An Excerpt

In order to give you a taste for me to get my novel done, here’s a taste:

Tommy brought Alex into his office. No one would suspect something unusual about Rigger going to talk to his partner Shivver.

“You’ll have to be my wingman now,” Tommy said.

Alex frowned. “You’ve been gone for a while, so you don’t know: I’m not just muscle anymore.” Despite saying that, Rigger flexed his arms, stopping himself before he busted his sleeves.

“That’s not why.” Shivver sighed and shook his head. “I…I’ll have some difficulties.”is arm went through the mobile on his desk to demonstrate.”

Alex had seen some strange effects in his days as a wrestler, but this still surprised him. “Uhm… I could see how that could be a problem.”


Writing a Series (How to Sustain It)

Nederlands: Rigger met dol Categorie:Roeien

Nederlands: Rigger met dol Categorie:Roeien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I intend to keep Rigger, Mortiz and Shivver going as a series as I’ve said before. How I plan to do so in part has to do with the “worlds” of the characters. They each bring a different dimension to stories, and as a result different approaches to the stories and avenues to explore:

Rigger is a former wrestler (although he’s bettered himself). I know a lot about the inner workings of it plus I’ve seen many exciting and visual matches. I can provide the world of the physical through him.

Yolanda Mortiz comes from a family of cops. Through her I’ll be able to bring the world of the procedural. I’ve also read a lot of crime fiction (not CSI stuff; I’m not into gore), so I’ll also be able to Deutsch: Logo der Fernsehserie CSI: Den Tätern...  bring that world in.

Tommy Shivver… well, I won’t spoil everything to come about him (though you already know that he’s a ghost). He’ll bring the world of the supernatural to the stories, as well as a mystery central to everything.

Sprinkle in a bit of humor, and I’ll have a lot to work with.

Trouble Separating Myself

I’ve spoken on here before about my long delayed story. I won’t try to work on it  until my novel is done…. but since I’m still having trouble with it, I think that I know why:

The story is set during the Civil War in the USA. The major villain is a racist from the South.

Scott's great snake. Cartoon map illustrating ...

Scott’s great snake. Cartoon map illustrating Gen. Winfield Scott’s plan to crush the Confederacy, economically. It is sometimes called the “Anaconda plan.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m having the same kind of problems writing that villain as I did back then: I don’t like to get in his ugly frame of mind.

I know that I don’t think like him, and that as a writer I have to be willing to write ugliness at times. I hope that I can get past this.

One that I Almost Forgot:

Lucien Soulban: I used to game with him, before 1996.

He began writing for RPGs and still does. He won several awards for it.

He’s also written several novels, short stories for anthologies and has a Webcomic that he writes too. He also headed the writing for the Far Cry 3 videogame.

As you see, what a writer writes doesn’t pigeon hole them into just one style of it.

I’m OK With It

I have been a fiction writer since the start of high school. Whenever we learned a new verb tense or series of words in English class and had a writing assignment to put what we learned into use I would put them into a story that I ultimately never completed.

(Actually, friends remember me as very imaginative in elementary too, but that’s not relevant to the point here.)

I have been trying to get published in prose for quite some time and have collected a pile of rejection slips. I’m not complaining; each rejection is just a step closer to an acceptance.Anyway, I’ll be publishing on the Kindle (and Smashwords) in 2013, so the decision will be my own.

While I’m still trying to get into the fiction scene, I’ve had much succexss in non-fiction. I’ve written many pieces for the newsletter at work for many years now. Most of my 20+ years in APAs and in my own zine (now part of the fabric of Canada due to my Aurora Award win) I’ve written interviews and reviews, as well as an article for my deceased friend Emru Townsend’s fps magazine.

Several years ago some belittled my accomplishments, saying that they weren’t the same as fiction (a different genre doesn’t mean that different rules apply). I began to doubt myself, but don’t anymore.

As I said I haven’t given up on fiction. Instead, I also embrace my other writing styles.

Story vs. Dramatica

I read about Story this morning. It’s by Robert McKee, the author of Chinatown, long considered one of the best screenplays and movies of all time. So, I looked it up on Amazon.

Cover of "Story: Substance, Structure, St...


What was also mentioned was Dramatica, also a book about writing stories, but one with a different approach to them. I researched them both.

My research showed me something very important: Story is expensive. The book is likely out of print, but the Kindle version is even more expensive, over 25 bucks US. On the other hand Dramatica was $7.99.

That made the one to choose an easy choice.

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Plot vs Character Musings

I asked that question on my Facebook fan page several mkonths ago. Both are elements required for good fiction; I was just curious which one other writers preferred.

On closer study – this will come as no surprise to people who know me – plot is the more essential of the two.

Characters are definitely important – distinctive, memorable ones. Stock, cardboard ones just lie there, are easily forgotten and usually contribute to a story or novel not even being picked.

Plot is needed even more. It drives a story from point A to point B… without one a story just wanders aimlessly. A story can begin from memorable characters; as soon as they do something (anything) those actions become plot.

As such the two are intertwined.


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Writing Suspense

I’m reading a Kindle book about writing page-turner/suspense tales at the moment (I’m  not reading about genres at random… there’s a reason for it All will be explained soon, and it’ll make sense). I’ll definitely use what I’m learning!

Alfred Hitchcock


Suspense can be in the mystery genre, though there are differences. This book describes those differences, including my favorite quote from the legendary Alfred Hitchcock  (a bomb is in a bag below a table with two people. We know, but they don’t).

My current novel plans have elements of the paranormal, romance, comedy and suspense (I don’t believe in being pigeon-holed into a single category). This is advice that I’ll use for future novels too.



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This is a difficult choice:

This anthology is looking for more stories (and the blog uses a similar theme too). I’d try my luck with it, because the only way to improve your writing voice is to use it.

The problem: I don’t write horror at all, including zombie fiction. I don’t have the stomach for it.

Zombie (novel)

Zombie (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This isn’t something I’d outsource, like I will with romance. Outsourcing what should be my own work would feel like cheating to me.

So I’ll pass on this one. I have ideas for a science fiction universe anyway; that’s my genre.


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Fiction or Non?

Publishing on Kindle non-fiction is the better seller. People want their problems answered.

The difficulty for me is that I’m a fiction author. Fiction also sells, but not as much.

I’ll strive for a happy medium: I’ll publish many non-fiction books in order to make more money… however I’ll still write and publish fiction to satisfy myself and to make some money too.