A post of mine regarding Far Flung on John Robin’s blog, Epic Fantasy Writer!
Today I’d like to share more on world-building by means of a guest post from an author I recently connected with—TCC Edwards. You can check out his book, Far Flung, which is has been picked by an Inkshares syndicates and is still funding, at nearly 1/4 of the way to meeting the Quill publication milestone.
How many lists of world-building tips, hints, questions, and resources have you seen on the internet? They’re a bit intimidating, aren’t they? Especially when they’re as exhaustive as the queen of all world-building lists by author Patricia C. Wrede, with questions about politics, science, religion, and many more aspects of your fictional world.
You could spend a lot of time building your world with a list like this, but without proper attention to the story and characters, readers aren’t likely to appreciate the effort. If you are writing a multi-novel…
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Well. This is certainly unexpected!
I got an email today from Launch Pad, a project run by The Tracking Board. I was very excited to see it, as the title suggested that one of the two submissions I put in made it to the next round.
I was wrong.
Deep breath. Exhale. Oh boy.
Both the sci-fi work Far Flung and the epic fantasy Bound in Shadows rated well enough with judges to progress into the Top 75.
Wow, I am excited! I don’t know how many entries there were overall, but the 2016 contest had over 1000 entries – I’m assuming this year’s had even more.
Now comes the really interesting part – one of my stories might make it further up in the ranks and get into the top 25, or even the top 10. The higher one of my stories gets, the more rewards I get – with a possibility of a full signing or publishing deal.
There’s also the Inkshares part of the contest – the top 3 stories submitted to both Inkshares and Launch Pad will get full publishing deals through Inkshares. But one of my stories can only win this if I start campaigning for crowdfunding AND my campaign reaches the top 3 on Inkshares.
Two entries in the Top 75!
This is great – it means that experts in the publishing industry are reading the preview manuscripts I submitted and eyeing them for their potential as books or even TV or movie projects. I’ll have to see which perks and extras from the contest I will win – it depends on how much further the stories go.
In a contest that must have had many, many entries, two written by me got enough regard to place in the top 75. I can brag about this. (Authors have to brag; it’s how we survive.) I feel great – my writing has potential and I can indeed get a novel published, one way or another.
Hello visitors from #IWSG! Happy Star Wars day! I have some updates here that might be of interest to the neurotic writing community.
First up, I’ve got my ongoing series of writing exercises.
Every week for the past few months I’ve put up posts on Tuesday and Thursday featuring a writing exercise and my own sample take on the exercise. I’ll be compiling these exercises into a book later on, as I really need a new textbook for teaching fiction writing to ESL students. While I won’t claim to be a writing genius, I think the exercises will work well with writers at all levels of ability. I hope they will inspire you as well.
This month’s exercises focuses on using different points of view in writing. I hope you’ll check them out.
This contest is held by Launch Pad and Inkshares, and requires that you submit the first 50 pages of a novel you are working on. Your 50 pages will be read by successful authors and publishers, and you will have a chance to win a publishing contract or one of several other prizes. Might be worth checking out!
If you’ve never heard of Inkshares, it’s a crowd-funding program for indie authors. They’re a really good bunch of people, and I encourage you to check out the website.
I’ve been hanging out in writing subforums on Reddit, especially /r/writingprompts
There are some very good prompts, and anyone is allowed to add their own. One prompt was so appealing, it got me to break my long Reddit silence and write a weird little fantasy piece.
Anyway, I suppose my message to IWSG this month is that I #amwriting, and finding excuses to write rather than excuses not to. Maybe that’ll help you find your own excuse!
This is a reblog from Lateral Action – a very good blog for creative types that I recommend you check out.
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!
Welcome folks with the Insecure Writers Support Group and all my visitors.
This promises to be a busy month, as I’m off vacation and back to work as a teacher. I’ll be teaching ESL to university freshman as I continue hammering out my novel, Far Flung!
I love the question for this month,
Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
Uh, that’s what I’m doing, basically. I tried Far Flung as serial fiction, but my results were not so great. I made the mistake of rushing out the chapters instead of prescheduling – I was too eager to get it out after so many years of being an aspiring author.
What I’m working on now is based heavily on the chapters I released freely earlier. What I released is still available, but might not be for much longer. I will soon replace it with preview chapters for the novel I’m working on. It will be so different, I’m confident people will want this book when it is finished. Characters are deeper, there’s a lot more danger and action, and the story is just better. I expect to have a major announcement regarding my progress later this year.
It’s wonderful to work on this, and in the meantime I’ve been able to do things like help compile another book for the Busan Writer’s Group, and I’ve prescheduled some cool new content for Write, or Else!
Starting next week, some new writing exercises will go up on this blog. These exercises are based off the fiction writing curriculum I made for my advanced ESL students, and should help new writers get started. The first post goes up on Tuesday, March 7 – I hope you stop by when it goes up.
How about you – did you ever dig up an old story and revisit it?
This is my January post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
Late by my clock, but hey, it’s still Wednesday is some parts of the world!
The prompt for this month is What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?
Write what you know.
Oh yeah, I’m gunning for the big one – which is odd, because I teach this rule in my writing classes for ESL students.
It is a deceptive rule, because it makes you think you should write only from personal experience. Now, do you suppose J.K. Rowling ever actually went to a wizarding school? Did P.L. Travers really have a magical nanny? You think George R.R. Martin ever found himself at a wedding that went horribly, violently wrong?
Probably not. But those writers knew people and knew history. They filled in gaps in their knowledge by researching and talking to people. They blended in their own experiences along with facts and experiences learned from others.
If writers only wrote what they knew, every book would be about a struggling writer, trying to make words flow across the page while wondering how the heck they’ll pay for their next meal. Every character would be just like the author (only far more handsome or beautiful, of course). Conflicts would involve overcoming writer’s block, the quest to find an outlet for an outdated laptop, or the constant paradox of needing to talk to people but being hopelessly introverted. (I love stereotypes, don’t you?)
I humbly propose a revision to the old rule:
Start with what you know.
This is the way I wish it had been taught to me. It’s a far more accurate for the stories I think are my best – I started with an event or situation I knew and worked from there. Characters were based on people I met, though I’ll admit that my main protagonist is often very close to being me. But I never stumbled across a family secret so horrible as that in Painted Blue Eyes, nor did I ever experience a car wreck so bad as the one that kicks off The Door I Chose. I had similar experiences, and I talked to family members and friends who had such experiences. And I picked up from books, TV shows, movies, plays, musicals, and so many other sources. I imagine that successful, best-selling authors will tell you the same thing – they experienced events somewhat similar, or learned of events that they fictionalized. They met people very similar to the ones in their books, or borrowed traits from characters in other media.
Can we all start teaching the rule this way instead?
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