Category Archives: Scop Talk (“Shop Talk”)

A Scop is many things. A Shaper of Words to fit events, thoughts, and hearts: a shaper of words to help us see truth.

Feel free to share or post these blogs. Just tweak the content, except for fair use chunks, and link back to my site. Thanks!

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2017 Beginnings–Scop Talk

I’m hungry for a deep talk about meaning in writing—about why, and a little about how, books impact you and I. If you want to join our conversation, please leave your thoughts in a comment at the bottom of this post.

Authors who have taken me on deep journeys to far places of great import include Patrick Carr (Shock of Night), Tessa Afshar (Land of Silence), JRR Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Anna Thayer’s (Knight of Eldaran trilogy) to name a very few.

I’m hungry, not for a fast read, but a complex world that is so real it scares you, enthralls you, lifts you out of yourself to a higher plane. And then when you return to your own world, you bring that life experience, that bravery, that truth, back with you and apply it, even in some small way, to yourself. You make that sacrifice required for the life of another, face down your fears, take the next step on a dangerous journey, or simply do the right thing, which we are sometimes such great cowards about doing. At the least, you see through other eyes that another road is open to you.

In author lingo—seize the hero’s journey. For it has certainly seized you, if you draw breath in this world. The battle is on!

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K M Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide

Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars This book will stay on my shelf., November 15, 2016
This review is from: Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure (Helping Writers Become Authors) (Volume 7) (Paperback)

This book is so good. I was given an e-copy for an honest review, and I just bought the print copy.

I’m a real write-by-feel historical fantasy author, but this comprehensive breakdown of how characters and their arcs tie in and support and drive plot is invaluable. I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to this book again and again. And the nice thing is, the author doesn’t give you the impression that “this is the way it is,” but “this is what’s possible,” and “discover greater possibilities.”

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What smells so good?

Coloring pages sample . . .

I’ve been working on coloring pages for Trencher and Board: food and recipes of the Middle Ages, an Adult Coloring journey.

Here’s what I have to date. Trencher and Board coloring pages sample. I know I said in my blog letter I’d give a few samples, but I decided to give you what I have so far. The recipes themselves are forthcoming, in the completed book format.

If you like the sample, would you leave a comment on how the coloring pages worked for you? I’d like to know if the grayscale and traditional coloring mediums work together, and whether the pages work well for you for markers, pen, or pencil. (I’ve been using pencil.)

On another note, Mary Pearson’s The Beauty of Darkness the third book in her trilogy, in hardcover, is cheaper than the $9.99 e-book, and just released the 2d. Don’t miss it! That is, if you like YA fantasy. I tried her books out from the library first, but this one I’m buying. :)

Thank you so much!

And have a great August!

Azalea

 

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Reader's Summer Getaway

Ruthlessly slash What??

It’s summer, and the game is afoot!

If you’re an author or reader, you’re either furiously creating or relaxing in your favorite warm spot with a book. Or you may do both consecutively. That’s two blessings of the land we live in, the USA, and I hope you’re enjoying reading or some equivalent summer fun. This is the time to be out of doors!

And we never quit learning, it seems. I enjoyed these interesting editing tips, Kristen Lamb’s article on what to ruthlessly slash, passed to me by a bestselling writer, KM Weiland, who wrote Storming, a great steampunk historical. I loved (still do) this daring air pirate adventure.

There’s more. It’s time for The Clash of The Titles, and I’m voting for Jenn Roger’s new release Astray, book one of the Ariboslia series. If you want to vote for her or your favorite title, go here starting Wednesday, June 22, 2016.  Page is not live until Wednesday.

There are many great reads and blessings – what are some of yours, if you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comments. It may take me a little time to get back to you, but I will!

PS. If you would like inside news and special offers on my books and coloring book projects and you are not yet on my list, join my blog letter in the sidebar. I won’t give your info to anyone else, and you’ll get the inside scoop bi-monthly or less.  :)

Have a great summer!

