The moon as inspiration

I was stuck editing the second book in the series ‘The Song of Forgetfulness’. I didn’t know how to start a particular chapter.

I wandered around the house- didn’t take long, small house- and looked out of the bedroom window. Clouds parted in the star free night sky, and there was the moon looking down at me as if to say, “Oh, get on with it.”

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Then I took a photo of it. Thanks moon.

 

You can take a look at an exclusive excerpt from the as yet unreleased second book in the series, ‘The song of Forgetfulness on my Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/thesongofforgetfulness

Creative use of language in novels.

Nadsat, Newspeak and Bubchat

 

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I have been reading mostly science fiction books lately, and I have begun to question why a lot of writers choose not to modify the language they use to create a sense of another time and place. It seems that in the future, vocabulary will remain the same and people will talk to each other exactly the way they do now. Which doesn’t really make sense, does it? The spoken and written word has changed over the years, and most authors have reflected this in their works: from Shakespeare to Bronte, Dickens to Faulkner, and James Joyce to Irvine Welsh.

I overheard a conversation between three teenage girls. I texted a snippet of what they were saying to my friend, who has a fifteen year old, and she said that they were talking about a boy that two of them found attractive, but one of them didn’t.

 Girl 1:  Yo, see Jay? He gone all tank, well yoked.

Girl 2:  Yeah, he fully gassed narmean?

Girl 3:  Nah, you dutty fam. He’s well piff.

Girl 1: Nah, he FAF.

Girl 3:  Wa, you beefin’ me?

Girl 1:  Wa, you seriously say he butters?

 So, if young people talk like this today, wouldn’t it make sense that hundreds of years in the future, people would be conversing with words that are different from the ones we use now?

 In his novel, Nineteen eighty-four, George Orwell introduced words and phrases that were not familiar to readers of that era, to create a futuristic realm where language is used as a weapon to subjugate the masses: duckspeak, thoughtcrime, bellyfeel, doublethink, and speakwrite. Would it have been such a powerful read if the author had not employed the use of such evocative words? Who can forget ‘Newspeak’, or ‘Big Brother’?

 In A Clockwork Orange, the use of slang is vital to the narrative to give credibility to this dystopian future. Alex speaks ‘nadsat’ a language that sets him and his friends

apart from the rest of society.

 “These grahzny sodding veshches that come out of

my gulliver and my plott,” I said, “that’s what it is.”

“Quaint,” said Dr. Brodsky, like smiling, “the dialect of the tribe. “  

So, bearing this in mind, when I came to write my novel, Echoes from the Lost Ones, I made sure that I used words that were appropriate for the world I was creating. Since it is written from the viewpoint of a seventeen- year -old, Adara, in the first person, it was imperative that her voice rang true in order for the characters to maintain credibility in this vision of the future. I created ‘Bubchat’.

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“I showed respect and bowed, then turned toward the not-right teen. He gave me a tiny smile, and for reasons I know not, I took his hand and said, “Show me where you splosh.” His face went redder than a bub about to plop and everyone, including me, let out a merry guffaw. I hadn’t meant to use such a nursery word, but when I looked at his soft brown eyes and slender arms I went all mumsly. Not like me at all. I began to wonder if the ‘dults had palmed a soother into my stew.”

I went to Lewis Carol for inspiration. I remembered I had a favourite poem from my childhood, The Jabberwoky, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found. It is a delight in the creative use of vocabulary. The language is rich and full of evocative words that create a unique setting where his story unfolds.

 ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves                    

 Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:   

All mimsy were the borogoves,

 And the mome raths outgrabe.

 “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

 

 Science fiction and fantasy are the ideal genres for authors to invent new languages and different ways of speaking. To shake off the confines of correct word usage and play around with narrative form. But not everyone warms to such experimentation, and critics often chastise authors for breaking the rules of grammar that ‘The Elements of Style’, by Strunk and White, have branded into the English language. There is a good anti Elements of Style essay by Geoffrey A Pullmen called, ‘50 Years of stupid Grammar’. It will make you think twice before reaching for the Spelling and grammar tool on your computer. http://chronicle.com/article/50-Years-of-Stupid-Grammar/25497

So, all you authors out there don’t be put off experimenting with vocabulary. Let your imagination fly and write from your heart, not your head. (Then go back and edit it.)

