Authors Answer 127 – Writing Novels for TV Series and Movies

Though I don’t think I’d want to be in the situation of being told what it had to be about.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Many popular TV series and movie series have side stories written by independent authors. Some are official, some aren’t. But would any of us want to write one of these novels?

Question 127 – If you were asked to write a novel for a popular movie or TV series, which would it be and why?

H. Anthe Davis

As I am averse to handling other people’s characters (to the point that I would never write fanfiction, though I certainly read it), I don’t know that I would be comfortable with novelizing anyone else’s material at all.  I’m sure I can do it, but having heard some anecdotes about the process (authors ordered to kill off certain fan-favorite characters in tie-in novels, thus taking a lot of heat from fans), I don’t think I’d be well-suited to it.  I’m also no longer enough of a fan of anything beside books to…

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Authors Answer 126 – Is It Really Possible to Stop Using Adverbs?

Actually, the most overused adverb may well be “never”.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Adverbs are something that people love to use in everyday speech. It’s very popular. But what about in writing? Do we really need to avoid using adverbs? Honestly?

Question 126 – Never use adverbs. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Disagree. I will concur that many writers these days rely far too heavily on adverbs, leaning on them instead of putting the effort into creating more descriptive prose. That said, every form of word has it’s place, and you can’t just discount adverbs all together. “Show, don’t tell,” is what’s often said, and I agree with that for the most part, but sometimes what is necessary for a scene is for the author to tell the reader exactly what’s happening. For example, if the narrating character has been struck blind for some reason, they’re not going to be able to describe the facial expressions or body…

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Authors Answer 125 – Is Short Better?

And of course what exactly counts as “long” or “short” isn’t completely agreed on.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

You know the advice where authors are told they should be as brief as possible? Cut out any unnecessary words. Keep it simple. Everything short. Easy. Yes? No? How did this paragraph sound? We talk about this very topic.

Question 125 – Use short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Elizabeth Rhodes

Exclusively? No. You need variation in your sentence length, or your writing will sound monotonous.

Paul B. Spence

Only if you are writing for children. I assume my audience to be thinking adults with at least average IQ, probably even educated. If they can’t handle a word like existential or thermodynamic, they aren’t going to understand my stories anyway.

H. Anthe Davis

If this was a law, I would be in jail for life.  I have to consciously control the amount of dashes in my work — lest I end up with six…

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Authors Answer 124 – Should You Write With Plain Language?

I think the level of “obscure” words that it would take to actually make a work “unreadable” is much higher than anyone who isn’t specifically trying to show off would ever consider.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Harry Potter is filled with British slang. Lord of the Rings is filled with constructed languages. Is it worth doing that? Or should books be written with easy to understand plain language?

Question 124 – Avoid foreign words and regional slang. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I’m on the fence with this one. On the one hand, using foreign words and regional slang can enhance a character. A foreigner in America, for instance, might let a few words from their primary language slip every now and then to remind the reader that they’re not originally from the book’s main setting. Similarly, certain types of characters would be a lot less believable if you didn’t use certain dialog quirks. A simple example would be that Americans tend to say “soda”, when Canadians tend to say “pop”.

With that in mind, you should definitely carefully consider the…

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Authors Answer 123 – Should You Write What You Know?

There have also been a few stories that were about how a crime novelist knows what they write a little too well…

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Authors seem intelligent, right? They probably know a lot of things. But are they experts on what they write? What happens if an author writes about something they know nothing of? Should authors write only about what they know?

Question 123 – Write what you know. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Elizabeth Rhodes

Absolutely not. If every writer followed this rule, there’d be no such thing as fantasy, horror, or science fiction. We don’t “know” these things because they aren’t a part of our everyday lives, and yet authors churn out books about magic, robots, interstellar travel, or zombies all the time. By all means research what you’re planning to write, but to say you have to experience things in order to write about them is absurd.

Paul B. Spence

Know? Understand? Have experienced? I have never experienced a space battle, outside of dreams/nightmares. So how could I…

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Authors Answer 122 – Should You Write Every Day?

It’s one of those things that’s a good idea if you can actually manage it, but shouldn’t be promoted as essential.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

This month, we return to regular questions and answers, but we have a theme for the month. We’re looking at common advice that may be considered either bad or good advice. We’re starting off with how often we should write.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 122 – Write every day. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Although I might possibly be the worst person in the world at actually adhering to this advice, I do actually agree. In order to be a writer, you have to write, and write a lot, so the best way of accomplishing that is to write something – anything – every day. In that way it becomes a habit, something that you do automatically. Additionally, if you’re writing daily – even if it’s not anything that goes toward your current WIP – you’re getting lots of practice in, and that is never a bad thing…

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Authors Answer 121 – The Parting of New Shores

Something of a range for this one.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

The Parting of New Shores. What in the world could that mean? I thought this would be an interesting title, and I was very interested in seeing how it would be interpreted. And now you’ll see!

So what happened with last week’s stories? Check out Dodecahedron to read the stories. The winner is… a tie? C E Aylett and Paul B. Spence share the win this time!

On to this week’s story!

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 121 – The Parting of New Shores

Elizabeth Rhodes

The Parting of New Shores, a fantasy story set on a tropical island.

A survey crew shipwrecks on an island not marked on any known maps and populated by a yet unknown race of people. They quickly find that these people wanted to remain unnoticed, and why – their island is a wellspring of magical power that civilized nations could only dream of, and can harness this power…

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