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Archive for March, 2013

The group segment of this class is completed; we are now doing the same tasks individually and with different manuscripts. I have already written out a proposal for three manuscripts: Pale Queen’s CourtyardDefender, and Eternal Knight (The Orb). Of these three, Defender was the least well developed, making it my pet project until the end of the semester. To that end, I am supposed to be devising a plan to edit this book (the first three chapters, that is).

Number one on my list is character development. More than once during my initial read-through, I found myself lost in the dialogues because the characters were talking exactly like each other. A high-born Elf was using the same language as a low-born Elf or a Troll. Overall, none of the characters have much definition about them. The main character ebbs and flows like a storm-tossed sea (…because tides are predictable). I find myself hemming and hawing a bit here because this character lacks an overall purpose, a fact directly addressed by his mentor-like guild leader. By extension, he would not really have set character traits. Go-Go-Gadget?

Secondly, I’d like to find a way to reduce the overt similarities to MMORPG raiding. I mentioned in my analysis to my professors that I couldn’t help picturing health, mana, and rage bars over the heads of the characters whenever I read battle scenes. Believe it or not, this isn’t because I’m a hard-core gamer. The entire story literally reminded me of my own guild days in WoW or in EQ. The big shoving match between guildies? Oh, yeah. Been there, done that. The fact that it was so familiar certainly allowed me to relate more quickly to the characters (Now, that was because I’m a gamer). I could easily picture myself battling a stone giant or a dragon because, as DPS or heals in an MMORPG, I had done it. However, that same connection also made it a bit dull and less imaginative. There are a couple of battles against dragons, one into a Titan city, and another into a goblin city that really struck me. One of the dragons is a skeletal beast, the remnants of one slain only the day before the battle; I immediately saw Sindragosa and Sapphiron. The Titan and goblin cities? I saw Blackrock. If that is what the author intended, then great. I can work with that. If he was striving for originality, then I may have to do some tweaking.

I have no idea how this will be accomplished; the work is all done in a sort of hypothetical bubble. Were I actually an editor, I’d probably be able to sit down with Mr. Crane (the author) and sort out some of these things. Ah, well! Looks like I’ll have to use my own imagination…and turn his work into mine. Yeah. That needs to not happen.

Z.

 

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Remember way back when I chose an agent and an editor to follow throughout the semester? As a refresher, I chose Mr. Matt Bialer as my agent and Mr. Douglas Cohen as my editor. Good news: Mr. Cohen is very active. Bad news: I never received a response from Mr. Bialer.

Mr. Cohen’s posts, while numerous, do not provide a vast amount of insight into the publishing world. He mostly lists information about his most recent success, Oz Reimagined, which is a collection of stories about–wait for it–Oz. He also mentions those stories of his that have been purchased by various publishers. It looks like the magazine for which he edited, Realms of Fantasy, folded and since its demise he has posted very little directly related to his editing work. He mentions that his earlier posts were nearly all about his work at Realms, but thus far, I’ve seen a lot of blurbs about Game of Thrones and a few Top-10 lists. Here’s the link to his site: http://douglascohen.livejournal.com/.

I did find another agent, Jita Fumich of Folio Literary Management. She has a bit more information about her agency and some industry-related events, but I was only able to find her Twitter account…which has only thirty tweets. Not that I can say much about that. I don’t even have a Twitter account. Here’s her link: https://twitter.com/JitaFumich.

I’ve taken a look at the Writer Beware website a time or two. It certainly has a lot of helpful information for authors. My first reaction, though, was a mild case of paranoia. However, it’s probably best to walk through life with said mild sense of paranoia.

Z.

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I love stories. I love the books in which they’re contained. When Kindles or Nooks are mentioned, I might be one of those who grimaces and moans about the death of all that is holy. I understand their virtues, but I have yet to bring myself to like them. Most of the books that I read are either acquired by pure happenstance or suggested to me by friends or family. I don’t watch much television. The authors whom I follow advertise their new works on their websites, which obviates my need to go hunting. Amazon occasionally suggests books based on my purchase history. This tends to be rather depressing, though, because I buy my textbooks through the website. Basically, the realm of digital publishing is largely foreign to me and this estrangement is by choice. This class–with no intention of being crass–has deflowered me.

Yes, I am always this…special.

Our teachers gave us a variety of sources to enlighten us on the digital publishing world. There is a lot of information out there. I think my favorite piece was the one that read, “Print Commits Suicide.” Digital publications may be new and frightening for those of us unwilling to move along with Progress, but they do not have to mean the destruction of print media. Also, should I ever become an author or an adviser to an author, I am staying away from book trailers. The process to creating a useful one is much like walking through a minefield (maybe dancing, which brings to mind a lovely song–“Dancing in the Minefields”). As near as I can tell, managing to avoid being dismembered by a shell does not guarantee success. Those trailers that I have personally seen do little to expand the author’s readership; they seem to serve mostly as news bulletins to the author’s fans.

Z.

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You’ve heard the quotation about the whooshing sound that deadlines make as they roar past an individual, right? Well, I feel rather like a 747 has flown directly over my head…multiple times. I’m mentioning this because I will be “rapid-fire” posting missed journal entries this evening. I used quotation marks there because I write slowly…

There are times when I am absolutely convinced that I would be a poor editor and/or writer. Then again, every job has deadlines. I am not destined to work in traditional environments! By extension, this means I will eventually find myself in a cardboard box under a bridge. I should rectify my aversion to deadlines.

Z.

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