Tag Archive | links

Why science-fiction should more be science-fantasy more often.

I’m going to get killed for that one, aren’t I? But see, here’s my logic. Space is monstrous! Huge! The logic that we could ever actually travel through the whole thing is ridiculous and insane.

Let me illistrate.

Here is a picture of how far away the moon and Earth are to each other.  That’s far away, when you think that is Earth in the picture.

Then, here is another illustration of how small our Sun, and yes, I mean our SUN, is compared to many other things in the galaxy. I’m assuming it’s accurate. It seems fair.

And through all that, we writers actually pretend to say that people can travel across this space.

Yeah right.

But then again, as writers, we are allowed a few liberties and one of those is the idea of warp/jump/faster-than-light engines. But I still say that I write probably more science fantasy than science fiction.

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Second books: the writer’s perspective

I’ve always thought second books are weak. They never carry the momentum of the book as well as the first or third book in a trilogy. As such, I found this article about writing a sequel very interesting. My favorite line is:

Although I didn’t technically write an entirely new book like Bacigalupi did, I was still making major plot changes in my eighth draft, and my final novel bears very little resemblance to my original story. In fact, my earliest draft was such a mess that it frightened my editor, Nancy Mercado. Wisely, she didn’t tell me so at the time. She merely said in her kind way, “You might want to take a closer look at the first one hundred pages. And the last one hundred pages.”

Making your own ebook.

Someone asked me if I could make them an ebook. I have a mac and I’m pretty good on computers so they thought I’d be a good fit. I said I need to check it out.

Did you know that real ebooks need ISBN numbers?

And did you know that you have to BUY the ISBN number?

I missed that memo somewhere.

Now, they do only run around $250 for 10. But still, I didn’t realize that making an e-book would actually cost money.

That being said, I found this nifty little guide out there. In short, they explain all the services out there for ebooks and ebook creation, who gives you ISBN numbers, how much you get, how long it takes, ect. I also found this article that explains the few common forms of ebooks, why PDFs and picture books are not the brightest idea in an epud format and how to make your own epub format.

In short, I think making an ebook would be terribly easy to do. I’m just surprised some that it actually costs money.

Book Covers

This is really an awesome article about how they print book covers. Wow! Well worth the read for pretty much anyone.

Making book covers

Sending off the babies.

If you don’t know, I’ve been working on writing a synopsis off and on for Shad over the course of the semester. I start thinking that I’ll probably be done soon, especially since I finished my semester today and school won’t start again until at least May 31st.

As such, I started looking for information about how to work on synopses. Unfortunately, they all say the same, obvious tips. Keep things basic. Don’t do anything stupid. Include only what’s needed. Ect.

However, I found this great blog post that summarizes all this rather well.  The Basics: Standard Manuscript Format and Mailing. The synopsis I skimmed, but he also included information on a cover letter.

Hopefully, this will help you all as well as it helped me.

The New Addicts.

So apparently, this new study shows that teenagers suffer from withdraw symptoms without any type of media device for 24 hours. Wow. Guess I have now proved I am not addicted to social media. (I don’t use electronics one day a week.)

Grammar Attacks!

Just in time for link day appears this blog post. Even though it’s freshly pressed, it is so funny  I must share, just in case you missed it. (And you might, with how wordpress is looking these days. Why did they have to move that column? It’s quite annoying.)

Anyway, Grammar Lolcatz.

Writing Reactive.

I have talked some about reactive writing. In short, reactive writing is where you don’t let things wash over a person, but instead have the character react, or something bad happen, at every possible moment. This takes a lot of work and a lot of skill, but it is effective at writing a really good piece eventually.

Yesterday, I watched an episode of Caprica, which you can find here, The best thing about it is that you don’t really need to know what is going on in the story to see what I mean, except that the holobands (the bands they have around their head, brings people into a virtual word. Zoey, the daughter, is really a computer generated representative  of their daughter who has a personality of her own.

