Thursday, December 13, 2012

Editing is Tedious

Okay, this is just another way for saying slow but the word is fitting. Tedious.

I've spent a good part of today working off and on editing and only managed to get almost half a chapter done. I'm still on chapter 1.  I think this blog needs fun images. Almost wish I had a blog on tumblr... almost. lol

But I'm liking the progress. Since I did those months of highlighting in order to know what to edit, I'm able to see the progress in an easy way. The parts that need editing can be overwhelming at times though, with all the different colors. But it's satisfying to go from colorful section to a section without highlights. A very visible form of progress and I'm liking that. I took a couple of screen shots to show you all what I mean.

Here is the tedious feeling, full of colors example:

And now an edited section:

See? Progress! But this is taking a really long time. Going to take at least two months per novel I'm guessing. We'll see how I feel after it's done. But I have work to do. Just fixing things one small problem at a time. Hope to have a beta approachable product by the end.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

December Approacheth

With December around the corner, Saturday, and that marking the end of the epic 2012 National Novel Writing Month, I feel now is a good time to post what December will bring for me. I may post this on both blogs (so sorry if you follow both and try to see the new content only to find you read the same thing twice). This year has been a pretty epic year for me with nanowrimo because the novel I thought was one book turned out to be 2 so the end word count is going to be over 150k by the time I have the very rough first draft done. And most of it will have been written in November. Crazy sounding, I know.

So, after such a large word count and spending so long on the one novel, what happens next for me? The answer is a resounding: Edit!

*pauses for dramatic effect* or is it affect, bah, either, it's nanowrimo still and I don't care which is right. ;-) lol

Okay, now you can breathe a heavy sigh of relief. When I say edit, I don't mean I'm going to be editing the novel I may or may have not finished yet from NaNoWriMo 2012. In fact, I'm not even editing/rewriting the novels from 2011 or 2010 NaNoWriMo.

Nope, I'm going to edit a novel I started writing during NaNoWriMo 2007 since I've rewritten it before. Okay, that one might be a rewrite as opposed to an edit because I need to change it from present tense to past tense, but bleh, I'm calling it an edit because I'm not changing content really. I'm just changing from "he sees the new boy" to "he saw the new boy". Same stuff minor, time consuming change.

I'm also going to edit the novel I write 65k of during March in 2010. It hasn't had a heavy rewrite as the other one because the novel ended up at 90k and the main content I'm happy with enough that I'm going to not change much in what happens, just work on polishing it. I will be focusing on things like showing instead of telling (I am really bad at this), taking out some of the passive voice, and fixing minor details (like changing one of the minor character's names because I have a Michael and a Mitchel, tsk).

So, in an unofficial sense, December will be my novel editing month because the only reason I let myself start another new novel (I still have like 5 I'm in the middle of writing) was that all first drafts would be put aside as soon as November ended so I could devote time to editing.

I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous about this edit because it's a new stage for me. Even though I have been working on writing for about 7 years, I've edited for newspaper and for a small publisher, I have never done a full edit on one of my own novels. I've editing some scenes and short stories, edited chapters to submit for critique to a group, but I have not done a novel edit. Course, it took a while to get a novel that was not only rewritten but ready for edits and I kept starting new ones but that's besides the point. This marks a new stage because ideally, as soon as I'm done with edits I will have something I can have a reader check out. I won't send it to agents right away even though my dad thinks I'm stalling with this edit (*waves hi in case family members see this post*) but I will be a big step closer. A giant step even. Because soon as I've worked out the edits, had readers check it out, then do another pass after a minor break where I can work on finishing one of those already started novels, then I can try to submit to agents.

My goal is to have the query sent out some time in 2013, so I have my work cut out for me. I figure, if I can write 150k in a month of hectic mess, I can managed to spend a few months getting the edits on more prepared novels. And to be honest, I need a timeline. So, hmm... What the heck. I turn 29 near the end of August. Sounds like a good goal, 9 months from now in fact.

Now I have a timeline and a goal. I want to have at least one of the mutant novels ready to send out queries by my birthday. And now you all know and I will have to work hard to follow through on my goals. Yay for incentive!

So, that is my plan. And yes, I promise to also try and post a few times a month at least, because I do have more to say on writing and on my writing, so there will be more blog posts in the near future. And there will be book reviews done too because my new plan also includes putting together a weekly schedule and I'm putting in reading time on the list. I need to read and I shall, along with writing and editing. So much to do, I can't wait to start.

What are your plans for December 1st?
How did November go?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why I Take Part in NaNoWriMo

Thanks Sam

Okay, so I totally had the intention to do this epic "Why I do NaNoWriMo" post and to have it scheduled to post on day one of National Novel Writing Month. Yeah ummm *points to date of this post* if you hadn't figured it out by umm knowing what the calendar looks like right now, I will out right state: Epic Fail!

Not only did I not get this post written in time, but I didn't even get it done before I reached 50,000 words. Yeah, I won NaNo already and I haven't written the post on why I take part in the activity in the first place as I had planned. I really did intend to have it written, I promise but well, here we are on day 12 and I'm just now writing it and for the sole purpose of taking part in a half hour sprint when the section of my novel (yeah, i'm still writing after 52k in 10 days) didn't have a section at the moment that was sprint worthy. But that's okay, right? Right. Cause I say so.

But back to the promise I made to myself that none of you knew about but I'm pretending you knew about in order to make my hopefully 2k words in 30 minutes make sense and to get that word count somehow anyways even though it won't count towards my nanowrimo count.... Yeah, I admit that made no sense. The promise! I did start a blog post for my Why I Write for NaNoWriMo topic. I really did. I put in the title, a greeting and a picture of a fish and well, that is as far as I got before November 1st when I started writing.

And for those that wonder why there is a fish at the top of this picture, well it's because of the awesomeness that is Dory from Finding Nemo. She has a saying that goes "just keep swimming" so a close friend of mine gave me the idea that I needed an image with the phrase "just keep writing" and one of my other friends actually made the image for me. Thanks Sam! even though you never read my blog, I'm thanking you twice in this post anyways. So, yeah, now my signature when I do posts on Writing.Com in relation to NaNoWriMo, I have this picture of Dory that says Just Keep Writing and I love it. (just keep swiming, Dory montage) This is another fun thing to look at. I like the picture in part because it says to write but also in part because of her expression. Poor Dory looks so lost and confused but she's encouraging no matter what. So, I look at that picture and say to myself, just keep writing. It must be working because I'm at around 58k right now, and will have 60k before I go to bed tonight.

