Quote of the Week

Quote of the week: “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” - Toni Morrison

Friday, June 21, 2013

Blog has been moved to Wordpress

After much deliberation, I have decided to move my blog to Wordpress to better personalize my blog. I will keep this blog up for a few months, but there will be no new posts. My new URL will be http://cynthiagriffin.wordpress.com/. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Short Story Review: Captive Girl By Jennifer Pelland

I don't normally review short stories on my blog simply because I read so many of them that taking the time to do a review for each story would leave no time for writing my novel, but Captive Girl by Jennifer Pelland was such an amazing read, I couldn't help taking the time to do this post. Yeah, the story is that good, and so felt the strong need to share.

Captive Girl is a science fiction short story, but not like most science fiction stories I've ever read. It has a fresh slant to the age old story of sacrifice, duty, and love. Alice makes great personal sacrifices in order to protect her world from an impending threat from the skies. Her life choice leaves her in physical pain and a mutilated distortion of what she once had been, but all for the greater good, or so she thinks. Even as Alice carries out her heavy burden of duty, she longs for the thing she can never have; Love, acceptance, and a physical connection with another human. Be prepared for an incredibly emotional journey of heart wrenching sacrifice that will leave you asking yourself... What would you do for love?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Setting Goals and Keeping Busy

It's been a long while since I've posted that's mostly due to the fact I have been spending all of my time on different writing projects these last few months. In fact, I've barely had a chance to catch my breath. This all has transpired, because I'm trying to set realistic goals for myself and reach them.

My goals for March were...
  • Start and finish 2 new short stories
  • Complete the 2nd draft for Part 1 of Blood Feud (prologue- chapter 12)

Which I managed to do. Yay! For me!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Spotlight: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook

I recently was told about Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Mass and decided to order a copy and give it a shot. Wow! What a difference it has made in the way I approach a story. This book is a wonderful way to help work out the character and plot kinks of a novel, but it is also very helpful with short stories as well.

This book is sectioned off into three parts Part 1: Character Development, Part 2: Plot Development, and Part 3: General Story Techniques. Each part then goes into great detail about each element within the categories. I love that Donal Mass has included a little "lesson" and follows up with exercises where I can input my own information, depending on the story I want to work on.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The 3 Acts of Story Structure

In the recent writing workshop with Johnathan Maberry we talked a lot about the 3 acts of the story structure. This workshop made me realize once again how helpful this little tool can be when plotting out a story. Most stories can be broken down to this basic structure and it is something to use as a guide when plotting out your own story. Let's break down the 3 acts and see what each act entails. I'll also use an example of the Wizard of Oz to show this breakdown.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Johnathan Maberry’s Workshop

Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of meeting horror and thriller writer Jonathan Maberry. Two of my writing friends and I took a trip to Baltimore to attend a workshop he did at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. The topic up for discussion was the full process of the story. For four hours a room full of writers were able to listen to his experience and pick his brain for information. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Spotlight: Dark Faith Invocations

I am currently reading an anthology that I'm just loving and thought I'd share. Dark Faith: Invocations an anthology of 26 stories with authors like Tim Waggoner, Max Allen Collins, Jennifer Pelland, and Tom Piccirilli. These stories test the faith and expose the soul as they delve into the world of giant Buddas, human machine robotnicks, a man renting an apartment in God's head, the cost of expelling one's soul, and so much more. Reading each story is like opening a brand new shiny treasure of deep characters, strong emotion, and beautifully crafted worlds.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ways to Get the Mind Thinking

In my recent post Writing is More Thinking Than Actual Writing I talked about how important it is to do a lot of thinking before putting any idea on paper. I don't know about you, but there are sometimes where thinking can be hard to do. So here are some ways I use to get my brain in the thinking mood....
  • Walking
  • Driving
  • Take a soaking bath
  • Play inspirational music
  • Take a nap
  • Meditation
  • Exercising

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Writing is More Thinking Than Actual Writing

What is the most frustrating part about being a writer? I don't know about other writers, but for me its discovering a fabulous idea that I start writing on, and then part way into the story the idea fizzles, or I lose interest- So much for that fabulous idea. It gets tossed on that dusty shelf where all stories usually never get a second glance. After awhile, looking at the cluttered shelf can get more than a little depressing and I wonder, "Why can't I finish anything? Why can't I find a story I really want to write?"

