JM Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Mystery Blogger Award

Jul
15

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Fellow fantasy author Roderick T. Macdonald nominated me to this award recently. Probably because he knows how uncomfortable I get talking about myself. I can talk your ear off about my books, or fantasy in general, but I don’t find myself to be as interesting a character as the ones I create. I also am not quite sure I am deserving of a blogging award, seeing how poorly I have kept up with posting and socializing in recent months. In my defense, I have been rather busy with good stuff. I’m sure every author makes that same excuse all the time.

Roderick has a cool series of posts he does on his blog called “Why I Write Fantasy.” In these posts he discusses tropes and conventions in fantasy fiction, but also shows why fantasy can be much funner to write than other genres. For example, in THIS POST he talks about fantasy races, a topic that can be very divisive in fantasy. A new author has to work hard to appease those readers who have grown used to Tolkien-esque races, while at the same time not seeming like they are just copying tired tropes. Of Metal and Magic, the fantasy shared-universe I manage for Fiction Vortex, has a unique mechanism for creating new races. If you want to see how it works, you’ll have to either pick up a copy of my series Call of the Guardian when it drops in eBook and print soon, or catch one of the four other series we are developing when they go live on our new reading app, sometime in the late fall.

If you are a fantasy reader or writer, I urge you to drop by Roderick’s BLOG!

Oh, and his book is on AMAZON, by the way.

Back to the award.

What exactly is the Mystery Blogger Award? Why is it a mystery? Well, the award was first established by Okoto Enigma, thus the name of the award. And the rules are as follows:

  • Use the logo and list the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions you were asked.
  • Nominate other blogs and notify them.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

As for three things about myself, I will keep it brief. A few things you might not know about me are–1) I was a rapper in high school and college. Seriously. 2) I am being published in an academic journal under my real name. It’ll probably come out in the next five or six months, as the journal is biannual. I won’t give out the details here because I’m trying to keep those two worlds separate, but if you look me up on Facebook I might be able to give you a link. 3) My favorite food is pizza. Yeah, I hear you, “Everyone likes pizza!” I do not mean like. It’s an obsession. I eat a pie once a week, at least. Probably not healthy. 😀


Roderick asked the following:

1) What journey has made the longest lasting impression on you?

I’m not sure if he meant writing journey or an actual trip. I’m not much of a traveler (surprise!). Metaphorically speaking, I think the journey that had the greatest impact on me was joining the Army right out of high school. I had to grow up real fast, to learn how to be mature and take care of myself. I came back to go to college and my peers were still acting like teenagers.

2) Which book, if any, has most completely transported you into another world, or another person’s experience?

This will sound like a copout, but the books that transport me deepest into other worlds are my own. When I read or listen to other books, especially now, I am a bit too critical to get fully absorbed. But when I write my own stories, I have to find a way to exist in those worlds, if I want to the writing to be good.

3) What is your favourite thing about home?

My wife and cats. And being comfortable. And AC. The last one is most important currently. Don’t tell my wife. Or my cats.

4) What smell, if any, transports you back to childhood?

Play-doh. And this might sound weird, but as I get older I am noticing my odors smell like my father. My parents divorced when I was young, so my father lived in another place. When I would visit his house, there were certain smells there. Now they seem to have followed me all the way to Korea.

5) Do you put your pants on one leg at a time?

Is this a trick question? What am I, a pole vaulter?


Here are my blogger nominations for the Mystery Blogger Award:

  1. K.M. Allan: She has this writing-about-writing thing down pat.
  2. James Pyles: He puts out more content than me just in all the stories he posts almost daily on his blog.
  3. Annlyel James: The biggest Star Wars fan I have ever met. Really.
  4. M.L. Davis: Her blog is another one with a lot of posts on writing. She also is a very active commenter. And just nice people. By people, I mean a family of brownies in a pantsuit.

So for you four, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to post about your award nomination and answer the following difficult questions:

1) Why write? (You didn’t think I’d go easy, did you?)

2) What author is your greatest influence? (Doesn’t have to be a current influence–could be something you read as a child, or in college, etc.)

