Monday, August 8, 2011

The 7 Secrets to Naming Characters, Races, and Places for Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror Fiction Writers

The Problem
It’s common for writers of speculative fiction to find themselves stalled in their writing or editing while they try to find the perfect name for a new race, place, dimension, species, currency, or object or for a humanoid or non-humanoid character. When a baby name book or website just won’t do, what do you do?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Works in Progress: August 2011

It's a very busy month for me. I'm working on two books. One is the first installment of a speculative fiction series, and the other is a non-fiction work on digital self-publishing. If you know me then you know that the former is calling out to me more than the latter could ever hope to do. Unfortunately, the non-fiction work has a rough draft deadline in two weeks.

I'm also finishing the editing for a textbook for one of my professors that will be used this semester. It goes to print next week. Ugh!

I'll post some sample chapters from the digital publishing book after the first revision.

Muse Crafting for Writers: How do you define your muse?

When writers speak of their muse, they often mean different things. The term ‘muse’ has several common definitions in the context of the creative arts. The most traditional meaning of ‘muse’ refers to the mythical goddesses of ancient Greece who inspire the arts and sciences in mortals. Another common use of the term is in reference to a person, place, or thing that inspires an artist’s creativity.

“You are my muse,” is a rather infamous and clichéd pick up line that uses the latter definition of muse.

My Definition of 'Muse'
When I speak of a muse on this blog, I am referring to the internal force of creativity that exists in all people and that should be cultivated by writers to improve their craft. It is the creativity that we use in daydreaming, envisioning, and crafting the worlds, characters, and plots for our writing. It is the internal voice of our self and the internal and external voices of our characters. It is our internal storyteller: the narrator of our lives and of the lives of our characters.

Friday, August 5, 2011

My First Book: Digital Self-Publishing for the Practical Entrepreneur

I took some time off from my writing today to set up this blog and my Twitter account.

I’m about 1/3 done with my first non-fiction book. It’s about digital self-publishing and includes a section on starting up and planning a self-publishing business, another section on designing books for print on demand (POD) and eBook publication, and a final section on using Microsoft® Word to format POD, Amazon® Kindle, and Barnes & Noble® Nook books.

The Time is Now: I'm Starting a Publishing Company

The first post is always the hardest, so I’ll keep this one short and rather vague.

I’ve had some time lately to think about what I really want to do with the rest of my life. I’ve spent the last few years working and going to school. Less than two years ago, I was working 70 hour weeks and taking 18 credits at the same time. I think that I just recovered from that last week.
I had two dreams when I was a child: to be a published author and to be a publisher of books. The high overhead of traditional print publishing kept me from the latter, and my issues with associating myself with my work kept me from the former.

I think those barriers are starting to melt away.