Azalea

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That last book report is easier than you think

A fascinating study of literary adventure by email:

I had the privilege of mentoring a teen student recently. Victoria’s questions about her book report were so well laid out, I thought our talk might be helpful and entertaining to you. At the bottom of our post is a link to a free medieval poem, Falcon’s Ode. Plus a link to Falcon Flight, a young adult medieval fantasy, free 5/13 – 5/16. Family friendly of course. But definitely adventurous! :) Continue reading

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5 Signs of a Great Fight Scene in the River of Time Series and Movies

Five Great Fight Scene Signs:

  •  The fight scene is believable—in the context of the portrayed world
  •  The fight and the scene are logically carried out
  •  The fight scene has a good story supporting it
  •  The fight, conflict, or battle is driven by meaning 
  •  Scene and fight are created by someone with some knowledge of writing and fighting

As a past practicing martial artist and a fellow human who loves a good adventure, I admire great fight scenes.

Some of the best books and movies for fight scenes include: R. A. Salvatore’s The Dark Elf trilogy for sword work; Lisa Tawn Bergrin’s River of Time Series for staff-wielding females; the The Bourne Trilogy and The Last Samurai movie for martial art applicability, prowess, and a glimpse of another world; all with the languages, costumes, and characters true to themselves. And these touch but the tip of the iceberg. And I must add Beyond the Maskwhich had some tight, well-played action scenes.

Of course, all of these, especially the movies, are more or less realistic as far as a real fight with various weapons goes. Much depends on the actor or character and the right build of tension and credibility throughout the story around the fight scene. I should add that in my experience the quality of the surrounding story highly impacts the fight scene.

In a story, book or film, there’s a fine ratio between exhibitionism and realism. In books, I especially lean toward realism—in the context of the portrayed world, as I say above. For instance, there’s a large difference between an elf’s swordsmanship abilities and a man’s.

I dislike blatant impossibilities such as the river scene and some of the others in the last segment of The Hobbit movie. They do not strike me as quite true to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. On top of that, impossibilities of real bodies in motion yank me out of the story. (I still like The Hobbit, just not as much as LOTR.)

Practicing martial art has given me insights into how to make a fight scene believable. Full contact Tae Kwon Do gives you some idea of guarding, striking, balance, action and reaction: the give and take of forces. It also gives you the experience of falling and how you feel when hit, how it feels to take down and hit someone else, and gives a multitude of techniques for excellent martial art scenes in fantasy adventure stories.

For a fight scene in any medium to be anything more than a brawl, it must have meaning behind it, within it, and ahead of it: a goal achieved by it. The goal “achieved” can be success or failure, depending on how it serves the story. The stakes must also be logically solid, which leads to emotional meaning and characters basing their actions or desired outcomes on the stakes and their meaning.

And someone may know how to fight, but not how to write, or script, or film. I imagine that’s why there are instructors and editors involved in both movies and books. So if you’re trying to write a great fight scene for script or book, take a few martial arts lessons or talk to someone who knows. Study the scenes you love and the ones that fit the five signs of a great fight scene.

So if you’re a writer or reader and you have a favorite fight scene or movie, leave a comment below and let me know. Please share this article with your friends on your favorite social media if you’ve found it helpful.

Thank you!

Azalea Dabill

Some links are affiliate

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Azalea’s Scop Talk: Lance and Quill

It’s here!

Lance and Quill is proofed and published in ebook and print. Thank you for your patience. You’re the best. :)

This medieval fantasy will romance your summer hours! I’ll be posting a link to friend and author, Kathrese McKee’s post tomorrow. Check back for my author interview. And don’t forget, there’s a special on! Share these with your friends who like books. Link: Lance and Quill.

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And another! Check out Kathrese’s ebook special here: Turning Point.

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Have a great summer!

Azalea Dabill

Crossover: Find the Eternal, the Adventure

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