Being a Better Writer Delayed

Just a heads-up, guys, but you probably won’t see this week’s Being a Better Writer post until tomorrow. I’ve got an early-morning work shift today, then a physical therapy appointment (one of the last, thankfully, as my knee is healing) right afterwards. Then another early-morning shift tomorrow. And in my current financial situation (which is really bad), I need every shift I can get.

BaBW for this week will likely hit tomorrow morning or afternoon, as a result.

 

In the meantime, there are years worth of archives to binge through!

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Review: Seven-Point Star – A Solid Early Work Despite Some Missteps

Woof! This has been a long time coming. And for that, I owe G.S. Taylor an apology. This review was due a while ago, but with the bronchitis knocking everything back, getting this review out and onto the screen has taken far, far longer than expected. But better late than never, and now at last you, my readers, finally have a chance to take a look at my thoughts on Seven-Point Star, Taylor’s first novel.

So let’s get one thing out of the way first: Seven-Point Star is a fairly solid appearance from a new author, with plenty of strong points to it. If you’re looking for the short, 100% blind, spoiler-free review, that’s it. Seven is a fairly strong first work that, especially at the price, is worth picking up and reading through, especially if you’re the kind of reader that admires the particular strengths it does put on display … or if you just enjoy quick alternate history/fantasy reads.

What are those strengths, you might ask? Well, for the spoiler-free summary, here you go—I found the protagonist to be strongly written, mostly in her perspective and unstable teenage vantage point, and the world itself—what we’re given anyway—is almost like a Sci-Fi-Crystal Fantasy fairy tale in the way it comes across. Both these elements stay pretty solid through the course of Seven-Point Star, and if you’re looking for something that delivers those, well, Seven-Point Star will satisfy your thirst … though you will notice weaknesses that run counter to those strengths. In my personal opinion, however, the strengths are just enough to make up for the weaknesses and carry the title on above average. So you’re still going to get a decent read provided you appreciate the strengths for what they are.

Right, with the short, spoiler-free summary out of the way, let’s get a bit more loose with how much this review gives away—without giving away too much, but I will have to reveal a few general concepts as we dive into the book. Hit the jump for spoiler-town!

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Being a Better Writer: Writing for Yourself

Short one today, readers. Mostly because I’m writing this between conference sessions on a Saturday, as I’ve got work shifts Monday and Tuesday, among other things, and so it’s literally a case of “Blitz this while I can!”

Right, that in mind, let’s dive right in. Today, I don’t want to talk about writing big, drawn-out epics, or short stories, or chapters, or anything that you know you will be publishing. Today, I want to write about something different. Something with another goal in mind.

I want to talk about writing for yourself.

This topic stems from a recent conversation with a friend of mine that jogged my memory to many similar conversations with other individuals, as well as a Patreon supporter post that touched on the idea as well. To save time and sum things up, I’ll just say it outright: There are a lot of people who start a writing project, wanting to tell a story, and then just kind of taper off. Always thinking about it, but never going back to it because it wasn’t that great, or it wasn’t at a level where they’d show it to anyone, and they felt either self-conscious or embarrassed by the idea of finishing it and putting it out there.

Well, I want to tell you a secret: You don’t have to show it to anyone. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t finish it.

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Two Patreon Supporter Posts Just Went Up!

Hey! Over here! Listen!

If you’re a supporter of Unusual Things on Patreon, I’ve got good news! Both the sickness-delayed August supporter post and the September supporter post have both just gone live! And even better, both contain never before seen stories. I’m not kidding, one of them was only ever seen by my classmates, and as far as I’m aware, the other has never been seen outside of my own eyes and that of my curious mother, who wanted to see what I was working on.

So yeah, both are old. Both are also, however, predecessors to the Unusuals Universe. No, seriously, you should be able to see the bricks being laid when you’re reading these.

Anyway, you can head on over to the posts page to take a look at both of them! Provided, of course, you’re a supporter. If you’re not, well … You’ll miss out. But hey, never fear. You can always become a supporter and get a look at everything that’s been posted there!

That’s all for now, but October is coming soon! And I’ve got something in mind for that …

The News

Last night, I reached the … Hang on, would this be a spoiler? Thinking about it … no. Because if you’re reading my stuff and don’t expect this, it must be the first thing you’re reading.

So, last night, I hit the last twist of Jungle.  Everything in the story is in the endgame now.

Which is good, because I’m behind schedule by about two months, between the knee and getting sick. So I need to catch up and get this draft finished so that I can pour through and get the next draft of Shadow of an Empire ready for the next phase, so I can stay on track getting that out by the end of this year.

Granted, this means I’ll be pushing hard over the next few weeks. I need to pull my bank account out of the red, which means additional shifts at work, but I also need to knuckle down and get Jungle done. It’s going to be busy.

I am confident enough, however, that I can do this that I’m going to start putting some ticking clocks on things. I expect in another two weeks, three at the most, Jungle‘s first draft will be complete.

So, hopefully first week of October. From there, I dive into getting Shadow of an Empire into Alpha 2 (3 if needed), Beta 1, Beta 2 … you get the picture. October, November … I may be able to make a December release.

At the same time, I’ll be readying myself for Hunter/Hunted, which will be the next big writing project. And … that’s as far as I want to confirm for the moment.

Wish me luck, guys. It’s going to be a busy few months.

Health-Related Update

Just a quick update on my health situation, after sleeping almost 30 total hours in the last two days, I almost feel human again. Which, this being the 12th day since I got ill … is welcome news, really.

Unfortunately, that’s means 12 days since I last did any real writing work. So Jungle is now 12 days behind schedule. Sorry guys. I just … trust me when I say that I’ve learned the hard way to not write when I’m sick, because what I churn out is steaming garbage that only gets deleted the moment I recover and see how terrible it is. I need a mind at full capacity.

Anyway, I’m almost healed. Which means normal operations will resume. My apologies for the delays!