Fiction Scribe

Thursday Thirteen

by JM

Thirteen of My Favorite Authors

1. David Eddings
2. Anne McCaffrey
3. Sara Douglass
4. Tamora Pierce
5. Piers Anthony
6. Robin McKinley
7. Catherine Coulter
8. Orson Scott Card
9. David Brin
10. Ursula Le Guin
11. John Peel
12. Jeff Smith
13. Larry Niven
14. bankruptcyhq.COm/

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Bird by Bird Discussion

by JM

bird-by-bird.jpgHello everyone! I hope you week is going fabulously so far. Mine has been interesting, that’s for sure.

This week we’ll be discussing “Character” and “Plot”, two sections I’ve been eager to read, as I’m still in the beginnings of my current work in progress.

Lamott starts out the Character section with an image that doesn’t quite work for me, but it is plain enough to understand what she is saying. We all have inside spaces all our own that we get to do with as we wish. Your task as an author is to find out what the spaces inside your characters are like because if anyone should know your characters inside and out, it should be you.

I think one of the most important things Lamott points about character is this: “As soon as you start protecting your characters from the ramifications of their less-than-lofty behavior, your story will start to feel flat and useless, just like in real life.”

Exactly right. I’ve seen this a lot, especially in younger writers. You have crafted this character you absolutely love. Perhaps he or she is the person you’d like to be someday. It’s natural to want to protect yourself and those you love from everything bad…and that makes for bad stories.

If a character gets the best by giving the worst, your readers are going to stop caring, stop reading, and move on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pet Peeve #36 - Lay vs Lie

by JM

Yes, my friends, the time has come. We shall bravely venture into the confusing world of “lay vs. lie”.

Does this whole thing piss anyone else off as much as it does me? I mean, come on! Have one present tense for everything and one past tense for everything. Easy. I’ll even promise not to rant about lie also meaning something false. See? I’m willing to compromise.


So what is the final word on this little lovely? Well, I’d better get it right or else I’ll have a slew of emails along with a long and drawn out feeling of embarrassment to deal with.

“Lay” is a verb meaning ‘to put or place something somewhere’. Thus, you need an object to make it work.

Example: I lay the pillow on the bed gently, while I laid the blanket on the bed roughly. I’m now considering laying a few more blankets on the bed.

“Lie” is a verb meaning to recline. No object needed.

Example: I lie on the bed often, thinking of my fate. My husband asks my why I’m lying there when I’ve lain there for over an hour. I lay there and stare at him.

Ah ha! Brain pain - ‘lay’ works for both of them! Yes, that’s true, but always think of it in terms of an object. Is there an object involved or not?

If you’re not sure whether to use “lay” or “lie,” try substituting a form of the verb “place.” If it makes sense, use a form of “lay.”

Example: I lay the pillow on the bed gently. I place the pillow on the bed gently.

See? Not so horrible after all.

But you might want to bookmark this post anyway.

Bird by Bird Discussion Reminder

by JM

The Bird by Bird book discussion will be continuing tomorrow, don’t forget!

Remember to have your copy of Bird by Bird and have read “Character” and “Plot”.

Thank you to all who participate. Feel free to jump in at any time on the discussions.

Glimmer Train

by JM
Dear Readers and Writers,

In these times, we have to keep our eyes on the things that matter most: the life and health of our families, our communities, the planet. And to stay on track, some of us need to reserve a bit of time for reading and for writing.

All writers, published and emerging, are welcome at Glimmer Train. The Short Story Award for New Writers is open through September 30, and, in October, both the standard category and Family Matters will be open for submissions. For guidelines, and to submit online, go to Payment ranges from $700 - $2,000 for accepted pieces.

If you already subscribe to Glimmer Train Stories and Writers Ask, we two sisters thank you so much for your support.

Glimmer Train Stories is an intimate collection of beautifully written, emotionally affecting, literary short fiction. Although each quarterly issue is quite handsome, there’s nothing commercial about it. Each author bio provides readers with a most unusual and personal glimpse into the writer’s life. Find out what we’re publishing these days—the very best of all the wonderful fiction that is submitted to us. Subscribe, and you’ll find yourself eager to check the mailbox as each new season arrives.

