Aspiring Writer: The Sequal

In a post last year, I spoke about the term aspiring writer and how it’s a term that I dislike. Back then, I had this wonderful circular argument about how if you write, then you are a writer — no aspiring about it. Regardless, I still see an insane number of people who insist on calling themselves aspiring writers.

Back when that original post first came out, someone had commented on one of my Facebook discussion groups that the term writer referred to a person who was paid to write.

To be fair, the term applies to people who want to make a career out of writing. Writer is a professional term.

You have no idea how much my skin crawls at this concept. Clearly, my arguments using the definitions in Merrian-Webster were insufficient to get my point across. Perhaps the Oxford English Dictionary might sway the ideas. So here goes.Read More

Manuscript is too long, so split it… NOT!!!

I have lost count of the number of times that someone has told me that I should take my long manuscript and split it into two (or three) and call it done. This particular conversation comes up every single time I mention to anyone how long my manuscript is, and it’s actually not outrageously long — it just happens to be over 100,000 words. But let’s face it, my work is high fantasy, and I would struggle to think of any high fantasy novel that wasn’t over 100,000 words (a high fantasy intended for adult audiences).Read More

Doubt, Insecurity & Unexpected Opportunities

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m no stranger to the self-doubt monster. I try repeatedly to tell myself that I am a good writer and a good editor, but sometimes you need those external sources to provide you with the little boost. For me, multiple events in very recent times have provided me with the boost that I needed.

I can do this!

Let me take a step back and set the stage for you.

My regular readers will know that last year I was stricken down by a MASSIVE case of self-doubt, complicated by the green-eyed monster threatening to strangle me. Add on top of this the fact that I chose to submit to PitchWars for the second year running (same novel), knowing perfectly well that I wasn’t going to get in (my word counts would have been seen as too high). I had decided back then to shelve my entire fantasy series and shift my focus to a standalone thriller and the military science fiction series that I’m writing with my US-based writing partner. That is still the plan, but it was a massive emotional setback.Read More

Wooden Bridge

Life Takes Unexpected Turns

Recently, I saw an article on how robotics have changed over the years and what ethical issues will likely arise. It started me thinking about how life can take unexpected turns but can still lead towards our goals and dreams, just not in the way we expected. How does an article about robotics and ethics relate to unexpected paths toward our dreams? Well…

A writing buddy of mine, Sean Welsh, recently finished his PhD in robot ethics. As part of his research, he has published several articles on the topic and has developed quite the name for himself. To everyone’s excitement in my local writing circles, his activities has lead to a book deal with one of the Big Five on this very topic — do to be released in November 2017.

I’ll gladly admit that I’m a little jealous (I’ve even told him that), but I also couldn’t be more excited for him.Read More

NaNoWriMo Aftermath and Moving…

My regular readers will know that I’ve been taking part in the NaNoWriMo challenge for the month of November. Well, today is the 30th of November where I am and I have news… nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winnerNot only have I successfully completed the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing at least 50,000 words in one month, but I have also met my own personal challenge — to write the first draft of my new novel in its entirety. Well, sort of. I have a complete story. I have a beginning, lots of middle and an end. I know all the twists and turns. I know who dies when and who lives until the very end. I have a full story. But there are large chunks — whole scenes — still missing, simply because I was unable to see the full sequence of destruction. But I still view it as a win, simply because I know this manuscript will need to be totally rewritten and now I can do that. (I hope.)Read More