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Macro Photography without using a tripod

My garden is overgrown. I like it that way. It attracts insects and birds and other creatures. I enjoy wading through the tall grass, plucking seedpods and flies from my arms and legs as I search for an interesting creature to photograph.

This year, the bee population has increased.
Hooray!
Last year there were hardly any.

On Sunday I counted eight different kinds of bees and managed to photograph about four using a macro lens. Because the flora is so wild and sprawling, using a tripod for stability is out of the question. So I have to take all my pictures hand-held. Another reason I don’t use the regular kind of tripod is that I find them too awkward to use when attempting to follow the speedy wing changes of bees and other flying insects. By the time I’ve set the thing up, the flying beastie has flown. Okay most of the pictures are a little shaky, but I do get some pretty good results.

The trick to being a good human tripod is to centre yourself. By that I mean, spread your feet to hip distance and slightly bend your knees. You should be balanced and stable. Next, try not to lean forward too quickly as this aggravates camera shake.  Breathe slowly and don’t hunch your shoulders as this causes the wobbles and a stiff neck! And finally, move the camera forward to focus rather than twisting the focus ring as that definitely adds to camera shake and out of focus images. You may look a little weird, but the results you get will be worth it

For more images of macro and beyond, visit: http://www.tracerlight.co.uk

 

 

Amazon Is Changing Its KDP Reports Tool

Useful information about KDP changes for authors.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Some of you will have noticed KDP’s switch to a new interface:

KDP Report | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

The new dashboard offers several advantages over the old one. The tabbed browsing allows you to access historical data. It also breaks down royalties and sales by marketplace, author, title, and format.

The Real Change

Amazon | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: dailyfinance.com

The real change, however, lies behind the scenes — and it’s not a good one: Amazon has now integrated script-blocking on the Reports page. I recently advocated using the free Book Report bookmarklet to make sense of Amazon’s insufficient data. Well, Book Report (and any similar tool, like John Logsdon’s ReaderLinks, currently in its beta stage) will no longer work on the Report page.

BookReport is currently getting around this by making a new version of their tool that works from you starting from the KDP Bookshelf page. This is a quick hack, but Liam is presumably working on…

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10-Step Kindle Self Publishing Guide – Infographic…

Something that might be useful for Indie Authors.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Source: Pressbooks.com

Publishing your ebook directly to the Kindle store can save you money in the long-term because you won’t sacrifice a your royalties to intermediaries.

We’ve created a 10-step Kindle self publishing guide to how to publish an ebook on Amazon.

Use this guide to publish on Kindle yourself, and keep all the profits you deserve.

View original post

Free and Discount Sci-fi and Fantasy books!

If you enjoy all types of science fiction/dystopian/fantasy/steampunk and pretty much any kind of speculative fiction with space ships, aliens, beings with super powers etc, then this fabulous promotion run by Patty Jenson, is for you.

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There is  plethora of ebooks either free or discounted for you choose from so why not treat yourself? 

Click on the link below to get your AWESOME books:

http://pattyjansen.com/promo/

Sci-fi/Dystopian Bargain Books!

1 HAPPY EASTER

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. To celebrate I have made all of the books in The Song of Forgetfulness sci-fi/dystopian/action adventure series 99 cents! (Or equivalent depending on where you live in the world.)

So, if you enjoy reading  books that are different, have a strong storyline with offbeat characters, and quirky language, then these novels are for you.

You can purchase the books on Amazon and other online retail sellers. Just click on the links below:

 

“If you like action, and science fiction then you’ll appreciate one of the first books EVER that gives you high powered adrenalin with chilling revelations of utter suspense!”

“I loved the unique language, and both the style and the voice of the book reminded me of Patrick Ness’ Walking Chaos Trilogy.”

“A Silence Heard was action oriented and perilous! I was definitely on the edge of my seat as I read, waiting to find out what happened next!”

“This story was much more than I expected it to be. It has a unique plot that caught me from the very beginning. I really enjoyed the interplay between characters.”

What if your last day at school turned out to be your first day as a rebel warrior?

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Universal Links:

Amazon:

Whisper Gatherers:           getBook.at/book1of4

Echoes from the Lost Ones:    getBook.at/book2of4

A Silence Heard:      getBook.at/book3of4

The Chronicles of Mayer:    getBook.at/book4of4

Other online retailers:

Whisper Gatherers:     https://www.books2read.com/u/b5O7Rk

Echoes from the Lost Ones:     https://www.books2read.com/u/47kz1g

A Silence Heard: https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpW8n

The Chronicles of Mayer: https://www.books2read.com/u/brg9Oe

If you want any further information about the books in the series go to:

http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com

Creating a Universal Amazon Link – One Link Amazon Sites in all Countries

Great tip for all published authors!

Don Massenzio's Blog

I posted this tip a while ago and got some positive feedback. If you set up buying links for your books, many of you are probably posting Amazon links for each country that you think your book will likely realize some sales.

There is no need to do this.

I was getting frustrated when I ran a free book promotion weekend and experimented with placing a Facebook ad that reached out to multiple countries. My dilemma with doing this is that I didn’t have a way to post all of the links for the various Amazon sites in other countries on my ad without it looking clumsy.

I searched for a way to create a universal link for my book. A universal link, when clicked by a potential reader, is designed to take them to my book on the appropriate Amazon page for their country.

All they needed to do was…

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Your Author Bio: Does it help your Book Sales or Stop Them Dead?

Some good points in this post.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

by Anne R. Allen

No matter how great a book’s cover and blurb, one thing can stop me from buying yet another ebook for my Kindle: an author bio on the buy page that screams “amateur.”

I spent some time as an editor, so when I pick up a book for relaxation, I want to know it’s going to be a professional work and not something that makes me want to run for my red pencil.

If you start your bio “I’ve always wanted to write a book, ever since I won a penmanship prize in third grade, and now that I’ve self-published, “If My Cats Could Talk” my wish has come true…,” all you’ve told me is you’re a beginner.

Is that really what you want your customers to know?

Your buy page at Amazon or any online retail store is like your own personal storefront. It can be…

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Do we give readers what marketers say they want, or what we want to write?

Over the past year or so I have paid for a number of marketing courses to help me sell my books. Unfortunately, when I signed up I didn’t realise that when they promised that I would sell tons of books if I followed their plan, that the books they were talking about wouldn’t be mine.

What do you mean? I hear you say.

Well, I mean, that these courses are designed to help you sell books that sell, which may not necessarily be your books. They cater for genre pulp fiction or non-fiction self-help type books. If you don’t write stuff like that, then from my experience, you won’t sell that many books. If you  follow the training in all of these authorpreneurral type courses where a few writers make millions out of selling novella style crime/mystery/whodunnit stories, then you will succeed. Especially if you are prepared to give most of your books away. Literature in general is suffering because of this influx of junk food style prose, in my opinion.

Readers don’t always want safe, they want different. Give it to them – please!

I don’t want to write like everyone else.

My motivation for writing does not come from the desire to make money, it comes from the desire to write for the thrill, the fun, the wonder of the written word. I am passionate about my writing. I laugh, cry, hurt when I write. I feel exhausted sometimes after I have spent a few hours struggling with sentences that won’t work, or characters that say things like, ‘Paul, we’ve done it!’ Ah! Done what? Now I have to figure out what they’ve done. It’s called imagination and you won’t find that in any course.

So, writers, not authors, writers – write from the heart, the gut, the soul – not from the bank account.

red-tulip

Here is a wonderful poem by Charles Bukowski which sums up my rant beautifully.

So You Want To Be A Writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

 

If you would like to know more about my work, please visit my website  Oddly Books:

http://www.oddlybooks.com