Monthly Archives: May 2011

words

this programme is yet another POS. ate my last post. wouldn’t post yesterday. 500 yester day and another 500 today.

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Words

Had a wordperfect/ dropbox conflict yesterday… anyway

Changling’s Island 1044 – not bad for disaster and 30 000 olives.

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words

760 today on CHANGELING

200 on CUTTLEFISH, editing.

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talley

U P TO 2179 on CHANGELING’S ISLAND – a mere 350 words or so. I did also write 1300 or so copyright for Mad Genius Club, which is partly homework for Continuum 7

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Words

Words words words, all I have is words…

Well, that is all I have that I can really use to gain a useful niche in my new world here. So: I am going to be posting a daily wordcount, and a weekly average, to try and get me moving at speed again. I must admit to suffering a bit from burnout depression.  Or battle fatigue.  Or something down those lines. The truth is I have had some writing success lately, (2 New sales Pyr, books out through NR, Contracts with Baen). No Earth shattering steps, but I have achievd a little over the last 20 years of struggle with this.  Not a lot for my age, but more than some people. I’ve showed endurance, if nothing else. I need to write. We need a home, we need to eat. A bit of security and a cushion would a lovely dream… I have contracts, I have a dozen other projects too I want to do, to fly anyway.  Quite a few I know will be great books, and even if they don’t get found by a lot of readers,  they will find some and make some people happy.   I also need to finish off another proposal for O’Mike. I need to write a few shorts, I need to do the audio for a few.

So: I have work.  That means motivation, and that means pushing the psycological buttons. Which means I tell you dear readers, what those figures are.

Sometimes I might post a few of them.

today 1830 on the sample chapters for CHANGELING’S ISLAND

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…. the obscure

Until I started writing I never realised that ‘Dave’ and ‘Jude’ were the same name.  I felt safe in my envelope… I’m worried now.  It had to happen eventually I guess, but so far I have generally been blessed with professional reviewers at least who have been very kind, but would describe Animal Farm as a ‘well-written animal story’.  Okay, there be morons occassionally too, like the twat who said SLOW TRAIN TO ARCTURUS brought nothing new to space opera. The company that hired this brain-dead genius should rather hire Harriet Klausner. She at least usually manages to read the right blurb for the book she ‘reviews’.  (SLOW TRAIN isn’t ‘space opera’ by _any_ definition. The Karres books (by the same authors -for a miricle) are.  The ‘new’ part also kinda made me do fish-imitations. It’s nearly on a par with the critic who said my South African Heroine in PYRAMID SCHEME was too American, and I obviously had never met anyone from South Africa.  Anyway, aside, DRAGON’S RING seemed to fail to get any first rank professional reviews – Locus, PW, Library Journal etc. Seeing as there wasn’t even one and the roll-out DR was what might politely be called a total septic abortion, (I can’t blame my editor, as she bought the sequel, after this, but it’s hard not apportion malice to what might possibly be total incompetance somewhere up the chain, possibly at S&S – who are supposed to do distribution. I look at my bookscan figures and its not hard to work out that ‘distribution’ of them is something that just doesn’t happen in a lot of states in the US. ) Anyway, there have been some good reviews — the Galveston County Daily News – http://galvestondailynews.com/story/146197/  from other tiers of review. On the next tier down there have been a lot of good reviews, well barring one rather dumbass woman who didn’t quite get the simple story, let alone anything else — which I suppose says that, yes, I need to be aware that some of the potential readers are challenged by Janet-and-John, Run-spot-run and want a LOT of spoonfeeding. Well, yeah. But I could dumb down so far that 1) I hate writing it, even if it might get me a ‘literary’ award, (where apply with a trowel or steam shovel your ‘message’, which should simple and currently PC) 2)I lose my existing audience, some of whom appreciate the underlayers.

I like the nuances.  I like characters and situations which are are  ‘grey’ rather than black and white… I like to challenge existing views. I like layers. Dragon’s Ring is a simple adventure story. It’s a coming of age story.  It’s a morality play on values – just what is ‘right’?  Who is ‘good’? It delves into the mythological origins of  the fantasy species (which of course have cultural, historic and mythological referents and implications. Such as the Brisingamen mention – which puts a very different slant on Fionn.) There are layers of puns and in jokes and snide comments… and of course the core theme — Tasmarin is a place — cobbled together from everywhere else, where dragons who were formerly oppressed and used can have a place of their own.  Dragons are powerful and certainly in their own eyes noble and deserving. They are also capable of being anything else, if they wish to.  This place, where the formerly oppressed now rule  was only achieved by co-operation between  species — including some of their erstwhile oppressors.   And now… the once oppressed have become the new oppressors, as well as free from domination. Not pretty, certainly not politically correct (where victims are always nice people, who behave nicely after they are lifted from victimhood, and of whom criticism is intolerable for ever after). I hold it as accurate, however, in disparate examples. Given my background it was specifically written about a socio-political situation I was shall we say coping with.  The place is a cobble of many places, people and cultures.  Perhaps Fionn’s solution is the right one. Perhaps Meb’s is. Perhaps losing one’s beloved is the only way to save it… well. Thoughts. Not prescriptions… Anyway, I finally got an Animal Farm is possibly about communism review – http://shinybookreview.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/dave-freers-dragons-ring-intricate-rousing-action-adventure/. So I’ll have to be more obscure next time ;-/

