Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Learning Curve

I'm learning a few things about online writing over at my serial fiction blog, The Sword of Bayne. Here they are:

1.) Adsense doesn't have a clue about what kind of ads to put at the top of the Bayne blog. One day there are ads about war memorabilia, the next day is for Katrina relief, then the next day there are ads about pictures of angels. Just funny in an odd, quirky sort of way.

2.) Outlining helps. While I have a mental outline of "The Fallen God" storyline, I don't have a completely worked out outline on paper. A stronger outline would make the story stronger. Most noticably, if I had been writing a Bayne short story or novel, I probably would not have started the story until someplace like Part 8 of "The Fallen God." As is, the story starts a bit too soon, so there's some meandering around.

3.) I'm writing first draft material in the Bayne blog, and it's obvious, at least to me. No, the prose isn't the worst in the world, and there aren't a ton of mistakes all over the place, but the writing could be a lot tighter. When working on the first draft of a short story or novel, I allow myself to throw in all kinds of stuff, then I cut back on it in revision. Since there's not really any major revisions to the Bayne blog, a lot of that extra stuff is getting in permanently. For example, the Cutter character has been given more time in text than I would have if writing in a different venue.

4.) My dialogue sucks, at least for first draft.

5.) The Bayne blog has helped me to get back in the mood for writing. I haven't written much in the last few months because I've been doing revision work on ye olde trilogy, but the blog has me wanting to write again. I need to finish this darn trilogy so I can move on to other stuff.

Just observations.

Counting Crows lyrics

Okay, for those of you who don't know, Counting Crows is likely my favorite band. It's definitely my favorite band that's still together. Here are some of my fav lyrics by them:

Round Here
"Step out the front door
like a ghost into the fog
where no one notices the contrast of white on white.
And in between the moon and you
The angels get a better view
Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.
I walk in the air between the rain
Through myself and back again.
Where? I don't know.
Maria says she's dying
Through the door I hear her crying.
Why? I don't know."

Rain King
"When I think of heaven
Deliver me in a black-winged bird
I think of dying.
Lay me down in a field of flame and heather
Render up my body into the burning heart of God
In the belly of a black-winged bird"

Raining in Baltimore
"There's things I remember and things I forget,
I miss you, I guess that I should.
Three thousand five hundred miles away
But what would you change if you could?
I need a phone call.
Maybe I should buy a new car.
I can always hear a freight train,
baby if I listen real hard.
And I wish it was a small world
Because I'm lonely for the big towns.
I'd like to hear a little guitar,
I guess it's time to put the top down.
I need a phone call.
I need a raincoat.
I really, really need a raincoat."

"I wanna be the last thing that you hear when you're falling asleep.
I wanna be the knife that cuts into my hand
And I want to be scattered
From here in this catupult.
What a big baby,
Won't somebeody save me please.
I can't find nobody home."

I'm Not Sleeping
"1-2-3-4-5-6-7 a.m.
All alone again
But I've been through all this shit before.
Spend my nights in self defense
Crying about my innocence
But I ain't all that innocent anymore, more, more."

Goodnight Elisabeth
"We couldn't all be cowboys
So some of us are clowns.
Some of us are dancers on the midway
We roam from town to town."

A Long December
"The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls.
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl.
And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood.
If you think you might come to California...
I think you should.

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year.
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower
about the things you could not show her
And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last."

Amy Hit the Atmosphere
"If I could make it rain today
And wash away this sunny day down to the gutter,
I would.
Just to get a change of pace,
Things are getting worse, but I feel a lot better
And that's all that really matters to me."

All My Friends
"Thought I might get a rocket ride
When I was a child
But it was a lie
That I told myself when I needed something good.
At 17 had a better dream
Now I'm 33 and it isn't me
But I'd think of something better if I could."

Black and Blue
"Fading everything to black and blue
You look a lot like you
Shatter in the blink of an eye.
You keep sailing right on through
Every time you say you're learning
You just look a lot like me
Pale under the blistering sky."

