Creating things is hard. Showing it to other people is like ripping a piece of yourself off and hoping people will like it. (Van Gogh understood and took it a little too literally.)
There’s no trick to taking criticism. There are rules however, (which I sometimes forget) the chief most of those is: Never engage or defend. If someone says that your setting sucks because of X, you smile and nod. Later you can cry and rant and scream, but to the person you smile and nod and even thank them.
The second rule is just as important. Don’t dismiss or accept criticism until you’re calm. Once you’ve gotten over the emotional reaction, you’ll be better able to judge if you should take the criticism to heart or throw it out.
As a writer, there are things that I do well. I can create compelling characters, silly jokes, and I’m pretty decent at adventure style stories. What I don’t do well is realism.
All this comes from a criticism of this years’ serial story. It was harsh, sarcastic, and a little condescending, but not wrong. I’m not a hard mystery writer. I’m also not practised at realistic fiction. Wargrave Island has been a little cartoony in the deaths and I’m ok with that. It’s been an experiment and it’s taught me that this isn’t the genre that I want to be writing.
If you’d like to help me decide what to write for 2017’s serial story vote in the poll below. So far we’ve only had 5 voters so tell your friends and decide what 2017 will be like:
What Should be the Genre of the 2017 Serial Story?
Comedy & Fantasy (21%, 3 Votes)
Romance & Science-Fiction (21%, 3 Votes)
Romance & Fantasy (14%, 2 Votes)
Science-Fiction (14%, 2 Votes)
Science-Fiction & Fantasy (14%, 2 Votes)
Romance (7%, 1 Votes)
Action-Adventure (7%, 1 Votes)
Comedy (0%, 0 Votes)
Fantasy (0%, 0 Votes)
Super Hero (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 14
What Point of View should I write?
Third Person Limited (43%, 6 Votes)
Third Person Omniscient (29%, 4 Votes)
First Person (29%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 14
What Form should the Conflict Take?
Person VS Nature (50%, 7 Votes)
Person VS Person (29%, 4 Votes)
Person VS Self (21%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 14
How Many Main Characters Should Be in the Story?
2 (43%, 6 Votes)
3 (43%, 6 Votes)
1 (14%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 14
What should the Main Character(s) Be?
Normal Human (36%, 5 Votes)
Non-Human (Alien, Elf, Dwarf, etc) (21%, 3 Votes)
Special Human (Super Hero, Chosen One, Magic user, etc) (14%, 2 Votes)
Personification of a Concept (Death, Liberty, etc) (14%, 2 Votes)
I’m wrestling with an extremely large project today so it’ll be a quick blog. Just 3 things: Contest Winner, more pictures of Dragon, and a guessing game.
We ran a contest to encourage people to pledge to Blush. They just had to be a backer and enter the contest to win.
Without further ado, the winner is A. Reeder! Congrats!
The $50 is good for conventions or online. Just let us know what you’d like.
Aren’t they cute? (I’m sure every parent says that.)
We found out the sex yesterday, but Jen’s graduating class is running a contest to guess, so we can’t tell you until later this week. This gives you guys a chance to guess! Which do you think? Boy or girl?
Below is a list of possible Serial stories. PLEASE VOTE in the poll after the descriptions. The polls will be open for 2 weeks and I’ll announce the winner on the 26th of January and start the story in February.
[Edit: Poll will close at midnight January 20th. The lowest story will be eliminated.]
Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens
An Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction, following a faery woman who must do one last job for her robot overlords before they let her go free. Can she stop the aliens from invading or would they be better than the robots?
A Science Fiction adventure, following a girl who is trying to save her friend from becoming just another clone warrior. Can a normal human girl really save her friend from the most powerful empire in the galaxy?
A Detective Mystery set on an island in lake Ontario, my homage to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christy. Can Detective Riko find whose killing her high school classmates and who will be left alive when the boat comes back for them? It’s going to be a straight mystery with no supernatural or fantastic elements.
