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Posts from the ‘Alma Boykin’ Category

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

Well, That’s Interesting…

Amazon has just signed a contract with Dean Koontz to publish Koontz’s books.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-signs-book-deal-with-dean-koontz-with-free-collection-coming-in-november-2019-07-22

Apparently Amazon has been looking into direct contracts with major authors for some time, but now they have the oomph and distribution power to match [and exceed] what Traditional Publishers have offered.

So, if more major names sign straight to Amazon, will TradPub start offering better contracts to potential Big Names? Or will reversion clauses and other rights-returns disappear all-together and we see greater limits on use of author names.

For those interested in the TradPub option, and in the publishing business in general, it will be interesting to see if the ‘Zon signs up more Big Names before the end of the year, and what the response from the rest of the industry is.

H/T The Shatzkin Files and The Passive Voice

The Successful Writer

Detail from a ceiling. Author Photo.

Ah, that legendary beast of misty lore, the creature that haunts authors’ dreams, whispering in the dark of night, then disappearing in the harsh light of dawn…

OK, sorry, that’s the neighborhood cat that gets Athena all riled up by perching on the windowsill.

These days, depending on which news stories you read, it is easier than ever to become a successful author, or you are doooooomed by the lack of government support (UK) and the enormous numbers of independently published books of dubious quality. Either you can make lots and lots of money, or the pie slices are shrinking faster than an ice-cube on the hood of a black car in Phoenix, Arizona in mid-August.

What is success? It depends on the author’s goals. How do you get there? It depends on your goals. Read more

Apropos of Nothing, a Gentle Reminder…

July 19 is the deadline for submitting nominations for the 2019 Dragon Awards. Any book, movie, comic, game, published or aired between July 1 2018 and June 30 of 2019 is eligible.

Anyone can nominate, and voting will begin in August.

Remember, these are fan choice, so if you read/saw/played it and liked it, you can nominate it!

http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php

And please stay hydrated and cool. Summer’s cranking up in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s easy to get busy and forget to drink enough water and other hydrating fluids.

Random Musing on Writing: Something Completely Different

From one of Maximilian’s childhood textbooks. Author photo.

Celebrity books are not new. Nor are people angling for endorsements from celebrities in order to sell more books. It’s just that the quantity has increased since the mid-1400s.

I was intrigued and amused to discover that Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I Habsburg (1459-1519) wrote and published epic poems and novels. One of the poems, Theuerdank, is a fictionalized account of Maximilian’s trip to meet and marry his first wife, Mary of Burgundy. It falls somewhere between the literary allegory pattern of things like the drama “Everyman” (Jederman) and adventure stories. Theuerdank was originally released in a collectors’ edition in 1517 and given only to nobles. Then a revised popular edition came out for the general market two years later. Both had lavish illustrations via woodcuts. It is one of the early books printed in German, and in fact a special type-face had to be designed for the work.
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