2011-09-24

Hubs

I never heard of Hubpages.com until a fellow science fiction author clued me in on it. Here's how the sequence unfolded: I've been going to a writer's group meeting once a month for about a year now. The person running the meeting told me about another science fiction writer she has been in contact with and asked if I wanted his email. I wrote him and introduced myself and when he replied he told me about Hubpages. It is an opportunity to promote my book but Hubpages is not a promotional site. So I used a Powerpoint presentation I had created about how to self-publish to build a Hub page. Not only is it educational but it promotes my books as well. The more web presence I can get, the better.

Will be heading to the bookstore today which means I will get some more writing done in my current book. Speaking of that - I must pick a new title as "Trust But Verify" has already been chosen.

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2011-09-22

Progressing well

I've managed to get quite a bit written on my current book while in training. Took the test today and wrote about 5 pages. I hope to have this book finished and ready for a second pass in another couple months. I don't think I will have much time this weekend as it looks like we are going to be busy and not making any trips to the book store. I am fast approaching a point in the book where I have to make a critical decision. If I go one way a second book becomes a must. If I go another route the book has closure but leaves an unanswered question hanging in the air which is okay but not something I like to do. I can go another route and have complete closure at the risk of adding an element to the story that has been done before. I have some thinking to do.

Oh - as of this writing I've sold a total of 132 books - mostly all of them in the UK. Thank you to my foreign readers! Come on Americans - are we becoming a country of illiterates? Are we so lacking in imagination that many of us don't (or can't) enjoy a good book?

View or purchase my books at Smashwords. Visit my web page.

2011-09-17

Email from a fan

I recently received a very uplifting email from a fan of the Galactic Alliance series.  I won't post it here because I believe in keeping people's personal lives personal. It is the first email I've received from a reader of that series and it described how the book echoes the depression he felt when he lost his wife and unborn child.  It is emails like these that help encourage me to write even more especially since I've been trying to include a human element in all of my stories.  Science fiction is more than just a story about high-tech weapons and futuristic societies spanning the stars.  There is always one or more characters who's lives we are following and that is what the story is really about.

Work on "Trust But Verify" is proceeding well.  I should have time to write quite a few pages in the coming week.  I will be in training next week and that usually means I have quite a bit of time to write while the rest of the class studies.  I've never had a problem remembering things we are taught and I never have to study in order to pass a test - so while the others hit the books, I write one.

I am beginning to work through the logistics of a third Dragonverse book.  There are many possibilities and I think I've settled on one that will keep the reader flipping pages.  As with all my past books, I never outline, I never write down notes, and I have only a vague idea as to where the story will go when I sit down to write.  Often, the story takes on a life of its own and even I am surprised as to how things eventually come together.  On rare occasions I write myself into a corner but after sleeping on the problem for a few nights I always find a solution.  Dragonverse 3 will be the next book I work on following my current project.

View or purchase my books at Smashwords.  Visit my web page.

2011-09-12

Progress - at last

My best friend that I've known since junior high drove down last week from Minnesota and spent most of the week here.  I did, however, manage to continue working on Trust But Verify since I got up early and they did not get to the house each day until around 11:00.  I've broken through the writer's block by altering a significant fact that plays an important part in the book.  Prior to the change, I would have had to come up with 6 to 8 months of things to occupy the crew of the ship while repairs were underway.  I made a minor change by saying the ship carried a spare which allowed me to greatly reduce the repair time and focus on the main story.  I had to go all the way back to page 40 to make the change and then alter several references to the repair throughout.  I have no idea how people wrote books before computers!

On another note - we had our monthly writer's group meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Mentor and I actually brought one of my chapters to read.  Normally, I don't because the way I write means I have a work in progress that is not really fit to be read by anyone else.  But, I was confident that this particular chapter was close and I brought it.  The group had some good feedback such as change the name of the ship.  The ship is currently named "Star-Pulse".  They suggested changing it to the name of a famous person or a city - something more along the lines of how ships today are named.  I agree and will be changing the name.

Two more interesting items before I close this blog entry.  Number one - I've sole a total of 62 books as of today on Amazon.  I couldn't be happier!  Not for the money, but for the fact that my books seem to be selling quite well.  It give me encouragement to write more.  I only wish more of the purchases were from the US.  Most are from the UK which strikes me as very odd.  Second, I asked if anyone was reading my blog - guess the answer is yes.  Frank Hall (fellow Perry Nuclear employee) recommending I use the blog as a sort of sounding board to get the writing juices flowing.  I might just give that a try even though I do most of my plot planning either in the shower or while I'm trying to go to sleep.  I usually wake up with a completed plot - the unconscious mind is a wonderful thing and I take advantage of it every chance I get.

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren

2011-09-03

Writer's block kicks in

Progress on "Trust But Verify", which used to be Phobia, and which might be renamed yet again has pretty much ground to a halt.  It's not like I don't know how I'm going to end the book - I do.  The problem is I've gotten myself into a situation in the story where I need to fill in about 6 months of time and I don't have anything exciting to fill in the gap.  I might have to seriously re-think the timeline.

Here's the gist of the problem.  The ship is damaged and cannot be fixed without outside help.  I said the hyperjump pylons are made of a single crystal that takes nearly 6 months to grow and the ship can't do it by themselves.  So, I need to rethink the damage and how long it takes to repair the ship.  I'm on page 110 now and would like to get moving on it.  I want to start Dragonverse 3!

View or purchase my books at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DougFarren