Misconception Could Mean Missed Opportunity

There are lots of things I don’t know. I’m okay with that because I am not (a) an advanced artificial intelligence with all the world’s knowledge stored in my memory banks, (b) an idiot savant who remembers every single fact ever, or (c) the Library of Congress with books about every conceivable (and a few inconceivable – yes I do know what that word means) topics.

That’s what makes life fun is the learning of new things.

Unfortunately, there are a number of topics I think I have knowledge about that, it turns out, I am either misguided or completely wrong about. The problem with those topics is, I don’t actually know what they are until I am corrected.

Being shown the error of my ways can sometimes be embarrassing, but in general, is not something that bothers me. What DOES bother me is when I base decisions on incorrect information. Decisions that often prevent me from delving further into those topics.

For example, I had a fantastic conversation last night about a genre I know very little about. What I knew was based entirely on hearsay and innuendo. What I learned last night tells me unequivocally that the genre in question isn’t one I should shy away from.

Does that mean I should write in that particular genre? Not at all, but it also means I shouldn’t avoid reading it either. There is a lot more going on than I originally thought or gave it credit for. And that is where the missed opportunity exists for me. I really enjoy discovering new things because there is often something wondrous to be found. By avoiding it based on misconception, I’ve missed out on that possible discovery.


Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing

I think when most people think of being published they automatically think of book publishers and having their books in book stores. I know, that used to be the first thing I thought of. But there are many other markets for stories including podcasts.

Did you know that not only are podcasts publishing stories in audio form but there are several that pay professional rates? I knew about the former, but I wasn’t aware of the later. Today’s guest changed all that for me and I hope he will for you too. That guest is Alasdair Stuart.

Alasdair is a writer, podcaster, host and publisher with Escape Artists. Escape Artists is not one but three genre fiction podcasts. Escape Pod, Podcastle and PseudoPod. One for Science Fiction, one for Fantasy and one for horror.

Alasdair is awesome and I really enjoyed the conversation.

And while I have your attention, Mik Murdoch, The Power Within is eligible to be nominated for a Prix Aurora this year. If you are Canadian and would like to help me get my newest book into the awards, I would ask you to go to www.prixaurorawards.ca. You need a membership but the cost will also gain you eBook copies of all the nominated books. A bargain for $10. That membership will allow you to both nominate and vote for the awards. There will be a link in the show notes.

I would really appreciate your support.

And before we begin the show, I would like to remind you that if you have any questions or comments, you can send them to podcast@michellplested.com. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will find the person best suited to answer it and play it on the show.

Show Notes

00:00 — Opening – Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing

Everything has to start somewhere and this is the start of “Get Published”

00:14 — Introduction – Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing (continued)

Welcome to the show.

02:04 – Promo – Flash Pulp Podcast

02:40 Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing (continued)

Mike and Alasdair discuss:

  • Publishing, large audience, misconceptions, audio, podcast, diversity, science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Publisher, slush, rejection, submissions, @AlasdairStuart

32:01 – Promo – Mighty Marvel Geeks

32:34 — Closing

Thank you for listening.

Websites mentioned in this episode:

Alasdair Stuart – http://alasdairstuart.com/

Flash Pulp Podcast – http://flashpulp.com/

Mighty Marvel Geeks Podcast – http://webegeekspc.com/category/mighty-marvel-geeks/

Prix Aurora Awards – http://www.prixaurorawards.ca



Torturing Your Characters

I have long heard authors talk about torturing characters to make stories stronger. I have done a little of that with different characters in my stories.

The thing is, I find it easier to torturer one-time characters. Going one step further, torturing those characters that only appear in a short story.

I guess it’s like people. The better you get to know someone, the more protective of that person (assuming you like them) you get. Such is the way of it with my characters.

In fact, I have had to mentally prepare myself to do the necessary torturing with some of my recurring characters just so I can write the scenes effectively. Even then I sometimes find myself easing off on the characters. When that happens I have to step back, remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and then get back to being the hard case.

Still, it is funny to me that I have to do this. After all, the characters are not real people. They are my creations and, no matter how difficult I make it for them, I can still chose to let them live/die/whatever. The torture doesn’t have to be a lasting thing.

Regardless of what I can decide to do, I still have to remain true to my readers. If a character needs to die, I would be remiss in letting him or her live. If the character needs to have a crippling injury, that character has to suffer through the rehabilitation and possible long-term/permanent effects. To do anything different would be cheating.

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