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ISO a few good madmen…

Published April 15, 2017 by Shadow Girl

I originally asked @screamfix if I could share this post here because I think it’s a legit, no-bullshit offer that will be a win/win for everyone. Plus, I know a handful of BBB readers who will want to jump on this immediately. 

But, there IS another reason…

I want to shine the spotlight on Dön & Donna Harrison, and The screamfix Horror Community for a minute, and I really hope that everyone will check them out. I believe that screamfix and Shadow Girl started out with a similar intent – to SUPPORT/PROMOTE INDIE HORROR! Or, as screamfix so eloquently puts it –

“Promoting creators of independent horror by feeding rabid horror fans”

You gotta give it up for Oscar Wilde-like wordplay that good! 

This is the point where I would usually start detailing all the awesome, but not this time. I don’t need to. Check them out. I’ll be surprised if you tell me that you disagree. I’ll be rockin’ my screamfix Horror Community badge here on BBB, while I think of ideas, stuff, and things – hopefully there will be a Horror Network badge to keep it company soon.

Support & promote independent horror, dark fiction, and sci-fi in all their various forms: movies, books, poems, comics, artwork, music, games, fashion, etc.  Write a review. Share a link. Update your status. Tweet the deets. Tell a friend. Call your mom. Shout it from the rooftops!

    

 

shortlink – http://wp.me/p37DRX-1EJ

Your Official NaNoWriMo Cheerleader!

Published October 31, 2015 by Shadow Girl

November Is National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMoCheerleader.SG

 

 

Cheers

Published May 8, 2014 by Shadow Girl

CheersToBooks

8 Words To Seek And Destroy In Your Writing

Published March 15, 2014 by Shadow Girl

8 Words to Seek and Destroy in Your Writing
COLUMN BY ROBBIE BLAIR NOVEMBER 9, 2012

Creating powerful prose requires killing off the words, phrases, and sentences that gum up your text. While a critical eye and good judgment are key in this process, some terms almost always get in the way. Here are eight words or phrases that should be hunted down in your story and deleted with extreme prejudice.

“Suddenly”

“Sudden” means quickly and without warning, but using the word “suddenly” both slows down the action and warns your reader. Do you know what’s more effective for creating the sense of the sudden? Just saying what happens.

“I pay attention to every motion, every movement, my eyes locked on them.
Suddenly, The gun goes off.”

When using “suddenly,” you communicate through the narrator that the action seemed sudden. By jumping directly into the action, you allow the reader to experience that suddenness first hand. “Suddenly” also suffers from being nondescript, failing to communicate the nature of the action itself; providing no sensory experience or concrete fact to hold on to. Just … suddenly.

Feel free to employ “suddenly” in situations where the suddenness is not apparent in the action itself. For example, in “Suddenly, I don’t hate you anymore,” the “suddenly” substantially changes the way we think about the shift in emotional calibration.

“Then”

“Then” points vaguely to the existing timeline and says, “It was after that last thing I talked about.” But the new action taking place in a subsequent sentence or sentence part implies that much already. You can almost always eliminate your thens without disrupting meaning or flow.

“I woke up. Then I, brushed my teeth. Then I, combed my hair. Then I , and went to work.”

“Then” should be used as a clarifying agent, to communicate that two seemingly concurrent actions are happening in sequence. For example, “I drove to the supermarket. Then I realized I didn’t need to buy anything.” Without the “then,” it would be easy to mistake this as pre-existing knowledge or as a realization that happened during the drive itself. “Then” can occasionally be useful for sentence flow, but keep the use of the word to a minimum.

“In order to”

You almost never need the phrase “in order to” to express a point. The only situation where it’s appropriate to use this phrase is when using “to” alone would create ambiguity or confusion.

“I’m giving you the antidote in order to save you.”

And after ten minutes of brainstorming for an example of a proper time to use “in order to,” I haven’t been able to come up with anything. Legitimate uses of “in order to” are just that few and far between.