3) What recent scientific discovery or invention do you think will have the most significant impact on mankind and why? (I do write sci-fi, as well!)

4) #TeamT-rex or #TeamBlue ?


Thanks again to author Roderick T. Macdonald for nominating. To my nominees, you know how this thing goes!

To everyone else, thanks for reading! Check out the other blogs I’ve listed here.

~JM

A Day for Storm Hamilton

Jul
07

Well isn’t this just great timing? I just officially published the paperback version of my first Storm Hamilton collection, A Storm in New London. Hours later, Bards and Sages drops the digital version of the story “A Step Too Far”!

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A Storm in New London features the ten core Storm Hamilton stories (short stories, flash, and microfiction) that I have written up to this point and a couple bonus stories. Here you can find “A Step Too Far” in print. I’ve put this book together primarily to have author copies to sell at Comic Con Seoul in August. As I explained to a colleague, one thing I realized in prepping for the Con is that my business card says “Sci-fi and Fantasy Author” but I didn’t have any sci-fi books! All my sci-fi is in short story form. So here’s my sci-fi offering for the Con.

But if you won’t be in Seoul from 3-5 August, no worries. You can pick up the book on Amazon HERE.

If you’d like to get a taste of the world and the character before you invest in a full paperback, there’s an option for that too!

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Bards and Sages has published one of the longest and most exciting stories in the collection as part of their Society of Misfit Stories! You can grab the story for less than a buck at multiple digital stories. Find the list of sellers HERE.

It’s been a long journey, and I am very happy to finally share with you all the adventures I’ve had with Storm and the Seraphim. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

~JM

Updates

Jul
01

I’ve updated my front page with some current news, including a cover reveal!

Check it out!

Proof of Life

Jun
19

This post is going to be short and sweet. I got the proof copies of my next self-published title, the first collection of Storm Hamilton stories.

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The wonderful E. Rachel Hardcastle did the front cover. For those who don’t recall, she also did the cover for my Iric collection. And like the Iric book, I completed the back myself in the KDP cover creator.

Speaking of which, I’d love some feedback on the back blurb. What do you think? Is it catchy? My goal was for something that walked the line between complex SF and pulp.

Let me know what you think!

~JM

So the Big News is…?

Jun
17

So I’ve been bad at keeping up with this blog recently. And I’ve made excuses. There are big things happening. I’ve got good news. And all that. Everyone has excuses. That’s an good author’s prime talent. But I do have big news, and I do have a lot going on.

So let me just get this out.

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That’s right! This guy is going to be at Comic Con! Now, albeit, this is Comic Con Seoul, which is only in its second year, but still. They got more than ten thousand visitors a day last year, and this year is only going to be bigger.

Currently the headliner they have coming that I really want to meet is Micheal Rooker, who plays Yondu in Guardian of the Galaxy and countless other shady, scoundrels. One of the premier character actors of our time.

And what will I be doing at Comic Con, you ask? I will be holding down a booth that’ll look something like this:

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I’m going to be selling my books, advertising for my publishers and trying to make connections with other writers and artists. Who knows, maybe a comic artist, or better a TV producer, will like what they see.

It won’t hurt that Fiction Vortext is pushing to have both In the Valley of Magic, and Call of the Guardian ready in print by that time. Combined with the Storm Hamilton story collection I am working on self-publishing, I should have five of my own books for sale, plus some of the anthologies I have been published in.

Can you hear the excitement in my text? Ha! So I hope you can understand if this blog gets the shaft in terms of priority right now. I have lots of editing to do.

I am also starting my work as the head of the Of Metal and Magic StoryVerse for Fiction Vortex, of which Call of the Guardian is the leading series. As I mentioned before, that involves recruiting new authors. I already have 4 lined up, and communicating my needs and requirements, while addressing their concerns, getting writing samples approved and contracts drafted…its pretty demanding work.

Speaking of which, my offer still stands. If you’d like a chance to join the growing group of authors in Fiction Vortex’s premier high fantasy universe, reach out to me on Facebook or by email. All it takes is sending me a writing sample and you could have one of the best book deals in publishing right now. I am not joking. The bennies are nuts.

