Inkshares Preview #1 – The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

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What can I say about Tal M. Klein‘s novel that hasn’t already been said?

There’s an awful lot of buzz about The Punch Escrow these days, what with a film adaptation forthcoming. Well, let’s shoot down one tagline that’s going around – this isn’t “The next Ready Player One” or whatever that quote was. There are 80’s references, aye, but it isn’t a jam-packed mess of 80’s nostalgia with a bit of a plot underneath.

No, what you get with The Punch Escrow is a funny and thoughtful exploration of one little tiny problem with teleportation. Geeks know the question – is the Captain Kirk that appears with a team of expendable redshirts on the planet surface the same one who stepped on the transporter pad? Does Kirk die every time Scotty beams him up? The Punch Escrow answers that question With Science! through the misadventures of a sarcastic hero, Joel Byram.

With a quick and fun narrative, it’s easy to get into the book and see why there’s been so much buzz. And when I say With Science! I mean it – the narrative is clearly well-researched. There’s a lot of attention to detail, but the narrative still manages to move quickly.

The Inkshares page where it all started is here, and of course you can grab it at Amazon and everywhere else!


 

Help me kickstart my writing career and get a great sci-fi novel!

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Far Flung, my sci-fi epic that’s in the Top 75 of the Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, is in funding now. Everyone who has critiqued and proofread it has thoroughly enjoyed it.

I need your support to make sure I come out in the Top 3 on Inkshares. Your support means a lot to me, my family, and my writing career.

Is there a book or project you want promoted? When you pre-order, let me know what I can review on my blog and share with my Twitter feed!

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

Why I had to stop my serial and write a novel instead.

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I went about writing a serial almost exactly the wrong way.

I started writing the serial for Far Flung over a year ago. I remember well why I started – I really, really needed to write and publish, and I was sick of passing my work by an unknown gatekeeper. Oh, I wasn’t afraid of rejection (okay, maybe just a little) , but I hated the whole routine of write something, submit it with fingers crossed, hear nothing for 3-4 weeks, and then get a ‘yes’ or more likely a ‘no’ with no feedback whatsoever.

I had read some great serial fiction, and decided to try it myself. I had an idea planned out, and a few chapters that I had run through my writing group. I went ahead and started with JukePop as my first main outlet, and later on made my own website dedicated to releases of my fiction.

I lost my ‘lead’ quickly.

I had 3 chapters ready before I posted my first chapter of Far Flung. I thought, somehow, that having the motivation to post regularly would get me writing new chapters quickly. I thought posting a chapter twice a month was enough. Obviously, both ideas were proven wrong.

First, simply having a serial in production can motivate, but it doesn’t change your writing speed. It definitely doesn’t help your overall quality. What I didn’t fully realize was the need to PRE-SCHEDULE. If you want to do a serial, you must must must must pre-schedule posts. From my experience, I’d say having a month or even two month’s worth of posts ready before you post the first part is ideal. The most successful serials post 2 or 3 times A WEEK, not per month. So if you are a slow writer, plan accordingly by giving yourself a HUGE leeway.

I didn’t have enough traffic to support it.

I started with JukePop because they (are supposed to) have a system for paying authors. I still can’t figure out how – I think you have to be an American in the USA. I tried running ads and placing Amazon referral links on my other website, but I just didn’t have the traffic. Even using Web Fiction Guide to promote my story and review other stories, I couldn’t bring in enough hits. Why not?

I was rushing out my writing to keep up regular posts. I was finalizing each chapter on the day I wanted to post it. Neither quantity nor quality were up to excellent standards.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’m novelizing it. I’m taking the chapters I did get out and constructing a better narrative to tie them together and bring Far Flung to life. I’m leaving what’s already out mainly so that I can show my improvement later on. I will share edited versions of the current Far Flung serial based on the improvements made for the upcoming novel. The edited serial will tie-in with the novel and hopefully help me promote and sell it.

I will do another serialized work in the future, but I will approach it more like a novella. I’ll write about 20,000 – 40,000 words before the first post even goes up, and have that much read and critiqued first. I’ll make sure that first post gets noticed on Web Fiction Guide and other sites – and I’ll have a link to buy my book at the end of each post.  Having a book ‘legitimizes’ me – I need to have a full novel out to improve my own confidence and my credibility.

It’s too bad I don’t have another chapter for the serial right now, but what’s coming will be worth the wait, I promise.


 

#IWSG July 1 – My story is now in eFiction Magazine!

