Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Legends of the Dark Crystal

Legends of the Dark Crystal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, kids, how you doin’? I’m pretty much just posting to let you all know that I’m still alive. I’ve been stuck in novel mode while working around hell at the day job, so I haven’t really been able to even think about anything to post here, let alone actually post (I was actually meaning to post this bit a few weeks ago).

So, update on things. ‘Stiym’ is making progress, third act should be underway and things should be coming to a close (hopefully). I should be, with luck, requesting betas and proofers soon.

Results for Dark Crystal’s short-list came, and they said I was too awesome for them and they just weren’t worthy of me (their words, I swear). So, Dark Crystal is a no-go, and I’m now left with time to work on already running projects (never stop moving forward).

Last week while in a really shitty mood, I started working on a short set in ‘Natural Selection’ that takes place where everything left off (think of that with said shitty mood, and you get the basic idea of the story)—it will probably undergo a rewrite at some point later, but as it is, I my plans for it will depend on how it comes out—meaning, if I can get it to stand on its own, I might try throwing it at mags before throwing it here (I love you all, but I love your money more).

And… that’s about the gist of things. I’m lost in work with only hopes of finding my way out and getting back to keeping this thing moving.

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Doctor Who: Return to Earth

Doctor Who: Return to Earth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m back. I know, I was gone longer than I said I’d be, but it was necessary.

The Quantum Short was turned in, it got a 4.6 from 5 votes (looking at most of the entries’ ratings, that’s pretty good), but it didn’t make the shortlist.

I didn’t get a submission put together for ‘Cogs in Time,’ because it fell victim to my priority list, and simply wasn’t something that ended up happening. But, the release is Jan. 9, and you should buy it. It is packed with short stories and poems from many talented wordsmiths.

My ‘Dark Crystal’ story was completed and submitted and I am simply trying not to think about it too much until I get a response… so, let’s just leave it with that’s a thing that happened, for now…

Now, we’re in a new year, and new things are to come. I promised you a couple ‘How I Write’ posts that got pushed off by the priority list, but lucky for you, that one didn’t fall off altogether. I saw a couple movies by way of Amazon Instant, so we might have some reviews coming for those… I might even take a moment to shed some tears over Doctor Who (let’s just take a moment of silence for now). Recipes should be forming, at least a couple… tried redesigning my rum balls for Christmas—no pictures were taken… um… it’s still a work in progress.

Story projects to come… I am going to be finishing ‘Stiym’… shut’up… yes, I know I’ve said this before, but I mean it this time. The mess with ‘Dark Crystal’ and other crap has given me a considerable kick in the ass that has me extra determined to get some shit done. I estimate only a month or two of plunging into it, and it will be a finished manuscript ready to get mutilated by proof readers. After that, I will probably try throwing it at Baen, Orbit, and/or Ace, pretty much the Lionsgate and Relativity of the publishing world types, and if they say ‘no,’ then it’s getting self-pubbed (Stiym has been sitting around too long, he has only so much patience left). Then while ‘Stiym’ is in the thralls of waiting for responses, I’ll be working on finishing ‘Ravenblood.’

And then, there are the stories for you loyal blog-dwellers. I started doing flash stories before leaving without even bothering with explanation to why I was doing those—some of it was just to unclog my brain, so I could write, plus it was to give something to keep the blog moving… so I could write. Although, they were for the most part random, I will see about giving them a bit more structure and making a bit more of a thing out of them, since some of you seemed to like them. About the only rules I had for them so far were what I had for the Flash-round (minimum 100 words, maximum 300 words), but with the usual flash rules of being a complete story (contains beginning, middle, and end), and their inspirations come from different things, some of which were songs, or single lines, or a single word, or emotion… but yet, that part is what needs structure most.

And ‘Natural Selection’… I know I said it was dead, but damn’it I really liked the thing. I won’t be doing it the way it was before, and I’m still working on figuring out how it’s going to be done. What I can tell you about it so far though, all canon so far stands… all of it… even the last one. As it is, I need ideas from you people… I need names, just throw names at me (if you’re a follower already and know my usual naming scheme for NS, then you’re a winner in my book, but even other names are good—I’ll redesign them myself)—and I need weapons… pistol-blades, rifle-axes, and pistol-cannons are still a thing, but I need new stuff. Also, titles… I have a title in mind that I kinda like a lot, but throw yours at me, I might like yours more. As it is, I won’t be touching any of this until at least Feb. so I can work on ‘Stiym’ (NS would be too distracting).