Holiday in Spain
"Got no place to go
but there's a girl waiting for me down in Mexico.
She's got a bottle of tequila
a bottle of gin
And if I bring a little music I can fit right in.
We've got airplane rides
We got California drowning out the window side
We've got big black cars
And we've got stories how we slept with all the movie stars.
I may
take a holiday in Spain."

"Its good for everybody to hurt somebody once in a while.
The things I do to people I love shouldnt be allowed.
Something about the buildings in Chelsea just kills me."

Margery Dreams of Horses
"I took the train from California
To the far side of the continent.
Woke up in Kentucky
Where a wedding was about to end.
I looked up at Anna,
She turned back to look at me.
It's best to kill the ones that matter,
Render blind the ones who see."

Monday, May 28, 2007

Groucho Marx quotes

"Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

"Why was I with her? She reminds me of you."

" From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."

"Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

"I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book."

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."

"Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first."

"Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. "

Oscar Wilde quotes

Some of my favorite quotes by the infamous Oscar Wilde:

"America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."

"A poet can survive everything but a misprint. "

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. "

"A true friend stabs you in the front."

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."

"By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community."

"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people."

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. "

"I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead."

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."

"In every first novel the hero is the author as Christ or Faust. "

"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame."

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written."

"There is no sin except stupidity. "

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Metallica lyrics

They have more songs I like than those to be mentioned here, but these are my favorite snippets of lyrics from Metallica:

To Live is to Die
"When a Man Lies
He Murders Some Part of the World

These Are the Pale Deaths Which Men Miscall Their Lives

All this I Cannot Bear to Witness Any Longer

Cannot the Kingdom of Salvation Take Me Home "

"Opposition... Contradiction... Premonition... Compromise,
Agitation... Violation... Mutilation... Planet Dies"

"Termination... Expiration... Cancellation... Human Race,
Expectation... Liberation... Population... Lay to Waste"

...And Justice For All
"The Ultimate in Vanity
Exploiting Their Supremacy
I Can't Believe the Things You Say
I Can't Believe
I Can't Believe the Price We Pay
Nothing Can Save You

Justice Is Lost
Justice Is Raped
Justice Is Gone
Pulling Your Strings
Justice Is Done
Seeking No Truth
Winning Is All
Find it So Grim
So True
So Real"

Eye of the Beholder
"Do You Fear What I Fear?
Living Properly
Truths to You Are Lies to Me.

Do You Choose What I Choose?
More Alternives
Energy Derives from Both the plus and Negative.

Do You Need What I Need?
Boundaries Overthrown
Look Inside to Each His Own.

Do You Trust What I Trust?
Me, Myself and I
Penetrate the Smoke Screen I See Through the Selfish lie"

Harvester of Sorrow
"My Life Suffocates
Planting Seeds of Hate
I've Loved, Turned to Hate
Trapped Far Beyond My Fate

I Give
You Take
This Life That I Forsake
Been Cheated of My Youth
You Turned this Lie to Truth

You'll Suffer unto Me"

The Unforgiven
"they dedicate their lives
to running all of his
he tries to please them all
this bitter man he is
throughout his life the same
he's battled constantly
this fight he cannot win
a tired man they see no longer cares
the old man then prepares
to die regretfully
that old man here is me"

Wherever I May Roam

"...and with dust in throat I crave
only knowledge will I save
to the game you stay a slave

call me what you will"

The Outlaw Torn
"Hear me
And if I close my mind in fear
Please pry it open.

See me
And if my face becomes sincere

Hold me
And when I start to come undone
Stitch me together.

Save me
And when you see me strut
remind me of what left this outlaw torn"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

from Moby Dick

"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"

by Herman Melville
from "Moby Dick"

Foo Fighters lyrics

"Were you born to resist or be abused?"

