Monday, April 5, 2021

Enter: the Dragons

Last year for the Dragon awards, many people in my circles hated the finalists.

And trust me, I mean it when I say that they hated the finalists. There was one caveat to that, but that's all I recall.

My response was simple

"DUH! Why do you think I try to have this discussion EVERY MONTH FOR HALF THE YEAR? YOU THINK I LIKE THIS? IF I WANTED IT FOR MYSELF, I'D ONLY TALK ABOUT MYSELF." [Insert sound of hair pulling and rage]


So, anyway, let's talk.

Why talk?

Because the nominations are already open! I'm not even joking. Click here, you'll see! And they're only open for less than three more months 

So, I have put together things **I'm** considering voting for. (Because we all know it's going to change in the next few months).

To share some of my thought process on the matter: I'm not nominating anyone who already has an award. And frankly, if you're Jim Butcher or a Baen author, you don't need my help.

If I leave the categories blank, it means I STILL got nothing.

Fair warning: if you come to my blog and screaming "ME ME ME" in the comments before you drop links to your book and run, to Hell with you. I am NOT having another Dragon Awards discussion that rolls like that. It's happened every damn year, and I'm DONE playing those games. I tried to be nice about listing EVERY LAST THING that's eligible, because I though that would mean we'd all have a discussion about it. It never happened and I'm sick of it. 

Best Science Fiction Novel

Karl Gallagher: Storm Between the Stars.

I read it. I reviewed it. It's really quite awesome. It's like if 1984 were written by David Weber.

(My problem is that book 2 is even better.... but it's probably best to nominate book ones whenever possible.)

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Overlooked Again, by Jon Mollison 

Amazon link 


Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Paula Richey, Penance

Amazon Link

My review

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

At the moment, my best guess is Kai Wai Cheah, Unmasked. Half of which was a military engagement of one sort or another. And he gives Larry a run for his money in the gun porn.

Best Alternate History Novel

Educated Luck, Mel Todd. Heavily magic, heavy on alternate history and the development on the world. It would probably be best in fantasy, but I like it here.

Best Media Tie-In Novel

Everyone, feel free to suggest something. I'm going to just assume hat Timothy Zahn is going to get it. After all, he wrote a Thrawn novel in the past year.

Best Horror Novel

Hussar, Declan Finn 

Amazon link

Publisher link

Best Comic Book

Soulbound, #2, Paula Richey

Best Graphic Novel

Demon Slayer, Koyoharu Gotouge

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Demon Slayer

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Fatman? Maybe?

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

Thursday, April 1, 2021

You don't want to be a writer.

Inspired a bit by a recent post by fellow author Ben Cheah. Check his stuff out, btw.

 People tell me they **want** to be a writer.

No, you don't.

Seriously, you don't.

Look, you can hotwire your brain to write. It's relatively easy. I did it to myself when I was 16. I wasn't even trying. I just wanted this idea out of my head. Half a million words later, I had novels on my hands.

To be a writer, your brain is basically ON all the time.

You're (re)writing TV shows and books. You're calling plot twists.

When the story goes a different way, you want to rewrite it because your idea really was better.

That news story is now part of your thriller.

Your demonic plot to destroy a city becomes current events within a year or two.

You're basing people on friends. 

If you're male, you ask the women you use as models what their bust size is, because bra holsters are dictated by boob size.

Then your friends are asking how you came up with this great character... that they don't recognize as themselves.

You didn't pay attention to that conversation with friends / family about something really important to them, because something they said ten minutes ago started a plot outline in your brain.

Your brain occasionally overclocks from writing from 8-6, occasionally remembering to eat.

You take a break so  your brain can cool down, but then the compulsion to keep writing presses on your brain like a heavy blanket.

You need a notebook next to your bed so you can make notes--because the ideas don't let you sleep until you write them down.

It's why I tell people that there's a difference between "I want to be a writer" and "I have to be a writer." Because there is.

If you want to be a writer ... no, you don't. If I had my druthers, I'd have been an electrician or a plumber. I'd probably be using electricity to kill people in murder mysteries, but I'd have a 9-5 I didn't have to take home with me.

If you HAVE to be a writer, you don't have a choice. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

But it's binary. You are a writer, and you write, because you have to. 

Or you WANT to be a writer, and you don't write.