And last but not least… St. Jude Warriors… I have $10 so far… this, G+, FB, and Twitter… I have only $10. The money for St. Jude Warriors is in no way for me… at best, I end the Warrior Dash with a shower, which I would be just as ok with being covered in mud. The money is for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and, even though I’m only setting a goal of $300, I would have expected to get that and more by now. But instead, I have only $10. You have no idea how completely disappointed I am right now. I hear many people asking for help with this project and that for themselves, and I do everything I can, even if it’s giving what few dollars I can spare… but here I ask for you to help, not me, but children, and this is the response. I greatly appreciate the contribution that came from Astrea Baldwin, and I will promote the living shit out her book when a publisher finally bites and puts that thing in stores where it belongs… but for everyone else… I’m just very disappointed. Please… everyone that can spare anything at all, please donate what you can.

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Richard Vernon as Slartibartfast in the 1981 T...

Richard Vernon as Slartibartfast in the 1981 TV series. Vernon first played the character on radio in 1978 and on the subsequent LP rerecording of the first radio series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok… pardon if this entry seems a bit forced, but I just never really woke up today, and I’m craving a nap, but before I do that, I gonna try to get my Tuesday post done.

Mentioning NaNo last time, combined with all the other NaNo talk lately (because there is apparently a NaNo in April thing going on right now that I knew nothing about—I’m clearly not participating, but it’s a thing), I thought about a comment made on one of my NaNo posts:

Writer / Mummy says:

October 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Good luck with Nano, I really hope you win this year! I write Romance so there’s no world building – I admit I don’t know how you do world-building and write quickly! Sounds like you’ve got lots of ideas though so may the words flow for you. I wrote something daft like 17k words in 36 hours last year to win, so I am a true believer that anything is possible…

Anthony Richer says:

October 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm 

World building is actually pretty easy, all you do is sit back and let the world pull itself together for you. At least that’s as easy as it usually feels like… basically think about it as a child’s imagination, at no point do they first stop and plot out the details of their worlds before they start playing in them, they just play in them as if they were always there, they just happened to be the ones with the key to get in.

So, this is going to try to elaborate a bit on how I world-build.

My response really is about how world building actually is for me, although, as I mentioned, I do have at least a map that I quickly drew out for Stiym, and for some of my other stories I have multiple details of maps, I find it hard to call that building, because for me, it’s just taking notes so I don’t forget the stuff later… otherwise, I just copied down what was already in existence.

Maps, there is no trick to creating maps. You could just quickly draw a squiggly circle on a piece of paper, then start drawing other squiggles in that circle, and boom… it’s a map, now start telling us a story about people that live there.

Or you have the typical method of taking a map of the real world, and slightly changing it. If you look at the maps at the front pages of most fantasy books, you’ll notice a lot of them tend to look oddly like the UK, or Europe… go on, look at Game of Thrones, or Lord of the Rings real quick. For ‘Ravenblood,’ I zoomed into the Detroit area, and then drew that with a larger scale, ‘Stiym’ takes place in a few areas in Michigan. It’s easier when you’re pretty much just writing slightly altered versions of stuff that’s around you all the time.

In addition, the idea that romance doesn’t have world building is false… I assume the characters were in a world, and even if the world was simply New York, you still have to create a building for them to be in (or many). Although, I don’t think too much about this when I write, I do see the structures well enough, that if I was asked to, I could draw them out it detail (I took drafting in highschool, and did if for three years as my first job—it’s rather natural for me by this point)

Next part about world building is technology, or magic, etc. Technology is simple, come up with an idea that makes sense to exist and poof—don’t over think it, you don’t have to figure out how the thing works no more than you have to figure out how anything you use in real life works unless you for some reason are writing about an engineer who has to fix this stuff… then it was just a bad idea for you to break the rule of ‘write what you know,’ and now understand why that rule is there (despite all the people who say the rule should be ignored—don’t ignore it, just learn and experience more).

