Housekeeping

I’ve got a couple updates today, hence the title of the post.

MIK MURDOCH: THE POWER WITHIN

I have very happy to tell you that the first round of editor revisions are done. I’m doing one more read-through of the manuscript and then it is back to 5 Rivers for next set of comments.

PARSEC AWARD NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN

For those of you who listen to Get Published, the Parsec Award Nominations are now open. I would love it if one of you fine listeners would nominate the podcast this year.

LOOKING FOR HERO/VILLAIN PROFILES

One of my readers (of Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero) sent me a picture of a costume he created. His mother has given me permission to use the picture on the site so I thought it would be fun to create a “Hall of Heroes” on the site. I will be doing this soon.

And, of course, what good is a “Hall of Heroes” if I don’t have an area for villains too?

That being the case, if you have a picture (of you) in costume that you would like to send me, please do so along with a brief description of your abilities and hero/villain name.

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Finding Your Voice

I have read a lot of writing advice that says you should write in your own unique ‘voice’. But, what the heck IS your own voice? How do you find it and how do you recognize it when you see it?

Those are questions I have asked myself many times and, I suspect, some of you have too.

It wasn’t until a few nights ago that I think I finally saw the light. I was mulling over what should be the next scene in one of my books and how I was going to present my characters in it when I realized that I actually know what my voice is.

The revelation actually came when I threw away the whole notion that voice had anything to do with how my writing sounds (pretty corny, I know, but I was hung up on the whole audio component of voice).

So, in an attempt to help you find your own voice, let me talk about what I think my voice is:

  • It’s all about the characters – When I write, character is usually my first consideration. Second at most. Who are my characters going to be and what do they care about? That helps me to drive any story forward because a story is, at its very essence, a series of events driven by how the character reacts and deals with them.
  • There has got to be humour – Even in my darker writing (and yes, I do have some), I will have some humour. I’m not sure my darker stuff is my better stuff either. The writing that has more humour resonates with me (and, I think, others) more strongly.
  • Minimalist approach to setting and description of setting – One of my very favourite writers, Anne McCaffery, always created extremely rich worlds. She did it, not by describing every detail, but by making every word count. She did it in such a way that the reader was able to create their own vision of what that world looked, sounded and smelled like. Phillip Jose Farmer was much the same. Tolkien was not. That would explain why I had such a tough time reading The Lord of the Rings when I was young.
  • Emotion – I use emotion in my writing (at least my better writing) quite a bit. Characters feel and we readers feel through them. It is important to share that emotion so there can be a connection between character and reader.
  • I try not to use cardboard characters – I’m not always successful with this one, but I certainly try. In Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero, the adults are not simply foils for my younger characters. They are living, breathing, feeling people who contribute to the story. There is respect between them and the younger characters. This is not Nickelodeon where the adults are just clowns to be tormented for the amusement of the youth.
  • Logical progression – This might make my stories easy to predict…or not. I don’t know. But, I try to foreshadow my events properly and have things fall into place in a more or less logical way.
  • Dialogue – I try to have my characters do something when they are talking. If you have ever watched people in conversation, they might smile at each other or laugh when something funny is said. They might shift from foot-to-foot when bored or roll their eyes when they think something is stupid. Rarely do they stand looking at each other simply saying things.

Those are the more obvious (to me) characteristics that make up the voice of my writing. No doubt there are several, more subtle qualities that I haven’t mentioned here.

What you should notice right away is, every element I’ve mentioned is a part of story-telling and that is what I really think voice is. How you tell a story.

So, what things do you do in your story-telling that make up your voice. I really would like to hear about it so please comment or send me an email.

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Get Published Episode 132 – Jessub Flower Builds His Platform

I am always on the lookout to learn something new – maybe a new way to grow my author’s platform or market my books.

That’s why I love talking to different authors about what they are doing. One such author is Jessub Flower who is using his debut novel, Daisy Hill to do all of those things: promote, market and try to get a publishing deal. Jessub and I talk about what he has been doing to achieve his own personal writing goals.

I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to my author’s voice. I think part of that is an effort to procrastinate and not actually finish some of my writing. Regardless of the reason, I’ve heard the phrase many times and have wondered exactly what it meant. In today’s show, I talk about what it means to me.

That’s today’s show. I hope you enjoy it.

Show Notes

00:00 — Opening – Get Published Episode 132 – Jessub Flower Builds His Platform

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

00:14 — Introduction – Get Published Episode 132 – Jessub Flower Builds His Platform (continued)

Welcome to the show.

01:15 - Promo - Flash Pulp

01:41 – Tips and Typos

Mike talks about finding and knowing your author’s voice.

06:11 - Promo - Saturday B Movie Reel

07:11 Get Published Episode 132 – Jessub Flower Builds His Platform (continued)

Mike and Jessub talk about building an author’s platform as well as:

  • Joss Whedon, author’s platform, Leveraging connections, networking, not down playing your own work, elevator pitch, Nothing natural about promoting yourself, Daisy Hill, Cross genre, Theme, Selling yourself as an author, persistence

54:00 - Promo - Pop Mockers

54:31 — Closing

Thank you for listening.

 

Websites mentioned in this episode:

Jessub Flower - http://jessubflower.com

Flash Pulp - http://flashpulp.com/

Saturday B Movie Reel - http://tuningintoscifitv.com/tag/sbmr/

Pop Mockers - http://www.popmockers.com/

 

Special Thanks to Jeffrey Hite for assisting in the production of Get Published.

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