What kind of author I want to be


Based on David Farland’s Daily Kick about what authors are trying to accomplish with their writing, I’m going to state my mission. David’s words:

I’m often surprised by how few authors have really thought about what it is that they’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to be considered an entertainer? A prophet who forewarns of political doom? A writer whose work electrifies and binds people together?

I love it when an author figures that out early. Personally, I didn’t have much of a vision for what I wanted to become. I figured it out over a few years.

I was probably the same. I started writing to entertain myself. For years nobody read my stuff – that’s how the one-draft-writer was born! 😉 No readers, no comments, the story worked fine for me, why bother with rewrites?

Then, of course,  I found readers, and some adjustments began. Or years went by, I grew up and smiled at my past attempts, finding all the flaws I couldn’t see at the time of writing that particular story. At some point I was even happy to be still unpublished, because I could rewrite my old stories and take them to the next level! 🙂

Now, I’m not Dean Wesley Smith yet – he never re-reads his stories after publishing them – I’m still my own favorite author and like to re-read old stories (mostly to check if they’re salvageable, LOL), but probably now that I’m putting them out there, I’ll probably learn to let them go like he does. I haven’t checked anything after BoI – Fire, if there are typos or other problems, well, I don’t care anymore. I’m not tweaking the plot either, I’d rather tweak the plot of the stories I’m about to write if they need to fit with what’s already out. So I do check bits and pieces sometimes when I’m writing related stories (like the first Chronicle of the Varian Empire –  a prequel to BoI – Water), but don’t re-read the whole thing anymore – I’m running out of reading time, so why waste it on that? 😉

I still write to entertain, though, myself first, if someone else enjoys it too, wonderful. I know I have a niche readership and they will find me eventually – as long as I keep writing. And as I tackle different genres, until I’m the next Kris Rusch with her open pen-names, I might eventually be jealous of myself if I sell more in other genres than this one! 😉

That’s my only aim as an author. I don’t want to teach or preach anything, nor garner a great following (my 5000 would be enough, but as I’m around 5 still, where are the other 4995? ;-)), but I’m sure that my morals and dreams and ideals come out in my writing – from the stories I choose to tell. But I’m only a humble storyteller, I don’t plan to change the world with my writing! 🙂

What kind of author do you want to be? Closing with Mr Farland’s wise words again:

If you hope to entertain and teach and garner a great following, that’s the highest aim for an author. But take care what you’re teaching. If your work doesn’t have a positive impact on the world, then you’re not really the greatest of storytellers, are you? You now become the basest of them all.

There are those critics who contend that to be a truly “great writer,” you must first become a great person. That’s the highest that any storyteller can hope to achieve—to entertain, to teach, to garner an audience, and to have a powerful and positive influence on your culture.

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Announcement – David Farland new release


Yesterday I got this from Jim Wolverton and I’m publishing his whole e-mail:

Hi this is a group email to all who are helping David promote his book. I just want to let you know we are all set to release the book tomorrow. I believe everyone has their guest blog, if not, please let me know.

Many of you have had to already post your guest blog and that’s fine, but if you could mention that Nightingale is now released at www.nightingalenovel.com I would appreciate it. Also, by tomorrow, we will have an on-line ereader at the site so that everyone can sample the enhanced version of the novel, read the manuscript, listen to some of the 45-minute sound track, and enjoy some of the 100+ pieces of art and animations, plus video interviews with David and read his author’s notes. So this is intended to be a special advancement in enhanced novels.

David has sought to blend music that is integral to the plot in the sound track and has commissioned art from many different artists in a New York style to use many styles of art together. It’s like how the rock operas combined music, dance, singing and acting. I call this the “First Rock Opera of Ebooks.”

I hope you find it to be all that David has striven so hard to achieve. He would like to hear your feedback.

Oh, and if you would go the extra mile and ask your fans to go to www.facebook.com/Nightingale.Novel and “Like” it, that would be wonderful.
Thanks for all your help.