‘Ravenblood’ is so far my only place with magic, although my system gets rather complex, because I tried to make it somewhat sciencier, it doesn’t really need to be that complicated. At most, you usually want to give your magic a restriction—this makes it so you don’t give the user the power to just poof his way to Mordor, or have every fight begin and end with him just snapping his fingers.

For more elaborate world building, we look towards ‘the Hole World,’ there, I have about 8 maps, a dictionary for 3 different languages, and a few different creatures. The languages were the harder part… I don’t really know how to explain how to even do that one, other than study languages. In most of it, you need to find a pattern that repeats enough to make it all feel like it’s all part of one thing, but not so much that you aren’t just saying the same words all over. The different maps were not that hard, they were just details I found I needed. I have a map for the science compound, and have a map for two villages, I have a map for the mountains, I have a map for the over all planet, then the solar system… and so forth. I didn’t create any of that though, I just wrote it down.

So, yea. That’s the best I can poop out for now. I’m trying to plan do put together a few exercise that works along the concepts of what I’m trying to explain here, I will try to post those next time, because I really get the impression that people are doubting how simple I’m saying all this story writing stuff really is (perhaps this is why the Flash Round isn’t going anywhere)… but I will convince you.

(…to be continued…)

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: courosa)

This isn’t the definitive guide to how everyone does or should write a story, this is only me doing the best I can to tell you how I write a story, and hopefully, for those who are still trying to find their own thing, it will help—if nothing else, it’s just me trying to convince myself that I actually have any personal idea how to write a story to begin with.

The general story teller types are the “seat of your pants” writer, and the “obsessive planning” writer. Stephen King is notorious for being “seat of your pants,” meaning, you just take a very general concept, a basic character, and then push the throttle and don’t let up until you launch off a pier or into a wall… whichever comes first. Then you have the people that have to plan each and every detail of everything in the story, they must know exactly what happens in the beginning, what happens in every single chapter to make that thing qualify as a chapter by the rules of chaptering, and they know how it ends before they ever put a word to the story. As you can probably tell from the manner which I just wrote that, I veer more towards “seat of your pants.” With novel writing, I have a slight hybrid of the two going, but it’s still more “seat of your pants.” Basically, for something like ‘the Hole World,’ I actually have every detail of the entire planet, and a good portion of the solar system mapped out with an actual drawn map (quite a few of them, actually), and full list of characters, places, tech, creatures, etc. I do the same for all novels, but with ‘Stiym,’ I have it more basic, since it was originally a NaNo, when I started it, it was just a crudely drawn map that I quickly threw together in a notebook, and that was just so I could figure out where the different locations were, otherwise, it was entirely without planning, not even a single character was named or even thought up until Stiym was in front of them being told their name.

So… how do you do this? For me, it comes naturally, from the best I can determine, because I have been addicted to stories since I can remember (and I can remember a lot). I am not the type of bookworm that tells people to only read books, and scowls at TV and movies, because TV and movies are just as much of a source of stories as any book is… it is a bit lazier, but it’s still a story. I take in stories of all kinds to a level that most people are confused by me… I’ve had writer friends try to forgive me for not reading their book because they think it’s not in my usual genre—honestly, I haven’t read it because my reading list is infinite (as literal as the universe is infinitely expanding), I don’t really have a set genre for reading, I will take in any story thrown at me. Granted, I read a lot of scifi and fantasy because I like stories that take me the furthest from reality, and expand what is actually possible—but I am just as likely to read, or even write things that reality grounded.

So, what does that have to do with how to write a story like me? Basically, you have to have such an overwhelming addiction to stories, that the stories that already exist in the world is never enough, and your mind has to be constantly creating stories as a means of coping… that’s how it works. People that do this are usually easier to recognize when they’re younger, back when they were kids and they weren’t told to suppress their imagination and playing yet. They were the ones that had trouble focusing in school, because their minds were always somewhere else… and if they made it past all the prescribed drugs intended to destroy their worlds, and kept it all the way into adulthood, those people start realizing they should write down their worlds, so that the evil adults that tried to destroy them can never harm them again (I pretty much just told you what my ’11 NaNo was about).

(…to be continued…)

English: SVG version of: :Image:Finger.png

English: SVG version of: :Image:Finger.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To the person that put in the search: published books anthony richer,

Fuck you, I’m going as fast as I can! You’re not helping, damn’it!

