Sometimes we writers (you know who you are) hit a blind spot in the novel. Not really a bout of writer’s block, but a serious question about What Comes Next.
We might nobly feel like writing but we can’t quite picture the next sequence. Even when we have confidence in the overall plot, sometimes a section is like looking across a chasm where the bridge is down.
All the light goes out of the room, and we may find ourselves sullen and resentful. This is not what we signed up for. Writing flows, it doesn’t require construction work, for crying out loud. We begin to think: My planning didn’t work, my plot is too thin. I am one of those writers whose time is, sadly, up. My novel hates me.
As we get a grip on this hissy fit, we eventually conclude that it’s time to do some deep, methodical plotting. We’re going to have to think through this sequence of the story in excruciating detail.
And truthfully, we’d rather put pins in our cheeks. Read More…
My new short story collection
I’m so pleased to announce a new collection of science fiction short stories. Most were published in anthologies over the years and are gathered together here for the first time.
In these stories, you can walk the decks of a generation ship, meet gentle and not-so-gentle alien life, ride on the shoulders of an avatar, and enter a new green world where metal bows down to the seeds of time. Available in ebook and paper.
For another of my short story collections, try Dystopia: Seven Dark and Hopeful Tales!
My first fantasy is now available at all e-retailers.
A Thousand Perfect Things: an historical fantasy set in an alternate 19th century England and India. Enter a magic-infused world where silver tigers and demon birds roam and one young woman is caught up in a sweeping mutiny . . .
Queen of the Deep is at $.99 for one week only.
And it’s also available for the first time at all e-retailers!
Travel to a magical renaissance with actress Jane Gray who must play a role for the highest of stakes–love and survival. A beguiling fantasy filled with magic, adventure, romance–and dangerous secrets.
Sometimes you just gotta get methodical. Novels are big and unruly, but chaos does not need to reign. Here are 15 framing questions that can help you discover and define what you what to write. I’ll use one of my books to give examples.
Questions 1-4. The main “handles” readers will use to discover your book.
1. What genre? Some aspiring writers are surprisingly conflicted about what type of story to write. My only advice is to read in likely genres. Read a lot. Learn what stories you adore.
For my book, the answer to the genre question was Fantasy. But there are so many types of fantasy, and some form popular subgenres such as gaslamp, sword and sorcery, grimdark, folkloric. So we drill down. (For examples of types of fantasy, see my post Landscapes of Fantasy.)
2. What kind of fantasy? In the case of the book I had in mind, it was historical fantasy with psi-powers. Read More…
Grab it while it’s under a dollar — The Seeds of Time
NOW through Tuesday, May 14
Clio Finn is a time travel pilot on the run from a dystopian and graying Earth. Now she’s found a planet with what could be viable, saving biota. If she can get home from across the galaxy. With the enemies Clio’s got, that’s a very big IF. One week only, the eBook is reduced to $.99 at all e-retailers.
The Seeds of Time, a reader favorite.