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Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Hiatus!

Captains ChairBlog

 

Ahoy, Mateys!

Yep, you read that title correctly. The blog will be on hiatus for a few weeks. Deadlines, am I right?

That and I’ll be taking the very first vacation my family has ever taken together. I shit you not. Sure, we’ve gone on “vacation”, but it has always been with extended family, to see extended family, to see friends, or for some specific reason or other.

This will be the first vacation where I’m with the wife and kids only. No one else. First time.

And we get to go see Vermont and Maine, which will be nice! Never been north of Pittsburgh, personally. On the East coast, at least. I grew up in Oregon, so I’ve been from BC to San Diego on the West coast. This should be fun!

But, taking this vacation means I’ll be behind with writing, so no time to bloggy blog until I get caught up. Looking like August or September. I’ll keep y’all posted!

Before I go let me thank each and every one of you for reading this blog, reading my books, and for just being awesome!

Rock on, rocking rockers! See ya in a few weeks!

 

Cheers!

Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Twenty-Seven: Everyone STFU!

Captains ChairBlog

 

Ahoy, Mateys!

Okay, time for everyone to shut the fuck up. Seriously. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

What about?

Amazon V. Hachette.

Or, as I like to call it, “Two giants at war that don’t even care if you exist.”

They don’t. Unless you are a consumer. Then they care.

But as a consumer, you aren’t the one shouting back and forth over a line drawn by corporate behemoths. No, you’re a person going about your life each day, trying to make ends meet, worrying about bills, about groceries, about dust bunnies, about Timmy’s loose tooth, the fence that needs repairing, the car that needs an oil change, the stain on the carpet from that rage induced, homicidal oopsy doodle that happened last night.

As a consumer, you are living your life and not a damn thing has changed for you even though the author community has decided THERE WILL BE BLOOD because Amazon and the Hachette Group are pissing in the wind and seeing who can stand the back spray long enough.

So, dear consumer, engine of this greedocracy, you just keep on keepin’ on. This post isn’t for you.

Nope, it’s for all the writers that think their voices ARE IMPORTANT! Their voices MUST BE HEARD! Their voices MUST DROWN OUT ALL DISSENT! Their voices… Guess what? Your voices don’t mean jack shit. You are nothing in this war. Nothing. Stop kidding yourself that your blog posts, your Facebook posts, your Twitter posts, or any posts, have even one itsy bitsy influence on the outcome of this fight. That’s your self-inflated ego talking there.

These are multi-national, MASSIVE corporations that are at war over…uh…oh, right, they haven’t actually said officially.

That’s right: people are arguing over something that isn’t even defined. The Powers That Be don’t think you are important enough to be informed on what the fight is about. That’s how insignificant you are. You aren’t even worth a press release with bullet points.

Yet, from Patterson to Konrath, King to Howey, Eisler, Wendig, Stackpole, some other guy, that guy, this one here, a woman there, oh, there’s another woman, and that guy right there with his formatted ebook ready to make a million dollars- everyone has an opinion. An uninformed opinion. In a fight they haven’t been invited to.

You think I’m being flippant? I’m not. I’ve watched this happen in other industries.

In my former life I was a broker rep for one of the largest grocery sales and marketing agencies in the country. A billion dollar company. That’s billion with a “B”. Big company. And we worked for companies that were even bigger. Unilever/Best Foods, Kraft, Mars, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsico- you know, BIG companies.

Guess what?

They pulled this crap all the time.

Big companies get in fights with other big companies. Whether it’s a distribution argument or a tiff with a retailer, giant corporations draw lines in the sand every single day and go to war.

But you don’t see the guy on the mayonnaise line writing a blog post about the EVIL OF BIG CONDIMENTS! You don’t see the housewife in yoga pants screaming at the hippie girl that “BANANAS HAVE GONE UP TEN CENTS A POUND AND IT’S YOUR FAULT FOR NOT BELIEVING!” You don’t see the cashier at your local supermarket writing a scathing essay on how the moral compass of America is at stake because Doritos are no longer on sale for two bags for $7, but are now two bags for $8.

Why? Because it doesn’t matter what the little folk like us say. It doesn’t. These Leviathans have an agenda and they are fighting over that and that alone. And as consumers, we know that. We know that we can scream until we are blue in the face, but it ain’t gonna lower the price of them bananas. That’s life, y’all.

