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Posts Tagged ‘Unpublished Author’

Something One Should Never Do, In My Opinion, As An Author

September 1, 2012 Leave a comment

It is oh so tempting as an unpublished author, especially one trying to complete your first manuscript, to read a TON about what advice others have with regards to what should be in the pages of a novel. You want to know how to edit it. You want to know if you are shooting yourself in the foot because your manuscript is too long for what publisher are looking for. You will even come across discussions of certain fetish words people insist are simply wrong to use.

That’s not only natural, but I think good for an aspiring author to do. Learning how to separate the gold from the dross when it comes to this advice is another matter, but you’ll learn that in due course as I have. For example, I even once read an absurd article about how people just don’t like first person narratives and such stories cannot be successful! Uh hello! Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Or how about that recent best seller The Hunger Games? Read more…

Actually, I Get Really Scared When People Say Things Like This About My Work

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Megan, one of my reviewers, has sent me a response to questions I asked of her after she finishing reading the last draft of my novel. She has been one of my best sources for critique, giving both praise and scorn when necessary. She’s been reviewing my drafts for some time now and she has seen both the original, very rough draft and the most recent one. I was very pleased when she opted to rank where my book in comparison to other novels she has read.

Megan writes:

Ok, I’ve read about 20 books in the fiction/fantasy genres over the last two years. Here is how I would the top fifteen in my opinion:

1. The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower Vol 7)
2. The Hunger Games
3. The Mistborn Trilogy
4. Under the Darkened Moon
5. Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations Vol 1)
6. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
7. Paladin of Souls
8. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Day 1)
9. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
10. The Girl Who Played with Fire
11. Catching Fire
12. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
13. Towers of Midnight (The Wheel of Time)
14. A Game of Thrones (A Song Of Fire And Ice Vol 1)
15. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest

I think with a little bit of polishing you have a great story here!  The story might be a little weak in places, but honestly what novel isn’t? However, in terms of the genre that it is in I found it rather well contrived and sufficient unique and pleasing. I think you did something that few authors can do these days and that is tell a story, a complete story in a single book.  Frankly I am so sick of everything being a trilogy!  Good luck over coming the stigma of being an unpublished author which I think is going to be your biggest hurdle with this book.

I appreciate this reviewer’s high marks for my story. I was kind of taken aback by it. I mean, most people who have been reviewing the book have a lot of positive things to say about it, but for it to be ranked in someone’s mind with some widely acclaimed and read novels really gives me hope that I have actually done a good job.

Thanks Megan for the praise.  But it still scares the crap out of me when you say things like this.  Someone once warned me that what literary agents and publishers like is often not the same as what people who read like.

It’s A Fantasy Novel, NOT An RPG!

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

A friend, who recently found out that I was getting into fantasy writing, approached me with some material he too had written and wanted some advice. As if I, as an unpublished author struggling with my own work, am someone to be giving advice, right? Anyway, after about one hundred pages it became clear to me what was keeping me from actually reading his story through to the end; it read like a RPG game not a novel.

I will use the example of Skyrim, since that is the game I am currently playing and it is a constructed like a fairly typical RPG video game. In games like Skyrim you have the overall story arc but it is constantly interrupted by a myriad of tedious, although often compelling, but also at times repetitive side arcs, tasks, and quests. You are trudging through the icy wilderness of Skyrim headed towards the next point of the major story arc when BLAM you stumble on some caves or ruins. Sure, you COULD just ignore them, but you also know how quickly you can gain some much needed levels by clearing out this little distraction, mining out all the corpses for every last bit of loot to sell in town, and then use the gold you get in return to hammer out hundreds upon hundreds of steel daggers which will increase your smithing skill (and hence further increasing your levels). So you ignore the main quest and spend the next hour killing frost spiders, draugrs, and what not.  Then you spend the next hour after that crafting in town before heading back out and stumbling upon yet another distraction (ie. another dungeon location) where you wash, rinse and repeat. This is the way RPG games work.  It is tried and true. Read more…