#LegendsOfGreenIsle Author Interview: Books and Banter

Many thanks to LocGlin at Books and Banter for the wonderful interview of #LegendsOfGreenIsle and book one “The Forgotten Spell.” Please take a few moments to visit the blog. LocGlin has highlighted many wonderful authors and new releases.

http://locglin.blogspot.com/2016/01/constance-wallace-interview-and-her.html

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Women vs Men: Who writes better?

Creativity defianceFor those who have been with me in history classes, they know of my feminist side. I get a little passionate about equality between the sexes, and when studying women in history, have gotten in a few heated discussions about the plight of some historical female figures. I guess it’s my competitive nature or something. While I believe there should always be equality between gender, I know that this may not be a true biological condition, nor could it be logical. There are just some things men do better than women, and some things women do better than men. Women:

  • Multitasking problem solvers (that means balancing work, babies, housework, dinner and homework with kids, etc.)
  • Nurturing
  • Juggling Household finances
  • Dirty Diapers
  • Runny Noses

Men:

  • Linear problem solvers
  • Heavy lifting
  • Christmas Lights on the roof
  • Trash
  • Stuff that goes wrong with cars

Somewhere in there falls creativity. I had always assumed that in writing, both sexes were pretty equal. But recently, a friend showed me an article on “The Daily Beast” that discussed the distinction of creative writing between women and men.  The reported outcome was of a survey conducted by Grammarly. Grammarly (a grammar checking website) polled 3000 plus people to answer the age-old question, “Which gender has the better writers?” I think you need to read the article. You’ll be surprised. Happy writing!!!

Help! How do I Name my Characters in a Young Adult Fantasy Story?

May 6th, 2011 @ 23:14:38When I was creating the series of Legends of Green Isle, one of the biggest obstacles I came across was naming characters. I didn’t want them to sound silly. (I could see them frowning at times when I posed a name that was reminiscent of a comic book hero).

Fantasy characters like my dragons, elves, fairies and the like were dependent upon me to get something that was easy to say.  As a youngster I’ve read many fantasy books with long character names that seemed unpronounceable, and it would confuse and frustrate me to no end because I just ended up nicknaming the book’s character.  I’m sure that it took away from the character’s ‘soul’ and depth, not knowing the true pronunciation of its name, and the writer’s extension of that character. I didn’t want any of my readers to feel the same emotion I did.

Most of my Earthly characters have names which are old family names. My grandmother on my mom’s side passed away during the first beginnings of Legends of Green Isle and out of respect for her, the last names are from her heritage.  One character who shows up briefly has her given name (Martha Gay). Green Isle characters were a different story.  They were the fantasy characters, and thus needed other worldly names.

You may not believe this, but sometimes they just gave me their name. Take for instance, Lamfada, the leprechaun who forged the Sword of Balorn.  He actually had a different name before this one.  It didn’t read well with the story though, and he knew it.  One day, while proof reading, I could hear the Irish tilt of his scorn as the name Lamfada popped into my head; “don’t ye think that ya be namin’ me some fruity name with this one wee lass? Why don’t ya try Lamfada? That be my name and I’m stickin’ to it!”

Some names were derived from research I did on the Scottish and Irish folklore, and delving into the mythology of Atlantis. Elvish names were a little difficult.  I hunted around the web looking for some help with this one.  One website I found, included several tables of prefixes and suffixes of elf names.  I was able to create things which had some meaning for the elf characters and elf places within the book.  I also used some of the names for the Nuada Findi people and the Shadow people of Murias Donn (Druids). You can find these tables HERE.

All in all, I would suggest reading your story out loud to yourself.  Listen to your characters’ voices. (If you’re like me, they are always up there in the attic of your mind hanging around waiting for the next scene.) Does the name fit their personality? Does their name amplify or take away from who they are in the story? Is their name something the readers will be able to pronounce when reading?  Getting the right names are important.  They help create a believable story  around the characters themself.

