Price Drops, Wrist Report, and Other Updates

Hello readers! Again, I apologize for the lack of material these last two weeks. This arm injury really threw a wrench into everything writing and life-wise. And right now I’m battling to get my worker’s comp (and may, it seems, need to get a personal injury lawyer) so that’s taking up time … Ugh.

You know, things would be a lot nicer if companies would just be nice, ethical, and legal. Or at the very least not attempt to bury their screw-ups and take responsibility for their mistakes. I’m not looking forward to going down there today, let me tell you.

Anyway, that does tie in with the arm. How is it? Well … improving. I’d say I’ve got about 50% of the mobility back in my wrist, and the swelling has gone down. I can hold something that weighs a pound or two without too much strain now, though position matters. And the brace helps.

All said, it’s getting better. The gash is healing too. Still looks ugly, and will probably leave a scar, but … that’s life. It still aches a bit when editing and writing, so I have to take breaks, but they’re getting less frequent. Another week, I’d say.

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Classic Being a Better Writer: Some Advice for Starting Your First Book

Afternoon readers!

My arm is still recovering. I’ve regained some finger movement but my wrist is still heavily restricted and even this little bit of typing hurts. So writing a new post is out of the question.

Good thing I’ve got several years of archives, right? So that’s what we’re looking at today. Today’s post will be a classic Being a Better Writer from time past. In this case, we’re jumping back to February 1st of 2016, with a post for those who’ve always said they’d like to write a book but just never quite gotten around to it. The leader will be in italics, but after the jump you’ll find yourself in the original post itself.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get some stitches taken out and some editing to (hopefully) manage!

So, this is it. The time has come. You’ve finally decided. You’re going to sit down and start that new book you’ve been waiting to write. You’ve done other projects before, short stories and the like, but this time, you’re going for the novel. Long chapters. A compelling plot. You can see the final scenes in your head. You grin with glee, sit down at your keyboard, and …

Nothing. You wait for the words to spring forth, but they aren’t coming. You’re paralyzed by indecision. Suddenly you’re aware what a huge project this is. You’ve never attempted something of this size before! Your fingers seem frozen.

Relax. It’s understandable. Starting a book is a big project, one that brings a lot of pressures and requests to the table. And it’s different from a short story, fundamentally so. It’s going to take some alternative approaches to how you’ve worked before.

Maybe this is you. Then again, maybe it isn’t. Maybe you’ve sat down without any prior writing experience whatsoever and tried to write out a book only to realize you weren’t quite sure what you were doing. Maybe you’re struggling through it anyway and want some tips. Or maybe you haven’t started one yet, but you’ve been watching this blog like a hawk, thinking “Soon, my time will come.”

Well, today might be that time, because today?

Today we’re talking about what goes into starting a book.

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Life, The Universe, and Everything 2019!

That’s right. No Being a Better Writer post this week due to Martin Luther King day. Which means I’m spending the day working on Hunter/Hunted, actually. Why take a break? Besides, that one’s almost done. Which then means Halo novel, and then Jungle!

Anyway, instead of BaBW, today I’m giving you a heads up and a reminder: Life, The Universe, and Everything 2019 is almost here! February 14-16 in Provo Utah Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

Will I be there? Of course I will be there. It’s the writing convention to go to. And there will be a lot of other authors there besides! Dan Wells, David Farland, Larry Correia … it’s a big list.

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Review Blurbs

So, random thought for today, but have you ever considered how differently review-blurbs are treated for books than they are for any other medium?

You might never have thought of this one, but let me give you an example. I just finished yesterday Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan, which is a great book. I enjoyed it quite a bit and lost some sleep to finishing it. But there was something I couldn’t help but notice. Displayed on the cover is a blurb from Brandon Sanderson that says “Just plain awesome.” in large, bold letters. Brandon’s name is also large and bold. But under that, in much, much smaller print?

“On Promise of Blood.” Which is the first book this author wrote, which came out in 2013.

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Why You Should Read … The Robots of Gotham

Been a while since we’ve seen one of these posts! In fact, this is only the second one.

Okay, what is Why You Should Read …? Well, it’s a rare recommendation post. One of the things that I’ve constantly espoused on this site is the idea that writers should read. It’s a vital, important part of being a good writer. You expose yourself to other styles, other authors’ solutions or approaches. It broadens your writing horizons and gives you new insights into all aspects of the craft. Reading the writing of others (aside from being relaxing and fun) is a great way to see new tricks or at the very least identify approaches other authors have taken to similar events, stories, or ideas.

Since I do take my own advice here and try to do a lot of reading, occasionally I’ll find something that I believe is worth sharing for one reason or another. And, as before, don’t worry, I divide these by spoiler free and spoiler-filled, so you’ll be able to see which is which.

With that said, a minor disclaimer before we get started.I’m not receiving any sort of compensation for you reading this book, or for me talking about it. This is a title I found on my own, read on my own, and in turn decided to pass on. I get no compensation whatsoever for recommending this book.

Unless that is, you decide to head over to my books page and pick up one of my own works. But then that’s you buying one of my books, not this book. Whether or not you go hunt this book down, I get nothing from it. But buying one of my books, for obvious reasons, is very beneficial to me. Why would I say this?

Well, because of a certain something about today’s recommendation. So let’s get this underway and talk about why you should read The Robots of Gotham.

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The Non-Trad Christmas Gift Suggestion List (With Optional Trad)

Right, so this is pretty spontaneous. This morning, I woke to news on my feed of John Scalzi putting up a “Non-Trad Published Gift List” on his website. Curious, I clicked over.

Unfortunately, it was a little disappointing. It wasn’t actually a Gift List. What I had expected, especially titled such, was that Scalzi had actually read some Non-Trad books and was promoting a few of his favorites. But it wasn’t. Instead what the post turned out to be was Scalzi saying “Hey, non-trad writers, please use my comments to plug your books today.”

Predictably, the result is basically a lot like the “Self-Published Satuday” grab-bags on Reddit. Hordes of books from all over the spectrum, presented with no rhyme or reason.

So I immediately thought “Why not try that for real? Rather than create a self-advertising space, why not throw out one of my favorite non-trad pub books I read this year, and encourage others to do the same? Something not by me, but by someone else?”

Which, in turn, is where this post popped up from. Why not? After all, it’s my site. Why not use it for some real Christmas promotion?

So here’s the challenge. Look back on books you’ve read in the last, oh, two years. Pick out at least one that must be non-trad pub. An indie of some kind. If you’ve got a second that’s a lesser-known trad, then it can go up second, but the first must be indie. EDIT: Oh, and please no erotica or extreme content. This is a friendly site, but not that kind of friendly.

Then post about it! Tell us why you liked it, who you think the book might be a good gift for, and where we can find it! Then, if you’ve got a lesser-known trad-pub book you’d like to talk about, throw that one up too!

I’ll start us off! Here’s my two picks!

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Weekend Book Sale!

Heads up! Got a trio of books on sale through this weekend, starting today! Including my newest, the Fantasy-Western Shadow of an Empire! The deal ends when the weekend does, so if you’ve been waiting for a sale, this is your chance!


Shadow of an Empire
Shadow of an Empire
$7.99 $3.99 (50% off!)
“… a delightful ride through a new western world …”


colony-final
Colony
$5.99 $2.99 (50% off!)
“… absolutely fantastic …”


Dead Silver Final
Dead Silver
$2.99 $0.99 (66% off!)
“… a must read …”