back to normal,
Life is better, life is right,
Symptoms passed and not returning,
Driving, working, and living.
Four months gone, while sick,
Three weeks well, not a glitch or a problem.

Evil symptoms again returning,
Symptoms return, after one month well,
After four months of uncertain hell,
Problems return, still no answers,
Return to doctors for practiced opinions,
Problem continues and now is different,
All of the same as before but now hands burning,
Diagnosis, unknown, testing prodding, waiting,
Again, back to waiting with no answers,
Unknown Diagnosis.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

M. Word Count (I Hate It)

The most difficult part of writing for me to date has been word count.  For some reason the first draft consistently gets to about 60 to 70k.  Then we go through it again and try to bulk it up and again and again.  I understand that the world of publishing is a business and that a publishing house has to have a product to sell with the standard 80k to 110k, but at what point does a book just get fluffed like a pillow?  It isn't any softer or fuller, just puffy.I often read stories and blogs about other writers that face the exact opposite problem of having a book that needs to be cut.  Which is worse?  I guess it would be better to have too much and take some out, but then you have to be a grim reaper to your beloved and cut letters, words, and lines that you had spent so much time filling in.  Is there a happy medium?

Friday, November 12, 2010

M. HP Crosses Generation Gaps Just Like Bon Jovi

Harry Potter Crosses Generation Gaps Just Like Bon Jovi.

Very few books in the world can be read by a small child and then enjoyed by that child's parent.  Only to have been recomended by his grandmother in the first place.  Harry Potter can.  In the music world Bon Jovi does that and I feel that JK Rowling may have been the only writer to create a generation spanning character that can be enjoyed equally by an eight year old and an eighty year old.  I know in our car, my wife and I will sing along to a Bon Jovi song and both of our children will happily join the chorus.  And just like Rowlings, their grandparents know all the words and love Bon Jovi too.  I realize it isn't exactly the same but it is close.  The stretch across generations.  Amazing, yes.  But obviously it can be done in the literary and music industries.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

M. The Hobbit

This was one of the stories that really stirred my interest in writing.  It wasn't the one that made me a reader and it definitely wasn't why I started writing, but it is the wick in my mind.  It took several years of wax to build around it and then finally a flame to ignite before I started to put pen to paper and then fingers to keys.  I just hope to be able to create something as beautiful and amazing as THE HOBBIT and some day inspire someone else.  While some may not agree, it is truly a piece of classical American Literature.
J.R.R Tolkien, thank you for the inspiration.

Monday, November 8, 2010

M. Being Tested

Life is strange how it works and how it doesn't work sometimes. All things happen for a reason is what I have always been told and I believe it, but I just wish I knew what that reason was when it was happening. It is kind of upsetting to be in the middle of the thing that isn't working out and trying to tell yourself, "It is happening for a reason." I just don't know why that’s all.
It really irks me that as people we are always test to find out how strong we are. I am always satisfied when I pass the tests, but I am getting to a point in my life now where I would like to know that the test has been passed and maybe, just maybe I have gotten a good enough grade. Unfortunately though, in life there is no graduation. You just keep going from one test to the other and hope to god that you can pass the next one with as much class and strength as you did the last.
Just remember that you will always be tested and it isn't if you pass or fail, it is how you carry on.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

M. Coffee

I find that one of the most essential parts of writing and concentration is coffee.  I required the brown elixir of life to recieve my charge to complete my day and push past my limits when it it is needed.  The aroma in the air, the french vanilla creamer swirling in as I stir it with a spoon, and the warmth as it rolls down your throat.  I don't know at what point but at one point in my life I went from enjoying coffee to needing coffee.  It is my vice though, which isn't really all that bad, it's only coffee.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

M. Freedom

Well I finally finished reading FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen. It was one of those books that definitely will change the way that I think for the rest of my life. His writing style, his voice, the way he creates characters is nothing short of amazing. Somehow he intertwines the lives and overlaps the stories of all of the characters in a way that you don't even notice it happening. Basically, I recommend reading the book and seeing how you feel afterwards. It may give you a different perspective of how you abuse/use your freedom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

M. Characters You Create

Writing is one of the most difficult tasks/hobbies that I have ever taken on.  It is grueling and mostly thankless.  So far all I have done is entertain myself, which for now has been good enough, but I have a thirst to be published.  I am starting to fall in love with the characters that are coming to life on the pages as if I know them.  They each have their own personality and quirks that make them unique.  Generally I like most of them and wouldn't want to see any harm come to them.

I think back to when I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and how J K Rowlings had to kill off one of the characters.  In an interview she had stated that she had become extremely upset and even cried doing it.  I never understood that until now.  I couldn't imagine taking one of the characters that I created and just killing them.  I would be heartbroken.