Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Read and Writing

The secret behind every well at least many good writers is that they are also good readers. It makes sense reading helps us learn interes facts that gets us pondering about other interesting ideals. Not only that but seeing what writing techniques and styles work for other people can help a writer develop their own style.

I always like to be reading on fiction book and on non-fiction book. This way I get sample styles with the fiction and also learn stuff and generate new ideas with the non-fiction. It just seems to work for me.

The two books I am reading now are Raymond Chandler's, The Long Goodbye and Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds. To look at the titles you may think Parallel Worlds is the SF book, but it's not. It's a scientific look at our universe or multiverse and the possibility that parallel universes exist. It's written in a nice lively style that's both easy to follow and informative. I am sure some ideas discussed in Mr. Kaku's work will pop up in my writing. After all I figure part of my role as a SF writer is to take the ideas from scientists and extrapolate from them how people in the future my relate and respond to these concepts. Hopefully I will do it in an entertaining way.

Which brings me to, The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler was the master of the pulp novel. He could say the most with least words in the right way. I hope that by reading and absorbing enough of Chandler I will be able to do a decent sci fi spin on his style. I also like to think my Zachary Nixon Johnson draws a lot of inspiration from his Philip Marlowe. They are both tough guys who work hard to do the right thing and get the job done. Of course Zach is a futuristic, SF, pimped out version, but I still like to think that Zach thinks, what would Marlowe do in this situation?

Have a good Turkey day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parallel Thoughts Are Good for the Souls?

A couple of days ago I caught a really interesting show on the history channel about the possibilities and consequences of parallel universes. The bottom line was some to many physicists believe that parallel universes or the multiverse do exist. (This is a new concept to some so new that word flags multiverse as misspelled.) I being a long time comic book reader and sf writer have been familiar with the concept for a while now. Though it’s something I’ve always avoided tackling in writing because quite simply I always thought the concept was too mindboggling for my simple mind to comprehend.

In the book I am writing now, The Seven Sapphire Sirens are currently ancestors from an alien race. The show though on history channel got me thinking, wouldn’t it be kind of neat if the atlantians actually came from a parallel dimension? This in turn got me thinking again about the possibilities and consequences of such dimensions and how we would deal with them. It is an interesting subject that got my mind off on a tangent. Are there an infinite number of possible parallel universes? Does every single action a person takes or decision they make cause a “branch” in one universe that creates another universe? Do my parallel universes coincide with the parallel universes of the people I interact with everyday? If so it seems like the number of universes each of us are living in would always be growing. So infinity would be getting larger?? Surely even infinity must have some sort of practical limit. Which brings up another question: what is the main universe? Is there a main universe?

To make a super complicated matter about matter even more complicated I started thinking how this would effect such metaphysical concepts like God and soul. Would each universe have its own God? Is there a hierarchal of Gods? Would there be one ruling God? What exactly would God be? I have no idea. To get a bit (but not much) more down to Earth would we share any mental / physical or psychic links with any parallel Universe copies of ourselves? To put it in more spiritual way do all of our parallel selves share the same soul? Do they share some sort of energy bond that some people call a soul? If one of ourselves dies do the others feel it? I would like to think all the “mes” out there do share some kind of common bond. But really I have no idea.

Finally I concluded, I don’t think humans (at least not this one) can truly comprehend how vast infinity and time and space are. Therefore writing about it or trying to write about it is something I will leave to other people. The Atlantians will be aliens from another planet. That is a concept I can truly sink my teeth into and appreciate. I can deal with writing about how we would deal with other cultures and races and how they would deal with us. As for parallel universes, they made for an interesting mental detour. Hopefully it was a detour that sparked my creative flow as I passed around it to my story.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The circle of ARCs

This is an interested time in the life cycle of The Sapphire Hair Sirens. The story is now well under control. I have my beginning that sets the story up. I have a middle the moves the story alone with a zag and a zig. I have a end that winds up nicely with a twist or three that still seals everything nice and tight while expanding the world for future Zach adventures. So Sapphire is chugging along nicely.

Just as Sapphire has gained momentum though Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) of my last book The Flaxen Femme Fatale (hits books stores Dec 2) have hit the internet. So while I am plunging forward for Sapphire I am reading the reviews of Flaxen and plugging it where ever I can. By plugging I mean touching base with advanced reviewers just to make sure they got their copies. If they have gotten their copies and read it I also ask for their opinions. As learning what others think of my "work" helps me discover what works and what doesn't work so well.

It can be a bit of a process but I find it is quite worth it as learning what people like about the book that is about to hit the shelfs really charges my batteries when working on my current work in progress. So in a sense the energy from the last book feeds the next book.

I guess that's why it's important that I kept plugging away and keep turning out novels (or comics or cartoons).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yeah it's Finally Over

Yes it's finally over. No I am not talking about the election, though I am glad that is done also. My congrats to whoever wins. I am thinking at this time it looks like Obama but looks can be deceiving.

No I'm talking about something really important, well at least to me. I have finally finished the chapter by chapter outline of my next book The Sapphire Haired Siren. Yes after a LONG process of "what ifs" and "maybe this will work" I've written out the summaries and some details of the 40-50 chapters that will be my next book.

I feel good as I now know the story will start, have a middle and a end that ties everything together. It's strange no matter how many books I write I always worry that I won't be able to work the next one out. But I did. Phew that's a relief.

Since I thought some might find it interesting here is my sample first chapter summary:


Zach in his office notices that the top downloaded songs are now: The Chicken Dance, The Macarana, YMCA, Tip Toe through the Tulips, Purple People Eater, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and Monster Mash. Carol smiles good music never dies. Zach likes the last one but the others….

Zach is contacted by Don Rickey and his wife body guard Tammy, Don is captain Rickey’s brother. He an ex-pro baseball player who is coming up on eligibility to be voted into the hall of fame. Problem is he has a mole, threatening to turn over info saying he used performance enhancing drugs. He didn’t. He needs Zach to hunt down the mole. The threat came on old fashion paper (made from trees) With old magazine letters.

Now I will spend the next week or two adding detail and ideas to the chapter outline summary. Once that is solid I will go to the easy part -- the actually writing of the book. I figure writing 2-4K words a day the writing will be done in 4o days.