Book of the Month: Improbable… Never Impossible by Vixyy Fox

November’s Book of the Month, Improbable… Never Impossible, is written by FWG member Vixyy Fox and illustrated by Cara Bevan.

improbable coverImprobable… Never Impossible is a gentle story about love. It is a children’s story of old with a life lesson of good morals, good reading, and beautiful art like you have never seen. In a crazy mixed up hardened asphalt world it is also a reminder to adults that they were once young with an imagination that could envision anything they wished. Worlds where animals could speak and dressed like people were common place to their hearts. Within the mind’s eye they found a wonderful and safe place where a cat and a mouse could come together in only a way that two hearts were meant to join.

“Come know this place again and find the child you were… never really grew up at all.”

Order from Rabbit Valley.

 

Guest post: “Common Mistakes Among Writers” by Sarina Dorie

Common Mistakes Among Writers

by Sarina Dorie

 

When we go to a job interview, we wear our best suit, come with a list of references, and might even remember to put on deodorant. At least, we do if we want the job. When we format a manuscript, self-edit a novel, or polish a book before sending it off to an agent or editor, we strive to present it as though we are professional writers who know what we are doing. At least, we do if we want to be published. Whether a seasoned writer, or someone just starting out in the writing process, there are weaknesses we don’t always recognize in our skills. We get into ruts with grammar, formatting or stylistic “rules” we learned early on in high school writing classes that are bad practices in professional writing. Learn the common mistakes so you can recognize when you make these in your writing so you can avoid them.

 

Five Common Mistakes

  1. The manuscript isn’t in manuscript format

Short stories have a particular format and novels have different requirements. Additionally, some publishers have very specific variations from the standards that a submitter must be aware of. The number one cause listed on editor, agent and magazine websites for writing to be rejected is not reading the guidelines.

2. Grammar errors and inconsistencies

Sometimes a simple spell check will suffice. Other times, one needs to look up rules that are unfamiliar. Some rules of grammar are meant to be broken, but it is important to start with foundational knowledge and break a rule consistently if one chooses to do so. Classes, critique groups, peers and beta readers can help.

3. The mechanics of the story are broken

Sentence structure is unvaried, past and present tense rules are not consistently followed, or there are various typos not covered under grammatical errors that make the manuscript a chore to read. It is common to find long sections of dialogue without dialogue tags, setting information lumped together, chunks of unbroken interior monologue or sensory information in one section, and long expanses of exposition in others. The story might be all, or large sections of, telling.

4. The story itself is broken

The premise is unbelievable, the idea is trite or overdone, or the plot has no story arc. Maybe the characters are so unsympathetic the reader can’t get into the story or the writer has gotten a vital piece of information wrong that affects the story. This can be pretty important if an author is writing a paranormal romance with werewolves and the characters and plot don’t reflect accurate, wolf-like traits.

5. The story is boring

This usually means it lacks conflict. It might also be because there is no hook in the beginning, or it could be because the reader doesn’t understand or care about the characters’ motivations, feelings or situation. The reader needs to be emotionally invested. Sure, it might just be because the reader isn’t the author’s target market, but even romance readers can be persuaded to read a mystery if they care about the characters or a mystery reader can read a romance if they are invested in the plot.

 

Sarina Dorie brings to her writing background experience working as an English teacher in South Korea and Japan, working as a copyeditor and copywriter, and reading countless badly written stories. Sarina’s published novel, Silent Moon, won second place in the Duel on the Delta Contest, second place in the Golden Rose, third place in the Winter Rose Contest and third in the Ignite the Flame Contest. Her unpublished novel Wrath of the Tooth Fairy won first place in the Golden Claddagh and in the Golden Rose contests. She has sold short stories to over thirty magazines and anthologies including Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Cosmos, Penumbra, Sword and Laser, Perihelion, Bards and Sages, Neo-Opsis, Flagship, Allasso, New Myths, Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, and Crossed Genres, to name a few.

Silent Moon is currently available as an ebook through Amazon and will be released in print next month.

For more story problems remedies, editing tips and short story writing advice, go to Sarina Dorie’s website at: www.sarinadorie.com/writing

Book of the Month: PULP! Two-Pawed Tales of Adventure, edited by Ianus J. Wolf

pulp coverOctober’s Book of the Month is edited by FWG member Ianus J. Wolf and includes stories from members Ocean Tigrox, Bill “Hafoc” Rogers, Renee Carter Hall, Tarl “Voice” Hoch, Roland Jovaik, and Huskyteer.

“Keep your dials tuned as we join the RVO Radio Theatre for adventure, mystery, and danger!  Dive deep into the jungles of South America where the temple’s gift may not bring what you wish in The Ruins.  Then, jump to the Wild West of America as a badger determines who is the predator and who is Prey.  But don’t go too far as a group of intrepid Army Rangers battle a foreign threat to America more dangerous than the evil mastermind’s ‘robots’ in Rocket Canyon. And this next tale of an Aussie gal with a heart of gold and fists of iron battles the Nazis in The Bouncer and the Didgeridoo of Awakening. And join our poster girl, the rough and tumble Tesla Mae and the Lost Tribe. Don’t take too long to dock your airship, because evil cultists are trying to destroy Boston in Jericho Tanner and the Ebon Star. Find out who is the destroyer of worlds and who is the fox that can save us all in Savior.  And finally wrap it all up with a trip across the pond and the high flying aces in Flight of the Fire Dragon! Stay tuned, listeners, for more adventure!”