P.S. By the way, there are pictures and a Q&A you are welcome to use any part of at www.nightingalenovel.com/press

I’m one day late in publishing it, so everything should be up and running!

Quick reminder: my interview with David Farland is here.

Go check everything and have a nice weekend! 🙂

Interview with… David Farland


I read on his Daily Kicks that he wanted to do a blog tour, so I immediately offered my blog. He was supposed to be here in September, but things got postponed… which worked very well for both of us! Ladies and gents, I’m honored to have interviewed a real pro today. Please welcome David Farland. Feel free to leave comments (I hope to be able to approve them in a timely manner)!

Can you do us a summary of your writing career?

That’s not easy!  I’ve written and edited about fifty-novel length works and anthologies, been a New York Times Bestseller seven times, set the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Book Signing, worked with a number of major properties such as Star Wars and the Mummy in movies, and Starcraft and Xena in videogames.  I’ve trained dozens of writers who have gone on to become New York Times Bestsellers, and I’ve won a few awards for best novel of the year, best story of the year, things like that.  I often feel that when I talk about such things, it must have been someone else.  Most of the time, my life is rather dull–I sit and write.

Where do you find your inspiration?  Do you put yourself in your stories?

Inspiration is everywhere–movies that I watch, music I listen to, news reports, dreams after eating pepperoni pizza. (Seriously, I’ve gotten two novels that way!)  You just have to keep yourself open to it.  When you think about writing a lot, soon the ideas seem to come from everywhere.
As for characters, most of my protagonists are what I’d call “twisted versions of me.”  I can imagine what they would think and do only by examining what I see as possibilities within myself.

When and where do you write? Do you have a specific routine?

I have a nice Lazy Boy that I write on most of the time.  I put my laptop on it and type away.  Sometimes I’ll lie down in bed and write, if I’m tired.   As for when–I do it all the time, from 6:30 in the morning until about midnight.  Much of my time is spent writing correspondence, taking care of business, but the point is that I don’t have a set schedule.  I like to work out in the evenings because most of the time, after working out, I’m too tired to write.  But then there are those times when you get inspired, and it drags you out of bed.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

All of the above.  I teach a course called Million Dollar Outlines, and I do outline sometimes.  But I’ve also written about half of my books just off the cuff, improvising.  As to fast or slow, people complain that I’m not writing my books fast enough, but they don’t know all that I’m doing.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Both if you can swing it.  Traditional publishing–where someone else prints, ships, edits, and markets your book–was a good deal three years ago.  It allowed an author to concentrate on his or her work.
But with the rise of electronic publishing, the deals there aren’t looking very good.  The traditional publishers are demanding too much of the author’s revenue, given what they’re providing.  Even then, a lot of publishers seem to be withholding monies due.
I think that we’re going through a transition period.  Perhaps in a couple of years, things will settle down, and the deals will get more reasonable.
But with this latest book, I just felt that I couldn’t take it through New York.
So I decided for something of a third alternative: I’m starting a new publishing company, one that will treat authors much better that what they’re used to.

For those who (still) don’t follow your Daily Kicks, what’s up at David Farland’s these days?

I’m releasing NIGHTINGALE hopefully on November 4th.  This is the beginning of a huge franchise, I suspect.  It’s the story of a young man, abandoned at birth, who is raised in the social system.  When he gets kicked out of one house as a teen and taken to another, he learns for the first time that he’s not human, but descended from a race of people that only look human.
The title NIGHTINGALE comes from the Asian Rainbird, or Asian Nightingale, which lays its eggs in other’s nests and lets birds of other species raise its young.
I think that this book will appeal to fans of TWILIGHT very strongly.  I was Stephenie Meyer’s writing teacher, and in our classes we spoke quite a bit about writing to the teen audience.  I just have never tried to bring out my own big series.
We’re excited about this because we’re doing something interesting.  We’re putting it out as an enhanced novel, with an app for the iPad, along with over 100 illustrations and animations.  We’ve got a 45-minute soundtrack with it, and of course an audiobook.  The hardcover will come  out later this fall.

Do you have any other project on the pipeline?

