Creative Assets – Advice for Writers

This is a reblog from Lateral Action – a very good blog for creative types that I recommend you check out.

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This post talks about how content creators have to keep, well, creating content in order to survive. The traditional ways of getting a job don’t work for many creative types (God I wish someone had sit down with me and explained THAT 20 years ago …), so we have to get ourselves noticed through different means.

When you follow a creative path, you won’t find any of the usual milestones of success.

Unlike your friends who enter traditional jobs, with clear routes to promotion, finely calibrated pay grades and impressive job titles, there is no ‘career ladder’ for people like you and me; no incremental markers to indicate your progress.

So if you compare yourself to them, it can be easy to feel left behind as they climb higher and higher, from promotion to promotion. It’s obvious to all the world that their career is ‘going somewhere’.

Meanwhile, what are you up to?

On bad days, as you wrestle with another project that stubbornly resists your efforts to turn it into a masterpiece, with no fancy job title, and no promotion or pay rise in prospect, it can feel like you’re going nowhere fast.

If it’s a really bad day, you may be on the receiving end of some well-intentioned sympathy from a friend or family member, asking if it isn’t time you got “a real job”.

Have a look at the full article at this link!

 

Part 3 of “The Faces They Wore” now up at my other site #amwriting

In case any readers here weren’t aware, I’m sharing some previously published short fiction.

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Go have a look over at my other site, where you can read Painted Blue Eyes and The Faces They Wore – both pieces that appear in books by the Busan Writing Group.

Click the links below for more info:

Painted Blue Eyes

The Faces They Wore

What a writing journal can teach you about productivity

A great post by Tim Kimber of rightplacerighttim.com on how to use a writing journal to increase your output!

Right place, right Tim

This week, I reached 115,000 words on my novel. I’m three and a half chapters from the end, on the home stretch, and already dreading the editing.

Since October 2015, I’ve been tracking my progress with a writing journal, in which I record the time of each session, its duration, the number of words written and what chapter I was working on. A year later, I’m up to my eyeballs in data, and can draw some enlightening conclusions therein.

But first, a graph! Gadzooks!

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As you can see, there are a number of lulls in productivity, loosely matching life events: Christmas in December, getting married and going on honeymoon in April, and being on holiday in August. Oddly, it is my holiday time that I’m at my least productive.

Getting deeper into the data, I can glean which type of session I get the most out of…

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I am 40! (Cross-post from tccedwards.com)

I’ve copied this post from my other blog, tccedwards.com.

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I’m 40 today, and I’m feeling pretty okay with it.

I mean, there’s a lot that’s been wrong with my life, but there’s also a lot that’s been right, and I hope both sides have shown up in my writing. My wife and I have serious issues to get through. We agree on our kids, though – our wonderful boys bring joy into our lives, even as we both work harder than ever to provide for them.

This impending birthday is one reason my online story, Far Flung, has been long in getting another update. I’ve been pretty anxious about turning 40, and wondering what exactly it means. I have a career, a family, and kids, but nowhere near as much writing as I wanted to do. There may be some interesting news soon – I’ve been in talks with a potential publisher, describing my plans for a story very different from Far Flung. I can’t say more now, but I’m pretty hopeful something new and different will come of it.

It’s been over a month since I’ve published a Far Flung episode, and it will probably be one more before I really get back to it. I’m looking at an early July release for the next episode – but rest assured, I have drafts for 2 episodes almost ready now, with a 3rd in the works. My goal is to have 1 episode ready and 3 more nearly ready when I post the next part.

The next episode will also start a new act in the overall arc of the story, with the Tereshkova colonists trying to live in the habitat prepared for them by their alien allies. There will be several episodes devoted to life in this temporary colony and the tensions that develop between members of the Tereshkova crew.

It’ll be really fun if something comes of the publishing talks and I work on Far Flung at the same time. Either way, I expect to start a Patreon funding scheme for Far Flung soon – something to help me devote more time to Far Flung, hire editing services, and produce better episodes with material on characters, technology, and other background information.