An Adventure Fantasy that borders on Steampunk. Mac was a decorated soldier of the Empire who left the army and became an airship pirate. He and his trusted crew think they have the perfect way to stick it to the Empire, steal a magical ruby they’ve been protecting. It’s a trap set by Mac’s ex-best friend General Lanthier. Neither side could predict what happens when Mac touches the ruby.
Lots of exciting things going, my wife is officially a game designer and has signed a contract for a sex-ed game. It’ll be a card game called Blush. If you have any sex questions she will answer some on the blog and use them as research for the game. Go ask anonymously here.
I’ve been hard at work testing new flavours. Our first seasonal flavour available at all our fall events will be:
The Great Pumpkin
And the newest flavour in our continuous roster will be:
If you haven’t voted in our poll to decide what past flavours are going to be available at our three fall events, vote now! The poll closes September 2nd.
What flavours would you like us to sell at the fall conventions? (Pick 3)
Spiked Coffee: Butter Rum Light Roast (22%, 13 Votes)
We are still holding the contest to win a credit of $10 to anything in our store. All you have to do is like our Facebook page and enter the contest below.
Fall 2015 CONTEST!
This contest expired.
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My wife is a travel agent (Check out her blog), which means she’s travelled a little and the TARDIS travels a lot, but me, I haven’t travelled for anything but weddings in around four years. So we’re going to Disney World! Yay! I’m really excited.
Between my trip to Disney and needing to do a huge amount of editing on my books (A Study in Aether and Parasomnia), I’m going to take the next three weeks off from blogging.
Don’t worry; I’ll have a special treat for you while I’m away. Tune in next Tuesday for a brand new story.
I made you a promise a few months ago that I would kill off a character in my next story. I jumped straight into a novel. So I need your help to decide what character to kill. There are 6 main characters and 2 secondary characters that you can choose from. I’ll describe them and you vote in the poll below. If you can’t see the poll vote in the comments, or message me on facebook.
Female. Of Scottish descent, 24, average height orange/red hair green eyes. She’s the floor counselor for the patients at the institute. She has a master’s degree and a secret. She has lived her whole life with an imaginary friend. This fuels her need to understand psychological disorders.
Female. Of Hispanic descent, 19, average height brown hair, green eyes. She’s an uber geek who has been hospitalized for violent night terrors. She is the only patient in her group who was court ordered to go to the institute, after she violently attacked her boyfriend in her sleep on prom night.
Female. Adelaide’s imaginary friend that is part tiger part human. She has a penchant for being a little wild and enjoying making sexual innuendoes. She’s playful and has a strange ability to know things that Adelaide doesn’t.
Female. Of Maori descent, 16, short with very short black hair and reddish brown eyes. Suffering from a near fatal case of Anorexia and of sleep eating, she’s been at the institute for almost two years. She wrestles with what she knows is true and what she believes is true. She blames her mother, who is more interested in social status and what’s lady like, for most of her issues.
Male. White, 25, tall blond with blue eyes. After an extremely traumatic event Paul left the police force. In his dreams he smells fire and wakes up coughing ash. He checks into the institute after he starts setting fires while he sleeps.
Transgendered (Physically male). White, 16, tall and broad with light brown hair and eyes. Terrance is a sleepwalker. He openly repeats his hyper-conservative family’s views on homosexuality, despite not understand it. He is the smallest and the most passive of four brothers and has been picked on his whole life. It has caused him to close himself off and not admit, even to himself, that his is transgendered.
Male. White, 56 tall grey brown hair with grey eyes. The world’s specialist in Parasomnia related disorders and the head of the Aux-Anges Institute. He hides a secret. *Spoiler spoiler spoiler* is his *Spoiler*
Maile. African-Canadian, 25 average height short dark brown hair and light brown eyes. He is a nurse at the hospital. He’s a lucid dreamer and all around nice guy. He’s the patient’s favorite nurse. Will possibly be upgraded to main character if one of them dies.