Monthly Archives: May 2014

Firefly Rewatch

FireflyI’m still deep in draft and revision mode, but I wanted to mention that our family has been re-watching the Firefly series now that the kids are old enough to view the episodes with us.

My guess is that most of you reading this are already well aware of how excellent Firefly is, and know full well what a terrible shame it was that we got so little of it. You can probably find innumerable discussions of its many strengths all over the web, but one that I’m re-noticing is just how well defined every character is from the start.

Even if we don’t know all of their backstory in the first episodes, each time one of the characters speaks or acts we get a very strong sense of who they are and what they believe. This show should serve as a model for anyone drafting dialogue: its construction should be studied and emulated. And enjoyed.

What a great show.

When the Moment Passes

Isimonson thor got to thinking about the Simonson run on Thor yesterday, as regular visitors probably noticed.

I missed the whole Simonson Thor run when it was on-going, discovering it about five years after it was over when my friend Bruce and I traded favorite comics series. That was, of course, long before the days of Thor: Visionaries and other graphic novel collections, AND I was a poor college student, so I had my hands full trying to track down copies of all those issues (as well as the Baldur the Brave mini-series).

Now I’ve got all the Thor volumes on my shelves, and all those carefully collected comics are in plastic bags in the basement. Sometimes, you just need to be patient.

He Stood Alone at Gjallerbru

SkurgeThe finest “holding the pass” scene ever written lies in a relatively obscure issue deep in the celebrated Walt Simonson run on The Mighty Thor.

It doesn’t matter how many times I read it, this moment brings me to tears. Over the years I’ve checked the value of the individual issue and I’ve always been stunned that it’s not a collector’s item. It’s just strikingly good. You talk to anyone who’s read it and I’ll bet their reaction is nearly identical to my own.

Visit here, at scans_daily, for a great recap of the lead-up and the incredible denouement. You miss a little, but you’ll get the gist, and I think you’ll still feel the power.

Gaining Pathfinder Steam

huacachina1Yesterday I finally turned the corner on the new Pathfinder novel I’m writing. My writing process means that I go on with a very detailed plan, then write the book almost like a screenplay, mostly with dialogue before going back in to fill it up with description. What that means, though, is that I can’t be sure how well it’s really going until later in the process. As recently as Monday I was still worried about whether or not I could pull this off and get it to have the tone I was looking for, maintain the pace, and develop the character arcs.

By end-of-day Thursday I finally had the first three chapters clicking along properly, and now some of the middle sections are falling into place. Because it’s gained momentum and I’m now better acquainted with all the characters, little scenes and more climactic chapter conclusions are popping out of thin air.

World of Aetaltis

aetaltisToday I want to point all my regular readers to a nifty new Kickstarter. Here’s the official word from my friend and project runner Marc Tassin:

The project is centered on a Pathfinder Compatible roleplaying game adventure called The Temple of Modren designed to introduce backers to a fantasy setting I created called the World of Aetlatis.  It’s edited by Steven S. Long, has maps from Mike Schley, and includes art from Mitchell Malloy.

The adventure, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The project also includes some awesome stretch goals, including an anthology of short fiction, more Pathfinder Compatible books, and new cover art by Larry Elmore!

 All the stretch goals are great, but as a writer I’m especially excited about the anthology. Larry Correia, David Farland, Matt Forbeck, Ed Greenwood, Dave Gross, John Helfers, Steven S. Long, Mel Odom, Jean Rabe, Lucy A. Snyder, Michael A. Stackpole,  and Elizabeth Vaughan are all writing short stories set in the world of Aetaltis. John Helfers is editing the book, and if we hit our goals we’ll print a mass market paperback edition of the anthology.

No Distractions!

spears of dawnI sure hope this web site isn’t your only stop for entertainment, because I haven’t been providing much lately. Trust me, I’m getting some great writing done, but with a deadline looming I’ve felt less call to do any writing HERE.

When I’m deep in the final stages of a writing project I’m usually not reading anything but reference books. Heaven forbid I start some great novel or even short story and get sucked in to reading it through to the end. It’s happened once or twice while I was in deadline crunch and I vowed never to make that mistake again.

Link Man’s Further Adventures

link hogthrob 2I’m still hard at work on my next book, and liable to be pedal to the metal for a while. You see, ’round about the 2/3 to 3/4 mark of the rough draft I started to feel like the ground I was standing on wasn’t very firm, so I decided to go back and revise what I’d written. I discovered that the opening chapters weren’t very entertaining, so I threw them out, started from scratch, and am now nearly up to the good parts. Anyway, it’s time consuming but fun to be getting it right.

But I promised interesting links.