#BlogHop – Advice for New Writers

Week 4 of the #Blog Hop for #Writers hosted by Ruth Snyder!  This week, the topic is “Advice I’d Give a Newbie Writer.”

It feels a little weird for me to be giving advice.  After all, I’m not a best-selling novelist.  (Yet.)  I haven’t actually published anything.  (Yet.)  In fact, aside from a handful of dubious short stories and some amateur poetry, I haven’t even finished anything.  (Yet.)  That is why I refer to myself as an “author-in-progress.”

I could direct you to hundreds of books written by people far more articulate, interesting, and qualified than I am for advice on writing.  (I’m including a list of my favorite ones at the end of this entry for the curious and masochistic.)  I could parrot the many tried and true sayings that have percolated my brain over the years, like “Have a routine,” or “Write every day,” or “The first draft always sucks; don’t let that discourage you,” or “Everyone has their own way of writing.”  All of which are valid pieces of advice.  There are plenty of bit-sized tidbits floating around on the internet in the form of brightly colored, friendly-looking helpful quotes in fancy fonts, often accompanied by pictures of a pen, paper, books, or tea.  Like this one, for instance:

via Pinterest

So I don’t feel like I’ve put in the hours or had the success that would make me qualified to give out advice.  But there is one thing that I’ve learned that I’d like to share:

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#BlogHop – Character Sketch

Week 3 of Ruth Snyder’s hosted #Blog Hop features a character sketch of our heroes!  (Many thanks again to Ruth for hosting and Cate from CommuniCATE for sharing!)  I decided to introduce folks to a character from one of my less-developed stories DragonFriend, a fantasy aimed at younger readers:

Hagan is the son of a blacksmith in an unremarkable village by a river leading to the sea.  He towers over the other folk of the village with that gawky adolescent awkwardness that turns into thick muscle and a wide belly with age.  His wide, friendly face is framed with thick black hair and a pair of green eyes gaze in quite wonder and amusement at the outside world.  He loves to laugh, a deep, jolly sound that shakes him from his toes.  Hagan’s size and muscle often fools people into thinking him slow or stupid, but he is neither.  Whether with a sword or with words, Hagan is both quick and careful, sensitive to the world around him.  Unfortunately, Hagan sometimes fancies himself to be more clever than he is or misjudges his own strength, which can get him into trouble.

His life is simple and quiet as he labors in his father’s forge, listening with rapture to the tales that various travelers bring in from the outside world.  Whenever he earns extra money, Hagan spends it on books, acquiring a small personal library.  He uses these books to teach himself reading and writing, and finds he has a talent with languages.  But his dreams of adventure seem out of reach…until he sees his first dragon.

The world is full of dragons:  big ones, little ones, earthy, airy, mystical, wise, powerful, and everything in between.  Until his eighteenth year, Hagan had only heard stories of the beasts.  But when a young Swamp Dragon washes up in the riverbank in a storm, cold, shivering and terrified, Hagan’s life changes forever.  His boundless compassion and curiosity does not allow him to leave the little dragon unaided, and this choice leads him out of his village to wizards, the keepers of knowledge and magic.

Unlike many other would-be practitioners, Hagan is not particularly interested in magic or power.  What he wants is to learn, specifically draconic dialects.  Communication, he believes, is the key to understanding, and Hagan wants to become, in his words, “a mystical biologist” to study and understand dragons.  It is a journey that will require all of Hagan’s courage, wits, strength, and good-humor…not to mention plenty of food!