Skip to content

Posts from the ‘CEDAR SANDERSON’ Category

The End is only The Beginning

Last week I finished another novel. I sit here and look at that sentence and I’m thinking ‘how casual’ like I wasn’t so excited at getting it done I was practically dancing around the house. This book has been hanging over my head for a long time, now. I’d bypassed it, having gotten very stuck on it, to finish Possum Creek Massacre and Tanager’s Fledglings, both. So I have been writing on this thing for over two years. And now, it’s done. Whoohooo! Read more

Readers Speak

The other day I shared one of those screenshot memes on my social media. The ones that come from Tumblr or someplace like that, where people are discussing something. Not all of them are obnoxious, some are fun, and this one was very illuminating to see the responses.

I wound up getting a lot of conversation, not only from the readers on my feed, but other authors as well. It sparked a great conversation and I wanted to bring that, here, for a more permanent basis. I lose things over there. It’s an ephemeral conversation and sometimes you want to keep things where you can find them. Instead of rifling through infinite desk drawers muttering ‘I know I had it. I saw it last week. Or was that a month ago? It has to be here!’

Read more

Tactical Romance

This is a subgenre I want to see exist, and be written more of. No, I’m not talking about how to romance a woman with tactical correctness (although there may be a hint of that) ala Lois McMaster Bujold’s A Civil Campaign. I’m talking about books that are about tactics first – action! Adventure! and proper trigger controls, ambush points, and E&E – and romance blooms into the story. There’s love between two practical, competent adults, with none of the lust-fueled idiocy you see so often in romance novels. Competence porn, but without the explicit sex (because frankly sex is sexier when you leave the mechanics to the reader’s imagination).

Read more

Retreating from Writing

To begin with: I’m writing this on my phone. There is supposed to be internet at the campground, and a few of the other writers here have said they get it… but the First Reader and I are in the very furthest cabin and the WiFi is elusive and fleeting. For sake of my temper and current state of deep relaxation, phone data seemed the best idea.
Read more

Dredits

Dread Edits, only when I was thinking this through I ran the two words into one in my head. I don’t think I’m alone in dreading the editing process. It’s tedious, it can make a book you enjoyed writing into a boring chore, but it’s necessary. Editing is part of the process, even if, or perhaps especially if, you’re sending the manuscript to someone else for more editing. Read more

Homo Sapiens ad Astra and the Butterfly

This is a republication of an article I wrote on my blog a while back. It bears repeating to the Mad Genii, as it is directly related to writing science fiction. We change, on the most fundamental level. We change in an astonishingly short time, and that change is not limited to butterflies. Humans adapt as well as any other creature – arguably better. Read more

The Solitary Writer

And other popular myths. I am certain that there are people who exist, and write best, firmly avoiding any contact with their fellow human. I have doubts about the kind of writing they might produce. I mean, who can write a fully developed character who isn’t themselves (and no, I don’t mean a Mary Sue) who doesn’t watch other people? Writers may be the ultimate voyeurs. Read more

Book Cover Design: People

Of plots, and characters, and book cover design. That’s what I’m thinking about. Dorothy Grant and I were working on the cover for her latest, and she suggested I use our conversation as a springboard for a MGC post. I’m always excited when Dorothy comes to me for a cover – this is the third I have done for her, and every time I work with her on this level (or, really, on any other) I learn things. She may proclaim she is not an artist, but she has a superb sense of design and aesthetic that she meshes well with the marketing expertise you need for a book cover.

I’m going to hop up on my soap box here. Your book cover is not a portrait of a scene in your book. Your book cover is a cohesive marketing tool that must convey the entire body of work in a single image. Depending on the length of your novel, that’s not a thousand words in a picture, that’s 100K words in a single image. Furthermore, readers have expectations, even if they could not express them in so many words. Which is why my first words to anyone I am trying to coach through creating their own cover are: go look at the top 100 best sellers in your sub genre on Amazon. Get a feel for what readers are associating with your sub genre. Then blend those elements into your cover design. *steps off soap box* Read more

The Future of Books

As I sit here, I am surrounded by books. At the periphery of my vision, on either side of my desk, there are tall bookshelves filled with volumes. Somewhere in the dark behind me (I’m writing very early and my office/bedroom is being used for both purposes) there is a stack of books on my nightstand. There are books in my closet, for goodness sakes (I wrote all of those, and they are stacked neatly in boxes). The rest of the house is the same, and my dear reader, I would venture to guess that your homes are similarly accoutered. We are the past of books.

My children are the future of books. I have two still at home, and one who has moved out and is setting up her own tiny nest, well-feathered with her own things, and furniture the parental units set her up with. Which didn’t include a bookshelf. Read more

Mental Exercise

My legs are sore. Back, too, for that matter. I’ve been working on getting back in shape. I started on easy mode – even if I were inclined to join a gym, that’s not an option currently. No, I’ve been walking instead. I was invited by an old friend and my sister to join a small online accountability group, and we set goals, then try to reach those daily. With the wonders of modern technology, we can share photos of our walks, and maps. Where, you wonder, am I going with this? Well, I set a modest goal, to walk a ‘marathon’ of 26 miles in the month of May. I set my sights low, because since I switched jobs 6 months ago I have been almost inert due to stress and change of routines. I don’t like it, and I am determined to change it. Read more