Friday, July 22, 2011

Sci-fi Conventions and Sample Books

As our myriad of long time readers can attest, strange things have been afoot lately for the Scribblerati. There have been persistent plans and preparations! Anxiety and anticipation abound! And all for a single goal: The big day…

Next Saturday (7/30/11) is going to mark a lot of firsts for us. It’s my first convention. It’s OUR first convention as a group. We're also running our first panel. It's about creating and maintaining a diverse writing group.

Sounds great, right?

Well guess what else? Not only is this a great opportunity to meet all the various and sundry Scribblerati Agents at the same time and place, but good friend of the Scribblerati, local Sci-fi author and Wyrdsmith Lyda Morehouse is one of the Guests of Honor. Fantastic!

Plus, there will probably be costumes, there will definitely be some interesting things to see and I can almost guarantee you that there will be even more interesting discussions to be had. Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect with this or how things will go or anything, but all in all, it sounds like a hell of a good time.

You should come, if you want. Or don't. Whatever.

Anyway, all the information—tickets, times, location, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera—can be found through the Diversicon link above. You really should check it out, come on down, have some fun, and support diversity in genre fiction and genre fiction in Minnesota in general while you’re at it.

But that’s not all…

Next Saturday will also be the first time the Scribblerati Sample Book will be available.

What’s the Scribblerati Sample Book?

Oh, it’s a thing of beauty. 50 pages. 5 Authors. 5 samples of their work, plus a quick bio and some contact information, for the low, low price of $5.50 (plus shipping and handling of course) and all of it created by us! Woo!

We’ve ordered a few for ourselves to hand out at the convention. Hopefully, those lucky few who receive them will be excited. If you’re interested and you think you might want a free copy, show up on Saturday, find one of us and ask. However, if you can’t make the convention and still want one... Here’s the link to where you can order your very own copy to have and to hold and to love forever. I’ll put a link up on the sidebar too.

Pretty cool, huh?

Are you excited?

We are too.

See you next Saturday,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Before and After: A Mirror into the Editing Mind

A few posts ago, I blogged about editing my WIP down to a more reasonable size. This time, I thought I'd give an example of my cutting, with line notes. A bit of background: Beryl (my bear in girls' clothing) has been posing as a student at Wood's Hall to gather information on humankind. She's found out, in a manner of speaking: one of her favorite humans, Meridel, the school librarian, realizes that Beryl thinks she's a bear and commits her. Facing an extended stay in a Psych Ward, Beryl calls her slice-of-weather guardian, Auntie Claire, to help her escape. Giant tornado! The hospital, town, and school destroyed! Months later, Beryl must deal with the emotional aftermath:

Scat it all down a well.

I know I said I wouldn’t write about it anymore. But it’s happened again. (Unnecessary) I’ve just woken up from another nightmare. Insiders’ faces, the ones I knew, who I thought were my friends, who I cannot think on without the stabbing pains. In the dreams, those faces weave in and out of images from my travels. Blood dripping from jaguar fang. Snake coiled tight. A shark whipping up the waters. I’m still drenched with sweat. Won’t be able to fall back asleep now.

I need to figure this out.

They can’t hurt me. They’re dead. I don’t have to be afraid of being trapped anymore, or worse: being killed at their hands. I know this; so why can’t I just accept it? (Blah sentence)

No, wait. Now that it’s written down, I see it. What’s not right.[what’s wrong]. (Two less words! Says the same thing!) )I’m not afraid. That’s not the taste, the scent of what I’m feeling whenever the trap snaps shut inside me. Not fear. Pain. A hurting pain, a deep, hurting pain. (Thought this sounded better with the cut - crisper) But not caused by a scrape or a bruise or a cut or a….

I’m hurting. I’m hurt--

Oh. My. Dirt Clod.

I’m sad.

That’s what it is. (Doesn't really need to be said.) I'm sad that I killed my own jailers. I’m scatting sad I had to destroy those who were going [wanted] to destroy me.

Perfect. Just Perfect. They trap me. And then they make me feel bad for what I had to do to escape? Now, doesn’t that just take the chocolate cake.(Wrong emotional tone)

Why’d they make me do it? Why did they make me care about them in the first place? Why’d they have to be all friendly and sweet and funny and silly and smart? Lexie and Meridel and Mikey and Xander and Rebeka and Alex and Mr. Begin? I liked them.


I cared about them and I lived with them. (What comes later says all this, but in a much more specific way, truer to Beryl's voice) We were a pack. We were a covey. And then they make me destroy them by capturing me and why oh why oh why would they do that to me?

I Hate Them!

My process has been to go through each scene. After I've cut, I read the scene aloud and find more to delete. I can tell I've been working for too long when I'm not finding much; if I come back later, I can see what I've missed. Note that I haven't cut out all the repetition: I've got three examples of riled up animals in the dream, "why oh why oh why...." Sometimes saying more is truer to the story and makes for a better telling. But often, it's just grey and deadening.

Current count: 102,623, down from 128,119.

Feel free to suggest further trimming, if you see any fluff.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shawn Throws Down with the Wyrdsmiths!

Okay, so really it's more of a thoughtful, civilized, and engaging conversation, but that just isn't as snappy, you know?

Tate started it here

Then Eleanor posted here and here.

That's where I "threw down" - check out the comments. (I'm like a moth to flame when it comes to e-pubbing.)

Then Doug posted replied here.

My Superfly-splash is in the comments.

Will there be more?  Stay tuned...