And so far, progress is slow, I’m working obscure hours, and I keep running into writers-blocks. Best I can say is that I’m trying to at least finish before I run out of pre-written stuff to post… and it’s getting a bit tight.

For you new types that are coming around here, no, I do not presently have a book published. Best I’ve had are a few shorts published in mags, that’s it. Most of what’s being posted right now are things that have been posted online a while ago mostly for the sake of testing the concepts of the stories (which makes them not publishable). I’m presently working on finishing a book that presently plan to just self-publish (at least that’s my present plan for it), which will be the completion of my NaNo project. If you’re wondering about the novella’s that have been referenced in the last couple posts, those were self-published on Lulu—I do not presently have a Lulu store, and everything that was there is sitting in wait for me to figure out what I want to do with them (they were all novellas over there, I’m so lost what to do with those things as far as getting them sold).

So… we covered on this? And in addition, most of what I just said, is a recap of things already said, so how ‘bout you people take the time to scroll around and click stuff before you start questioning my publishing status and making me feel like I’m not getting anything done, damn’it.

So, there… now leave me alone, I’m trying to look like I’m getting something done…

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

Ok, I don’t have time to do a review for anyone right now, but some friends of mine are in need of some pimping still. I will do a review of their work sometime later when I get time to do anything at all (I’m pushing it just for this).

If you look to the links to the side, you will see these people somewhere in all of that, however this post is to help them stand out. Everyone is available on Kindle. They’re all cheap, if not free, so please check them out, follow their blogs, Facebook them, Twitter them, click “buy” and tell your friends what you think of them and help them pay bills while you indulge in their hard work.

First up, we have Robert L. Collins:

http://robertlcollins.blogspot.com/

He has a collection of Scifi and fantasy, non-fiction, novels, short-stories, and novellas, all available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Robert-L-Collins/e/B002SZCUI0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

And for all that is holy, we have some god’damn Sinead MacDughlas:

http://www.author.sinmacd.ca/

http://www.theunscheduledstops.sinmacd.ca/

http://www.learntoloveme.sinmacd.ca/

I’ve mentioned earlier that reviewing her book ‘Learn to Love Me’ is on my to-do list, so quit waiting on me, and get to it yourself. ‘Learn to Love Me’ in short is a mystery story with one of the more believable characters I’ve read in mystery in a long while (nowhere as cliché as Patterson). Go buy her stuff: http://www.amazon.com/Sinead-MacDughlas/e/B0074CIPV8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1359505976&sr=8-1

Catrina Taylor:

http://xarrok.com/

http://thewritingnetwork.com/

She writes the scifi and the fantasy and, holy-shit balls, Batman, three Kindle books are free: http://www.amazon.com/Catrina-Taylor/e/B006GQZEG2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1359506558&sr=1-1

And if we’re going to pimp her crazy ass, then we have to give a taste of her collaborator, Jason Dodge, who has his own short-story, ‘Memories of Hel’, out for a whole $0.99—you can’t buy shit for $0.99, but finally you now know what to do with all those useless pennies you’ve been collecting, now break open that jar, and get this shit: http://www.amazon.com/Memories-of-Hel-ebook/dp/B009EUSSE2/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359505344&sr=1-3&keywords=xarrok

Now there’s Cathrine Stovall, who already has a pretty good growing fan-base, so I’m probably just being redundant in pimping her at all, but it’s happening anyway:

http://catherinestovall.webs.com/

You like vampire stories, but don’t like hearing about 200-year-old dudes trying to get in the pants of high-school girls and not being arrested for it? Then you need to look into Cathrine’s ‘Requiem for Humanity’ series: http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Stovall/e/B005LET560/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

And then we have some T.R. Stoddard:

http://t-r-stoddard.blogspot.com/

She has a debut mystery novel, ‘Sunny with a Chance of Homicide,’ and look at that crazy shit, her site is pimping Cathrine Stovall… holy’crap, you should buy her stuff and see what’s up with that: http://www.amazon.com/T.R.-Stoddard/e/B008AK3YSW/ref=sr_tc_2_rm?qid=1359507855&sr=1-2-ent

And that’s the pimping, kids. Go explore, buy things, pay their bills, have fun. I’ve gotta get back to work now so I can have something to force them to return the favor with.