Well, wish me luck with the Con. And forgive me if this page slogs a bit in the coming months. Trust me, it is worth it.

I hope all your writing dreams are coming true! Keep it up writer!

~JM

On to the Next Discworld Book

Jun
03

I have a big announcement to make in the coming days. I am not ready for it yet, still a few screws to tighten, but the details are coming. In the meantime, let me share with you my current audiobook.

Part of me is excited to start a new Terry Pratchett Discworld book, but part of me is filled with a sort of expectant melancholy. This is, after all, one of the last three books I have to read before there will never again be a new Discworld book for me. There’s a certain feeling of emptiness that comes along with this realization. This is also the final Watch novel, which are my favorites, meaning this book will end as a loss for me regardless.

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The book is called Snuff, and once again features the rough-around-the-edges-but-with-a-heart-of-gold Commander Vimes sorting out some sort of mystery, or conspiracy, or more than likely a mysterious conspiracy.

Even a couple hours in, I still don’t know what the mystery is, as Pratchett has the tendency to meander through the beginnings of his books. The first halves, really. This is as annoying as it is brilliant, since the plots always coalesce in sudden and unexpected ways that make it all worth it.

One particular passage in the first chapters stood out to me as representative of Pratchett’s ability to use humor to sculpt a character and paint a scene with a precision most authors cannot dream of achieving.

Vimes lay there miserably, straining his ears for the reassuring noises of a drunk going home, or arguing with the sedan chair owner about the vomit on the cushions, and the occasional street fight, domestic disturbance or even piercing scream, all punctuated at intervals by the chiming of the city clocks, no two of which, famously, ever agreed; and the more subtle sounds, like the rumble of the honey wagons as Harry King’s night-soil collectors went about the business of business. And best of all was the cry of the night watchman at the end of the street: Twelve o’clock and all is well! . . . Now, Vimes stuck his head under an enormous pillow and tried not to hear the tremendous and disturbing lack of noise whose absence could wake a man up when he had learned to ignore a carefully timed sound every night for years.

But at five o’clock in the morning Mother Nature pressed a button and the world went mad: every blessed bird and animal and, by the sound of it, alligator vied with all the others to make itself heard. The cacophony took some time to get through to Vimes. The giant bed at least had an almost inexhaustible supply of pillows. Vimes was a great fan of pillows when away from his own bed. Not for him one or even two sad little bags of feathers as an afterthought to the bed – no! He liked pillows to burrow into and turn into some kind of soft fortress, leaving one hole for the oxygen supply.

The awful racket was dying down by the time he drifted up to the linen surface. Oh yes, he recalled, that was another bloody thing about the country. It started too damn early. The commander was, by custom, necessity and inclination, a night-time man, sometimes even an all-night man; alien to him was the concept of two seven o’clocks in one day. On the other hand, he could smell bacon…

There is a lot of character and world-building here that would otherwise be an info-dump. But humorously attached to the action of the scene, it serves a more overt purpose and it’s dumpishness is concealed.

I particularly like the contrast between silence and loudness. Pratchett is very good at describing silence through metaphor.

Starting out on this new book brought to mind a past favorite which I wrote about in detail some time ago. I thought it would be fun to dig that post out of the archives.


PRATCHETT’S THUD! – PART 2, THE LADIES NIGHT OUT SCENE

NOV 23, 2017

Terry Pratchett is a master of fiction, and his Discworld novel Thud! is a masterpiece. While I am not fully though the book, I felt compelled to share this commentary while it is fresh in my mind.

One scene that stood out to me as representative of Pratchett’s humor and brilliant characters was the scene in Thud! where the main female cast goes bar hopping. Strangely, I often find myself drawn to Pratchett’s female characters. Being a male writer, I am often concerned with the portrayal of my female characters, where they ring true and honest. Writing from perspectives you have no experience with seems to be a gamble. It is one that Pratchett often wins.

Below I will share the text of the scene interspersed between my analysis and comments. Since I enjoy my Discworld in the form of audio books, this passage is derived from ear and from quotes found online. As such it may have different formatting from the original text.

