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Everything posted by Zee

  1. I think it could make a good story...anyway, in real life, a guy like this is likely to have a longer lifespan anyway.
  2. I generally avoid using words that the average reader would have to look up. I find it tends to break the mood or atmosphere of the story I'm trying to create. I'm actually more likely to use longer/more unusual words in my day-to-day speech than in fiction writing. But every now and then, I'll use a word I think is common and a beta reader or somebody will mention they had to look it up. "Pantomime" for instance. Or "spigot."
  3. I'm picturing them making some shrill, annoying cicada-type noise (being small and stiff plastic, I'm sure they could manage it.) Something along the lines of buzzing or chirping, by rapidly moving their heads/internal dispenser parts up and down? That's something my kids would do with that kind of toy, and it's easy to imagine them doing it independently.
  4. I have to agree with @Carolyn W--if he's really acting as an animal, why would he come into a town at all? Unless he's "channeling" some semi-tame creature, a stray cat, say, he'd be far more likely to avoid towns and human habitation, at least until dark. Or are you imaging him sneaking around in the dark? In that case, I'd picture him foraging for scraps or leftovers, and then retreating to an area that feels safe, perhaps back to the forest.
  5. Wow, a bunch of you are impressively fast! For me, it would probably take 2-3 days...but my stories tend to clock out at 40k words, so I still feel like I'm writing pretty fast even when I'm not actually writing a ton at any one time. (Little kids, busy life with lots of moving parts, etc.) I also don't use a lot of words to begin with, and I tend to edit as I go along, which tends to bring the word count down.
  6. Welcome back! We were concerned about you...hope your health is much better, and glad to see your book is at the Beta Reader Stage.
  7. I'd agree with at least some of the others here and go with "grin" or even, "teasing smile" if you want to get a little wordier. I've also never heard "smirk" used in a friendly or positive context.
  8. Congratulations! May you see your 65th...and maybe even more.
  9. Looks like everybody's already shared great examples of strong women. I have to agree--the strongest women (and men) I know are also the most gentle and unassuming. They just do what needs done without a fuss, whether that means killing a huge dog barehanded (long story there) or changing a baby's diaper.
  10. I seem to recall sharing in a similar thread that one of my favorite Biblical characters was Joab (David's nephew and military commander.) However, just for the record, I do not identify with Joab particularly (you can still pray for me, though.) The more I thought about it, the more I wasn't sure exactly who in the Bible I see myself in. Perhaps Martha (sister to Mary and Lazarus?)
  11. I think the main thing about creating a good antagonist is ensuring that his or her motivations make sense to you--you can understand, and even sympathize, even if you can't agree with them. In the last short novel I wrote, one primary antagonist was also a gang leader of sorts. For a person like that, I think the motivation of protecting the "family" at all costs is a powerful and believable one--so it sounds like you're on the right track with your antagonist.
  12. Wes's idea is good--I think simply finding someone who happens to share her mother's name would not be enough evidence to make me start asking questions. Plenty of people share first names, and a fair number share both first and surnames. But something very unusual, like a supposedly one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that actually isn't, would definitely have me asking more questions.
  13. Zee

    100 Books

    It’s been a little over a year now since I published my first book, and just a few days ago I hit the 100 mark in sales (for four books in my Romantic Suspense series and one unrelated nonfiction—I think only family members bought that.) While I know that this would be painfully slow and pitifully few for many authors—many of you, I imagine—it’s a milestone that puts a smile on my face. So, cookies all around!
  14. I think it might be helpful to remember the difference between apostles and disciples. The Apostles were the twelve men whom Jesus specifically chose and commissioned to be His representatives after He left the world. (After Judas dies, his position was filled by Matthias. St. Paul was commissioned later. But the point is, there was a specific and limited number.) A disciple, on the other hand, could be anyone, male or female, who listened to and followed Jesus’ teachings, who considered Him their rabbi. We don’t really know how many there were (at least 70 at one point
  15. I also used Canva’s free version to design my covers as well—sourced photos/graphics from Pixabay. Having prior experience in art and design definitely helped, but I have to say that the single most helpful thing was the feedback I got from folks here. They’ve patiently walked me through multiple iterations of every cover so far, until we came up with something that everyone (or nearly everyone) was happy with.
  16. I am so glad you are still persevering with your story. Feel confident that it’s one God has given you to write...regardless of what happens with it when you’re through. I often dream floods of tears for our mutual former “place”...tears I could never cry in conscious life. Whether this is simply an outlet for trapped emotion, or the Holy Spirit making intercession with “groans that cannot be uttered” I don’t know...but you are not alone in your prayers. B Province in particular will always hold golden memories for me, since we honeymooned there what feels like a lifet
  17. Three cheers for me. Still far from 100% (and I honestly don't know when that will be) but I am feeling so much better than I was a month ago. Or even a few weeks ago. Thanks to everyone who prayed for recovery. Maybe I can even start contributing again...
  18. This is still the female assassin, right?
  19. I recently beta-read a book for one of our members here. Definitely brought tears to my eyes... And reading "The Poisonwood Bible" was tragic and heart-wrenching on many levels.
  20. I have a childhood memory of my mother ordering a “veggie burger” from some place, and then crying when she realized it wasn’t actually meat (she was expecting at the time.) This was many years ago, so meat substitutes were not as common as they are now—she thought a veggie burger was a burger with extra fixings. Still, this experience turned me off from meat substitutes for life...so no, I probably wouldn’t eat the Impossible Whopper.
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