Archive

Archive for the ‘General Things’ Category

Books In My To Read Pile

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The following books are ones that I have not yet gotten to in my pile of things to read (in no particular order):

The Ambassador’s Mission

Read more…

Why You Probably SHOULD Care About Bad Reviews

November 12, 2012 6 comments

I see a lot of authors (generally those who are self-publishing) dismiss bad reviews of their books.  Google the topic and there is no end to the number of budding authors explaining why they don’t care if someone gives their book a bad review.  Or, even worse, why they don’t even read what other people say about their book.

Well, I say that’s a bad attitude.  I think it is a dangerous stance to take where you choose to shelter yourself from criticism.  This is especially true, I believe, for indy, self-published authors.  I think you SHOULD care about bad reviews.

Look, unless you are Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, and going to sell books no matter what you write, then not caring about criticism only hurts you.  Face it, only once you are at a point in your career where you actually don’t have to worry about the critics, because you’ve proven yourself as someone who knows how to write and sell books, should you even remotely consider no longer worrying about the critics.  Frankly, most my fellow authors out there whom I have seen state they don’t care about their critics are not at this point in their careers yet.  In fact, most of them are FAR, FAR, FAR from that point. Read more…

Word of the Day – Catawampus and Argufy

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

cat·a·wam·pus
[kat-uh-wom-puhs] Show IPA Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.

adjective
1. askew; awry.

2. positioned diagonally; cater-cornered. Read more…

The TARDIS Principle for Writing

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

One thing that I dislike, but that seems to be rampant in the genres of fantasy and science-fiction, is over description.  Unless it is necessary, don’t tell me what color the tiles of the castle’s roof is.  If it’s Autumn, a short description of the color of the leaves is good, but a long, multi-paragraph description of all sorts of minutia that tells me it is Autumn is overkill.  Yes, occasional delving into literary prose is fine.  But fantasy and science-fiction authors do way, way, way too much of it at times in my humble opinion.

Those of us who read these sorts of stories do have imaginations after all.  Let us use them.  We can easily envision what the countryside our heroic knight is traveling through might look like.  So, again, unless it is necessary to the story, there is no need to go into great detail.  Besides, as I have already learned, great detail can lead to great problems with continuity.  The more detail you put in, the more you had better make sure that you remember it later on when you write the next scene where that detail comes up. Read more…

Why I Am Still, A Year Later, Editing My Novel

October 29, 2012 2 comments

Every day I get asked the same question, “Why are you still editing that novel of yours?”

I don’t think the answer is that complicated.  I simply want to produce a quality story in the end.  And, while I and others who have read Under the Darkened Moon think that the story is good, I personally don’t think it is good enough quite yet.  Although, I do think it is quickly getting there.

For me, there is no rush.  I’ve been writing off and on for over twenty years.  My very first novel, which I started back in high school, had three years invested into it and never got even half way done.  For Under the Darkened Moon, I opened the file (started writing the story) on June 18th of last year.  It is now October, nearly November a year later.  I could have pushed this work out there six months ago, at least according to some opinions, but certainly not my own.   As one person in my review group said, “It’s already better than 95% of what is self-published on Amazon and other sites like that.” Read more…

Words of the Day: Apse & Donjon

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

apse
Pronunciation: \ˈaps\
Function: noun
Etymology: Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin apsis, from Latin Date: 1822
1 : APSIS
2 : a projecting part of a building (as a church) that is usually semicircular in plan and vaulted
Read more…

Today’s Words Of The Day: Motte and Bailey & Quay

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

motte and bailey
noun
: a medieval Norman castle consisting of two connecting ditched stockaded mounds with the higher mound surmounted by the keep and the lower one containing barracks and other buildings Read more…

Warning: Readers Have Comfort Zones

October 14, 2012 2 comments

Writers sometimes get a little too crazy.  One thing we often do is try to show how smart we are by using what are known as ten dollar words.  I call it the Plethora Rule.  What is the Plethora Rule?  It is best described from the scene that made me realize long ago that fancy words are not always good.  Here is that scene from ¡Three Amigos! that introduced 90% of people who know what plethora means to the word:

Read more…

An Honest Agent …

October 13, 2012 1 comment

A friend of mine is a sports agent for some low to mid level talent in the National Hockey League.  I once asked him what exactly it was that he did.

He said to me: Read more…

Today’s Words Of The Day – Asperse and Kerf

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment

as·perse
transitive verb \ə-ˈspərs, a-\
as·persedas·pers·ing

1: sprinkle; especially: to sprinkle with holy water

2: to attack with evil reports or false or injurious charges Read more…