Blog Archives

15 Quotes to Celebrate Father’s Day

The third Sunday in June every year is Father’s Day.  A great day to let your Dad know that he is important  and you care, with a card, a gift, or just a hug and a visit.  Fatherhood is rarely a smooth ride, but one that’s full of ups and downs, with both joyful and sometimes tragic experiences.  You learn to find joy in the everyday pleasures and count your blessings, because nothing in life is guaranteed.  So, live simply, don’t take yourself too seriously, live your life intentionally and with a sense of humor.  Cherish each one of life’s moments that you have.

Here are some quotes from a handful of Fathers:

“A Father carries pictures where his money used to be.” – Steve Martin

“One Father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert

“No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.” – Abraham Lincoln

“What you teach your children, you also teach their children.” – The Talmud

“A two year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“There should be a children’s song:  If you’re happy and you know it, keep it to yourself and let your dad sleep.” – Jim Gaffigan

“It’s on ongoing joy being a Dad. ” – Liam Neeson

“The older I get, the smarter my Father seems to get.” – Tim Russert

“When my Father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.” – Linda Poindexter

“A daughter needs a Dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men.”  – Gregory E. Lang

“Having a kid is like falling in love for the first time when you’re 12, but every day.” – Mike Myers

“My Father used to say, ‘It’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do.  You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’ ” – Michael Jordan

“A Father doesn’t just tell you he loves you; he shows you.” – Unknown

“My Father taught me not to overthink things, that nothing will be perfect, so just keep moving and do your best.” – Scott Eastwood

“Daddies don’t just love their children now and then.  It’s a love without end.” – George Strait

Happy Father’s Day!

Solitaire

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Prequel – Tips on Writing a Great One!

 

Hello Readers!

My newest prequel book to the Dragomeir Series is now in the editing process and will be out later this year.  It will be the 4th book in the prequel series – Daughter of the Dark Lordwhich can all be found on my website –www.solitaireparke.com.

When you finish reading the last book in a series – one that you just couldn’t put down – it would often be amazing to find out the stories behind the story.   What were the circumstances in the past that contributed to, or carved out the personalities of the characters we either fell in love with, hated, or never even knew existed?   Generally, a prequel provides the reader with new or expanded information on a story line that was important to the original series but perhaps only touched upon.

Yes, I know that over and over again, prequels have messed things up – especially when you’re talking about movies.  Prequels can be difficult to write since they have to line-up with already established story lines.  But they can be enormously popular as well.  You just have to adhere to some guidelines in order to keep your stories straight.

First of all, be sure that your prequel story has a strong enough scope to merit telling.  It should be able to stand on its own without relying too heavily on the original story, otherwise it will feel like “more of the same.”

Can you expound on the history of a particular place or answer more in-depth questions about your characters or their families, all without compromising the original story line?  There might be an extensive untold backstory that could be important to the original series, that was only previously touched upon.  Focus on telling your audience something unknown.  In the prequel,  you might find pieces of the story or past events that never got a complete or proper explanation, leaving you with questions.

Since the reader knows the outcome of the story, it can be tricky, and you must be careful not to contradict anything said in the original series.  After writing thousands of pages, and spending countless hours editing and revising, an author can easily lose track of their own story.  The prequel’s job is to fill in gaps and flesh out story lines, answer the unanswered questions, and give some important characters background on their motives for later actions, so a reader going back to the prequel can have that “aha” moment. At the same time, the author has to be careful to keep the essential secrets of the original series.

I would suggest that if you decide to write a prequel, do yourself a favor and scan through the original series before starting and as you go along, to refresh your mind on the world and characters you have created.  It might even be wise to compile a database of information from which you can garner information when needed.

Telling a good prequel story is not easy.  But if you decide to take on the challenge, these tips might help you stay on track and craft a story that your readers will love!

Solitaire

What are your ideas about prequels?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Writing Tips From “Game of Thrones” Author, George R.R. Martin!

“Game of Thrones” is back for the final season.  Who hasn’t watched or at least heard of the TV show, “Game of Thrones?”  The author, George R. R. Martin, has been writing Fantasy books for years before this series came out.  I have been a fan of his for a long time.  Since I write Science Fiction/ Urban Fantasy myself, I was curious what his thoughts were on the subject.  This article on the site, Lifehacker.com, peaked my curiosity.  Here are his top 10 writing tips for Fantasy:

  • Don’t limit your imagination
  • Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope
  • It’s okay to borrow from history
  • Talk to real people for a believable point of view
  • Grief is a powerful tool but don’t overdo it
  • Violence should have consequences _ so spare nothing
  • Avoid fantasy clichés
  • The world is full of “grey” characters to draw from
  • Juggling lots of characters takes skill and luck
  • All men must die, but we don’t have to give way to despair

To get the details of each of these tips, click on the link below and enjoy!

