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Monday, July 29, 2013

Soundtracks Fueling My Novella Revision

I have never been that big on listening to music while writing. I tried it and found it distracting. Then I found myself trying to get some writing done while my wife and I watched TV after the kids were down. I found that even if it was a show I hated, I couldn't help but watch the dang glowing box. My wife on the other hand is a multi tasking wiz and actually prefers having the TV on while she gets work done. I've seen her bust out tons of work, homework, and the like while occasionally glancing at the TV and listening to the story. I simply can not do that.

So I tried writing with music on, but only music without words. Mostly soundtracks. It was ok. I didn't like it as much as writing in silence but when it was the best alternative to getting three sentences down in an hour while the TV was on - it worked.

Then I tried listening to music while revising the novella I'm currently working on. I love it! For me revising is mostly reading and thinking about the story with a little writing here and there. It is a different brain space for me and for some reason listening to the mood music really enhances the process for me. 

I'm writing a fantasy adventure novella and I have mostly been listening to this video game soundtrack while I revise:

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker Soundtrack


I'm honestly not sick of the Wind Waker soundtrack, I can't get enough of it, but I snagged this soundtrack when they were offering it for free one day and it has some pretty awesome songs that sound serious and epic. The game is awesome too. I think I'll listen more to this during some of my more intense scenes and/or emotional scenes:

Torchlight II Soundtrack
Torchlight II by Dan Absalonson on Grooveshark

Do you listen to music while writing or revising? What do you listen to? The same few albums or something different for every story? Movie soundtracks? Best of compilations from other decades? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shift Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey | Book Review

These books are a prequel to the Wool Omnibus. In case you didn't know, that is easily one of my favorite books. I'll be rereading Wool for the rest of my life. That said, this book isn't one I think I'll read over and over again but it was still great. I was thrilled to finally learn how the silos of Hugh's Wool series all came to be, and was delighted with a certain character's backstory, but it didn't capture me like Wool until the last half of the book.

After reading Wool I was dying to know how it all came to be. These books delivered on that which was awesome. For the first half of the book though, I was kind of bored. There's no way I wasn't going to keep reading because I HAD to find out the genesis of the story world, but that was the driving force for me in the first half of the book. Not characters I loved, not intense drama that left me reeling. Those came later. The more I read the more intriguing and engaging the story became. As I got to the end I couldn't put it down and I was captured by the story.

One thing this book did do really well for me is give me the feeling the main character had while in the silo world. The feeling of the walls of the silo and dirt outside of it pressing in on you. Without spoiling anything, the feeling of living a life where time has been quite messed with. There were moments while I was reading this book where I really felt what the character was feeling, and that was awesome. It is a testament to Hugh's amazing writing abilities. It was creepy, sad, exciting, and many more things throughout the course of the story.

Another reason that I started liking the book more the further I read is that a character I loved from Wool was introduced. I really enjoyed reading the story of how that certain character got to where he was in Wool. It was very fun to read and Hugh did an awesome job of building that character and writing in a way that really helped me relate to him even though he was in situations very different from my own. I'm not saying his name because I don't want to spoil anything, but he was a favorite from Wool and reading his backstory was awesome.

I am a lifelong fan of Hugh Howey and I think I'll go read his Wool Omnibus for a second time now to prepare for the next part of this amazing story - DUST! It comes out next month on August 17th!

Links to the books in the Silo Saga:
Dust (Currently Pre-order)

Have you read Wool by Hugh Howey? Were you absolutely blown away like I was? Is it now one of your favorite books? What about the Shift Omnibus? Did it capture you just as much or was it more of a gradual thing like it was for me? Chime in in the comments and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Revising My Novella

Photo Source: www.knockoutwords.com
Last night I finished editing chapter two of my novella. I've also come up with a new name for my novella that I like much more, and think it fits the story better. It was previously called "Dying Wish," and I think that communicated a story about a person on a journey who was dying, when it's about a son going on a journey and having adventures fulfilling his father's dying wish. Now I'm calling it "Sword and Urn." You can read the first three revised chapters here at Wattpad, along with the rest of the novelette which is still in it's first draft form. It's 10 chapters long at just over 25,000 words. I'm excited to get it fully revised and in the hands of beta readers. Thanks for stopping by!

Also, here is the new cover:






Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Audio Book I Narrated is Online!



Have a listen - the audio book I narrated, A Life Worth Dreaming About by Nicholas Dettman, is now available online! You can go listen to the 5 minute sample of it at Audible. I'm so excited! I'm now listed at Audible, iTunes, and Amazon as an audio book narrator! Who-hoo! This event marks a dream coming true for me. I'm so thrilled and excited! I had an absolute blast narrating the book and I'm so glad it's out in the wild now for people to listen to and enjoy the great story that Nicholas wrote. 

I also just noticed that I received a promising message from an author about an audition I recorded for another book so here's to hoping I'll be recording the next one soon. I look forward to narrating book for the rest of my life, I really love doing it that much. I can't wait for the next one. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Story Lengths and eBooks

What do you guys think about the length of stories and what we can do with them as writers in this new digital age of self publishing and eBooks? It was really hard to sell stories of certain lengths in the past. If you had a short novella you might have been able to get a magazine to publish it serially, or you might have made it into an anthology. Now we can write stories at any length we want and come up with creative ways to publish them.

I love what Hugh Howey did with his Wool books. He wrote one novelette, then four more books that were all novellas or very short novels. Then he put them all together into the Wool Omnibus, a massive tome full of his awesome five shorter stories, which go great together as one book. I love the idea that he was able to crank out these shorter books much faster, get them edited and ready for publication faster. Get them in the devices of readers faster. Then once he had finished the big story arc with the fifth book he had one massive book. Meanwhile each short book comes out pretty soon after the previous one giving the series momentum, that is if we could all write as fast as Hugh Howey.

Photo Source: www.rababkhan.com
What about epic fantasies? Even though these stories are expected to be long, what if yours is way longer than the majority of epic fantasy novels being picked up by publishers? Lets say that even though your epic fantasy novel is insanely long, it's great all the way through, never bores the reader, and keeps everyone turning the pages until they get to the end and wish the story wasn't over? With eBooks, you don't have to worry about your book being way too long because there is no concern over the larger expense of printing and shipping a heavier book with more pages.
Most of this may be old news to most of you, but even if you already know all this stuff I have a question for you: How has this knowledge informed the stories you are writing or plan to write? 
I personally think the idea of writing shorter novels that can be turned into one large book is awesome. I've always planned on writing 80K word novels or larger, but now I'm excited about learning my craft by cranking out a ton of say 40 - 60K novels and novellas and building up a digital bookshelf with lots of titles.

Photo Source: www.complex.com
I have a ton of short stories available as eBooks, but I don't think many people buy or download short stories -even when they're free like mine are. I've always been an avid reader and I pretty much only buy and read novels. I love writing short stories and reading them but the majority of my reading is novels. I think that's the case with most readers. I've been dreaming of getting novels out into the world for years now. I just haven't been good enough yet to write a novel that's worth publishing. I've written three novels, one novella, and a novelette. Only the novelette was a story I felt is good enough to publish. I'm currently revising the novella I wrote, it's around 25K words, and the novel I'm writing is only going to be about 60K words long. I think I'm going to shoot for writing a lot more shorter novels. and novellas. The last novel I wrote was around 72K words on its third draft but I think I can get it down into the 60Ks.

What length of stories are you writing or planning to write? Has the technology of eBooks changed your ideas on what length of stories you can write? I don't know about you but I feel like the possibilities are endless. So, lets get our butts in the chair, our hands on the keyboard, and start cranking out stories! Stories that are ridiculously long, or surprisingly short. Stories that will end up making one huge story, and massive stand alone novels. The choice is up to you! Write it, rewrite it, get feedback, edit it, have others edit it, revise it, edit it some more, get an amazing cover - then get it out into the world and tell us about it so we can go on journeys with your characters in all sorts of story lengths. Thanks for stopping by.