Featuring stories from:

  • Tym Greene
  • Ocean Tigrox
  • Bill “Hafoc” Rogers
  • T.S. McNally
  • Renee Carter Hall
  • Tarl “Voice” Hoch
  • Roland Jovaik
  • Huskyteer

Cover by Quel.

Order from Rabbit Valley.

 

Book of the Month: Anthropomorphic Aliens, edited by Fred Patten

Anthro Aliens coverSeptember’s Book of the Month is edited by FWG associate member Fred Patten and includes a story co-authored by member C. Alan Loewen.

Anthropomorphic animals have been imagined for as long as stories have been told. This is especially true of science fiction, where the endless possibilities of alien worlds make fertile ground for creativity.

 Contained in these pages are stories from across the spectrum of science fiction, ranging from 1950 to 2013, and featuring feathers, fur, and scales. Each creature is a unique blend of humanity and the alien. Childlike or savage, independent or autocratic, they come in all sizes and shapes. Some are recognizable as reflections of humanity, while others are strange and wild creatures that defy description. All of them ask the same question: What kind of creatures will we find when we go to the stars?

The anthology features eleven stories:

  • “Mask of the Ferret” by Ken Pick & C. Alan Loewen
  • “The Inspector’s Teeth” by L. Sprague de Camp
  • “Specialist” by Robert Sheckley
  • “In Hoka Signo Vinces” by Poul Anderson & Gordon R. Dickson
  • “Point of Focus” by Robert Silverberg
  • “Novice” by James H. Schmitz
  • “What Really Matters” by Elizabeth McCoy
  • “Kings and Vagabonds” by Cairyn
  • “The King’s Dogs” by Phyllis Gotlieb
  • “A Touch of Blue: A Web Shifters Story” by Julie Czerneda
  • “Fly the Friendly Skies” by Bryan Feir

Cover art by Roz Gibson.

Order from FurPlanet.

 

Now available: Tales From the Guild: Music to Your Ears

tales coverThe first FWG anthology, Tales From the Guild, Music to Your Ears, is now available from Rabbit Valley!

There are few things in this world that can invoke the range of emotions that music can. It can bring its listeners close together; it can drive its listeners apart. It is a core mechanic in what makes us human, but what about in those that aren’t quite human? Tales From the Guild, Music to Your Ears features a collection of stories from veteran and newcomer authors alike that span several universes but show that no intelligent creature is immune to the power of music.

Featuring stories by Furry Writers’ Guild members:

  • M.H. Payne
  • Mary E. Lowd
  • Huskyteer
  • Sean Rivercritic
  • Mark Neeley

And soon-to-be members:

  • Mars
  • Nathanael Gass
  • Jess E. Owen

Cover by Ifus

Contents:

  • Echoes From the Consort Box – Mark Neeley
  • Deep Down Among the Dagger Dancers – M.H. Payne
  • Sugar Pill – Mars
  • Nocturne – Nathanael Gass
  • Night of a Thousand Songs – by Jess E Owen
  • Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out – Huskyteer
  • Shreddy and the Silver Egg – Mary E Lowd
  • Melody of a Street Corner – Sean Rivercritic

Available from Rabbit Valley.

 

Book of the Month: Huvek by James L. Steele

Huvek coverAugust’s Book of the Month is by FWG member James L. Steele.

Humanity has gone to the stars, split and fused the atom, colonized hundreds of worlds, and rejoiced at first contact with alien life. Until the killing started.

Man has been at war with the Kesvek for over forty years. Nearly indestructible, relentless in battle, and unwilling to negotiate, the reptiles constantly push forward. Colony after colony has falls, and the human race can do little but hold them back. Humanity knows very little about their enemy.

The Kesvek plan to change that.

There is much to learn, and the Kesvek are willing to teach.  So long as humans can survive the process, mankind will discover what caused the conflict, and what is required for peace.

No matter the cost.

Order from FurPlanet. (Mature content.)

 

Book of the Month: ROAR Volume 5

Roar 5 cover

July’s Book of the Month is FurPlanet’s latest volume of the furry anthology ROAR:

Can you keep a secret?

Secrets are made to be broken they say, but what of the consequences? When secrets come to light who profits, who suffers, and who triumphs?

ROAR volume 5 has arrived with a thrilling new set of tales. Fourteen authors have crafted stories exploring and exploiting the secrets held by their characters. When the last page is turned, will there be anything left to reveal?

It won’t be a secret for long—

Contents:

Reynard and the Dragon by Searska GreyRaven
The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid by Mary E. Lowd
R & D by Ryan Campbell
Once Upon A Time… by Alms
The Painted and the Plain by Huskyteer
The Color of Mantis by C. Casey Gardiner
Eels for Heels by Sarina Dorie
Alter Child by H. A. Kirsch
Fear of the Dark by Ben Goodridge
Oakdale by W. F. Albone
The Harvest Moon Ceremony by NightEyes DaySpring
The Letter From Brundisium by Allen Vigilis
Should Have Known by Yannarra Cheena
Variables by Roland Joviak

Pre-order from FurPlanet.