Now, after that long ramble, back to the topic and maybe even though it seems a little obvious at this point, I will give you all who may or may not even be curious about the answer to the big question of today's post.

Why do I, Dawn Embers, take part in National Novel Writing Month?

Because it's Awesome! and.... because I'm crazy.

That is pretty much the basics of the answer. I love national novel writing month and the strange challenge to try and write 50,000 words in one month even though I do honestly write off and on all year long. There is something great about a community geared event where a large number of writers in combined force get together and reach towards the same goal of writing a novel (well novella but honestly novella writing month just doesn't have the oomph of novel writing month) all at the same time during November. I like that. I come from a small town where if there are 3 people who are writing and willing to admit it out loud, that is saying a lot. Granted it's a little different now that I'm living near Portland which has one big artsy writerly community, but the small town world is what I spent most of my life in and being anti-social, I get most of my socialization from writing outlets like and the NaNoWriMo Site. So, I think it's great.

And well, let's be honest. Anyone who tries to write 50,000 words in a month is a tad crazy. The ones that do it in 15 days are a bit nuts, and well, I'm flat out insane. Last year I did it in 11 days and since I got off to a good start this year even though I'm writing a freaking young adult novel (see vent elsewhere) I managed to keep a steady pace of 5,000 words plus or minus a thousand words a day. Which, is what led me to my 52,000 words in 10 days for 2012. I have no problem admitting that this is completely insane but I will also point out that my goal is to write the whole novel in one month and since my novel is a fantasy (even though it's also young adult) the novel wasn't going to be under 80k. In fact, it was supposed to be 80k but now I'm guessing the end result will be over 120k so I had better keep writing once I get this blog post done.

The real question may be why do I try to take part in it almost every year, with crazy writing goals like 100k or so. Why do I try to write new novels when I have 5 novels that are in first draft stage? Why do I start new ones when I need to edit the novels I wrote the years before? Will I ever do anything with those novels? How can they be any good if I write them within a single month?

Wow, talk about question overload. My apologies for this blog being so long (but hey, 2k words yay!) Okay, I will answer them in sections because I asked the questions and even if only one person cares about the answers, oh well. That's what happens when you follow a blog about writing, especially the one dedicated to my person writing only. hahaha I mean, thank you!

Why do I try to write new novels when I have others going?

Well, I think this is another question where the simple answer is this: I'm just that crazy! Yes, I like to multi-task and I'm used to having many ideas in my head because even when I'm writing one idea, I am often thinking about all my other ideas in my head. When I'm not writing, then I'm daydreaming about all of my ideas, though usually one at a time, in order to keep them fresh and the ones I think about the most, that draw my attention the most are the ones that get written. But those are never single novels, there are several ideas that I think are so great that I want to write them. I don't have a single one idea that I think about the most in comparison to some of the others. I don't have one novel that screams out to me "I'm the one!" Nope. I have several ideas that I love, that I want to be writing, so during most of the year, I work on more than one at a time. Only during these crazy mad dash months (national novel writing month, march novel writing challenge, even a couple failed camp nanowrimo attempts) do I even bother trying to write on a single novel at a time, and even then it doesn't always happen. Last year, for example, while I wrote 125k for the month, I was actually working on more than one novel for that count. I am just that kind of writer. I need more than one story to work on or else I struggle. It's just how I function. Sure, I wish I could be the one that dedicates all their time to a single novel and is able to get the book out and edited within 3 years, but that's not me at this point. Instead, I will continue to work on several novels and get them done some day.

Next question: Why start a new novel when I have so many going?

Besides looking at the above answer, I will admit this is not always the case. Well, for nanowrimo I have a tendency to start a new novel because the "rules" require it be a new novel. However, I do have a group on that is dedicated to people who want to be rebels and maybe write on novels they had already started or that want to write towards a different word count (like 20k in a month, or 30k, or maybe even editing instead of writing that month) and that group is year around. However, for like the March writing challenge I have attempted a few different years, I haven't always started new novels. In fact, the year that I first wrote 50k in less than 30 days was in 2010 when I worked on a novel I was already 15k into before the month started. I had planned to write 25000 words for the month, so that seemed reasonable as it wasn't nanowrimo. But then by the end of day 12 I discovered I was already at 35k and if I wrote 15k in three days, then I would be able to say that I had written 50k in 15 days. So I did. That month I ended up writing 65k total and that novel ended up being my first novel that was long enough, ending at about 90k. I'm going to be editing that novel in December after I finish this crazy version of young adult fantasy that I have going on right now. So, there are times when I don't go crazy and start yet another new novel. I do use month challenges throughout the year to try and get an already started draft done.

Why do new ones instead of editing?

This answer question is a little different than the ones above because I can't be fun and play crazy. The truth is editing is hard and it represents a new stage for me. While I have worked as an editor for a small publishing company and for a college newspaper, and I have edited my writing to a small degree like fixing the glaring typos (which I do during nanowrimo too, I even delete and fix things when I do these silly writing sprints. I'd be so much further if I didn't use that delete button but it would be so much worse too). I have never actually edited a full novel before and as much as I hate to admit it, the thought intimidates me a little but that will end soon. I spent part of this year, in february and beyond getting my edit notes ready for 2 of my novels. The only reason I let myself start writing a new novel this year was on the sole idea that I would get it done and then in December I would not be allowed to work on any new first drafts. That's right, after national novel writing month ends this year, I will not be working on a first draft until 2013, assuming the world doesn't end before then. I am going into editing mode as of December 1st. I will edit my 2 novels, I will make the writing something that is readable for my beta readers and I will start to get ready for the next stage in this crazy writing life. I am going to get something ready to submit to agents. Granted I started one of the novels back in 2007 so it has taken me a really long time but that is one thing that I have found nanowrimo has also helped with. It has proven something to me and that is this one fact:

I can write.