In my last post, I talked about how surprised I was to get a story in eFiction magazine.

I expected to be asked for some edits, or to confirm my bio info. Imagine my surprise today when I found out that my story, Painted Blue Eyes, is already out!

Okay. I’m with this. A little odd that no changes at all were asked of me – makes me wonder. I truly do hope the story is satisfying to all who read it!

My job now is to get the word out. See, that’s the thing about getting published in online magazines – you can get a much greater readership than you could in print, but only if you brag about it, constantly, on every channel you can find!

Ah, you’ve caught me at my game, IWSG – yes I am using my July post to plug my story. Can you really blame me?

All right, let’s get more into the community Q&A spirit of IWSG. My take on eFiction and online magazines in general is that they offer great chances to get your name out there, and they can attract a huge base of readers (providing you do the social media work). What’s your take?

Do you ever read online magazines like eFiction? Do you think they are great places to get some attention?

Have you been published in both online and paper magazines? How do you compare the experiences?

Hope to hear some answers, and hey, go check out my story, along with the four others in the book. I’m sure you’ll love them!

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Painted Blue Eyes by TCC Edwards

Part of eFiction Vol. 6, No. 4, published July 1, 2015.

This magazine is also available on Amazon!

The Busan Writing Group is in Busan Haps

Just a quick one – the Busan Writing group and its book have been featured in this article on Busan Haps!

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Busan Haps is an entertainment magazine edited by expats in Busan, and is pretty much the magazine us expats look to when we want to know what’s going on.

I’m really glad the Haps staff were so helpful in our shameless promotion of our book!

I’m Teaching a Writing Class!

Well, I can’t believe I proposed it, got accepted, and I’m going to do it.

I’m going to teach a flash fiction course at my university.  The students are mostly Koreans who speak English as their second language. What can I teach them?

I know what I CAN’T teach them – I can’t teach them to be expert, professional writer (even if I actually fell into that category myself). I’ve 15 weeks of semester, so that’s just not possible.

Okay, so what CAN I teach them?

I will run through the basics of writing, with Making of a Story as one guide, and a multitude of internet resources. I can share flash fiction pieces I find online, and I can get my students reading sites like Every Day Fiction. I can teach basic critical analysis, and I also plan on giving a primer on the world of e-publishing.

There’s no final exam in my plan for the course. Instead, I’m thinking of having a self-published anthology of the students’ best works that goes up on Smashwords, Kindle, Lulu, CreateSpace, and anywhere else that accepts self-published writing.

This gives the students a look at the basic process, and my university likes the idea because it puts the name of the institution on internationally published work. Will the book be a masterpiece? Well…. let’s say I hope it at least gives the students confidence that they CAN keep improving and that they CAN get published.

After I’ve done this course once or twice, I plan to publish my curriculum and syllabus – I hope that what I get out of this will also prove useful to other aspiring writers.

If you, my readers, have any ideas or suggestions for what I should put into a flash course, please leave your comments!

Until next time, I’ve got A LOT of work to do!

Welcome v2.0

I’m taking this blog back to my original concept – that of reviewing published flash fiction and figuring out why it works & how it could be improved.

I still want to share and respond to prompts I find on the internet. I had this idea of constantly revisiting the work I produce from such prompts, and talking about what revisions could make it better. This would be in keeping with the theme of review & critique, and looking at how a writer can improve by doing it regularly.

I took down pages that talked about my “muse”. I don’t get to talk like I’m an artist or something. I need a lot more practice, and a lot more published work before I get to talk like that. And even then, I shouldn’t.

I’ll keep the painting on my side widget though – I still kind of like it. I want to get a real artist to draw me a stylized take on it that changes the lyrical poet to a modern fiction writer, with his muse watching over him. If you’re a graphic designer or artist who can do that, drop me a private line with your price.

The contest idea for feedback was dumb. Not happening. It’s bad of me to announce that and then backpedal, but it’d be even worse to keep it up as a testament to my dumbness. I’ll look for the blogs & works of people who commented on Fierce, and I’ll write up some features based on what I find. I’m still doing the “Thank you” page for everyone who commented, and I will include acknowledgements in the eBook.

Links to the eBook are gone for now. I’ll put it up again when there’s some decent content on this blog and more people who appreciate this site.

I’m keeping the stuff I wrote for the prompts earlier. Yes, even Snow Day, Old Geezer’s Word, the “poetry”, and other not-so-good stuff. These works will come up for revision, and I will talk about changes I make to them. That way, we might just get something useful out of them.