Answer... Because I haven't spent enough time developing any idea to the point where I can really know it to feel it inside and out, up and down, and all the way through to the deepest core of the idea.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Book Spotlight: Between the Lines

Between the Lines by Jessica Page Morrell was highly recommeded to me by other fellow writers, but I only recently purchased and read it. I wished I'd done it sooner. It's a wonderful book that really dives into the more subtle elements of fiction writing. It's already in my favorite book category, and I've only read up to chapter 8 so far.

This book is all about honing the blending and balance of words and structure to create a superior piece of work. Some of my favorite chapters consist of topics such as; what to do about backstory, epiphanies and revelations, foreshadowing, and imagery. These chapters has already changed the way I approach my writing, and I'm especially looking forward to reading the other topics, which includes (but not limited to); pacing, sensory surround, and subplots.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 2013 Writing Goals

Oh man, I have to come up with more goals? Don't I already do that almost everyday of the week? And didn't I just kick butt with my 2012 goals? Okay, so maybe coming up with some new things to strive for may not be a bad idea. Here are some things I would like to accomplish in 2013.

This is a goal I still need to keep on doing. I did better in 2012, but I can do even better. My goal to read at least a chapter or short story every single day.

This I have been doing pretty good in, but I'm putting it down as a goal to remind myself not to become a slacker. I must write everyday!!!! 

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review: How did I do?

I can't believe it's the end of yet another year, and what a great year it has been! I will always look at 2012 as the year that I really became a writer. I wrote more this year than I have since I started dabbling in writing six years ago. I also found an incredible story that will take many books to tell, and I found a really close group of writers to work with in the critique group I started at the beginning of 2012. I also did pretty good at keeping to my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of 2012.

My goals for 2012 were...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Next Big Thing

A friend of mine Lesley Conner tagged me in a blog of hers and I have been tasked to answering questions about my lasted work in progress, so I chose to talk about my novel Blood Feud.

What is the working title of your book?

The title of my current novel that I am writing on is call Blood Feud. It is the first of six books in a series called Emperors of Ethia. And yes, I already have titles and basic plots all lined up for the other five books.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Writing Group: Writers 2 Writers

I created a Facebook page called Unofficial NaNoWriMo in November to help out other writers who were participating in NaNoWriMo contest either officially or unofficially. I found that the support system was a lot of fun and beneficial to all who participated. I wanted to carry that support past November and decided to created a new Facebook page for that purpose.

It's called Writers 2 Writers, and it's all about being a tool for writers to use as a place to recieve encouragment, chat about writing projects or anthing having to do with writing, boast on accomplishments, or simply join to help others become inspired. It's a place to scream for help when motivation is lacking. Show off your work. A place to ask specific questions about grammar, spelling, style, or anything else that may pop up in your writing. But mostly it's about being able to communicate with like minded indviuals who all have the same goal- to write.

My December Goals

Well, my goals for the month of November didn't get reached, but I came pretty close, especially considering I had to take about 2 weeks off due to different things coming up. I managed to get the first draft of Part 2 of my novel (chapters 18-27) done and I've gotten started on Part 3 and completed chapters 28 and 29. Since I wasn't able to commit the full month to my goals, I've decided to extend them into the month of December. My new goals will be...

  • Finish rough and first draft of Part 3 (chapters 30-42)
  • Work on a short story connected to my novel for an anthology due in Janurary

I think my goals are doable, and I can't wait to see what the months of December will bring! So what are your goals for this last month of the year?