I’m finishing up the last book in the Runelords series, of course, and we’re getting ready to start pushing the movie in Hollywood.  (I wrote the Runelords screenplay earlier this year.)  I do have a producer who is interested in taking NIGHTINGALE to film, too, and so we’ll be pursuing that once I finish up with the Runelords.

You’re starting a writing contest, why is that?

I started writing for prize money in college on the advice of my university writing professor, Eloise Bell. I entered a story and won 3rd place in a contest. That inspired me to try harder, and within about 18 months, I won the grand prize for the Writers of the Future. That led to a three-novel contract with Bantam books.

So writing for contests launched my career, but I don’t see many of them being sponsored lately. I love writing. I think that it’s one of the most exciting and interesting jobs a person could have. So I want to help inspire other artists to create.

What kind of writing contest is it?

This is a short story contest, just ten pages. It can be set anywhere, any time, though it would be nice if it were set in the world of the Nightingale.

How is this contest different from others?

First, I’d really like to promote it to younger writers. I’d like to see teens enter the contest who may not have thought that writing can be a realistic choice for a career. I’d like to help them make their dreams come true.

What opportunities will the winner receive?

The winner will get $1000 cash, and will have his or her story published in the electronic versions of Nightingale. More importantly, East India Press will invite the top authors to submit novels for publication. East India Press will release these as enhanced books with illustrations and soundtracks, audiobooks, e-books, and as hardcover novels.
If the winner does publish with East India Press, I’ll help them push their books toward bestseller status by giving them guidance on a level that other editors aren’t trained to do.

Where can I find out about the contest?
You can learn all about it, and even find an article on how to win it at www.nightingalenovel.com.

How does one become a successful prize writer?
First, you have to be aware of the contest deadlines, and then enter before the contest ends. You’d be surprised at how many people want to win contests that they never seem to enter.
Beyond that, you need to familiarize yourself with what makes a good story, how it can be told well, and how to analyze your audience. A lot of those concerns are addressed in an article on my website at www.nightingalenovel.com. I don’t believe in just telling you that I’ve started a contest. I want to tell you how to win any writing contest.

Well, there you have it, writers. From a real pro. I was honored to have him here, and hope he stops by sometime again or consider my humble blog for his next release! Thank you, Mr Farland, for visiting my blog!

more writerly stuff


no daily prompt inspired me, so I’m continuing from yesterday. I did my first upload on FeedBooks (Vive la France!), hope to add more during the week(end). It will be all free reads, because at the moment it’s the only thing you can upload there (along with public domain stuff). So there goes – they even picked up the Gravatar from WordPress, without me uploading it like I had to do everywhere else! 😀

I’ve joined another group on Goodreads and was pointed to this post about worst mistakes authors make. Please read also the comments, as the discussion is very interesting. Not that I’m going to spam anyone (I felt so guilty when I announced Air to all my friends, that I didn’t repeat it for Fire…), and I’m probably going to lurk before I say anything (although I uploaded my “review” for the book they plan on reading next month, as it’s already on my “not to try again” list… ;-)), but as they say in the comments, that’s a real school for writers, check what readers want. And of course we must be readers before being writers. But the “forum” form is kinda daunting for me, so I don’t know when I’ll be actually active on any forum! 😉

Also, maybe because I’m prolific, I don’t spend to much time on my latest baby, because I’m already thinking about the next one! 😀 But I know lots of writers who spend years on one single novel and can never let it go… don’t rewrite eternally, and please do check again Dean Wesley Smith’s Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing – he’s editing them and I look forward to see the book complete to buy it and save it on my PC even if I already read it for free! Because his advice is just awesome! 😀 Also subscribe to David Farland’s newsletter, if you haven’t already, it’s another gold mine of advice from a pro…

OK, I better go back to my writing, drawing and reading… I’ve just met a long-haired guy (did I mention I love long-haired guys? YES, I did! :-D) whom I know is a vampire… maybe Louis de Pointe du Lac has finally found a rival? Hope to let you know in a couple of days…

I leave you with this hilarious article that circulated in my offline writers group: 30 harshest author-on-author insults in history. Do you still wonder why authors keep doing it? 😉

Linky Friday


Ooookay, let’s start the Friday version of Linky Saturdays!

