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Questions and Answers

Last week, I asked if there were any questions you had about “getting a book ready to head out the door.” You folks were awesome with the number of suggestions and questions you raised. I’m not going to try to answer all of them today. There were enough to make several posts. But I will deal with at least a few of them. Here goes. . . . Read more

The Spanish Inquisition

‘I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition’
“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” (Monty Python)

As an example to writers of how to use surprise… and fear, and ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. And spiffy red uniforms…

Okay, so unless you’re doing an erotic novel called the handmaiden’s tail… maybe not the spiffy red uniforms. Read more

Consistency

I’m working on a story… wait, no. I’m working on three stories. Okay, maybe I’ve started and stopped on about seven, but I keep coming back to two stories?

I’d say my muse has ADOS (Attention Deficit… Ooh! Shiny!), but I’m terribly afraid it’s just me. Other people talk about writing to market and checking off the lists of tropes they’re going to use, and I’m over here going “this isn’t working because… I need a second POV? Do I have to go back and rewrite half the scenes? Or am I adding a second plotline in? No, no, bad brain. Just keep going forwa… okay, fine. Wait! I agreed! Why are you trying to throw a different story at me instead of the one I want to work on?”

Not that any of you know anything about that, eh?
Read more

Banjo Fantasy

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but this last week I was reminded I hadn’t done it yet. Oops? I got distracted?

So what, you may be asking, is banjo fantasy? Are there musical instruments and sprightly tunes?

Not… always. There could be, sure. Or it could be a reference to ‘paddle faster, I hear banjos!’ Read more

What would you like to see?

While Jon is busy with school and work, I thought I’d take this chance to ask you for some very specific help. One of our regular readers has asked us to discuss “getting a book ready to go out the door”. I’ve got some ideas about the post but I’ve been doing this long enough that much of the process is now automatic for me. Because of that, I’m afraid I might miss something you might want us to cover.

Here’s where you come in. You’ve got the book or short story written, or close to written. You know it’s time to start getting it ready to leave the proverbial nest. What questions about the process or explanations would you want us to go over?

Leave your recommendations/requests below.

Thanks!

Steak as well as cookies

Sarah has mentioned the importance of “reader cookies” – those genre allusions and tropes, or better, tropes turned upside down, that keep the reader happy as he goes through the book.

But what happens when you get a book that’s nothing but cookies? How long does that keep you happy? In my case – not very long.

I recently came across a case in point, a comic novel written around the Norman invasion of England in 1066. You might think that’s not a great subject for comedy, but the writer pulled it off… sort of… tongue firmly planted in cheek, in the style of 1066 and All That, but applied to fiction. For the first few chapters I kept chuckling at the irreverent views and up-ending of conventional wisdom, reading specially good bits aloud to the First Reader. Read more

New Release!

Xen Wolfson is a powerful dimensional wizard. With no idea how he wound up in a wilderness, bereft of magic, with what looks a lot like a lightning strike burn.

If he doesn’t get killed and eaten by the wolf, and learns to make weapons, and hunt without magic, he can survive until someone finds him.
Hopefully a friend . . .

A cross-dimensional war is brewing, and Xen’s kidnapping was the first shot fired. As the unknown enemy continues to grab the strongest of the dimensional cops, Xen’s friends try to find him, and at the same time locate the enemy so they can stop the hostilities before it turns into open warfare.