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Review of Mark Lawrence’s RED SISTER

Red Sister Cover

This was a very fun, quick read! Mark Lawrence employs a variety of devices to great effect (e.g. hierarchical categories of traits like speed and size, previous records for ninja obstacle courses, numeric “steps” along the Path increasing in power, classes of initiate, final boss character… all things that help the reader measure Nona’s progress very clearly). The plot is a gathering one, heavy with repetition while hinting at bigger things to come; it kept me feverishly engaged. Some moves were telegraphed but the final result was never poorly executed.…

Writing Challenge #1

Credit: Crazy Frankenstein

Ahoy, folksies. I have a new idea! And it stems from my perceived inability to write tension without a threat of violence. But before I get all ahead of myself, let’s take a breath and explain. Athletes need to warm up (well, not according to Tallahassee from¬†Zombieland, but whatever) and writers do, too. Because time—our most valuable yet most infuriatingly difficult to use resource–is limited, one might as well make the warm-up also developmentally worthwhile. I mean, want to get that swole writer bod? Then never spend a word willy-nilly.…

Cussin’ and Bigotry

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No matter what you think about self-censorship, I believe that it is very important to at least have thought about the issues and be able to provide a reason to back up your stance. Without overemphasizing the scope and reach of our work, we writers need to understand how our profession affects the people around us. Only from that understanding–that responsibility–can we make a truly educated choice regarding our work.

Midi-Chloriens World Building

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There are various and sundry complaints about the “prequel” trilogy (PT, or POS to some) in comparison the the “original” trilogy (OT), but one misstep has always stood out to me (I know you’re thinking “Jar Jar!” but that’s not it… just hear me out). The Force is treated very differently from trilogy to trilogy.

Vocabularied Egos

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When you find yourself truculently bedighting your scrivenery with inimical prose, serried and thick as chaparral; I, for one, recommend elision instead. Otherwise, your writing may appear solecistic, and you, as a writer, solipsismal.

Workout Time

I’d like to borrow a tired chich√© from my music education experience, which is that the “practice makes perfect” mantra is misleading. Practice makes permanent is more often true. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Which raises the question: how does one practice writing?