Posts Tagged ‘ Science Fiction

Just Finish the Darn Book

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

Walking Shadows

At fifty-four-thousand words, Walking Shadows is close to the end. It has been a long trip, starting, stopping, starting, stopping due to depression, grief, doctors, medicine, and recovery,. Better, I see it within no more than two weeks of “The End.”

I’ve avoided picking it up again because of a bad habit. Hit a rough spot in the book or emotionally, and I start something new. Chasing the new and shiny story is my worst habit as a writer.

Worse, I avoided it because I lost the narrative thread, and because the ending no longer made sense to me. Realizing last night, I was being both unprofessional and a fool, I dusted off the data file. After dithering, I realized that I know how it ends, I just was not sure how to get there from where I last wrote. I started the novel project of writing the last three or so chapter from back to front. It sounds backasswards (one of my favorite words form my Oklahoma childhood) but I can set down and write the last chapter without a hitch, and once I get that done, I will extrapolate backwards until I reach the point where I stopped writing.

And there is something very comforting in writing the last chapter of a long work.

Walking Shadows: After Able Ruse’s mother dies, he is forced to leave the religious community where grew up and live with his strange Grandfather in Scapula, California, haunted by Walking Shadows that stea the souls of children and and and take over their lives.

Plans and Portents

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Plan of Action

NOVELLAS: Yes, yes, yes I will get around to my writer’s log, later. This is just a note covering my change in direction. since I am self-published, I’ve decided to write a series as Novellas. Each book will be between twenty thousand and forty thousand words. They will be complete, in that I will present a beginning, middle and end with rising action a climax and a denouement. (Yes, I am showing off my literary chops with that word.) But Each will be one part of a series of two or more books.
That requires writing one thousand words a day. I can do that.

I also intend to continue blogging about writing. This blog will expand out to more than one page, covering my printed works. along with the blog here, I will publish at Medium at least once a week.

Honestly, I’ve never been that disciplined, but it is past the time that I learned. I’m old enough, and I’m good enough.

First Novella will be Starjackers. Watch this bog for more.

Book Review: Night of Masks by Andre Norton

If you are a dietitian, doctor, insurance adjuster, mechanic, or most any occupation continuing education is critical to the performance of your profession. Authors, novelists, writers, and poets also require continuing education. That education, however does not come as a Grammar class (thought some could use one) or other formal seduction. Continuing education for an author consists of reading.

As part of my Writer’s Journey, I choose to read extensively both within my preferred genres and from both fiction and non-fiction. This keeps my writing fresh and teaches me how others did it.

Night of Masks

by Andre Norton (1964)

Grand Dame of Science Fiction Andre Norton created a complex universe for her Science Fiction and expanded them with each novel. The shared world that she uses with her stories is perhaps her strongest suit. Tightly written, the book contained no excess verbiage or unnecessary scenes. Night of Masks is one of Norton’s many Juvenile Science Fiction Novels. Her characters are sympathetic and relatable to her audience. Having read the novel as a teenager in the mid-1960s, it was like meeting someone I knew briefly a long time ago. It was better than my expectations because I am older and able to appreciate the world building aspects of her work. She writes clear, concise prose with no frills. It is not great literature, but it is appropriate. This book harkens back to a kinder and gentler age. At no point did she stoop to inappropriate. Night of Masks is not a book to change your life. It is entertainment and escape.  Falling within the subgenre of Space Opera, it is a bit dated. Modern tastes run to grittier and more realistic tastes. Her depiction of the “dipple” would be at home in any dystopia, but readers of Space Opera will find it mild. For me, the investment was a great value, both as a good story and from personal nostalgia. I recommend it to readers of science fiction and space opera.