Sure, it's not the greatest thing in the world but I know not to submit my first drafts and hopefully soon I will be able to say this:

I can rewrite.

I can edit.

I can submit.

And I hope you all are still here to cheer me on.

(And yes, if you are curious: When I wrote this blog post using write or die, I managed to write 2k in 30 minutes.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Editing is


It might just be the method I am using but so far, editing has taken a long long time. I have only been doing notes (highlighting and commenting) on things that need fixed but it takes over an hour for each chapter. I'm on the notes for chapter 27 of 35. I started in February, then took some time away to work on something else. I picked up the pace a week ago and have made a lot of progress since then but still. And I have a whole other novel to start editing notes for since I want to technically submit that one first.

I am trying to make a few decisions. First one: after this long edit is done, what will I do next? I probably need to read over the novel and find places to add descriptions since I rarely describe... anything. But do I want to do that first, or send to a beta reader and see what they would like described more? hmmm  And at what point do I submit to a few agents? 

Not sure at this point but even though it's so slow, I do almost feel like I'm getting closer. At least I'm past the first draft stage on more than one novel and that counts for something.

How are you doing?
Is your progress slower than you expected?
Do you have an easier editing method I can try?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Writing Without Internet

Sounds like a strange concept to me; writing without access to the Internet, yet I find myself faced with that situation. Until I get something set up at my new place, the only access I have is either on my cell phone or when I go to a place (like Starbucks) that has wireless access.

One would think that having less Internet access would be more ideal for writing because there is less distraction. Let's face it, Internet is probably one of the top distractions writers have these days next to things like family and day jobs. However, with most of my writing located either on or on my Mac, I'm having a hard time since the Mac is cracked still and I don't have Internet access in my new place yet. Using the netbook is a challenge to begin with let alone without access to most my work in general. So, I haven't written yet even though I am settled in to my apartment. So, despite the distraction of web sites, I am finding it difficult to write without it.

I need Internet soon cause it's hard to get past the challenge of writing without it. However, I so far am against getting tv, so at least I can write without that, lol.

Do you find it harder or easier to write with Internet access?
Is access worth the distraction?

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Not the blog, so no worries there. But I can announce that I will be moving in a week. Instead of living in Wyoming, I will be in Oregon. That means, my internet will be a bit spotty until I get settled in, so there won't be too many blog posts for a little while. Not that I've been posting a lot lately, but once I get settled in the new apartment and everything, I hope to find more time for blogging and writing.

On to a new adventure!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

About S.M. Blooding and Her Novel

Demons Are Jackasses
A Demon Talker Novel

SM Blooding
Available: May 1, 2012
Format: E-book and Paperback

St. Francisville used to be a quiet place. Until three bodies turn up dead with spells carved into their skin. Someone in Louisiana is ritualistically killing people to capture the attention of Detective Paige Ansley. Having earned her title through her knowledge of the occult, she’s the only witch detective that can get to the bottom of these serial murders.
Only, there’s one problem. Paige can’t seem to remember anything that happened during the past five years.

With the help of Dexx, a snarky yet incredibly sexy demon hunter, she begins to remember pieces of her past. After discovering she has the gift of communicating with both demons and angels, the murder investigation takes a much more personal turn. The killer is after a demon’s soul, and who better to get that for him than the demon talker? But after Paige is kidnapped, drugged, and cast upon, she finds herself on the short side of possessed. Even after the demon is exorcised, her gift of demon talking is compromised. Any demon who steps within a hundred foot radius is drawn into her, pushing her soul out.

Paige is determined to get to the bottom of this demonic case so she can return home. But the killer is still on the loose, and he’s short a demonic soul. In order for her to save herself, banish the murderer, and save Dexx, she must decide if she’s willing to give up the one thing that can hold everything together. And bring the quiet back to St. Francisville.

About the Author:

SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie and Mr. Bird, who’s a real bird. She likes to hike the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and is learning to play the piano and guitar. Currently, she’s trying to MURDER them both.
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories. She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

A gutteral roar filled the room as Dexx slammed the door shut.
He walked over to Paige.
Her lips curled. “You do not vant to get in my way, little man.”
Dexx raised his fist and slammed it into her face.
Her eyes shot open with surprise before her head slumped forward, her chest rising and falling in sleep.
Dexx sat down on the edge of the bed after he maneuvered her onto it, grabbing his flask of holy water out of his bag. He opened her hand and poured some into her palm.
Nothing happened.
He recapped his flask and grabbed a ball point pen. So the demon hadn’t gotten in. That was a plus, but with her gift, he wasn’t taking any chances. He pulled out his phone and hit the number two on his speed dial, taking Paige’s hand and setting in his lap.
 “Hey, Dexx.” Leslie said, her voice full of laughter. “No, Amanda. Please, I’m on the phone.” Dexx could hear the girl in the background, but couldn’t make out what she was saying. “Later,” Leslie said firmly. “Okay. Sorry about that. What’s up?”
“It’s a demon,” he said softly as he outlined a protection rune into Paige’s skin.
“What happened?” Leslie asked, giving him her full attention. “Is she okay?”
“For now,” he said, staring at Paige. “But I don’t know for how much longer.”
 “Okay. Where is she? What happened? Did she summon?”
“Then what happened?”
He started to fill in the outlines of the rune. “Les, who else knows about her gift?”
“No one outside of the family.”
“I know.”
“You’re family. Dexx, what’s—”
 “There was a trap spell.”
Silence. “It could have been for anyone.”
“This guy kills three people in the span of three weeks and then once she gets here, he does nothing?” He took in a deep breath. “And Leah’s involved somehow.”
“What? How?”
“She only said that he used Leah.”
“Is she starting to remember?”
“Damn it.” Dexx’s lips formed a firm line. “Les, why didn’t you take the memory blockers down years ago? Do you realize how open for attack she is right now?”
“Do not blame this on me. I did. Before she moved.” She took in a deep breath. “She wouldn’t deal with it, like before. I was afraid she’d do what she did last time. She was actually worse than before. All that anger and grief.”
“How would you feel to wake up and find out that your daughter was taken from you for no good reason, and that her own family had blocked her memories and her gift?”
“She was calling demons to kill people, Dexx,” Leslie said.
“To kill one person.”
“Yeah. My mother.”


