Social Network Sites for Readers

I’ve found two impressive social networking sites for readers.  Here are the links:

Goodreads

I like Goodreads because you can blog and/or post excerpts there.  You can easily add “friends” and interact with others.  I love their ‘First Reads’ book giveaways.  I participated in a giveaway that ended 9/1/10, but I’ll have another one coming up beginning 9/15/10.  Check it out!

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8928516-jon-hansen-and-the-dragon-clan-of-yden

Shelfari

I’m new to Shelfari, but I liked the ability to add so much data about my book, including important characters, locations, unusual words, and quotes from various characters.  Very informative and allows a reader to get a feeling for what the book is about.

http://www.shelfari.com/books/15326238/Jon-Hansen-and-the-Dragon-Clan-of-Yden

Let me know what you think, or suggest other social networking sites that you’ve enjoyed.

– S.G. Rogers

Pigs, Truffles and Writers

My own personal philosophy as a writer is that I’m like a pig snuffling through the underbrush, rooting around for truffles.  The truffles are already there; I just have to find them.  And once those truffles are in my hand, my job is to shake off the dirt until I’ve got something ready to offer.

Occasionally I’ll run across a phenomenon known as writer’s block.  That probably means different things to different writers.  But for me, I’ll get to a point in my story where I just stop.  I will sit there for some extended period of time unable to proceed.  That’s about when I wonder if my toilets need scrubbing or if I ought to go clean the lint screen from the dryer—anything other than sit there and feel useless.

I have discovered that my writer’s block usually stems from one of two different problems:

1.  Plot issue(s).  The dog won’t hunt, as it were.  Ever try to walk a dog with a burr in its fur?  That dog will sit down and refuse to budge, no matter what.   Similarly, when I’ve got writer’s block, my plot may have gone on strike.  It will refuse to move forward until I exorcise whatever mischief is causing the problem.  Sometimes the mischief involves too little conflict.  I need to juice up the clash-factor.  Or occasionally I’ll have gone down some dark alley with my characterization and I need to get back to the main thoroughfare before I get mugged.    Once in a while, although I hate to admit it, I’ll have bored myself into a stupor with a scene.  I either have to change the action or scrap the scene.   But if it’s not a plot issue, we move to door number two…

2.  Fog Head or Molasses Brain.  I’ve written something that is overly vague.  My story has fallen and it can’t get up.  You know the drill.   Now I can continue to write with Fog Head if I want, but I’ll end up generating…more fog.  Going back to the pig analogy, the pig can’t find a truffle if he isn’t directed to the right place.  So to fight Fog Head, I get very SPECIFIC.   I decide characterizations (sometimes writing pages and pages of back story for a character), locations (Internet images are great for this one), or even costumes (Internet clothes shopping…what fun!).  I’ve even been known to draw maps or pictures of a “set.”  Occasionally I’ll even “cast” the parts with actors I think look right.  Do all those details make it into the story?  No, of course not.  Some will, and that’s great.  But what it does is help me break through the haze enough to move forward again.

Good hunting.

– S.G. Rogers

Advice for New Writers

My friends’ daughter is reading “Jon Hansen and the Dragon Clan of Yden.” Just the other day she said to me “I’ve always wanted to write. What kind of advice can you give me?” Well… you can devote entire books to the finer aspects of writing and still not cover everything. I think the single biggest piece of advice I could give is this; be prepared to fill boxes (or computer memory) with cringe-worthy attempts at genius… but don’t let that deter you from pressing forward with your dream. My first screenplay was apparently so bad that the friend I’d asked to read it wanted to haul off and hit me. I brought in a short story to a college creative writing class once that almost got me thrown out. And when I introduced the initial “Jon Hansen” manuscript into my writing workshop, the first chapter was so frenetic that it gave everyone whiplash. No one sits down to write and gets it perfect the first time. It’s a learning process, much the same as a baby learns to walk. And just as a baby is thrilled with each bit of progress, so must the new writer be. There is no shortcut to finding your “voice,” and no writer should look for one. The process of writing does require a sense of humor and a somewhat thick skin. You must constantly guard against being defensive about feedback. Way back when, I wrote what I knew was a fantastic “James Bond” type thriller of a screenplay. But when I brought it into my writing workshop, the moderator told me “Your main character is so perfect he makes me want to kick him into a ditch. I hate his guts.” Sometimes you just have to laugh about stuff like that. There are days when the only thing to do is to go home and lick your wounds. But then, like a tenacious toddler, you give it another try. Eventually you’ll find what works for you and what doesn’t. Stick with it and you will be rewarded. Not everyone can be a best selling author, but almost everyone can become a better writer. So go to it.

Hello from the Author!

I’ve started this blog to talk about all things Yden… and maybe some other stuff thrown in for fun.  My first novel, Jon Hansen and the Dragon Clan of Yden has just been released.  It’s available at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Booksamillion.com to name a few.  The name of this blog is Child of Yden, which refers to an Earth-born child of an Yden wizard.  Since wizards have been visiting Earth for a very long time, it is possible for YOU to be a Child of Yden and not even know it…

– S.G. Rogers

Written flights of fancy and adventure from author Suzanne G. Rogers