Dec 24

Craft of Writing: Formatting Manuscripts

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  December 24th, 2014

This is a very brief post relating to a comment someone made awhile back (and I’m too rushed this morning to look up–apologies.)   But I want to answer this while I think of it, since I meant to back then and didn’t.

What I remember is that I mentioned how many pages of the new book I had, and what the wordage was, and someone was surprised that it took that many pages (or was it that few??) for that number of words.

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Dec 20

Craft of Writing: Ah, Research!

Posted: under Background, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  December 20th, 2014

Fantasy requires as much research as science fiction, but slanted somewhat differently.  Or so it feels in my head, because the SF stories and the fantasy stories are situated in different places, not just fictionally, but psychologically.  As it happens, I like both kinds of research (and I also like flying without wings, sometimes, as in the CHICKS stories–no research there, nuh-uh.)   At any rate, I knew the new Vatta book would demand considerable research, despite being set in the same universe, because it’s set largely on planet.   The nail-biting moments (well, most of them) will be down in the gravity well.   And–just because it had to be, the story demanded it–much of it is in environments I have never personally experienced.   (Of course, the space-based stories are in environments I’ve never experienced, but not even our current astronauts have either, so…there’s more wiggle room.  Still research, but not likely to find someone who says “I served in an interstellar empire’s space navy and you’re completely wrong about the tactics of space warfare and not only that your conception of ship design is ridiculous.”

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Dec 16

So Why That One?

Posted: under Background, E-books, Life beyond writing, Marketing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  December 16th, 2014

Somebody’s going to ask “So why that story and not that other one you mentioned you were writing/had written?”   Some decisions were easy.  One of the Paksworld stories I was working on came to a halt, hooves stuck in the ground, back up in a hump, neck stretched out, ears flat and would. not. budge.   It’s not a failure to thrive: it’s a story telling me I made a mistake, that’s not how it goes, and it’s not going to cooperate until I take it where it wants to go.  But it won’t tell me.  Eventually, left alone out there in the pasture, it will come wandering up to my mental cabin, climb up the step to the porch, and stomp on the porch.  But it didn’t choose to do that before the time I had to have stories turned in, so…maybe next time.

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Dec 15

Craft of Writing: “But Nobody Will Buy It”

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 15th, 2014

This post is the promised one about living with another kind of failure.  You wrote the story; you think it’s a good enough story to submit for publication; you give it one or several final polishes.   And all you get for the submission is a rejection.   Now what?

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Dec 06

Craft of Writing: Failure to Thrive

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 6th, 2014

Sometimes a story of any size starts…and then crumbles to dust, or lies down and refuses to move, or otherwise reveals itself as a failure.   I’m not talking about stories completed that never find a market (that’s another kind of failure, which I’ll talk about another time) but stories that you want to write–at least when you start.  Stories that are happy, gurgling, grinning infant stories, that may even get far enough to start crawling on their own–but develop what doctors call “failure to thrive” in spite of your best efforts.

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Dec 05

Plotbombs Away!

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 5th, 2014

No better sign of a really live book than plotbombs, annoying as they are when they arrive as I’m trying to go to sleep because I have to get up early in the morning to be ready for the 8 am plumber, because R- will be somewhere between here and there picking up M from his apartment in the city to take him to the dentist in a city between here and there.  Why couldn’t the plotbombs have arrived at a decent hour, say 2 pm in the afternoon?  (I hear the plot daemon’s wicked chuckle over there behind the boiler…followed by a headshake and “Ye should be thankin’ me, lass, not complainin'”)

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Nov 28

Thanksgiving Has Come and Gone

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  November 28th, 2014

…but the cleanup remains a work in progress.  MOST of  it was done (by sundown today) but the final packaging of leftovers for the freezer, not so much.  I sort of fell over in mid-afternoon and slept for two hours.  THUD.    We had wonderful guests, who brought wonderful contributions to the feast, and several of whom helped a lot in the initial cleaning up,  and good conversation, and a long walk on the land for most of us between the main meal and dessert, and then dessert and more conversation, until the light failed and people started for home.

 

resized_Thanksgiving-table-angle

 

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Nov 25

Deeds of Honor Cover Reveal

Posted: under artwork, Collections.
Tags: ,  November 25th, 2014

Looks like the powers that be have approved a cover design, and I like it.

So, here ’tis.    There might still be changes, but I suspect this is it.

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Nov 20

Triple Good News on the Writing Front

Posted: under Crown of Renewal, the writing life.
Tags: ,  November 20th, 2014

1. I was informed today there’s an offer on the new Vatta book.   Agent is  on it–details will be hammered out…er…peaceful negotiations will result in a contract most pleasing and desirable for all parties.

2. Kirkus Reviews picked Crown of Renewal as one of the best fantasy novels of the year.  https://www.kirkusreviews.com/issue/best-of-2014/section/fiction/?page=8

3.  In this fascinating graphic of 62 different stories of the future,  a lot of information is turned into one stunning timeline.   And one of my books is on it.   http://www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/futureevents_giorgialupi_large.jpg

 

 

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