Independent Author

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Friday, September 23, 2011


Everything I read about writing fiction treats editing as a necessary chore. The books I've read, the other authors I've heard speak, have all advised something along the lines of, "You're going to hate editing your work, but do it anyway. You have to".

Honestly, and maybe this is because I'm a complete oddball in just about every other facet of my life, I love editing. I'm now going through Digilife AGAIN, editing and cleaning stuff up that I don't like. It seems that I find something new to correct every time I go through something I've written.

This latest go round I've focused on two things. First, getting rid of the word "just", particularly in dialogue. I overuse the word for some reason. For instance, that last sentence in Digilife would have read: "I just overuse the word for some reason". Thankfully, whether with MS Word or Open Office, find and replace/delete is easy.

The other thing, and this one is a bitch, is removing passive voice sections. I've never gotten the hang of it. I always seem to write, "He was staring" rather than "He stared".

In any case, I'm pretty sure this means I'm a self-loathing masochist, but what are you gonna do?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Autumn: The Perfect Reading Climate

Each of the seasons has their charm for readers. Summer means longer days for reading. Spring has that special sense of renewal that seems to fit perfectly with starting a new book. Winter gives us cold hardwood floors and an excuse to stoke the fireplace and read on the couch.

For me, I love Autumn. And I mean really love it, like in a borderline unhealthy way. The prospect of sitting on the deck in jeans and a sweatshirt in the evening, a blanket wrapped around the chair, a hot cup of coffee on the lawn table and a dog keeping my feet warm while I flip through the pages of a good book is about as good a way to spend a couple of hours as I can think of.

eBooks make this even easier, since I don't have to go back to the bookshelf to switch between books. Plus my new puppy is infatuated with the sick glow of an iPad (she has also yet to figure out that touchscreens don't work well with tongues).

So, where do you do you're reading?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Breaking Theme

Every once in a while, I go back and re-read something from one of my books. I've been doing that more lately because I have been putting out a "Character quote of the day" from one of my books on Facebook and Google+. So, in going back and forth between what I've already written (Echelon, Midwasteland, Digilife), I have to ask myself: what is my obsession with dystopia?

Whether it's near-Illumanati takeover, post-nuclear apocalyptic Chicago, or a computer lab with a deadly AI, world destruction and/or takeover seems to be a theme. Fortunately, the plans I have for the next book I want to write have nothing to do with this, so maybe I can break the habit. Then again, despite those plans, I feel like I am going to end up back here again, like some heroin addict who desperately wants to stay away from the drugs but looks down to find he already has a needle in his arm.

With any luck, the apocalypse will come before I can get my next fix....