Lazy Limbs, Michael, flickr, creative commons, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, Off-Balancing Act series, writing, fiction, life

Introducing… The Off-Balancing Act Series!

Yes, that’s right, it’s time for another series from the RRFS! (Please note, we created the lovely banner with the picture Lazy Limbs by Michael via Flickr’s Creative Commons with the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. The image was slightly resized, and our text added. No other changes made.)

Do you ever feel like, no matter what you do, you can’t find creative balance? There’s always chores to be done, meals to be cooked (and, most importantly, eaten!), people to see, places to go… How does one do it all?

Well, sometimes you just don’t. And we Ferrets have, appropriately, not even started on this particular series yet (I’m writing this the evening of April 25th, and it will go live on April 26th). We usually have a series mostly written and pre-scheduled at least a couple of weeks before the introduction goes live. Oh well!

The fact is – sometimes you can’t do it all. But you don’t have to lose your creative balance just because you’re overwhelmed, but it’s okay if you falter a little.

So every Tuesday in May, we will take turns discussing how we deal with being creatively off-balance. Stay tuned!

Is your creative life on- or off-balance currently? If you could change one thing about your creative struggles right now, what would it be?

Writing Voice and Technical Style – The Evolution of a Writer: The Middle Years

Hello, readers! Welcome to 2016! We hope the year has been treating you well. It’s been a mixed bag for the Ferrets so far, it seems. But life is life.

Today, we’re kicking off our 5-week series about ‘The Middle Years’. If you missed the intro, or need a reminder about what we’re tackling with these posts, you can read that here. Continue reading

Coming Soon – The Evolution of a Writer: The Middle Years

Wow, 2015 has gone fast! It’s been a crazy year, and while we Ferrets are not too eager for it to be done already, we’re also very excited for 2016. We have some awesome stuff coming up!

Mainly, in January we are kicking off a 5-week series that we’re calling…  Continue reading

Choosing the Best Opening Scene for Your Story

O is for Opening Scene...

O is for Opening Scene…

How important is it, really?

Starting your story in the correct moment is vital. The opening scene is going to determine whether or not people keep reading, and if you don’t get their attention and focus right away, they’re going to put the story down. (Whether ‘it’ happens to be fan fiction, flash fiction, a short story, or a novel.)

But how do you know what the correct moment is? Don’t you need to introduce characters, and set-up the world, and the plot?

There’s a simple way to know what the correct moment is – and as for the other questions… yes, and no.

Continue reading

The Importance of Non-Fiction to Fiction Writing

N is for Non-Fiction

N is for Non-Fiction

I write fiction. I write a lot of fiction, honestly, and it is largely of a fantastical or supernatural bent. Even when the worlds and characters for whom you are writing are far removed from our world, however, one shouldn’t discount non-fiction as a resource, or as a source of fascinating things to know – and use.

Non-fiction is incredibly important to the writing of fiction, even when you’re creating a whole new world from out of your own head. After all, everything that we write is, in a way, filtering our own world, and the more of our world we know, the more clearly – or distortedly – we can hold that reflected image of another world.

I’m always collecting random snatches of information – we all do, I think, though perhaps I am more prone to chase down something purely because I can than most people I have met. I store those random bits and bobs in my head, whether or not I’ve a particular reason to do so, out of habit.

You might be amazed how often they come out again, either while I’m writing, or when someone else asks me a question for their writing. Even, at times, when I’m reading, sinking into a world fully established by someone else.
Continue reading

J.R.R. Tolkien – A Bit of Gratitude

J is for J.R.R. Tolkien...

J is for J.R.R. Tolkien…

Dear Mr. Tolkien,

I bet, when you first wrote down whatever words it was that would turn into what we know today as Middle-earth, that you didn’t know you were changing the world.

Not just fiction, but the world.

There’s been a lot of controversy over your stories, especially with the movies they’ve made. For a long time, no one thought movies of Middle-earth were possible.

The stories and world where too big, the ubiquitous they said. There’s no way it can be edited down to the length of a movie and still make sense, and there’s no way we can film those settings.

Then they realized that if the story was good enough, if it stayed true enough to the original material, the length of the film wasn’t the problem. And so movies they became.

There was controversy – there’s still controversy. But I, personally, am grateful.

The adaptations aren’t perfect, but they never are.

But if it hadn’t been for the hype about the movies, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten around to reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, or even The Silmarillion.

And if I hadn’t read those stories, I would have never become who I am today.

Because you see, when I read those stories, I realized that there might actually be people who wanted to read the types of stories I made up in my head.

If I hadn’t read your books, Mr. Tolkien, I never would have hunted down a website called the Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza, where I found the courage to share stories for the first time, and learned to receive my first constructive criticism.

If I hadn’t joined The Plaza, I don’t know when or where I would have learned about National Novel Writing Month.

And if I hadn’t found NaNoWriMo… I never would have met the other Ferrets.

And that would have been a terrible, terrible tragedy.

So, dear Mr. Tolkien, thank you.

Thank you for creating Middle-earth. Because by creating Middle-earth, you gave me a place where I could not only escape some of the darkest times of my life, but you also brightened my life and actually made it more bearable.

Just with a story.

I can’t wait to stroll through Heaven with you one day, and talk about stories.

Sincerely, and with deepest gratitude,
Rebekah
By Berluchonabj (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Berluchonabj (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Of Pacing & Description – Writing Strengths & Weaknesses

Hi everyone! We have a few different series that we’re going to rotate through here on Fictional Ferrets until we get through all of us, but we won’t bombard you with the same series all at once. First up, though, I’m going to start with “Writing Strengths & Weaknesses”.

One of the benefits of having several regular critique partners is learning each other’s style. I know what kind of critique I’m going to get from each person, and who to send it to if I feel like I’m having a specific problem.
By gnuckx (Flickr: Roma Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx) [Public domain or CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Every writer has their own styles, and their own strengths and weaknesses. For now, we’re going to just focus on one strength and one weakness per Ferret. In actuality, every writer has more than one strength and/or weakness, but there will be one that stands out to you the more you write.

Also, your writing strength doesn’t have to be something that comes naturally to you in the first draft.

It can also be what you most easily see how to fix in subsequent drafts.

So, Rebekah’s Writing Strengths & Weaknesses are:

Continue reading