26 September, 2013

How many?

I'm making a new goal for myself to read at least 25-30 books a year, with no limit on short stories.

So far, I estimate I've read eleven books, and about 30 short stories (most of which are by H.P. Lovecraft) this year.

How about you? How many stories do you try to read at a time, or do you even have a monthly/yearly goal?

19 September, 2013

Above all else, be flexible

I was working my way through the third draft of chapter 2 a month ago, and I hit the block within the first paragraph of the second scene. There just wasn't anything to interest me, to entice even me, the author, into reading further.

So I decided to put it away, and think of ways to rewrite the scene. I knew the conversations had to stay for the most part, as they are integral to not just the scene, but the entire plot. Chapter 2, scene 2 sets up what is to be the first bit of rising action. But the introducing paragraph for that section was just . . . bleh. If I were reading this as a finished product off the shelf, I would've tossed it back without a second thought. Since I had to improve the scene, I decided a complete rewrite was in order.

But what could I do to improve the scene? It took me a month to come up with something plausible -- I finally decided to change the setting, take it out of a private location and throw it into a very public forum, which would introduce tension into the characters that hadn't been there before. This way the rising action has a greater impact, for it forces the characters to restrain themselves physically while discussing a matter that greatly affects the safety and security of their future.

Of course, it doesn't hurt when you also discover a song that jump-starts your creativity and facilitates the much needed change. You can see what helped inspire my progress below.

15 September, 2013

Fable of the Wappenröcke

As with creation, we have a second myth. This one continues with the origin of the eight noble families. I don't know yet if this will necessarily come into play for Uncertain Heirs, but I will have it on hand for a later story in the Earth Dog books.

What's a religion without fables?

While working on my novel, I came across a particular scene that needed to be reworked for the better, and one idea I had was to change the setting, putting it within a covenstead of Göttinesche, the capital of Kaiserreich. Since I wanted something to happen in the background while Fredderick and his mother converse, I started writing short myths that could be used for the scene, and possibly future works. Anyway, here's one that I wrote, featuring their story of creation:


Ash Litton

Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, Comeuppance, and Cabover Cabaret, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects. She's also written No Diet, No Surgery, No Sweat, an ebook chronicling her weight-loss journey.

When she's not writing, she's drawing, and when she's not doing either of those, she's dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.