Yet, authors insist that by fighting with each other- Stop. Hold on. Let me make this clear.

AUTHORS ARE FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER. NOT A SINGLE AUTHOR IS FIGHTING AGAINST THE MEGAMONEYCONGLOMAHEMOTHS THAT ARE AT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.

If there even is a problem. I’m pretty sure there’s an entire political party that would argue that this is how it is supposed to work. This is free market warfare, baby. LET IT ALL BURN!

But no, instead of  banding together and looking these dragons in the eyes, writers have taken sides. Or pretend not to take sides when they really have taken a side. It doesn’t matter, really. No matter what “side” you are on you’re just fleas on two dogs trying to rip each other’s throats out. The same two dogs that will end up humping in the alley when it’s all done because that’s what dogs do. You’re just a flea, you wouldn’t understand. Humping or fighting, it’s all an END OF THE WORLD EARTHQUAKE to you.

I refuse to be a flea. Fuck this stupidity. Just fuck it.

Oh, and you know what else? The bickering here amongst the plebs is nothin’ but free press for the giants. Why put out statements when they have a hundred voices doing it for them?

Yep, free press. You think you are changing anything by writing how much you love licking Amazon asshole? Or how much you prefer walking with your nose up in the air all day because you have a “REAL” publishing deal? You aren’t changing shit, except the news feed on Facebook. You are doing the work for  your corporate overlords. You are their bitch.

Let me say that again: You. Are. Their. Bitch.

So, shut the fuck up. Just shut it. Zip it. Close it. Keep that trap closed, please and thank you.

With that said, I’m done with this crap. I’m done reading anymore blog posts about how I’m supposed to think and feel about something that really has nothing to do with me. I have bills to pay and grass to mow, a spouse to love and frickin’ children to raise. No, what I’m going to do right now is write the second novel in my medieval space fiction (space opera) series.

Because that’s what I do. I write books.

Maybe you, Author With Opinions About Shit All, should get back to that too. Since, you know, what consumers/readers do care about is getting a great story that they can escape into so they forget about the bills, the healthcare, that political party that only loves money, the cost of bananas, those damn yoga pants, and mayonnaise. Channel your energy into your job and stop doing the work of corporate PR firms, okay?

Word.

Oh, and Mega is on sale for $,99 from Severed Press until like midnight tonight or something. Go buy that shit.

 

Disclaimer: Views From The Captain’s Chair are just that: views. These are not laws. These are not set in stone. I could be totally wrong. I could be off my rocker (shut up). I could be full of S-H-I-T. I could change my mind next week. All of that is possible. Who knows? But if even just a little of this helps you then I’m happy with that. If it just makes you stop and think then I’ve done my job. Which I really need to get back to. Blogging don’t pay for the bourbon! Oh, and the whole Captain’s Chair thing? Yeah, I write in a captain’s chair. It’s true, Mateys! Got a question? Need some one on one? Shoot me an email, a DM, a PM (no BMs) or comment below.

Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids.

Novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of the Drabble Novel, Jake is able to switch between or mash-up genres with ease to create new and exciting storyscapes that have captivated and built an audience of thousands.

He is the author of the bestselling Z-Burbia series for Severed Press as well as the Apex Trilogy (DEAD MECH, The Americans, Metal and Ash), Mega, AntiBio, and the YA zombie novel Little Dead Man, as well as the forthcoming (October) Teen horror novel Intentional Haunting (both by Permuted Press).

Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Twenty-Five: Starla Huchton

Captains ChairBlog

Ahoy, Mateys!

Once again, I have a guest! I would like you all to welcome Starla Huchton to the Captain’s Chair!

Want to know a little about Starla? YES, YOU DO!

A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance Endure series in 2013. All three books of the Evolution series will be released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, Master of Myth (the Antigone’s Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers’ contest, The Sandy, in 2012.
When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at Designed By Starla.

Now, how’s about we get into the post itself? It’s a good one and one every author should read and pay attention to. Enjoy!

