Thursday, October 31, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...gremlin via @DefinitionHouse #HappyHalloween #pollresults


Votes are in! Your fave horror read is... *drum roll* The Shining by Stephen King! Thank you for participating!!

Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark, blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



gremlin

[grem-lin] noun
1. a mischievous invisible being, said by airplane pilots in World War II to cause engine trouble and mechanical difficulties.
2. any cause of trouble, difficulties, etc.

Origin:
1925–30; of obscure origin; in its earliest attested use, an RAF term for a low-ranking officer or enlisted man assigned the most onerous duties; later development perhaps affected by phonetic resemblance to goblin

Synonyms
1. See goblin.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...ghoul via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark, blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



ghoul

[gool] noun
1. an evil demon, originally of Oriental legend, supposed to feed on human beings, and especially to rob graves, prey on corpses, etc.
2. a grave robber.
3. a person who revels in what is revolting.

Origin:
1780–90; < Arabic ghūl

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word... spectator via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark, blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



spectator
 
[spek-tey-ter, spek-tey-]

noun
1. a person who looks on or watches; onlooker; observer.
2. a person who is present at and views a spectacle, display, or the like; member of an audience.
3. Also called spectator shoe. a white shoe with a perforated wing tip and back trim, traditionally of dark brown, dark blue, or black but sometimes of a lighter color.

Origin:
1580–90; < Latin spectātor, equivalent to spectā ( re ), frequentative of specere to look, regard + -tor -tor
Related forms
spec·ta·to·ri·al [spek-tuh-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-], adjective

Cliche ninjas. Ohh, it's a thing! Check out author @J_Ryan's awesome advice on dialogue! #writetip



Today's post brought to you by our very own Ryan Hill--author of zombies, snarky demons, and awesomeness. Take it away, Ryan!

Most things you’ve read about dialogue are true. Yes, you need to know your character, their personality, likes, dislikes, fears, goals, etc. to know their voice. All of that stuff is important. Knowing all of that stuff is one thing. Executing it is another.

One of the easiest things you can do to write decent dialogue is pay attention to what other people say. Not just people in real life, but in stories as well. How many action movies reach the climax with someone saying, “Let’s finish this”? Too damn many. Clichés aren’t just for plot points.

Know your clichés.

Every time, and I mean every time, a character speaks, ask yourself if you’ve heard this before. Taking a stroll down memory lane, let’s take another look at the dialogue mentioned earlier:

“Let’s finish this.”

Why say it like that? It’s so boring. Instead, why not have a character say, “I’ve been run over, shot at, had non-consensual sex with a seventy-three-year-old woman, worn the same bloody sock for five days, and accidentally ran over my cat. All because of this one pimp looking mo-fo. I’ve had it, I miss my cat, it’s time to slap the dreads off his head.”

Sure, that was a ridiculous example, but it still stands. Know the clichés so you can avoid them.

Another simple, easy way to write better dialogue: don’t narrate through your characters.

This is an easy trap to fall into, and took me a while to notice it. Again, to go with an elementary example:

“Give me the gun,” I said. Tom had no idea how angry he’d made me.

Tom handed me the gun.

You just spent two lines doing the same thing, getting a gun. You don’t need to have a character say that, then describe the action. Instead, try this.

“You’re a great guy, Tom,” I said. “Really.” I grabbed the gun off the table then shot him in the head.

You know, something like that.

Another easy way to improve your character’s dialogue is to give them a hook. Maybe they love the Chicago Cubs. Maybe they have daddy issues. Or, in this example from an upcoming book, the character loves ninjas. What this allows you to do is give what would be normal dialogue and give it an added edge.

In the scene, Tim sees a character visibly shaken by something. He doesn’t know what. Instead of just asking if the character is fine, he gets to add a ninja twist to it.

“Are you okay?” Tim asked. “You look like you stumbled upon a horde of ninja assassins.”


All this does is give you an additional shade with which to paint your canvas and make each character have a distinct voice. The better you know your character, the more they will talk to you. That not only helps with dialogue, but eventually they’ll tell you where to take the story. It’s a beautiful thing.

