An Apology For Not Posting

I think I need to apologize to you all. I haven’t posted since November, and  it is my fault.  I  got a little busy. Maybe a little bit busy is an understatement. I changed the way I work when I write, and that has actually upped my productivity to the point where I can now make more frequent posts. I’m not going to promise to post to a three or four times a week. I simply will post when I have something to post that will seem to be at least once or maybe twice a week.

In further news I will be participating in Comicpalooza  in Houston during Memorial Day weekend. Myself and two other authors are going to take a dealer’s booth and we will be offering our books for sale as well as meeting all those who wish to see us. I will also be participating in  at least 2 panels. In one panel I will be speaking to the topic of the science in science fiction.

Those of you who are fans of the site  know that I like use technology to solve my problems and to allow me to work more efficiently. To do this I recently added a product from Nuance called Dragon Dictate. In fact this post has been dictated using that product. The reason for this is that my hands are not what they once were. When our younger I could do magic, now I have to dictate my magic. Writing with Dragon Dictate is a little different than writing by typing. I find that my flow is more seamless when I dictate in Dragon Dictate does the typing. I do have to keep in mind grammatical objects. So, I am finding that I am speaking more grammatically. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be writing more about my use of this product to do more writing.

Well I’ve caught you up, and I’ll give you more information about the booth number at which I will be. I am accepting a challenge from my writing friends  and shall be writing very short fiction and publishing them here on Fridays. They call this Flash Friday Fiction. The flash is that the limit is 500 words per post. That means I wanted type more words, then I will have to do a part one part two type of arrangement. So, I will see you all on Friday for my first Flash Friday Fiction.

Kindle Matchbook is live

Some readers want to own a physical book, and a copy of the eBook, one for reading and the other for when they meet the author, and can get a signature.  I never have any problems with someone who brings a copy of my book for me to sign whether they bought it at the convention or not.  They bought a copy and that is all that I care about.  I know that make’s me seem to be a bit cold, but this is a business.  There is art in it, but even artists have to make a living.

What matchbook does is satisfy those readers who want to buy both the eBook, and the physical copy together at a discounted price.  The discount is on the eBook, since margins are so thin on the physical book.

The Kindle Matchbook program is a a program where if you buy a physical book, the eBooks is discounted at least 50%.  In the case of Collision at Faraway I chose to make a deep cut to $1.99 from $4.99.  Why?  Sales, and also good feelings from my readers.

Villains are people too

I’ve read some fiction recently that calls into question how people see villains.  I want to correct these missed opportunities.  While I understand that some people feel that fantasy villains should be drawn with a broad brush.  Some of the best stories are about the villains.  Wicked is about one of the evil witches of the Oz stories.  Once about a time centers around the evil queen’s attempt to foil the happily ever after for Snow White.

So, how do you make realistic villains?  The first thing you need to get rid of is the idea that they think differently.  They are human, if they are human, just like anyone else.  They have perfectly believable motivations.  Darth Vader revealed a little of his motivations to Luke on Bespin when he asks Luke to join him.  His true motivations he hid front he Emperor.  He just wanted his son to join him and rule the galaxy together as father and son.

Some of my best story telling has been about the villain.  Villains define the hero, and how great the hero is.  When superman fights normal bad guys as he did most often in the TV series, he overpowered them easily.  Not very super, but throw in General Zod, and now he is really super.

Give your Villains believable backstories.  There is a reason for their villainy.  Find out what it is.  You don’t have to write it into your story, but it will influence how you write that character.

Creative Batteries Recharged

I’ve learned one thing from publishing Collision at Faraway , and that is everyone wants another right away.  I immediately launched into writing Stealing Saturn, but the problem was that I was just writing mechanically.  There was no heart or soul in what I was writing.  Also my productivity was down.  With Collision I was writing 1500 to 2000 words a day without too much trouble.  For Stealing Saturn I am down to 500 words a day on a good day.

I was in a writing slump.  I was not blocked.  I find the first act to be tedious to write, and Stealing Saturn  is fairly complicated with more than three plot lines to develop and follow.  So, the First Act was getting me down.  I could have persisted and written my way through the first act 500 words per day.  That would not be fun for me, and I find that if it isa fun for me to write it is fun for people to read.  I needed to do something drastic.

I needed my creative batteries to be recharged.  There are several ways to do this.  I could run a movie marathon of all of the Star Trek Movies and all of the Star Wars movies.  That would work, but it is a bit too passive.  I could go to vegas and see a few shows.  That’s a bit too expensive.  I could go to DisneyWorld, which would definitely charge my creative batteries.  It would be too expensive, as well.

I needed a vacation, but not a real one.  I resubscribed to Star Wars: The Old Republic and did a virtual vacation.  SWTOR for me is a good game, and it is easy for me get lost in the class stories.  SWTOR is in my genre that I am writing which is another point for it.

What I hope you take away from this is that you might need to take a break from your writing.  Do so, and come back with your Creative Batteries Recharged.