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 29 2012

“Never Give Up” And Other Stupid Advice

Posted by Mathias

“Never give up,” I hear that advice a lot.  It might sound good when you’re a child, or even a naive young adult.  But once you get older, you realize how stupid it sounds.

Think about it.  Really? “Never” give up?  Even when the path you are on is an obvious failure?  Seriously, would you tell the guy running towards the hundred foot cliff, jagged rocks below and all, to “never give up” his dream that he can really fly like a bird just by flapping his arms fast enough?  You really want to be the person standing there shouting, “you can do anything!”?
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Nov 27 2012

Book Review: Peter V. Brett’s The Warded Man

Posted by Mathias

The world is a dangerous place at night.  Demons (corelings) from the core roam free.  The only things holding them back are wards that must be meticulously cared for or else those hiding behind them become food for the demons.

The Warded Man by Peter Brett follows three different characters (Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer) as they grow up and mature in this world; each learning how to combat the demons in their own way.  At times, the story needlessly diverges from these characters and sucks in a few other, not even secondary, characters to provide some other points of view, but these are the three main characters.  These other POV characters appear for just a brief enough period of time that they don’t detract greatly from the narrative. (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 25 2012

Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (31 Through 40)

Posted by Mathias

This list continues my previous ones which can be found at the following links:

Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (Top 10)
Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (11 Through 20)
Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (21 Through 30)

31. Alice‘s Adventures In Wonderland by: Lewis Carroll (4.5 / 5 Stars)

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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 17 2012

Books In My To Read Pile

Posted by Mathias

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

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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 08 2012

Word of the Day – Catawampus and Argufy

Posted by Mathias

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. (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…)