The best thing to do, though, with anything else that concerns writing, is write. Be sure to know what your peers (and yes, J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins are peers of other writers, albeit sickeningly successful peers) are doing.


Know your clichés so you can avoid them.

Stalk Ryan here: Blog | Facebook | G+ | Twitter

Monday, October 28, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...mirth via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me. Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark, blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



mirth

[murth]
noun
1. gaiety or jollity, especially when accompanied by laughter: the excitement and mirth of the holiday season.
2. amusement or laughter: He was unable to conceal his mirth.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English mirthe, Old English myrgth. See merry, -th1
Related forms
mirth·less, adjective

Muse Monday: #NaNoWriMo are you doing it? Are you prepared? Check out these helpful survival tips... #writemotivation #writeclub




November is fast approaching and with it anticipation is building for NaNoWriMo. If you aren't familiar with this oh so sacred of writing holidays it's National Novel Writing Month. The main purpose is to buckle down and get that novel written! The word-count goal established by NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words. But the beautiful thing about this is that you can set your own goals and work at your own pace. The purpose is to push yourself to get all the words you can written, and while doing this you can surround yourself with like-minded people who are all pushing themselves too. For more info on this awesome month or how to find local groups, check out the NaNoWriMo site and follow them on Twitter @NaNoWriMo.





Now for a few helpful tips to ponder as you embark on your journey... First off, food!
 
It's important. You may get so involved in your characters and their world that you kinda forget you actually live in this one. But! never fear, your inner hunger will eventually remind you. And when it does, keep in mind these 7 foods that will help with brain power and concentration.




1. Walnuts - and they actually look like little brains. Go figure! :P

2. Coffee - surprised? Now the overly sugary drinks aren't the recommended ones...I know, sad face, right? But a cup or two of regular coffee first thing in the morning has been shown to help with brain focus and concentration.

3. Dark chocolate - the caffeine and brain-protecting antioxidants do the same as coffee. Sweet, right? However, too much of a good thing can be just that.

4. Berries - they're the best anti-aging food around. Plus, they protect the brain from oxidative stress.

5. Spinach - whaa? Popeye didn't eat it for nothing! It's chocked full of vitamin E, which helps increase brain tissue and dopamine that control the flow of information to the brain.

6. Carrots - they help to restore memory. Forgetting what color your hero's eyes are? Go all Bug Bunny...it'll help!

7. Fish - why? Omega 3, baby! This will give your brain a huge boost! And eating it weekly will help reduce the risk of stroke. 

Now, where to go to write? You'd think your local coffee shop, right? Well, according to some research, this can be distracting.
 Men with Pens say their number one pick for a writing cave is...the library!





A wonderful tool for helping get prepared for NaNoWriMo is having a guide. One of the really great ones out there is The Six Stage Plot Structure by Michael Hauge.







All right, writers! Now that you're prepared...go forth and write all the words!




Give in to the story. Feel it. Let it control you. Go wild. You can edit in December!! ;)
 
For more information visit us at Definition House.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...dreg via @DefinitionHouse


Words. Everywhere. They surround me, meld to my bones, and comfort me.
Suddenly, they’re gone. There is no text, only white…stark, blankness. Their absence leaves me longing, needing more. Always more. Then, it appears on the horizon of the page, and I succumb to my...



dreg

[dreg] noun
1. dregs, the sediment of liquids; lees; grounds.
2. Usually, dregs. the least valuable part of anything: the dregs of society.
3. a small remnant; any small quantity.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Old Norse dreg yeast (plural dreggjar dregs); cognate with Old Swedish dräg dregs

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...consort via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

consort

[n. kon-sawrt, v. kuhn-sawrt]

noun
1. a husband or wife; spouse, especially of a reigning monarch. Compare prince consort, queen consort.
2. one vessel or ship accompanying another.
3. Music.
a. a group of instrumentalists and singers who perform music, especially old music.
b. a group of instruments of the same family, as viols, played in concert.
4. a companion, associate, or partner: a confidant and consort of heads of state.
5. accord or agreement.
6. Obsolete.
a. company or association.
b. harmony of sounds.
verb (used without object)
7. to associate; keep company: to consort with known criminals.
8. to agree or harmonize.
verb (used with object)
9. to associate, join, or unite.
10. Obsolete.
a. to accompany; espouse.
b. to sound in harmony.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin consort- (stem of consors ) sharer, orig. sharing (adj.). See con-, sort
Related forms
con·sort·a·ble, adjective
con·sort·er, noun
con·sor·tion, noun
non·con·sort·ing, adjective

