Monday, June 27, 2011

Writing Style (Yours)

Read a great post on writing style from Seth Godin today. You can read it here.
I love posts on writing style. It's important to say things the right way, even when writing in fiction and even when writing in "your" voice. Seth isn't a fiction writer, but he is very creative and I think he writes with a great conversational voice.
I had the most uplifting rejection letter this week that I have ever received. First of all, the reviewer took the time to give me a detailed critique of why my submission was being rejected.
Just some background, I wanted to try my hand at submitting a short story, so I cut a section out of one of our Pendragon Chronicles and polsihed it into a short story. Most of the Pendragon Chronicles are short stories or novellas pasted into a broader tapestry so they work in short bites or in long feasts.
Anyway, the meat of the rejection was that the suibject was Arthurian, but the language was far too modern so it lacked the anachronistic language of the "legend".
I felt this rejection was perfect! Why? Because the intention of GGE's "Pendragon Chronicles" was to make the legend accessible to the modern fantasy reader. So, we have stripped out the more archaic language used in past volumes.
We have written it so fans of George RR. Martin or Joe Abercrombie or Robert Jordan would enjoy it. I was so glad to receive a letter letting me know I had hit the target squarely.
Sometimes rejection can be a good thing. The reviewer said if I reworked the writing, then the story would work well with their magazine. I had too politely decline, not because I am above rework. Far from it. But in this case, to know we were right on track, was a priceless bit of feedback.
I guess it is important to know your audience and write for them a bit. This is the way I would like to read King Arthur stories and so that's the way we write them. No hard feelings over the rejection. We had a first date and decided we weren't right for one another. It happens.

(NOTE: Double Dragon Publishing liked them enough to offer a contract on three books, so I'm not too broken up by the rejection.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Carpe Diem

Today won't come again. Whatever it is you are putting off, now would be a good time to start. Don't let excuses stop you. You're to busy? Me too. Just take one step now, but do something.
  • Write one sentence
  • Work out for 15 minutes
  • Write a one page business outline
  • Read a few pages of a books
  • Look for a class to take
  • Tune up the guitar
  • Play one song on the piano (play it three times)
  • Pick out a diet plan. Start tomorrow. is free.
  • If your work is written, then edit
  • If it is editted, then polish
  • If it is editted, polished and not selling, then rewrite (or start another)
  • Write the opening scene of a script
  • Write an idea for a TV show
  • Look into small business financing
  • Submit your work somewhere
  • Sketch
Just some ideas. Do something. Today. Then tomorrow...guess what...another small step

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Excuses, excuses

Unfortunately, my writing and creativity has been down for a couple of weeks. I, like many creatives, have a day job as well that pays the bills (for now?) and I recently switched that day job to a new locale. New job is going great. New locale is even better as I now reside in a beach town in NC which is something I have always wanted. Been moving gradually closer my whole life. To get any closer now, I will have to get on a boat!
So, with all of the upheaval, my writing has taken a nose dive. Temporary, to be sure, but it is frustrating me nonetheless. When my blog posting is down, that is indicative that all creative endeavors are temporarily suspended. I don't like that, but it has been tough lately.
So, last night, I felt the creative beast stirring a bit so I know we will be rocking and rolling again soon. I have managed to creep forward with some blog posts, some FB and tweets and a couple of submissions (one of which got rejected, hiss!).
So now, I am hoping to press the metaphorical foot back to the metaphorical accelerator and get back up to speed. I need to stop using "life" as an excuse. If I get in that habit, then I am sure I will always find a convenient excuse readily available.

Oh...on a side note, I recently began re-reading "The Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan (The Kindle is great for reading giant books). I originally read the series as they were released up through book 5, but never finished the series. It seems like it might be a lifelong commitment to try and get through that magnum opus, but it is a very inspiring read and full of great characters, images and lands. People always knock his writing as crrrrrrap (scottish brogue) but personally, I like it a lot. It has been really fun to return to Emond's Field and find the charaters waiting like old friends.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What does James Bond eat for breakfast?

I admit that I have never read the James Bond novels. I have only seen the movies. We all know what he drinks, but today I had a different question.
I had breakfast at a lovely hotel in Wilmington, NC which can be a bit tropical and it reminded me of a setting for a Bond movie (beach, nice hotel, well dressed people).
So it occured to me...what would Bond eat? If he had any choice of breakfast food, what would it be?
I would say coffee obviously, but for the rest, does he eat a small amount, watching calories to maintain his trim form? Then again, he is a soldier and is very active, so he might have a racing metabolism. He would probably know that to maintain his musculature, he needs to eat enough protein. Does he count calories, carbs and protein? He's in awfully good shape not to have some idea of what he eats.
He would need fuel for his daily (and nightly activities).
Any insight?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hire yourself!!!!

I read another great post from Seth Godin today. I know I re-post a lot of what Seth posts first. It might be of value to subscribe to his blog and cut out the middleman, then again, I love bringing the best of Seth to you on occasion.
This blog today is exceptional and I suggest you check it out, but in summary, Seth makes it clear that he believes we should hire ourselves. In a couple of compelling examples, he makes it clear how most professions could hire themselves rather than work for someone else.
I had just recently made the decision to "hire myself" in terms of GGE. By that I mean rather than just have GGE chase someone else's idea of what should be published, we would move forward with our own publishing arm while also sending out work to publishers. We made the decisions to court publishers while also hiring ourselves. We also made the decision that a huge financial windfall in the short term was not necessary and that we would rather produce quality work and try and build a fan base over a period of years.
The result? Almost as soon as we decided that, we now have 4 books on contract with publishers and another 2 under consideration.
In the meantime we will continue moving forward with our own stuff as well. We will continue to choose ourselves until chosen by others as well.