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Showing posts from January, 2016

Why Knowing Tropes is Important

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Tropes often get a bad rap. The word is used as an insult and sneered at. And sure, tropes can be bad when they’re over done or thrown around lazily, but Tropes are an important part of writing and writing well.
There are two specific reasons you should know your tropes. 1 – So you don’t waste your time writing a boring, done-a-hundred-times plot line.
2 – To give yourself the opportunity to turn that trope on its head.

There are lots of genres where tropes are great! Romance, Fantasy and Science Fiction all have amazing tropes that if played with or compounded on can create a great plot line.
Tropes are tropes because they work and because the familiarity there can lead to a better experience for your reader. It’s like wading into water that slowly gets deeper instead of jumping straight into the deep end and realizing you can’t swim. Giving a reader something they know and can relate to (and hey, maybe they love that trope) before you turn everything on its head is one perfect way to …

A Month Later, My Thoughts on The Force Awakens

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It’s been a month since Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out and I figure we’re past the point of possible spoilers. If you’re going to see it, you’ll have seen it by now. If you haven’t seen it by now, you’re probably not all that worried about spoilers. In the past month, I’ve seen a lot of varying opinions on the film and the continuation of the franchise. There’s been a lot of hate, but there’s also been a lot of joy.

For those of you who don’t want to read the rest of this, there’s a TLDR at the bottom.
As I don’t like big crowds, we went to see it on Sunday morning of opening weekend. The theater was still three quarters full, and while I am a fan of the series (yes, I can even find merit in the prequel trilogy), I still don’t understand why people clap in theaters…. Which people did. For the silliest of reasons. But whatever, you enjoy your thing your way. At this point, I’ve seen it three times (I might be a fan, but I can tell you, I’ve seen it that many times because this is o…

7 Things You Should Have On Your Desk

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Pens. Oh, so many pens. There is nothing more exasperating than needing a pen and not being able to find one. Or worse, using the one you have on hand only to find out that the flimsy piece of marketing that you’ve been relying on for the last two months has finally given up the ghost. Pens are important. That ink can be the lifeblood of to-do lists, notes for books, posts, and revisions. It’s important. Don’t slack on that.

Note Paper. You might think this is a very practical answer and it is… but I might be headed down a different path than you. Paper is a great tool. It can do amazing things, like keep those little thoughts that would otherwise burrow so deep in your brain you’ll only remember them at 3 in the morning when you wake from a fever dream.They can be used to make boxes or airplanes or cranes – when you need a break from your brain. But most importantly, they can be used to ward off those evil distraction offenders who seek to pull you from your work with the temptation of …

How 2015 Actually Went

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Reading –
57 Books

I set my goal at Fifty books, and if we go by technicalities… I didn’t actually make it. Nine of the books in that count are my own. I did read them, but somehow, it feels a little like cheating.
The longest book was Zero World by Jason M. Hough (I snagged an Arc at PHX Comicon) and the shortest was a MoPO Short Story, Silver Linings by Pip Balantine and Tee Morris.
Writing – 361,949-words
Amazingly, I’m only 77,000 words shy of last year’s count. The comparison chart looks ugly, and I wrote about a third of that in the last two months of the year. I had a total of 161 recorded writing days and averaged about 2,248 words/day.

Best month, November: 63,624. Worst month, June: 3,260. Average: 30,162
Publishing – 9 Titles

Up five from 2014, I’m a little surprised by that number. Then I remember that only two of them were full length novels, and I understand how I was able to drop nine titles while struggling with heath issues. Regardless, all five books in the Lunar Colony VI se…

December 2015 Round-Up

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Reading –
5 Books
Two of my own, one steampunk short story, one contemporary romance short, and a SF title my mother has been praising for almost two years (and my mom doesn’t like SF). I’m going to blame this one on the holidays. It’s really difficult to read when you’ve got ninety obligations popping out at you each week. I still didn’t manage to get anything done, even with my reading sacrifices.
Writing – 55,773-words
Usually, December is an incredible mire of unproductivity. I feel like this December, my brain was trying to figure out how it could make up for the summer months where I royally sucked it up. I managed to finish off one re-write, make a little headway in the next draft I need to finish and get some work done on a side project as well. It was—astonishingly—my second best writing month of the year.
Publishing – 2 Titles
I'm not sure why I've done this to myself the last two years, but I'm determined not to do it again next year. December is hectic enough as it i…