Heidi M.Thomas on words for writers. I don’t have much to add to that! 😉

JC Martin, the fighter writer, on action scenes in writing. That girl really k… some a…!! 😀

Literary Lab on don’t expect only compliments – which for me, having just received both from my newest editor… wow. He’s darn right. Constructive criticism makes my brain work harder! 😉

Fellow Six Sentence Sunday author Sandra Sookoo on real life men, and how they’re NOT romance heroes. An hilarious post even for a single like me! 🙂

An author who responds to a Bad Review with a totally different stance than the other one I posted some time ago… and she’s even a former screenwriter, maybe I should “friend” her so we could rant about Hollywood! 😉

And I’m also on that blog with some excerpts, by the way… it’s Shaina’s again, it’s called ebooksFreeFreeFree, feel free to submit your free reads! 😀

At the Passive Voice more on how publishers are under-reporting ebook sales from another source than the usual suspects… As Dean Wesley Smith suggests, this is a blog to keep an eye on… in fact it’s on my blogroll now! 🙂 Did you know you’re licensing rights to your photos when you tweet them, by the way? Another good reason NOT to join Twitter… 😉

Passive Guy also subscribes to David Farland’s Weekly Kick! 😉 Here’s his take on the latest news… which was followed by another e-mail announcing David Farland goes indie too! 😀

Our first book will be THE NIGHTINGALE. We anticipate launching the series on all four platforms this fall. Here is a link to our web site: http://eastindiapress.com/

So now everybody is following Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch‘s advice – even if Dean has pros and cons about the new discussion between Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath.

Books&Such on Grammar Shrammar – geez, and I thought I had it figured out! 😦

Have a great weekend, everybody! 😀

Pseudonyms and other career plans


I’ve been following a few pro-authors in the past year, two are very much for self-publishing on Kindle, one is still the voice of reason. While Joe Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith keep showing indie authors can have success and the old world of publishing is slowly crumbling, David Farland is still cautious about it.

I think it depends on each writer’s expectations and capacities. Dave is right that most writers are delusional, both in Hollywood and New York (depending if you’re writing screenplays or novels). It’s true that some indie authors are awful, but not all of them. And I think readers are smart enough to pick good stories, well written and well presented, without bothering to check if there’s a publisher behind it or not.

Kindle (or Lulu, or Smashwords) allow a preview of the first, ever-important pages of any book, so readers will immediately know if it’s crap or not. As Dave pointed out (in his newsletter, you should subscribe to it even if you don’t write genre fiction):

I’ve done that same experience on more than one occasion, picked up a self-published novel only to see a dozen horrible mistakes—everything from typos to misspellings and just genuinely terrible prose—all within two pages.

So, depending on what kind of writer you are, self-publishing e-books might be for you or not. If you plan on being the next Amanda Hocking (who, BTW, worked her ass of, if you check her blog), it’s a gamble, just like trying to be the next JK Rawlings in traditional publishing. If, like me, you’re a prolific writer and you’re sick of watching your stories gather dust on your hard drive or old notebooks, I think you have nothing to lose. Dust them off, make them shine and put them out there. It’s a brand new world opening for us, and like Ollin said, it’s think it’s time to join the party and start taking our chances.

Here’s David Farland’s test to know if you’re ready – again from his unmissable newsletter:

So how do you know if you’re ready? There’s an easy test:

1) Write a book.

2) Print it off and pass it around to twenty people.

3) Wait for two weeks.

At the end of two weeks, if you have only a few people, say five or six, who have read your book, it’s not holding your audience. If you’ve got a book that has had fifteen or so people who’ve read it with excitement, you’re doing well.

But what you’re really looking for is “pass-along rate.” If at the end of two weeks you have people who are passing the manuscript to friends to read—to sons and daughters and neighbors—then you have a potential hit. If you’ve got thirty or forty readers at the end of two weeks, then you know that your book will have a life.