"Has someone taken your faith?
It's real,
the pain you feel.
The life,
the love,
you'd die to heal.
The hope
that starts
the broken hearts.
You trust,
you must.
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?"

lyrics by the Foo Fighters
song: "The Best of You"

Jules Verne quote

"I am the law, and I am the judge! I am the oppressed, and there is the oppressor! Through him I have lost all that I loved, cherished, and venerated -- country, wife, children, father, and mother. I saw all perish! All that I hate is there! Say no more!"

by Jules Verne
from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"

Friday, May 25, 2007

A favorite from Mark Twain

"You see, my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags — that is a loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it. I was from Connecticut, whose Constitution declares "that all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their benefit; and that they have — at all times — an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government in such a manner as they may think expedient."

by Mark Twain
from "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"

Quotable quotes

Years ago, I had a folder and notebook filled with quotes I liked from books, song lyrics, funny sayings, whate have you.

Then one day I got the bright idea to put it all in a computer file and to throw away twenty years worth of paper I had been carrying around.

And yes, you know what happened. The hard drive died. I lost all my collected anecdotes and quotes.

So, I thought I'd start it up again.

Yes, it's another annoying Ty-ism, but I promise it won't be like my list of every single book I've ever read. Just every once in a while, when I read something I like, I'll post it here. Please comment on them.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why I am a writer

It has been an interesting week, to say the least.

I saw a bunch of old friends, people I knew in college and haven't seen in 15 or more years. When we got to talking about our lives, the paths we had chosen and such, of course my writing came up.

Two old friends of mine, people who knew some of my short stories from years ago, had very different reactions to my writing today.

One of those reactions hurt me quite deeply. It was the usual negative garbage. "Are you still fooling with that stuff? Even when it isn't paying your bills or anything? Shouldn't you be focusing on something real, something that puts food on the table?"

I need say no more on my feelings about those remarks. The other writers reading this will know how I felt. Those of you who aren't writers might know too.

But after hearing that stuff, my other friend pulled me aside a few minutes later. He was interested in "why" I wanted to be a writer.

And the truth is, I've never had a good reason why I want to be a writer.

Until now. This day. My one old friend, through our conversation, helped me realize the real reason I am a writer.

I have always felt a "calling" to be a writer, but beyond that I didn't have a clue.

But it's simple, so simple. And I'm sure there are other writers out their with the same reasons for being a writer, but probably not the majority.

My reasons for being a writer come down to one word: rebellion.

It doesn't matter what kind of rebellion, just rebellion. Rebellion against the liberals. Rebellion against the conservatives. Rebellion against TV, radio, other writers, family, life, bosses, God, whatever you have.

I had something made clear to me today. On the outside, I'm a pretty easy-going guy for the most part. I do what I have to in our modern U.S. society to keep going along without stirring up too much trouble for myself.

Even on the inside, I'm no roaring tiger waiting to be unleashed. Maybe when I was younger, but not today.

But still, I write because I rebel.

Especially if it's not logical, or it strikes of nepotism ... I rebel.

Or as my friend told me today: "I think you write because you want to give a big 'fuck you' to the universe. Especially to those who think you can't succeed. And you think everyone, even God, is against you, like you're trapped in some twisted version of the Truman Show."

I believe that's right.

And maybe it's not a very good reason to be a writer. For me, it's good enough.

Monday, May 21, 2007

No. 16 -- Eldest

by Christopher Paolini

Started: May 20
Finished: June 3

Notes: I read the first book in this series a few years ago. Despite all the ragging it gets online, I didn't hate that first book. Didn't love it, but didn't hate it. At least it didn't bore me. The writing's a bit simple, but what can you expect from such a young author? This second book was given to me as a present a while back, and I'm just now getting around to reading it. Will I get the eventual third book? Guess it'll depend on what I think of this one.

Mini review: The writing is a little stronger than in "Eragon," and the plotting is definitely stronger. Like "Eragon," not great, but not awful. Actually, the Eragon character isn't the most interesting in "Eldest." It's his brother Roran, who has the most interesting story in this book. Also, you'll learn a lot about the world Eragon lives in, including tons about magic and elves, but there are hints that there is more to learn.

My serial fiction experiment

If you haven't noticed, I've added yet another blog.

It's titled "The Sword of Bayne." What is this new blog? It's a mixture of things, but mostly it's an experiment in serial fiction. I'm not trying to write it as a novel, nor as a short story, and I'm not planning to have any of the writings there published in print. If by some odd miracle it should become fantastically popular, I might consider approaching a print publisher about reprint rights, but that's not likely to happen.