“Very” and “Really”

Words are self-contained descriptors, and saying, “Think of tasty. Now think of more tasty” doesn’t help readers develop a better sense of the meal or person you’re describing.

“Her breath was very cold chill as ice against my neck.”

Mark Twain suggested that writers could “substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” Another strategy is to find a more powerful version of the same idea or give concrete details. To say “It was very/really/damn hot” does little, but saying “It was scorching” helps. Even better?: “The air rippled like desert sky as my body crisped into a reddened, dried-out husk.”

“Is”

Is, am, are, was, or were—whatever form your “is” takes, it’s likely useless. When’s the last time you and your friends just “was’d” for a while? Have you ever said, “Hey, guys, I can’t—I’m busy am-ing”?

The “is” verbs are connecting terms that stand between your readers and the actual description. This is especially true when it comes to the “is” + “ing” verb pair. Any time you use “is,” you’re telling the reader that the subject is in a state of being. Using an “ing” verb tells the audience the verb is in process. By using “is verbing,” you’re telling your audience that the subject is in the state of being of being in the process of doing something.

Take this example:

“I was sprinting sprinted toward the doorway.”

If the description is actually about a state of being—”they are angry,” “are evil,” or “are dead”—then is it up. But don’t gunk up your verbs with unnecessary is, am, or was-ing.

“Started”

Any action a person takes is started, continued, and finished. All three of these can be expressed by the root form of the verb. For example, “I jumped.” The reader who stops in frustration, saying, “But when did the jump start? When did it finish?” has problems well beyond the scope of the content they’re reading.

If you’ve been doing yoga for six years, you could reasonably say, “I started doing yoga six years ago.” For you, yoga is an ongoing action with a concrete starting point. But when describing action in a story, there are few circumstances where “start” is effective.

Let’s take this case and look at the potential fixes:

He started screaming.

Is it a single scream? Use “He screamed.” Are you telling us his screams will be background noise for a while? Rather than clueing us in unnecessarily, show us the series of screams first-hand. Do you want to introduce a changed state, such as escalating from loud speaking into screaming? Show us the decibels, the gruffness of voice, the way the air feels to the person he’s screaming at, and the hot dryness in the screamer’s throat as his volume crescendos.

“That”

“That” is a useful word for adding clarity, but like Bibles on the bedstands of seedy motel rooms, the word’s presence is often out of plac<<e.

When “that” is employed to add a description, you can almost always move the description to before the term and make a more powerful image.

“Ireland was nothing but flowing green hills that flowed green.”

In many other cases, “that” can simply be dropped or replaced with a more descriptive term.

“I was drunk the night that your father and I met.”

Many other uses of “that,” such as “I wish I wasn’t that ugly”, can be enhanced with more descriptive language.

“Like”

I’m not just saying that, like, you shouldn’t, like, talk like a valley girl (though that too). Here’s the problem: “Like” is used to show uncertainty. And you. Should. Not. Be. Uncertain.

Be bold. When making a comparison, use force. Use metaphor over simile. Don’t let yourself cop out by coming up with a halfway description.

“My eyes rested on the gun for a sliver of a moment. I snapped forward, grabbed it, and it was like the chill metal flowed from the gun into my veins.”

One of the 36 articles by the infamously fantastic Chuck Palahniuk dives into the issue of like in great detail. It’s well worth checking out.

As always, Orwell’s final rule applies: “Break any of these rules before saying anything barbarous.” There are instances where each of these words fills a valuable role. However, especially among inexperienced writers, these words are frequently molested and almost always gum up the works.

Apply these lessons immediately and consistently to empower your words. Then, with practice, you will suddenly realize that you are starting to naturally trim the text in order to create prose that is very powerful.

