Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Motivates You?

"I love to create things, but I lack the motivation to put pen to paper."

That is a really common problem. If everyone had the motivation, we would be awash in awesome stories and media and movies and tv and the independent market would be flourishing and those less-than-stellar stories would become stellar or disappear.
So, how does one get motivation when there is none in ready supply? For me, I have to fake it. Like working out or dieting or building a fence. I may not feel great about doing some work that day, but I force myself to do it anyway. I tell others how excited I am to be working on it. Sometimes the enthusiasm is so infections that it infect me! Other times, I force myself to nail up a couple of planks in the fence (metaphor for typing a few paragraphs) and usually this motivates me.
I am a firm believer in "get it written, then get it right". I find I am much more motivated to polish a "completed" work so I force myself to get it completed. To quote my favorite motivator, Dale Carnegie, "Act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiatic!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ignore Your Critics

Anyone who tries to create anything for others should read Seth Godin's Blog today. It's all about who to ignore and who to really pay attention to. I definitely agree that critics should be ignored. Feel free to read what they say if you want to spend a few moments and be introspective about what you are doing, but far and away the critics don't help you get better.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The great thing about genre is it leads to some built-in expectations. For example, if you read a western, you expect a gunfight or two. If you read a horror novel you expect some chilling scenes and possibly some gore. In sci-fi you'll probably see some spaceships and some faster than light travel. Fantasy of course and you expect to see some sword and sorcery.
So, the great thing about picking a genre is you can fit right in. Louis Lamour, in many ways defines the western. Of course there are other giants in that genre (Zane Grey, et al). Stephen King is horror. R.A. Salvatore is fantasy. If you write like these people, then are you going to automatically succeed in the chosen genre? Maybe not. I would say probably not. The best thing in the world to do is to pick a genre and include all the formulaic pieces, but also to have something uniquely yours. What's a great example? JK Rowling. Clearly fantasy. Wizards, swords, trolls, dragons, wyverns all that jazz, but it is quite a bit different as well. And JK Rowling has birthed a whole new industry of young adult fiction.
So, find your genre...be an expert in it...and then put your uniqueness to work and watch what happens!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great book you may not have heard about!

In the interest of sharing cool stories that may not have made it to you yet, I wanted to mention Paranormals by Christopher Andrews. This is a book about superheroes, but it is darn cool. It is a bit more mature than your standard superhero stuff. I am a big fan of the Wild Cards Series and this book is pretty close to that.
If you like superheroes, but like them cooler than when you were a kid, check out Paranormals.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What GGE is working on

Just thought I would share what GGE is working on. Feel free to chime in with your own projects. We aren't looking to nab anyone's ideas, but maybe can inspire one another and discuss our goals.
We put together a book last year, a short novel in a "western gothic" setting. It's working title is "The Forsaken". It is a horror novel set in the old west. It basically just needs some polishing, but it will be shopped around this summer.
We are making "The Forsaken" into a screenplay as well. I'm about 75% through writing the screenplay.
Our new project is called "Insurrection" (working title). It's a fantasy novel, but with some notable differences from "standard" fantasy settings. We wanted to put our spin on the genre. I'll blog some more about "our spin" tomorrow.

Those are our major projects right now. We will be shopping those around this year. We will start a new project in the fall. We'll talk more about this in the weeks to come!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's the best way to publish?

There are a lot of ways to get your work "out there" these days. Let's name a few:
  • Traditional publishing - send out query letters, either unsolicited to publishers or to agents until you land an agent and let them work with you. This is powerful, but hard to break into and we receive pretty limited success until we get a name out there. In my opinion, this may be "old school" and while I, just like anyone else, would love to have Del Rey or Tor on my book, it may be fading in importance as more and more means appear for an author to spread the word
  • E-publishing - Wow. This is easy. Either as an Ebook or even for the Amazon Kindle. You can make your own ebooks or work with an ebook publisher or have someone make the ebook for you. You could have an ebook out on the web today! (assuming you have it written)
  • Subsidy (Vanity) Press - You pay someone to print a bunch of copies of your book and then you market them yourself. There is a stigma with this sort of publication, but it is still used. Of course the benefit here is that you control every aspect of the story and what happens to the characters and all of that. Full creative control.
  • Print-on-demand (POD) - Similar to Vanity publishing, but you only pay for the set up and then the publisher prints the books as they sell so you aren't stuck with two thousand unsold copies of your book. Here again you retain full creative control and many of these throw in an ebook version as well as the print-on-demand ability. The softcover books are typically a little expensive as compared to a mass market paperback.
  • Lulu.com - This one has its own version of print on demand where you can print a single book for a price. Pretty cool for family genealogies and stuff like that, or if your kids want to write a book, see it in print, and give their friends a handful of copies, then this works great!

Now, we all could probably come up with examples from each of these types of publications where people gained a large readership or made lots of money. The key is not luck...it's writing something people want to read. If getting readers is your goal, then you have to write something readers will enjoy and share with others. If it is good, then it will spread. If your goal is just to publish, then what are you waiting for...you can do it today. If you want readers, then write and write well. The important thing though...is to write!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why is Watchmen so important?

Why is Watchmen so important? There are storytellers just like me who long for just that sort of story. We are fanboys (and girls) who love Star Wars and comic books but who need a more updated fix. Something that speaks to us now the way these heroes spoke to us as kids. We are older now and understand adult issues and we want to see heroes that face the same issues we do, but manage to overcome them (or sometimes can't overcome them so we can see how they deal with them). It's a matter of taking our lives now and letting us see something heroic in them.
That's why Watchmen is so important. It is the sort of story an adult fan boy can really enjoy.
We need more of them and that's what GGE is all about. Of course, the beauty of the creative world is that there is no real competition if you have a great story! So let's all write something great! Then our niche becomes mainstream! Why not get started?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It's hard to write, draw, create when it's not your "main thing". For most of us, the starving artist concept is all too real. "Green" of Green Gates manages to eke out some sort of living doing what he loves (scaring people half to death) but for most of us we have to work AND create. For many of us, the creative side takes a back seat to the productive side (we do all have to eat).
So...here's the deal...if you have set aside your project or your dream for the last several days, weeks, months...years...even decades. When is the best time to get it out, dust it off, and crank up the creative engine again? Well, I'll tell you - the BEST time to do it was ten years ago, but the good news is that the SECOND BEST time to do it is right now! Today!
SO what are you waiting for? Let's make a deal...I will write today, so how about joining me and putting those creative muscles to work?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Inaugural Post!

Hey, this is a new blog. It is, ostensibly, a blog from Green Gates Entertainment. Green Gates Entertainment, for now, is a small company (consisting of Green and Gates) and we are producing stories for publication in a few different media, such as novels, comics, etc.
This blog is NOT about our stories though...oh, it may be about them a little, sometimes, but mainly this blog is about our favorite genres. What are our favorite genres? It's pretty safe to say anything with swords, wizards, zombies, spaceships or superheroes. That is to say: fantasy, science fiction and horror.
Let's talk about the genre! Let's make it mainstream! Let's even discuss some of what GGE is doing so you can tell us if you like it or don't like it. Then, we will ignore you! No, we will never ignore you, but we may not change...at the risk of sounding like Popeye, we are who we are and that's all that we are.

Later gator