Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yesterday's Gone (Season One) - Sean Platt & David Wright

This has been a happy surprise for me. I new these guys from their 'Self Published Podcast'. I saw one episode where they interviewed Hugh Howey. Then I found about their non-fiction book about self publishing, 'Write, Publish, Repeat'. So I finally decided to search for some fiction they had written and see how their tips and tricks translated to actual writing.
This serialized novel got my attention instantly. The blurb is compelling and interesting, and the tittle is really cool, (Yesterday's Gone, now there's a great tittle). And the fact that it was serialized struck me as an original way of writing and publishing.
So it starts up like many other end of the world stories, everything going awry, humanity disappearing, etc. But it soon takes pace as mysteries start developing.
I literally couldn't stop reading until I reached the end.
It's written in the form of tv episodes, so at the end of each there is a cliffhanger; and the end of the season is as thrilling as would be expected.
The characters are well fleshed out and different. And the plot is really well paced.
All in all, I can't wait to read the second season.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

This new YA novel by Brandon Sanderson was really pleasant to read. It's the first in a new series and works as an introduction to the new world of the Epics and Calamity.
I have to admit that I'm not especially fond of YA literature, and there was moments I missed more adult themes, however the story and characters are so compelling that those moments diluted away barely unnoticed. In spite of being the first in a series, it can be read as a stand alone novel. It's one of those that if you don't read any more in the series, you wont be missing anything. So if you do read more, it's because you want to return to the alternate world Sanderson has created and to find out what happens next to the main characters. This is something I appreciate when reading the first installments in a series. Instead of leaving dozens of unfinished plot threads -which would be resolved in the next novel- he ties everything up neatly, and leaves it to the reader to decide if he wants to delve once more in his fantastic alternate world.
The characters are compelling, as I said before; maybe somewhat simple than what I would prefer, but it is a YA novel. However they are well fleshed and most of them don't fit the stereotypes. A few do fall into the common stereotypes, and I guess that once again the reason is because this is a YA novel.
All in all, I enjoyed it, and -mainly for this reason- I will read the next in the series when it comes out.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Another revision of Children of Space

I'm doing another revision of this sci-fi novella, and I'm using for the first time the dictation feature of Scrivener. It's fantastic. It reads aloud your manuscript, and hearing it read to you makes it so much easier to catch mistakes in flow, typos, punctuation, etc. I had read before of authors reading aloud their manuscripts and always thought of it as an eccentricity, but now I understand why they did it.

As many authors have stated countless times, you never stop learning.

I strongly urge all aspiring writers -or well stablished authors, for that matter- to give a try at Scrivener. It's a great software that helps enormously in the task of structuring, writing, organizing, and formatting your manuscripts. And it's really cheap!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cat's cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

I was looking forward to reading this as it is considered a classic of science fiction and I love this genre. I finally got around to reading it and was somewhat disappointed. There is very little sci-fi material in the book to even consider it part of the genre, under my opinion. But I presume not to know more than those who have classified it thus.
My problem with this book is the fact that the plot could have been told in no more than five pages. The rest is character development, political and cultural descriptions of the fictional banana republic, and descriptions of the fictional religion. In fact, most of the rest of the book is about the republic's culture and politics, and about the religion and its beliefs.
If it were a short story, maybe ten pages long, I would probably have liked it.
It starts out great, then it winds down and meanders around for the most part of the book, until you reach the end where it revs up again, ending quite well. Mostly all of the plot is in the very beginning and the very end. As I stated before, the rest is the author musing about a fictional Caribbean banana republic and about a fictional new-age nihilistic pseudo-religion.
I had high hopes that haven't been fulfilled.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The end is near...

I've recently reached the forth quarter of my estimation for the novel I'm working on at the moment. I'm really excited for the story and for starting to see the end of the road so near. However I fear that in the end it will be longer than 100,000 words. But it doesn't bother me, because it won't be too much longer. As I said, I can see the end near, and it makes me really excited. Can't wait to have it finished and published to see if anyone enjoys it as much as I'm enjoying writing it.