The Ladies Night Out Scene:

The drinking had started in The Bucket, in Gleam Street. This was the coppers pub. Mr. Cheese, the owner, understood about coppers. They liked to drink somewhere where they wouldn’t see anything that reminded them they were a copper. Fun was not encouraged.

It was Tawneee who suggested that they move to Thank Gods It’s Open.

Angua wasn’t really in the mood, but she hadn’t the heart to say no. The plain fact was that while Tawneee had a body that every other woman should hate her for, she compounded the insult by actually being very likable. This was because she had the self-esteem of a caterpillar and, as you found out in any kind of conversation with her, about the same amount of brain. Perhaps it all balanced out, perhaps some kindly god had said to her: Sorry, kid, you are going to be thicker than a yard of lard, but the good news is, that’s not going to matter.

And she had a stomach made of iron, too. Angua found herself wondering how many hopeful men had died trying to drink her under the table. Alcohol didn’t seem to go to her head at all. Maybe it couldn’t find it. But she was pleasant, easygoing company, if you avoided allusion, irony, sarcasm, repartee, satire and words longer than chicken.

One great thing about Pratchett’s work is the incredible world he built. The city of Ankh Morpork–the core location of the Discworld where the Watch series and many other stories take place–is clearly based on London, though in a very warped and cynical way, the negative aspects of urbanism overpowering the positives. There is a river passing through the city, which is a key to its geography and identity. The headquarters of the Watch–the police force in the city–is located at Pseudopolis Yard. These are clearly drawn from real-world London.

Over thirty-odd years Pratchett was able to create a world of incredible depth–much like the development of Ankh Morpork itself–by building right on top of what was laid down previously. In the passage above we see him create a new space in his city, the Thank Gods It’s Open pub. This is added to already established locations such as The Bucket and Gleam Street. I would not be surprised to see it mentioned again in the future.

The scene continues:

Angua was tetchy because she was dying for a beer, but the young man behind the bar thought that a pint of Winkles was the name of a cocktail. Given the drinks on offer, perhaps this was not surprising.

“What,” said Angua, reading the menu, “is a Screaming Orgasm?”

“Ah,” said Sally. “Looks like we got to you just in time, girl!”

“No,” sighed Angua, as the others laughed; that was such a vampire response.

This was the exchange that stood out to me, which made me want to share this scene. The timing and rhythm of the joke is simply perfect, masterfully delivered by the audiobook narrator Stephen Briggs.

The whole purpose of this whole scene is to develop a character bond between Angua and Sally. Angua is tired, emotionally and physically, and Sally suggest going out for drinks and time off. Up until this point, their relationship always focused on the fact that one is a werewolf and the other a vampire, mortal enemies that could never possibly be friends. Here the animosity begins to break down.

The scene continues:

 “I mean, what’s it made of?”

“Almonte, Wahlulu, Bearhuggers Whiskey Cream and vodka,” said Tawneee, who knew the recipe for every cocktail ever made.

“And how does it work?” said Cheery, craning to see over the top of the bar.

Sally ordered four, and turned back to Tawneee. “So … you and Nobby Nobbs, eh?” she said. “How about that?” Three sets of ears flared.

The other thing you got used to in the presence of Tawneee was silence. Everywhere she went, went quiet. Oh, and the stares. The silent stares. And sometimes, in the shadows, a sigh. There were goddesses who’d kill to look like Tawneee.

“He’s nice,” said Tawneee. “He makes me laugh and he keeps his hands to himself.”

Three faces locked in expressions of concentrated thought. This was Nobby they were talking about. There were so many questions they were not going to ask.

“Has he shown you the tricks he can do with his spots?” Angua said.

“Yes. I thought I’d widdle myself! He’s so funny!”

Angua stared into her drink. Cheery coughed. Sally studied the menu.

This whole scene is about characters, and here we start to see how varied they can be. We get a impression of the main girls–Angua and Cheery–the reputation of Nobby (the ladies of the Watch assume him to be a lecherous hound, but we are given a different perspective here), and we start to unravel the new character Tawnee. All delivered with humor and great care.

