Friday, September 28, 2012

Kagerou's Journal 1

(I've gotten very, very behind on writing this, but, here's the first small bit I have written.)
Update: You can find all parts linked here.

Day 1

I arrived in Sandpoint the morning of the Swallowtail festival as ordered by the Magnamar Lodge. As a trainee I had no choice in the matter even though I was sure the main event of the festival, the consecration of the Cathedral would be dull and uninteresting. I thought perhaps, though, I might glean a few interesting scraps of information from the gossip in the taverns and inns and resolved to spend most of my time in those locations discreetly eavesdroping.

The square outside the Cathedral was packed with people. Some hawked their wares while others hungrily eyed the feast that was laid out on a long row of tables. In one corner a brightly dressed Varisian dancer swirled her scarf while she danced. I thought I saw more than one coin disppear from a watcher's pocket into hers and not all were willingly proferred. A tall man, possibly Shoanti by the look of him, strode closer to the Varisian dancer. I was sure that he had spotted her pickpocketing as well. However, a gray cat came flying out of nowhere and landed on his head. Mayhem ensued as it hissed, spit and clawed at the dancer's pet cat while the man swatted at the cat to get it off his head. In all commotion he seemed to forget the Varisian pickpocket.

At that moment another male voice called out drawing our attention to the Cathedral steps. He introduced himself as Father Zantus, the local priest. I started digging in my pack for pen, ink and paper to take notes with on the ceremony. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary but I felt that notes would help jog my memory later on when I was writing my report.

That when I heard a strange sound. It emanated from the wagon in the right hand corner near the cathedral. To me it sounded like a dog's yelp cut short.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

CSFF Blog Tour: The Telling - A Review

(Pardon for posting this a little late. A bout of sickness knocked me off my feet and computer for a few days.)

Welcome to this month's CSFF Blog tour! The book this time is "The Telling" by Mike Duran. I don't normally read supernatural suspense thrillers so this one was definitely in a genre I'm not too familiar with. But, here are my thoughts.

True to the horror/suspense genre Duran doles out the hints and clues in small doses. Even the details of the main character's, Zephaniah Walker's, face aren't totally revealed until several chapters in. I found this to be an interesting approach to take, with regard to details, because it was attempting to dangle a hook to lead readers along. True, the whole history behind the scar on Zeph's face is important to his backstory and the book's plot, however it wasn't quite the revelation that I thought it would be after being dragged along for that length of time.

The whole book was like this. Small details being trickled here or there, in a very obvious fashion I might add, leading up to an unsatisfactorily small reveal or climax. Not that the book wasn't interesting. It was a fun read and kept me reading, though I wouldn't describe it as a page turner. I'm not quite sure whether I, as the reader, should feel insulted by how obvious all the clues were or whether that was just a result of the author not being the most adept at hiding the clues. The ending was fairly easy to guess and many pieces were overly easy to connect. The fragmented nature of the book seemed to be the author's method of hiding the clues, but it didn't completely work.

If you like the genre, then I'd suggest you read it. It's fun, a fairly unique take on demons and hell, and something you can justify spending an afternoon on. However, it's not a masterpiece so don't expect masterful red herrings and twists and turns you don't see coming. To the astute reader, the ending is easily discernible from a ways off.

Want to read it? Buy here: The Telling.
Or, visit Mike Duran's website or Facebook page.

Other tour participants can be found my CSFF Blog Tour page as well as links to past tour related posts.

Disclaimer: As part of the CSFF Blog Tour I received a free copy of this book to review.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weekly Roundup

A piece of good advice to start us off:
"Beware of clichés. Not just the ­clichés that Martin Amis is at war with. There are clichés of response as well as expression. There are clichés of observation and of thought – even of conception. Many novels, even quite a few adequately written ones, are ­clichés of form which conform to clichés of expectation." - Geoff Dyer

Now for the links:

One of the ever present questions in the publishing world is how long should your manuscript be? Arthur Plotnik gives his opinion on the matter over at Query Tracker.

Also at Query Tracker, Ash Krafton gives advice on how to craft well-rounded villains and the Zen of Backstory.

While writing, how do you keep all those bits and pieces organized? Michelle Rafter's advice is especially relevant for freelancers.

So now that you've written that perfect short story, how can you lengthen it into a longer piece without filling it with fluff? Guest blogger Liese Sherwood-Fabre gives a practical 4 step method.

But, before you send it out, name check! Do all your character's names sound like they belong in the same universe? Janice Hardy shares her experiences with the name game.

Once you've sent that manuscript out and it's been accepted (yay!) and you can't go five minutes without telling someone, how do you prevent yourself from being creepy on social media while trying to promote your book?

On a final note, Megan Bostic shares 7 things she's learned so far during her career as a writer.

Until next time!
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