And a Happy Impending New Year! It’s the holiday season, so you’ve either been able to find some serious time for credit grabbing and universe re-righting or terrestrial considerations have earthed your spaceboots. Either way, I hope you’ve been enjoying yourselves and aren’t shortening your jump ranges by eating too much. Thank you, again, to everyone who made Out of the Darkness possible and to those who have bought either the ebook or paperback. Please, let me know what you think, on Amazon, Twitter, or in the comments below. With our words lost in the void, we writers feel bereft and lonely and it’s great to hear voices over the comm. The book continues to sell steadily (apart from a Christmas dip), which isn’t bad at all considering it came out in August. Knowing the community are enjoying my work increases the chance of a sequel, but I can’t give … Continue reading →
Well, now we know that Elite: Dangerous can compete with AAA titles: any self-respecting game release has to have its own controversy and ours follows Frontier’s announcement that E: D will be online only. No internet, no game.
ORIGINAL RELOCATED AS PERSONAL OPINION AND POSTED HERE IN ERROR. LINK: HERE
Why does a later edit, where you attempt to finesse and polish a story, take so long? Because a sentence isn’t just a brick. In school, aged four and up, we start the process of building. Bricks are functional; they carry information:
How long is a piece of string? Does my bum look big in this? The answer to the question, ‘What makes a good ending?’ is as nebulous and subjective as they come. For some, an ending is only ‘good’ if the heroes win. For others, such an ending will always be trite and formulaic. Some writers will even avoid the question altogether, writing an ‘ending’ that is either so open or ambivalent that a reader has no hope of closure. Well, after five months of drafting, it’s now my turn to decide which ending will best suit this story.
I’m back from holiday and writing has started again. Was it a week wasted (from a writing point of view)? Not at all. Stephen King refers, in a famous quote, to his ‘boys in the basement’. His boys are his muses, that play amongst themselves in the darkness of his subconscious. Their games become his stories. What lurks in my subconscious, I have no idea, but I do know it is/they are a lot better at writing stories than I am. Before I left on holiday I was facing the prospect of writing one of those infamous scenes: the flashback.
Readers love to discover new things, and so speculative fiction (most commonly the genres of science fiction and fantasy) offers writers a great opportunity. Good SF will grip you by the ****** with the setting, while it punches you in the head with its plot and characters.
Progress So Far: Three Quarters Present and Correct, One Quarter AWOI* * AWOI: Absent Without Information There comes a time in most long-term writing projects where there is a lull, a pause when the only thing to do is wait. For me, that time is now. I’ve just sent an email to Frontier full of awkward questions, many of which probably don’t yet have an answer. Getting answers is pressing in terms of my story, but my guess is that fleshing out these aspects of the game is probably lower down Frontier’s to-do list. It involves game content that is more likely, I think, to be released as a later update or add-on pack. (Frontier hasn’t given me any basis for my assumption, I’m just reading between the lines.) This puts me in the rather strange position (for a writer) of being unable to visualise something that does not … Continue reading →
What makes a book different is a topic that’s constantly discussed by writers. How to make your work stand out so that it is interesting enough for an agent or publisher to send you that mythological piece of paper known as a contract is the subject of countless blog articles and social media discussions. It’s even come up on the forums and in Elite: Dangerous related videos and podcasts—how will the writers of the fiction differentiate their stories from each others? It’s only after reaching this point in the first draft that I’ve got enough of a feel for where my story is headed that I can attempt an answer to that question.
With a basic story premise approved, it was time for me to move on to the how and the what of story writing. This has been proving something of a challenge. There have been many attempts over the years to find and market the ‘perfect’ method of writing a book. A quick search will bring up several systems developed to standardise and so focus a writer’s approach. For some writers these aids can be very useful – providing a logical framework to hang their work from. For others, sad to say, it’s an ineffective way of compensating for lack of talent. I know in this politically correct age I’m not supposed to write stuff like this, but no amount of practicing the piano is going to make me Beethoven, and I’m never going to win Got to Dance, The Voice, or any other TV talent show. Hopefully, I do possess the basic … Continue reading →