Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

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Greg is looking for volunteer book reviewers.

May 12, 2009

So I’m proceeding a bit slower than I would like.  I’ve been busy with my day job.  But I am crossing the 40,000 word mark and am interested to get an independent view of the book I’m working on.

Is anyone interested in taking a quick read at what I have so far?

Synopsis:
Cross between Sherlock Holms – Dr. Watson as teenagers, Jules Verne, adventure story where our heroes journey to the center of the Earth to rescue the princess of the fallen Atlantis empire from her treacherous half-brother.

Lots of fun stuff, no high falutin’ literature that’s for sure.  I foresee a whole series of books and Millions of dollars for Greg in royalties…heh.  Well we all have dreams right.

It’s a fun read, at least this biased reader thinks it is.

Any takers?

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Arthur C. Clarke – R.I.P.

March 18, 2008

Author Arthur C. Clarke dies

Another Grand Master of SF passes away.

😦

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3 things that make writing good and powerful

February 14, 2008

I have been tagged by Neil over at the Other Side of the River with a shameless lion award.

lion_red

Essentially this is one of those chain letter exercises, wherein you have to answer a set of questions and then send the “tagging” onto a group of friends to continue the chain.

Therein lies my problem.  I pinged several people regarding sending this on and…well…nobody got back to me.  So I thought it better to publish my thoughts on the matter and continue to nag pursue them to participate.

So here’s the deal.  The question we are supposed to answer is what are three things that make for good and powerful writing.

Here are my three things.

  1. A problem to solve.
    1. The problem depends on the genre, but there needs to be one.
      1. In a Jane Austen novel it is typically a medium-well-to-do young woman in trouble of falling out of her station and having to rely on true love with a man above her in life to rescue her.
      2. In a sci fi novel it is often some external unknowable threat that our hero[s] need to discover the weakness of and then exploit.
      3. In a fantasy novel it is often the undying/invincible evil overlord that will soon bring ultimate darkness on the world and the young hero who doesn’t know his destiny.
  2. Effective use of language
    1. Strip it.
      1. Channel Hemingway whenever you can. Don’t use complicated words where simple English words will suffice. “Utilize” sucks! “Use” rules!
    2. Describe where description pushes the story.
      1. In direct opposition to the “Strip it” bullet point, when the story needs the reader to smell the blood on the floor or taste the acrid smoke from the age encrusted hearth, make sure they can smell it or taste it.
      2. Tricky right? Yup.
    3. Believable dialog.
      1. I suck at dialog. I’m working on it. But make sure it reads like speaking and not like writing.
      2. If your protagonist is from Hungary and speaks broken English, then make his English broken.
  3. A protagonist that you care about. Even if by caring I mean hate.
    1. Do you remember the best characters you’ve read? I do.
      1. Trent the uncatchable.
      2. Lazarus Long.
      3. Elric
      4. Corwin of Amber
    2. This can be done in a few short words if done correctly. But if you don’t make the reader care about something about the protagonist then they might as well be reading a stock report.

There are a jillion pieces and parts that go into good writing but for me those are three key ones.

Also for astute observers you’ll note that the logo is not the approved one…well I thought that logo was pretty boring so I went ahead and made one.

Here is the standard one:

Roar Large Lighter

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I want to be you

October 26, 2007

[Don’t be frightened.]
[It will be over so quick and you won’t feel a thing.]

Of course she couldn’t hear him, and in fact he really didn’t know if it would be quick or painless. But then he really didn’t care all that much.

In the beginning it had been merely for survival. And the first time had been the hardest. He had the help of an army of lab technicians the support of a nation and his was the last experiment before total destruction.

He didn’t care. HE had survived. That is all that mattered.

[I like your smile and the way you sip your mojito and glance at me from under you eyelashes.]

They had thought him their pawn but he understood the relationship much better than they. He had used them to live beyond the normal realm of human life.

Over time it had become much easier. With each transfer he refined his tools until they became the size of a book. Then the size of a ring.

[Yes, yes of course we should kiss. I like the way this is going too. Mmmm you taste nice. Strawberry?]

For a time it had become a hobby. He upgraded his skin as his whims dictated. One year he committed 7 transfers, 2 in one week.

He bored of that fairly quickly.

Style is so shallow.

[Your place? I’d love too. I know, I know, I never do this sort of thing on the first date either.]

Then for awhile it became a form of art.

Choosing carefully, planning judiciously, executing flawlessly.

That too became boring. It felt too much like a job.

[I’m nervous too. Yes it is a beautiful view, you have a beautiful place. I think you are beautiful.]

Now it was a matter of letting the winds of fate decide to whom he went. He felt he was in tune with nature or God or Satan. Nothing more than a pawn again but this time for chaos.

It wasn’t hard.

There was always another human, they kept making more.

[Your skin is so smooth.]
[Bedroom? I’m ok. No, no, you’re not rushing things. I know it does feel right doesn’t it.]

Where was he now?

[Oh yes, that’s right, LA.]

150 years after he was born.

The sex was sometimes a distraction. But this time he felt the rhythm would only help the transfer process. She felt so good beneath him. He was going to enjoy this one especially if he timed it just so…

[Yes I’m close too.]

He brought his hand up behind her head and placed the ring just under the occipital bone.

It was always so easy. He willed his mind to transfer through the ring as his body was enveloped in ecstasy.

Peeled layers of light were scraped from his vision. Electricity was pulled from the tips of his fingers inward towards his gut and spine, spun there briefly then rushed and expunged from the husk.

Her eyes flew open.

“AH!” Was all she said as the invasion began, but it was too late. By the time they knew it was happening it was always too late.

Then a reversal: the same spinning of electricity and thin sheets of light lain upon him.

[Yes!]

He felt the last of her ecstasy as well.

[Extraordinary!]

Then Blackness

Later. He…she woke.

He…she stood unsteadily; it always took a few days to settle into the new gender. She looked down on the now cold corpse at her feet. This was always the hard part. Disposal. But she was prepared. She had prepared the necessary equipment. It would be done by morning.

[I am the first immortal. A self made vampire who lives on through a string of pearl like souls. Unbroken.]

She smiled, it was not a nice smile on such a beautiful face. She would need to work on that.