Tonights Update

I’ve just a quick little update tonight.

I’d like to give a shout out to Patrick E. McLean who wrote the book How To Succeed In Evil which is a really entertaining book. The characters are brilliant, out there in the odd case but in a good way. This is hugely entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud more than once (I got some funny looks at work).

http://www.patrickemclean.com/

 

Theres the link to Mr. McLean’s site, you can also find his work at Podiobooks.com and iTunes.

 

There’s a sad note here I’m afraid. It was announced today that the actor Richard Briers has passed away. He was 79. Mr. Briers starred in a number of great shows over the years. I’ll remember him mainly for his role as Tom Good in The Good Life and as Hector Naismith MacDonald in Monarch Of The Glen. The most recent thing that I saw him in was Cockneys vs. Zombies. He seemed like a proper gentleman and I will always remember the shows that I saw him and what a talent he was.

R.I.P Mr Richard Briers.

Shouting Out: Sanctuary: Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse by Joshua Jared Scott

Hey guys and gals, I just wanted to give a shout out to a book that I have absolutely fallen in love with.  Sanctuary: Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse by Joshua Jared Scott.

 

http://blog.podiobooks.com/2012/10/10/new-release-sanctuary-surviving-the-zombie-apocalypse-by-joshua-jared-scott/

 

Here’s the link to its Podiobooks site.  This is where I found it via iTunes and I was really swept away with the story.  Its, well about survivors after zombies have swept across the planet.  The lead character Jacob tells his story of how his surviving and all the little things along the way. At first I thought this may be a watered down story, and there would not be anything extreme in it, but there are times when it does get beyond dark.  So if you are a little screamish, this may not be for you.  It has a slow and steady pace with good points of tension throughout the story and it never holds back from addressing the realities of societies downfall.

On a personal note I love the voice Joshua Jared Scott has and it’s one that I found especially easy to listen too.  This has shot to the top of my ‘To-buy’ list once I have some free cashflow.

It’s well Worth Checking Out

Finding A Title

A book can live or die by it’s title like it does by its cover. Many readers will say that they dont judge a book by it’s cover but let’s face it, we all do it. I also believe that we do the same with the title of a book. When I’m in a bookshop I look along the shelves and see all the spines of the books and all there is the authour and the book title. I have brought more then one book just by the title because it’s caught my attention. Naming a book is a real weak point for me, thankfully Owen is pretty good at it so for our joint projects I just tend to let him roll with what he comes up with. It’s very important, the title of a book. It has to grab attention and make the reader think ‘Damn that sounds good!’ and in this growing age of the ebook I think book titles will play an even more important role in grabbing the readers attentions.

So how can I find the knack for naming my work? I know the name should come from the story and when it comes to some of my short stories I seem to have hit the nail on the head. In these cases though the title has seemed very obvious, now that I think it I’m not as bad as naming my work as I thought. A title though has to represement the story, or at least part of it as well as making us take the book off of the shelve.

There’s also having an overall title if we are writing a trilogy or a series of books. Scott Sigler has his Galactic Football League series, Dan Abnett has his Gaunt’s Ghosts and J.K. Rowling has the Harry Potter books. Owen and I have Project Phoenix, which originally would have been a four book series including a prequel and we had many discussions about and overall title for the series but we never settled on anything and as long time readers will know Phoenix is in stasis at the moment until we come around to rewriting it. We also have our Project Apollo works which will come under one title banner for all the works in that series. It will give a familiarity for the reader, if they like the stories then they will see them banner and pick it up (hopefully).

This is one of those marketing things that writers nowadays have to consider. We need to have our work scream out from the shelves, or Amazon, or wherever you may browse for your books. Especially if we are indie authors. We need to get the readers attention, to spike their interest so they pick our book off the shelve, or to click the preview link on an online outlet.

Another Twist To Project Apollo

This project has taken another little twist now but it’s a change that I’ve wanted for a while and now Owen has come to the conclusion this may be the smart direction to take with it.  I can’t go into what this change is but I think it’ll make it much easier to write and allow us to hone the characters better.  We will still use many of the elements that we had before this change but it will be much more diluted, stuff it I’ll tell you what it is.  Originally Project Apollo was meant to be a comedy in the vein of Red Dwarf and Futurama (okay there’s a bit of a hit as to what genre Apollo is lol)but the way the universe is evolving is making it feel like it would not work as well as a slapstick comedy like we had planned.  Now we’re going to take it on a much more serious path but we want to still keep a few light-hearted moments within it so me and Owen will find the right places to put them in.

As I said this change works well for me because I think it’ll suit my style of writing a little more.  Owen emailed me the other day saying that what he has done so far on Apollo is quite serious so I do think it would have worked being a comedy bit too.  Owen is playing around like I am with Project Apollo, neither of us are making an effort to actually start writing this at all but we are finding our feet with it.  I’m not expecting much of what we are doing at the moment to make up the actual text of the finished novel but knowing Owen I have a feeling we will use more of his actual text that’s been written than mine.  I think in the next two months we may have a rough outline of the story and be getting close to making a start on writing a story that we have been kicking around for a good five years 🙂

Being Professional

I was talking to a friend who was asked to review a book by a writer and when she gave her honest review the writer had a go at her because it was a glowing one.  If you go over to Cinta Garcia’s web page you will see all about this amazing writer who is not nasty of vicious at all.  Cinta is one of the kindest people I know.  I’ve also read the review and its a well written and direct review.  Heres her website, which is new by the way http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fcintascorner.weebly.com%2F&h=3AQHmYSjH

This got me thinking about something that the Mighty Mur Lafferty says on her podcast I Should Be Writing, basically being professional is the best way to be.  Please go and check out her website because she’ll express it better than I can http://www.murverse.com/ She is of the mindset though that trying to be a professional is the best route because its rare that being rude and unprofessional will just get people’s backs up and put them off you and your work.  I think a good analogy is if you buy a car and its nothing but a pain in the backside you tell people about it and rarely buy another car of that make.  Or a rude staff member at a coffee-house or something.  These things annoy us and we are more than likely to talk about a bad experience then we are a good experience.

Mighty Mur puts forward a lot of good points.  Like not trying to get into a discussion with someone who has left a bad review.  I quite like the sound of this piece of advice.  If the reader did not get what you were trying to say in the book its kind of like explaining why a joke is funny.  If it’s a nasty review then surely it’s not even worth the time to post a reply.  I know in the early stages of our careers we’ll reply to almost anything because we’re building our online presence but its easy to get sucked into a heated exchange and I think that I will probably steer clear of the people leaving nasty comments when I have my work out in the world for people to read and talk about.

Mighty Mur also talks about things like not asking for critiques from editors when they reject your work as they have slush piles to read etc.  Seriously if novice writers have not at least checked out Mur’s I Should Be Writing podcast then I’m surprised as I have learnt a lot from it.

Lets not forget our writing too.  When we submit we have to be sure that what we’ve written is not only good but our spelling, grammar and presentation is also correct.  If it’s a paper submission then make sure that there are no coffee stains or handwritten notes on it.  Follow the submission guidelines, I’d imagine doing research on where we’re submitting is a good idea.  I have a list of websites, some of which were recommended to me and some were even searched out for me (thank you Cinta 🙂 ) This is knowing our audience.  Finding the right places to submit and who the editors are has to help our chances of getting noticed, of course our work has to be good at the same time but from what I can make out slush piles are big so we do have to stand out and or find an editor that loves the genre or type of story that we write.  I wouldn’t send my space opera stuff to an editor or agent who hates space opera, that’s just daft.

Being a writer is not just about what we write, it’s about who we are as well.  How we come across to the people in the industry and most importantly to the people who read our work who one day may become fans of ours.

2 From1

I spent a little of yesterday and most of today looking at a story that I had begun to write a couple of months ago.  It’s not a completed story, but as I hit the 6,400 word mark I realised that this was not how I wanted the story to go (this seems to happen a lot).  So I decided to stop where I was, then I got side tracked and this happened and then that, we’ve all been there.  Simply though the last two days have been the first chance that I have had time to look at it.  I have been thinking about it though and having looked at it today I think I can make two stories from this one.  The story that is more complete in my head is the one that my original idea evolved into, so I think that I’ll write that one first.  The second story which is what I had hoped to write in the first place.  I know there is a risk that I wont be able to make the second story work, but I think that it’s at least worth a try.  I don’t have anything to lose by trying.

Has this happened to you?  Does one story fail but you can make at least one other story from it?

Damn This Rut!

I’m getting a tad wound up now as I am really struggling to get going with anything.  Each time I sit down to write of an evening I can feel my eyelids drop and the need for sleep takes over. At the route of it is fatigue.  I work long hours and its been far too long since I’ve had time off, although come June I’ve got a week off 😀 But I don’t want to wait till then to get firing again.  I need to write.  When I’m not working on something I feel like im a little lost because I have words that need to come out and they’re not being let out :-/ I’ve got a story that I’m going to finish the edit on tonight and I need to do a little research for the joint project that me and Owen are working on (no I havent finished it yet) so I’m going to get those done tonight and try to get some fiction written tomorrow.  If I struggle with that I’m thinking about writing a daily diary and see if that simple act can loosen up my mind a little.  This is probably the worst rut that I’ve fallen into and it is really beginning to frustrate me because most of my life is very good at the moment.  I am still having some very good ideas though so I am convinced this is just a rough patch.