Sci-Fi Saturdays: Who Said It?

Quote

Did you guess yesterday’s quote? No? Well, it was from The Hobbit, one of the best fantasy books of all-time. and just as an FYI, laughing at dragons has to be about as sharp as interviewing vampires.

It trips me out to think that Lewis and Tokien, such fantasy heavy hitters were totally bros, you know? I just imagine the two of them hanging out, smoking pipes and sipping brandies while they talked about how awesome it is to be them.

Anyways, check out this quote for today.

“They were strange, the facts about them: their staying inside by day, their avoidance of garlic, their death by stake, their reputed fear of crosses, their supposed dread of mirrors.”

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Why Daily Word Count Goals Sucked For Me

I don’t know about you, but I’m the sort of dude who can’t shake an idea once it worms its way into my brain. Take last year for instance, when I had the totally insane idea of going back into the Army. I’d hit the Twinkies a little too hard after getting discharged and had packed on some chubbiness as a result (in Army-Speak they call it being a “fat body”). Those pounds meant I was way outside weight standards so I needed to get back into fighting trim if I wanted to re-enlist. So, I made a decision to burn the fatness and set out to do the deal.

Zip forward about five months from that point–I’d lost seventy pounds, was hitting the gym seven days a week, and could run eight miles in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Not too shabby, right?

When I decided to write a book in September of 2011 I took to it the same way I did with losing weight. I set down a jam plan to plot for a month, write for three, and have the thing done by January 1, 2012. I broke out the TI-83 (my super awesome calculator) and figured out that I’d need to tap out about 1,100 words every day to hit my 100,000 word goal. Totally doable, right? You know it. I figured it was going to be easy as lying in Confession.

Well, a couple things happened as a result of my plan. I got the writing done–way to go, me!–but most of it sucked worse than an episode of Ghost Whisperer. See, I had worried so much about my word count tally that I stopped focusing on the quality of what I was putting on the page and just focused on the number of words. I kept telling myself, “Get the thing written and worry about the rest of it later,” but that was so totally stupid. By the time I finished I had a giant manuscript with a crappy plot and more things wrong than I knew how to fix. But can you bet your sweet cakes that thing was done on time. Oh, yeah. I meet my deadlines.

My experience with the first draft showed me that writing a book is something I need to take my time with. That’s not to say I don’t work on it everyday, because I definitely do. But I try to work to time nowadays rather than word count. Setting a goal for how many hours I’m going to work is the method I’m digging right now, and it seems to be working. My pace is slower, but I feel like what I’m putting down is better.

What’s your method? Do you slam out the story as quick as you can and sort the mess later? Or are you the plodder, writing the way my grandpa used to eat a slice of denture-unfriendly pie?

Only Crazies Don’t Like Free Stuff

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Crazy people, that’s who. Whether it’s a signed book or a flimsy little bookmark, getting free swag is always a kick in the knickers.

So it’s with FREE in mind that I write to you, Dear Reader. For the last few days I’ve been perusing the Internets for a few of the awesomest YA giveaways out there and I figured I’d post a few here to give everybody a chance to get in on the fun.

  1. Veronica Roth’s Giveaway of Many 4’s — The author of Divergent and the soon-to-hit-the-shelves YA novel Insurgent is giving away four ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of Insurgent and four copies of Divergent to four lucky folks. This is a whole new level of dopeness.
  2. Aaron M. Ritchey — This cool cat just did a guest post on Marissa Meyer’s blog and is giving away a signed copy of his debut novel The Never Prayer to one lucky commenter. Get on there and leave a comment!
  3. YA Scavenger Hunt — This thing has already kicked off so you better get rolling if you want to get in on it. They’re giving away twenty signed books. Is your mind blown? I hope so.
  4. Forever Girl Giveaway — Rebecca Hamilton, the author of this book, just started following me on the Twitter machine. I’m glad I decided to follow her back because I found out about this neat giveaway of her book. Take a looksie if you live you some Urban Fantasy.
  5. Ex Libris Giveaway for Chopsticks — One day left on this one, friends! Head on over to the Ex Libris site to get in on the power of free.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Be sure to check out the links and drop your name in the hat.

Talking God In Fiction: The Perfect Way to Start a Fight

Before I start I want to thank Sofia and James for following my blog. Sofia blogs with three other writers about books and writing and all sorts of sweet stuff, while James has a YA novel called Seiðman (It’s got Vikings!) coming out in 2013. You guys are forever my favorites for following.

So a couple of days ago I posted something on this here bloggity blog about hitting the Internets with a blog tour. The purpose of blog tours, as some of you nice folks might know, is to get your voice to a bunch of peeps who’ve likely got no clue as to who you are.

I was perusing the webs today and found a blog tour post on Marissa Meyer’s blog (she’s the author of the NYT best seller, Cinder) from Aaron Michael Ritchey, author of The Never Prayer (it comes out today from Crescent Moon Press). Ritchey’s post is all about religion and spirituality in fiction–the kind of stuff that gets people ready to throw down in fisticuffs, you know? Normally I stay shy on the subject of god(s) because of how people tend to get their panties in a twist, but I’d say this post is def worth a looksie.

What’s your take on spirituality in fiction? Do stories involving god get you super stoked or ticked off?

Writer Wednesday: Who Said It?

Yesterday’s quote was from the not-so-tough but still pretty awesome, Atticus Finch. Today’s writer quote is a little long, but it’s still pretty awesome.

“All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane. I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed.”