Divided Serenity…World building #SciFi #bookrelease

Divided Serenity, a science fiction novel, is set on a colonised planet, where a force-field wall separates the technologically advanced settlers from the planet’s native inhabitants.

The two parts of the world rarely interact, other than a few individuals who are given license to travel outside the colony into the native lands where they act as observers, watching and reporting.

Beyond the protective wall the lands are consumed by conflict, with the Shadowlanders and the Jaru existing in a delicate balance of power. The Shadowlanders are semi-civilised, but the Jaru have vast numbers, and the two people collide in a perpetual state of war.

The colonists, known as the Aterrans, have lived there a long time. Eons. Many Aterrans don’t even believe they are colonists, but are native to the planet themselves. They live in a vast sprawling collection of cities, separated from the rest of the planet by mountains to the north, sea to the south and west, and a vast wall to the east. Much of the colony infrastructure relies on Ancient Technology, so called because it’s as old as the colony. Ancient technology is considered indestructible—it just works. Repairs are infrequent and self-automated. People are superfluous to its operation.

The few people who know about ancient technology are more historians than technical experts. They study the technology in the way a modern day historian might try to decipher an ancient Egyptian scroll.

Aterra has no weapons—they never needed any. So when a natural disaster compromises their force-field wall, their protection from the natives, their very existence is put at risk…and that’s where Divided Serenity starts.

Divided Serenity (Divided World Book One) coming soon.

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Realistic writing – It’s all in the suffering #amwriting #writingtips

How many times have you read a book where Mr Average is thrown into an extraordinarily strenuous adventure, and never a moment’s consideration that they may be ‘a wee bit tired’ or ‘suffer a spot of muscle ache’? Perhaps our heroine has to hang onto a windowsill by her finger tips, but she is not a former circus acrobat or the high school gymnastics queen.

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It happens all too often. It’s as if they forget to feel pain, to ache, or indeed to suffer once their adventure kicks in. Even a regular jogger would be out of puff if they were suddenly expected to engage in a marathon length sprint!

The last thing we want is a whiny protagonist, but I do think it adds realism to our story if we see through their actions and words the suffering they endure.  When I think of a really good example of a hero suffering, I always think of Indiana Jones—the guy spends most of the movie looking half-dead! That doesn’t stop him getting the job done, but you do get a deep sense of the effort involved.

It is often this gap between those natural physical limitations, and what they push themselves to achieve, where the character growth comes in.

More from, You know you’re a writer when…http://youknowyoureawriter.tumblr.com

Divided Serenity out now on all Amazon stores, and free with Kindle Unlimited.

Divided Serenity Book Cover

Cover reveal – Divided Serenity #SciFi

Divided Serenity Book CoverWell, it is finally here, and I am delighted with the final cover design for my book. I have also created a new book website [GLCromarty.com] which will focus on just book news.

I have been extremely impressed with the designer who has been incredibly patient with me during the process and very willing to try out the ideas until we got to the final version.

Now, I am just in the process of finalising the contents and getting ready to publish. My main dilemma at the moment is whether to use KDP or select. I have read a lot of articles and can see a lot of pros and cons of both. Would to love to hear your experiences if you have any advice or tips.

So, just a little more research and then…Launch time!

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For SF&F Writers. Building Believable Worlds Part 2: The Protagonist(s) — Notes From The Slush Pile

So you’ve got a great idea for your speculative fiction story. You’ve envisioned a fantastic future or a mythical realm, and presumably given some thoughts to it’s inhabitants and the problem they’ll need to solve in order to drive the plot forward. Good start. Now, what character’s point of view is this story going to […]

via For SF&F Writers. Building Believable Worlds Part 2: The Protagonist(s) — Notes From The Slush Pile

How do you know when your novel is finished? Best selling authors share their tips.

Great article! 🙂

fabricating fiction

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Writing The Sister took me 18 months. During that period I rewrote multiple times, changing the point of view, the tense, and even the genre. When I couldn’t write any more I paid for a professional critique, got feedback from beta readers, and still I wasn’t happy enough to submit it. After weeks of more tinkering there was absolutely nothing left I could do but I still hesitated in submitting it, was it ready? How do we ever know?