English: KOLKATA WEST INTERNATIONAL CITY SCAM

English: KOLKATA WEST INTERNATIONAL CITY SCAM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has come to my attention that some people who come to my blog are seeking advice on publishing. By my attention I mean, among the search engine terms that have brought someone to me, this was listed: “whitmore publishing real or scam?”

So far my publishing experience is limited, and remains only within the short-stories in webzines realm, but I still feel the need to at least direct some people who are seeking advice towards the right path the best that I can.

When you are seeking a publisher, the number one advice I give almost anyone is simply, always look at your own library of books first. If you collected those books, chances are pretty good that whatever you wrote that you want others to read is within the genre of at least some if not most of what you already own, and, obviously, if they are publishers you already know they will get someone who works with them published (this is clear because you yourself know them).

I know, you’re scared and intimidated by the idea of throwing yourself at those publishers that you’ve actually heard of and instead feel that your lowly self could only stand among the simpler “underground” publishers working out of some guy’s basement—I swear I’m not reading your mind right now, this is just what goes through most authors’ heads, including my own. The only solution to these voices telling you you’re not good enough for the “big guys” and should just take your chances with the guys who never “published” anything other than their own friend’s single book, is to simply ignore them—set-up your submission letter, write in the address, take a shot of rum, hit send… to the “big guys” (if it’s snail-mail, you might need more rum).

Don’t tell yourself that you’re getting in on the ground floor with some new publishers and it will be fun because they’re new; that’s just not true… they’re ground floor, they will not get beyond that within the time that you’re there, if ever. If you want to take your chances with them, then at least realize what your chances really are.

Then of course there’s the increasingly popular method of self-publishing. This actually can be a great thing, or it can just as easily put you in the same risks as you were putting yourself in with the small publishers—because most small publishers are actually self-publishers trying hard to hope you won’t notice until after you’ve already shoved your money in their wallets. But, when it comes to self-publishing, the best I can say is make sure it’s truly self-publishing—meaning, you are the one in the main control of everything going on, keep as few middle-men in it as possible.

I’m a bit bias towards Lulu.com, since I had a couple of books sold through them (don’t bother looking, I’ve taken my store down a bit ago, I’ve been too busy to deal with it, plus I needed to remove some things for rights issues). But, Lulu charges you, the writer, nothing; they will only charge the reader about the same amount they would pay for any other book in the grocery store rack (I don’t remember the percentage, but it’s added on to whatever you choose to set as your own income for the book, plus printing costs if you choose to print—if you choose for it to be free, then it is entirely if you leave it as an e-book). There are a few others that run pretty much this same way, I’m only telling you of Lulu because it’s what I’ve had experience with.

Also keep in mind, that when you self-publish at this level of self, you are also the one who has to push your product—which means, blogging, tweeting, FB, etc, becomes so much your life that fitting in time for the next book could become an issue. Not saying it can’t be done, reference Amanda Hocking—but also realize that she really isn’t a common case, but she does at least prove that it can be done.

Now, to reference the question of people being scams or not (for those who still insist on trying publishers that leave them to question), the best advice I can give on that is to Google the crap out of them. This is the digital information age, there is nothing, I repeat, nothing that can’t be Googled. With that in mind, if you Google, and for some reason find nothing on them at all, then you need to leave them alone—they’re a scam, and you’re one of their first victims (it’s not always good to be at the front of the line). When you find results, read them… all of them. Read message boards, read blogs, read whatever comes up and take in what others are saying, and weigh it out. Everyone has pissed off someone, so there will always be at least one negative review, but if the negatives out weigh the positives, well, then you’ll only have yourself to blame if you convince yourself that they’d be different with you, and you get it in the ass as a result.

And the number one advice I can give anyone is visit Writer Beware regularly, read the site, click Like on the FB page, and buy the contributors’ books (that part won’t really help you, but it just seems like the right thing to do, since they’ll be helping you so much anyway). Writer Beware is detailed in researching scams and non-scams alike, they compile some of the best writer’s advice you could ever get. If you call yourself a writer and do not keep up with Writer Beware, then you are doing yourself a great injustice, now go fix it.