***

The Digital Marketing Mystery

At Balticon on Memorial Day weekend, I spent the entirety of Saturday on panels talking about marketing stuff. I knew from the previous year that so much of that audience had never heard of some of the marketing techniques that were old news when I started writing in the romance genre. After last year’s obvious knowledge gap, it became my goal to share some of these digital marketing tools so that other authors might be able to take advantage of some of them. As others have helped me on my authorial journey, I’m compelled to pass this on to others, sharing knowledge as it was shared with me. Because I’m blessed with knowing so many fantastic authors, they’re generous enough to let me tiptoe onto their platforms sometimes to do this. Thanks, Jake!

That said, here are a few things I’ve done in the last year that could easily be transferred or modified to fit any genre of book:

1) Teaser Tuesday. Every week, authors share little snippets of works-in-progress, upcoming releases, or existing releases, usually under the #TeaserTuesday hashtag. Sometimes it’s an entire first chapter, sometimes it’s a single scene, sometimes only a paragraph. This can be done on a blog post or Facebook or Google+ for longer excerpts, but for something shorter for Twitter, there’s the handy dandy…

2) Teaser picture. This is a fun visual that romance writers use to whip their readers into a slight frenzy. This is exceptionally true for follow-on books in a series. For romance, you see a lot of hot guy/girl photos, but not always. Essentially all you need is an interesting image that’s applicable to your story and a short snippet of text from it, along with pertinent book information (title, author, release date if it’s not out, or a sale price if it’s on special somewhere). Even if you’re not a Photoshop expert, there are free and easy tools to accomplish this. Canva.com has free backgrounds and tons of other tools to do this on the cheap, but if you’re uploading your own image to the background, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHTS TO THE PHOTO. Just because you can find an image for free on Google, doesn’t give you the right to use it in an advertisement.

Here are examples of my teaser pictures, including one I did for a scavenger hunt for a Facebook event using canva.com for something quick (last one).

Tired blonde girl lying on the beach

Muscular man in shadow

scavengerhunt

3) Facebook events. Authors and bloggers will create events on Facebook for new releases, cover reveals, book release anniversaries, or even reaching however many likes on their Pages. This is an excellent opportunity to get your name out in front of someone else’s audience who might be interested in your work. Now, I don’t mean you show up to these things and start spamming the event with buy links. The way it works best is if you’re offered a “guest host” slot. These typically range from 10-20 minutes and they fly by fast! When I participate in these events, I work up a few posts to share in advance. One, an intro post about me and my connection to the event’s creator. Two, a “contest” where I post a game of some sort (since I’m pushing superheroes right now, I make it a fun question like asking about favorite superhero pickup lines or what superpower they would want), from which a random winner is chosen from the comments to win a prize from me (typically an ebook or something like bookmarks or magnets or all of the above). Third is a post with a link to the book I’m currently promoting, with something engaging to say to the audience. There are two things that will engage an audience with almost certainty: humor and things on the steamy side. Unless you’re writing romance, I’d probably go with humor. Fourth (if there’s time for it), I post a teaser picture (see above), tailored to the audience. The last thing I post is a thanks to the host and a link to somewhere the attendees can find me, usually my Facebook Author Page. Keep in mind that you should plan to be there both before and after your time slot to get the audience interested before you promote, and hang around to respond to comments when you’re done. I do these things because I enjoy them, but readers love getting to know the creators of the books they’re reading. It can be time-consuming, but if they’re emotionally invested in you, they’re more likely to give your book a chance.

4) Connect with other authors. These people can help you grow your audience by sharing your releases, covers, and other interesting things related to you. I’m not telling you to find these people for the singular purpose of leeching off of their audience (this is way gross, so don’t), but if you’re genuinely interested in who they are, what they do, and how they do it, spend time getting to know them. Make friends. If they like you, and they think your work would appeal to their audience, they’re far more likely to lend you a hand. The key here is building a relationship. It’s important. And always, always be on the lookout for any ways you can help them, too (both in advance and in return). Lift as you climb. Share knowledge. I can’t tell you how huge a difference one new connection can make, and you never know who will see your name. Make sure your first impression is a good one. Basically, just be nice. People are stronger together than on their own.