Writers Ask is a different animal. It looks like a newsletter—16 big pages, no ads—but you’ll find no news in it. Instead you’ll read the insights and perspectives of dozens of well-respected authors talking about their techniques, their personal and professional challenges, and what they teach their creative writing students. We’ve just added a significant new feature—the Last Page Focus. This issue it’s “Creating Context” by Monica Wood. Especially valuable to writers, it’s also great reading for the seriously curious.

Subscribe online: Glimmer Train Thank you.

Little Reminders

by JM

reminders.jpgHello everyone, and welcome to another wonderful Monday. The day is a little chilly and cloudy here in Australia, but that just means I get to curl up with my favorite hot drink and get my writing done for this week’s writing challenge. I have a few announcements to make about things coming up, so here we go…

Scribes Blog Carnival

The Scribes carnival deadline has been extended due to me being away on the first of October. The new deadline is October 4th, and the carnival will be posted up on the 8th. I already have some lovely entries, so go here for details and how to submit to the carnival.

Scribes Newsletter

The Fiction Scribe newsletter will be going out a little early, not on the first of October. If you have any work you would like to be featured in the newsletter (with links to your site(s)), be sure to get it to me as soon as you can so it can be included.

Virtual Book Tours Contest

Remember, for the month of September, you can have the chance to win books! Go here for details on how you can win.

Read with Me?

I’m holding discussions of the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. If you’re interested in joining the discussions, feel free to jump in any time.

200 Words

200 Words is still going. Send me the first 200 words of whatever you’re working on and I’ll post it up with a short critique. I don’t bite too hard.

Creative Spaces

I’m still accepting creative spaces submissions. Even if you can’t send a picture along with it, send in a detailed description of your writing space (shorter if accompanied by a picture/pictures) and I’ll post it up on the site.

Write Anyway

Write Anyway is a site with all sorts of prompts to help inspire your writing. Each week features a different theme. This week’s theme is something we can all talk about - food! Join in the fun. Responses put on blogs/sites are linked to.

Unconscious Mutterings

by JM

I say … and you think … ?

1. Dork ::
2. Refurbished ::
3. Basket ::
4. Mousse ::
5. Studio ::
6. 8 ball ::
7. Masking tape ::
8. Love ::
9. Wilder ::
10. Lindsey ::

Courtesy of Luna Nina

The Dating Writer

by JM


Courtesy of Inky Girl

Weekly Writing Challenge

by JM


Hello, hello, and welcome to another edition of the weekly writing challenge, where I come up with a challenge per week to keep you writing.

Last week your challenge involved a bit of character play. I challenged you to take one character on the side of good/bad and put him/her on the other side.

I’m curious as to how this went for people if you’d like to comment. :)

This week’s challenge is, yet again, something I feel I need to challenge myself with. I have a short story contest I’d like to enter. I have my competition pieces… in pieces. I also have a novel that isn’t moving as fast as I would like it to.

This week’s challenge: Set a minimum daily word count.

My word count is going to be 200 words a day. Per short story. You don’t have to apply yours per project like me, but you do have to get the minimum amount of words per day. Be that 100 words on two stories or 200 words on one.

Part of this challenge is you can’t set a minimum of less than 100.

Have fun, challenge yourself, and get some writing done.

Dwayne Anderson’s Partially Human

by JM

Hello and welcome to another author interview. I have the pleasure of interviewing young adult science fiction author Dwayne Anderson. He’s currently on virtual tour for his book Partially Human, a story of discovery and change.

Hello and welcome to Fiction Scribe. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Canadian author who has found a way to express himself, his deepest thoughts, and emotions into written works.

How did you get into writing? Did you always want to be a writer?

My first experience in creative writing when in an early grade in school. We were assigned to write a creative story, but I didn’t think I had the creativity to do so. I was given a special assignment that no one else got. I was to fill in the missing details of a story that was already written, such as how the protagonist solves his problems.
Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday Thirteen

by JM

Thirteen Books turned into Movies

1. The Postman
2. Harry Potter Series
3. A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book One
4. Lord of the Rings books
5. The Bible
6. Blood and Chocolate
7. I Robot
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey
9. Misery
10. Rose Red
11. The Power of One
12. The Bourne Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum
13. The Chronicles of Narnia
14. ^ visit our website % united states bankruptcy court northern district of iowa @

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Virtual Book Tours Contest

by JM

microphone1.jpgPump Up Your Book Promotion has broken a record. They have NINE talented and gifted authors going out on tour in September. To celebrate, they’re doing something special for their readers!

