Onward and Upward

Essential Writing Support

It’s a sunny day here in Luxembourg. The heatwave has eased, the rain has stopped, and it’s perfect weather for sitting out on the patio and pouring thoughts and words into my laptop.

I started looking through my Scrivener folder of “Unfinished Works“. More accurately, it should be called, “Started and Stalled“.

Some authors struggle to find ideas. I’m of the other type: story ideas constantly tumble through my mind, especially when I’m in the middle of redrafting a story. (I HATE redrafting.) So I type out a few notes in my “Unfinished Works” folder and get back to the task in hand.

(It also happens when I’m swimming, which is a terrible time to get an idea as my iPhone is not waterproof!)

Every now and again, I look through my Unfinisheds to see if there’s anything worth developing. It’s usually an unfulfilling task. I find sketches, first lines or paragraphs, or even whole chapters that lead nowhere I can follow – yet. Worse, I find the plots of movies and novels released AFTER I noted down the original idea. I really wish I had one of those author mind-reading gadgets!

But sometimes I strike gold! Today, I managed to fill out and reach a (to me) satisfying conclusion for two short stories. (Now I have to do the redrafting…) Major sci-fi authors have advice…

  • Golden era writer Isaac Asimov’s advice was to finish what you write, submit it, write another. He also advocated writing every day, whether you feel like it or not.
  • Ray Bradbury wrote a story every week on the basis that you can’t write fifty-two bad stories in a year. (Hmmm… not too sure about that applying to everyone!)
  • Stephen King promotes writing for four hours every day and reading for the same amount of time. (Not easy if you’re holding down a job with a commute…)

As for the authors without storyline-polluted brains, I do sympathize.

In FaceBook’s many writing-related groups, I often see posts from would-be authors asking for plot ideas or even character names. Without an overview of the story, this is impossible to provide as a character’s name should fit the:-

  1. historical period (and social class)
  2. culture (and age of the character in that culture as popularity changes)
  3. geographical location
  4. gender (usually)
  5. etc…

And (of course) it should match the tone of the story and hint at the character’s personality. Ariel “BuzzBrain” Starfighter is a different starship captain than Kurt Stone and in a different type of story.

Picasso said, “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” So steal an idea from a successful novel/movie/TV series and write it your own way. After all, the “Shades of Grey” series began as “Twilight” fan fiction, and “Fifty SHEDS of Grey” was a modestly-successful parody.

Anyways…

Back to redrafting… YAY!

Hmm… or maybe I’ll take my own advice for once? I’ll rework in my own way those stories copied in advance by other famous writers! Onward and upward!

Meanwhile, whatever you’re reading right now – ENJOY!

 

Mid-Year Thoughts

Here we go again, sliding past the year’s halfway point – the longest day (or the shortest day if you’re Down Under).

The Earth just clocked-up another 470 million km (282 million miles) – a half orbit of the sun – since a cold and snowy December 31st. And what’s changed? Continue reading

Winter Is Coming

No, not another “Game of Thrones” review.

It’s snowing in Luxembourg, Halloween is here and there’s only 55 days left to Christmas at time of writing. (To keep track of how time’s running out for your gift shopping, click here.)

And it’s been another month of ups and downs in a writer’s life…

A Short Story Published

“Your Secret Library” Online Magazine – Halloween edition!

Here’s your free read of seasonal horror stories
It includes my short story “Let The Children Sleep

Newsletters and Amazon

Like many other authors, I’ve had to change my newsletter mailing company as they weren’t delivering on the promised delivery. There’s so much admin involved: migrating my mailing lists, setting up new signup forms and “thank you” mails, creating newsletter templates, changing the links to my signup form in all the books and everywhere else I published it.

Amazon continues to have problems retaining valid book reviews. So far (touch wood) I’ve not lost any more, but other writers are again seeing theirs erased. I’m watching and waiting…

The Writing Part

And so to the stuff I am supposed to be doing – writing!

My classic noir is in final revision with a target publication date of January 1st. A dozen of my short stories are with various online critique groups.

The new covers for my sci-fi trilogy seem to be doing the job, as my sales are climbing. (Someday soon, I have to write the sequel.)

So…

I’ll get back to making imaginary things happen to people who don’t exist.

Happy Halloween!

Final Flight and Win-A-Kindle

 


 I’ve finally had to admit it. I’m over-committed.

I never planned to spam my blog followers with daily ramblings. Twice or thrice a month would suffice. But I’m down to one post a month.

So I changed the tagline in my posts to “An occasional blog”. Truth is good. (Unless, of course, you’re a politician of any persuasion.)

So why am I swamped? Continue reading

Back Home


Turning Worlds

So much catching up to do now my I’m back home! The world just keeps on turning, even if I’m not watching it. (Quantum physicists are invited to comment below on that observation.)

Distribution Channels

My novels’ distribution network continues to grow effortlessly! I use the Mention app to notify me if my name or my book titles appear on anyone’s web pages. No, it’s not an ego issue, it’s… professional… market awareness… all that stuff.

Anyway, Mention notified me that while I was on vacation, Continue reading

PARADISI CHRONICLES & NEWS


NEW MUST-HAVE PARADISI CHRONICLES RELEASES (details below)

As my regular readers know, my JANUS PARADISI series takes place in an open-source sci-fi universe. A what?

Essentially, a group of authors agreed on the backstory and main features of a time and place where all action will occur, then write their own stories within those parameters.

These stories can be from any sub genre (hard sci-fi, space opera, fantasy, romance, whatever), as long as they stick to the overall parameters, such as planet names and environments, technology, history, and so on. They can use other writers’ characters (with permission), usually giving them walk-on parts, or referring to great events in other writer’s stories. Continue reading

Paradisi Chronicles Anthology

The latest in a long line of Chronicle Worlds Anthology best sellers just hit the Amazon electronic shelves!

paradisiAnother world. Another chance…

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, seeking to escape a devastated Earth, ten families focus on constructing spaceships to colonize the world they call New Eden, in the Paradisi System. But the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants do not…

In this latest title in the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.

Discover Chronicle Worlds. Discover Paradisi.

Discover Paradisi here.

Contributing Authors: Samuel Peralta, Cheri Lasota, Louisa Locke, Ashley Angelly, Claire Davon, Lindsay Edmunds, SJ Mayeski, Andy McKell, Bill Patterson, Joseph Robert Lewis

Continue reading

A Beginner’s Tale #3

Large FoJIt has been a long journey, but here I stand on the verge of publishing my first novel.

I always wanted to write, but my first High School English teacher convinced me I was barely literate. I think he resented me being taller than him, as a later (taller) teacher promoted me from bottom of the class to (almost) pole position.

Too late!

It was my final year of school and my small fantasies had been strangled. Hurrah for education! Continue reading

Spooky Times

31-days-of-october

Well, that Brexit thing was a blast. Britain will pull out of the EU (European Union). To some, it’s like Hawaii pulling out of the US of A. (It isn’t.) And lots of lies on all sides, it seems.

Gosh! Anti-establishment folk, politicians and urban elites telling lies? Unbelievable! Spooky times!

Continue reading