Author Archive

Thoughts on Paranormal Romance: Pride Mates – Ashley

I don’t read romance novels. It’s not a rule, just that my tastes run in different genres. An interesting statistic from The Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors that Paranormal Romance is the highest selling sub-genre from Self-Published and Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors. No, I do not intend to jump into that genre, to chase the money, though, God, money would be nice. Since I write Sci-Fi (Science Fiction) and Fantasy (Why don’t they call it Fan-cy) I thought that some of the techniques would help me create characters that will appeal to more readers. (Oh, please, get your mind out of the gutter.)

Though I’ve only read the first chapter, there are a number of techniques used by author Jennifer Ashley I found interesting. She writes in a limited Omniscient. It first shows up on page 6, after five and a half pages in in Kim Fraser’s head, listening to a 50/50 mix of thoughts about how freaking sexy/dangerous the “Shifter” Liam Morrissey is (description of her physical reaction to the man, the word sexy is not used) and the first intimation of he plot concerning “Shifter” Brian Smith accused of killing his human girlfriend. ”
“Liam smiled again. His eyes returned to normal, and now he looked like any other gorgeous, hard-bodied, blue-eyed Irishman. “You, love, are—”” Jennifer Smith, Page 6, Pride Mates.

The switch in POV without a scene break surprised me. I did not expect and first thought it was head jumping. As far as I can tell, Smith is consistent throughout the novel. This almost microscopic detail of the physical and sensual responses between the characters sets it apart from most fiction I’ve read. It also makes me itch to write something from a limited omniscient point of view.

The focus on the sexual attraction sets this novel, and I suspect the sub-genre, from others. In a way, it is like reading the minds of a class full of teenagers in a sex therapy class. So far, I am enjoying the book.

Goals, Milestones, and Deadlines

It occurred to me that I need to start setting goals, milestones, and deadlines. (Wouldn’t that be a clever title.) My intent here is to keep a running list of things I can do to push my career forward. If I don’t keep a list, I fear I may forget.

(1) Publish Knowledge’s Ashes: Starjackers (March 2019)
(2) Publish Spell Thief: Old God’s Shadow (April-May 2019)
(3) Write a Medium Article on Indie Writer’s Associations.
(4) Write a Medium Article on Theme.
(5) Write book 2 of Knowledge’s Ashes
(6) Figure out if Twitch, youtube, and streaming video is something for you.
(7) Twitter often.
(8) Blog Daily
(9) Continue Marketing Research
(10) Develop my own Book Launch Check List
(11) Begin Knowledge’s Ashes: Song of the Founders
(12) Begin Spell Thief: Book 2
(13) Begin Knowledge’s Ashes: The Nephellim Gene

“Shift” by Frank Darbe

Shift – A Science Fiction Novel by Frank Darbe

Achievable Goals

This morning, I continue officially writing two Novellas at the same time for two different Series. One of them, Skyjacker, I’ve set my goal to 1000 words a day, minimum. Only once since I started have I failed to reach that goal. Even the most difficult days (weekends mostly) I managed to find time in my day to complete the task and more. Beginning yesterday, I took up Spell Thief, fantasy Novella Series. After writing around between 1500 and 2000 words in Starjacker, I wrote five hundred in Spell Thief.
This morning, I wrote 500 words in Spell Thief, no problem. My Achievable goal for that Novella has been reached. I can now move on to write in Starjacker.
Lest I forget, I started this post.
Another thing I need to do is edit Chennizzi.

(1) Starjacker, Part I of Knowledge’s Ashes is 14,246 words in length.
(2) Old God’s Shadow, Part I of Spell Thief 8772 words.

I now, some people will call me seven kinds of fool for writing o novels at the same time. But, hey, it can’t hurt to try.

Sometimes Things Break Down

Lady Ven Aleyo
Creative Commons PIxabay

Monday’s post was late because I forgot to publish. Yesterday, I wrote most of a new chapter 1 of Starjackers, and set up a series in Medium (You need to do another) and now I am trying to catch up.

I lost count of how much I wrote today, though I appear to be around 1500+ words on StarJackers. I also added the Romance subplot. Ven Aleyo has changed from my original idea and is now a Subspecies living on the colony of Venice, a mostly water world with cites built around the few pieces of ground that rise above the waves of floating cities. As I see the planet, It is an old world where plate tectonics has ceased.

In Medium, I have created to Series that are used to showcase the articles and stories. I am happy with those.

