Books and Affiliated, Raw

You Do You

I don’t care that my stories or even my characters may not seem realistic all the time. I write the kind of stories I want to read, and so should you.

How often have we heard that encouragement? “Write for yourself! You’ll find readers who enjoy your work as much as you do!” But how often are we hounded by the same gurus telling us we need realistic, heart-felt, raw characters, we need ordinary, everyday issues about life and personhood addressed and resolved, we should write about current events so readers will gravitate to our work?

I struggle with this idealism to make my characters real in a real way, and yet molding them into the heroes and heroines I need to propel the plot forward. Sometimes I write characters who are bolder than I feel. Some of them are shy and morose like me. I’ve been blamed for making shallow main characters who are only moved by supporting characters. Maybe sometimes I feel shallow and can only be moved by people around me. But on the flip side, I’ve also been accused of writing unrealistically brash characters who jump into action without thinking!

There’s no placating people. Everyone has an opinion, and someone will always tell you to do the exact opposite of what you are currently doing.

So, here’s my question: What’s your opinion?


Sometimes we have to refocus ourselves to the reason we write. I’ve been writing for so long, I don’t remember not being a writer. Before I started publishing, before I even shared my work, I literally only wrote for my sister – and maybe one or two supportive friends. I also wrote…for me. I loved my stories. When I get an idea in my head, it’s so exciting. I love the thrill of adventure! I love writing about young girls who get the chance to experience magic, who talk to fairies, who aren’t bound by family but go off willy-nilly without repercussions, scoldings, or groundings. I write to free my mind from my body, and I write to satisfy these urges to hop on a plane to who-knows-where and just escape!

In reality, I really don’t want to run away from home. Yes, I want to explore this world, but that’s not financially realistic – yet. Besides, I love my home. I love my stupid town. I love all the stupid people who populate it, the just and the unjust alike. I just want to experience adventure in a safe way.

And what better way to – safely – experience it than through a good book?


If I never publish another book, it won’t break my heart. I will continue to populate my personal bookshelves with my stories, and if that sounds narcissistic to you, then YES. YES IT IS.

Here is the only time I will tell you to fully embrace narcissism. Nobody is going to love your stories as much as you do. You will never have enough fans, enough adoring Tweets and Facebook messages to compete with the love you have for your own book. And you know why that is? Because you birthed the darn screaming, pooping, puking, colicky thing. You stayed up late and woke up early. You beat your head against walls and computer desks. You were stumped by its rebellion, but you overcame its temper tantrums. You pointed a finger at the notebook or computer screen and shouted, “You’re going to behave, grow up, and become a decent book, so help me God!”

Good parents will always tell you no one will love your child more than you will. It’s the same for books. No one will understand why you put so much patience and time into a few stupid words. Some will even tell you to trash something if it’s just being too difficult.

Well, that’s not what we do around here, is it? No, sir. You pick up that sniveling, snot-faced, puffy-eyed story, wipe away its pathetic tears, give it a few pats on the butt and tell it to go play on the swingset. This is your book. And this is my book.

So let’s write like we don’t give two fudgesicles about the world and its problems.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

 

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From Writing to Publishing

Writing Material – Voice

I was talking with a fellow writer about an author’s Voice. It’s a commonality in the writing world, and everyone tells you to find your Voice.

Let’s talk about that.

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“Finding a writing voice can be a struggle, whether you’re writing a novel, short story, flash fiction or a blog post. Some may even wonder, what is voice in writing?” ~Writer’s Digest

An easy voice to distinguish is Master Tolkien himself. Ye gods, that man was wordy. Well, he was an English professor, so what do you expect? Nevertheless, any Tolkien fan would recognize his work because of his lengthy descriptions, his attention to the slightest detail, and the ambiance of good, heavy writing. You kind of have to chew your way through the book, then set it down and let it digest slowly.

Another author I enjoy–on the opposite spectrum–is Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series. He has a nice, clean way of writing. His expressions are short and to the point, and he encompasses a clever wit to his writing that makes the pace even that much more enjoyable. You won’t see him spend too much time on description. He’ll give you the necessary details, then move you along with action.

So, again, what is Voice?

The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).” ~Wikipedia

The way you write reflects how you speak. Long-winded individuals write lengthy, long-running, and sometimes endless compsitions. Quiet individuals tend to have gentler compositions. Class clowns write hilariously–they can’t help it. They find humor in everything.

If you sit yourself down and reflect on how you generally speak to people, you can safely assume your writing–at least, at first–will reflect that. Sometimes, that isn’t such a good thing.

There’s more to your writer’s voice than writing the way you talk, especially since you talk differently in different situations. Your voice is actually a reflection of your entire personality, including your speech patterns. And you can have more than one voice and create voices specifically for your characters if you write fiction.” ~Simple Writing

When in writing, you also want to maintain a level of structure. Don’t look at Ray Bradbury… He doesn’t count. There are rules to punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. You’ve all learned this in school. Editors these days are far more strict when it comes to their craft, as they should be. Writing is a form of preserving the English (or any) language. You can text type however you want, but if you are creating a novel masterpiece, you, too, should take pride in your work.

