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ReBlog: #amwriting: Too Many Characters?

While going through my weekly updates for blogs I’m following, I came across this article by Connie J. Jasperson  #amwriting: Too Many Characters? I’ll post an excerpt, but to get the full explanation, you must go to her website. She explains it much better than I could. You’re writing the first draft of your novel.  A beta reader has pointed out that you may have too many named characters to keep track of, and now you’re on a mission to whittle down your cast of thousands. But who should go and who should stay? What is the optimal number of characters for a book? Some say only four, others fifteen, but I say introduce however many characters it takes to tell the story but use common sense. Put the reader first–they must be able to keep them straight without any effort. When you introduce a named character, ask yourself if it is someone the reader should remember. Does he or she offer information the protagonist and reader must know? Some characters will give us clues to help our protagonist complete his/her quest.  Others show us something about the protagonist, give us a clue into their personality or past. Read More Here   Now, where this hit me is in considering a new project I thought of. I #amwriting a story about a Werewolf community, the thought being to have every chapter revolve around either a popular proverb or idiom, alternating each (proverb in one chapter, idiom in the next, then…

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The Barbarian versus The Nomads

Here is another excerpt from my WIP The Barbarian. In this section, the Barbarian, who is still unnamed, has just returned from scouting with his trainer. The main Shandan Nomad (Shandan is the desert they are in charge of ruling with tyrant abandon, if you will) is resting, as is his second-in-command, and the one left in charge, Shenkar, hates the boy more than the other two do. In the distance, they can see a cloud of dust, and the Nomad who has better long range vision sees the group of Wizards riding hard toward them. It’s a bit rough, as it is still 1st draft, but I’m sure you can get the gist of it. Well, have a look:   Nomads No More Shenkar saw the scouts returning at a leisurely pace after exploring the route to the east. Bolthed and Akheem left him in charge when they retired to one of the wagons for a brief respite, with orders to be called only if needed. Two days prior, a scout from the Wastes had brought them news of the annihilation of their allies, the Destined Ones. He also told of the warning relayed that the Nomads would be next. Bolthed immediately put the band on alert” “The way is clear for the next league, my Lord,” the older scout reported. “Get some rest, then prepare to go back out.” As they turned to leave, the trainer pointed to the north. “My lord, Shenkar; look.” A cloud of dust…

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A Personal Update

More Issues, But Not My Fault If any recall, around the end of last year, I had a very bad experience with my digestive system. I did write a post about it, and got a few well wishes. (By the way, if you gave me some, I again thank you!) Between then and now, I had an appointment with my Doctor for the worker’s comp injury I got back in 2010, for which I’ve been declared 5% permanently disabled and am getting continuing care. I have been on a couple of pills for a long time, and last visit he gave me one more to add. Now, let me say here, and spoil the suspense as to what this post might be about, I have looked at possible side effects of many meds I’ve been given in the past, but have not, to my knowledge, ever suffered any. Of course, I had an issue with taking them unless I had pains that needed easing. Yes, I took them on my own schedule instead of as prescribed. With the injury to my back, though, the pain didn’t really go away, so I started taking these medications closer to the prescribed amounts. That visit was back in October. I’m seeing him twice a year, because any more than that would be… superfluous. Recently, I noticed some of the pain seeping through the medications, and decided to see if some of the pills could be switched with something new. (Several Doctors through the…

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#BlogBattle 47- Forest

Here we are, submitting another story for the #BlogBattle posts. Now, for another surprise, this is close enough to reality to call non-fiction, by the teachings I’ve had. I say, “…a surprise…” because I do non-fiction about as often as Romance, which I did on the last submission I made. Let us not dwell on reasons or excuses, I’ll just write what pops up. Like I can control my thoughts, right?   Be that as it may. On to brighter things: #BlogBattle Number 47 Rules: 1000 words max fictional tale (or true if you really want) PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly! Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related. Go for the entertainment value! State the Genre of your story at the top of your post. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post) Have fun!   My offering this week is a little, and by little, I mean a whopping 340 words, short about when Dad took us camping in our youth. Could be one of the reasons I like mid-70’s station wagons so…