5) Find something of wide interest and tie it to your books. I post a lot of superhero stuff (it helps I’m interested in it anyway), to the point where a lot of my author/reader/blogger friends have started tagging me for anything and everything superhero related on Facebook and Twitter. I’m not complaining about being branded as “the superhero girl”, especially as that pertains to the series I’m releasing the last of in July, but it makes me chuckle every time. It doesn’t really feel “gimmicky” to me as I honestly like the shared things, so if you go that route, don’t force it. If you’re writing an entire book on the premise of futuristic tech, or horse breeding, or a certain historical period, chances are you’re interested in that anyway. Share the odd things you research. Whatever that interest is, make it yours, and let everyone know about it.

Those are the biggest things I’ve done in the last year that have had real, measurable results. It’s basically all about engaging and interacting with people. Approaching them humbly and presenting something interesting or funny will get you far.

And don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’d be amazed at what the people around you know. I’m always up for sharing what I know with others. You can find me any time, in any of these places:

My blog: http://www.starlahuchton.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/riznphnx
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Starla-Huchton-Author-Page/255657227797465

***

And there we have it, folks! That’s some solid advice and examples of what can work. Every author is different, and every author’s circle of fans and readers is different, but in this day and age it’s best to be knowing a little more about the digital domain of author/book marketing. Try some of this out and see how it works for you.

Cheers!

Disclaimer: Views From The Captain’s Chair are just that: views. These are not laws. These are not set in stone. I could be totally wrong. I could be off my rocker (shut up). I could be full of S-H-I-T. I could change my mind next week. All of that is possible. Who knows? But if even just a little of this helps you then I’m happy with that. If it just makes you stop and think then I’ve done my job. Which I really need to get back to. Blogging don’t pay for the bourbon! Oh, and the whole Captain’s Chair thing? Yeah, I write in a captain’s chair. It’s true, Mateys! Got a question? Need some one on one? Shoot me an email, a DM, a PM (no BMs) or comment below.

Jake Bible lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two kids.

Novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of the Drabble Novel, Jake is able to switch between or mash-up genres with ease to create new and exciting storyscapes that have captivated and built an audience of thousands.

He is the author of the bestselling Z-Burbia series for Severed Press as well as the Apex Trilogy (DEAD MECH, The Americans, Metal and Ash), Bethany and the Zombie Jesus, Stark- An Illustrated Novella, and the forthcoming YA zombie novel Little Dead Man, and Teen horror novel Intentional Haunting (both by Permuted Press).

 

Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Twenty-Three: Stephen Kozeniewski!

Captains ChairBlog

 

Ahoy Mateys!

This week we have another guest sitting in the Captain’s Chair! I’d like you all to welcome Stephen Kozeniewski. WELCOME HIM!

Don’t know Stephen? LEARN!

Kozeniewski photo

Stephen Kozeniewski lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. He was born to the soothing strains of “Boogie With Stu” even though The Who are far superior to Zep, for reasons that he doesn’t even really want to get into right now.

During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. The depiction of addiction in his fiction is strongly informed by the three years he spent working at a substance abuse clinic, an experience which also ensures that he employs strict moderation when enjoying the occasional highball of Old Crow.

He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s degree is in German.

HE HAS A DEGREE IN GERMAN! WHY AM I YELLING SO MUCH IN THIS POST?

How about we just move along. Enjoy!

***

Before I ever met or exchanged two words with Jake Bible he became one of the most important people in my professional life. Jake was (actually still is) one of my “Also Boughts.” If this is an odd term for you, don’t panic: it just means that you’re not a) going crazy or b) an author.

This is an easier concept to explain visually than with words, so let me just show you this graphic:

Also Boughts
This is a screen capture from the Amazon page for my sophomore novel THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO. Basically, it’s as simple as it sounds. People who bought TGA from Amazon also bought the books listed here from Amazon at some point in their lives. You can scroll through twenty screens of Also Boughts (a hundred books) but this one is the one that pops up automatically every time you click on my book’s Amazon page. It represents the five books that customers most commonly also buy along with mine.

As you can see, one of them is my debut novel, BRAINEATER JONES, which makes sense. My friends, family, and whatever constitutes my burgeoning fanbase have bought both of my books. (Thanks, everybody, by the way.) Another book is by an author I’m not familiar with, Stephen Knight, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that since we’re both Stephen Ks and we write horror, there’s been some overlap there.

