Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Something Is Coming: On Googling Strange Topics for Research, and Preparing to Publish a New Fantasy!


Welcome to November, everyone! I got to say, last month was a wild and productive one. The busted foot is much better now, and I am walking fine for the most part. Anime Banzai was an absolute blast, and my state just set a new record October low for the continental US. Hang on a second--did I just start talking about the weather?

Instead of the weather, I have some news to share. But first:

Need A Little Support?
November Question: What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

As in, the weird or bizarre, or even the outright dangerous, that may prompt a visit from my local FBI?

Maybe I'm fortunate that most of my online research has gone into old timey things, like castles and windmills and ancient weapons for fantasy, or theories for space travel and zombie viruses for the sci fi side of the spectrum. However, I once had a POV character experience a stabbing and I wanted to be accurate in what that experience is like, so I looked up accounts of people who had survived a stabbing, and how they described the experience in remarkably great detail. You can be sure that this search raised an eyebrow or two in my household.

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Update: Formatting is mostly finished for The Dragon's Heart, and the cover is underway! I'm still planning an early 2020 release, but haven't pinned down if it will be January or February. But if all goes well, there will be a cover reveal in December. For as the famous genius Senku Ishigami would say, "It's time to get excited!"

Once the release is prepped, I'll return to writing zombies. For those of you waiting on Part II, I appreciate your patience. I needed to work on something different for a while, but I'm ready to start again.

As always, thanks for visiting my corner of the interwebs!

What strange topics have you looked up on Google? What's the lowest October record in your area? You seen the FBI lately?

I'm David, and who's ready for some TURKEY?!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

To Read or Not to Read: The Balance of Consuming the Works of Other Writers While You're Writing Yourself!


Long time no see, fellow Cosmonauts! Fall is officially upon us, the season that motivates me to do all the things before the year wraps up. I had a terrific time at Salt Lake City's FanX event, and now I'm getting ready to participate in Anime Banzai in a few weeks. Hopefully my foot will be better by then (I had a losing argument with a flight of stairs--long story). I had something in mind to share, but the IWSG post for this month is a great one that's really worth exploring:

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https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/Oct question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

Ah yes, the writer who does not read. Or the writer who reads so much that no writing gets done. I dabbled both ends of this pendulum, and have personally concluded that I'm something of a sponge when it comes to reading. Case in point, my second novel. I read the entire Lord of the Rings while drafting and, in the editing process, I realized I had a problem when my characters introduced themselves by genealogy in a sci-fi novel, especially when no one ever did this in the first novel. Not that this way of introduction is wrong, but it clearly had a Tolkien flare to it.

I found myself with this issue again when I picked up The Chronicles of Narnia. And again with the Mistborn series. I was borrowing the voice of other authors without ever trying. It's all about voice, right? And I wanted my writing to reflect mine. So I did an experiment with my 8th project: read nothing until it is finished. This wasn't always easy because I wanted to read (and did), and at this time I had joined a critique group, so I was reading some WIPs, but I limited myself. I found more originality was had after a brief distancing, and my first published novel came as an eventual result of this experiment. Ever since, I've adopted this balance of Read when I'm NOT writing and Limit my reading WHILE writing. I'm not saying this is the recipe for getting published, but I've found it helpful to keep the voices in my head straight. Even better are audio books while writing, because listening to a book is a different process that, for me, doesn't mesh in my head the same way print does. It kinda makes me want to get serious about producing some audio books myself ... Do you have audio books? was the #1 question I heard at the FanX event.

But that's another topic for another time, my friends! :)

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Update: Inching ever closer to finishing up my second zombie novel, however it's on hold again because I got my edits back on my dragon story. They're awesome, so I'm going to self publish it sometime early 2020! I'm in the process of formatting and landing a cover designer now. I'll share more details as they become available. Back to work!

I appreciate your visit to my corner of the interwebs!

Have you found a balance between reading and writing? What is your opinion on audio books? Recommendations for a cover designer?

I'm David, and what book should I ask for my birthday? ...