writing

Monday Wordlist: Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Zen and the Art of Writing is to make a list of nouns, start writing a prose poem inspired by the word or words that catch your eye, and see where it goes.

Bradbury used lists of nouns.  I thought it would be more interesting to get these lists from another work that I I love.  So I chose Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H P Lovecraft.  It is a story that inspired a lot of my writing.

I tossed the story into WordSift, and here is the list that popped out:

body brain certain come cosmic day decadent dr dream ethereal eye face family form head high hour indeed institution joe know language life light like lip little man manner mental message mind mountain night own perhaps said saw seemed slater sleep space thing thought time two upon waking way year

These are the most common words in the story.  The ones in bold are the ones that caught my eye.

cosmic decadent dream ethereal eye

The words for me clumped a bit and made the image clearer and more interesting.

cosmic decadent, dream, ethereal eye

That is a good seed for a story.  I know what I am going to write this week.  What are you working on?

Writing, NaNoWriMo, and Copyright Crazy?

"Work continues on my writing project, which despite my best effort looks like I am going to be writing it in November, so maybe I should turn it into a NaNoWriMo project. Marathon writing is fun, but at any rate it looks like I will have a new book out next year.

It has engendered a new debate in me about about how much to share about my creative process. As usual, I have a lot of inspirations feeding into this project, and I feel like they will be obscured in the final version so that the story and its elements are uniquely mine, but with some of the more recent copyright claims going around, I am seriously waiting for someone to claim a right to inspiration.

You might think that I am being overly cautious about this, but after the recent Rhianna S&M case, I don't think that is too far fetched. I might share them, just because that is my instinct, but I'm curious to see how it will all play out.

The Wand and Weaver mini-series is in editing, so hopefully you will all get to see it soon. If you are interested in beta-reading it, let me know. I am really looking for notes on the stories. I like them, but they are very different from the kind of stories I already write."

Well, I am not coughing as much, and my voice...

"Well, I am not coughing as much, and my voice is mostly back. The turn of season always brings out the strongest allergic reactions in me. There is a bright side to living in an antihistamine/decongestant haze for weeks: I dreamed a lot.

Weaving in and out of consciousness, I thought a lot about those boring things that interest me, like narrative theory, story structure, and what I want to work on in my heart of hearts; and honestly, not a lot has changed.

I've had some insights into Blake Snyder's ideas, but I need to build those up a little more before I share, but the benefit is, I think I figured out how to move forward with my own projects.

I've got a bit of writing to do today, and hopefully, that will be followed by a squeal of joy this evening. If this doesn't get me my groove back, then maybe I need to visit an island."

Are writers an endangered species? If apps...

 

"Are writers an endangered species?

If apps like this work, the market will be thinned:

Genre and children's book authors are most at risk for this kind of work. The benefit is that it will make obvious fiction unsellable, because (sorry Apple) there will be an app for that.

My mother would love a mystery version of this. It would also be easy to make one for Star Trek fiction. That hurt to admit, but those are fairly cookie cutter stories.

There will still exist a market for writers.  Like with other industries that automated the manufacturing process the authors will have to forge out a niche of quality and craft.  This way those who want cheap will have automated stories and those who want "hand crafted" stories, they will pay a premium price for artfully crafted stories.  

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

(An App That Can Generate Infinite Bedtime Stories | Co. Design)

I sat down with all my notes about the Swan...

The Swan Knight Story

"I sat down with all my notes about the Swan Knight Story and looked them over. I have an interesting idea for a 4 part serial, but I needed to flesh out and get working on it.

The serial is named, the Mirror Man, for reasons that are hard to explain outside of the story. I'd hoped to outline the serial today, and maybe even write a chunk of the first part, but that was not in the cards.

Fleshing It Out

I wrote the outline of all 4 parts, and I kind of liked it.  This is not a good sign, it really need to be improved.  Something was missing, that spark of magic that made me feel like it was really something that I hadn't seen or written before, so I scrapped version 1 of the outline.

Seeing its flaw.  I think I have a fix.  Then my nemesis struck: how long it takes me to name new characters. I picked a name, Ian... yeah, a villain named Ian, well, it will be good for the outline at least.

I finished the new outline of part 1, and have a decent idea for part 3, but there really needs to be a bridge between them. The new intro could be used to smash the old part 1 and 2 together... I might do that.

The Feel

The story has taken on a nice Alice in Wonderland meets the Matrix feel, even though it doesn't share much in common with either. I want to extend that forward, and that texture was missing in the original outline, so I think I need to take some time to think about it."

 

I have been obsessed for a while with the...

 

"I have been obsessed for a while with the Knight of the Swan. I am not sure if there is a good way to use this as a source for a space opera story, but I am going to give it all the fight in me to try to work it out.

I came up with a story idea for the origin of my "Swan Knight" character, and I am working on it now, but I am wondering if naming the main character Swan after he looses his name is a cool homage or something just too silly for it to be taken seriously."

 

Free Ebooks boost Sales, but How?

Random House, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Victoria found this interesting Fact about giving away a free eBook of your novel.

... a doctoral student, John Hilton, is collecting data on the sales impact of ebook giveaways...

...While four of the five Random House books Hilton identified showed an uptick in sales post-e-version, 20 of 24 Tor titles showed a decrease. Why the difference? "One possible explanation is that by making the free books available for only one week a different dynamic was present [for Tor] than when the books were made permanently available [by Random House]," Hilton says. "The opportunity for word-of-mouth to spread about the free book may have been significantly diminished in the model used by Tor (Writer Beware Blogs!)."