All three of my other Also Boughts are from Jake’s Z-BURBIA series. Why is that? Well, for one thing we share a publisher, the great Severed Press out of Hobart, Australia, so there’s probably some common interest there. My novel came out around the same time as Z-BURBIA 2, so we probably shared some buyers due to time as well. But I’m guessing the main reason why Jake takes up the lion’s share of my Also Boughts is that we write similarly appealing novels.

So what does all this mean? Why does it matter to me as an author or you as a reader? Well, believe it or not, if you’ve ever been on Amazon before you’ve seen this ribbon, or, at least, a similar one. You also as likely as not have clicked on it before. You may not even remember doing so. And that’s the beauty of it.

Amazon is a business. For authors, in some ways (both disturbing and exciting) it’s THE business. Which makes their business model wholly fascinating and worthy of at least a cursory analysis. You can bet your sweet bippy that if people didn’t click on Also Boughts and buy some at least now and then Amazon wouldn’t waste the money on web designers and bandwidth to have that ribbon on every page they maintain. So why do they do this? Because (repeat it with me now) they’re a business. The Also Boughts lead to more sales.

Imagine yourself back in the near-mythical olden days of yore known as “The Nineties” when brick-and-mortar stores littered the landscape. I could walk into a bookstore and expect to see shelves of staff picks. Jimmy and Johnny and Joanie who all worked at Books ‘R Us would all set up their personal favorites for us to peruse. And if I knew that I shared taste with Jimmy, I could always pick up one of the books from his shelf and be happy.

And if I DIDN’T trust ANY of those folks, I could still walk up to whoever was working the counter that day and have a conversation like this:

“I’m looking for a book but I don’t know what I want.”

“Well, what do you like to read?”

“Zombie novels.”

“More like gory or more like funny?”

“Gory.”

“Here, try this, it’s the newest one by Kozeniewski. He does gore well.”

So fast forward again to 2014. (Thank God that trip down memory lane was truncated. I don’t think I could handle another minute without my iPhone.) Amazon has displaced brick-and-mortar stores but the one thing it CAN’T offer you is a clerk who more or less can tell you what to buy, and increase the store’s overall sales. Hence the Also Boughts.

Right when you consider whether to purchase a book or not you are presented with a whole slew of similar books to buy. (Or videos or ping pong tables, or whatever.) And even AFTER you purchase it Amazon will continue to tell you things you may be interested in based on your purchasing history.

Did you ever notice that maybe you bought a My Little Pony once for your niece ten years ago and to this day Amazon recommends pony stuff to you? That’s because the things in your purchase history are considered even more relevant than just the things you’ve perused.

So, long story short, Jake and I drive traffic to one another’s books. (I’m sure it’s much more one-sided and more likely that I simply benefit from Jake’s popularity.) Every time you look at my book you see his and at least consider clicking on them. This is one of the reasons why it’s beneficial for authors to write more books, so they have more Also Boughts, and potentially more criss-crossing traffic, but that could be the subject of a whole other blogpost.

So in closing I want to say thanks to Jake for hosting me on his blog and for taking up not just one, not just two, but three of my all-important Also Bought slots. I hope I helped to pull back the curtain a little bit on how Amazon works in this one particular mechanic and why it’s so important to authors and other content producers. Thanks for reading and remember: ZOMBIES FOREVER!

The_Ghoul_Archipelago_ebook_coverBRAINEATER JONES cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

There you have it, folks! (Check is in the mail, Stephen).

Go get some of his books and then you’ll be able to see that others want my books too! GET THEM ALL! YES, I’M STILL YELLING!

Cheers!

 

Views From The Captain’s Chair! Episode Twenty-Two: David Dunwoody!

Captains ChairBlog

Ahoy, Mateys!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking a step back and letting some other writers get into the captain’s chair. Well, not literally because the captain’s chair is MINE ! MINE MINE MINE! But I am going to let them do some guest blogging. It’s always nice to have other opinions.

This week I give you the one, the only, the The Dunwoody- David Dunwoody!

Insert Bio and pic

Enjoy!

***

1798699_10152518004852835_2640805279392116019_nDavid Dunwoody writes subversive horror fiction, including the EMPIRE zombie series and the collections DARK ENTITIES and UNBOUND & OTHER TALES. Most recent is his post-apocalyptic novel THE HARVEST CYCLE. His work has been published by such outfits as Permuted, Chaosium, Shroud, Gallery, Belfire and Dark Regions. More info and free fiction at daviddunwoody.com.