Buy Links:

TLT Publishing

Amazon – Paperback

B&N - Paperback

Autographed Copy + Demon Doll

E-book coming soon!

Find out more about her at:


Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for Zippers

Zippers as in the closure system used in some clothes, yep. My last topic for the amazing A to Z blog challenge is the zipper.

(image link)

Okay, it's not just about zippers, but about how much does the reader need to know about things the character does or wears.

The bathroom is another example. We don't often read about the characters going to the bathroom because it's not something the reader needs to know, it is just assumed. Zippers can be like that. The reader probably doesn't need to know every time the character zips up something. But there are times when they do.

Clothing can give a viewpoint into the world the characters live in. Sure every ruffle, button or zipper doesn't need to be described, but pick the right moment and you can not only show about the world but the character themselves.

One example is in Wheel of Time in the second book (The Great Hunt). One of the characters, Rand, is given new clothes and while he was raised as a farm boy, all of a sudden he finds himself stuck with clothes for someone of higher ranking. When someone is out of their element, it can show something about them with how they deal with the clothes they are put into or the clothes that others wear too.

While with epic fantasy we don't often think of zippers, but there are other places where they are used. Pulling zippers can also be an elusive moment for sensual scenes. There are quite a few things that come in to play when using clothing elements.

Do you mention clothing details in writing?
Does your character have to deal with a zipper?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Young Adult

Yep, going a rather easy route for today. Had planned to do this post earlier but had to go to work, anyways, let's talk about young adult stories.

I didn't read much young adult stuff as a teen. I read some in junior high (like books by the amazing Tamora Pierce) but in high school I moved to John Grisham, epic fantasy books and such. It wasn't until after college that I started reading YA more. And mostly it's because of the exposure I had to different books through twitter, blogs and online friends. YA has quite the online community and so I see those books far more often, though some adult ones get through.

While young adult books are popular right now (which is great) I do wonder when some writers who have never published something in the age range before suddenly puts out a YA novel. Sure, some might have had that idea for a long time and finally got the chance to do it. But some might be trying to catch on the YA trend, which I don't understand. If the novel idea is meant for YA then great, but I guess it seems weird to me to just write YA because they think that is what will sell. Guess I'm not on the selling end so don't quite get that viewpoint.

I didn't intend to write YA, as I discuss over on my Y post on my other blog, but I am not doing it because I think it will sell or because the genre is popular. The stories that caught my attention enough with their glitter and such just happen to be YA. (Okay, they don't really glitter or anything.) So, I just happen to be writing stories that are YA.

What do you think?
Is it okay to write because something is selling well?
Why write YA?

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Xylomancy

Okay this post is a tad late. Work has been crazy and now I'm sick too. But on to the actual topic since you all don't want to hear about me complaining, lol. So...


What is it?
Xylomancy (sometimes called xylomantia) is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future by interpreting omens from twigs, pieces of wood, or fallen tree branches. Sometimes it is even through wood burning.

There is even mention of xylomancy according to a wiki page as a class in Hogwarts (in the movie on a class timetable).

But I had never heard of xylomancy. So I picked it for my x topic because well... it begins with X, that and it's good to find different forms of divination to use. While tarot cards and such are fun (I miss reading them), it's nice to learn about something new. I could even possibly use xylomancy in the one fantasy novel that has a wood fae. It is interesting.

Web sites:

Do you use divination in your stories?
Ever hear of xylomancy?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for What If

While some have too many ideas, there are others who struggle to find something to write. Sometimes, a solution to that is a What If question. I even have a writing contest on where the prompts are worded in What If questions. Though I try not to ask myself too many of them because I don't need any more story ideas currently, lol.

What if...?
“What if” questions are useful for writing because they can be a catalyst to our creativity. The question can force the writer or be used to make the characters face new scenarios, new possibilities and new assumptions. It is a basic approach in that all you have to do is start the question with "what if" and go from there.


What if.....     there is free will?
                      everything is pre-determined?
                      there is no meaning to life?
                      you were the only person alive?

                      the people revolt against the government?
                      privacy is no longer a right?
                      guns are outlawed?

                      aliens are peaceful?
                      the sun explodes?
                      an asteroid hits the Earth?
                      animals can speak our language?
                      animals revolt against the humans?
                      pizza is deemed unholy?
                      trees start walking?
                      rain falls up?
                      technology takes over?
                      we stop using technology?
                      work is a prison?
                      kids revolt against their parents?

Web sites:

What if...?
Do you use What If questions?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

V is for Values

Not my own or yours, but characters. One aspect of building a character is to consider the types of values that they would hold close to them and what others they wouldn't honor. Value systems can say a lot about not only the character but also the world of the story.

(image link)

List of Values:
Here are some values, the rest can be found at list web site

But what are values really?
Definition: Important and enduring beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not. Values exert major influence on the behavior of an individual and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.
Read more:

Other Links:

What does your character value?
Do you use values as a focus in any of your stories?

U is for Unicorn

Growing up, I loved unicorns. They were horses but with the single horn and magic, something special and unique. I even have some of the beanie baby unicorns from when I was a kid. At one point I even had a statue thing of a unicorn head that was in my bedroom, though I don't have it anymore.

(image link)

While I loved unicorns, I can only think of one story I've read that even included unicorns. It's interesting because there are some things I love that I never read enough of and yet others talk about them all the time. Another example is elves. I hear people talk about how they are tired of certain types of elves in fantasy and I love fantasy but haven't read very many novels with elves and personally I would like to read more.

In another weird topic not really related to unicorns, I often read things that I don't write and write things that I don't read. I read a lot of stories with strong female main characters, but I rarely write female main characters.

And I have no ideas that involve unicorns.

Do you like unicorns?
Have any books you recommend? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Timing

Quite a good topic for a late post, or so I thought. I had planned to write this post earlier today but ended up called in early to work, so here is my T post on Timing.

In stories, timing can be very important.

Romance, for example, timing can be key. That includes many aspects of the story. When the character meets their love interest, even when the reader expects that to happen within the first two chapters, it is still based on timing.

