Wednesday, 27 June 2012

It's Not What You Say...

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. In life this can be so true. You don’t have to have lived much to know that an argument can start with someone just over the tone of their words. But I’m not sure how true that is for books.
Granted, a nonfiction book poorly written, doesn’t fill me with confidence in what they’re saying. They could be giving me the best advice of my life, but filled with spelling and grammatical errors, I probably won’t listen. But I think that while an author’s style and voice are important, but just as important is what they’re saying. One of my favorite authors just released a new book and I bought the 30$ hardcover, excited to read it. When I finished, however, I was disappointed. There was no story and she hadn’t had much to say.
So while how you say something might be important, equally, what you have to say needs to match. Voice is unique but it can’t carry a story that’s limping along behind it. Voice is just an element of the many things you need for a successful and interesting story.
That being said, for the first time ever, I’ve bought a book purely because of the author’s voice. Chuck Wendig posts hilarious lists that I read, no matter what he’s writing about, just because I know it will be funny.  Even though a lot of these lists (that I’ve already read) are also included in the book, I bought it anyway. I’m not sure if, by the end, I’ll even care what he told me. I just know that there has to be an exception to every rule and this one’s pretty great.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

A Swamp of Souls: Published!

Jack's been back in the swamp for over a year with no sign of his siblings. Then, in one afternoon, that all changes when he learns Owen's been captured and taken to the citadel. His quest to reunite the family faces more obstacles than the King who seeks to collect them all as more questions are raised about the family they grew up in and the powers they possess.

The second book in the Swamp Children series has just been published online. I'll be working on the rest of Maga's shorts and then the third book 'A Swamp of Lies' so it should all be done before the new year comes back around. Enjoy!

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Mountain of Dreams

Sometimes decisions in life are hard. More often than they are easy, they are hard. Life seems to get grayer the older you get. More shades of rightness and wrongness and it is difficult to decide which is which.

For me, the decisions that revolve around writing are like this. Until recently. I've struggled to see what's right and what's wrong in each decision, each option I stand in front of but an amazing speech by Neil Gaiman gave me an idea of how to start.

In a commencement speech at an Art school, Gaiman tells a little of his own journey through the arts and some of the decisions he made that resulted in bringing him to where he is now. The biggest thing I took from it was a visual he described.

Imagine your goals and dreams as a mountain. Whenever you come to a crossroads in your life, and there always seems to be one after another, imagine that mountain. Imagine each option that you face. Whichever one brings you closer to that mountain is the road you need to take.

I can think of when decisions aren't even that easy but right now, for where I am and what I'm doing, that's enough. Am I walking towards it, or away from it? Which way are you going? Towards or away from your mountain of dreams?