Friday, June 28, 2013

Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

This is the first novel of the trilogy "Broken Empire", and if I'm not wrong, the first publish novel by Mark Lawrence.
It's the coming of age story of a runaway prince that bands with a group of thieves and killers.
The book is dark and cynic. The protagonist is just a boy but speaks like a weathered and mirthless old man.   His little regard for life is only exceeded by his fondness of violence, and his limited self control.
I, personally, had a hard time emphasizing with the protagonist, being pulled more toward those around him; something not easy when the book is written in first person, and everything is coming out of the protagonist's mind. But, the character is interesting, and I found myself hating him, yet wanting to find out why he behaved in such a why.
The other factor that kept me interested was the world itself. In fantasy literature, the world can be one more character, so this is not new, but this world has some very interesting secrets. But I will not spoil them for you.
All in all, this book was enjoyable, but not great. However, I have seen that reviews for the next book in the trilogy agree in qualifying it as much better than the first. So I'm willing to give it a chance and find out if it's true. If not, it was still entertaining, so there is no loss there; but I always have my hopes up for a good novel.

Kindle Worlds Open for Submission

Kindle Worlds is open for submission. There are 12 worlds for which you can write fan fiction. These are: "The Foreword Saga", "Gossip Girl", "Little Pretty Liars", "Vampire Diaries", "Bloodshot", "X-O Manowar", "Archer & Armstrong", "Harbinger", "Shadowman", "Wayward Pines", "Silo Saga", and "John Rain".
Many more than were announced at first.
I personally am not inclined to write fan fiction at the moment (never say never), but I have nothing against it. In fact, I believe that it's a great idea and will enrich the literature world. It will give readers what they want and it will pay writers for their work.
Can't wait to see how it develops in time.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Half of the first draft done!!!

Finally I've passed the half of the first draft.
This is the hardest part for a writer. Where you come up with countless ideas for new novels. But I must be strong and keep going so I pass this lump in the path. Once I get nearer to the end, it will be easier to continue as I see the end closer.
Later I'll have the arduous job of revising and editing the manuscript; but I best not think about that just yet and concentrate in reaching the end of the draft as soon as possible.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My 2 cents

It seems that there are many voices in the traditional publishing establishment ranting against self published books, and in spite of my little experience in the field -I only just published a couple of short stories and I'm still working on my first novel- I want to give my two cents in the matter.
I believe that these rants are but a tantrum of someone with their livelihood threatened.
Traditional publishers are seeing how the indi industry is coping more and more of the market and they are seeing how their percentage of the sales are being reduced, so instead of adapting to the changing times, they decide to scream and whine.
In my humble opinion, what they should be doing is searching for ways to attract more of us writers to their ways. And how can they do this? It's actually quite easy. They just need to open the possibilities for writers. Increase the percentage of royalties, make better contacts, change their distribution tactics, etc.
Instead of defending their old ways they should embrace the new standards. It's the only way they will survive. Otherwise they will die a long and painful death.
I am no seer, but it is quite obvious that self published writers are going to increase and continue to cope more and more of the market. Soon someone will think of a way of distributing indi books to libraries and books stores and that will be the mortal blow to traditional publishers.
I, personally, am not against them. I respect them and would not mind to be a hybrid writer, that pursues both paths. But I am not going to loose a year or more of my life, trying to get some publishers or agents to read my manuscript, let alone publish it. This industry moves along really fast and loosing so much time, is not an option.
Before, you had no other way, so you had to do it, and loose that time. Now, it is not necesary, so why bother with trad if you can almost instantly publish and see royalties trickle into your bank account?
And let it be clear that I do not believe that indi publishing is the fast track to fame and fortune; fame and fortune come with good quality writing and readers interested in what you have to say. It has nothing to do with the way you reach readers. So what I defend is the freedom of a writer to put out his work effortlessly and the right of the reader to have a wide variety from which to choose.
It trad publishers don't change, they will disappear, and no one will miss them at all. It's a shame, but life isn't fair.
This reminds me of other revolutions in other industries were automation replaced hand made manufacturing  People are usually scared of change, but whoever wants to survive, needs to adapt. And that is a fact.

Friday, June 14, 2013

14 - Peter Clines

This is a book I have been wanting to read for some time. And when I finally got to reading it, I was glad I had.
Peter Clines' style is simple, clean, and direct. He describes the characters with their actions and dialogs, and looses no time on flourishes of language. It really reminded me of a movie or a play, so heavy was the text with dialog. And this is not a bad thing, depending on the plot and rhythm of the story, it fits really well.
The characters could have had more layers to them, but they are not shallow.
The story is very good plotted, and it is obvious that he spend quite some time preparing all the small details.
This book is full of mysteries; each new one taking the reader a little deeper into the strange world that Mr. Clines has constructed. A strange world that reminiscence of Lovecraft and his unworldly mysteries.
A great read that will not pass unremembered to the fans of mystery and horror.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Last Argument of Kings - Book Three of the First Law Series

What a great trilogy. I guess that sums it up. For those that like fantasy, but oriented for a more mature audience; which I suppose is an ever growing group thanks to Game of Thrones and George RR Martin.

The third book in the trilogy performs even better than the two previous ones. Here is where all the plot arcs come to an end. And it's not a Hollywood style end at that, its as dark and grim as the rest of the books.

The plot moves along taking us to the climax of the book, to then tie up all the lose ends in the last quarter. Joe Abercrombie does a good job at this, too. He forgets no one, and makes sure that the reader knows what the fate of all the important characters is.

Abrupt ends are sometimes cool, and serve a purpose (namely, leave the reader with a certain emotion); but when you find a lot of characters as unforgettable as these, you really want to know what happens with them once the climax ends and everything returns to "normal".

I really enjoyed reading The First Law trilogy and, in fact, I am looking forward to reading the other standalone novels Abercrombie has written in the same universe.