Timing can also involve when something is brought up that will later be used to save the day in different stories. Just using a random power, tool or person out of the blue that ends up helping the protagonist survive/win/etc can be jarring. There have to be some timed points earlier in the story when they are mentioned before the big moment comes upon the characters.

This also relates to ourselves as writers. Sometimes we need to worry about our own timing, and to make sure we are ready but also realistic. Knowing the time it takes to do something like write and submit a novel can help or hurt a writer. I see some new people on a site all the time saying they will have their book out in the next year and while a couple people can achieve that, it can lead to disappointment.

How are you at timing?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Sequel

So many books nowadays are part of a series it seems. Makes it hard when trying to read many different authors because that means I've read book 1 of several series but haven't gotten to reading the rest yet. I also am writing series, though I have a few stand-alones (wow, many S words, lol).

But when does one start writing a sequel?

I have heard many people say not to write the sequel until the first book has been purchased by a publisher because they might request big changes that would affect what goes in the second book. Which makes sense. But so many writers don't follow that. I know many who write a few books before they even have the first one ready to be submitted.

So far, I have written book one in a few different series, but I have yet to start a book two.

What do you think?
Write only one book at a time?
Or write part of the series whenever?

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Reality

Reality check time, or at least some people sure need it, or so I have noticed.

Reality check: A word or phrase used to bring a person back into the life of those around them, sometimes used to smash hopes and dreams.

Don't get me wrong, I love ignoring reality. I write after all. I'd much rather spend my days not working but staying at home and playing in the fantasy worlds in my head. My characters are far more entertaining than part time minimum wage work at the deli. But I can't stay away from reality for too long because then I would become out of touch and that leads to more problems.

Reality can also help us as writers. Even when doing speculative fiction in worlds very different than our own having at least one foot in the realm of reality can help make a story stronger and for readers to want to read it. Readers like to have a link to reality in a story, no matter how fantastical the world involves.

Reality checks can also be good for character development. I love a character who dreams, who yearns for something more but the end result doesn't have to be the complete success of the dream in the way they expected/desired. In the book The Forest of Hands and Teeth, she dreams of finding the ocean and while those in her village think she needs to focus on reality, she follows her dream but the end result isn't what she expected.

So, while dreaming can be good, there needs to be more as well.

What do you think?
Do your characters get a reality check at some point?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quality

This is a topic that I've seen discussed in a few different writing chats over the last couple of months. The topic has to do with quality, in particular should readers expect self-published books to have the same quality standards that they expect from "traditional" published ones.

There are some who say that because the books are self-published, they shouldn't be held to the same standards. That people should, essentially, expect less from a self-published book.

Others on the other hand, think that because of the stigma that many have against self-published work that it's almost necessary for the self-published author to focus even more on producing a quality product. That some will even hold them up to a higher standard than a big name published book.

So, I'm curious what bloggers think.

When it comes to quality:
Do you think self-published authors should be held at a lower standard?
Or should they be at the same standard as other published methods?
What do you think?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Preen

Preen - (verb) to make oneself appear striking or smart in dress or appearance.

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This is a term commonly related to birds though humans do a fair amount of preening themselves if you think about it.  But what about writers? And no, I'm not talking about the fashions authors wear or make their characters wear. When trying to make our novels perfect we have to preen (edit/rewrite) to make the story shine.

Without a little preening then the sentences, chapters, and such can come out Plain. And plain takes the risk of being boring. While it's okay not to go over the top, we need to work on our stories, word choices and sentence structure to capture the attention of readers. In other words, we need to preen.

On the other hand, there is such thing as too much preening that leads to another set of P's. While plain text can lead to boring, preen too much and that can lend to Purple Prose.

Purple prose is a term used for writing that is over dramatic, over flowery, and in general, over done. With purple prose there tends to be over description and a number of adjectives used, among other things. In general, it is "too much." Another definition of purple prose is: writing that calls attention to itself because of its obvious use of certain effects, as exaggerated sentiment or pathos, especially in an attempt to enlist or manipulate the reader's sympathies. And in general, it is recommended to avoid this.

I am close to the preening stage. Once I get done with the highlighting, using colors to help me see things I need to fix, I will be preening to make the story shine (but not blind anyone).

Do you preen your words?
Do you struggle between plain and purple prose?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Oregon

Oregon Trail was one of my favorite computer games growing up. It required doing an action on the computer that I knew how to do back then but no longer no how to get to, but was fun even with the old time graphics. It was an exciting time at school, in elementary, when we were allowed to play the game for 10 minutes. Then I got to play the game at home and would play it when I didn't have homework and wasn't reading (I read a lot back then).

But the Oregon Trail game isn't my reason for this post. Nope.

I am going to be moving to Oregon in the near future. Nothing is concrete yet but I've heard from one area manager, and another might be calling soon. So, the transfer is one step closer and after that is a bit more closer I can find an apartment and start packing.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, things might be changing soon. I will be living near Portland Oregon and looking forward to finding some writing groups and maybe even conferences in the area. Don't get much local stuff in small town Wyoming. Plus the change in location should give me a different perspective to at least a small degree.

Blogging may slim down after April because of the mood and needing to get Internet but I plan to keep trying when I can, and my phone does have Internet.

I'm nervous and excited. So much to pack....

So, how are you?

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for Novel

Not that novel, hehe. Novel as in new or unusual.

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"That is a novel idea." This comment can be a good thing or a deathnell depending on the tone because while it can be great to be new or unusual, that isn't always the case.

In the world of novel writing nowadays it can be difficult finding something that is new or unique. The phrase that will often be muttered even for those who think what they wrote was unique is "there is nothing new under the sun" or something similar. And even if something does seem new or unique, there should be a question as to why you want to use it because sometimes the unique approach isn't the best.

Confetti and glitter with your query letter? Been done before and a bad idea.

Perfumed paper for resume? Done in a movie and not recommended.

Using something controversial just for the sake of shock value? That brings me to my next point.

It's one thing to find a story unique and different because of certain topics or characters, but there should be a consideration as to why it needs to be that way. Is the reason because you want to do something controversial? For example, had someone talking about writing a story with character who have a big age gap but develop a romantic relationship or a person in an authority position having a relationship with someone they have an authority over. Have both been done before? Absolutely. But is there a reason for the choices beyond trying to do something some might see as controversial, that is the good question to consider.

