28 June, 2012

Do You Ever Live Your Books?

Most writers, I think, pull from personal experience when they write, in the form of what they've learned or a conflict they went through.

Excepting, of course, when characters do something the writer hasn't done themselves. I, for example, have had no martial arts training and can't hack a computer, despite the fact my characters seem to be fighting and breaking into digital things all the time (believe me, I don't want to do either of them).

So I wonder: Have any of you writers gone out on a limb to try something you wrote about in one of your stories? And vice versa: Anyone done something out-of-the-ordinary to see if it was worth writing about? Or have you ever heard of another author doing something like that to add realism to their writing?


-----The Golden Eagle

26 June, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (83)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules for participating:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser is from 172 Hours On the Moon by Johan Harstad. The title attracted me--it certainly indicates Science Fiction. I haven't actually started the book yet, but it's next on my library TBR pile.

(The eye creeps me out a bit, I have to say. But it's sort of grown on me and based on the blurb it seems to fit the book.)
For safety reasons, NASA had decided that the three young people who would be chosen to go must be at least fourteen and that they couldn't be older than eighteen. They would also need to be between five feet four inches and six feet four inches tall, undergo a psychological examination performed by a certified practitioner in their hometown, and pass a general physical examination in order to obtain a medical "green card".
-p. 18

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What are you reading? Have a teaser to share from it?


-----The Golden Eagle

21 June, 2012

What's Your Favorite Villainous Trait?

Partly because of last week's post Is There A Certain Type Of Character You Like To Write About?, I'm wondering about the other side of the equation: Villains.

A few characteristics seem to repeat themselves throughout fiction, with physical deformities being one that comes quickly to mind. There's usually a scarred, one-eyed, wheezy, or otherwise imperfect (occasionally just ugly) antagonist to be found, which I guess is supposed to be a reflection of the his or her inner qualities. On the other hand, of course, there are the perfect, attractive antagonists who achieved their beauty through nefarious means.

Then there is personality. Most villains are as smart if not smarter than the protagonist; some are relatively balanced except for a major destructive flaw; some have a rough history; some tried to do good and turned bad; some were inclined toward crime/violence/etc. at the onset.

What do you like to see in a villain? Are there any traits that you think are always cliches, regardless of the story? What is your antagonist like?


-----The Golden Eagle

19 June, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (82)

Every week, MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Teaser Tuesday. It's a bookish meme where people spread the word about what they're reading.

Rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from The Project by Brian Falkner. I really like Falkner's books; they're unusual in their writing style, plot, and setting, especially for YA/MG Action/Adventure.

(In person, this cover is very reflective. It reminds me quite a bit of the cover for Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill, which was also black and red and shimmery with some white text. I can't really say I like it--I think this alternative cover is much more interesting.)

Libraries made Luke nervous. They were full of books, and that seemed like far too much reading all concentrated in one place to him. As if it would reach critical mass and start a chain reaction and explode in a huge blast of words and sentence fragments.
-p. 37


And in case you're wondering, yes, I did in part choose that teaser for its irony. ;)

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What are you reading? Got a teaser from it?


And what's your favorite kind of cover? Do you prefer matte, shimmery, ones with people, elaborate artwork, illustration of a plot point, photographs, fancy fonts . . . ?


-----The Golden Eagle

18 June, 2012

Breakthrough By Stephen Tremp

Today (and tomorrow) Stephen Tremp is offering his Science Fiction/Thriller/Suspense novel Breakthrough for free, and hosting a blogfest/party to spread the word.

Of course, I signed up; he's one of my favorite bloggers, and posts some great science information. His A-Z Challenge series posts about physics and space were fascinating.

