Diary Entries and Writing in Character

So I’ve been writing for a while, like years a while, and I’ve recently been introduced to the idea of writing diary entries from the point of view of your main character. To get into their head, figure out their motivations, and better understand their voice, things like that. Now I’ve never been one to keep a diary, I’ve tried several times and never really had the discipline to follow through. Maybe it’s because I don’t really like writing about myself or maybe it’s something else. But I’ve been trying for some of my characters, to try and get to know them better.
The interesting thing I’ve been running into is figuring out how they’re going to go about writing that entry. Even taking into account that one of my main character is a sullen, angst-ridden faerie teen and probably wouldn’t even think about writing in a diary but he does at least have access to all the things he’d need to write one: paper and a pen or a computer or even his smart phone. And is most importantly, literate. Now, I’ve got a couple characters who live in medieval era worlds who don’t really have access to paper or the education necessary in order to read and write. But I think they’d still want to get their thoughts out, even if they can’t necessarily write them down. But whether it’s drawing on cave walls with charcoal or ranting at the stars, I think there are still plenty of ways for them to get their feelings out. And it’s important to me, for my way of writing, for it to feel authentic to the character, even if the entry itself isn’t going to end up in the final novel.
All in all, I’m enjoying the exercise.


Happy Canada Day.

Kayden Claremont

Happy Canada Day!

I’m very proud to be a Canadian and am very proud of our history.

On July 1, 1867 Canada became a new federation with its own constitution by signing the Constitution Act, which was formerly known as the British North America Act. Before that we were know as the Dominion of Canada. My family settled in Ontario in 1824. The family grew and prospered as Canada grew and prospered.

In 1879 a federal law made July 1 a statutory holiday known as the “Anniversary of Confederation” which was later call “Dominion Day.”

My family settled in Ontario in 1824 and as Canada grew and prospered so did the family.

it is with great pride that I celebrate Canada Day and it’s fun to be part of the family get together, the food, the fun and then watch fireworks.

How do you celebrate Canada Day?

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Tips for Writing Short Stories.

Karen Blake-Hall

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being on a panel, “Are Short Stories the New Black?” Not only am I published in short stories but I’m also a publisher of the anthology Nefarious North, A Collection of Short Crime Stories. Now I’m no expert but here are a few tips to write short stories.

First off, read every short story you can get your hands on. Anthologies are a great place to start your exploration. I always say anthologies are like a box of chocolate giving you a choice of different voices to sample.

Focus on a single incident and keep your cast of characters small. If you love to create worlds, reveal a single point of life in that world.

In a short story you don’t have the word count to develop backstory so limit it and have your characters walk on stage fully developed…

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How Do You Define Success?

Karen Blake-Hall

Success is defined in the dictionary as: degree or measure of succeeding; favourable or desired outcome. As writers we define success as a contracted book but there are more ways for us to count our successes.

One of the ways I count my success is writing 100 words a day. They have to be new words so when I do editing I still have to write my 100 words a day. Now you might say that’s not much of a challenge but I usually don’t stop at 100. I get two or three pages done each day, more on days I don’t have to go to work but if all I get is two pages every day for 7 days then I have fourteen pages or more than a chapter every week. At the end of the year, I’ve written over fifty-two chapters. Whoo! Whoo! For me.

Accountability is another…

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Multiple Intelligences

So, recently in class we were doing personality types and one of the tests was for the theory of multiple intelligences.  This theory states that everyone has a different way that they approach learning and it connects to what jobs they would find most interesting.  The intelligences are: Kinaesthetic (physical), Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Musical, Visual-Spatial, and Naturalistic.  Now, you’re rarely just one of the intelligences, people tend to be strong in three or four of them and weaker in the others.

               Now being a writer it’s probably not surprising (at least it wasn’t to me) that my strongest category was Verbal-Linguistic, I love words and languages and expressing myself through them.  Basically the textbook for my course told me I was best cut out to be an author and who am I to argue with that?  The other strong categories were intrapersonal, which is knowing yourself and working best on your own, and logical-mathematical.  I’m not the best in visual-spatial, don’t ask me to draw anything or read a map…  But it’s something I’m working on improving.