Permanently Free= Word of Mouth

The study is finished but the difference between permanently giving away a free eBook increases sales while a limited time free eBook didn't.  The trick to building any audience or community is word of mouth.  My question is, how much do you giveaway?  I am not talking about whether or not to give away the whole book or just a sample, I am more interested in when is a good time to start giving away the book.

Writing in public

I have been toying around with the idea of writing a book in public.  I am in the process of developing a new novel, and I have been thinking about making the development and the writing public.  The question for me is how.  I can see a couple options:

  1. Set up a free blog and allow anyone to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.
  2. Set up a paid blog and allow anyone who preorders the book to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.

I like the second model best because it would weed out people who do not like my work at all, and it would allow my fans to be a part of the the writing process.  I do not usually release hardcovers, so maybe I could make a signed hard cover the preorder book.  Maybe I could even set up a gold membership that would offer an exclusive copy of the prewriting in print too.

What do you think?

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Free Ebooks boost Sales, but How?

Random House, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Victoria found this interesting Fact about giving away a free eBook of your novel.

... a doctoral student, John Hilton, is collecting data on the sales impact of ebook giveaways...

...While four of the five Random House books Hilton identified showed an uptick in sales post-e-version, 20 of 24 Tor titles showed a decrease. Why the difference? "One possible explanation is that by making the free books available for only one week a different dynamic was present [for Tor] than when the books were made permanently available [by Random House]," Hilton says. "The opportunity for word-of-mouth to spread about the free book may have been significantly diminished in the model used by Tor (Writer Beware Blogs!)."

Permanently Free= Word of Mouth

The study is finished but the difference between permanently giving away a free eBook increases sales while a limited time free eBook didn't.  The trick to building any audience or community is word of mouth.  My question is, how much do you giveaway?  I am not talking about whether or not to give away the whole book or just a sample, I am more interested in when is a good time to start giving away the book.

Writing in public

I have been toying around with the idea of writing a book in public.  I am in the process of developing a new novel, and I have been thinking about making the development and the writing public.  The question for me is how.  I can see a couple options:

  1. Set up a free blog and allow anyone to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.
  2. Set up a paid blog and allow anyone who preorders the book to read and comment on the ideas, outlines and drafts.

I like the second model best because it would weed out people who do not like my work at all, and it would allow my fans to be a part of the the writing process.  I do not usually release hardcovers, so maybe I could make a signed hard cover the preorder book.  Maybe I could even set up a gold membership that would offer an exclusive copy of the prewriting in print too.

What do you think?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No one writes alone

I need some book recommendations.
Image by classicrockrox via Flickr

I have a lot in common with David Halpert over at Scifi Watch.

I have always been a writer too.  For me, It started when I was a kid watching He-man and the Transformers.  I started writing and drawing my own comics.

I fell in love with books when my sister bought me the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain.  I started telling stories for my AD&D club, and my preferences were always Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance.

I never thought about writing a book before I read Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffrey.  That book changed the way I saw novels.

The Internet changed my writing

Before I wrote Liquid Sky, I agreed with David:

Realistically I’m all alone when it comes to achieving my goals of getting published (and hopefully to one day write full-time) [SciFi Watch].

Now, I see the error in that way of thinking.  I am not alone in my writing goals.  I have my readers, friends, and fans to help me get where I want to go.

It depends on your goals

If your goal is to garner the approval of publisher so a corporation will pat you on the head and say, "Good job." at least once, then this system might not work for you.  But if your like me, with a compulsion to write and a desire to get your stories out for others to read in the hopes that it will become a full time career, then give it a try.

Writing and fandom...

are forever connected one with the other.

If you have a story to tell:

  • write it
  • edit it
  • polish it
  • share it for the world to read
  • connect with your readers
  • grow your readership
  • hone your writing
  • repeat

You are not alone in your writing.  Today, there is a cloud of readers who can and will help you build and audience and support your work.

Never believe that you are alone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No one writes alone

I need some book recommendations.
Image by classicrockrox via Flickr

I have a lot in common with David Halpert over at Scifi Watch.

I have always been a writer too.  For me, It started when I was a kid watching He-man and the Transformers.  I started writing and drawing my own comics.

I fell in love with books when my sister bought me the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain.  I started telling stories for my AD&D club, and my preferences were always Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance.

I never thought about writing a book before I read Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffrey.  That book changed the way I saw novels.

The Internet changed my writing

Before I wrote Liquid Sky, I agreed with David:

Realistically I’m all alone when it comes to achieving my goals of getting published (and hopefully to one day write full-time) [SciFi Watch].

Now, I see the error in that way of thinking.  I am not alone in my writing goals.  I have my readers, friends, and fans to help me get where I want to go.

It depends on your goals

If your goal is to garner the approval of publisher so a corporation will pat you on the head and say, "Good job." at least once, then this system might not work for you.  But if your like me, with a compulsion to write and a desire to get your stories out for others to read in the hopes that it will become a full time career, then give it a try.

Writing and fandom...

are forever connected one with the other.

If you have a story to tell:

  • write it
  • edit it
  • polish it
  • share it for the world to read
  • connect with your readers
  • grow your readership
  • hone your writing
  • repeat

You are not alone in your writing.  Today, there is a cloud of readers who can and will help you build and audience and support your work.

Never believe that you are alone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The Writer's Devil

Dark and sinister waves of blah wash over me and take all creativity from me.  The devil stole my imagination.  All the incantations I know have failed in the face of such darkness.  There is a light, faint in the distance, but I am weak, and can only pray I will reach it before it is extinguished. Oi, I hate writer's block!!  So I have been lost in a galaxy a far, far away for a while, but the clouds are starting to part.  I hope to have some good news for you soon.