Sure, some can pick a topic and write for it. But controversy (or novelty) just for the sake of being controversial (or unique) has far less weight than other motivation. Besides, if you really want to go for shock you'd have to try and beat De Sade (try reading that, umm yeah). Far better to write a story with other goals in mind, I think.

What do you think?
Do you strive for novel?
Are there better reasons than for the sake of novelty?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Memoir

A long time ago I asked my great followers what they would like to read about on this blog and one of the requested topics was Memoir.

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Honestly, I have never ever considered writing a memoir. Even in high school, I hated writing about myself. One time I was supposed to do a personal essay about myself and instead I wrote about the education system. Yeah, not quite what I was supposed to do but still got an A so oh well. If I ever say I am writing a memoir that will be a time for concern. So here is some information I found online.

What is a Memoir?

1. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
2. Usually, memoirs.
a. an account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography.
b. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
3. a biography or biographical sketch.

How to write a Memoir?
"Writers are the custodians of memory, and that’s what you must become if you want to leave some kind of record of your life and of the family you were born into. That record can take many shapes."
"In other words, 99.9 percent of people lead boring lives. But every single one of them is trying to make some sense out of his or her existence, to find some meaning in the world, and therein lies the value and opportunity of memoir. It’s therapeutic for the writer, and it eventually even helps his or her descendants understand themselves better."
"You need to feel free to write about the uncomfortable truths, and unless your motive for writing is revenge, you may find that these moments of discomfort are mostly your own."
"Although a memoir is true, the events are told in a way that makes it seem like a fictional work. This makes the story much more interesting to the reader, even if the author is someone they have never heard of before."


Do you like to read memoirs? 
What is your favorite memoir?
Would you ever write one?

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Legends

Legend has it.... A common start line used to explain something in the present of a story based upon a tale that happened in the past (or something like that.)

What is a legend:
An interesting definition is one I actually found on Wikipedia and while I don't often go with stuff from the site, this one is efficient enough. The page on Legend states that A modern folklorist's professional definition of legend was proposed by Timothy R. Tangherlini in 1990: "Legend, typically, is a short (mono-) episodic, traditional, highly ecotypified historicized narrative performed in a conversational mode, reflecting on a psychological level a symbolic representation of folk belief and collective experiences and serving as a reaffirmation of commonly held values of the group to whose tradition it belongs."

Another definition from the dictionary on my laptop is: a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.

In writing: 
Legends can add a certain depth to a story, world, being or plot. When worldbuilding, one thing to maybe consider is the legends that can be found in the world. Legends can also be found within cliches so there isn't a clear line always of when, which and how to use a legend. Fantasy often uses legends within their realms on many different levels, depending on the story, but the legend isn't just a device to be used in the one genre. Whether it's a prominent aspect of the tale, or a side note that adds flavor, there are many uses of the legend and it's the writer's job to find their own way on how to use them.

Whether old or newly made up, legends are a big part of the writing world and one not easily forgotten.

A few sites:

Do you use legends in your story?
What legend really sticks with you the most?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kindred

Kindred - one's family and relations; relationship by blood.

Family, kindred, can be important for a story in different ways. While they can make for interesting characters in stories, also their absence can have a big affect on the main character. There are so many roles for the kindred folk that they can help make a story unique (or make it cliche depending on how they are used).

I will admit it... I have a few stories where a parent or both are dead or at least gone. Ottohahn's mom died in a work accident, Wyck's mom supposedly died near the border cause a monster broke through, both of Isaac's parents were killed, Sage doesn't know who his real parents were and Dominic's are also gone. On the other hand, there are plenty of characters who have parents actively involved in the story. Noah's parents are a part of the story, same with Ephram's and many others. Even the adult characters sometimes have to deal with their parents. hehe

But what about other relatives?

In The Lorax movie, the grandmother was one of the coolest characters, same with the snowboarding grandma from the red riding hood cartoon movie. But how often are grandparents really used, especially in speculative fiction? I've seen them in a few books but to be honest, I haven't written many grandparent characters, or other relatives either. Might want to work on that. There is much potential in the use of kindred that I may work on using more in stories. Depends on the story.

How do family members affect your main character?
Do you have any absent ones?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Just and other overused words

Just is one of the words I not only use way too much but it's something I know I use too much. I try to limit it even in first draft, except that doesn't work all that well because in edits I end up deleting quite a few still. And just isn't the only one that I use way too much.

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Here are some overused words that I've found in my own writing and they might be something that others commonly overuse as well.

Course have to start with the topic starter. Just as an adverb means exactly, very recently, simply or no more than, and only. Yep, it's a non-ly adverb. Bad me for using it so much. It just sneaks its way into my writing.

It's such a short word and yet using editminion really showed me how often I use the little 2 letter word. The meanings for the word include:  expressing motion in a particular direction, expressing a point reached at the end of a range or a point of time, expressing the result of an action, identifying the person being affected, identifying a relationship, indicating a rate of return, indicating that two things are attached, concerning or likely to concern, and much more... Chapters have like 100 or so "to" that I've noticed, which seems too much.

Another word that seems so simple with different meanings. Can be used to mean: to identify a person or thing observed by a speaker, referring to something mentioned previously, used to single out someone or something, (adverb) so, to such a degree, (conjunction) introducing a subordinate clause, expressing a reason or clause, and expressing a result.

A general, weakish kind of word. Some often for me is put in when deleting makes for a stronger story. Meanings include: an unspecified amount or number, to refer to someone or something that is unknown, approximately, a considerable amount, at least a small amount or number of, and (adverb) to some extent.

Not sure why I use it often but see it on a regular basis. Meanings: at the present time or moment, under present circumstances, to draw attention to a particular statement, used in or as a request or question, as a consequence of the fact, or (informal) fashionable.

All variations of the word. Too often my character feels something instead of it being shown. The many meanings I've used include: be aware of through touching or being touched, aware through physical sensations, find ones way by touch rather than sight, experience (a sensation or emotion), have the strength or energy to do or deal with, have a specified reaction, have compassion for, a sensation given by, and such.