Hopefully, you’ll soon find an editor or agent who agrees with you, but if you don’t, that’s when you really begin looking at self-publishing.

As for me, it’s difficult to find 20 English-speaking people in Rome (although officially on the offline writers group there are 30 people) and mostly hard to find fast readers (there’s only one in that writers group). But I’ve done some self-publishing with comic books in the 1990s, so it’s not totally new to me, it’s just the media that is different.

I will use different pseudonyms for different genres, so if one doesn’t work I can rely on the other. I’ve used Barbara G.Tarn since the 1990s as creat0or of Silvery Earth, so I’ll keep using it for my fantasy world and a couple of sci-fi alternatives, but I already picked up two more, for the historical novel(s?) and for contemporary stories (and I might pick up another one if I decide to write in Italian again as well). I’ve seen on Smashwords I could upgrade to Publisher (recommended also for authors who use two or more pseudonyms) and I already have my own “imprint” on Lulu (as Unicorn Productions), so it shouldn’t be too hard…

I will take down everything from Serial Central this weekend, and reissue Modern Fairy Tales on Smashwords with another pen-name, along with the prose version of some of my screenplays, so those stories can see the light of day (and then Hollywood can come a-calling, I’ll be ready for them! ;-)). I won’t mention the historical novel anymore here (except maybe when I finish it), and I’m still looking for critique partners and/or fast beta-readers – I’m fast, compulsive, prolific. But I still need external eyes to see plot holes or inconsistencies.

I feel like a pro with lots of back catalog and I’m very excited to finally be able to put it out at my own pace, without waiting for anybody to tell me I’m ready! 🙂 I’ve written for long enough to be confident in storytelling, I know you never stop learning and look forward to this new lesson, and I hope to find my readers soon.

It’s the beginning of a new era. Let’s celebrate it! 😀

Story Wednesday and a Daily Kick


Before you hop off to Serial Central for the conclusion of Jessamine, I thought to share this Daily Kick from David Farland, as I received it in my inbox. My #1 priority is definitely writing, but if family or friends call, I’m ready! 😉

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—“Protecting the Work” How important is your writing to you? 

Maybe it’s your #1 priority, maybe not.

You should have a list, at least mentally, that helps guide you in making choices. My wife and children come first for me, with close friends in emergency situations right near that. I put my writing—my job—at about third on my list.

So a couple of days ago, I tried to do a favor for someone who is not a top priority. It should have taken fifteen minutes, I thought, but instead I wasted a day, and now I’m kicking myself. I never even got it done. It was a total waste of time. I let a low priority get in the way of a high priority.

We’ve all had that kind of experience. My goal this past week was to spend the vast majority of my time finishing up the second draft to a new novel, but I’ve had a lot of distractions.

In one week alone I’ve had three people ask me to read their books—one to offer cover quotes, two to offer critiques. If you figure an average of 20 hours per book, you can see that I’d spend 60 hours per week right there, and I wouldn’t have time for my own work. Beyond that, I was asked to speak at a library and at a school, and the travel time in each case would have eaten up an entire day. I also had a couple of requests to edit manuscripts—about 500 pages of editing, both from people who were willing to pay—and one request to ghostwrite a thriller novel.

Then I had legitimate business-related jobs—writing proposals—that took up about three days of my time.

You see the problem? There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to keep up with the average flow of requests. If I’d said yes to every request this past week, I’d spend the next three months honoring them.

So I have to cling to my goals and protect my working time, and learn to say no.

Writers call it “protecting the work.”

Others will encroach upon the time that you should spend writing, and so you have to learn to protect yourself.

I’ve known of authors who don’t “protect their work,” who let time slide. One fine author used to spend days in chat rooms. Another spent his time drinking beer on the porch. Another got lost in his teaching. One of my favorites will admit that he spent two years just playing video games.

In a short time, just a few months, any one of those activities can set back or even destroy your career.