What you really need to look at, however, is Clarice’s rule in the story, along with the two guys. Here you find a good example of how many things can go wrong.

  • They have a plan. Break in, block transmissions out, cut power. No big deal. In and out in no time.
  • They break in. Discover a robot servant. They shoot robot servant but robot servant calls 911.
  • They head towards where Greystones are, only to have a security door fall in place.
  • They try to bypass the security door,  but the genius person is having some problems since it isn’t like he’s ever  experienced before.
  • They open the security door, only to find another door.
  • Guy starts to bypass second door, puts in some kind of explosion and gets his hand caught on fire.
  • They get the door open, and capture the people. Finally things are looking up. However, the robot comes back to life and takes a swing at the people. The people run. Plan fails.

Now, as I’m writing this I’m realize there isn’t a lot of reaction on the robbers part, but there is still a lot of reaction or things going wrong.

My sister commented on that with one story I wrote called Miles’ Love. No. It’s not here. I haven’t edited it enough yet because I don’t like it. However, in it Miles gets captured and escapes with his girlfriend. However, nothing bad happens once they escape. They walk a lot, yes, but that’s it. No last minute chase. No need for Miles to shoot someone. Nothing. They just escape and live happily ever after.

BORING!

Hopefully this helps point you in the direction of how to get a clue about writing reactively. I could give you some more examples from my own writing, both how it works well and when it hasn’t worked out well, but a) a lot of them come from my mermaid novel and b) I don’t want to bore you.

Random Prompts

A friend of mine just posted this, and I actually liked it so much that I decided to share it with you.

Prompts for writing

Folklore and Mermaids

I have been writing a research paper this semester on mermaids.  Possibly a strange topic, yes, but I’m loving it.

As such, I have found many, many links of credible mermaid tales. Now, I am defining mermaids as any creature that can live in the water; just a woman with a tail and two arms. However, here are some of the best ones.

Humanity.org has about ten stories from around the world.  Beautiful Mermaid Art has quite a few from around the world as well. However, none of them have references as to where he found them, and there is no way to contact him to ask for his references.

The story of Ne Hwas is a native American tale and probably the only one on the site.

Google books proved almost invaluable, as they provided complete text of some books, such as Fairy and Folk Tales of Irish Peasantry and Myths of China and Japan. For any Irish tales, you want to look for merrows. For the China and Japan book, look at the Island of the Blest and The Kingdom Under the Sea. I also used it to access Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, Legends and superstitions of the sea and of sailors in all lands and at all time, the Mermaid of Loche Lene and Other Tales and some partial texts such as Magickal mermaids and water creatures.

Sacred-text.com provides extensive texts from many cultures. Among them, I found Of the Pretty Girl and the Seven Jealous Women,

Surlalunefairytales.com also has a listing of many folktales. Those related to mermaids include: Fortunio and the Siren,  The Mermaid of the Magdalenes, and The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad. It also includes the text of The Little Mermaid and other mermaid tales.

D. L. Ashliman collected a number of stories on water spirits. Quite a good place to go look.

Lastly, Gutenburg is almost just as good of a source as google books, if not better. There I have found The Mermaid of Zennor, The Water-Nix and The Nixie of the Millpond.

The History of Mermaids has hundreds of mermaid sightings recorded, many of them with sources.

So that’s about all I have.  Hope you enjoy. Do you know of any other great sources for folklore?

Edit: I have found another source for mermaid research called Wonders of the Deep. Haven’t read a whole lot on it, but the little bit I did get is very good. This entry about Liban (or Li Ban or St. Murgan) is one of the best I have found as well.

Edit 2: I uploaded my paper that I wrote using these sources. Please remember that if you copy it for your paper, it’s called plagiarism and is worth a failing grade in most English classes. It compares mermaids from different cultures of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and America. It briefly looks at mermaids’ appearance and personality variances. It also includes my biography. You can find it in my writing tab as a PDF near the bottom.