Wow. I made a snap decision to finish Spell Thief as another Novella, eventually reaching about 35 thousand words. It took me a bit to get into it, but once I started, I think it came along very well. Spell Thief was going to be the first of a fantasy series, anyway, and it is a perfect match to Starjackers. I am setting my goal with Spell Thief to 500 words a day.

Today, I wrote well in excess of 2000 words. I admit that I am very happy where things are heading. I really want to reach a point where I have several books in Amazon, and hopefully start bringing in a bit of money.

Writer’s Log – Martin Luther King Jr Edition

A Writer’s Process: Holidays are like Sundays, but more so. Not only are they family days, but we have this expectation of big things, or at least middle sized things. We are expected to prioritize those expectations.
Perhaps if I were younger I would look see holidays are a time to kick back, relax, let my hair down. For me, I have this intense drive to write, to get things done, to work.

My time on earth is short, and I’ve grown too old to surrender to lazy.

Intimations of mortality aside, Starjackers consumes my mind and energies. I know how it will end. I have a trilogy of Novella’s planned. but as a first draft, I feel I am finding the story, like a rare coin left in the dirt.

Forgot to publish, so here it is now.

Writer’s Log 01.20.2019-0752

Sundays are tough, it’s family you know. I want to stay on task, to make my goal, and today I did. But Sundays are difficult. We went to a movie today. We cooked. We hung out together. Tonight the boys went to see Glass.

Adventures in publishing: A reader found an error in Shift. Got it fixed, but I have learned a serious lesson. Editors make mistakes and writer’s pay for them. I need to work much harder with editing from the beginning.

I reached 1099 words today, and wrote a thousand words.

Writer’s Log 01.19.2019 – 1006

Just a short note, because I wrote a whole blog today about disasters. Go read it. It is great.

Today, I overcome the sudden realization that I had no idea who was behind the entire plot against Suri Oza. Now I know who the big bad is. The novel has also expanded to 9226. words.


Whole New Day, Whole New Disaster

Seventy-five-hundred words into the first Novella of a trilogy, writing my first big disaster, with all kinds of conflict and I realize I do not know who the antagonist is. Of course, neither does my protagonist, but that is no excuse. I am neither a character in the story or a reader. How can I write a good disaster if I can not put a name to the instigator of the loss? Perhaps disasters should be explained.
Segway to the Snowflake Method.

Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
Available from Amazon and as a dynamite program.

Snowflake is an outlining method that divides the novel into four parts. Each of the first three parts ends in a disaster where the character faces a disaster, and metaphorically or in reality is slapped in the forehead with failure and reevaluates his entire life as he sees it.
I may have exaggerated there, of course, but if you take each of these disasters and call them setbacks, you will get to a more conventional way of teaching outlining. I highly suggest that writers check out his Snowflake Method. It may not be for you, but it teaches a great way to think of novel writing.
Oh, and Pantsers, I suggest you get the book, also. No, no, no, I don’t mean you should give up your way of writing. While Pantsing a novel or a short story, or editing said works, they are a great way of thinking out where your character is in the story.

In my case, I have the novella plotted out, I know how it will end, I know there are two groups after what he doesn’t know he has, and Eureka. I now know who the the Antagonist is in the first novella. It is right there in my plans as a subplot. Now, I know that it is critical.

The best way to work out a story problem when you slam hour nose against it is to write it out. Got to run.

Stay tuned for the Knowledge’s Ashes Universe Part I: Starjacker.

Writer’s Log 01.18.2019-0833

Yesterday’s desire, big, ambitious.
Yesterday’s reality, not so much.
It happens. I wrote, don’t kid yourself, and started my projects, but none of them went as far as I had hoped. There are a number of reasons, not all of them in my control.
(1) The Needs of the family out way the needs of the father and the few. (Gratuitous Star Trek Riff.)
My son needed help with his Boomilever for the Science Olympiad. Man, was that stressful. Neither of us had the skills with balsa wood that wee needed. Thankfully, we had Boomilever Youtube Videos to help us.
(2) Exhaustion sucks the life out of my writing. For no reason I can define, all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep. An attack of lethargy made writing an enormous chore. I found that getting up and moving helped a little. Today, I pulled the laundry off the exercise machine, and if my mind says sleep, my body will say exercise.

Writer’s Log Supplemental – 1.19.2019 0945: Screwed the pooch on this one. You know, sometimes things break down, so late at night I fells asleep. I reached 7,468 words total, and am writing my first disaster. I will explain tomorrow, or today, or something.