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Showing posts from August, 2015

IT'S AVAILIBLE!

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Well, The Stardrift Trilogy is now available to the public. Spread the news. You can buy the books on  Amazon Barnes &Noble , and on Abbott Press Bookstore . Read it, review it, enjoy it if you can! Seven years in the making, and it's finally here!!!

Snippet!

There was a worrisome fluttering and clanging and then silence. Presently, the seabird’s head appeared at the other end of the shelves. Without a thought, Dahskay sneaked up on it and caught it before it could fully emerge. She pulled it out gently despite its clawed feet clinging to unseen anchors behind the shelves. She tucked in the enormous wings and held it firmly against her side.   “You got it!” whispered Cahathel in amazement, rushing to open the door.   She glanced nervously down at the bird’s long, ponderously hooked bill as she carried it to the exit.   It didn’t threaten her with it. It just blinked and gazed steadily ahead.   Just outside the door, she crouched down and let go of it. It fussily rearranged its wings and turned walking into the wind a couple of steps. Before it took off, it looked back at Dahskay through clear gray eyes.   As the enormous spread of wings climbed away into the stormy sky, Zaarrveck muttered, “Strange, most of them have dark eyes

Learning from Novels: Agatha Christie's "The Seven Dials Mystery"

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There’s a reason Christie is such a big name in murder mysteries. I wouldn’t describe myself as a huge whodunit junkie, but her work stands out brilliantly from all that I’ve read. The Seven Dials Mystery follows the mysterious deaths of two young men on the grounds of Chimneys, a huge estate being rented out be the protagonist’s father. The clues are a missing alarm clock, an unfinished letter, and the last words of one of the victims as he dies.   Christie’s red-herrings are particularly good. She knows all about playing on a reader’s assumptions. The main character is engaging, and well-developed. I would never name a character “Bundle”, but, to each their own.   There are an awful lot of characters introduced in the first couple of chapters of the book. It’s a good thing when a mystery has a lot of suspects, but I would complain that they were dealt a little fast, and there are a few that blend together. Most of her characters, though not described extensively, were given

Snippet!

On the other side of the door, she stopped short and stared. The chamber’s ceiling was as high as that of the exterior hallways and it was punctuated by skylights shaped like elongated teardrops streaming from the highest point in the vaulting. Stormy blue-ish light flowed down from these windows and lit the soaring labyrinth of shelves and cabinets that kept the temple’s some twelve-million documents. The air was cool and felt like it somehow came from outside. There wasn’t a sound to be heard.

Avoiding Cliches: Don't Do The Prophesy

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And don’t take my titles too literally, either. The prophecy is a very standard device in sci-fi and fantasy, particularly. It’s really not a bad thing in itself, and I used it in the Stardrift Trilogy and am using it in The Art of Lightplay, the fantasy I’m currently writing. Like practically all clich├ęs, the prophecy can go from a predictable bore to a satisfying thrill with a little twisting.   Authors have different ways of handling prophecies. Some write them, without context, in the beginning of their book, before chapter one. Some don’t bring them up until the plot is already moving. Some show the prophesy being told for the first time in the beginning of their story. The placement makes little difference. Do whatever you want.   People get particularly lazy when it comes to the actual writing of the thing. Here’s where things get really predictable if you’re not careful. Things to watch out for: ·          Make sure you use natural-sounding language that matches t

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Dahskay slipped suddenly from the gentle hand of dreamless sleep. It was funny how every time she had awakened from any amount of sleep on this mission, she always expected to be in her room. What was even stranger was the fact that it wasn’t her room at the OAOF on Clilltar. Not even the girls’ dorm on Finzar, but her childhood home that she imagined she would see when she opened her eyes.

Creating Atmosphere

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One of the greatest absences I sense in modern novels, poems, and short-stories is atmosphere. When did we lose it? Where did it go? And… why??? I don’t know that I could answer any of these questions. All I know is it’s gone, and I want it back.     So, what exactly is this lost element, atmosphere? Atmosphere is the underlying mood or tone of a piece of art. It’s what flavors and colors a scene, or a moment, making it more than the sum of its parts. In film, the soundtrack, lighting, set, and movement of the characters are powerful contributors to atmosphere. In paintings, the composition, palette, and focus play parts. In music, the instruments, dynamics, articulation, and tempo make all the difference.   Atmosphere really exists independently of subject-matter. A good author can take a scene in which the same characters are present, doing the same things, but make the reader feel any number of ways about it. The magic is in well-chosen details .   The atmosphere of a