The scene continues:

“And he’s very dependable,” said Tawneee. And, as if dimly aware that this was still not sufficient, she added sadly, “If you must know, he’s the first boy who’s ever asked me out.”

Sally and Angua breathed out together. Light dawned. Ah, that was the problem. And this one’s a baaaad case.

“I mean, my hair’s all over the place, my legs are too long and I know my bosom is far too…” Tawneee went on, but Sally had raised a quieting hand.

“First point, Tawneee…”

“My real name’s Betty,” said Tawneee, blowing a nose so exquisite that the greatest sculptor in the world would have wept to carve it. It went blort.

“First point, then … Betty” Sally managed, struggling to use the name, “is that no woman under forty-five…”

“Fifty,” Angua corrected.

“Right, fifty… no woman under fifty uses the word bosom to name anything connected to her. You just don’t do it.”

“I didn’t know that,” Tawneee sniffed.

“It’s a fact,” said Angua. And, oh dear, how to begin to explain the jerk syndrome? To someone like Tawneee, on whom the name Betty stuck like rocks to a ceiling? This wasn’t just a case of the jerk syndrome, this was it, the quintessential, classic, pure platonic example, which should be stuffed and mounted and preserved as a teaching aid for students in the centuries to come. And she was happy with Nobby!

Here we really start unpacking the character of Tawneee. She’s described as divinely beautiful, something that she doesn’t realize. She is clearly quite slow, but is kindhearted and humble in a way that defies revulsion.

We also see Pratchett’s take on gender in the concept of “jerk syndrome.” This is further defined later in the book, but essentially means the situation where a woman (or hypothetically a man) is so attractive that the opposite sex is too intimidated to ask her our, feeling he is far our of her league. In such cases, only a jerk who is too stupid to realize he is lesser than her will ask her out.

(A decent explanation of Jerk Syndrome can be found here )

Angua assumes Nobby is bad for Tawneee because he is remarkably ugly (the running joke being he must carry papers certifying he is indeed human) and she beautiful. This is how the main girls judge the situation, in very standard way, but Tawneee offers a quite different point-of-view. She appreciates Nobby for his kind personality (which seems to be, in fact, well established in Pratchett’s books). This clash of perspectives only helps to deepen the characters involved.

The scene concludes:

“What I’ve got to tell you now is…”she began, and faded in the face of the task, “is … Look, shall we have another drink? What’s the next cocktail on the menu?”

Cheery peered at it. “Pink, Big and Wobbly,” she announced.

“Classy! We’ll have four!”

Of course Pratchett felt the need to end the scene with a joke, which had me giggling. Its a good wrap-around to the original drink-name joke, and it also anchors the scene on its key discussion, sex and relationships. That is part of how Angua and Sally ended up at the bar, the former jealous of her significant other’s approval of the latter, the latter wanting to diffuse tensions with the former. What we get is an examination of the complexity of relationships and how simple concepts cannot fully explain human bonds and relationships. And we get some good humor at the same time.

This scene represents those aspects that draw me to Pratchett as a reader, as a devotee of strong and complex characters. The writing is not lofty, convoluted or self-important. It is direct, meaningful and humorous. That is the appeal of Pratchett. There is a reason why he has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide.

The literati might not like Terry Pratchett, but I love the man. I wonder how I will get by after finishing all the Dsicworld books. Only seven left. I get teary just thinking about it.

The scene analysis above is not thorough or deep, I just needed an excuse to share this great piece of writing with you!

 

Big News(letter) Coming!

May
26

Some of you have probably noticed that my presence in the blogosphere has been lacking as of late. Part of that was due to my being away on a business trip. But a larger part of it was my being distracted by a bunch of projects that are all coming to fruition.

I’ve got a lot of announcements to make, and I’ve decided to give THE RABBLE the first taste. I will be sending out a newsletter at the end of the weekend with big updates, but the only way you can get it is to join the Rabble! I’ve moved over to a new mailing service, so this letter will be a significant improvement over the previous ones. And I am sending out a free ebook, so if you love free stuff (I do!) you got to sign up.