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/11/ten-tips-on-writing-a-fantasy-saga-from-game-of-thrones-author-george-r-r-martin/

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.”

                                                                                    George R.R. Martin

If you have any tips that have been helpful to you, I’d love to hear about them!  Have a great day!

Solitaire

Check out my Dragomeir Series and Prequel books at my website –

www.solitaireparke.com 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

From everyone at solitaireparke.com, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.” – Brooks Atkinson

”It’s New Year’s Day Hurray! Hurray! The old year’s past and gone away. We’ll raise our glasses and make a toast, because this Now and this Present is what means the most.” – Sharon Gardner

”This bright new year is given me to live each day with zest, to daily grow and try to be my highest and my best!” – William Arthur Ward

”A brand new year could be considered the seed, and your goals could be the buds, but taking action and achieving your dreams, well, that is the flower. May the New Year be your seed and may you have lots of flowers to inspire you!” – Kate Summers

”It Doesn’t Matter Where You Came From. All That Matters Is Where You Are Going.”- Brian Tracy

”Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

”Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’” –Alfred Lord Tennyson

”With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

”I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” –Thomas Jefferson

”It is our attitude toward life that determines life’s attitude toward us. We get back what we put out.” – Earl Nightingale

”I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” – Nick Frederickson

”Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

”What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” – Anne Frank

”Every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all of our lives.” – Steven Spielberg

”Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

”And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” – Meister Eckhart

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coehlo

”Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

”We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.” – Hillary DePiano

”A New Year brings new grace for new accomplishments.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

 

Have a wonderful new year of fantastic and inspirational reading!

Solitaire

 

 

 

6 EXCEPTIONALLY USEFUL BLOG SITES

If you want to find information on anything concerning being an author or just writing in general, there are some outstanding and informative blogs out there to help with anything and everything you might need to know, including all the things you didn’t realize you needed to know.  So here are a few of them for you to check out.

The Log-Line:  Can You Pitch Your ENTIRE Story in ONE Sentence?

11 Ideas to Help You Write the Positively Perfect Blog Post

The Pros and Cons of Amazon KDP Select Exclusivity

10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

A Writer’s Guide to Point of View

The Creative Penn

 

Have a great September – and Happy Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

WHY WRITE A PREQUEL?

A prequel is a work that forms part of a back-story to the preceding work.  Simply stated, it sets the stage for the existing novels and usually comes after the original work was written.

If you have followed my blog or perhaps seen my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or various other sites then you know I have authored a succession of books called the Dragomeir Series, an urban fantasy/sci-fi saga of dragons and their riders, along with some rather unusual creatures and captivating characters.

Some readers might ask, “Why write a prequel?”  I had originally planned to finish this series and then push on to other projects but began having second thoughts as I put a close on the third book in the Dragomeir Series, “Egg of the Amphitere.” One of the main characters known as Queen Mother needed to be expounded upon to give a better understanding and proper closure as to who she was and why.  I realized there was a fascinating back-story to be told, and the prequel was born.  The story, albeit told by Tanis Theatra (one of the dragon riders), was more about the life and times of Katherine Pendragon (Queen Mother) than anything else.

The only way to pursue that was to go back where it essentially started and tell her story as it began on the Provinces.  So, the prequel series, “Daughter of the Dark Lord” was created to give credence to Queen Mother’s life, why she was so passionate about family, and to clarify her dedication to stopping the Dark Lord from invading earth.  Last, but not least, it was to express how she eventually planned to liberate the Denizen people of the Provinces.  While telling her story, it would also give the reader a bird’s eye view into Tanis Theatra’s beginnings, and of course the amazing dragons.  To accomplish this there will also be one more installment to the original Dragomeir Series, entitled “Back from Oblivion.”  This book describes Queen Mother’s ultimate objective which is exclusively detailed in the “Daughter of the Dark Lord” prequel series.  There are two books available in this series now, and a third is currently being written.

All together it should delineate the complete story as first introduced by Tanis Theatra and recanted by me, Solitaire Parke.  Check out my website at

www.solitaireparke.com

to read sample chapters, discover exciting extras and purchase books at multiple locations in a variety of formats. I hope you enjoy!

Here is a question for my readers –  Do you enjoy reading a prequel to a novel?