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2015 Blog Statistics

Statistics For johntmherres.com I know, most people have already done this and moved on, but if you remember, I didn’t have a very happy end-of-year experience, and it’s taken me a bit to get back into the swing of things.     We all hear that the New Year is a time to make resolutions intended to encourage us to force a change in our lives. Either to start a diet, the goal to make a smaller you, or to quit this, stop that, get something else done, dedicate oneself to making the goals that have, in all years past, gotten broken way too soon after being made. I learned that it is setting myself up for failure when I make such grandiose plans, and began stating that, in the New Year, I would endeavor to do just a little better than the previous year. This is so much easier to accomplish.   Here are the stats they sent me; The WordPress helper-monkeys are working day and night to provide pages and pages of detail on how our blogs are doing. A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 890 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people. The busiest day of the year was November 3rd with 17 views. The most popular post that day was Home. (Even though the same stats page said “Home” didn’t have any views, and “Traffic Stop”…

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My Unhappy Holidays

Here’s hoping 2016 is your most fabulous year yet!

I know there are those who had a fabulous xmas season. Then, there are those who had an unmemorable vacation and others who drank it all away, or some other form of mind-altering substance had a hand in the festivities. To those, I say, “Glad you had **” being whatever form their celebration took.

Then, there are those who had one similar to the misfortune I experienced. Or worse.

No, no one close to me passed on (to my knowledge). I still have a place to stay, out of the temperamental weather. There is food to eat, and I can access a little money from either my brother or Ma if an emergency came up.

Here is the reason for my heading:

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Blog Bummer

About My Velah Blog I have been trying to access the blog I made for The Velah of my WIP “Challenge Of The Velah,”  but for some reason it’s coming up “Error 404 Site Not Found!” The only thing I can think of that it could be is some kind of repercussions from adding some codes that came up as important to try to prevent it from being hacked.   I had been getting failed login attempts, resulting in a locked sign in period of an hour each time. Some days, I got almost a dozen, and none were from me. The top of the admin page had a bunch of codes reportedly designed to keep those from happening. They called them “Drive-by” and “Brute force attacks,” which I would tend to think the latter would describe what I saw going on. I tried (passively, to be sure, but try, nonetheless) to get help and advice, for the coding of online things is way beyond my abilities. Since I could find none, I went ahead and did some myself. Now, I cannot find the blog. It’s not like I had been adding to it regularly, much like here and my BarbarianWriter blog. But it is frustrating that it just up and vanished on me.   Oh, well. As I said, I’ll just try again…   #WriteOn! — John    

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Traffic Stop

So, here we go again: #BlogBattle Number 22 I tried – I really did – to submit stories for a couple of the #BlogBattles in the past weeks, but none of them would close out; the endings just would not form, and they sat unfinished even after time had ended to post them. I may still try to finish them and “publish” them anyway.  Who knows? The prompt for this week is “Time,” and I have just the story for it. I wrote this for one of my lessons while taking a sort-of correspondence course from Long Ridge Writers Group. My instructor, Kris Franklin, told me the ending needed work. Go figure. Reading it in the original wording, I can see the end is unexciting, kind of a let-down, really. Hopefully, by the time the post must be submitted, I’ll have gotten some response to a cry for help I sent out. We shall see… UPDATE – I have gotten the feedback I requested, and Rachel Ritchey has given me the green light to enter it. She graciously agreed to have a look at it, and gave valuable insight. Thanks, Rachael!   Traffic Stop “I really don’t have time for this!” Joe gripped his steering wheel too tightly as the long line ahead of him moved forward another foot. He glanced again at his watch. Forty-five seconds since last time he looked, though he could have sworn five minutes had passed. Deep breath, let it out in a rush. “What…

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My First Guest Post Elsewhere

A New Development I have been granted the privilege of being featured on a blog not my own! Sally Cronin of Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life has posted my “Scenery” poem, as well as links to me around the web, and we have already gotten several favorable responses! Will this improve my visibility? Time will tell. I am hoping for a bit more exposure, and this could be the beginning of that path to getting a bigger fan base. I’m not even sure if I have a little one now. If you are here by following the link posted either there or on a re-blog elsewhere, I invite you to look around, see what else I have to offer. Head over to one of my blogs, and see there, too. I can tell you two things; First, the blog for the Velah is still very raw. I haven’t spent a lot of time on it as yet. Second, on my BarbarianWriter blog, I have tried to offer helpful links geared toward the newbie writer, and even have a section for movie reviews. So, a very big THANKS to any and all new visitors! Welcome, and I would love for you to take a moment from your busy day to see what else I have posted. Have a great day, may all the best things in life find their way to your life!   As always, #WriteOn! — John

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