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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Wattys Pre-emptively Screwed Themselves (Again)

The Wattys 2020 awards were announced last week, with the book of rules and guidelines going up on Wattpad.

After the 2019 awards I was vocal about two major problems (as I saw them): that previously published authors won two awards (I wrote about this and the outcomes here), and the rules book was misleading, contradictory, repetitive, and dense, with valid questions from Wattpadders seeking clarification going unanswered by Wattpad staff.

This year the Wattys have changed in two major ways, one of which makes business sense and the other is just common sense:

1. Only novels 50K are eligible (no non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, novellas, short stories) - Given Wattpad is looking to publish the winner(s), they won't make money from anything shorter than a novel. To recognize these other types of writing, they will have other contests later in the year.

2. Only finished stories are eligible. Last year, one of the judging criterion was (obviously) plot - does it have a beginning, middle, and satisfying end? It befuddled me at the time how this was supposed to be judged when the story was unfinished.

So far, so good.

But I have gripes.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Doorways: Wynter Wild Houses Part 3

The previous posts show the homes of characters from the Wynter Wild books - those mentioned during the series, and all the previous homes of the boys. In this post I'm looking at homes of some secondary characters as well as other locations.

Tiger Mountain

Here's a view of Tiger Mountain (facing east) showing how the homes - the brown clearings in the foreground - are buried in the forest. The blue flag could be where Caleb's family lives. The mountains in the very distance are the Cascades, which run north-south for 700 miles from Canada to Northern California.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Doorways: Wynter Wild Houses Part 2

In my previous post I showed pictures of the various homes (and a boat!) lived in by the family in the Wynter Wild series. In this post I'll take a look at the two houses they visit for nostalgia's sake in Montana, along with the Montana homes the children grew up in even before then.

In my next post I'll show you some of the other characters' homes and hangouts.

Anaconda, MT

In Minor Key (book 8), the family visits the two homes in Montana where the boys grew up (at least, the last two homes they lived in - they moved around with Miriam before this).

Friday, February 7, 2020

Doorways: Wynter Wild Houses Part 1

I often "drive" through cities and suburbs on Google Maps to get a feel for how a place looks, even if those descriptions don't end up in my writing. I live in suburban Melbourne, which has many suburbs with their own distinctive and very Australian flavor. So it's fascinating to me to compare American locations with Australian, as well as with each other.

Early on I found houses to match each of the places Wynter and the boys have lived in. I looked for houses the right size and price (using Zillow estimates for the year in question, where possible), and in the right location. This helped me enormously in visualizing my scenes. Zillow also sometimes has photos of the interiors (when they've recently been on the market).

Below are screenshots of some of the homes mentioned in books 1 to 8. They're not necessarily perfectly matched to the way I ended up describing the buildings, but most are real homes in the actual neighborhoods given in the books. I've listed them in the order they appear in the books, not the order they were lived in.

Seattle house, Columbia City, Seattle WA

Monday, February 3, 2020

Xay: Personality Type

The youngest brother in the Fairn family is Xay, and today I'm looking at his personality type according to the Myers-Briggs definition.

New Release: Duet (Wynter Wild Book 7)


The silly season is over, the child is back at school, and I've finally managed to get Duet out there. The book is available on Amazon Kindle at these links

Amazon US
Amazon AUS
Amazon UK
Amazon DE

or purchase from Smashwords in multiple formats.

As always, I truly appreciate the support of my readers and ask you to please consider writing an honest review at Goodreads. It's the best way to support indie authors!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

Wynter: Personality Type

As part of my deep-dive into my characters' personality types, today I'm looking at Wynter.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Jesse: Personality Type


This will be the first in a series looking at the personality types of the characters in the Wynter Wild series, comparing them to each other, and discussing character pairings - meaning how they interact with each other (in both positive and negative ways). I'll focus mostly on the siblings (Caleb, Indio, Jesse, Xay, Wynter), using their MBTI (Myers-Briggs) personality types.

Fellow writers might also be interested in my earlier post, Personality Typing for Made-Up People.

I did personality tests on my characters about one year into writing, when they already pretty well established in my head and on the page. I thought it would be interesting to see how closely they matched the established "types", and also knew it would generate some ideas for how they deal with stress, and with each other (particularly what causes conflict).

I became interested in this method of personality typing a couple of decades ago. 16Personalities is a useful summary site to familiarize yourself with the 16 types and take the test yourself if you want. (Not all sites use the same "shorthand" descriptor, e.g. "debater" for ENTP, but the idea is the same.) It's up to you whether you find this psychological approach useful for real people, but as a writer I do find it useful for character generation - or, in this case, for delving deeper into characters I'd already created.

I'm writing these posts in the midst of editing (and uploading to Wattpad) book 8, so there may be minor spoilers if you haven't read that far. Read about:


Jesse: the "debater"


Jesse's personality type is ENTP - the "debater". Let's break it down: