Monthly Archives: July 2013

Earths in Space episode 3 deleted scene!

teaser thingPresenting…an Earths in Space deleted scene! This was in the upcoming third novella before I decided to start over with a new approach. It’s deleted for a reason. This isn’t wonderful — too much straight exposition, for example — but it’s a chance to meet the characters, and it’s a little teaser for what the plot will entail:

*****

The octahedron was lying on one of its faces, while the artificial gravity within hummed along to keep everything in its proper place. Gilmore knelt on top of the hull, tightening the last few screws of his masterful propulsion work and shoving the units back into their casings.

He had worked in peace and quiet for most of the time, but now people were present. He liked some of them. Continue reading

Adaptation

RIP was originally planned as a television series, as I’ve previously mentioned.RIP-1-Touch.jpg

I had already written about four and a half TV episodes, some more polished than others. The first episode, “Hi, I Kill Dead People,” became the first e-book, “Touch.”

Having the TV scripts gave me a head-start, but plenty of work remained. When you write a script, you’re not supposed to try to direct it. Don’t choreograph every last little bit of action. Don’t tell the actors exactly what to do. Describe a setting in a sentence, not a paragraph and certainly not paragraphs. You also need to avoid figurative language. The action should only describe what we’ll see on the screen—don’t put some metaphorical image in the reader’s mind that makes them think of something else entirely. This does, however, give you more time to focus on getting the dialogue and story structure right. Continue reading

Get to Know…Margaret Taylor

Taylor bookToday’s visitor from the Blogger Book Fair is science-fiction and fantasy author Margaret Taylor. Welcome, Margaret!

Tell us about your two new books.

I have two works out at the moment.

A First Love Never Dies, which is Book 1 of the Spi-Corp Series. This book starts you out here on Earth and then gives you a brief introduction into the “Universe As I See It.” It’s the story of Janel Canton who was bullied horrifically in her younger years, kidnapped from Earth shortly after she graduated from high school and sold on the Alien Flesh Markets of the Jaikalor Consortium. She comes back to Earth just in time for her 20-year reunion with the intention of finding her one true love, Jake Reeves. I won’t say anything else, because it would spoil it.

Wolf’s Paradox, Book 1 of The Layren Series, is the story of Kathy Granite, a writer whose words actually have the ability to affect other worlds. Only she doesn’t know it. She’s guarded, if you will, by her Layren Protector, Ronon Wulfdrak, who’s made sure to bring her people over the last six years who only want their story told. In other words, the people she talks to don’t have an ulterior motive. Continue reading

Get to Know…C.J. Brightley

The King's Sword Final V2 - Goodreads[1]It’s Blogger Book Fair week, and today I’m hosting fantasy author C.J. Brightley. Welcome, C.J.!  

Tell us about your Erdemen Honor series.

The first book, The King’s Sword, was initially intended to be just a simple coming of age story, with Hakan, the prince, realizing that he must take the responsibility of the crown for the good of his country. The little twist I added was to tell the story through the voice of Kemen, the retired soldier who mentors Hakan. As I wrote, Kemen became more than a mentor; he was the true hero of the story, and he was much more interesting than I’d realized at first.

The second book, A Cold Wind, begins just as The King’s Sword ends, and introduces another point of view character, Riona. It’s a more internal book in some ways, but there’s also more grittiness too.

I’m giving away five signed copies of The King’s Sword through Goodreads – the giveaway ends July 31st. It’s free to enter! Continue reading

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who downloaded RIP: Touch during its free days!

Over the course of three days, 527 people chose to download it. During that time, its sales ranking reached this:

Free sales

And this:

3rd place

You all have made my days. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the book.

Stay tuned for RIP vol. 1: Choices, coming soon!

Free days ahead!

Sorry for the absence of posting this week. I’ve been busy preparing content for next week’s Blogger Book Fair, in which I’ll make appearances and C.J. Brightley’s and Margaret Taylor’s websites, and those two authors will stop by here for interviews on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

In the meantime, indulge in some free RIP. Yes, RIP: Touch is now a member of the KDP Select program, and its first free days will run July 18-20. So please treat yourself to a free novelette, and then come back for its re-release as part of RIP vol. 1: Choices later this year. (Or if you want to buy “Touch,” that’s great, too, and it will help with production costs of the four-novelette volume.)

And one last thing: Tomorrow — Thursday, July 18, 3 p.m. EST — the fine folks at Bublish will interview me in a Twitter chat, so be sure to follow @DanielSherrier and @BublishMe. Fun will ensue.

Diversify your dialogue

Ever notice superb dialogue in a movie, TV show, or play? Examples are springing to mind, aren’t they? You always remember great dialogue.

Books can have great dialogue, too. There are many ways to go about this —  building in subtext is a huge one — but for now, let’s look at character voices.

You have your unique author voice, and that’s wonderful, but each character in your story needs to have a unique voice, too. They need to say things as only they would. I’m not talking about dialect, which I do not recommend, unless your name is either Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens.

It’s not easy, but here’s a simple method to think about speech patterns. Place your characters along several different spectra. Continue reading

Grammarly

The fine folks at Grammarly offered me free trial membership to their automated grammar-checking service in exchange for an honest review.Grammarly

I played around with it over the weekend, and it’s an impressive computer program. It can never take the place of human proofreaders and editors, however, and it doesn’t intend to.

I can’t over-emphasize that. Some people will likely find Grammarly a useful tool, but it should only be used as a supplement, not the be-all and end-all. Just as your body can’t subsist on vitamins alone, your writing can’t rely solely on a computer program.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading

Amena’s Imagination, #9

(To start at the beginning, please click here.)

Right now, anything is possible. No, that’s not quite right. Anything feels possible because I don’t know the answer. I don’t know what type of life is out there. I don’t know for a fact that there is life out there.

Sure would be depressing for it all to be empty. Well, it’s not empty. Lots of stars, anyway. But if there aren’t any souls in all that space…if there’s just stuff — unthinking, soulless, stuff…

That’s a lonely thought. But what are the odds that in all that space, life only evolved here? I really don’t know how to even begin calculating those odds, but if feels like something else should be taking up space somewhere in some galaxy…What a waste of space if we’re alone…

The universe doesn’t care about my ignorance, though. The aliens sure wouldn’t. There either are aliens or there aren’t aliens, and if there are, they are who they are. They exist, or they do not exist. No amount of speculation will change that.

Maybe we’ll visit a planet of sentient gas, highly evolved insects, brainiac chickens, talking numbers and letters, sentient time blobs, evil twins, or platypuses. Maybe. Maybe it’ll be something else entirely. I’d rather it be something I hadn’t even considered.

C’mon, universe, surprise me! Be amazing!

As of this evening, this minute, this moment, I know one thing. Whatever is out there is already out there. I just haven’t discovered it yet. Or them. Hopefully them.

But tomorrow—yes, tomorrow—I will discover what at least one planet holds. And that’s the epitome of amazingness right there.

Who does Amena meet on her first visit to another world? Find out in Earths in Space vol. 1: Where Are the Little Green Men?

How to use a thesaurus

A thesaurus will bite your head off if you don’t use it properly.

Okay, maybe not your actual head, but it will eviscerate the sentences your head is trying to form, and it will chew threw their connotations.

That’s the main thing to keep in mind. Synonyms share definitions. They do not necessarily share connotations. And some of the “synonyms” the thesaurus mentions are tenuous.

Let’s look up “connotation” on thesaurus.com.

It defines connotation as “implication” and lists several synonyms: association, coloring, essence, hint, meaning, nuance, overtone, significance, suggestion, and undertone.

Dictionary.com’s first sample sentence for connotation reads, “Remind students that what they write needs to have a positive connotation.” Continue reading