Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thrillercast Episode 30 – Writing and Rewriting History

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Alan talks about the new multi-media webinar of his How To Write Realistic Fight Scenes Masterclass. All the details here: http://www.alanbaxteronline.com/write-fight-scenes-masterclass

Alan talks about his current job of writing a video game narrative.

Alan talks about the new anthology, Hope, featuring his fantasy short story, Duty & Sacrifice. All profits from Hope will go to charities which help to raise suicide awareness. Get it here: http://www.kayellepress.com/books/anthologies/hope-speculative-fiction-to-help-raise-suicide-awareness/purchase-options-for-hope-anthology/

We talk about the new methods publishers are trying to avoid complaints about poorly reported sales figures for their creators.

Dave talks about the audiobook version Quest – it’s recorded and ready for a pre-Christmas release.

Promo- Mail Order Zombie podcast

We go on to talk about the nature of using history in our novels and how we approach cultural and historical events and use them.

We discuss the challenge of internal consistency in our novels and the amount of research involved, to ensure we approach our rewritten histories and mythologies from an informed point of view.

We touch briefly on cultural appropriation – is everything fair game?

We discuss the human psychology of religion and mythology, and culture, and how that needs to apply even in a completely fantasy world.

David discusses the cultural failings of some fantasy epics where history/culture is over-simplified.

Alan takes the same point to the failings of many sci-fi stories to correctly address cultural variation.

There are several versions of the US map David mentions. Here are just a few:

This is the one Dave mentioned: http://dalewrites.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/how-america-sees-the-world.jpg

Here are a few others:



And Alan's favourite: http://www.irintech.com/x1/images/jean/US_World.jpg

We go on to discuss the importance of taking time out from writing to have a think. Thinking is an integral part of writing and we discuss the various methods we use to step away from the writing and let our brains chew on the details.

We talk about how we organise our research in order to draw from it for the novel in progress.

The importance of doing lots of research even if you don’t actually use it all in the finished story, as it will inform what you do include.

We talk about how the research for one project can be an investment in your writing career, as it can only help broaden the writer’s knowledge in general.

We then discuss the nature of readers recognising lazy research in our work. The more successful we get, the more we’re likely to sell from our backlist and the more critically we’ll be reviewed. Our early work may not be as good as later work from a craft point of view, but our research and integrity needs to be clear from the beginning.

Here’s Sean Ellis’s new book, Magic Mirror, out now from Gryphonwood Press - http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Mirror-ebook/dp/B005UHIIH0/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=A24IB90LPZJ0BS


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Episode 29 - Catfights, Causes and Controversies

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ThrillerCast is one year old!

Alan was recently a guest at ConFlux.

David is looking forward to the release of the Quest audiobook.

The strange and cool experience of hearing your characters interpreted by a voice actor.

Writing Fight Scenes Online Master Class- Alan will be leading this class along with Joanna Penn, author of Pentecost and host of The Creative Penn. A few spaces remain. Thursday Oct 20, 2011 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT (9pm GMT). A recording with slides will be available if you can't make the live session.

Registration link:

This is the one year anniversary of ThrillerCast! What has changed in publishing in the last year?

Industry growing pains.

Negative reactions to Amazon's publishing imprint. Conflicts over excluse digital rights. Are booksellers making the right decision by refusing to carry print versions of books on which Kindle holds exclusive rights?

Disparate viewpoints on how authors should approach this tumultuous world. Then and now- watchdog organizations and where to get advice.

The Write Agenda
-What exactly is their agenda? We don't quite get it.
-Who are they angry with and why? What did Writer Beware and random SFWA officers ever do to them? We find them confusing.
-Why don't the individuals in the group identify themselves? (Or are we just missing it on their website?)
-Why does their highlighted bestseller list seem to be almost exclusively authors from pay-to-publish businesses? Perhaps there's nothing to it, but it gives a negative impression.
-Perhaps their cause is a good one, but we're having a hard time 'getting it.'

Our advice
- If you don't want to go the traditional publishing route, you are better off avoiding pay-to-publish companies. You can hire people to do the things you can't, and you'll be better off in the long run.
-Connect with the indie community for mutual support and guidance.
-Whether it's a cause like The Write Agenda or an advice site like Writer Beware, always weigh the value of what their saying, then make your own educated decision.