Do you use "just" too often?
What words do you overuse?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Imagination

This is a fun topic and it wasn't so hard to pick out of the other I options. As writers we often use our imaginations. Several years ago, I even started using this quote as my signature and someone then made an image for me.

Have you always used your imagination?

I know growing up that me and my sister often used our imaginations. I don't remember the play with the box instead of the toy days but I do know of other examples. There are a couple videos from when we were little and one is of me singing from a book, only the book is upside down. lol

Me and my sister also at one point had skateboards, but we never learned how to really use them. We certainly played with them but not in the expected way. Instead, we used our imaginations and came up with a game that involved the boards. It was fun. We also had a game where we used pillows and would slide down the stairs. ahh fun times.

Then when we were a little older we had a special game we liked to play. It was based off Disney version of Aladdin. I was the boy character who had struggled to make a living while my sister was the princess running away from her controlling father. And whenever we were with our cousins, we played house. I was the mom and they all were my kids. We always had fun when it came to using our imagination.

Now, I write.

Do you use your imagination?
What did you imagine as a kid?

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hope in Horror and beyond

While I don't know much about the genre of horror (or action or mystery or a couple others) there is something I have noticed in the very few things I've read. That even when the story is dark, depressing and it seems there is no hope at all... that is not the case. There is always a little hope.  And hope, while can feel like just a generic concept can work wonders as the theme for a variety of stories.

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One example is that of zombies. I almost considered doing zombie for the Z post, in fact, to talk about what we can see in such stories when we look past the brain eating and running for their lives stuff. I haven't actually read or watched many zombie related stories but the few that I have read had something about them that the reader could hold onto, could hope for (and often so did the characters). Sure, many will die in them, but there are often survivors (even if it seems like there is only one).

Hopes even get dashed. A character grows when they learn that the goal they strive for, the dream/hope they had doesn't turn out to be what they imagined, but that doesn't end all hope as they know it. In fact, they adapt and keep one candle lit for a little light can heed off some darkness.

Even in some movies/books that aren't exactly "horror" this theme can be found. The specific example that comes to mind is Independence Day. Sure the focus of the movie is the whole alien attack, but that's just it. The big moment comes when people that wouldn't under normal circumstances work together, they can put aside those differences and save the day. We hope that in the face of a different other (in this case, aliens) that us humans could put aside our differences and fight for our survival.

Writers, we spin these tales and while we dash readers hopes with many different things (plot twists, death, love triangles ending, etc) we always have to give the reader something to hope for when it comes to the story. Even if that hope is a candle that will later burn out, we give them something to keep the pages turning. And sometimes, it is within the darkest genres/stories that the light will shine the brightest.

What do you think?
Does hope come out in your stories?
Any other common themes that you've noticed?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Goals and Growing Up


I like to make goals. I am not often successful at achieving those goals, but I am definitely a goal-maker. Over on I have a group called NaNoWriMo Plus and almost every month I post goals for the month. On my other blog, I often post month goals and in January usually will post some year goals as well.

My Goals for April:

1. Finish reading 4 books.
2. Move (or get closer at least).
3. A to Z Blog Challenge: Post almost every day on both blogs for the challenge.
4. Write a couple story entries on WDC, highlight more chapters for editing, and maybe write another chapter in a novel.
5. Get book blog up and running again and revamp book group here on WDC.

Last month I had similar goals and actually accomplished a few of them but I think I'm missing something. It's something that can either start with an I or an R. Incentive/Reward is something I have never been good at. I can make a goal with no problem but giving myself anything for succeeding, terrible. I never know what to pick either. Can't do food as trying to lose weight. Can't do much that takes money cause I'm trying to move and don't have much money. That is what I need to work on and maybe I'll succeed even more with my goals.

Growing Up

I had a hard time picking for today's post, so here is a second topic that I considered. This was inspired by a friend's blog post for E. Sometimes I don't really feel grown up, but that may be because I live with my parents currently, though I used to live on my own. But I also don't want to grow up too much anyways. I hope to always be discovering, learning and dreaming.

On I have a quote I made up. I'm sure others before have said things much like it, but it's one a friend of mine made into a cute picture signature for me and I even had someone ask permission to quote me with it. The quote is: "The greatest toy a child can have is an imagination."

I always liked to use my imagination as a child and while I may be growing up, I never want to lose that. I even want to get a tattoo that reminds me to not grow up too much. It will have dandelions (the white one and the yellow one) and say Stay Gold. Not the most original in content and all but my first tattoo was a fairy so I pick what I want and usually don't pay too much attention to what others pick.

I love dandelions. They were my favorite flower as a kid, back when I could see them as flowers. A couple of years ago, when gardening, I had to pull the dandelions and keep on a lookout for them because they were weeds. When did I start seeing them as weed?

Here is a dorky poem I wrote about dandelions back in 2006:

Adults never understood
Childish games upon the lawn
Joy tumbling downhill
Skipping along, light kicks stirring
White fluff into the air
All they saw was an infestation
Dotting their precious lawn

A weed flower

Do you make goals?
What are your goals?
Are you growing up too fast?

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Fact or Fiction

Is this story true? It's fiction... But is it true?

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So, at work I get an hour lunch break which gets boring fast even while eating. Right now I am bringing The Hunger Games to read since people have been waiting for me to read it for years now. One of my coworkers noticed the book and asked "do you know if it's based off a true story?"

Yeah, I stared at her confused for a moment. A true story where teens are sent to kill each other as tributes? Umm I hope not.

It is amazing how many people want a story/poem/etc to be based off real life. I notice this in the reviews I get over at (which is basically a writing site that allows for others to review the work). It doesn't matter what the item is about, often people will think it's a true and about the author. Several different poems and short stories I've received reviews for on there have all commented about it in a way that they think it's really about me. That includes a story with an intersex main character. Doesn't matter what the writing is about, they often construe the story to be about fact instead of just fiction.

Ever notice that with published work that people try to find ways to relate the story or the main character to the author's real life? Sometimes it's the positive interest of "ooo is this based on something real" and other times it's about things like "is this a mary sue character or author wish fulfillment" and such. Any time a reader wanders if a fiction story is real, it makes me wonder.

