Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Writer's Block Wednesday

Even famous writers have struggled with writer's block, as evidenced by this short video.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fiction Friday: What The Night Knows

Dean Koontz revisits the hero with a tragic past theme that he does so well, in this supernatural thriller. The protagonist, John Calvino, is both a family man and police detective, whose path in life was shaped by the brutal murder of his entire family when he was a child.  The sole survivor of that encounter, John killed Alton Turner Blackwood to prevent himself from becoming the final victim of that fateful night.

Now, twenty years after the lives of his family were snuffed out, John sees similar murders cropping up in the neighborhood, causing him to question himself, his beliefs and whether the dead always stay that way.  

I'd recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Koontz's fiction in the past as well as anyone who likes supernatural suspense or horror fiction.

Here is the book trailer for What the Night Knows

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Writer's Block Wednesday

Unable to write? Feeling distracted?

Well, you could always step away from your project and go for a walk or something.  But that's really just another form of procrastination.  Try writing about what is distracting you.  At the very least, just start writing gobbledygook.  Eventually you'll tire of this and your imagination will take over.  Before you know it, you'll be back on track writing up a storm, or a cool summer breeze, depending upon the nature of your project.

Don't let the quality of your writing concern you too much at this point.  Don't allow yourself to get caught up rewriting.  Produce new content and keep going until you get to the end.  Then go back over it and refine what you've written.  There's time enough for polishing your prose once you've brought the plot to its appropriate completion.

Here's a short film on the subject:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writer's Block Wednesday

Still facing writer's block?

Here are a few tips.

If you can, plan out what you're going to write.  You don't have to know the exact wording of the prose, but knowing that your main character needs to travel from point A to point C without going through point B, gives you a goal.  Now you know where your character has to get to, write that scene.

Write someplace without distractions.  Don't write with the TV on.  Don't go to a bar to write, where you may end up ordering more beers than writing paragraphs.  Sit your butt in the chair and write.

You don't want to end up like this guy:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fiction Friday: The Company

K.J. Parker writes fantasy without the dwarves, elves, dragons and other fantastical creatures that normally populate such novels.  And she does it with style and panache.  Parker's prose is a true pleasure to read.  It's flows and shines like a stream glinting in the sunlight of an August afternoon in the Deep South.  Readers of fantasy are no doubt experienced at reading about great battles and of opposing soldiers in shiny armor wielding blunt and sharp weapons of war.  In The Company Parker explores what happens after the wars are over and there's no more fighting to be done.  She also demonstrates rather well that while you can take the soldier out of the war, taking the war out of the soldier is an entirely other thing.

After the aforementioned wars, Gen. Teuche Kunessin returns to his home village where he rounds up his military buddies, holding them to a promise made during the war to set up their own colony apart from the government, wars and the rest of society.  Kunessin has acquired an island as part of the spoils of war and he intends to set himself, his friends and their wives upon it to do just that.

Naturally, things aren't quite so easy as that.  Once the group manages to reach the island, all sorts of complications ensue resulting from the day to day labor involved in establishing a colony, character traits and nature.

If you haven't read any of Parker's other fiction, then The Company (Orbit Books, 2009)is a great place to start.  And if you have, then you should definitely add this novel to your bookcase if it isn't already there.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writer's Block Wednesday

For those times when you just can't write. When conveying the thoughts in your head onto the screen before you seems impossible, try drawing a little inspiration from what is around you. Sort of like this writer does when she finds herself in a similar situation.