Friday, September 30, 2011

Spooky Times

In honor of the spookiest month of the year, I have decided to drop the price of Guarding the Healer to $0.99 from now until Halloween.  This price applies to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Don't be afraid to take advantage of the discount.

Have a good weekend.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Only Thing Constant

Okay, I know you shouldn't beat a dead horse, but is it all right if I poke it with a long stick?  I'm referring to George Lucas's decision to once again alter the Star Wars Saga in the new Blue Ray releases.

Some people are fine and like the changes; some are, well, less than happy.

This got me thinking about stories and their creator's right to alter them after they have been released, especially in this digital/e-book era.  Now, I didn't have a huge problem when Lucas released the Special Edition.  I understood his thinking.  The technology finally caught up with the vision in his head.  Fine.  Whatever.

Then came the prequels.  Lucas then made more changes to Episode VI by replacing Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen.  Uhm, okay.  And now come the Blue Rays, complete with a more vocal Vader and blinking ewoks.

Now let's talk about books.  When J.R.R. Tolkien released The Lord of the Rings he went back and altered parts of The Hobbit.  Stephen King did something very similar with his Dark Tower Series.

With Tolkien his changes were to fix a major plot hole--i.e. Gandalf knowing in The Hobbit that Bilbo had a magic ring.  He changed the story so that Bilbo hid the ring from Gandalf until Fellowship of the Ring.

With King the Dark Tower books were written over such a long period of time that some changes were necessary in the earlier books to make the whole story more cohesive.  King explains this by reminding us that writers, when finished with a story, go back and work out the kinks and plot-holes in the second (or more) draft.

So what's the difference between what Lucas is doing and what King and Tolkien did?

In my opinion it's all about the motivation behind the changes.

Tolkien and King had the readers in mind.  They made the changes to make the story better.  They weren't frilly, non necessities like dialog that doesn't advance the story or changing someone's appearance.  With Lucas he makes changes that no one cares about.  So what if the original ewoks didn't blink?  Did that stop people from loving Return of the Jedi?  Did anyone walk out of the theater saying, "Yeah, it was all right, but am I supposed to believe those furry dudes don't get dry eyes?"  Did it stop anyone from buying the gazillion pieces of merchandise spawned from the franchise?

No, no, no and no.

Frivolous changes tend to irritate the readers/spectators.  As the genesis writers of the e-book world we must resist the temptation to change our published works every time we think the hero's eyes should be blue instead of green, or that the villain's name should be Smarmy Joe instead of Slimy John.

I think it is great that we live in a time when a writer can so easily update his/her creations.  I just think we need to remember what Uncle Ben told Peter Parker.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Watch Your Holes

Yeah, I said it.

My wife sent me an article discussing some major plot holes in some very famous movies.  Some of the holes I've thought about before, some were new to me.

It got me thinking about how that when you are drawn into a story you are willing to suspend a whole giant dump truck full of disbelief.  This can happen in books as well.  But that doesn't mean you can leave that gaping hole just sitting there.  Once you see a hole, fill it in, man!

Yeah, I said that, too.  What can I say?  I get a bit frisky on the weekends.

Sometimes when writing I'm in such a hurry to get to the meat of the story that I blow right past the little details.  Those details soon run together to make a sinkhole big enough to swallow a house.  If this happens to you, don't despair.  You are in good company.  Besides, this is what editors, beta readers and second (third, fourth, fifth . . .) drafts are for.  Sometimes we are just too close to the terrain to see the pitfalls before us.  That is why, though writing is a lonely endeavor, to be great you cannot go it alone.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Will Not Forget

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I know there aren't too many hours left in Wednesday, but I thought I'd sneak this in anyhow.

I am currently 26,000 words into my WIP.  I'm thinking the title will be Predatory Animals.  I was hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of September, but I'm still having trouble getting good numbers every day.  It may be closer to the end of October.  I'm still planning on releasing a short story collection.  I'm going to work on that while I let the first draft cool.

In other news, I finally managed to get Guarding the Healer out in paperback.  I'm still not sure why there is such a royalty rate difference between Amazon and Createspace.

The sales for Guarding the Healer have been pretty low across the board, but I'm trying to remind myself that it has only been out for just over three months.  Hopefully sales will pick up or I might not be able to afford to self-pub Predatory Animals.  I had plans to spend the tax check, but due to unforeseen car troubles that will no longer be possible.

I'm not telling you this to get sympathy.  I just want other writers out there to know they are not alone.  But if we stick together and persevere I'm sure we'll be all right.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Monday Muse Fuel

It's time for another addition of Monday Muse Fuel.

I know that it's Labor Day (for those of us in the US) but Monday is still Monday.  If your muse is a bit tuckered out from your holiday celebrations then I am here to help.  Anyone that knows me knows that I HATE spiders. 


So this little article gives me a cosmic case of the heeby jeebies.  With a story this weird I know there are countless paths your muses will carry you down.  Let me know what you come up with.

Good luck.  Now, go forth and write.  And don't forget to have fun.