All our authors on tour will be giving away copies of their books and bookmarks to readers chosen at random. How do they decide who wins?

Anyone who leaves comments at their stops which are located on each individual author’s tour pages gets a shot. If you don’t want to miss out on your chance to win free books, visit all the stops and leave comments because you won’t know which one will be the lucky stop.

All winners will be announced on this blog on September 31, so be sure to check back at the end of the month. If you see your name on the list, all you have to do is email thewriterslife(at) and leave your physical mailing address. All there is to it! So, without further ado…here are the wonderful and talented authors going out on virtual book tour for the month of September!

September authors on virtual tour are in alphabetical order:

Dwayne G. Anderson, author of PARTIALLY HUMAN. I have loved Dwayne from the get go. Just under twenty-four-years-old, Dwayne has authored three books with PARTIALLY HUMAN being his third. If you’d like to read up on this delightful young and talented author, visit his tour page here.

This is Barbara Becker Holstein’s second month of tours for her book THE TRUTH: I’M TEN, I’M SMART AND I KNOW EVERYTHING. I’ve read this book myself and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’d like to find out more about her book and to find out which stops she’ll be stopping off at, visit here.

Nikki Leigh joins us this month on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion for her book, LADY LIGHTKEEPER. If you’re a fan of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you will throughly love her book. If you’d like to follow her tour to have a chance to win one of her books, click here. (Note from author: Each person who decides to buy a copy of Lady Lightkeeper, needs to email me a copy of their receipt. I just need a receipt that shows you bought a copy of Lady Lightkeeper and I’ll enter you in the drawing for a copy of Widow’s Walk. That seemed like a good giveaway since the story starts with Widow’s Walk. However, if the winner already has a copy of Widow’s Walk, I’ll be happy to send a copy of Lilah and the Locket instead.)

This is CJ Maxx’s second visit with us at Pump Up Your Book Promotion, but this time it’s for another erotic romance novel titled COMING BACK A VIRGIN. A must read! You can find out where he’ll be virtually touring at his tour page by clicking here.

Nick Oliva joins us for the first time at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for his book, ONLY MOMENTS. If out of body experiences and time travel are just what the doctor ordered, you will love his books. Follow along on his tour by clicking here.

Stem cell activist and author Yvonne Perry joins us for the first time for her book, RIGHT TO RECOVER, an interesting, yet controversial, look at stem cell research. If you would like a chance to win one of her books, visit her tour page by clicking here.

Caridad Pineiro, named Golden Apple Author of the Year by Romance Writers of America, and who visited us in May is back with a new book, SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN. If women’s fiction/chick lit is up your alley, visit Caridad’s stops so you can have a chance at winning one of her books Click here to find out where she’ll be touring.

Our friend from England, Hazel Statham is trying out the virtual book tour waters with her historical fiction book, DOMINIC. Hazel has always been fascinated by history and writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras. DOMINIC is a book you will LOVE. If you would like to try for a chance to win one of her books, visit her tour page here to see where she’ll be virtually touring.

Scott Zema is our resident expert on anything in the appraisal business - whether it be for art, antiques or collectibles - is touring for the first time with Pump Up Your Book Promotion with his book, THREE STEPS TO INVESTMENT SUCCESS: BUYING THE RIGHT ART, ANTIQUES, AND COLLECTIBLES. Find out what he has to say about the business by visiting his tour page here and get in the running for a copy of one of his books!

Best of luck to everyone. :)

Bird by Bird Discussion

by JM

bird-by-bird.jpgHello everyone and welcome to another edition of the Bird by Bird book discussion. Last week we discussed “Shitty First Drafts” and “Perfectionism” two subjects close to my heart and often close to each other - as strange as that may seem by the title.

This week we get into “School Lunches” and “Polaroids” (despite my chapter mistake yesterday).