Eat Your Heart Out ❤ Horror Author Extravaganza

Published February 11, 2014 by Shadow Girl

You’ll recognize a few of the authors taking part in this event, I’ve reviewed some, chatted with others… But now’s your chance to meet these authors online❣ You can win prizes, and get some awesome books on sale. More authors, more zombies, post-apocalyptic, and spine-tingling tales all coming to your door Feb.14th❣

♡ These are the 30 authors in this extravaganza ♡

Rachel Aukes:100 Days in Deadland
A. Carina Barry: The Under-Circus and Other Tales
Owen Baillie: Aftermath (Invasion of the Dead, Book 1)
Jake Bible: Z-Burbia
Tonia Brown: Devouring Milo
Jason Christie: Zombie Killa
Joseph A. Coley: Six Feet From Hell: Crisis
Eli Constant: Dead Trees
Ricky Cooper: Designated Infected
Katie Cord: Stamps, Vamps, & Tramps
Craig DiLouie: The Retreat, Episode #1: Pandemic
Jackie Druga: Zombie Battle: Complete (5 books)
Dan Eagles: The Last Venture Capitalist
Kurt Fawver: Forever, In Pieces
Sarah Lyons Fleming: Until the End of the World
Rhiannon Frater: The Untold Tales Omnibus:
– Zombie Stories From the As The World Dies Universe (3 volumes)
Michael S Gardner: Downfall
Josh Hilden-The Shores of the Dead Book 1: The Rising
Michelle Kilmer: When the Dead & The Spread (2 books)
Eloise J. Knapp: Pulse
Sb Knight: Game of Straws, Game of Straws Origins,
– and Volume One of the Saga of Straws (trilogy)
Timothy Long: At the Behest of the Dead
Keith Milstead: Fish To Die For
Ripley Patton: Ghost Hold
Claire C. Riley-Odium: The Dead Saga
Damir Salkovic: The Black Ziggurat Double Feature
Randy Spears: Forget the Alamo: A Zombie Novella
Rachel Tsoumbakos: Emeline and the Mutants
Jack Wallen: I Zombie I
Darren Wearmouth: First Activation

The guest list is growing- additional authors are joining & extra books are being added, so keep checking back – you don’t want to miss out on any heart eating goodness❣
Ian Woodhead recently added all 6 of his Zombie books:
The Unwashed Dead
Walking with Zombies
Infected Bodies
Dead Veil
Dead Reaping
Human Filth
All discounted to 99¢
But, that’s not the best part! He’s releasing them as double-book packs, for the same price. You’ll be getting TWO books for 99c.

He’s throwing in free hugs, too ~ after all… it is Valentine’s Day❣

Ian

The Best Thanks Of All

Published June 15, 2013 by Shadow Girl

ThankAnAuthor

The Greatest Books Of All Time : As Voted by 125 Famous Authors

Published March 26, 2013 by Shadow Girl

Originaly written by Maria Popova in the BRAIN PICKINGS Newsletter.
* Click HERE to see the original article in full *

“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books asks 125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers —including Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Joyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time–novels, story collections, plays, or poems.”

Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point.

★ TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY ★

1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

★ TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY ★

1. Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
5. The stories of Anton Chekhov
6. Middlemarch* by George Eliot
7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
8. Great Expectations* by Charles Dickens
9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
10. Emma* by Jane Austen

★ TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED ★

1. William Shakespeare — 11
2. William Faulkner — 6
3. Henry James — 6
4. Jane Austen — 5
5. Charles Dickens — 5
6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
8. Franz Kafka — 5
9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4

rytytg

★ TOP TEN AUTHORS BY POINTS EARNED ★

1. Leo Tolstoy — 327
2. William Shakespeare — 293
3. James Joyce — 194
4. Vladimir Nabokov — 190
5. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
6. William Faulkner — 173
7. Charles Dickens — 168
8. Anton Chekhov — 165
9. Gustave Flaubert — 163
10. Jane Austen — 161

As MARIA POPOVA went on to say… “As a nonfiction loyalist, I’d love a similar anthology of nonfiction favorites —then again, famous writers might wave a knowing finger and point me to the complex relationship between truth and fiction.”

*** Brain Pickings has, a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles.

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