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Posts by TXRed

Copyright Links Post

As promised, this is a link-post. I can guarantee that the links all worked, as of yesterday. However, not all of them go to equally usable sites. Some are more general IP, others are specific. I tried to avoid any that are so specific that you might not need them (i.e. things along the lines of, “How does copyright on reproductions of public-domain images differ between Poland and Lithuania?”)

www.thepassivevoice.com     If you are not reading this blog, you probably ought to at least poke around it once every-other-week or so. PG is a copyright lawyer, and posts links to original sources as well as to legal dictionaries and related sources. And quotes, and book-plugs for Mrs. P.G’s historical novels. Read more

Books for Writers

Next post, I’ll do a link post of sites with information on copyright (good, bad, and ugly) and related resources. However, that takes time I did not have last week, so I want to look at resources for authors, especially books that I have found useful.

Important caveat: these are books that I have found useful. Not all books work for all authors. Guides for people who do genre fiction (thrillers, romance, sci-fi and fantasy) might not work so well for people who write literary fiction, and vice versa.

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Small Worlds: Writing Them

A commentor here observed that the Merchant and Empire books are set in a small world. It’s an interesting observation, and one that deserves some thought, because a lot of fantasy and sci-fi books seem to sprawl. They cover an epic-worth of territory, sometimes by design, sometimes just because it seems traditional.

But not all stories need sprawling worlds. Some books, even novels or series, fit better in a small space, a human or other person sized space. Which is sometimes difficult to do.

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Stages of Critique and When to Re-write

On Wednesday, Sarah talked about the levels of reworking a story, ranging from minor edits to “keep basic idea, scrap the rest, and move on.” This can be in response to outside critiques, or you as an author growing and changing. It sounds logical and neat, if tedious at times. But it can also be emotionally painful.

There’s a reason I have an unpublished non-fiction work that caused me to have anxiety attacks when I looked at the file: one critique that dang near ruined the book. So there’s nothing wrong with a visceral response when you get feedback. It’s what you do after that’s the challenge. Read more

Writing at Speed: Good, Bad, or Painful?

I tend to write faster than some, slower than some. This isn’t really good or bad, except that in the indie market, quantity helps increase (sales) quality. I wrote 93K words on a novel between July 4 and August 8, with a few days off due to Life. As well as writing most of four short stories, plus blogging.

That’s not a brag, just a statement. My schedule gives me three months (mostly) off, and so I made the best of my time. Most people don’t have that luxury. Plus, as I said above, I can write very quickly when the story moves me.

This isn’t always good. Read more

Apropos of Covers…

The group writing blog, Writers in the Storm, Melinda VanLone recently had a different take on covers. Some of the points underline what Sarah, Cedar, and others have said – covers are not first and foremost works of art. They are tools for selling.

The second point… I’m not entirely sure about, although based on the problem on the ‘Zon with “Just what is Urban Fantasy anyway?”

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Coping with the Past: Or Flashbacks and Infodumps

Traces of a slower time: The horse railroad between Linz and Budweis. (Author Photo)

It’s the middle of a battle scene. The hero is pinned down, comm relay out of order, in desperate need of backup, a plan, and chewing gum (not necessarily in that order). The smell of burning plastics, choking and thick, fills the air and—

Cut to a flashback from childhood of grandpa and the burn pit, and what it smelled like when Older Brother put something with plastic-coated wires in the garbage, and how grandpa reacted, and grandma laughing about boys will be boys and…

Yeah. Story fail.

“But it’s important!” Cries Jane Q Writer. “That’s the foreshadowing that hints that the Big Bad is the hero’s long lost older brother!”

The reader, who has already set the book down (or tossed it against the wall), picks up a different book and wanders away. Read more