Outlining Like a Boss


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If there is one aspect of writing I feel at all confident about at this stage, it’s outlining. Which might be somewhat unexpected, considering I only learned about the practice a year or so ago. Before that, I was a pantser all the way. And for my troubles, I started a couple hundred stories and finished none of them. Outlining, when I discovered it, felt like someone had given me a map, when before I’d just been kind of wandering from pretty bush, to interesting

Tropes in Romance: Continued


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GAH! Freaking again! I bought the most recent book in a series I’ve been following over the past year or two, because while I was not really a fan of the 3rd one, the first two were good enough to earn a one-time pass on that singular piece of disappointment. And the book is good. I’ve been mostly enjoying the characters, though it’s been fairly predictable and I’m not particularly interested in the main setting. Still, it’s been a fun read so far. And though I saw the red

Tropes in Romance: Good fun or Bad idea?


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My answer at this moment: I don’t know. I mean, I know with absolute certainty that tropes exist that are, without question, terrible ideas. The kind of tropes that can ruin entire books for me when they appear, even after spending the past five hours loving every word I read. But I also know that there are tropes I actively seek out when I’m feeling a very specific craving for a certain type of story, and Amazon is a massive universe with a small search bar. To be totally

So. I did a Thing.


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If you’ve read my About page, you no doubt are aware that in my everyday life, I am not a writer. Indeed, I lead a far more mundane existence as a project coordinator. A job I didn’t even know existed as a teenager when I was trying to figure out how to succeed at this whole Life Thing. Back in the day, I thought I’d be an English Professor. Then I remembered that I hate literature, and even more, the totally subjective practice of analyzing it. (No

Diagnosis: A Case of the Try-Hards


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Symptoms:  Over-dramatic prose to the exclusion of comprehension A staunch refusal to reorder events in a scene for fear of reducing the all-important IMPACT of one’s beautiful, beautiful words The most gratuitous use of hyperbole of all time! A narrator voice that would fit right into a 90’s movie trailer   So, I joined a writer’s forum this past week. This was a big move for me. A forum, after all, is a lurking spot for people. *Gulp* And not just any people. People who read things.

Study Session: Hall, Klune, & McKenna


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This week, my productivity has mostly focused on studying. Studying is a very important part of learning anything, as I’m sure you’ll agree. It is the absorption of new knowledge, usually provided by experts in the field, and reinforcing the lessons thereby imparted. Yes, very vital business, studying. The *cough* scholarly resources *cough* I’ve been focusing on for the last few days are: Looking for Group by Alexis Hall Wolfsong by T.J. Klune After Hours by Cara McKenna Hey. If you’re learning to become a

Returning From Sabbatical


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It has been almost exactly six months since my last post. I would love to tell you that I set this blog aside–barely started, though it was–in order to minimize distractions, dig in, and finally finish a novel-length story with a solid beginning, middle, and ending. I would LOVE to tell you that. But yeah . . . no. The truth is, I gave in to pessimism and a crippling fear of failure. I had one bad writing day after another, and then my day-job got

Loquaciously Inclined vs. Wordy


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As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’m working on a story idea I’m calling A Little Bit Broken. Well, last night I seriously considered changing that title to A Lotta Bit Broken. Here’s what happened. I first started plotting out this story back in August and actually started writing it on September 1st. I got 105 pages in when I realized that it was all jumbled and too long. Like, I hadn’t even gotten to the halfway point, which was supposed to be around page 80.

A Little Bit Broken


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By this point, I think I’ve established my goal. Which probably means it’s now time to put out, so to speak. My writing, I mean. Let me tell you about the novel I’m calling “A Little Bit Broken,” named as much for the story plot as for my attempts to pull it together in a cohesive and intelligible way. ALBB, as I will now refer to it, is actually a kind of a sequel. No, the first book has not yet been written. I plotted it out, outlined

In the Beginning . . .


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Hello. Hi. How are you? I’m S.K. Stark. You have probably not heard of me, but don’t feel bad. No one else has either. That would be because, prior to the exact moment this post was published, I didn’t exist! Trippy, right? Birthday presents are unnecessary. Not that I’d turn them away . . . S.K. Stark is my penname. Or will be. See, that’s the whole point of “A Spire of a Thousand Stories.” I aspire to be a writer! Get it? Of course you do. You’re