What's likely to happen is I will write my serial stories, a few friends will check it out from time to time, and that will be about it. But that's alright. I'm also writing this serial fiction blog for myself.

It started with my idea for this new character, Bayne Kul Kanon. I'd been reading a lot of Sword & Sorcery, and Bayne just popped into my head one night. I won't say I immediately loved him as a character. I don't feel quite as strongly about him as I do characters like Kron or Belgad, or even Adara Corvus or Randall Tendbones, but I'm interested in the journey of discovery that will be Bayne's.

He's not going on a physical journey necessarily. Bayne is facing more of a journey of knowledge, of discovery. He has things to discover about himself and about the world he is in. Why he is in a situation where he has to find out all this stuff will become known with his origin story, "The Fallen God."

I will repeat: I'm not writing a novel or a short story. I'm trying to use a blog to re-create an old form of fiction, serial stories, while bringing to it something new, specifically text that's related to the story but not necessarily part of the story. To this end, the posts will not only include the actual stories, but will also include snippets from characters' journals, historical writings, letters, etc.

I do plan on writing some short stories using Bayne, but these will not be published in the blog. I am also hoping to use "The Sword of Bayne" as a promotional tool, to give a little free fiction away in hopes of helping to drive interest in my writing. Only time will tell if this will work.

Each story entry will be part of a larger story, a chapter I call it. The first being "The Fallen God," as mentioned above. After this origen story, there will be other stories with multiple entries. I don't know how many blog entries it will take to tell a whole chapter; it could take 10, it could take a hundred. I'll figure it out as I go.

Also, a lot of the writing at this new blog will be first draft quality. Maybe second draft if I get a chance to look over some posts. But don't expect everything to be perfect. I'll try my best, but I too have some life outside of the Internet, and I have two other blogs.

So, check out "The Sword of Bayne," pass the link around, and I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and another thing ... yes, I realize as of this writing that Bayne actually hasn't show up yet in the story. Don't worry. He will.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dracula blogged

Found another interesting blog while roaming the World Wide Web: Dracula Blogged.

If I understand this blog project correctly, the author(s?) publishes chapters from the novel Dracula into the blog. Not only that, but the posting dates match the dates of Jonathan Harker's diary entries in the novel.

And this isn't the first year this has been done. As far as I could tell, it was also done last year.

Now the blog isn't just an endless repeat of the novel. No. There are Dracula links, literary discussions and more.

So, you Dracula fans (Goble, I'm talking to you), should check this place out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What do you like in fantasy?

A lot of people like fantasy literature, and a growing number enjoy fantasy movies and video games. So, what is there to like about fantasy? I don't mean generically, over all, as in "why do people like fantasy?" That's too difficult to answer, and it's probably got more to do with psychology than I want to go into at the moment.

No, I'm talking individual things about the fantasy genres, part of what some would call tropes of fantasy.

An example: Dragons. What's there to like about dragons as a fictional story element? Or as characters? I myself have no great love for dragons, whether good or bad, and can only ever remember using a dragon in one of my stories. I don't hate dragons, but as a writer I've yet to find a lot of use for them. They also seem done to death to me, and I also like to focus on humans instead of other races.

Wizards? I'm not real fond of wizards either, at least not as characters. Magic is a bit too easy for me, especially in worlds where you can do almost anything. Give me a warrior with a sword any day of the week. However, there are a few exceptions to my general dislike of wizards and other magic-wielders. I think they were used to great affect in the Lord of the Rings, and the Hobbit, but the truth of the matter is (BIG SPOILER FOR ANYONE HAPPENS TO NOT KNOW THIS) the mages Tolkien used were not human, but immortals akin to angels (or devils, I suppose, depending upon the wizard).

Other things: Swords. Love 'em.

Armor. Love it.

Horses. Eh, they get you around.

Daggers. I have to laugh. They can be used effectively, but most times they're used unrealistically in fantasy fiction. Using a dagger against a sword, or a monster, is like using a revolver to take on a guy with an M-60. If you don't know what I mean, learn your weaponry. You'll need to if you're going to be a writer.

