Thursday, June 12, 2014

Link Soup: Trees, Plots, and Being Normal

watercolor painting tree dryad
 watercolor painting tree dryad
Trees in Fantasy (part 1) ~ Fantasy Faction
I've always been fascinated by trees, and in the best fantasy stories there is usually no shortage of them. My fourth grade teacher read several of the Chronicles of Narnia aloud in class, ending with The Magician's Nephew. The idea of the Woods Between the Worlds enthralls me to this day. This article is the first of a series, and examines tree mythology from around the world - as varied as many creation myths are, it's notable how many of them include trees in some way.

Are YOU the Writer's Block? ~ Donna Cummings
Essential reading for any writer. My answer (and I doubt I'm alone in this) is a resounding YES! Though I find my type of writer's block tends to be of the "I'm not good enough and everything I write is crap anyway so why bother doing it because my time would clearly be better spent alphabetizing my sock drawer" variety. Which is even less helpful than it sounds.

Too Much of a Good Thing: Over Plotting Your Novel ~ Janice Hardy
I generally struggle to come up with the main plot for any given story, so over plotting has never been a big concern. But this excellent article from Janice Hardy is still very interesting. I found her over plotting symptoms extremely helpful in a reverse engineering kind of way. And her final checklist of what a novel needs is essential for any kind of writer.

But I Just Want to Be Normal! ~ Fantasy Faction
I admit it, when I saw the title, I immediately thought of Charmed. If you saw any of the later seasons, you know exactly what I mean (this was practically the show's motto). Confessions aside, this post is a must-read for anyone writing urban fantasy or any modern-day SFF.

Novel Diagnostics ~ Kristen Lamb
More wisdom from the always-helpful Kristen Lamb. This breaks down the most common (and easy-to-miss on your own) problems that show up in the first ten pages, and gives excellent ideas on how to remedy them.

"Dryad's Dance" and "Dryad's Dance II" courtesy my alter ego


  1. Hey, thanks for these :) I am a huge fan of trees and am especially excited to read that post.

    1. You're very welcome! :) I'm always glad when the stuff that catches my attention is interesting to there people, too!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Mmm, link soup. I'm typically a fan!

    It's interesting reading across the world mythologies and noting common themes, trees among them, of course. Different things involving the sun as well, now that I'm putting myself on the spot to come up with something clever ;)

    1. Link soup is one of my favorite recipes! ;)

      I'm a big mythology geek, so searching out shared themes and ideas across different myths never ceases to fascinate me.

      (And I'm glad I'm not the only person who writes the best comments and replies in my head, then draws a blank in front of the computer) :)

  3. Hi! I found your blog through Anne R. Allen's site, and I just wanted to say that I'm also fascinated by trees in fantasy, so much that I gravitate to them in my own writing. I'm really looking forward to reading that article series. Thanks for linking it! :)

    1. Hi Sara! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      There's something about trees that is just so primal and awe-inspiring. Glad to meet another tree fan! :)

      In case you missed it, Fantasy Faction has another good article discussing nature in Hayao Miyazaki's films: