Tough Reads

Have you ever read a book which was really difficult to get through but you love it all the same? I’ve got that at the moment with The Drawing Of The Three by Stephen King. The book is really fascinating, I am loving how  King has put this, and the first novel, The Gunslinger, together. As I’ve said before The Dark Tower books are the first works I have read by King and I love what he is writing but I am finding it a heavy slog working my way through them. Once I’ve finished the Dark Tower books I do want to read more of King’s work but I think I’ll go audiobook with the rest of his work in future.

Another book I’m enjoying reading but finding the act of reading tough is Beginning Operations by James White. Like Stephen King I am finding White’s writing style difficult to get through but I am finding the story really interesting.

With both of these books I can only read a few pages at a time which can be annoying as I just want to get stuck into these books and have an evening or two where I’m really getting pulled into these worlds.

 

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In At The Deep End: Discovering Stephen King

It had always felt like I had committed a crime when I would say to someone that I had never read a Stephen King book. I felt like I was admitting to a very dirty secret but in truth it has only been in the last year, maybe two that I have started to explore who I’m reading and Stephen King is a big one for me.

So I’ve started off with The Dark Tower series, and I feel a little like I’ve been thrown in at the deep end. Part of me thinks I should have read one of his standalone novels first but the mystery of The Dark Tower series was too strong for me to start anywhere else. As a general rule I’m not a fast reader, there are books that I devour rapidly but The Gunslinger was not one of them, and neither has the second book of the series, The Drawing Of The Three. That’s not because I’m not enjoying these books but I think it’s because I’m trying to take in the complexities of the stories. The change of pace that has taken place between the first and second books is pretty big as well.

What has fascinated me so far is the fact that King has revealed almost nothing about the world this is all taking place in or the dark tower itself. What is our protagonist, Roland, searching for? Hell he doesn’t even know!

Am I going to read further then The Dark Tower series, am I going to fall in love with Stephen King’s work? I’m not sure I’ll fall in love with his work like I have done with Scott Sigler or Dan Abnett but I want to read more. From what I know of Stephen King he does not let himself be constrained by genre or people’s expectations and that is why I want to read more of his work. He’s a fearless writer.

(I’ve also got his book On Writing as an audiobook, if you’re a writer I think this is an essential read, or listen (King narrates that himself). It’s part autobiography and part writing guide. I felt King’s struggle as he tried to survive with a young family before Carrie got sold)

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Being Gripped

When I was talking to Owen on Friday he asked told me to read Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein as he thinks part of it will help with an aspect of Project Apollo. I have read Starship Troopers, but it was a few years ago now so I only really remember the basics of it, and how it had no real similarity to the movie (which I’d seen before I read the book). I do remember it being a good book but nothing that blew me away, but that was a few years ago and I think I’m a more experienced reader now and ill be able to appreciate it more, hopefully anyway.
When I’ve heard writers talking about Starship Troopers on various podcasts they quite often mention The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, and out of the two I much prefer The Forever war and Joe Haldeman as a writer in general. I would like to read a few more of Heinlein’s work but Starship Troopers did not grip me like The Forever War did. After reading it I went and brought Camouflage but Mr.Haldeman which is another book that has had a deep affect on who I am as a person.
When I was younger and I heard a song I liked I’d buy the album, and if I liked the album I’d buy as much of the music by that artist as possibly. I would do this with books if I could, I need to add more of Joe Haldeman’s books to my collection. The man is an amazing writer and I’d recommend his work to anyone.
A writer that has recently gripped me in a similar way is Stephen King, The Gunslinger was a fascinating read and I’m eager to wrap up The Dark Tower series, but I have other books to read and I’m going to pace the other six books over the course of the year.

What author has gripped you?

Tonights Post

I’ve been listening to Scott Sigler’s first book in his Crypt series, called Crew Stories. This basically is a collection of short stories about the future crew of a ship known as the PUV James Keeling, also known as The Crypt. This is a collection that I have listened to before but I had forgotten just how good these stories are and I really enjoyed reliving them again and getting to know the crew once more. This is not a book for the faint of heart! And at the moment is only available in podcast form (Which means free) A lot of the stories here are co-written by some amazing writers including, Mur Lafferty, Paul E. Cooley, Jake Bible and many other excellent writers (Look out for the story  co-written with Greg Crites). Here’s the link to the page on Scott Sigler’s website;

http://scottsigler.com/books/the-crypt-book-one-crew-stories

If you have read my blog for a while you will know I am a big fan of Scott Sigler, he is an amazing writer who I have a lot of time for as he has worked very hard to get to where he is today. He has had a little help along the way and I would love to steal his business partner, A Kovacs who seems to keep Mr. Sigler on track. They are a great team and are producing some great content.

 

I would also like to quickly give a link to this interview on Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing with Kevin J. Anderson. I have not read any of his work yet, I do have the first of The Saga Of Seven Suns book on my shelve, but I love listening to him talking about the art of writing. It’s in two parts so I’ll give you the link to the first part;

http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/2013/02/aisfp-197-kevin-j-anderson-part-1/

 

You can find both podcasts in the iTunes library.

Reading update, I finished Stephen King’s The Gunslinger last night. I was aiming to get it read by the end of the week but the final sixty pages went by in a beat of an eye. As I’ve said before I had no idea what this book was about and I’ve really enjoyed discovering it. I am looking forward to the next book but I am going to read a couple of other books before I delve into book two in the series.

I’ve now started Haywire by Justin R. Macumber.

I have not done any more editing, but I have done some hand written bits for Project Apollo.

Today’s Post

More often than not I never quite know how to start off a blog post, it’s the same as when I’m going to start writing. It does not matter whether I am doing what I am doing now and editing or continuing from where I left a story off, or starting from scratch on a whole new story. That initial lack of knowing where to start costs me maybe twenty minutes some days so I just try to start typing, which is what I did today and you all got this little ramble 😀

Now to what I really would like to talk about briefly today.

I want to give a shout out to two episodes of the amazing StarShipSofa. The first episode featured a short story by Ken Liu which provoked an emotional response from me. Here’s the link.

http://www.starshipsofa.com/2013/02/13/starshipsofa-no-276-ken-liu/

I am a strong believer in that if a story gets that sort of reaction out of me then the writer has done their job and in this case Mr. Liu has done a really good job. I’ve listened to a few of this mans stories which I’ve liked but with this one I will now make a point of looking out for his work. Mr. Liu’s site is below.

http://kenliu.name/

It’s rare that a story gets this reaction from me, or any real emotional reaction. So when I do find something by someone I pay attention. One of my Beta readers has said that one of my stories brought a lump to her throat which is a highlight of my short writing career.

The second episode from The StarShipSofa has a good piece of fiction in it by David D. Levine but it was the conversation on music in video games which made this episode stand out for me. It is a really interesting look at the music in some of the most popular video games over the last twenty years or so.

http://www.starshipsofa.com/2013/02/20/starshipsofa-no-277-david-d-lavine/

I have done a little editing tonight and I’ve just this moment remembered something that I need to note done for tomorrow…..Done.

In my Battlestar Galactica marathon I have just watched the last episode of series two and will start series three sunday or monday, once I’ve found the box set that is.

Now though I am off to crack on with a little more from The Gunslinger by Stephen King 🙂

Brain Freeze!

I tried editing tonight but for some reason my brain didn’t get going. I tried editing with the TV, like normal but that was too distracting do I turned it off. Still could not get going so eventually I write some bullet points down for an idea I’ve been playing with in my head for a while. This was not especially productive but I have something down on paper now. I’m not ready to even think about writing this one but I wanted to get some details on paper so I can add little bits and pieces to the notes when they come to mind.

I’m going to try and get The Gunslinger read by the end of the month, which will be a tough ask as I am a slow reader but I’m going to give it a try. I dont have any movies thst i am eager to watch. Movies are the biggest competitor for books of an evening for me. last thing I do before bed is either watch a movie or read a book. S I’m going to focus on the book for the last few days of the month.

Back to The Gunslinger though, I’ve found the world that King has created here quite fascinating and I know that once this book is finished I’m going to be eager to read the next one in the series but I’m going to contain myself and read one of the other books in my to-read pile.

A Progress Update

I’ve added a few words to the WIP and it is taking a nice shape now, still a little way off completion though. I wanted to add an element to the story which I think could add a lot to it but would require a lot of research but i am going to hold off that and leave it for maybe a second story in this universe. One aspect of this story that I was concerned with was how I have ended it, but now that I have thought the whole story through I am actually very happy with how it ends as it is an ending that I hope will be satisfactory.

I have started a little work on a project I should not be but it’s something that I am doing when I’m not near my laptop so I can get away with it. Saying that I am tempted to use this free time (lunch break at the day job) to plot out a story that is quite well thought out in my head. I’d like to get a rough outline of and see how the lead character will feel.

Stephen King has really hooked me with The Gunslinger. I’d like to find a little more time to get it wrapped up by the end of the month but I’m not going to sacrifice writing time.

I am also doing a Battlestar Galactica Marathon at the moment which I am Loving! I have not seen the end of the last series yet (although I have seen the end of the final episode) and I’m building up to it nicely.

That’s about it for the moment. I am trying to pick up the pace with everything, but I’ve not found the turbo in my brain yet.

Diving Into Unknown Fiction

I’ve only just started reading Stephen King’s The Gunslinger and I have not really had much chance to sit for more then twenty minutes at a time to get into it but its pretty good so far 😀 One thing that is exciting me is diving into a whole new universe. I have no idea what type of story this is or what genre it’s in or much about any of it to be honest, except it is supposed to be the beginning of a great story. That is what is exciting me at the moment. Quite often I wish I could erase all knowledge of a TV series like Battlestar Galactica or the Phase 1 movies of the Marvel movies building up to The Avengers. This is because I have no hints as to what any of them are building up to or may contain. This is what I have with this Book, for those of you who may not know The Gunslinger is the first book in a series called The Dark Tower, and this is a world that I have no idea of. Before I started reading The Gunslinger all I knew of it was the gunslingers first name, the first line of the first book, the series name and who wrote the books.

I know nothing else at all, I’ve not wiki’d it, I’ve not read any reviews of it or goggle’d it. I am going to discover this story with each sentence read, each turned page. This is how we should discover fiction, totally blind.

A Quick Post, To End The Day

What have I done today? Well aside from the day job I added a fair few words to my WIP and did some research into Outhouses, yes I said Outhouses. I wont go into details.

One thing that I did get thinking about was Point of view changes. In the WIP most of the first 25,000 words is one person and that’s it.  They have no other contact with anyone till after that point and I was wondering if it would work to introduce another point of view at this stage. I posted this on The Dead Robots Society’s Facebook page and Matthew Wayne Selznick replied with a few good points. I think this story will get to about 30,000 to 40,000 words at the most so it wouldn’t work.  For something longer then I think it would be acceptable but not here.  To be honest this is not something that had sat right with me. Adding another point of view would have its benefits but I think it would also damage the story, mainly diluting the emotional experiences of my main character.

Matthew Wayne Selznick deserves a shout out here. He wrote a great book called Brave Men Run which is one of my favourite Podcasts I’ve heard (I really need to get hold of a print copy) I’ve been dumb and have only just checked out his site and it’s amazing. This man is a very creative individual. http://www.mattselznick.com/

I still have not got around to starting The Gunslinger yet. Been a busy couple of days I’m afraid but I may try to make a start tonight.

That was my day, I hope you all have had a good and productive day 🙂

Marking Progress

Something that I’ve noticed tonight is that a word count during editing is kind of pointless. This is something that I’ve known, but never quite appreciated until now. Tonight I’ve caught up to where I was on my editing of Avoiding The Game (all location errors are cleared up and a few little other bits have been changed).
If you’ve missed a couple of posts I started editing this story that I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2011 but after I had made a start I went to Sidcup, where my story starts, and had a little look around to make sure my memory was correct. So I started the edit again and I’m now at the point where I had got to before Sundays location scouting and I noticed that I have only added one word to the story.
Now I know that I deleted some bits and added others so I know that I’ve actually done some work on the story but it made me realise that I cannot use word counts as a marker for how much work I am doing on the story. So I’m going for the page count while I’m editing this bad boy. I am expecting to add a lot of words to it but I think that will be something that I’ll measure once this edit run is completed.

On another note I’m just about to start reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King. This is the first book in The Dark Tower series. I am really looking forward to this one 🙂