Saturday, July 30, 2016

SNAFU-Future Warfare- Get Your Military Sci-Fi Fix

My short story "Outpost" is in the "SNAFU: Future Warfare" anthology. If you like movies like Aliens and Starship Troopers, the stories in "Future Warfare" are written in that tradition. This is a great series if you like military, action-oriented horror. There are other volumes available, as well. All of them contain some cool stories by some excellent writers. Check it out if you please.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Writing on the Go: What Can You Do With Ten Minutes?

I've been typing in pages from my writing notebook to the computer for the past week or so. Often, I'll start a scene while on break at work in my notebook and type it later that night, finishing it up. Much of my writing is done in short bursts, and as I've said before on this blog, it adds up. So if you only have ten minutes, what writing/publishing activities can you do?

1. Make notes for your next few scenes.

2. Write the first quarter/half of a scene or chapter.

3. Jot down some ideas for your next book/story.

4. Research potential markets for your fiction. Study a successful author whose work is similar to yours (What things are they doing right?).

5. Make some rough notes for a future blog post.

6. Share some content on social media (interesting articles, helpful advice, etc.)

7. Share something on social media channels about your work in progress. Give people a glimpse of your writing process.

8. Read an article on the writing craft.

9. Read/comment on a blog you enjoy.

10. Write a quick review of a book you enjoyed. Give the author a shout out on Twitter, FB, etc.

11. Read a chapter in a book (reading is part of being a writer).

I sometimes catch myself in those spare minutes mindlessly searching FB, Instagram, etc. when I could be writing or doing something to increase visibility and connect with people. These are just a few ideas on how to maximize your time.

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Fifteen Minute Fix - Finding Time to Write

I get asked often how I find time to write. I've written thirteen novels, some novellas, and the occasional short story over the past twelve years. Like most of us, I work a day job and have family and other commitments.

So between work, family, running errands, and all the other things life throws at you, how can you find time to write?

Take advantage of short writing sessions. Writing sessions don't have to be marathons. Sprints are just fine. Lunch and work breaks are great. Waiting for the doctor is another prime opportunity to write. You can stay up fifteen minutes later or get up fifteen minutes earlier. Skip that half hour television show.

To make your writing sessions more efficient, I recommend using a timer. I like fast, fifteen minute sessions. You can do a bunch of these in a row, or spread them throughout the day. The one rule is you write while the timer is going. No web surfing, no distractions. Do nothing else but write while the clock is ticking.

I think you'll surprise yourself with how much you can get done. I know I did. Here are some word counts from two timed sessions (15 minutes each):

Session one: 488 words
Session two: 600 words

That's four pages of manuscript (averaging 250 words per page) in a half hour's time. And the writing will add up. Before you know it, that first draft will be complete.

There's always a way to get writing done.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Happy Fourth of July

I got in my two weekend writing sessions. I try and do two sessions between Saturday and Sunday morning. I get up between 6-6:30 a.m. to write, which is sleeping in for me. I get up at 4:30 for work during the week.

Getting up early on the weekend allows me to get writing done while my family sleeps. I've always been more of a morning person. My wife will agree that I'm probably too damned cheerful in the morning.

I'm at around 45,000 words on Kingdom of the Dead. This is between what I have on the computer an what's still in my writing notebook. Hoping to have it done by the end of summer.

Also been trying to whip my old ass into shape. My wife and I have been walking a lot. Getting in 2-3 weight workouts per week, in addition.

I've been checking out this guy's website lately(found him through YouTube), and there's a ton of great, no-BS fitness information on there. His name is Radu Antoniu. Here's the link.

Saw A Quiet Place II This Weekend

Jenn and I went for lunch yesterday, then saw A Quiet Place II at the Aurora Theater. The Aurora is a great little theater. One screen, and...