There wasn’t a lot to be excited about in 2020, so to make up for Covid arriving at our doorsteps, the skies treated us to a once in a lifetime spectacle. Yep. Unless you were here 400 years ago, you never saw Saturn and Jupiter so close together (a 10th of a degree apart) in their orbits around the Sun. They seem to catch up to each other about every 20 years, but they’re not this close and the event often happens during daylight.
Because I couldn’t miss something this fantastic, I sat outside, huddled against the December chill, and gawked as Jupiter steadily gained on Saturn, finally passing it. How close they seemed, and yet they remained hundreds of millions of miles apart in space. Watching the night sky, knowing I’d never see this again, trying to grasp the concept of just how immense our universe is was a humbling, but inspiring experience. Some things were as they should be, and that was surprisingly comforting as I got ready to say goodbye to a year in which nothing seemed to be as it should be.
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!
Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?
Of all people, I should be the last to point out “flaws” in other people’s writing. If I look at some of my work, I’ll find every one of these frustrating, book-closing examples. But here goes!
The first thing that stops me cold is a book that tries too hard. When I break this blanket statement down into descriptors the first on my list is the “unique phrase” strategy. I know every writer strives for a voice that’s his or hers, but it’s difficult for me to read on when instead of just telling the story, they reach for clever ways to do it.
The second descriptor is the “gore for effect.” I can read well-written horror, but like comedy, horror requires a lot of skill to pull it off. Give me a good stabbing or ghostly stalking figure, but give it to me with some nuance and some excellent prose.
“Clever attribution” might not make me stop reading, but it does annoy me. I guess I’m old-fashioned and I either like “he said” or some kind of action to make it clear who’s speaking. When people blurt, snort, guffaw, chortle, or howl I’m likely to start skimming.
“Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.” I have to admit that I read one book to the end so that I could complete my count of the word ceaseless. The writer fell in love with that word in the first chapter, and clung to it from then on. There was ceaseless love, ceaseless worry, ceaseless seas, ceaseless…well, you’ve probably already stopped reading.
Now, I’m off to edit some of my books and make sure I didn’t commit any of these irritations.
And here’s what we’ve been waiting for…the next IWSG Anthology!
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Discover dark matter’s secrets…
What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?
Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Livshin, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter.
Release date: May 4, 2021
Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)
MEET THE WRITERS
Artificial – Stephanie Espinoza Villamor
Space Folds and Broomsticks – C.D. Gallant-King
Rift – Kim Mannix
The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans
Sentient – Tara Tyler
One to Another – Deniz Bevan
Resident Alien – Charles Kowalski
Nano Pursuit – Olga Godim
Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller
Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert
Quote of the Month:
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” | Stephen Hawking