Dec 21 2012

The Naming Game

Posted by Mathias

Under the Darkened Moon once had a character named Kal.  Kal, alas, is no more.  Oh, he still exists in the story, but he is no longer called Kal.  His new name in the final manuscript is Tarek.

Why did I change his name?  Ultimately it was because too many characters had names starting with the letter K.  Kyel and Kath were enough, so I changed Kal to something else.

The decision was made easier during the live read edit when my wife was reading the story.  She has this particular drawl to her speech where she constantly replaces the “a” sound in words with an “e” and visa versa.  She also does the same thing with the “e”s to “i”s for some reason.  But she only does it on certain words.  For example, pen is pin, but ten is not tin.  She never pronounced one of the characters, called Den, as Din. (more…)

Dec 16 2012

A Long Journey Concludes

Posted by Mathias

Yesterday, something wonderful happened.  I completed the manuscript for Under the Darkened Moon.

It’s been a wonderful journey, considering that it is the first novel I have been able to completed in darn near twenty years of attempting to write a novel.  I’ve gone through a whole range of emotions from joy (at having done it), to sorrow (at realizing my characters, my children, are all grown up), to fear (at realizing that now the hard part begins as I search for an agent and publisher).

The whole experience of writing this story began last year on July 18th and has spanned, officially, 517 days (44,668,800 seconds) of my life. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve spent over 2,000 hours either directly working on this story or thinking about it.  That’s a lot of time.
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Dec 05 2012

What Project to Tackle Next

Posted by Mathias

Under the Darkened Moon is not yet done, but it is getting close. A few more chapters need polishing. Then it will be off to whatever is next on the list once the novel is sent off to fend for itself in the slush piles of literary agents and publishers. And boy, is that list of potential projects long. I have so many that it is going to be hard to choose.

There are a lot of short stories I am working on. I have considered finishing up enough of those to wrap them up into an small book of maybe 100 pages or so and get something published and available for sale. Right now I am preparing to get two stories (Frist and Second Lessons & The Yoke) critiqued by my writers group. Second Chances is available to do something with too. So that could be the start for this idea. (more…)

Nov 30 2012

It Came To Me In a Dream

Posted by Mathias

Last night, I had a dream that gave me some basic ideas for a story. I’ve jotted down what I remember about it and haven’t exactly decided what to do with the information yet.

Perhaps it will get worked in to another story.  Maybe it will spawn one of its own. Then, of course, there’s the very real possibility that nothing will come from it at all. (more…)

Nov 26 2012

Where’s All The Time Going?

Posted by Mathias

It’s a sad reality, but the amount of time available for writing is inversely proportional to the amount of time actually needed for writing. This is especially true with the Christmas Season now upon us.

I had four days off for Thanksgiving and spent all four running around with family (3 days) and then doing all the errands that running around forced me to reschedule (1 day).  In the end, I managed to do about as much editing in those four days as one typical day.
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Nov 19 2012

The Editing … It Continues

Posted by Mathias

Yes, editing on Under the Darkened Moon is continuing.  Although it is going slowly.  Seems that I have been out of my routine lately.  Usually I spend an hour in the evening running a chapter or so through the Text to Speech software to see how they sound.  But lately that simply has not been happening.  I have been prepping chapters, but they are not getting their final manuscript treatment at the speed with which they are prepared.

Plus I am doing a final comb through of the manuscript in several sweeps looking for unnecessary instances of the following words: (more…)

Nov 12 2012

Why You Probably SHOULD Care About Bad Reviews

Posted by Mathias

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. (more…)

Nov 05 2012

The TARDIS Principle for Writing

Posted by Mathias

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. (more…)

Oct 30 2012

Quick Ways To Lose Valuable Trust

Posted by Mathias

Selling books is just like selling any other product.  First you have to have something to sell.  Then, you have to convince people to buy it.

One way to convince people to buy your book, or any product for that matter, is to establish trust with your potential readers.  Trust is valuable.  It is so valuable, that it should be guarded as though it were the most precious thing in the world.  Give your potential readers a reason to distrust you, and you may find it hard to ever sell another book.  Or, at least sell enough books to make writing worth your time.

There are some really quick ways to loose trust.  But, in our zest to sell our product, we might not even realize that we are doing them.  That is dangerous.  So let’s look at some of the ways we lose our reader’s trust, shall we?

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Oct 29 2012

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

Posted by Mathias

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.” (more…)