What’s more important to you, writing your novel or “hanging out” in the mall? What’s more satisfying to you, writing your novel, or taking care of your sick spouse? What’s more thrilling to you, watching the latest episode of “Castle,” or writing your novel?

I get to make the choice a dozen times a day. Earlier this morning I got an email from a videogame company that wants to make a MMORPG based upon my novels. Do I call them now, as they requested, or wait until I’m burned out on writing?

My wife just read the first chapter of my new novel and says, “This is by far the best thing you’ve ever written.” Should I eat a leisurely breakfast, or get back to work on this novel?

Today, I choose to “Protect the work” and to finish the novel.

###

Timeshare for Sale:

As many of you know, I often go on writing retreats when I’m starting a novel, but in the past couple of years, I’ve really done a lot more writing at home, in part, I’m sure, because most of my kids are growing up and moving out. So I’ve decided to sell a little time share that I haven’t been using. If you work it right, it lets you go out for a couple of weeks every two years, giving you 20,000 points through Geo Holiday (which can be traded up into any RCI property). I bought this one a few years ago for $6000, and I’d purchased it from someone who paid substantially more. I’m willing to let it go for $2000, should anyone be interested. If so, just contact me at dwolvert@xmission.com.

Unsubscribe Instructions – You may modify your newsletter preferences at anytime by logging into your account at www.DavidFarland.net/members/. You may also reply to this message and add “Unsubscribe” to the subject line.
 
***
Now check the end of Jessamine on Serial Central. I’ll take two weeks off, and be back with a new story in November. Stephen kindly covers for me (I’ll have to make a monument to that young man!), so don’t forget to check anyway. I also like how the other stories are going. The Painter… cool!, Two sisters… sometimes I want to peek and read the whole story! ;-), Ensnared… Miss Rosemary has me ensnared!, Karma’s way… whoa, Janna!, and Burden of Justice… is my favorite… because it’s fantasy! 😉
Happy reading!

News from the world


Frank Frazetta

I’m going to start with the passing of Frank Frazetta. Not a Conan fan, I never really appreciated his art, I guess. But then David Farland‘s Daily Kick in the Pants told me something about the person. Wow. Now I’m sorry I didn’t meet him. Because he was a nice person, not because I wanted to learn his painting style. I know he was one of the great illustrators of the XX century, it’s just that I couldn’t really appreciate his epic fantasy paintings – not a big fan of epic fantasy myself. So, I will miss him, even if he wasn’t my favorite illustrator.  And I thank David Farland for remembering him like he does and sharing his memories with us (the subrscibers to his daily newsletter, that is).

Another news is the one-year-milestone after publication of Jim Wisneski that I found through tag-surfing. I’m pointing you there because I think he makes very good points about writing. As a self-taught, unpublished writer, I can tell you I made tonz of them myself. My biggest mistake is – that I haven’t started querying yet, and that I don’t want to send out my short stories because I feel I’m not very good with shorter pieces. But well… somebody else made it, so let’s celebrate with him. He has made some money out of writing. It’s unrealistic for everybody wanting to make millions, but slowly I believe we can build a fortune. Especially with the so-called new-media, like e-books or podcasts or whatever. If you’re brave enough to record your writing, that is. 😉 So, kudos to Jim.

Lisa also remains in the Fresh Blood contest, so if you haven’t already, go vote for her (or someone else, if you wish, I’ve read all the excerpts and as I’m not a fan of horror, she’s still in pole-position for me). I even got a thank you e-mail from a judge with an excerpt of something else I still have to read… Anyway, let’s support each other, shall we? Even if we write in different genres – we should read anything in any genre anyway to become better writers. So hop on to Lisa’s blog and follow her instructions.

Ollie’s guest post was a success, so if anyone would like to write something for this blog, feel free to contact me. I will have to do a post sort of contradicting him soon, though, about the other face of Google Books. One thing is to use Google Books as readers, another as authors, apparently. More on this in a couple of days.

Cover of Ch.4 (now the rest!)

