The lovely, geeky people at WarpedFactor.com have this morning run a news story all about the launch of this site, the novel writing project, and the plans of Tony Fyler to join the novelist community.
It should be said that for geeks of all fandoms, WarpedFactor combines the latest news, hot off the presses, and a very wide range of insightful feature pieces (some of them, though by no means the most insightful) written by Fyler.
If you have an inner geek, let it out, it’s probably suffocating in there. Let it dance, and sing, and revel in the pleasure of its own geekitude. Bookmark www.WarpedFactor.com and check back every day for new features, hot news and the best in cross-fandom opinion.
Continuing my collaboration with fantastic illustrator PS Brooks, I got some initial images back today of Tubal Cain, the worst fairy in the world – one of the lead characters in Happily Ever After.
Patrick took everything I told him and delivered. As with the Peony illustrations, we’re now discussing fine tweaks to the artwork, but Tubal Cain in essence is definitely in the house. Say hello – you’re going to love him. Just don’t let him near a wand if you like your head…erm…head-shaped.
Tubal Cain, the worst fairy in the world, grins at arriving in the human world. Artwork by PSBrooks.com
Tubal Cain…Nnnnotsohappy at being stuck in the Fairy Kingdom.
Started the rewrite of Wonderful last night, having identified a major issue some weeks earlier, in that one thread of the story wasn’t sufficiently explained, either in my head or in the text. Spent a few hours last night, and quite a bit of today, working on a prologue that tries to set up the issue clearly.
The question really is whether a Prologue is a cop-out or not. I know plenty of writers who’ve been told by agents or publishers not to use Prologues as they’re some sort of storytelling get-out-of-jail-free card. On balance, I don’t feel that’s the case. Nor do I feel readers will read a prologue and necessarily expect the characters in it to be the focus of the book, or that they should then appear in Chapter 1. Prologues are precisely what the word implies – things that come before the main action.
That said, am I happy that I’ve added about three thousand words at the front end of my story? No. Is there possibly a better way of rendering it slightly later in the story? Yes, possibly – I could probably do it as a flashback (though there are plenty of people who tell you you shouldn’t do that either), and I may well end up doing that – but either way, the scene had to be written, and now it pretty much is. Whether it’s a prologue or a flashback, it sets up the story thread much more cleanly than was previously the case, so for me, it’s been worth spending a day and a half on.
Where do you stand? To Prologue or Not To Prologue?
Well now, that’s enough to put a spring in your step.
I belong to an online writing group, called www.youwriteon.com. It’s a mostly convivial place, with some really impressive writers on it. By all means, click the link and come play.
It offers peer reviewing, and a deliciously enticing prize. If you happen to be in the top ten rated stories at the end of the month, you get your work shoved beneath the noses of (usually) some major publisher or other. Naturally, the top ten is a place people contend hotly to be, but there’s a degree of science in the methodology of getting there.
You earn “reading credits” by reading and reviewing other people’s work. You can only review a maximum of six pieces per day, and you score them on all the things you’d expect – characters, plot, dialogue, description etc.
These “reading credits” are what you assign to your own work, and the more you have, the more reviews you yourself can get. There’s a background algorithm that stops you being reviewed by those with whom you have most interaction on the site. For every five reviews you get, you can remove one, and so boost your rating.
Now, look again at the image that accompanies this entry. Wonderful, the book I’m beginning to work on today, has had its first seven thousand words on the site for some time, and today – bingo! Number one spot – which means it will get a professional critique from a publisher in all likelihood.
Of course, getting a professional critique does not equate to them loving the work. They may send me back with my tail between my legs. But either way, it’s going to be in front of people I need to impress, ultimately, and it’s an experience from which I can learn.
Even if I say so myself – and you know I do – that’s a Wonderful beginning.