               What about you?  Which intelligence category sounds most like you?  Or, if you’d like you can take the test here: http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/index.htm


Viking Recipies: Barley Flatbread

               Also called Osyrat Kornbröd, Viking flatbread made from barley flour is pretty simple to make.  It only has two ingredients and, though originally meant to be cooked on a stone over an open fire, can be made on the stovetop with a skillet pan or baked on an oven sheet.  All that goes into it is barley flour, which I found at my local bulk food store but can also be found at health food stores and larger grocery stores, and water; in a three parts four to one part water ratio.  A manageable amount that makes eight servings is 1.5 cups of flour and .5 cup of water.

               Once a stiff dough has been formed divide it into balls around the size of a walnut or a golf ball and roll it out as thin as you can make it.  My favourite tip for rolling dough easily (you start googling tricks when you’re in charge of the Christmas sugar cookies every year) is to place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.  Not only is it easier to roll, and doesn’t make as much of a mess, it won’t stick to your rolling pin or your counter.  Cook the bread on high heat for about 30 seconds on each side or until golden brown.  It’s best eaten right away while it’s still hot but can also be frozen and reheated.

I originally found the recipe, along with a lot of fantastic information on Viking foods, here: http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/food.shtml#BarleyFlatbread


In Old Norse skjaldmær, Shieldmaidens were the female Viking warriors who had chosen to fight alongside the men and are mentioned often in the sagas of Norse folklore and mythology. Through the mythologies they have become associated with the Valkyries, valkyrja, Odin’s warriors who choose those who will die in battle and take the fallen warriors to their place in Valhalla.
Warrior women inspired by the Shieldmaidens tend to find a place in popular culture fiction, especially in the fantasy genre. From Tolkien’s Éowyn who slew the Witch-King of Angmar in Lord of the Rings to DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon with Astrid Hofferson and her trusty battleaxe (even though, much to my chagrin, she seems to have fallen out of that role in the new film and ends up being mostly emotional support for the protagonist…), female warriors provide balance in previously male dominated genre of action adventure and especially the parts that involve wading into battle with swords drawn.
Now, when one googles Shieldmaiden the second article to come up is on Lagertha, a historical figure who has been featured as a protagonist in History Channel’s Vikings. The show, though not perfect it its historical accuracy, brings to popular attention not only an amazing and inspiring historical figure, who’s list of accomplishments isn’t limited to becoming an Earl in her own right and the head of her own army, but also a firm affirmation that anyone, regardless of gender, can be a powerful warrior.
For more about the show, which I highly suggest that everyone at least have a look at even if historical drama is not your typical thing, you can find it here: http://www.history.ca/vikings/

A Hello and an Introduction to the Blogger

Hello everyone! My name’s Laura, I’m new to WordPress, and there are a couple of getting to know you type questions that were suggested to me to introduce myself and my writing.
1 – What am I working on?
I am currently working on a young adult urban fantasy novel that’s rooted in Arthurian Legend and the British myths about faeries. It centres around a young woman named Lily who slowly discovers that one of her best friends is a little less than human and that she herself is the reincarnation of one of Arthur’s knights. From there, she gets embroiled in the race against time to find and awaken the King himself to fight against one of his greatest adversaries.
2 – How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Faeries, and the idea of going back to the original myths as inspiration for them, are starting to become more common in fiction, especially young adult fiction, but are still relatively unique. What I want to do to differ my work from others is to take inspiration from more obscure myths and legends or taking a different view of them. I also enjoy taking creatures that fiction has taught us are “supposed” to be the villain, like orcs and goblins, and setting them in the position of the hero.
3 – Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because I’m in love with the idea of there being something in our world beyond what we can see and hear. Fantasy has been a staple of my fiction consumption since before I can remember and nothing makes me happier than contributing to the genre. I also studied history in school and researching into the world of King Arthur and the time around when he was said to have ruled is something that is important to me.
4 – How does my writing process work?
I like outlining, it works for me to know what is going to happen next. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the outline isn’t going to change as I think about the story and when sitting down to write. Though I will admit that the outlining process can bog me down at times, when I’m too worried about following it to let my characters speak for themselves but it is something I’m always working on. I also love to research before and during writing, though I always have to be careful that it doesn’t become a dangerous time trap and suck up all the allotted time I set aside to write.