About Breakthrough:
A scientific breakthrough of such magnitude it could radically alter the future of humanity—for better or worse—is in the wrong hands.
   The Information Age is moving at breakneck speed. Breakthroughs in areas of science that were once fodder for science fiction are now becoming part of our everyday life.
   A group of graduate students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stolen a breakthrough in opening and stabilizing Einstein-Rosen Bridges, commonly known as wormholes, that allows them to instantly transport people from one location to another. Their goal is to assassinate any powerful politician and executive controlling the world’s banking system that would use this technology for their own greedy gain rather than the advancement of mankind.
   In south Orange County, California, young Chase Manhattan, part of a new breed of modern-day discovery seekers, seeks to leave behind his life of danger and adventure and settle down as an associate professor of physics at University of California-Irvine. He also desires to build a lasting relationship with a beautiful woman he has not seen since high school.
   His idyllic plan is postponed when he soon uncovers the diabolical scheme on the other side of the country. He realizes he is the one person who can prevent more murders from happening and either control or destroy the technology. Once the M.I.T. group understands Chase and his friends have the ability and motivation to not only take the technology from them, but also thwart more killings, Chase finds himself in their crosshairs, the top-of-the-list target on their assassination agenda.
   As the death toll mounts, Chase and his friends must battle this group of misled zealots from M.I.T. on both coasts and in cyberspace in a thrilling, desperate race to determine the outcome of this monumental, once in a millenium discovery that will drastically change life as we know it—for better or worse.


Have you read Breakthrough or downloaded it yet? Do you read Science Fiction or Thrillers?


-----The Golden Eagle

17 June, 2012

Happy Father's Day! (+ Why I Haven't Been Blogging And Other Random)

To all the dads in the blogosphere and elsewhere: Have a wonderful holiday!

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(Note: I don't often post random stuff, but I feel like doing it today . . . so I am. Hope none of you mind.)


As some may have noticed, I haven't blogged in a couple days, and that's if you count the little I did on Thursday. Last week I had a series of end-of-school-year tests (9, to be precise; did okay) and a dress rehearsal/dance recital (went better than the last test I took--hooray), so things were busier than normal. My apologies for disappearing without prior announcement; I didn't even get around to replying to your comments on Thursday's post (which I will do once I've published this!).

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My writing's also been dragging the past few days. I'm behind 3000 words for reaching a goal of writing 30,000 words in June, so I have to hustle with that one. I'm still pantsing the story, as I mentioned in "I Though I Was A Plotter", and it's . . . interesting so far. LOL. Still making better progress than I was a couple months ago.

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On a slightly-related subject, I was never particularly big on the whole "listening to music on your computer" thing, preferring to play CDs on another device, but I've found adding favorites (especially movie soundtracks; Sherlock Holmes and How To Train Your Dragon are current favorites) in YouTube playlists has been quite conducive toward word count.

Unless it's The Piano Guys, in which case I find myself stopping every minute or two to watch and not just listen. (Hey, who wouldn't want to see someone skydiving with a cello? Or playing musical instruments in gorgeous locations? Really, if you haven't seen them before, go check out their videos.)

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When did you last take a break from blogging, social networking, or writing? How are your current projects? Do you ever listen to music while you work on creative endeavors? If so, what kind?


-----The Golden Eagle

14 June, 2012

Is There A Certain Type Of Character You Like To Write About?

By Jonathan Joseph Bondhus, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Or read about?

You see, I was thinking about the protagonists of the novels I've written.

A majority of them are introverted, very intelligent (either academically or socially or both), and are capable fighters. Those are also the types of characters I like to read about, though my reading tastes are wider than my writing tastes and I tend to branch out more in books than in my own fiction.

Do you have a favorite sort of character? Do you write about the same characters you enjoy reading about the most?


-----The Golden Eagle

12 June, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (81)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish, weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules for participating:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier. I found it at the library earlier today while browsing the YA section, and was attracted by the title and the cover, and then the fact the author had won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Apparently, it's a companion to Wildwood Dancing, which I've never heard of, but since companions are usually easier to jump into than sequels I thought I'd go ahead and read it regardless. So far, quite good.

