Note: Spoiler Alert (not that you should really care)
Starship Rising is the result of Star Trek colliding with Star Wars at high warp, giving you what has the feel of a sci-fi themed porno with the sex scenes edited out. Apparently in this universe all one needs for space travel are some vacuum tubes and hose clamps – everything from microphones to the metal vest thingies they wear (hockey gear spray painted chrome) for some reason is composed of similarly cheap materials.
From what little detail I could decipher out the haphazardly strung together scenes and lackadaisical acting, the plot to this masterpiece is quite pedestrian. Basically, humanity is divided into two main factions: The Federation and Terra Nostra. The former serves as the Evil Empire (complete with their very own planet destroyer), ruled by a dime store Darth Vader/Palpatine amalgamation, and latter is a religious sect who follow some sort of space Pope…
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Many amateur writers, myself included, have fallen into the trap of what is commonly referred to as “pansting” – that is, writing by the seat of one’s pants. Understandably so, as it does have a certain romanticized appeal, but at a certain point I had to accept the fact that I am not Stephen King or GRRM, and writing a story without a proper outline was just only going to land me in the ditch.
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After once again neglecting this blog, I’m starting up again with a series highlighted what I found to be the most interesting stories from the literary and publishing world. Here’s what’s caught my eye for this first post, albeit not all are from the first week of April.
The South African city of Durban is now preparing their bid for UNESCO City of Literature – 21st in the world, and a unique addition to the continent. Fingers crossed for them, I’d love to see this happen!
Now this is an interesting one! An artist by the name of Dex has mapped out the city of London using novel characters local as landmarks.
I find this to be somewhat amusing. Is glossing over Trump’s controversial quotes really any more difficult than glossing over the war crimes of previous Presidents?
Opposition to the original deal with Simon & Schuster may be dismayed to learn to so-called controversial Dangerous may hit the shelves anyway, under a new publisher. Personally I found the faux outrage over Milo’s book to be a little over blown, especially this little tidbit, “Writer Roxane Gay canceled her plans to publish a book with the publisher in response to Yiannopoulos’s book deal.”
This is a heartening development! Even though I currently plan to publish my first novel via Kindle – eventually – there’s something about the printed word that I find to be a more intimate experience. Call me crazy. I don’t want a paperless world – but maybe we can give trees a break and use hemp instead.
More good news, especially to any self publishers out there. According to this CBC article, we’re no longer seen as vainglorious amateurs publishing our weird fantasies. And don’t forget the horrendous book covers. While still lacking the prestige of traditional publishing, it’d be nice for the general public to know some self publishers actually put some effort into their fiction.
Nano tips for the weary writer:
Every year in November, writers around the world attempt something noble and worthwhile: to not just write a novel–the Toughest Writerly Thing A Writer Can Do–but finish the thing in an insane amount of time, as in the 30 short, rainy days of November.
This is a huge, organized thing, nicknamed NaNoWriMo, the kind of acronym only writers could come up with after a marathon viewing of BLADE RUNNER and THE MATRIX trilogy. (Spoiler alert: first one with Neo is perfect while the second and third will ruin your childhood).
HOWEVER: writing an entire novel in 30 days is would be more accurately described by the non-acronym of Crazytown.
With logic and numbers, I’ll show you: (a) why this is nuts, even if you really, really want to do it, and (b) how an alternative is easier while (c) giving you better results.
When logic and math fail, I’ll resort…
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Originally I had intended to write a review for this author’s other book, Muramasa, however I got that during a trial run of kindle unlimited, which expired before I had the chance to finish it, causing the book to disappear from my library. I still intend to review that one as well, but I’ll have to wait until later on before I can purchase and reread that particular novel. Instead, I went for a cheaper option of his more recent work (if you’re wondering why so many DVS reviews, it’s because I follow him on YouTube )
So, after doing what I swore to myself I wouldn’t do – neglect this blog – I’ve come back with a new indie book review. Some (very) minor spoilers forthcoming.
Deep Time: Prophet of the Godseed is another work from David Stewart, however this one is a complete story rather than just a first act as my review of Dissonant Tides was. I’ll start by saying the premise alone is what intrigued me enough to spend the dollar something on Amazon. The main crux of the story revolves around the concept of a sci-fi set within the confines of relativity rather than ways around it (such as in Star Trek), including the role time dilation would play on space faring culture’s perception of the universe while traveling at near-light speeds.
Many young writers, I assume, are a little overly obsessed with making their story the most original thing ever. And by original, I mean some balls to the walls concept that NO ONE has EVER thought of – something so far out any reader would be hopeless not to sit back and go “wow, ain’t that original!“
Here’s the problem: it’s pretty much all been done before. Especially in fantasy. I made countless attempts to make a story to subvert all tropes of the genre, and in doing so just made an incoherent mess. Just browse around on tvtropes.org, you’ll quickly discover that whatever brilliant concept you have not only has been done it also has a name for it. Continue reading “Thoughts on Writing: Tropes & Cliches”
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Chuck Wendig: Freelance Penmonkey