I’m honestly not surprised Lamott chose to talk about school lunches. Was there ever a time in life when life was more dramatic every day? And school lunches. As Lamott says: “The contents of you lunch said whether or not your family were Okay. Some bag lunches, like people, were Okay, and some weren’t.” Not only were lunches secret codes for your family, but where you sat, who you talked with, and where you ate were all pieces determining your status on the social ladder.

Talk about a complex society to write about - and I didn’t even have Body-Snatcher Jam.

What I like the best out of this chapter is the school lunch talk is a lot of fun because most of us can remember high school like we remember our favorite show is on every Tuesday night at exactly 8 p.m. But beyond that, Lamott found something - a character - even more valuable than remembering exactly what carrots said about your status. In all that, she found what I, and likely you, dismissed as you were reading along - the boy on the fence.

That is what shitty first drafts and free writes are all about. I’ve heard it said time and time again that writing prompts and journaling things are pointless. Yet, they’re only pointless if you leave the half-hidden diamonds unpolished.

Next is “Polaroids” which I enjoyed very much. I’m very much for not knowing where your story is going to end. I like letting my characters and settings take me to new places I would have never thought of had I planned it all out beforehand.

You couldn’t have had any way of knowing what this piece of work would look like when you first started. You just knew that there was something about these people that compelled you, and you stayed with that something long enough for it to show you what it was about.”

That pretty much sums up my writing experiences.

This chapter explains why inspiration can come to you in the strangest places. You have to let it build up, clear, and reveal all it has to offer. You may go to the beach, let the waves wash up and hit your ankles, chase seagulls, and watch the man at the end of the dock fishing, and all that can add up to an old man on a dock with a bucket of squirming bait.

Using the development of a Polaroid is perfect in many ways but very much in it teaches us to be patient with ourselves and our writing.

How did you like these two sections? Is there anything I didn’t mention that stood out to you? Is there anything else you’d like to add on?

Don’t forget to come back next week to discuss “Character” and “Plot”.

Pet Peeve #35 - Weenies

by JM

Yeah, I said weenies. Because that’s what they are! Weenies, the lot of them.

Who am I talking about? The people who can’t take criticism.

I don’t care if your mom can bake the best apple pie in three counties and thinks your writing is about as perfect as the locally made maple syrup. I don’t care if Uncle Bob said he spent a whole extra hour on the toilet because he ‘just couldn’t put that book down’.

Well, I do care if they own a publishing company and have at least four years editing experience.

Otherwise, no.

Part of living in the writing sector of the world is developing a ‘tough skin’. The tough skin is not to deflect ‘the evil criticism bugs’ by any means; you develop it so you can take criticism and apply it instead of sobbing into your manuscript because you were so busy writing that you forgot to go out and buy some tissues.

Criticism shouldn’t be this thing some people are simply unable to handle or hear. Criticism is not only not about whether you are a worthy human being, it’s not something that will kill you.

Writers who can’t take criticism: The comments people (other than your mom and Uncle Bob) make about your work is that - about your work. If someone makes a comment you don’t like, either a. fix it, b. keep it fresh in your mind when you rewrite, or (very rarely) c. dismiss the comment for now. Option C is rarely used and only usually comes into play when someone (usually on a writing forum) says something to the effect of, “You’re an idiot. Never write again.”

Bottom line? People are talking about your work, not you. You didn’t know how to do proofs in geometry right away and neither do you know the power of ‘insta-novel’. Take criticism. Use criticism.

It could just help you get published.

Bird by Bird Discussion Reminder

by JM

The Bird by Bird book discussion will be continuing tomorrow, don’t forget!

Remember to have your copy of Bird by Bird and have read “School Lunches” and “Polaroids”.

Thank you to all who participate. Feel free to jump in at any time on the discussions.

About Fiction Scribe

Is your spelling less than stupendous? Has getting published gone from possibility to problem? Are you alienating your readers with alliteration? Here at Fiction Scribe you can find what you need for prompts, publishing opportunities and advice, fun wordplay, and more. Use Fiction Scribe for the encouragement you love, the information you want, and pointing out the mistakes writers make that you need. Fiction Scribe: Your source for everything writing.

Fiction Scribe Author(s)
    » JM

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