Other races: My thoughts are known. Generally, I don't like to write about them, though I hold nothing against them.

Other weaponry: The more the better. But keep it real. Pikemen in heavy armor are slow, but in a group they are deadly to almost any other force on foot. And despite what you saw in Braveheart, heavy cavalry is practically unbeatable, at least until heavy crossbows and gunpowder come along. Speaking of gunpowder, until the invention of the flintlock, it was pretty useless; even then, until the invention of percussion caps, longbows were better weapons (though they took a lot more training to use).

Vampires: Done to death. No pun intended.

I'll think of other stuff later.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

a little sweet, a little sour

The artwork here comes from cyn at her a little sweet, a little sour blog. It is titled orchid dance.

I fell in love with this piece as soon as I saw it, and with cyn's permission I wanted to put up a blog post about it to share with others.

I love the simple elegance of the work. As I mentioned at cyn's blog, it's almost like I'm catching one frame of a much bigger, very important story with a secret ... a secret of the gods I called it.

Cyn blogs about writing mostly, but also about travel, her artwork, photography, family life and whatever she wants. She's someone I don't know personally, but have had the pleasure of knowing through blogs and postings for some little while now. I'm glad I know her. Orchid dance alone is worth the friendship.

And if her writing is as good as her art, I expect big things out of her.

If nothing else, she can tell you all the different countries she's had sex in.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Three short stories sent out

So, after years of sending out very few short stories, this past weekend I compiled a list of a dozen stories to send out. Three of them were sent. The rest are still waiting to find a home.

So, good for me, but I have a writer's typical frustrations.

Maybe I'm just being naive because I haven't sent anything out in a while, but ... there are NO markets! Or, the few there are have so many friggin' qualifications that you can't send them anything.

And by qualifications, I don't mean formatting or being able to spell or any of the expected stuff. No, I take all that for granted.

But there are just so many stipulations. Stuff like "Yes, we print fantasy short stories, but only about cats with wings." Or, we only accept stories that are exactly 1,875 words long. Or, we read stories 11 months out of the year, and the one month we're off is YOUR month.

Just griping. I'm not shattered or anything, but it just seems silly to me there are all these print and online publications out there that are constantly going under, yet it's no wonder with a lot of their silly stipulations. I mean, how many 1,875 word stories about flying cats can you expect to receive?

I understand editors have to keep their back log from getting too big, and that they have their own personal interests. I get all that.

But come on. Whatever happened to a general fantasy magazine that would accept stories between 1,000 and 8,000 words? The few magazines I can find that come close to my description are either A.) dark fantasy mags with strong leanings toward gore and horror, or B.) soft fantasy with lots of stories without plot but plenty of fluffy little elves, nice trolls and unicorns.

Am I becoming bitter in my old age?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

No. 15 -- The Gladiator: The Secret History of Rome's Warrior Slaves

by Alan Baker

Started: May 13
Finished: May 20

Notes: I have no good reason whatsoever for buying this book, other than it held a vague interest for me. I was in a bookstore about a year ago and was feeling antsy to buy something. This non-fiction book was the product. Sometimes gems can be found by accident.

Mini review: Informationally, this book was a waste of my time. The writing isn't bad, but the author jumps around and tells you information about ancient Rome that isn't directly related to gladiatorial games. It probably didn't help that I have read nearly all of his original source material, so I was familiar with most of what he had to say.
However, all that being said, there is a good side to this book. It really brings home the sheer horror of being a gladiator, or worse, being a prison shoved into the arena. Without any weapons. Oh, yeah, and there's a bear or a lion or a tiger who hasn't been feed in a week or so. And your its FOOD. The book also mentions the various tortures and other shows that are related to gladiatorial games and combats.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The god of Fight Club

One of my favorite, non-genre (though that's debatable) authors is coming to town Monday!

Chuck Palahniuk, he of the writer of Fight Club fame, will be signing his new book, Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey, on Monday at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington.