I’m still waiting for my prize from the Masked Ball competition, but the Italian snail mail can be exhaustingly slow. I’ll keep waiting and will let you know what it was when I get it. I wrote a conclusion to the back-story with the ball seen from Bianca’s POV, but I’m still editing it and waiting for Nikalee (whose story intertwins with mine) for her ending. Then we’ll send a copy at Mesmered’s for approval, then maybe we’ll do a free e-book on Lulu. BTW I’ve added the downloads in my Lulu shop, but at the moment you can only have graphic novels in English. The preview is active in case you want to have a taste.

I still haven’t put up chapters 2 and 3 of SKYBAND (and have to start chapter 4 tomorrow), but I haven’t decided what’s the best way to publish that graphic novel. Sometimes I feel it’s better viewed on screen, sometimes I think that comic books and graphic novels should be printed because it’s the best way to enjoy the art and the composition of the pages (dunno if this makes sense, but there is a pattern when an artist composes two pages that must come close – you often (not in my drawings, but pros do it) have those panels that take two pages, I don’t know how those come out in e-readers…). Any comment on that is welcome.

Keep writing!

P.S. the “glow-worms” in yesterday vignette seemed to gather curiosity… so here’s the Wikipedia picture of glowworms! 😀

pot-pourri


I’m going to ramble a little, here. First about Vonda N.McIntyre “Pitfalls of writing sci-fi&fantasy“.  The “As you know, George” (pitfal #1), a.k.a. “As you know, Bob” in screenwriting luckily doesn’t pop up in my writing anymore, but I still see it here and there. And it’s not only in sci-fi& fantasy either. Expository lumps (or infodumps) should really be avoided by all fiction writers. The other points… well, I guess I’ll have to check them carefully. I tend to use Rampant Capitals, but not as many as her example – I usually use them in my conlang or other minor settings. I’ve learned to find pronounciable names, possibly without apostrophes (sometimes with dashes, though… does “Kol-ian” sound so bad?). Rule #7 about neologism I read it also in Orson Scott Card’s book on writing sci-fi & fantasy – that’s why I call animals that are like the ones we have on Earth with the same word we use in our world. I think the reader understands it’s not Earth anyway without having to call rabbits smeerps. As for the other pitfalls, like I said, I better be careful…

Now I wanna move to an article that really struck a cord in me: “Authors can be stupid: I just want to write” (which is what I wish I could do, hehe ;-)!). Read it? Do it, I’ll wait.

Gee, Mr. Stackpole, put away that pole! OK, I don’t whine about it, but it’s true that I often think “I only want to write”.  I don’t like marketing, networking, whatever it takes to put the world out there and reache those readers I so much crave for. Don’t hit me, yet, Mr Stackpole! And thank you for trying to ram some sense into me. It’s just that when there’s that word involved, “business”, I get all shy and don’t want to come out of my writing hole because I feel I have no business flair at all. Or I’d be published by now.

But Mr Stackpole is totally right. I’ll kick myself and get down to study some business models that work for writers. I’ll ask the help of friends who are better marketer than myself.  I’ll find a way to fix things and kick my low self-esteem (am I bipolar or do I simply have az yo-yo ego?) and start that business ASAP. I still think it’s an exciting moment for authors, so I better start doing whet I’m sort of preaching, right? And I’m definitely not whining about the market – I admit I haven’t really tested it yet. So I better start that query process and see what happens. Or just make my own e-books and sell them or something.

One final suggestion or two. Subscribe to the Literaturetraining Bulletin if you want to know about jobs, workshops, courses, events & opportunities or competition/submissions in the UK. If you either live this side of the pond or plan to spend a year studying in the UK, this newlsetter is full of interensting information. On the other side of the pond you can do workshops either with Orson Scott Card or with David Farland (my friend Fulvio decided he can’t miss the next Writer Death Camp! If I hadn’t already booked my yearly intercontinental trip, I’d join him too – been to Saint George UT last year, him never! ;-)) – oh, and thanks Stephen for pointing me to David Farlan’d site in the comments of my “useful links for writers” page!

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