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Re: Violence in fantasy I think it's like anything else - it gets boring if it's overused. If that's all the novel is, relentless violence, then I'll likely get as bored as I would if all characters did was walk and talk, eat, then walk and talk, and eat... (Yes, Frodo and Sam walking through the mountains of Mordor bored me stiff). Violence especially will lose its impact in pivotal scenes if it's been overused or over-described earlier on. Something like Joe Abercrombie's The Heroes (essentially all about a single battle) does very well in balancing lots of violence with character interaction, and deftly balance the grim mood of the novel so it doesn't get out of control.

I'm fine with violence in books, but it needs to be balanced with other things. Grimdark is fine, but even that needs notes of lightness and hope and humour or it's just monotone bleak, and ultimately unsatisfying.

July 28, 2015, 10:01:48 AM
Re: Paying for a Writing Group?
Cheers, Bea! I shall remember all of that :-)

No one is asking you to pay to be involved in your writing group... we are talking about offering another option for those who want it.


The OP posted a very small part of my conversation. Here are 'some' other bits:

My idea is that you are really paying the admin to keep things flowing and setting the exercises and study material. You are not paying for critique as that would cost a fortune, that comes in return for providing critique to others in the group which would be a condition of membership.


The group will rely on me making it awesome. I'm considering guest webinars with authors and discussions with them on certain topics. Kind of like a college course style - all in a bid of keeping involved writers motivated and with their eye on the prize :)

It won't be for everyone. But those who want something a bit more structured and assurance that someone is chasing others on their behalf may find it useful.

A more structured course with guest webinars with authors and discussions on certain writing topics, sounds like it would be hugely useful to people, and I'd imagine people more serious about improving their writing would be happy to pay guest authors a little beer-money for their time (sounds fair to me).

Nanowrimo works in large part because of community interaction with other writers, but also that it has a deadline urging you to get writing now and not a nebulous later, so I can see a more structured writing group could be beneficial to people.

August 06, 2015, 10:07:31 AM
Re: Shattered Sands, by W. G. Saraband This is all kinds of awesome :D Congrats! It sounds really interesting.
August 11, 2015, 08:58:29 AM
Re: The Joy of Edits It can be so much fun to edit. Getting that magical change that somehow manages to make the scene flow is a great feeling. Takes a while to learn HOW to edit though. My latest novel has been through multiple rounds of edits and come out better and stronger each time. Its a good feeling to look back and recognise the improvements.
August 12, 2015, 03:55:05 PM
Re: Adventures in Writing So how are you all getting on with your writing? Anything good happening to FF'ers?

As for my novel, in the first round of agent submissions I submitted to my top 3 dream agents: 1 no as the agent didn't love it and doesn't represent anything they don't love (mere like isn't enough), 1 "I'd look at it again if you made XYZ changes", and another Full Request has just come in. Pretty pleased with that. Meanwhile, during the wait to hear back, I'm working on another novel project and editing this one for resubmittion,

I think most people submit to more agents at once though, 5-10 or so,  then wait a while to see what feedback returns. If they don't even get past the query letter stage then there is clearly some issue there. If it doesn't get past the partial then perhaps their start needs strengthened etc.

August 26, 2015, 08:51:05 AM
Re: No Dogs Allowed It's all vastly silly.
The simple fact is that if you think that 'your' genre of stories are being unjustly overlooked by the Hugos then encourage more people to go to cons, buy memberships and vote for what they personally think is the best quality fiction published in the last year - don't do it by tawdry, organised slate-voting. If the 'other side' cares more to vote for what they loved, or if there are more of them that prefer certain styles of fiction, then that's just the way it goes. Sorry. Encouraging more people to get involved in Worldcon is the only way to change things. Or push for the creation of a new award for adventuresome Scifi, say, similar to The Gemmell Awards for fantasy.

August 26, 2015, 09:13:58 AM
Re: Mark Lawrence's "blogger agents" review team Wow, congratulations @Saraband! That's fantastic news. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for you. Whatever happens, quite a compliment to get this far.
September 21, 2015, 08:27:37 AM
Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds Wheel of Time - The middle books dragged...and dragged and dragged, which really discourages a re-read for me (and probably most people). But people persevered because they wanted to find out how it ended. I still really like books 1-7.

The Sword of Truth - I still enjoy the first and second book, but that series really did lose its way :\

Shannara series - some books just show their age as time marches on, and I think these ones really do. However, his Landover books are still enormously fun and I always preferred them.

R.A. Salvatore - I adored The Dark Elf and The Icewind Dale series, and after that it just seemed to become more and more of the same old.

I think, in the end, it just boils down to shiny new and interesting series' coming out that get people talking (A Song of Ice and Fire, Gentlemen Bastards, etc), and gradually older works fade away from the forefront of reader consciousness.

September 22, 2015, 08:51:33 AM
Angry Robot Open to subs 2015 Hi all,

Angry Robot have announced that they are open to unagented submissions from December 1st 2015 to January 31st 2016


What are we looking for?
A book that will fit with the Angry Robot range – which as you surely know includes SF, F and a little pinch of WTF. Note that we are looking for full-length novels, not short stories, novellas, epic poems, comic book scripts, etc etc. Angry Robot books are aimed at adults, so no middle grade or young adult themes this time.

Who are you looking for?
Anyone who has written a thoroughly entertaining, full-length science fiction or fantasy novel. Our Open Door is open to all.

We did want to say the following though. We appreciate diversity at Angry Robot. Our track record at AR speaks for itself, but we can do even better. We also know that writers from diverse backgrounds are sometimes hesitant to submit. So we’re saying this in big letters:
We want to explicitly invite writers from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to submit to this Open Door.

September 29, 2015, 03:23:41 PM
Re: Adventures in Writing Somehow found my way into the role of one of three editors for an upcoming anthology. Our writer's group has been going for 30 years so we invited all past and present members to submit something. Should be fantastic, especially as we have a number of well-known traditionally published novelists and a heap of people with published short stories submitting something.
Finding it interesting being on the other side of the coin for a change, but it is a lot of work.

November 10, 2015, 08:50:41 AM