And as if it couldn't get any better, afterwards there is to be a viewing on the big screen of the Fight Club movie!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Tickets are only $7, and I'll be dropping by Joseph-Beth today to buy one.

If you've never read any of Palahniuk's novels, I strongely suggest it. He has a witty insight into modern living that hits home hard, while also remaining hilarious. He's best known for Fight Club, but he's written another half-dozen or so novels since then. If you liked the wittier lines from the Fight Club movie, then you'll like Chuck's writing. If all you could focus on in the movie was the violence, and you didn't catch the themes, the you probably won't like the rest of Chuck's writings. It takes all kinds.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The birth of Bayne

For the first time in a long time, I've created a new character. In fits and starts, I've been working on a short story the last few days, and I've hopes this character will become a serial character. I don't have plans to use him for a novel, but I would like to expand upon him in a series of short stories.

Without giving anything away, the character's name is Bayne Kul Kanon. That name has certain meanings for me, but I won't give the secrets away here. And before any smart asses comment upon it, yes, I'm aware there is a Scottish dish with a name similar to the words "Kul Kanon." No, my character is not Scottish, nor is he named after the dish.

Bayne's adventures will take place in the same world of the fantasy trilogy I've been writing for more than two years, but there's a catch: It's a thousand years before the time of my trilogy. So, other than a few place names, there shouldn't be much related to my trilogy. I said "shouldn't," which leaves open room for me to change my mind at some point.

Also, my Bayne stories are going to have a bit more of a Sword & Sorcery feel to them than my trilogy. Only time will tell if I can pull that off.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What am I writing?

I've been reading a good bit of Sword & Sorcery lately, mainly Moorcock and Offutt, and it's got me to thinking about my own writing.

Do I write Sword & Sorcery?

Not exactly. Though I haven't written many short stories in years, a good number of my short stories could be considered S&S, but the current trilogy I'm working on isn't strictly S&S.

To go further, I suppose one needs a definition of Sword & Sorcery, and definitions of the other subgenres of fantasy. For a detailed look at the different types of fantasy literature, go here (yes, I realize wikipedia isn't perfect, but in this instance it's at least a good place to start).

It seems to me there are as many different definitions of S&S as there are S&S writers, and possibly readers. There's no tried and true definition of this particular subgenre of fantasy. However, from my limited understanding, there are a few things most S&S stories have in common.

S&S stories usually have a protagonist, as well as other characters, who are more interested in their own wants and needs than in saving the world, or in helping others. High fantasy, as a common example, seems to be just the opposite.

So, back to the beginning of this post, what do I write?

I have characters who are bent upon their own agendas, but I also have some characters who are out to save the world, or to at least make it a better place. I even have characters who push agendas of saving the world, but they do so in a darker, selfish fashion.

I guess I write a mixture of fantasy, or some sub-subgenre of S&S.

I don't know. I don't really think about genre while writing and editing, but it's something I'm pondering after the fact.

At least I know I'm writing fantasy, and that's good enough for me for now.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

George R.R. Martin on Second Life

Okay, so I've mentioned Second Life a couple of times. For those who don't know, Second Life is a 3-D environment somewhat like a modern video game. But it's more than that. It's like a three-dimensional version of the early Internet, and it's constantly growing. I hang out there every once in a while under the name Galvin Smalls.

Further, Bantam Dell has a site on Second Life. It's a big bookstore where you can read about Bantam Dell and even buy their books.

But there's more, especially for you genre fans. George R. R. Martin himself will be doing a live reading on Thursday, May 31, at Bantam Dell's cafe on Second Life. Martin is the second author to do so, after Dean Koontz did it a month or two ago.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

No. 14 - Sword of the Gael

by Andrew J. Offutt

Started: May 2
Finished: May 13

Notes: Click the picture at right for a better view. I stumbled upon this book right as I was finishing the last Cormac novel by Offutt, and thought "why not?" More great sword and sorcery from my favorite Kentucky author.

Mini review: Not quite as good a read as "The Sign of the Moonbow," but that's because after some initial action there is a lot of travelling. Eventually the action comes back around, so that's not so bad. S&S fans could do worse. General fantasy fans could probably do better.