Friday, October 25, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...cascade via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words… A Definition House author fave. Thanks, Pippa!

cascade

[kas-keyd], verb, cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing.

noun
1. a waterfall descending over a steep, rocky surface.
2. a series of shallow or steplike waterfalls, either natural or artificial.
3. anything that resembles a waterfall, especially in seeming to flow or fall in abundance: a cascade of roses covering the wall.
4. (in a drain or sewer) a chain of steps for dissipating the momentum of falling water in a steep place in order to maintain a steady rate of flow.
5. an arrangement of a lightweight fabric in folds falling one over another in random or zigzag fashion.
6. a type of firework resembling a waterfall in effect.
7. Chemistry. a series of vessels, from each of which a fluid successively overflows to the next, thus presenting a large absorbing surface, as to a gas.
8. Electricity. an arrangement of component devices, as electrolytic cells, each of which feeds into the next in succession.
9. Biochemistry. a series of reactions catalyzed by enzymes that are activated sequentially by successive products of the reactions, resulting in an amplification of the initial response.
verb (used without object)
10. to fall in or like a cascade.
verb (used with object)
11. to cause to fall in a cascade.
12. Electricity . to arrange (components) in a cascade.

Origin:
1635–45; < French < Italian cascata, equivalent to casc ( are ) to fall (< Vulgar Latin *cāsicāre, equivalent to cās ( us ) fallen (past participle of cadere ) + -icā- formative v. suffix + -re infinitive ending) + -ata -ade1
Related forms
cas·cad·er, noun
un·cas·cad·ed, adjective
un·cas·cad·ing, adjective

What's your fave horror book of ALL time? Come and vote...if you dare! #FridayFun #horror #amreading



Why hello there. Please, step closer, we have much to ponder...
 
Halloween is only SIX days away! As we countdown to that gloriously haunted day of spooky awesomeness, curious zombie minds hunger for your brai--uh, information. :P

So guess what?


It's poll time!!



The fave horror book will be posted on Thursday's Daily Definition, so cast your vote or comment below if you don't see your fave listed!

For more information visit us at Definition House.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...sumptuous via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

sumptuous

[suhmp-choo-uhs]

adjective 

1. entailing great expense, as from choice materials, fine work, etc.; costly: a sumptuous residence.
2. luxuriously fine or large; lavish; splendid: a sumptuous feast.

Origin:
1475–85; < Latin sūmptuōsus, equivalent to sūmptu ( s ) expense (see sumptuary) + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
sump·tu·ous·ly, adverb
sump·tu·ous·ness, noun
un·sump·tu·ous, adjective
un·sump·tu·ous·ly, adverb
un·sump·tu·ous·ness, noun

Can be confused: sumptuary, sumptuous.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...shroud via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…A Definition House author fave. Thanks, Pippa!

shroud

[shroud]
noun
1. a cloth or sheet in which a corpse is wrapped for burial.
2. something that covers or conceals like a garment: a shroud of rain.
3. Nautical. any of a number of taut ropes or wires converging from both sides on the head of a lower or upper mast of the outer end of a bowsprit to steady it against lateral sway: a part of the standing rigging.
4. Also called shroud line. Aeronautics. any of a number of suspension cords of a parachute attaching the load to the canopy.
5. Also called shroud·ing. Machinery.
a. (on a nonmetallic gear) an extended metal rim enclosing the ends of the teeth on either side.
b. (on a water wheel) one of two rings of boards or plates enclosing the buckets at their ends.
verb (used with object)
7. to wrap or clothe for burial; enshroud.
8. to cover; hide from view.
9. to veil, as in obscurity or mystery: They shrouded their past lives in an effort to forget.
10. to provide (a water wheel) with a shroud.
11. Obsolete . to shelter.
verb (used without object)
12. Archaic. to take shelter.