You can sign up for the newsletter by inputting your email address on the right of the page. You won’t be disappointed!

~JM

I Need a Beta Reader

May
19

Do you like reading epic fantasy?

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I need help finishing the edits on the first volume of Call of the Guardian. The person I was previously working with had to depart suddenly. She finished 6 of 10 episodes, leaving four to still be reviewed. Each episode is around 8500-9500 words, for a total of less than 40,000.

This is a great opportunity to get the inside scoop on my longest and most comprehensive work of fantasy to date! There will also be compensation in it for any readers, such as free print copies and more. I am open to negotiate the terms. Joining me will also get your foot in the door with Fiction Vortex, the serial fiction company that is publishing two of my novel-length works in full and serial format. If you’re an author, I might even be able to get you some writing work.

If you’re interested, contact me on Facebook at JMW Writing or contact me by email at “RabbleMasterJMW -at- outlook.com”(Put the @ where it says -at- with no spaces).

~JM

Some Common Dialogue Problems

May
15

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to an ebook. Well, not a real ebook, a novel. I’ve spent the last couple of months listening to audio lectures on a range of subjects from the mythology of the ancient west (Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic), medieval history focused on important heroines (Joan of Arc), and currently the Arthurian legends. All of this is an effort to study the roots of what is now the fantasy genre, in the same way I studied science fiction academically last year. (There are many good audio lectures on the history of science fiction. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a similar course on fantasy.)

That distraction took me away from the novel I had started just before. Now I have finally gotten back to The Lies of Locke Lamora, and while I am enjoying it, I am coming to recognize some recurring issues with the writing.

I am probably much too critical now when it comes to reading, and watching movies for that matter. I’d like to think the reason is not that I am jaded, but as my experience as a writer and storyteller grows, I am more capable of seeing the problems in other stories. As a grad student I had it drilled into me that even the experts make mistakes. But by realizing this, and analyzing the mistakes of the experts, that we can advance in our knowledge and abilities by leaps and bounds.

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While I am enjoying this book for the most part, particularly the titular character, I am noticing some recurring problems in the text (or more correctly, the speech, as I am listening to an audiobook). Much of this is related to the dialogue.

One problem is the Lynch’s manner of writing the dialogue. He feels the need to add unnecessary details between the spoken parts. For example, he constantly repeats the form “as though X” typically followed with a very rough metaphor. Some examples include:

“The Thiefmaker jerked back as though an asp had just sunk its fangs into his spine.”

or

“The don took the cask and cradled it as though it were an infant not five minutes born.”

or

“The don waved his hand gently as though words could be swatted out of the air.”

This particular structure becomes so repetitive in the early chapters of the book as to become nagging. And more often than not, it is embedded in dialogue. It is as though the author is unconvinced the quality of his dialogue will be enough to keep the reader’s attention. (See what I did there?)

There are times when the “as thoughs” seem to be useful for POV reasons, until you realize the book has a POV identity crisis. Sometimes the author uses his “as thoughs” to suggest a limited POV, but he abandons such pretenses for omniscience whenever it is convenient. But that is another issue for another day.

With Lynch’s dialogue, there is simply too much extra fluff between what is being said. Often, this content is wholly unnecessary, as the dialogue itself is sufficient to express the characters’ emotions. An yet, every paragraph of dialogue seems to have some sort of action, whether it be the cocking of a head, or a gleaming eye, or someone swallowing, when for the most part the speech could just be left alone. It becomes a repetitive dance of talk-action-talk-action-talk-action. You might see how that could be annoying.

That is not to say Lynch does not have his moments where he uses dialogue to its fullest potential. My favorite line in the book so far is probably:

“I swear your face grows longer as though by sorcery. What’s wrong?”

Here Lynch lets the speech alone convey the scene, adding no actions or descriptions in connection to these comments. And it works magically. We can see the other character’s expression dropping as if it is being described by the narrator in detail. And within the context of the scene, we understand what this character is feeling. It is an extremely efficient bit of writing. It is too bad that Lynch does not do this more often.

