Monday, January 2, 2012

Guest Gary Wedlund Offers Writing Tips

Happy New Year!  Yes, I've been absent for about a month.  The holidays are a time for family, and I've been kicking back from the blog for a bit.  2012 has me busy working with my editor, Cindy Davis, on the fourth Immortyl Revolution book.  I've also been working on a short story anthology featuring Mia, Kurt and Cedric that I hope to release concurrently as a free ebook download.  Keep posted for details.  I have a handful of other projects in the works that I'm putting through my crit groups.  Which brings me to today's guest.  I'm pleased to welcome my friend and mentor, Gary Wedlund, to the blog.  He's pictured here with his lovely wife, Karen.

Gary is a very talented writer of fantasy and horror. I asked him to share a few tidbits of wisdom with my readers. Because of my acting background, I'm a big fan of strong verbs. I like to call them, "sexy verbs". Connotative meaning can really sharpen a writer's work. So here is Gary with his advice on strong, concise language:

A Lesson in Style

Gary Wedlund

They moved through the forest at a fast pace.

The fact is, there’s no obvious reason why I dislike that line so much, but I do. The grammar’s okay. Maybe it’s because it’s generic and leaves me with a huge shrug.

Sometimes you want to be quick and general, but usually not so much. Words like moved and pace just don’t conjure anything specific. Not only are they vague, but they double down on the same vague thought; what’s with that? Why nonspecific twice?

Next, I’m noticing how the vague references to fast movement are interrupted by a forest. The rude forest that breaks the same thought into two islands is also vague.

The mini-lesson here is to show us something. At the very least, don’t get cute with language when the content isn’t really all that special. Basically, they jogged through the forest. If you’re not going to say anything we can touch, taste or feel, get it over with.

Gary's published novels:
Living Dead Press: Zombies in Our Hometown

Open Casket Press: Atomic Zombies

Loconeal Press: Shaman Within

Loconeal Press (later this winter): Search for the Queen

Gary says: I'm primarily focused on novels, and write in three genres, zombie horror, historic fantasy and urban fantasy. I have several unpublished novels, including the last three novels to the Shaman Within (Abi) series, an urban fantasy trilogy about a succubus and her vampire sister, a two book humorous series about Satan's daughter (trying to find her mother while making sense of Earth), and a steampunk novel about a girl trying to keep out of the way of a royal mess.

I am also involved with four writer's groups, NCSF, Ohio Writers, Columbus Writeshop and Ohio Writer's Guild. One of the members sharing space and comments in two of those groups is my good friend, Denise Verrico. Gary, Denise and Ren Garcia have formed Free Writing Workshops of Ohio to foster the craft of writing by offering free writing workshops to youth and adults at libraries and schools throughout Ohio.

You can follow Gary and his work at these links:

Web page:

Loconeal Writer's Tips Editor: ttp://

Editing for Living Dead Press:

Gary's short stories can be found in the following:

Zombie Erotica:


Gary said...

Thanks for having me. Your blogging skills are legendary, and almost as good as your writing.

Denise Verrico said...

You're too kind. Glad to have you here

Gary said...

Any questions for the wizard of literary BS101?

Gary said...

WEll, I'm going to ask Denise a question. If you had to read a book in one of the following genres, which would it be:
Historic fantasy
Urban fantasy
Zombie horror
And why.

Denise Verrico said...

I'm trying awful hard to finsih the second "Song of Fire and Ice" book. In the months that I've been slogging through this one, I've read several other books in many genres. I've been writing urban fantasy for fifteen years, so I'm looking for a change. I'm writing fantasy myself, so I'm reading different types of fantasy. I'm up for some Zombie Horror.

Gary said...

Your urban fantasy is pretty nice. I'd love to see you write one with a witch in it, swirling with magic and with crazy relatives, all while she's trying to court someone normal. I'm thinking a witch version of Wendy in the Adam's family. Like really cut loose with it and make it insane. That would be different for you from your serious literature. Your city-dwelling vampires are pretty cool, in any event. I nominated you for such and such of the year.
I personally don't see much difference between writing one thing or the next. Maybe that's a mistake on my part.
Anyway, I invite folks to read the preview chapter of my latest, Atomic Zombies, because I think I took a pretty good angle on the theme, as opposed to the usual body a moment junk in the genre.

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