(Australian books get some of the best artwork, I tell you. When I pulled this off the shelf I immediately went "OOH!"--silently, of course, since it was a library. You can see a larger version of this cover here, which I highly recommend looking at because there's so much detail. It sings Fantasy. Ahem. I'll shut up now.)

They were tall indeed: three floors high, with each level jutting forward a little farther than the one below. Rows of windows were set with colored glass: red, green, several shades of blue. I had grown up in a castle, and a most eccentric one at that. All the same, I was impressed.
-p. 54

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What are you reading? Got a teaser from it?


-----The Golden Eagle

07 June, 2012

Secret Project Reveal: MY SHINY NEW WEBSITE

For the past year (yes, year) I've been writing, designing, coding, tweaking, debugging, and overall being perfectionist about a project I've only mentioned in passing on my blog.

I published it two days ago, on June 5. After having added a few things I think it's finally ready to be officially announced.

My new website is:



I'd tell you what the site is about, but I'll let the homepage explain. You don't have to visit, of course (I'll still love you, dear blog reader) but I will shower you with virtual chocolate if you do. Or if you're one of those strange people--like me--who doesn't enjoy chocolate, then I offer virtual whatever-it-is you crave.

And here, I'll give you a screenshot to pique your interest if the URL isn't intriguing enough:



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So . . . what do you think? 

(Be honest and criticize, if you want. If you hate the design, or can't navigate, or find the content confusing, or have any other problem with the thing, tell me. Please. I want to make this site the best it can possibly be.)


-----The Golden Eagle

06 June, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: I Thought I Was A Plotter

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.


From his blog:
It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic.


Now, my post this week is about the time-honored question: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Most writers, I think, consider themselves to either be in one camp or both. I used to consider myself a die-hard plotter, i.e. that writer who had the entire novel set out by Chapter 2 or 3.

But I'm participating in a writing challenge this month to hammer out 30k during June, and to be honest, I have no inclination to plot. At all. In fact, I'm having quite a lot of fun just writing on-the-fly, filling in the blanks as I go along.

A good part of my mind is shouting at me to plot. The other part is thrilled. Since it's been a long time since I really felt inspired to write anything novel-length (as I do now) I've decided to try pantsing my way through this novel. It will probably--in fact, I'm sure it will--be even more of a mess than if I plotted it. But it's a first draft, and there are always revisions. Right?

As for whether I'm a plotter or a pantser . . . well, I figure it doesn't matter so much so long as I'm actually writing something.

Have you ever questioned your plotter/pantser status? Which are you--or are you a mix?


-----The Golden Eagle

05 June, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (80)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish, weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules for participating:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser's from Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. I don't normally read a lot of military SF, but I was curious why this one became such a classic. Can't say I love the book, but it's interesting. And regardless of the content, I find something appealing in Heinlein's writing style.


"The emotional relationship between dog-man and the man-dog in a K-9 team is a great deal closer and much more important than is the emotional relationship in most marriages. If the master is killed, we killed the neodog--at once! It is all we can do for the poor thing."
-p. 53

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Got a teaser this week? What are you reading?


-----The Golden Eagle

01 June, 2012

Would You Write If You Knew You'd Never Be Published?

Publication is, of course, one of the major milestones--the goal, you could say--of slogging through the writing process. There's debate over traditional publishing vs. self-publishing, but both are still means of giving any reader a chance at your stories.

By Horia Varlan, CC-BY-2.0, via Flickr

Yet, I'm curious: What if publication was impossible? 

Would it be a relief for you not to have to worry about how your writing would be perceived, or would it be a killer of some (or all) of your passion for the craft? Would you write in a different style, a different genre, about different characters if you had no audience to think about?

Personally, I think I would continue writing, even if I knew I had no chance of being published. Publication is a good motivator and a nice dream, but I like putting words down on paper--or in a word processor, as it may be--for the sake of it.

What about you?


-----The Golden Eagle