Tag Archives: Dean Wesley smith

A Space Opera Selection

Who do you listen to when you write?

Dean Wesley Smith has written more than a hundred books over many years along with his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch who has written equally as much. Both are Oregon Coast writers who know what they are talking about when it comes to writing and publishing. So it was interesting to read a blog where Dean advocated not having Beta readers or even writing groups.  https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/killing-the-sacred-cows-of-publishing-beta-readers-help-you/ His point was that in the cacophony of advice, the author ‘s voice may be lost among the mumble of suggestions, and the story damaged or diluted.

I work with both a writers’ group and Beta readers because I find their input helpful in making my story stronger.

But he has a point. A very good point.

Some writers want to polish each word to a literary high gloss, while others encourage a stampede of action and excitement to keep their readers turning the pages. Others drench their characters with emotion much like a teenager in the throes of first love. And you, as the writer, may be pushed and pulled by their suggestions.

In The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon  (mentioned in my last blog) I delighted in brilliant metaphors and similes until it became too much and felt like every third sentence was a finely crafted metaphor to show off how clever the writing was.

I love Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Series, but the strong emotions of the characters take center stage, leaving descriptions and action to tag along.

And anyone reading space opera science fiction or a series like The Expanse knows that action is paramount. Authors are told to have the first chapter start bang with strong action that hooks the reader and fill out the characters and setting later.

So a writers should decide what his or her voice is, or it could become a hodgepodge of other people’s suggestions.

Make no mistake, suggestions are helpful and often make for a stronger work, but only after asking the question : Do I know what my voice is and is this suggestion consistent with my voice and how I want my story written?

In my last blog, I mentioned the international aspect of blogs. Writers are blogging with other writers from all over the globe. It’s quite international. But now we have come to a whole new level when Google translate can instantly translate a blog into many different languages. My friend Diana Peach wrote a guest blog today for Christopher Graham. (copy/paste)

https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/10/03/world-building-from-imagination-to-reality-guest-post-by-diana-peach/?c=128961#comment-128961

The blog was excellent, but what attracted my attention was the ability to tap the drop down in the upper right hand corner and immediately have Google translate the blog into a bewildering number of languages. Take your pick.

Think about that one.

I return to space opera this week for my science fiction suggestion. David Drake is a prolific writer of science fiction with several series, and I have been meaning to read him for some time now. Written in 1992, Starliner came out in trade paperback this past June with additional content.

Third officer, Lieutenant Ran Colville, receives his staff side position of making sure all goes smoothly on board the newest and largest starship, the Empress of Earth. Even with the efficient help of the attractive lieutenant Wanda Holly, politics, greed, young love and war threaten to disrupt the orderly passage of the luxury ship with its high class passengers. And Ran’s job is to see they are happy and safe. Different chapters describe various landings on interesting worlds, each one presenting a challenge to the ship. All through the story is the threat of pirates or a military fleet from a warring planet that would love to add this majestic ship to its fleet. Jumping through wormhole, exploring exotic world, dealing with dark politics, and fending off panting women all keep Ran hopping.The Spark

Drake writes a fast-paced story but keeps in mind his characters and their various emotions that drive their actions. This book is a stand alone, but I’m certain to try out other of David Drakes stories having read this one.  Maybe this latest one.

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Filed under Alien worlds, Amazon publishing, Best selling author, Marketing and selling novels, Political Science Fiction, science fiction space opera, Writing Critique groups, Writing Tips and Lectures

Playing Fair

As a writer, I spend a lot of time with my nose in a book or tapping on an iPad. This past week I spend a lot of time iPad tapping as I am doing a final edit on the next book. Past the Event Horizon due out (fingers crossed) in late June, early July. See the awesome, hot off the press cover.

So I was delighted when I looked up to see my calendar display the words, “Business Fair.” This meant that I was going to get out, meet the public and write my name…hopefully a number of times and talk about what I love–my stories.

The great thing about this particular venue is that it is local, short and varied. The vendors are small businesses in the area, so I may be the only author amidst photographers, jewelers and potters. Things I love.

To get ready, I have printed out large images (81/2 x 11) of my four covers. I have bought several new pens. Made bookmarks for giveaways.

And there’s going to be candy.

I have tweeted out the news, face booked the friends, emailed and now blogged. So all my ten friends are informed. And family.

As an ebook publisher, I am still trying to figure out where the buying readers are. Maybe at a fair.

I tried the Kindle Select program and there were loads of downloads, but not as many sales. (go figure) Actually, I do best face to face. I have sold a number of books at my local nail salon by casually asking what they like to read and mentioning that I am an author when I see someone reading an interesting book. Whether they buy my book or not, I am interested in what’s good to read and why they picked that particular book. Research.

A guilty secret is that I have even sold to my local bag boy because someone mentioned books to me at the checkout and he wanted to know what I wrote. Turned out that it sounded like something he might like.

Last blog I mentioned ebooks. In trying to come up with a suggestion for this week, I remembered the queen, the expert, the best selling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She and her husband, Dean Wesley Smith pioneered the ebook phenomenon when it first started. Between them, they have written an amazing amount of books sold through both self publishing and tradition ways. I have read a few.

Duplicate Effort is a novel that I bought at a signing where I met Kristine and  Dean. Because it was a signing, this is a paperback, but she is a champion for the self published author and writes a great blog entitled http://kriswrites.com. She does in depth reporting on the business aspect of publishing. Worth a read if you’re a writer.

Duplicate Effort combines my two favorite genres: science fiction and the detective story. This book is seventh in the Retrieval Artist Series and I recommend reading the earlier ones to get a background for the story. Most are stand alones, but this one requires a little knowledge of previous events. Still I enjoyed the story of Retrieval Artist Miles Flint who is trying to bring down the corrupt law firm of Wagner, Stuart, and Xendor that had something to do with his wife’s death and the threat to his daughter’s life and her six clones.

Then a journalist working with him is found dead, along with her bodyguard in the strangest of places. A virtual environment program that gets wiped. As he starts to investigate her murder, the seventh clone of his sixteen year old daughter Emmeline arrives. Talia is younger, thirteen, and wants to find her other five sister clones . Miles is afraid that she will discover the daughter while doing so and put her life in jeopardy.

As the two cases develop, it soon becomes apparent that they are connected. The stakes are raised as the deeper Miles digs, and the closer he comes to the truth, the more his life is in jeopardy and that of Talia. Clones, murder, detectives, alien worlds and high tech combine to make this an interesting series. Here are two others from the set: What you got that you want to suggest?

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