One day, Sam will move to the beach…

Tag: writing (Page 1 of 2)

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

-Oscar Wilde

All the ways to say said

Fun story with a twist ending.

I worked with kids in an ELL program. That’s ELL for English Language Learners, not ESL/English as a Second Language, because for many kids learning English in the American school system, English isn’t a second language, but a third or fourth.

With one student, we were working through a novel intended for teenagers about her age. (16-18) She went through the words she knew easily, and her vocabulary was pretty impressive; after a year of English, she knew words her US-born contemporaries would have scratched their heads at. She liked to read, and it helped build her vocabulary a lot.

Anyway, every other paragraph or so, she’d stop and ask me what a word meant. And after a while, it almost became a game. Because every single time in this novel, the word she was asking about was a clumsy replacement for “said.”

“Don’t do that,” she yelled.

“I’m not angry,” he hissed.

“You can’t make me,” she growled.

“I didn’t mean to,” he sobbed.

Okay. Sometimes I understand this necessity. It’s important that he’s sobbing, and we need to know that. But seriously, there’s a limit–and there are better ways to say these things.

If my student would have to stop five times on every page of your manuscript and ask what that word means? You need to rethink some of your word choices

So stop it, okay self? Now get back to writing.

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.

-Mark Twain

This Is Us

Since I’m on a roll with the whole linking other people’s clever posts instead of just coming up with my own content, I’m going to hit you guys with a double.

For those of you who’ve been in the m/m community more than a year, you’ve probably seen all of this. I’m not really interested in rehashing any drama, but a few important blog posts came out of it, and I think they should be re-read with a wider context in mind.

Dylan St. Jaymes: Intent =/= Impact

and

K.J. Charles: How To Like Bad Things

I may not read or enjoy some kinds of problematic content, but I’ll defend forever the right of people to read and write it. However, when that content’s existence hurts people, it’s indefensible. When it adds to an overall problem that’s causing strife and death in our world, it’s indefensible.

So basically, don’t kinkshame. Good people can read things you don’t like. And don’t support the normalization of hatred, because that’s not a kink, and it’s never acceptable.

Building an ARC review team

I’ve had a few queries about how people might join my ARC review team, so I figured I’d respond to everyone in one place.

If you’re interested in getting ARCs of my books for review, I would love to send them to you. Just email me at: sam@burnswrites.com  with a link to a review you did of any of my books. They don’t have to have a certain star rating; I love honest reviews that have critique in them, too. If you enjoy my books and want on the list, I’d love to have you.

Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.

-William Faulkner

The Week Where Everything Happens

This week, everything’s coming in for Sins of the Father!

The lovely and incredibly talented Natasha Snow and I have been talking about the cover, which is going to be gorgeous. Mailing list members will get the first peek at the finished cover when I get my hot little hands on it, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Just as importantly, my fabulous editor from Clause & Effect has returned the manuscript with edits to be done! Now I may be one of a very few authors who love doing edits, but I really, really do. I’ve found the right editor, who never makes me feel bad about my work, and who is also totally willing to tell me when something has to be changed.

I feel so lucky, to be working with two of the most talented people I know, who are helping me give Keegan the best book I possibly can.

Wilde Love Update

For anyone who’s interested, Wilde Love book two, Sins of the Father, has been sent off for editing. This means that I get to spend the next few weeks doing one of two things: emailing my editor every two minutes to ask what she thinks (Sorry Maddie, I’ll do my best not to!), or hiding in a closet and hoping for the best.

Okay, fine, there are other options. I’ve got plenty to do in my ‘day job’ for the next few weeks, which will keep me occupied. Also, I have three homework assignments left to do before I’m finished with college forever. And then believe me, there will be cheesecake.

Funnily enough, all I want to do is start book three. Strike up the Band, y’all. Jake’s story is coming.

My Ration of Anxiety

I know that every author has been through this moment.

Everything is done. The files are ready and waiting. All that’s left is the actual upload and release. As of next Monday, I will become a published author.

Yeah, yeah, it’s ‘only’ self publishing. Whatever. The point is that I’m putting my first novel out there to be judged and rated, but hopefully mostly enjoyed.

Every author I know has admitted to being nervous about putting their first book out for sale, and right now, nervous doesn’t really cover where I am. I’m going to spend my time between now and Monday wondering if this is actually a terrible idea. Then, I’m probably going to keep wondering that.

But I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author since I was a little kid, and at this point, nothing is going to stop me from pressing that button, short of being hit by a bus.

That’s it, I’m not leaving the house till Monday.

Content Warnings

One of my fellow writers pointed out to me this afternoon that I should include a content warning on my novel to indicate that there are sex scenes that are intended for people who are 18+. I thought this was an excellent idea, and assumed that other people must have been in the same situation, so I started searching the web for information on how other people note content warnings in their works.

Interestingly, what I found was a mix of often angry opinions. Many think that content and trigger warnings are either necessary or at least acceptable, and offered suggestions on things that they might warn for, and where they would put that information. A surprising number of people, though, seemed personally offended by the idea that they should offer warnings, for reasons ranging from the idea that it would spoil their content, to rants about ‘special snowflakes’ that I’m not interested in going into.

For myself right now, I’m not worried about spoiling people. Guess what? My non-sweet romance novel has sex scenes. If that offends you, I’m not sure how you navigate the treacherous waters of romance novels. So I will shout from the rooftops that there is sex in my book, and if you don’t want it or can’t legally read it, please don’t buy it when I release it.

I’ve got to say, though, that if I ever have triggering material in my books, I’d much rather warn for it than not. Being a PTSD sufferer myself, I’m all too aware of the need for trigger warnings. Some days I just can’t handle reading about certain topics. Other days I’ll read them and be fine. So someone warning me about their content gives me the choice of when to read their work and enjoy it most. It gives others a reason to avoid them altogether. Yes, avoid them, and that’s a good thing, because you don’t want your fiction to hurt people, and you don’t want them to leave a nasty review on your work because you couldn’t be bothered to say ‘warning: domestic abuse.’

I’m curious. If you disagree with content and trigger warnings, why do you think they’re a problem, and what do you say to people who want them?

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén