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Tammy Setzer Denton - Writer
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Words of Wisdom

Recommended Website

Author Media is a website that I highly recommend for anyone in the writing business.

It's run by Thomas Umstattd who is a veritable font of information.

Thomas Umstattd is the CEO of Castle Media Group the parent company of Author Media. You can follow him on Twitter @ThomasUmstattd. He loves helping people use technology to change the world.

Sign up for his newsletter. I always find at least one helpful hint or tip in each one.


Milford-Style Critique Workshop Method - A How To Guide

Just a quick note. I found a site run by Cascade Writers that explains a great critique method to use in your writing groups.

Starting a writers group is easy:
1) Find a group of people who want to improve their writing.
2) Set up a time and place to meet.
3) Then what...?

I would recommend using this technique to start the critiques.



Once you've established a routine and these guidelines, you can tweak them to better fit your group.

I really like the way Cascade Writers leads us step-by-step through the Milford Style. They not only tell you how to give a good critique, but also how to accept one without falling to pieces. And, Bonus! After giving and receiving all this good information, they also tell you what to do with it once the feedback soaks in.

Fifty Shades Trilogy - Review by Katrina Passick Lumsden

Fifty Shades Trilogy

Okay, I promise this is the last one. How can I resist a review that uses such colorful phrases?

Examples:
stench trench,
fecal bombs from a fighter jet,
more mood swings than a menopausal schizophrenic on meth,
and my personal favorite,
magical panty hamster.

Magical panty hamster! Makes me want to run out and get one.  

What????? I already have one!

Maybe, I should read those books after all.

NOT!

Here, it is. Enjoy.




Fifty Shades Freed - Review

Fifty Shades Freed

Katrina Passick Lumsden is my new hero. I'm almost sorry that there are only three novels in this series.  Once again, I must share.

Here it is. Enjoy. Laugh. Cringe.

Best Review Ever! - Fifty Shades of Grey

I've never read Fifty Shades of Grey. I've tried. Repeatedly. I just can't get past the first pages. I'm not sure why, but after watching this video review I don't feel so bad. Watch it and laugh. I did.


Katrina Passick Lumsden's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey



More on Creating Believable Characters

 
Yesterday, I wrote about creating believable characters only touching on the tip of the iceberg. Today, I read a post by Russell Blake describing his latest character that does such an excellent job of it that I wanted to share it with my readers.
 
 
Click on the link below to go to his website and check it out. Artemis Gunner is a character that I want to know. He's flawed, but still has endearing qualities.
 
 
 
I especially like the part where his cat doesn't like him and it hurts his feelings a bit. Makes him human and just a little bit loveable.
 
 

What is Magic Realism?

Yesterday I blogged about a short story I'm writing that contains elements of Magic Realism. Since then, I've been bombarded by questions such as "Magic Realism? What do you mean by  that?"

Wikipedia defines Magic Realism as "a genre where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment."

Writing-World.com provides a more in-depth definition. "Magical realism is not speculative and does not conduct thought experiments. Instead, it tells its stories from the perspective of people who live in our world and experience a different reality from the one we call objective. If there is a ghost in a story of magical realism, the ghost is not a fantasy element but a manifestation of the reality of people who believe in and have "real" experiences of ghosts. Magical realist fiction depicts the real world of people whose reality is different from ours. It's not a thought experiment. It's not speculation. Magical realism endeavors to show us the world through other eyes."

In my (as yet untitled) short story, one aspect of Magic Realism that is used is the physical manifestation of broken dreams. That's all I can tell you for now, but hope the above definitions will enlighten and intrigue you enough to continue following my blog so you'll be ready to read this short story when it's finished.


Believable Characters

Been working on short stories today. One in particular is coming along really well. It contains elements of magic realism in an apocalyptic future. It comes complete with broken dreams and flawed characters with a few redeeming qualities.

It's important to make flawed characters. No one is perfect in real life so why would someone be perfect in fiction? Perhaps in fairy tales, but not in believable fiction.

In believable fiction, characters cannot be all good or all bad. Every good guy needs to have a little bad, and every bad guy needs to have a little good. Each needs a quirk or flaw to make him three dimensional.




Building an Author's Platform

I spent last weekend working on my author's platform. This includes my website, my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

I'm relatively new to Twitter and still learning the jargon and practices of active Tweeters. My suggestion to anyone just starting with Twitter is to find a mentor. Find someone who posts interesting Tweets, someone who has a large (and legitimate following), someone who is in a field similar to yours. Follow them and mimic what they do.

I don't advise buying followers. It's seems shady and if you are trying to establish a genuine media presence, why would you want to jeopardize your authenticity and integrity for made-up followers who will ultimately not help your cause? Imaginary followers do not tweet, retweet, or like. They do not interact, they bring nothing to the table except for adding one tiny number to your following.

Consistency seems to be important as well. An active presence reminds me of your existence. In the case of Twitter, absence does not make the heart fonder. Absence makes people forget you.

Content is probably the most important feature of the entire platform. It's necessary to provide something of value to your followers. Value can come in the form of interesting information, educational info, humor, advice or feedback. 

Be yourself, be real, be honest.
If you build a platform, they (followers) will come.












Finding Inspiration Wherever

Inspiration comes in many forms and from anywhere.  Therefore you'll understand why I had to attend the Blanchette Bridge Implosion over the Missouri River in St. Charles, MO.

After being run off from my first location (the demolition crew told me I had to leave or I would die), I found a reasonable spot. I guess the biggest surprise was how long it took for the sound of the blast to carry. Intellectually, I know that light travels faster than the speed of sound, but this really demonstrated that.

Now, I can describe the sound of the blast, the billowing smoke of white, yellow, black and gray. I experienced how the concussion caused my chest to vibrate like a tuning fork. I can describe the acrid smell, the cheer of the crowd, and the cries of frightened children soothed by their parents. 

I'm sure all this will end up somewhere in my writing and you'll know where it came from!

Enjoy the photos!

The "Before" Photo.

The Blanchette Bridge is 60 years old and in need of repairs. This project will require a year to complete.


The bridge on the left is the one that is being demolished.







Looking through the smoke, you can see parts of the span capsizing.













More pieces are flying out from the smoke clouds.













The smoke drifting to the Eastbound Bridge of Highway 70 over the Missouri River.

















A job well-done. There's nothing left of the old span. Portions of the bridge will be recovered from the river and scrapped.

Construction of the new bridge begins soon after.

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