Writing The Gift has been a completely different experience. Writing to a deadline means I have not had time to go through the same process that I went through with The Sister. A process that involved putting in a drawer and coming back to it after a month with fresh eyes. Now I am coming to the end of my copy edits it is time for me to let go…

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Where dragons exist #amwriting

There is something magical about a craft that can take us on a journey, and can blur the lines between the real and the unreal. Writing is such a craft. It can pick us up from our mundane lives, and take us to a place where all things are possible.

The real world, where we live, is a place filled with beauty and terror, and so too is the imaginary world where dragons exist.

All stories have a purpose, a reason for existing, and a vastly diverse reason it may be. Do we write to entertain? To change our reader? To provoke thought? Good books may entertain us, or change us, or even leave us with a lingering thought. A great book will do all three.

There is no greater aspiration for a writer than to take our reader to a place where dragons—metaphorical or otherwise—exist, and better yet, to show us that those dragons can be beaten.

Do your characters nod too much? #amwriting

When we pop our precious characters onto the stage of our book, one thing we need to be wary of is not to over animate them.

I did a surreptitious survey while going about my business today. I like to do these things occasionally, you know, people watching. It is worth approaching such writerly duties with a  touch of caution though.

  • When watching strangers if they catch you they either think you are a nut or walk away with mild paranoia that there is something wrong with their hair, clothes etc
  • When watching people you know while they talk you can sometimes forget to pay attention to what they are saying…something about the maximum pieces of information your brain can process at any one time…maybe my brain just can’t process very much 😉

Today I tried to focus on everyone’s body language, and to be precise, how much nodding they did.

I found that the people I interacted with didn’t do very much nodding or shaking of the head at all, in fact they were rather boring and lacking in animation. Were these people a poor sample set? Or do people just not use their head to ‘speak’ as often as they can do in a book?

One of the things my editor pointed out to me was that I do a lot of head shaking in my book, I then went through and hacked out as many of them as I could, and it is now part of my self-edit process as something to look out for in any new work.

I wondered if everyone had some sort of animation vice. Is it a raised eyebrow a time too many? Eye rolling? Frowns or scowls? Or perhaps you have a favourite phrase you slip into your prose subconsciously that reaches out after the 20th time to smack your reader between the eyes?

So, I will leave you with my opening question–do your characters nod too much?

Please help me pick my cover! Divided Serenity #scifi

I would love some feedback on my cover design for my book. I am using 99 Designs, which has been a lot of fun so far.

I already have my favourites, but keen to find out what everyones opinion here is. I have tried to focus on the science fiction, but it does have fantasy elements ie outside the wall is a very different world, which is why a lot of the designs incorporate a sword.

Most of these designs have a few formats and I am particularly interested in the with/ without characters. I tend to want to avoid characters on the cover but in my initial feedback some people seem to love them…

I still would need to work though the details of the design with the elected designers.

But, initial thoughts would be great. I have tried with my family so far and they all like completely different designs!

Most of these have a few variations so I will see how voting goes and then will redo poll with some of the alternatives.

https://99designs.com.au/contests/poll/s3sdh7?urlcategory=book-cover-design

Happy to receive comments here or in the poll 🙂

For SF&F Writers: Building Believable Worlds Pt. 1, Language

Nice article 🙂

Notes From The Slush Pile

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A big part of any good speculative fiction story is building a believable world. A bit ironic, considering that the genres of science fiction and fantasy are built around the willing suspension of disbelief, but there it is. This isn’t to say that the setting for any given story can’t be magical, fantastic, or set in some far-distant future or alternate past, it just has to make sense. In my time as a First Reader for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, I’ve narrowed down several key elements that I feel are necessary in order for a story to feel complete and immersive to the reader, which I’ll be covering here in installments. It’s not that a story will necessarily be rejected if it doesn’t adhere to any or all of these elements, it just helps to have a coherent, logical, and well developed world in order for characters to…

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