J.M. Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

A Few of My Favorite Blogs

Sep
04

I have not been keeping up with this blog as well as I should have. Sometime in the past couple neglected months, I passed two hundred followers. Knowing that I am not the most active blogger (understatement of the year), that seems like a decent achievement.

In the process of building this site, I’ve also discovered many other interesting blogs by follow fiction authors. So, I thought I’d take a moment to share some of them. Of course, it would not be possible to mention all of the awesome bloggers I currently follow in a single post. This is a just a tiny selection.

Fiction Blogs

Anyone who has followed my page for a while–and has seen the comments section–should know I have something going with writer David K. He was one of the first people I connected with when I started out on WordPress, and he has encouraged me constantly through my writing struggle. On his website, he posts great short fiction, writing tips–basically the same sort of thing I post about. Birds of a feather, I guess…

Another author and blogger I have always enjoyed is Shawn Cowling. I started writing seriously less than a year ago, after a years-long Terry Pratchett binge. So obviously, Pratchett’s humorous slant infected my sensibilities. I still find myself trying to write humor or satire into my work, though I can never be sure if it works. That’s the trouble with humor, everyone’s funny bone is different. All I can say is that Shawn Cowling makes me laugh. I think he does humor better than me.

Blogs on Writing

A lot of the blogs I follow discuss the writing craft and business. There are far too many to mention here. If you want to discover them the same way I did, use the tag “on writing” in the WordPress reader. There is one page I’d like to mention, though.

It should be obvious that I am big on fantasy. So I appreciate bloggers who discuss the mechanics of that genre. One of the best fantasy-writing bloggers I have found so far is Nicola Alter. Her site Thoughts on Fantasy is exactly what you’d expect from such title, a discussion of different aspects of the genre. She often examines genre tropes and suggests books that do them well. It just further proves that there is nothing wrong with writing tropes, as long as they are done well.

Flash Fiction Groups

There are countless flash fiction groups on WordPress. These sites provide a photo prompt with some basic writing guidelines. Then writers pen a story and link their page to the host page. This is a great way to meet new writers. I used to participate in several of these weekly groups, though I have not been able to keep up in recent months due to regular life rearing its ugly head.

My favorite of all of these flash fiction challenge groups, by far, has to be Three Line Tales. First, Sonya always chooses great photo prompts, which makes the writing easy. But the thing I like most about this challenge is the unique restriction. Most flash fiction challenges use word count as their key restriction, often 100-150 words. Word count limits are a great way to improve your writing. They force you to be conscious about word choice and efficiency. 3LineTales does things a bit different, though, namely the restriction is in the number of lines rather than words. Many authors who participate write poetry, which doesn’t interest me much, and others do not follow the line restriction as strictly as I do. I hold myself to three sentences, exactly three, no exceptions. The benefit of this is that I have been learning how to manipulate sentences in interesting ways, often with a lot of semi-colons, em-dashes and other funny punctuation. It lets you play with sentence length and paragraph flow in a very focused testing ground. I encourage you to give it a try, and to force yourself to only three sentences.

Best regards to all the other wonderful bloggers I follow which I could not mention here!

Are there any writing bloggers you follow that I should know about?

~J.M.

3 Responses to A Few of My Favorite Blogs

  1. congratulations!

  2. Thanks for the mention. Birds of a feather indeed — I’m likewise grateful for the encouragement and tips over the last year. 🙂 And yes, Sonya’s prompt is the only one I really engage with these days.

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