Is it because the writing feels so realistic? I try to hope that it's a good sign when it comes to my own writing that people make the comment but it still feels weird at times. While there are things that we base on real life, interactions, some dialogue, character traits, etc... There is a bit of a difference between life-like and fact.

Or is there some desire to have a factual connection within fiction?


What do you think?
Do you ever try to find facts within fiction?
Ever have readers want to know what is fact in your writing?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Exclamation

The use of exclamation marks in literature has me baffled as of recent. I have noticed them more in the unpublished stuff I read on I see them in entries in my contest and even more from young writers and new ones in general. I don't know if it's just me noticing them more now or if some writers are using them more. And I'm not talking about the few that use more than one at the end of a sentence. X.X

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The purpose of the exclamation mark:

An exclamation mark is a punctuation mark, and like the full stop (or period), it marks the end of a sentence. A sentence ending in an exclamation mark is either for exclamation (“Wow!”), to make a command (“Stop!”), or intended to show astonishment in a way (“They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”). Often used in fiction writing in particular to add to the emotion of the words and/or the volume of them too.

In writing fiction:
I have been under the impression that in writing to use the exclamation mark as a form of punctuation sparingly. Which is why it has me confused when I start to see them used more in the writing I see online. It's almost as confusing as some writer's need to randomly use all caps for one word in a sentence. While I don't remember every single thing I've written over the past 7 years, I am certain that most of the work doesn't have very many uses of the exclamation mark. But I started to wonder if maybe it was just me.

For certain, there only needs to be one. The whole, "omg" with 20 exclamation marks might work for random posts on line or something (even annoying then) but if wanting to publish a story, try for one and some sort of way to show what is going on beyond using excessive punctuation.

There is a time and place for the exclamation mark but it's not something to fall on in lieu of showing the emotion, tension, inflection or whatever the punctuation would have been used to achieve. There are other options. So, I think I will stick with only using it on occasion.

A few sites that discuss this:

What do you think?
Are you for the exclamation mark or against using it often?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

D is for Desperation

Yes, desperation. Sounded like a good word to me and I want to talk specifically about the struggle of "show, don't tell" with something that I'm certain a number of writers deal with at some point in at least one of their stories.

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What is Desperation:

Definition 1: loss of hope and surrender to despair
Definition 2: a state of hopelessness leading to rashness

Fiction often talks about a character being desperate and almost any character could experience it whether it's the protagonist, the antagonist, a child, an adult, someone in desperate need or someone who just thinks they are desperate. But often times in a few different common forms: one character observing another that they are desperate, trying to hide desperation, and in particular, someone reeking of desperation. Sure it varies some, but often the word "desperate" or "desperation" is used.

But what does desperation really look like? Are there any tell tale signs that people can do that doesn't involve using the words "desperate" or "desperation." And more importantly, why does someone who seems desperate often reek of it? What does desperation smell like? Seriously. I tried looking up where the phrase "reeks of desperation" comes from but got tired of looking through links that all use the term but don't explain the origin. Well, technically reek also means "exude" so I guess that could be what reeks of desperation means, but it would be interesting to know what it might smell like.

In writing, we are often told to show, not tell, and that makes me curious about what desperation is like in the show way.

What does desperation look like to you?
What, if anything, do you think it would smell like?

C is for Creative Control

C turned out to be a tougher topic than I first imagined but here is one I never really thought about posting until now. Creative control is an interesting topic because we often think of our own stories as something we control (okay, or in some cases the characters control, we're writers we understand) but there are other aspects to the topic of creative control we can consider.

What is Creative Control?
It is term often used in media production, such as movies, television, and music. A person with the control has the authority to decide how the final product will appear. It is sometimes referred to as Artistic Control.

A few Web sites to check out:

We all dream about not only publication but also what may lay beyond that milestone. Creative control comes in different elements from characters, plot, other aspects of the novel, covers and movie scripts. And for the most part, I'd like to think, we get to keep that control (okay except with the movies cause I'm sure unless very popular like JK Rowling, or already known for writing movies, there is less control in how the movie turns out). There will be suggestions made, of course, in order to improve the work but that doesn't necessarily mean the creators work is tampered or the control taken away from them. And we all have to know our limits: some things we won't change for specific reasons and the rest have an open mind.

Self-publishing is a way some people pick to keep complete creative control of their work. It takes effort, and like any path of publishing both advantages and disadvantages, but there is that sense of control from layout, to story elements, to even the cover. For some, this is the right path, and for others it's not, but that's for each writer to decide.

What are your thoughts on Creative Control?
Is Creative Control an ideal or something you strive to maintain?

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Bromance


That's right. Today's "B" post I am dedicating to the "bromance" aka the straight male friends that always seem umm a little too friendly. Okay, this is about bromances and also about gay jokes used in comedies but the characters are straight, people just joke that they are often.

What is a "bromance"?
According to the urban dictionary online, a bromance "describes the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males."

Examples of Bromances (Found on wikipedia):
Star Trek
The Hangover
Bromance - the reality tv show
I Love You Man
Brad Pitt and George Clooney
Boston Legal

ROFL... hahahahaha

That was hilarious. Anyways, now to my slight rant, the other part of this topic: the use of homosexuality jokes for straight characters in comedy. Ever notice how a show will make jokes about a certain male character sexual orientation but it will only be a joke and they never will "come out"? Yeah, it happens often.

Friends (Chandler)... though there is a kiss between Ross&Joey and Chandler&Joey
King of Queens (Danny and Spence)
Everybody Loves Raymond (Robert and Ray)
Two and a Half Men (Allen, sometimes Charlie)
The Big Bang Theory (Raj and Howard)

Sure, it can be funny. I still question Chandler, lol, but at the same time it gets a little old. When are they going to actually be gay instead of just joke about it? Sure, it's good to show guys can have close friendships but where is the line? And how does one make it work in fiction?

Writing a bromance is a difficult task. Don't be surprised if there will be fan fiction of the characters where it is beyond a bromance to something more because when reader see that level of interaction, they tend to take it and do what they want to imagine. At the same time, don't be afraid to let two straight guys be close. It depends on the characters and their friendship. It always goes back to that advice doesn't it? Do what is best for the characters. Maybe give it a try. I'm sure having a bromance could make for some interesting conflict.

What do you think about bromances?
Ever write one?