Sep 30 2012

Sci-Fi And Fantasy Suggestions From Audible.com

Posted by Mathias

Today I got my monthly “recommendations” from audible.com in terms of sci-fi and fantasy books. I thought I would present them to everyone else.

NOTE: On a personal basis I disagree with two of these suggestions. First is The Farseer: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. This book is so slow that I still haven’t been able to complete it. Second is The Scar By Sergey & Marina Dyachenko. To read my take on it, click here. (more…)

Sep 29 2012

Book Review: Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook

Posted by Mathias

Myfanwy (the w is silent) Thomas has no memory of why she is surrounded by dead people wearing rubber gloves. So starts the story told by Daniel O’Malley in The Rook. The Rook is a paranormal sci-fi / fantasy about covert British (and American) operatives who have supernatural abilities and deal with supernatural phenomena.

The story follows Myfanwy as she slowly discovers who she is. Who she is is a member of said paranormal agency, holding a position known as a Rook. She has been attacked and her memories stolen. Fortunately for Myfanwy, her former self had some prewarning that she was going to lose her memory. So the prior Myfanwy Thomas left the new Myfanwy Thomas a series of letters explaining all that she knew. (more…)

Sep 28 2012

Under the Darkened Moon Critiques (Both Good And Bad)

Posted by Mathias

I encourage people to say what they really think whenever they are reading my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon). I haven’t had it in a formal review setting since I started the live read and final draft process. But, prior to that, I got a lot of feedback from a variety of sources including: my standard review group, writer friends of mine (published and unpublished), and people who I know and who like to read fantasy.

I’m not someone who isn’t willing to let people, whether they liked the book or not, have their say. Here is a sampling of the good and the bad that I got as feedback: (more…)

Sep 24 2012

Why I Post “Words Of The Day”

Posted by Mathias

Some people have asked me why I post “words of the day” entries on this site. Especially words that seem to give your spellchecker fits as it marks them with annoying red underlines.

Examples:
Words of the day: sclaff & lassitude
Words of the Day: kishke & hawse (more…)

Sep 24 2012

Measuring The Ultimate Success Of A Writer

Posted by Mathias

True success endures long after the initial hype and flurry of desire has ended. There are so many tricks to getting on best seller lists for a few weeks that writers and their publishers pull off. But, let’s face facts. Most of the books that make these lists are going to be long forgotten in only a few, short years.

(more…)

Sep 23 2012

Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (21 Through 30)

Posted by Mathias

This is a continuation of my previous lists:
Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (Top 10)
Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (11 Through 20)

21. 1984 by George Orwell

(4.75/5 stars) (more…)

Sep 22 2012

Back-Story Rewrite In Progress For Under the Darkened Moon

Posted by Mathias

Well, now I’ve done it! With Under the Darkened Moon’s live read and final edits proceeding nearly side-by-side, I have decided to tear apart part of the back-story and rewrite it. It was really the last thing I was thinking of as I was happily steaming towards producing a final manuscript.

I thought the end was within sight.  After all, the live read edit is in Chapter 36, the FINAL edit is in Chapter 25 and there are 44 Chapters to the story plus and epilogue.

But this rewrite had to be done. This was not something that I chose to undertake on a whim. (more…)

Sep 19 2012

Words Of The Day – Sclaff & Lassitude

Posted by Mathias

sclaff intransitive verb \ˈsklaf\

Definition of SCLAFF

: to scrape the ground instead of hitting the ball cleanly on a golf stroke

— sclaff noun

— sclaff·er noun
(more…)

Sep 17 2012

Misconceptions About Action

Posted by Mathias

Writers know about the concept of “rising action”. At least, they better. It’s one of the fundimental building blocks of stroy telling. You build from your opening scene to a climax and then wind down with a resolution in the end. The problem is that too many people seem to not understand what action actually is. If you don’t, you can get into a lot of trouble.

A while back, I wrote an ariticle titled X + Y *C Does Not Equal A Good Story. I talked about a very unsuccessful author friend of mine who claimed to have the secret formula to writing hit novels. The fact that his two published novels have sold a grand total of just over 200 copies should tell you how surefire this formula is.

(more…)

Sep 16 2012

Words of the Day – kishke & hawse

Posted by Mathias

kish·ke
noun \ˈkish-kə\

Definition of KISHKE

: beef or fowl casing stuffed (as with meat, flour, and spices) and cooked (more…)