Happy writing all!  Enjoy some time in your imagination today.

Feeling your characters’ emotions: Writing a great Young Adult story.

fantasy_elvin_country_017009_If there is one thing I could suggest to people who want to be great writers, I would say, “feel your characters’ emotions.”

Everyone can tell a good joke, but there are just some people who are better at it than others. It’s usually the individuals who are able to convey emotion along with their words that can get the punchline out there in a perfect way. Being able to feel your characters’ emotions doesn’t come easy, and like telling a great joke, you’ve got to “feel” it in order to write it and make those who are your audience “feel” it too.

When I was writing the first book in the series, I think I was more intent to get the base story down for the others in the series, that I forgot to connect with my characters. Book two is written entirely different. I wanted to explore and open up for the readers the persona of these people who were running around Green isle, saving that world and Earth. Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of a different character, allowing the reader to see into the emotion and thought processes of several key players. In one of the chapters, I found myself so intertwined with this little guy, Ned Neely, that I started crying along with him at a pivot point in the story. I connected with him, and the others in Book Two, “The Mirror Sliver.” Finding this emotion connection has also brought a deeper clarity of where I want the story line to go.

So happy writing all, and don’t forget, your characters are just as alive as you want them to be.

Finishing Strong in a YA Fantasy Series (Concluding book two “The Mirror Sliver.”)

As any writer knows, its finishing that last sentence of the story which is the trophy of any writing. When writing a series, books can be spaced apart as many as three years, and it can be difficult remembering certain points or plots which you constructed in a previous book. So how do you finish up strong towards the end when there is an apparent space of time between the books?

First of all, giving yourself a good outline for each book is a healthy way to organize your thoughts. Put together a binder, separate each book by a tab, place notes and things you’ve jotted down within each tab so you have a reference point to go back to when writing the next part of your series. If you make a change in the book, note it in your outline. Have some small notecards with characters names from each volume. This can help you with remembering who is who. When finishing a part of the series, attempt to write some lingering questions that will have the reader anxious to find out the answer. If you’re like me, you may write a cliff hanger into the last chapter. This is  going to happen in book two – “The Mirror Sliver.” Not only is the story line gathering strength through each individual book, but it is also gathering momentum towards the last book itself, climaxing in the last few chapters of the last book.

Book two is ten chapters away from its conclusion.  I’m finding that as I write these last chapters, the story itself is somewhat deciding on its lingering questions.  The Mirror Sliver will finish strong with a cliff hanger that only book three will be able to answer.  I’m getting excited about this book’s ending. (Mainly because the next book’s characters are already clamoring for their time in the story.)

Happy Writing all!writing

Is there time?

Lost upon a path
Shadowed by fear, uncertainty
Feeling forgotten and alone,
Wondering, wondering
Is there time?

Seeing, yet not touching
Hearing, but not speaking
Feeling, yet not finding, that kindred soul.
Wondering, wondering
Is there time?

Memories masked with anger
Some made not at all.
Have we crossed that threshold?
Wondering, wondering
Is there time?

I shall remember
broken with age
love bittersweet
Wondering, wondering
Is there time?

What Happened?

1366-768-84478What happened?
What happened to those times when laughter came so easily?
I don’t have it much anymore.
It doesn’t come from deep within.
No,
not like it used to.
What happened?

I feel it has been the roads which I’ve chosen.
Those byways of connections,
Loves which were lost,
Memories not made,
Times which should be forgotten.
What happened?

It happened.
This happened.
Life happened.

Sadness.
An emotion which is so difficult to erase.
A heart which refuses to mend.
A soul which can’t find that laughter,
not like it used to know.
Back when this woman wore pig tails,
carefree, wild, untamed.
Running through the saw grass.
What happened?

Life opened its burden,
plunged it deep within,
budded its flawed flower,
shrugged its shoulders unsparingly.

What happened?
Where is this laughter?
It is torn,
shredded,
marred,
obliterated.
Life consumed it all.