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Write said Fred

I’m officially allowed to tell the vast listening crowd that CUTTLEFISH – forthcoming from Pyr books, is a YA novel. Pyr are launching a YA line.

On other news Without a Trace is up on Naked Reader E-books, and should be up on Amazon soon. It’s a MG fantasy/sf type adventure story. Designed for boys…

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The Mermaid Case

 

The moonlight shadows on the water trembled slightly, shivered by the pre-dawn breeze. “Not too fast, Eochaid. Not too fast. Wait for the wind to be still,” whispered Fintan.

My wet fingers were numb. I had a frozen snot stalactite forming on the end of my nose. “What are you whispering for, you daft old bodach,” I said, trying to stop my teeth from chattering. The icy water wanted about three inches before it would come fountaining over the top of my waders. It would probably drown me, or worse, let Fintan rescue me. He stood about 6’2″ in his bare feet and dirty white robe, so the water would be barely up to his underwear, if he ever actually wore any. I could always hope it would freeze his testicles off, and save me a lot of trouble in future. But I knew from bitter past experience I wouldn’t be that lucky.

“The fish feel the vibrations. And the king is older and wiser than all of them. It’s him I need,” whispered Fintan, his tone as tranquil as the sway of those robes in the river. Fintan doesn’t do waders. And he’s enough of a fish not to feel the cold. “He’s the only one that right for my working. The magic needs it.”

“It’s not just because you’re a poacher born, Fintan,” I muttered stepping forward cautiously into the ooze underfoot. “Alby’s fish market sells king salmon for seven dollars a pound, which would do for the spell and your fish dinner.”

It was full moon and I could see Fintan’s teeth gleam out of the acres of tangled face-lichen he calls a beard. “The magic is in the hunt, and in the blood in water. You want to find her, don’t you?”

I did. “That’s my job,” I growled stepping forward again, foot sinking slightly deeper, forcing me to stand on tip-toe… and there, half hidden by the slow swirl of dark water weed, the pattern of spots separated the great fish from the pebble bottom. I began to ever so glacially slowly raise the spear, tensing. And behind me, Fintan Mac Bochra, seer, shape-changer and magician, advisor to Kings and called the wise, began the chant for the living and the dead. Finally he said: “Get on with it, boyo.”

I plunged the spear downward, and, in a flash of silver and thrashing water, I pulled the fish up on the barbs. Blood dripped on the water…. and flowed upstream against the current, forming rune-letters in the old tongue. Nothing simple of course. It never was.

“You have your pointer, Eochaid,” said Fintan, “And I’ll have my breakfast,” he said gleefully, plucking the big rainbow trout off my spear.

“Let’s just get away from the Fish and Game boys first,” I said, heading toward the reedy bank, pointing at the bobbing torch coming towards us at a run.

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So put yourself in his shoes…

You’re an urban  teen boy 14 bordering on 15 soon.  You have to pack and go to stay with your Grandmother in the back of beyond. What do you put in your bag – you have fifteen kilos and 3 hours?

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Third person?

I’ve been wrestling with the sample chapters for a YA proposal, which in utter rebellion against my agent will be neither Urban Fantasy nor Military sf, nor a mish-mash between. It’s this new subgenre Contemporary remote island Fantasy, with which i hope to at least be one the rare participants in.

The awkward thing is that some (not a lot) of the book calls for points of view which are not that of the lead character. But it feels a lot stronger and more immediate in first person. Now I have written a few stories in first, most of my books in third, and one story (Jack – probably one of my best) in first-and-third. 

I suppose the answer is to write the first 2-3 chapters and see which works best to readers. (I HATE this part of proposals – get started and then leave it, and some editor may decide to CHANGE the original thrust of the book, but this is one I still feel would do better as a book-to-publisher sale and not book-to-kindle sale… those ALSO have to happen in this copious spare time and life I have. )

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