Sep 10 2012

Under the Darkened Moon Editing Update

Posted by Mathias

So, yes, editing for Under the Darkened Moon is coming along well.  Just yesterday I got through Chapter 19 on the FINAL round of edits.  We’re up to Chapter 23 on the live read through.

In terms of general things, words are hitting the cutting room floor fast and furious.  Here’s the way things look through the first 19 chapters: (more…)

Aug 30 2012

Current Reading Pile

Posted by Mathias

I’m probably going to be wrapping up Heir of Novron, Michael J. Sullivan’s final book of the Riyria Revelations series on Friday at my current pace.

After that, my pile of things to read looks like this: (more…)

Jul 28 2012

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Mathias

Warning! Contains spoilers!

Mockingjay is the final installment of The Hunger Games Trilogy. For one last go, we revisit post-apocalyptic Panem where Katniss Everdeen and the rebels are fighting against the tyrannical government. The book has moments of promise, usually when Katniss gets away from her brooding, who does she really love internal monologues. But it also makes me, as a fan of the first book of the trilogy, find it as a less than fulfilling end to the saga.

Look, we all know Katniss loves Peeta by now. Gale is just a distraction for her. But still, this little love triangle consumes so much of the book that it takes away from the final story of the saga. In the end, when Gale essentially gives up on Katniss and never returns to be with her, and Katniss realizes she loves Peeta, the whole thing is so anti-climatic that you wish the author had thrown a curve. But, you also know that if that curve had been thrown you would be just as disappointed had she wound up in Gale’s arms because it was just so wrong on every level. (more…)

Jan 03 2012

You Cannot Please Everyone

Posted by Mathias

Here’s the thing about writing that ALL writers must remember. People want and prefer different things when they pick up a story. Some readers want stories that are filled with action and are fast with a bang, bang pace to them. Some people want compelling dialogue as the driving feature of a story. Some people want lush descriptions of everything down to the finest feature of every blade of grass.

You cannot please everyone with their wants and desires and trying to force fit your style to fit all these wants and desires so don’t try. What you should do is write compelling stories in your own, unique, by solid, style and let the critics complain when they do not get what they desire. The quickest way to not loving what you do is to try and bend to the whims of others while seeking what is ultimately meaningless change to who you, as a writer, are. When you bend to the whims of others and write like you don’t want to write you risk becoming just another, boring, formulaic writer who never challenges orthodoxy and producing boilerplate works.

Do not get thrown in with the rest for you will have a hard time being seen.

Dec 01 2011

“Under The Darkened Moon” Pacing

Posted by Mathias

I’ve been working on my novel “Under the Darkened Moon”, a sequel, if you will, to my short story “Second Chances”. Having completed the first draft, I am now editing it.

I have been having trouble getting the timing down and pacing the start of the story. While there was action early on, things seemed slow and I, as the author, was getting bored. If I am getting bored by the pace, I worry that the reader would have the same experience.

One thing that seemed to stand out was that the slowness seemed to stem from the length of the chapters, about 20-30 pages. They were that size because I was clustering events and scenes that happened within a day of each other as entire chapters separated by scene changes denoted by “* * *” breaks.

So, chapter 1 for example, consisted of three scene changes, the day the story starts, the next day’s morning then that next day’s evening. Chapter two then picked up three days later. I have, right now, split the first chapter into two completely different chapters so that now chapter 1 is the day the story begins and chapter 2 is the next day’s morning with a scene change to that evening. Chapter 2, or at least the start thereof, now is chapter 3.

By doing this, and maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking this, the story seems to move better and flow faster and smoother with shorter chapters. It is almost like the white space that follows the end of one chapter before the next chapter starts on the next page, despite being a break, causes everything to sound better.

Don’t know if I will continue down this path, but it seems to be working and the story seems more energetic and fluid.