Another problem with the dialogue in this book, at least in the part of it I have finished thus far, is that there is simply too much of it. This is what killed the first Witcher novel for me. Half of that book was people sitting around tables talking politics. Literally the same group of lords, sitting around the same table, again and again. Much in the same way, Lynch’s characters talk too much. He much have been trained in the old adage “show don’t tell,” by a spartan old man with a cat o’ nine tails. The common wisdom goes that it’s better to do your “telling” through dialogue than exposition. But that does not mean do ALL your world-building in dialogue, to the point where nothing happens beyond people talking about other things happening. Sometimes it is better to just deliver your details quickly, let the pain pass, and get on with the action.

Lynch takes dialogue world-building to the extreme. There are several sections in the early part of the book where we are told of things that happened in dialogue, typically the confessions of Locke, when it would have been much better to have seen these events unfold directly. So as to be expected, much of the beginning of the book is a story readers have to approach indirectly. While it is certainly an interesting way to convey a scene or two, it is not a good method for relaying an entire plot.

But Lynch does have a good plot, and some interesting characters, which is more than a whole lot of fantasy books out there can honestly claim. That is the reason I intend to keep going with this story.

I am intrigued by Locke Lamora. I just hope to see him in action, rather than having his exploits explained to me by some character I don’t care about.

Thanks for reading. What problems do you often see in dialogue?

~JM

 

 

 

Calling All Epic Fantasy Authors

May
06
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Who doesn’t love dragons and unicorns?

So I am finally home, for good this time. I actually arrived a couple weeks ago, but had to run off for another week-long business trip right after. Now I should have some time to catch up with writing and other projects (knock on wood!).

One of the big twists that my writing path has recently taken is that I might become the head of the Of Metal and Magic Storyverse at Fiction Vortex.

For those who do not remember, this is the shared universeCall-Of-The-Guardian-Square where my series Call of the Guardian takes place. Currently, I am about halfway finished with edits on the series, and hope for the first episodes to go live by next month. But in addition to my own series, I am looking for other authors to pen series in the same StoryVerse.

All series in Of Metal and Magic take place in an epic fantasy world with a deep, mythical past. Shortly after the creation of mankind, a god descended from the heavens to establish order in the world (read: tyranny). He was joined by a goddess who sought to protect the free will of the mortal, their most unique and enduring quality. Together they created a balance of order and freedom, power and justice. After ruling the world of Soria together for sometime, the god of order grew suspicious of his partner, as despots are apt to do, and plotted to take all power for himself. What resulted was a devastating war, fought primarily by the children of these gods–those supporting the god of power and order taking the form of dragons, those following the goddess of free-will and justice becoming unicorns. The legacy of this divergence of power rolled through the eons and influenced all civilizations that followed. Though the gods that caused the great war retired to the heavens, Dragons and unicorns remained and continued to fight among themselves, with humans being caught in the middle.

Call of the Guardian describes the rise of a particularly tyrannical dragon lord and the war which set in place the context for fellow author Jon Clapier’s series, tentatively titled Blood of the Forge, taking place thousands of years later. That series will release shortly after mine.

I know that many of the authors whose blogs I follow, and many of you who follow me here, write fantasy. If the story world I have described above interests you in the slightest, I urge you to contact me for further details. There is a lot of flexibility in what sorts of stories can be told within this context. And while I cannot talk the specifics of the contract, I can say that the royalties are good. Also, Fiction Vortex has a large staff of editors, artists, marketers, and others who are dedicated to supporting you and your series. The company is currently fielding their new reading app, called Fictionite, which has the potential to take the market by storm. At least I like to think so; these guys seem to have a lot of sense about their business. And regardless, at a minimum you will end with a completed novel, along with cover art, editing provided by the company, and publishing support, which is a better deal than you will find in most places. It’s win-win.

I am currently looking for one or two more authors to help develop the Of Metal and Magic universe and brand. If you’re interested, you can connect to me on Facebook or send me an email at “RabbleMasterJMW -at- outlook.com” (Put the @ where it says -at-).

I look forward to hearing from you. If you have other comments about the StoryVerse, Fiction Vortex, or other writing stuff, leave them below.

~JM