The Idea: From Inception to Perception
David Dunwoody

It usually starts with a “What if?” Often, at least in my experience, it’s “What if this happened instead of that?” Many such notions flit through a writer’s head every day, and a handful of them get snagged in your writerly web and start to become more than just notions.

Developing an idea into a premise – something to be built upon, a three-dimensional framework supporting characters and feelings and color – is a process which varies widely from person to person. It doesn’t always come naturally with each effort. When I was younger, many of the stories I wrote were what are sometimes called “idea stories.” That is to say, they present the “What if?” and then…that’s kinda it. I didn’t invest much in character development or in describing a rich environment – unless, of course, those things were essential to the “What if?”. For example (and I’m just making this up as I write) say the idea is “What if a human werewolf was exiled to Saturn? What would the multiple moons do to him?” The story that followed would pretty much explore the different possible answers and then it’d be done. The exile would have a thin backstory about how he ate his wife or something. Some cursory reading on Saturn would inform me that it’s considered a gas giant and I’d change the planet to Neptune, and then get lost in details like gravity and atmosphere. Would probably invent some flimsy futuristic technology to explain those problems away. (So now not only is the character suffering, I’m getting lazy because I want to focus on how wild and freaky the werewolf is going to be.) Then I’d need to explain why a werewolf would be shot to freakin’ Neptune instead of simply being shot with a silver bullet. Okay, he’s an unkillable super-werewolf who contracted lycanthropy while on a space mission, so they send him back out there.

Now, somewhere in this mess there was a character who I haven’t named yet. And I think he ate his wife so he’s sad.

The character’s experience and emotion is what anchors the story and draws the reader in. It makes the world real and can even make an outlandish starting point (like our Neptunian werewolf) seem real. At the very least, the reader will be willing to suspend disbelief.

Embarrassing as it is to say, there was a time when I thought the initial idea with all its bells and whistles would suffice. Eventually I began to notice that the fiction I enjoy doesn’t just have neat ideas, it has characters who feel authentic, even if I’ve never met such a person in my life. Especially then.

Our tragic space oddity – Major Tom will do for now, why not? – has an entire lifetime’s worth of memories and feelings, many of which have nothing to do with how he wound up on Neptune but are just as important. And he didn’t eat his wife. Maybe he had a wife – maybe they were divorced long before he took his first spaceflight, maybe she’s long out of the picture but he still thinks about her. Even now, in the frozen hell of Neptune, his body being torn asunder by the effects of its fourteen satellites, he still thinks about her. He knows she doesn’t think about him but he thinks about her. And while being locked in a monstrous cycle of transformation at the ass-end of the solar system doesn’t bring him and his ex any closer, it turns out she doesn’t feel any more distant than she ever did. So he lets go, he embraces the beast. And then maybe he sees a giant ice worm and jumps on it with a baleful howl. ICE WORMS.

That’s a start, at least. I want to know why Major Tom became a spaceman in the first place. I want to know how it felt to be condemned by an entire planet. Did it help to have traveled beyond Earth’s orbit, to have seen the pale blue dot from the outside? Or was it worse? Most of all I want to know why she doesn’t think about him, even now. That’s the most intimate question and I think I know the answer, but I’m supposed to be making some sort of point about writing. I guess what I’m trying to illustrate is that, even if you’re an idea writer and still struggling with characters, the fact is that delving into the world inside a character can be just as mysterious and compelling and fun as sending a werewolf to Neptune. Plus, remember that you are also sending a person to Neptune, and it’s on the person’s back that your reader is hitching a ride.

Many authors say you should write for yourself first, then the audience. I agree with that. I also feel that, if you have come to the outrageous conclusion that people should pay to read your stories (and though we never phrase it in that way, it’s what we believe) then you ought to at least keep the reader in mind. Don’t cater – challenge them as well as yourself – but don’t forget them in the rose-hued puppy love that often accompanies a new idea. And never forget that you are a reader and that you love great characters too.

***

Thanks, David! Great post!

Be sure to head to The Dunwoody’s website and check out all the awesome fiction he has waiting for you there!

Cheers!

 

 

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