A good day for a smile: making fun of the writing & publishing process

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It's an unusually rainy day here in Colorado. Most of our rain comes in buckets (we call them 'gullywashers'), and they're over quickly. Today we're enjoying steady rain, which we need, but there's the threat of mudslides due to the damage caused by the Waldo Canyon Fire. The steep mountain pass between my home and my sons' orthodontist could easily be blocked my mud and ash. Hopefully, we'll make it down and back!

Today I have three links for you that should make you smile.

The first one is from author (and former agent) Nathan Bransford (who I posted about a while ago). His blog is a worthwhile one to read. This particular one is Bransford's take on the publishing process, though he adds an extra twist by sharing it in .gif form (that means short video snippets to illustrate his points). Having experienced both the agent and author's sides of publishing, Bransford's insights are completely accurate. I dare you to read it without grinning.

The second one is for all those writers of fantasy. It comes from Dragon Writing Prompts, a great site to visit. This post is a fantasy novelist's exam. The idea is to ask yourself the questions to determine whether your fantasy manuscript is derivative or cliche. Even if you don't write fantasy, the questions will make you chuckle. Like this one:

56. Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day?
 The third link is a post from my hilarious friend, Evangeline Denmark, who waits along with many of us for that elusive publishing contract in her post Drama Much?
Anyway, I hope you have a great day, and a drier one than mine. How do you keep laughing while you're waiting?


  1. I love this one from the fantasy novelist's exam:

    65.Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an “on the road” meal?

    Hilarious. Thanks for including me in your post today. I love a chance to chuckle at our insanely poor choice of careers. Another writer friend of mine said she planned to take up under water basket weaving because the pay was better. Snort!

    Hope you stay safe from the mud today!

  2. Beans, as well. Old westerns would make you think that people were always sitting around campfires eating beans. Right. You've got to soak them for hours, then cook them in a big, heavy pot. Who's riding around on a horse trying to make beans?

  3. Evangeline and AA, that was the other one that really made me laugh. I've often thought there were many meals that magically were ready within moments of setting up camp. :)


  4. My story is about a young farmhand who dreams of a better life. One day, a mysterious old sage shows up and tells the farmhand that, according to prophecy, he is the Chosen One, and also is the half-elven heir to the throne. Before he can claim his inheritance, first he must go on a quest and find an ancient artifact.
    The farmhand sets out on his journey. On his way, he is joined by a bumbling but friendly giant, a pretty and fearless warrioress and a bumbling sarcastic dwarf. They hitch a ride on a fishing trawler, but the fisherman refuses to take them any farther because he is afraid of The Doomed Lands. Our characters go there anyway and brave the dangers. The dwarf knows they could have just taken the shortcut through the ancient dwarven mines, but doesn't tell them for reasons of his own.
    After raiding tombs for ancient magical stuff and lots of gold, the characters spend the night in an inn and drink a lot of mead. A brawl breaks out. The giant smashes lots of stuff and the farmhand uses the magical items to cast spells, letting loose a bunch of lightning and fireballs. The dwarf is useless in the brawl, but he does play a mean lute. At the end of the book, they have been captured by the evil sheriff who punishes every infraction, including inn-brawling, with death.
    It's a cliff-hanger. I'm planning on writing a trilogy.

  5. Thanks for the links, as always, Debbie! I'll be reading them soon, though I suspect I've already taken that quiz back in my early, terrified that 'The Great Man' series was a horrid piece of work days.

    How do I keep laughing? I whinge all day on my blog! And I train. Kung Fu has been great for focussing my mind on something else for an hour a day. At least I get that hour free from stress!

  6. AA, you cracked me up! If an editor is reading this blog, they might make you an instant offer!

    Sonia, I like the ways you keep laughing. It's so much more productive than being morose.


  7. I really needed this post, so thank you! I'm having trouble making any progress with my WIP because I'm using the excuse of cleaning up what I already have...I have to stop that, or I'll never finish a draft!

  8. Glad you enjoyed it, Jess. I'm in the same boat!




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