You can change your Voice, yes. It’s most noticeable in your own writing rules. Everyone has their own rules. Some people like to break the rules–they’re not laws, after all. However, as stated, editors like the rules. Learn about English through reading. Observe sentence structure. Play with the arrangement of words. Make your work long or short. Give it action or description. Sprinkle it with mystery, excitement, or romance. Write what you enjoy, and people will come alongside you.

As you write, you will naturally slip into a Voice comfortable to you. You shouldn’t stress about discovering it, because it’s already inside you. Step back to study your work and see what you find. Change it as you see fit. Keep what you like.

For [our] ally is [our Voice]. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It’s energy surrounds us and binds us.” ~Yoda

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Books and Affiliated

Whew! <My Life

I finished knitting a scarf I started last year.
I’m working on an afghan I started two years ago.
I made pizza, got a stew in the slow-cooker, and started juicing.
I’ve been feeling pretty darn productive.
Oh yeah, and I published another book.
Leaving Facebook was the best decision of my life. I am much more relaxed not stressing about what everyone is doing, thinking, saying. I’m really enjoying this.

So, hey fantasy fans, my next book will tickle you pink. It’s got all the bells and whistles: sword fighting, gambles, chases, escapes, true love… wait. That’s The Princess Bride. Sir Ivan’s Train; Dragon King introduces two orphaned sisters who unwittingly board a magical train bound for a world of mystery, magic, and mayhem. They run around with a gang of thieves, dine with kings, and even meet a witch with a strange prophesy. “Go east. Defeat the dragon.” But what are two girls going to do against a dragon? Find out in Sir Ivan’s Train; Dragon King

This has been,

Fanny T Crispin

Books and Affiliated

Changing Worlds

On one side lies Fantasy, and the other Legacy

When I finish writing a book, there’s such a rush of relief to finally be done with a project. I usually take some time off, give myself a vacation, and ignore the Muse’s insistent prodding to begin again. But now that I have taken publishing seriously and am building my craft, there’s another avenue I like to take when finishing a writing project. I edit.

I have a number of finished products waiting on the shelf for their chance to shine. I have them lined up in the order they will be published. With Sir Ivan’s Train, I’m waiting to hear back from my editor for the first book, and now that I’ve finished the second book, I need to focus on something else until I’m ready to edit Sir Ivan’s Train. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for 2017 Legacy of the Wolf Wind. Yeah, sorry, you won’t be able to read it for two years yet.

Changing worlds is a refreshing activity for writers. You really don’t want to edit something fresh off the writer’s block. You’re going to miss more than you realize and won’t be able to do it justice. My “self-proclaimed professional opinion” is to drop it like a hot potato and dig in your closet for something old, something new, or something fresh! Legacy of the Wolf Wind is a strong shift from Sir Ivan’s Train. I neglected the modern world entirely to create a fully immersed land filled with myth, legend, and legacy original to this world alone. I actually received this story from a dream I had…long ago. It was strange…

I think you’ll really enjoy this story. It is surrounded in mystery and intrigue, and each character harbors their own secrets. In this world, the past hunts the present, and when the winds of change blow in, there’s no stopping them.

Thank you for reading.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin (aka FanTC)

Books and Affiliated

500 Words 30 Day Challenge

This has been a fun excursion from my usual writing and I am proud of what I’ve accomplished. I missed a few days, and I have decided writing a blog daily is not for me. However, now I know what I want for this blog. As a young author who jumped into this world of publishing by the seat of her pants, I floundered around trying to figure out what to do, who I am, and what my staple is going to be. It has certainly been exciting discovering these answers along the way.  Perfecting your art is not an overnight done deal. It takes time, and time is one thing I have come to rely on.

Not in the “I’m going to live forever!” reliance, but you know, the “time will work everything out” assurance.

So here are a few resolutions to start out. I will continue to blog once a week. I kind of want to say I’ll update on Tuesdays. Yeah, that sounds right. I will finish the 30 Days to Publishing lessons, but life has been hectic and busy and wonderful, and I haven’t had much time to think about it. I’ll make a goal to finish the next lesson next week, so if you’ve been waiting for that, thank you for your patience. Feel free to hold me accountable next Tuesday. 😉

I am ecstatic to announce Clockwork Dreams is FREE for Kindle Unlimited Amazon Prime members, but that deal is for a limited time. By the end of the summer, Sir Ivan’s Train,’Fate Changers’ will hit the market and I’ll be AFB (Away From Blog) promoting that.

Yeah, so SIT (Sir Ivan’s Train, don’t you just love that acronym?) is making tremendous progress. I’ve been scrambling like a mad woman to prepare the manuscript for my meeting with my editor on May 15th. It will be a two-part series, so as soon as he begins editing, I’ll be finishing the second book and spending the summer working on illustrations. So much to do, so very much to do.

I’ll leave you with that. For now, this has been,

Fanny T Crispin