Month: May 2017

Renegade Profiles: Sci-Fi Author Jon Cronshaw

Author Jon Cronshaw JV: Why do dystopian/post-apocalypse novels all have zombies? Haha. Although these sub-genres have a lot of crossover, they also seem to be tackling different primal questions. With dystopian fiction, the core questions are about the ways people are controlled by a ruling class and how it’s possible to change the world. Zombie fiction strikes me as a metaphor for dealing with major change beyond our control, and good zombie fiction is always about people trying to retain their humanity in face of constant trauma. Post-apocalyptic fiction asks us how we’d live without the technology, government and...

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Nail Your Opening Line With Tips From The Great Masters

It’s hard to write that first hook.  You want to grab your reader, drag them right into your story…but how? I struggled to do this so I just started pulling books off the shelf.  Some of these opening paragraphs (or even just the first sentence) really nail that hook. Consider this one: “I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.” [Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris.] One line and you already are totally curious.  Why is this person waiting for a vampire…and wait, there are vampires?  As a reader, you know this world has...

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Techology + Teamwork = Magic

When Writers Get Together and Use Instafreebie I wanted to start building a newsletter mailing list of science fiction fans for the launch of Cold War.  So I started from zero.  After Ken formatted our book on Draft2Digital, I put it up on Instafreebie.  The first few days after just sticking it up there, 33 people claimed it.  I was impressed because there had been no promo, just a pinned tweet and a link here. Then Charles had an Instafreebie promo with two dozen other science fiction (ish) authors.  Despite getting lumped next to a bunch of manchest covers (The...

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Deadlines Boost Your Skills Now

My co-writer and I were talking tonight about how we work better under pressure.  When we entered a short story contest, we both cranked it out in a few days and then we ended up expanding and polishing those pieces into a much larger work.  Under that same theory, we’d spent 4 weeks of actual writing time on our alien first contact story, The Needle. But it wasn’t until I had a deadline for an Instafreebie cross promo that we actually hustled to learn how to format it.  Not only that, it forced us to write our biographies (which...

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Deep Work – Productivity Boosts For Writers and Creatives

Everybody has been talking about Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World so I finally decided to get the Audible for it.  It’s amazing. He’s a computer science professor who usually writes books for high schoolers on how to do better in school.  But of late he has been writing for working professionals and Deep Work is powerful advice for writers and creatives. Basically he is talking about the magical flow state.  Only he calls it “immersive” but you get the idea.  Things like multi-tasking, checking Twitter every ten minutes, responding to every email...

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Julia Vee, Writes At Night