Writers Don’t Just Read, They Examine

One of the most common “tips” you are likely to hear for writers is that you have to read. And read a lot. Read in your genre. Read out of your genre. Read everything.

I completely agree with this and it’s going to be somewhat my focus for this post.

If you want to be a filmmaker, you should be a fan of film. If you want to make sculptures, you should know about sculpting. If you want to be a coder, you need to know coding languages.

If you want to be a writer, you have to read similar writing to what you want to write. There’s a few good reasons for why this is so: Continue reading

The Wings Take Shape – Part Thirteen

It’s time to slow down a little bit with The Wings Take Shape and drop some info on you all. The weekly serial novella is coming to a turning point today, and the mad dash to the end will begin next week!

If you’re new to the story, head to Part One and start from the beginning!

Last week on Wings, Stalker and Jon fought for dominance inside Jon’s Skinchanger body. He lost and Stalker faced off against what she considered the abomination that betrayed her and the other Totems. Sadie inherited the abilities of the cadshee when she killed him, and she used those powers to defend herself against Stalker. They fought until Sadie took Stalker into the sky and threatened to drop her, and only then did Stalker’s fear of heights and death overwhelm her desire for vengeance.

Jon asserted control once more and promised Stalker that they would figure this all out, and elected to stay in the form of the cougar for a while yet.

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The Wings Take Shape

Part Thirteen – Reparation

by Rick Cook Jr.

Jon and Stalker shared the cougar’s body as well as they could, but Stalker was twitchy with Sadie nearby, and Jon kept letting himself be distracted by Renee’s hand on his head.

They settled into Sadie’s burrow near the entrance. Marie kept everyone back while Sadie and Stalker had their conversations. Renee refused to be parted even though she couldn’t communicate with Jon, and Jon was glad for her.

“It’s hard to explain,” Sadie began, talking to Renee. “And perhaps Stalker would not like me to share all the details.”

We are a fallen race, abomination. Who cares if every fertile woman from here to the end of the woods knows about us? Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Seventeen

It’s May 1st, 2016. First four months down!

My goals for Second Quarter of 2016 (April-June) are as follows:

  • Finish Shapes 1 Editing and Self-Publish It
  • Finish Writing Game Year 1 Editing and Release It For Free
  • Finish Writing Game Year 2
  • Finish Shapes 2 Writing
  • Plot Shapes 3 for Third Quarter Posting
  • Write Four Short Stories
  • Submit Three Short Stories
  • Finish Gridfall Editing and Begin Submitting to Agents
  • Maintain the blog

Continue reading

Media Medley – April 2016

It’s the end of April and it’s time for the rundown of my favorite things from the past month!

Let’s right to it with:

Movie

I watched a grand total of two movies, and one of them was because I realized I didn’t want to call the piece of shit I watched earlier in the month my favorite. The piece of shit was 400 Days and I don’t want to talk about how boring and nonsensical the entire venture was. Continue reading

The Wings Take Shape – Part Twelve

A fight is a-brewing today on the continuation of The Wings Take Shape, Part Twelve!

If you’re new to the story, head to Part One and start from the beginning!

Previously on Wings, Jonathan tried to skinchange back into his human form, but Stalker, the cougar, refused to let him change once she found out that his Aunt Sadie was the abomination that had betrayed her and the other Totems so long ago, vowing to end the abomination’s life once and for all.

Meanwhile, Renee and Marie argued with Sadie, Jon’s ant, about what she could possibly do to help the war effort. They came to no solid conclusions except that Sadie was hesitant to even try for the sake of her Smokeshifting children. When at last Marie felt she was getting through to the woman, Sadie sensed Stalker’s presence drawing close, and felt that a conflict was coming.

Read on for more…

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The Wings Take Shape

Part Twelve – Totem Wrath

by Rick Cook Jr.

Stalker approached and she wasn’t alone. She had gathered to her every cougar in the Red Forest she could find, and followed the trail of Jon’s mate until she found the abomination’s next.

Except it wasn’t the creature. Not… entirely.

Something was different. He smelled different. And there were children.

Jon had tried explaining it inside their shared mind, but she refused to listen until now.

What has happened to the abomination, Jonathan? Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week Sixteen

It’s April 24th, 2016. Sixteen weeks and one left in April, let’s do that update thing again!

My goals for Second Quarter of 2016 (April-June) are as follows:

  • Finish Shapes 1 Editing and Self-Publish It
  • Finish Writing Game Year 1 Editing and Release It For Free
  • Finish Writing Game Year 2
  • Finish Shapes 2 Writing
  • Plot Shapes 3 for Third Quarter Posting
  • Write Four Short Stories
  • Submit Three Short Stories
  • Finish Gridfall Editing and Begin Submitting to Agents
  • Maintain the blog

So a quick rundown of what I accomplished towards these goals: Continue reading

Characters and the Necessity of Growth

One of the things that I struggle with as a writer is creating interesting characters that have all the hallmarks of a real person, but also can grow and change to create a satisfying character arc that feels natural to the story I’m telling. I imagine I’m not alone when I say that.

Some people like to be reductive about this and simply say “just write real people”, but the answer is never that simple. Real people don’t work in most fiction because fiction isn’t about real people. Fiction is artifice of reality. It has structure where reality doesn’t. It has archetypes and tropes and plot elements and a hundred other things that help define a fictional story. Continue reading