Saturday, December 20, 2008

In the Service of Samurai Book Video!

Well, after way too many months of avoidance and procrastination, I was finally able to carve out a chunk of time to get all the pieces together and finish the first of my much needed four book videos!

Woot!!!! The Book Video for In the Service of Samurai is COMPLETE!

If you care to take a peek, you can find the bugger here.

It's not going to win any Academy Awards, but hopefully it will get the point across. Heh heh.

Now to get my eyes to quit twitching from strain. Whee!

Heh heh. See ya!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

As you know, Bob...

Going on a major splurge of absorbing 10 years worth of SG-1 in about 1.5 years makes a few things stand out in the watching. One of the items that kept popping up over and over is a big no-no in writing, so I was quite saddened to see poor Captain/Colonel Carter stuck with it over and over and over again - the old dreaded "As you know, Bob..."

Handling of information already known to the characters but which the reader might not know and needs to be told is a tricky item to handle in writing. There are right ways of dealing with such a situation and a wrong way - and the use of "As you know" being a bad one should always be one avoided like the plague. (Just heard the phrase again a few days ago while watching the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still - sigh...) It's a crutch, and not a good one, which can be avoided with a little effort or difused enough that the reader won't realize it's information being offered for their benefit and not one the characters would actually bring up and voice otherwise.

In TV regurgitating info for the audience's benefit is a little more restricting than for writing, but doable all the same. Let me see if I can work up an example.

Not so good way: "As you know, General, the enemy is at the border. We may have to use the gamma weapon sooner than anticipated."

Better way: "With the enemy at the border, General, we may have no choice but to use the gamma weapon sooner than anticipated."

In a written medium, you have the added option of the information never actually being said out loud but the character imparting the information instead by their thoughts or reactions.

Another way: As the colonel hurried down the hallway to the breifing, he realized that with the enemy already at the border, they might not have any choice but to use the gamma weapon sooner than anticipated.

You can mix dialogue with character thoughts/reactions to break up info dumps or add data that again would be known to those speaking and not the reader and do it in such a way that it does not disrupt the story but enhances it.

For example: "We may have to deplay the gamma weapon." Colonel Barns felt his stomach clench as he made the suggestion, only too aware of the weapon's theorized capabilities. With a range of up to two miles, once fired, it would create an ever widening zone of destruction unlike any other weapon ever used up to this point in the history of man.

Okay, I went a little over the top with the melodrama, but you get the point. Heh. While everyone at the briefing is probably already aware of the weapon's potential for destruction, and would not therefore mention it, I still got that information across to the reader. There are many ways to forward information yet not detract from the writing and characters themselves, you just need to get creative. Crutches may be quick fixes but won't satisfy anywhere near as much if you take the extra time and effort.

Keep your ears open and see how many time you can catch or stumble over the dreaded "As you know, Bob..." Steer clear of it in your own efforts! For all our sakes! Heh heh.

Good luck!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Willing Sacrifice is a Finalist in the 2009 EPPIES!

My YA book, Willing Sacrifice seems to be on a roll!

Eppie 2009 Finalist

It finaled earlier this year for the Dream Realm Awards (didn't win though - I suffer from one of those "always a bridesmaid never a bride" type things, but I am NOT complaining! Better to final and not win than never final at all! That's my story and I am sticking to it! Bwahahahaha.) and it has now also landed on the finalist list under the Fantasy Category for the 2009 EPPIES!

Will find out if it wins in March 2009 at EPICON. Fun con for authors too! Always lots of stuff to learn on promo and the awards ceremonies is always a blast, especially when Jeff Strand is the MC! Looks like the convention will be at Lake Las Vegas, NV in early March.

Wish me luck! And if you want a taste of what all the excitement might be about (hey, who knows what the judges were thinking?) you can check out some sample chapters at the website.

Here's a quick blurb in case you're curious...

To save the world she must die! Or does she?

For as long as she can remember, La'tiera has known her purpose, her destiny. As the Bearer of the Eye, she will wait until the appointed time then sacrifice herself to the demons so the lands will be safe.
Yet as the time approaches, she is snatched from her home by strangers and is told it is for her protection. These strangers tell her she is not to be a sacrifice, but must fight to live in order for the world to be saved.
La'tiera will not be swayed, however, her duty clear. Despite their clever lies, she will follow through on her destiny and do what is required. Her every effort will be put to freeing herself from her kidnappers and meeting her fate as planned.

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