Origin:
before 1000; (noun) Middle English; Old English scrūd; cognate with Old Norse skrūth; akin to shred; (v.) Middle English shrouden, derivative of the noun; replacing Middle English shriden, Old English scrȳdan, derivative of scrūd
Related forms
shroud·less, adjective
shroud·like, adjective

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today's #DailyDefinition brought to you by the word...null via @DefinitionHouse




Why hello there. Welcome to your daily definition.

Here at Definition House we are all about the words. Want them. Need them. Must have them. And then, when we do, we ravenously search for more. Let’s scour the vastness of unexplored and forgotten dictionary lands, together.

Discovering words…

null

[nuhl]
adjective
1. without value, effect, consequence, or significance.
2. being or amounting to nothing; nil; lacking; nonexistent.
3. Mathematics.
a. empty.
b. of measure zero.
4. being or amounting to zero.
noun
5. Electronics. a point of minimum signal reception, as on a radio direction finder or other electronic meter.
verb (used with object)
6. to cancel; make null. Idioms
7. null and void, without legal force or effect; not valid: This contract is null and void. 

Origin:
1555–65; < Latin nūllus, equivalent to n ( e ) not + ūllus any

Edits can cause fear and trembling, but heed these words from @pippajaygreen and you may survive... #writeclub



Today's post brought to you by author of vividly beautiful science fiction romance Pippa Jay! Tell us your secrets...

Surviving the horror of first edits

1. Whatever happens, DON’T PANIC! Take a deep breath. Look them over. If necessary, walk away. Have a coffee/tea/beverage of your choice. When you’re ready, go back and look through them again. Read through carefully. If it’s too daunting, start with a few of the simpler fixes. Ridding yourself of a few pages of tracking changes with nothing more than a few odd errors in punctuation, word choice, grammar etc. can make it seem a lot less overwhelming.

2. Your editor is NOT your enemy. On the contrary, they could be your greatest ally. If you’re struggling with the changes/rewrites, they will often brainstorm or offer further suggestions and encouragement. Or if you’ve made a big change and you aren’t sure if you’ve gone too far/far enough, get their advice. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. And if you don’t think you’re going to make the deadline, let them know as soon as possible.

3. Don’t let the suggested changes get you down. They are generally exactly that - suggestions. What your editor feels will really improve your work and make it more marketable. They have the advantage of coming in fresh to your work and can spot any plot holes, inconsistencies or errors that could have been missed by beta readers. But writing is very subjective, so discuss any issues you have with your editor.

4. Do not rant at your editor. It’s rude, unprofessional and could earn you the reputation of being a difficult author that no one will want to work with. They are just doing their job. If you feel the need to let off steam, do so to your BFF, crit partner, spouse etc. Don’t blow your writing career on the first book.

5. Don’t be afraid to argue your point. If you really feel that strongly about something, or you feel it’s essential, then say so. Your editor and publisher are experts in their field, but only you really know your characters and your story.

6. But do be prepared to compromise. During my first experience of the whole editing process, I accepted a lot more of the changes than I have done since (although hopefully I’ve also learned to make fewer mistakes too!). Try to be objective when looking at the changes and don’t take them as a personal attack.

7. Stay offline, unless you’re talking things over about your MS or doing some research. It’s just too much of a distraction.

8. You will feel better at the end. It’s a cathartic experience, but afterward I felt the story was much stronger. To be honest, even after all the work I put into my MS there were still things that niggled me about it when I submitted it. I didn’t feel that by the end. My editor may have kicked my behind from one end of my book to the other, but I appreciate the effort she put into it and the support she gave me throughout. *hugs Dani*

9. Don’t think that’s the end! Chances are that you will spend at least a couple of weeks batting the MS between you and your editor until the copy edits are done and you’re both happy.

10. You will learn loads! And what you learn in that first set of edits will make your writing better and stronger, and will stay with you into your future work. Trust me! But no, you will still make mistakes and you will still need an editor. :P


Be sure to stalk Pippa here: Blog | Facebook | Google + | Twitter
For more information visit us at Definition House.