Have you written a prequel? I’d love to hear about your writing experience.

Solitaire

Forthcoming Novel – Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project

Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project is finished.  The last six months have been chaotic, as the holidays and life in general seemed to hijack my writing time.   But The Alberra Project has progressed into editing mode and will be available in eBook and paperback very soon. The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

The Daughter of the Dark Lord books are prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures. I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most unique ways with their riders and fellow beings and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re quite brilliant and good-natured, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given over the centuries.

Part Two continues Katherine Pendragon’s journey as she comes of age on the Provinces of Hell, a dark and often unnerving place in which to grow up.  She unwittingly learns the truth about her father, a reality she has long dreaded.  With her beloved dragon by her side, Katherine faces her biggest challenge yet as she struggles with the knowledge of her father and an uncertain future, both for herself and those she would free from this vile world.

Stay tuned for the forthcoming endeavors of Katherine Pendragon in

Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project.

My other books are available, along with “Extras,” at –

www.solitaireparke.com

 Happy reading!

Solitaire

33 Fiction Writing Tips

Writing fiction can be complex and multifaceted.  There are countless details to consider throughout the process.  There’s the initial brainstorming, the outlining, the countless hours of research, the actual writing, and the inevitable revising.  As if that wasn’t enough, you still have the editing process, a monumental task of its own.  All this to create what you hope will be an amazing work of fiction that readers will fall in love with.  Not much to ask, right?

In doing this research, I’ve gathered an immeasurable amount of ideas concerning fiction writing.  These writing tips, from countless sources, might be helpful to other writers tackling a novel by offering different viewpoints and by providing food for the creative process.

Hopefully, the tips below will help make writing that novel a little easier.

Writing Tips

  1. Read more fiction than you write.
  2. Don’t lock yourself into one genre (in reading or writing). Even if you have a favorite genre, step outside of it occasionally.
  3. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
  4. Dissect and analyze stories you love from books, movies, and television to find out what works in storytelling and what doesn’t.
  5. Don’t write for the market. Tell the story that’s in your heart. You can make an outline before, during, or after you finish your rough draft. It will provide you with a road map, which is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.
  6. Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article.
  7. Real life is also a great source of inspiration for characters. Look around at your friends, family, and coworkers. Magnify and mix the strongest aspects of their personalities, and you’re on your way to crafting a cast of believable characters.
  8. Make your characters real through details rather than lengthy head-to-toe physical descriptions.
  9. The most realistic and relatable characters are flawed. Find something good about your villain and something dark in your hero’s past.
  10. Avoid telling readers too much about the characters. Instead, show the characters’ personalities through their actions and interactions.
  11. Give your characters difficult obstacles to overcome. Make them suffer. That way, when they triumph, it will be even more rewarding.
  12. Cultivate a distinct voice. Your narrator should not sound warm and friendly in the first few chapters and then objective and aloof in later chapters. The voice should be consistent, and its tone should complement the content of your book.
  13. Give careful consideration to the narrative point of view. Is the story best told in first person or third person? If you’re not sure, write a few pages in each narrative point of view to see what works best.
  14. Is your story moving too fast for readers or are they yawning through every paragraph? Are the love scenes too short? Are the fight scenes too long? Do you go into three pages of detail as your characters walk from point A to point B and then fly through an action sequence in a couple of short paragraphs? Pay attention to pacing!
  15. Infuse your story with rich themes to give it a humanistic quality. Examples of themes include sacrifice, redemption, rebirth, life and death, faith, destiny, etc. These are the big shadows that hover over your story.
  16. Make sure you understand that every story needs a beginning, middle, and an end.
  17. Use symbols and imagery to create continuity throughout your story. Think about how the White Rabbit kept popping up when Alice was adventuring through Wonderland or how the color red was used in the film American Beauty. These are subtle details that give your story great power.
  18. Every great story includes transformation. The characters change, the world changes, and hopefully, the reader will change too.
  19. Enrich your main plot with subplots. In real life, there’s a lot happening at once.
  20. There is a difference between a sub-plot and a tangent. Don’t go off on too many tangents.
  21. If you write in a genre, don’t be afraid to blur the lines. A horror story can have funny moments and a thriller can have a bit of romance.
  22. Make sure your setting is vivid and realistic even if you made it up.
  23. If you didn’t make up your setting, then do your best to get to the location and see it for yourself before you finish your manuscript. If that’s not possible, get busy researching.
  24. Give the readers room to think. You don’t have to tell your story in minute detail, including each minute of the plot’s timeline or all of the characters’ thoughts. Provide enough dots, and trust that the reader will be able to connect them when your story makes time jumps.
  25. Let the readers use their imaginations with your story’s descriptions as well. Provide a few choice details and let the readers fill in the rest of the canvas with their own colors.
  26. Don’t focus exclusively on storytelling at the expense of compelling language.
  27. Appeal to readers’ senses. Use descriptive words that engage the readers’ senses of taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell.
  28. Apply poetry techniques to breathe life into your prose. Use alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, and other literary devices to make your sentences sing and dance.
  29. When rewriting, check for the following: plot holes, character inconsistencies, missing scenes, extraneous scenes, accuracy in research, and of course, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  30. As you revise, ask yourself whether every paragraph, sentence, and word is essential to your story. If it’s not, you know where the delete button is.
  31. Before your final revisions and before you send your manuscript out to any agents or editors, find your beta readers: join a writing group, take a fiction workshop, or hire a pro.
  32. Do not send out your rough draft. Go through the revision process at least three times before handing it out to your beta readers. The stronger it is when you bring in editors, the stronger those editors will be able to make it.
  33. Have fun. If you’re not enjoying writing, then maybe it’s not for you. If you’re not enjoying fiction writing, try something else, like poetry, blogging, or screenwriting. Be willing to experiment and you’ll find your way.

