RAGING EGOMANIAC MEET NADIR OF SELF ESTEEM (or writing advice # 30 Eleven) and a bit of news


So yesterday I was convinced that the new WIP (Deacon Chalk:Occult Bounty-Hunter book 2) is complete crap. 

Which is a terrible thing to realize halfway through a first draft when the finished version is due in (Yikes!) only THREE MONTHS! This stemmed from an issue of Writer’s magazine I picked up that had an excellent article on well-crafted sentences. I read that, absorbing some of the most powerful words strung together to paint beautiful imagery, and my self-esteem as a writer crashed. 

Watching the second Weeping Angels episode of the Eleventh Doctor series of Doctor Who didn’t help either. ("I made him say comfy chairs."  Stephen Moffet you kill me.)

I suck. My words are tripe. I suck. I use the most boring words invented in this language over and over in repetitive run on sentences that mean nothing and evoke no emotion.

I suck at writing.

That was yesterday.

Today I sat to write, because, sucking or not the damn manuscript must be finished. Rereading the previous chapters revealed something to me.  It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was good.  I need to toss some more action in there, I think the middle has a bit too much down time, but I may be a tad tunnel-visioned.  But the next half of the book will be more non-stop action.  Nonetheless, my word-craft wasn’t bad.  I may not be a Cormac Mccarthy, but no one is except him.  I think most readers will enjoy what I have written, especially after revisions set in. I love revisions.  Revision is writing, but that is another blog post altogether.

The point here is that when your writer self esteem plummets, just quit.

You heard me.

Quit.

Walk away…..for a day or so. Read something, take the rest of the day off, whatever.

When you come back, you will find that your writing isn’t all that sucktastic after all.

Now onto news:

I have a short story: HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY in with my editor to see if he can find a home for it.  It’s a Walking Dead-style tragic love story with zombies.  It’s really short, but hopefully he can place it somewhere.  I would love to get some short stories in place to build the name and the Deacon Chalk series. (Out next year from Kensington Publishing).   No this isn’t a Deacon short, but any story will get more recognition.

In Deacon news I did have a flash of inspiration on the ride in to the tattoo shop this morning. Now I have a short story involving more were-spider goodness, a stripper, an assassin, and some good old violence to write that hopefully I can drop into an anthology somewhere.

Keep on writing your story my friends, you make you own happy endings.  (get your mind out of the gutter kids).

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THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET UGLY (or writer advice 8 hundred, 9 thousand, and 46)


Look, we all LOVE our characters. We do.  I love my characters anyways.  They are near and dear to my heart.

So why am I such a sadistic bastard to them?

BECAUSE WITHOUT CONFLICT YOU HAVE NO STORY.

Let me repeat that.

WITHOUT CONFLICT YOU HAVE NO STORY.

If you want your characters to be all happy and live in worlds of wine and roses, then by all means, write that.  Your mom would love to read it.  But if you want to write a story that real people in the real world want to read and (gasp!) pay for the privilege then you must put your character through HELL.

It is your job to make their literary lives hell.

I just finished writing a scene where my main character is fighting for his life…..with a head injury. He cannot think straight, his vision goes in and out, pain is searing his brain with every movement, and all he wants is to lay down and rest.  But if he does then he is dead meat.   This brain injury will stay with him. and will affect everything that happens to him for the rest of the book.  How far in does this injury occur you ask?  About 20,000 words in.

He has to survive the next 60,000+ words with this injury. 

Everybody on his team is injured. Everybody.  One is dead in the trunk of his car.

It’s a hard life being one of my characters.  But I am with Joss Whedon on this. Remember when he killed Wash in Serenity so callously? (WASH!!!!!!!!!!!!  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Just the scene previous he had Mal give this big rousing speech about how some of them may not make it through the fight.  In an interview Joss said that he HAD to kill Wash after that. If he hadn’t then the stakes meant nothing. 

I mean, he wasn’t trying to make Star Trek.  Nobody important dies on that show.  Nobody. That is why they have redshirts.  But you don’t give a rat’s ass about a redshirt now do you?  But I’ll be damned if there aren’t STILL people cursing Joss for killing Wash and that was like forty years ago.

So if you want your reader to care you have to kick the hell out of your characters.   And kill some of them occasionally, fer crying out loud, kill some good guys sometimes.  

Genre has consequences and if you aren’t willing to man up then save your breath sister.

I AM A FRAKKIN’ AUTHOR and going into the wilds of publishing unagented.


BIG ASS NEWS: MY MANUSCRIPT (tentatively titled BLOOD AND BULLETS) WAS PURCHASED BY KENSINGTON PUBLISHING IN A THREE BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say I am over the frakking moon.

I am going to be a published author!!!! Hells to the yes!

So you will be seeing a lot more of me on here because now I am legit! (I know I was legit before. If you write, actually write, then you are a writer.)

You will see three books about my character Deacon Chalk…Occult Bounty-Hunter and all around monster fighting badass. The first one is tentatively scheduled for release in January of 2012 with the following two coming at 9 month intervals.

Strangely enough I am doing this without the help of an agent.

Not for lack of want. I queried many, many agents and all said no despite a lot of interest. Even after I had an offer and contract IN HAND I was unable to secure an agent. So I am walking on by myself. I would love to have an agent, a good one at least. But for some reason, it is not in the cards right now. Oh well. The contract is pretty standard with standard stuff. No huge advances, but advances nonetheless. I am happy with what I have so far.

But take my example to heart. KEEP WRITING. KEEP QUERYING. KEEP SUBMITTING. KEEP REVISING.

You can make it all happen.