So that’s what’s going on. Just your friendly neighborhood author keeping busy and having an existential crisis as another decade of life passes!

Reblog: #IWSG #AtoZChallenge Ether-wall, Force Field, Genetic Engineering, and Hive Mind

I missed my IWSG post this month! Oh no!

So I’m going to  cheat with a reblog, but for a good purpose – to give a shoutout for Alex J. Cavanaugh!

I found out that he also posted Hive Minds for the letter H in the A-to-Z Blog Challenge – along with Ether-wall, Force Field, and Genetic Engineering!

As soon as I checked out his blog, I realized where I knew him from – he’s the author of the CassaSeries, founder of the IWSG, and all-round Very Busy Writer!

So go check out his site, and cheer him on for his hard work for the writing and blogging communities!

Keep at with the A-to-Z, fellow bloggers!

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“North of Reality” – Weird & Funny short fiction by Uel Aramcheck

I was looking around Web Fiction Guide today, searching for hidden gems…

I think I found one!

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I’ve been reading a lot of serial and web fiction lately, but North of Reality by Uel Aramcheck is different from most.

Rather than being a strict serial, it is a blog from the author’s imaginary realm – each piece is either a short story or an encyclopedic entry from another universe.

One of the best examples of the self-contained story entries is “Then Before If“- I loved how this piece plays around with the paradox that arises from knowing the future, and builds a rather poignant story around it.

My favorite encyclopedia entry so far  is “The Projectile Heart“, informing readers that humans can eject their hearts through their mouths in extreme situations (just like sea cucumbers vomiting up their insides).

I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read from this site so far. Since each piece can be read on its own, it makes it a great site to stop by once every few days for a weird fiction fix.


jukepopMy next writing goal – have Chapter 10 of Far Flung ready for the next Tuesday Serial Collector!

Reblog: Worldbuilding in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Jay Allan

Worldbuilding can make great stories even better!

It’s hard to imagine classic series like Asimov’s Foundation or modern series like Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn without richly detailed worldbuilding. Populating a fantasy universe with political systems, past wars, myths, technology, and other details help everything in the story work as part of a whole.

This article is a really good summary of how worldbuilding can serve an author and help draw in readers.

Worldbuilding.  It’s a term that gets bandied about quite a bit when discussing fiction, especially in genres like science fiction and fantasy, but for all the endless times it is repeated, I think sometimes the importance is overlooked.

It’s very fashionable to say things like, “character development is the important thing,” or “it’s the story that matters.”  And, of course, those things are absolutely essential.  But they’re not the whole story.  Not by a longshot.  Not in science fiction or fantasy.

A work of historical fiction set, say, during the American Civil War doesn’t need worldbuilding…it’s world is the world, and beyond pointing out some historical facts the reader might not know, the author can focus almost solely on characters and storyline.  But science fiction and fantasy demand more.  These stories take place in worlds that are the creations of their authors.  They may be set in the near future, based heavily on the real world, or they may be wildly different (a galaxy far, far away), but either way, the reader needs to understand this setting, and the only way that’s going to happen is if the author fleshes it out.

Imagine a work like Dune, without the immense detail of the empire, stripped of the customs, institutions, and history so carefully laid out by the author.  What is left?  A good story, some well-developed characters?  Yes, perhaps.  But an enduring classic of the genre? Doubtful.

Or Asimov’s Foundation series…with its galactic empire and its ‘world as one giant city’ capital.  The characters come and go in what is mostly a series of short novellas, but the overall plot of the fall of empire ties them all together.

On the fantasy side, could there be a better example than the Lord of the Rings?  The three books cover little more than a single year’s activity, yet Tolkien’s work wouldn’t be the classic it is without the massive worldbuilding that gives us thousands of years of fictional history interspersed with a few months of real time action.

In science fiction and fantasy, the setting is like a character itself, often as much a part of the story as any hero and villain.  When I think of the books that have resonated with me in my forty-odd years of reading science fiction and fantasy, it is those that offered rich worlds in which I could lose myself that became the favorites I pull out every couple years to reread.

See the rest at http://discoverscifi.com/worldbuilding-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy-2/