Were these writing tips helpful? Got any tips to add? Leave a comment!

Check on the website for my “Dragomeir Series” (for dragon lovers) and various other genres,

    And updates on my latest series – “Daughter of the Dark Lord.”  Interesting EXTRAS available too!

    Solitaire

    www.solitaireparke.com

    New Novel on the Horizon

     

    It’s about time for another novel, this time Part Two of the Daughter of the Dark Lord Series.  The first book, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part One – The Burning Sky, has been out for a while now, and is available at a variety of locations – all of which can be reached from my website www.solitaireparke.com.

    I am very anxious for you to read the Daughter of the Dark Lord books as they are the prequels to my previously published Dragomeir Series –  a must read for anyone who loves dragons and other wonderful creatures – also available at my website.  I’ve always been intrigued by dragons.  They are magnificent creatures who interact in the most extraordinary ways with their riders and fellow beings, and have characteristics that are remarkably like humans at times.  They’re really quite wonderful, contrary to all the bad press they’ve been given so much of the time.

    The second book in the series, Daughter of the Dark Lord – Part Two – The Alberra Project, is almost finished, I am happy to say.  These last few months have been a bit crazy, as life and the consequent stress of other projects seemed to take over from time to time, but I am hard at work on Book Two and it has progressed quite nicely.  So, before long it will move forward into editing mode, there will be a cover reveal, and it should be out before year’s end.
    In the meantime, check out my other books at www.solitaireparke.com.

    Solitaire

    Happy Summer Reading!

     

     

     

    Save

    Celebrating the Fourth – Independence Day *************

    The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

    In tribute to our country – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LSarhZpnM

    Have a great holiday!

    Solitaire

    The Dragomeir Series and all other books are now available on ebay!

    You can go directly to ebay

    or check out my website for all other available locations in various formats.

    www.solitaireparke.com

     

     

     

     

    Save

    Daily (w)rite

    For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

    ellisnelson

    children's author

    Ms Toy Whisperer

    I am a writer whom journals about life, family, New England, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

    H.L.M. Garrison

    Failing better at writing, one try at a time

    James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

    All Things Writing and Geek, in one neat little blog!

    O at the Edges

    Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

    Storyshucker

    A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

    Chris Gardner

    The joys of self-publishing.

    A Writer's Path

    Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

    Madstoffa's crunchy house!

    Part time actor, aspiring writer of poetry and prose and full-time idiot with a heart.

    Jason K. Lewis - Writer (of sorts)

    Writing is a painful journey- I just started and it hurts already

    idiotprufs

    the blog that made the pope laugh so hard he peed himself.

    Jennifer M Eaton

    Author, Weaver of Tales

    bdhesse

    A writing WordPress.com site

    Shannon A Thompson

    You need the world, and the world needs good people.

    S.A. Mulraney

    Official site of the the YA fantasy, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic paranormal author

    MR. LONG DRAG

    Vape Tips. Vape Reviews. Vape Life.

    T.M. Williams - Novelist blog

    www.theaccidentalwriter.com

    readful things blog

    The search for meaning, one page at a time

    D.A. Roberts - Author

    The End is only the Beginning.

    %d bloggers like this: