November marks the third installment of the three post package the Story Reading Ape offered. So far we’ve talked about short form fiction, and paranormal. I also write science fiction and fantasy.
Since these shouldn’t be just promotional, let’s discuss something few authors discuss. What shouldn’t we be writing?
All authors have strengths and weaknesses. Many times we don’t learn what they are until we write something out. It’s a tough lesson to learn with 120,000 words of fantasy. This is where short forms are so helpful to an author. If it doesn’t work out, you’ve lost a weekend. With a novel, you may have lost a year.
Writing to the market is a risky business. In many cases the market changes before the author can reach it. I know there are any number of sparkly vampire novels and schools for witches novels that missed the mark. I think the safe bet is to write the kind of story you personally would like to read next. Right or wrong, it’s what I try to do.
With this thought in mind, I love fantasy that includes dwarves. All the tropes about grouchy bear wearers who drink beer just clicks with me. (Have you see my author picture?) In my mind these are wonderful characters, but that market may be saturated. The trick is to make them something the world hasn’t seen yet.
When I wrote my Dwarven fantasy, I decided to change the setting. Dwarves have always been Nordic to one degree or another. Humans fill every suitable land-mass on the planet, and in a fantasy world the fantastic races would do the same. I decided to set my dwarves in a Romanesque environment. It’s still Europe, it’s just a little farther south. This is when I decided to change everything, there are no Romans, because Remus killed Romulus instead. The Remsians are the dominant force, but they’re just as brutal. The monsters and other races include Amazons, Cyclops, and Centaurs. In other words, the Dwarves are there, I get to play with the characters, but the setting is different enough to not be the same-old-thing.
When it comes to science fiction, I love a good space opera. I read them, I watch the movies, I eat them up. I don’t write them well. I learned this by trial and error. I write better science fiction that is what I call ten-minutes-into the future. What is cutting edge today, how can I make it terrible, and how can my heroes overcome it? I also like to use ancient technology to overcome modern miracles. Think about smashing a PC with a rock and you get the idea. (No PCs were damaged by rocks in my fiction…yet.)
These are all personal theories. Read and write whatever you like. I still believe I have one good Western in me somewhere, but those don’t sell much these days. The kind with Gatling guns and dynamite, not star crossed lovers from feuding ranches. Maybe someday.
These days it’s possible to follow an author on Amazon, so let’s talk about that. You can find my Greco-Roman fantasy, the Cock of the South on my author page. You can also find my science fiction works, Wild Concept, Arson, and The Playground there. Although Playground is a paranormal/science fiction mashup. There are also two Experimental Notebooks that contain science fiction and fantasy short stories. These are only 99¢ each, and they include multiple stories.
The Amazon author page also includes a feed from my blog, Entertaining Stories. It’s well worth following to get the blog feed, find the fiction, and get updates about new publications. Check it out HERE
All thanks to Chris for letting me post here for the past three months. It’s been my pleasure, and as my promotion season winds down, I hope to get back to my long suffering novel and finish it this spring.