Tag Archives: fiction

Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet and Scrivener

A screenshot of my novel ' class=
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I love the beat sheet’s word count per beat.

About the same time I revisted the BS2, Jami Gold posted an excellent article about using beat sheets with Scrivener. What I liked most about the article was the idea of using the target word count for individual chapters and scenes to lay out the beats.

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to word counts, I find big numbers like 100k pretty intimidating. One of the beauties of the beat sheet is that it breaks down these numbers into manageable chunks. For a 100k-word novel, however, some of those chunks are still 25k words, so I took the idea one step further, with Scrivener.  Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday: The Towers of the Sunset

Can you see how the pieces fit together? Not just the visible ones, like the towers of the sunset, but those unseen, like the heart of a man or the soul of a wizard.

The cover of The Towers of the Sunset by L.E. Modesitt Jnr.
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A good book, although the lack of a blurb is confusing.

What’s awesome about it

  • The langauge is beautiful (as you can see above)
  • The worldbuilding and the use of the word ‘masculine’.

What’s not-so-awesome

  • There’s no blurb! At least on my copy. This makes it very hard to place the book in context to the first, The Magic of Recluce
  • The last half of the book is kinda boring
  • Magera is a twit.

Would I buy the sequel? I already did, in fact, not only did get the sequel, The Magic Engineer, I splurged on its sequels as well, The Order War and The Death of Chaos. I just haven’t read them yet.  Continue reading

Katana by Cole Gibsen

I’m pretty sure you’re not meant to hold a sword like that.

Katana is the second book from American author Cole Gibsen. It blends martial arts with the supernatural in a story reminiscent of films such as The House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, except without the teary ending.

The story follows Raleigh, your average teenage skater-chick (not that I’ve ever known any), as she discovers that she’s a reincarnated samurai with supernatural powers.

What I liked and didn’t like

I’m often disappointed with martial arts books and Katana is no exception. I’m not sure what it is I’m looking for in such a novel, but so far I haven’t found it. It may stem from my own involvement with karate, which I’ve been studying for a few years now, or it may be something else entirely.
Continue reading

Page 7

Svana tossed, the sheets twisting tighter and tighter around her legs, her brow furrowed in a grimace of pain.

Sassa stood on the threshold and let her twin fight the dream. It used to frighten her, the way Ana thrashed and fought, how her face screwed up and her mouth screamed silently. When she heard the tell-tale creak of the mattress she would rush to her sister’s side and shake her violently awake.

She turned away from the door, sliding it shut behind her, locking out Ana’s nightmare. She was tired, tired and far to used to the silent dreams. It was the times she wasn’t silent, the times when strange, foreign words streamed from her mouth that disturbed her. The sounds tickled something in the back of her mind, something old, something that came with fear.

But this wasn’t one of those times, and as Sassa grabbed her jacket from the back of dining chair, she was glad at least that Ana was no longer shutting her out. The genetic anomaly her twin had stumbled across was … was … Sassa shook her head. There were no words to describe it, not yet at any rate, but they’d find them, publish them, own them. Her and Ana, just like they used to.

Page 6

“Valu,” he/she shouted.

Valu paused and glanced over his shoulder, the muscles in his arms rigid, his grip white knuckled on the sonic stick’s grip. “The decision has already been made Wolern, we’re not welcome here.”

Wolern/Svana clasped Valu’s shoulder, spinning the younger man around to face him/her. “Don’t do this.”

The other man’s face, already set like steel, hardened further as he shook off Wolern/Svana’s hand. “You should be coming with us, you’re not one of them anymore.” He swung his arm, encompassing the gleaming city rising around them. “They’ll turn on you like they have on the rest of us, insist you take their ‘cure’ and then where will you be?”

“It won’t come to that.” He/she reached out again, clasping both of Valu’s shoulders in hands marked by the Other. “If you could just work with them, show a little patien-”

Valu jerked backwards, his face contorted in disgust. “Wake up and smell the ko’choo brother, they’re scared of us, scared of what they made us.” He shook his head. “You’ll be lucky if they let you live.”

Page 5

This page is not working for me, I’ll rewrite it soon.

The compound was peaceful in the small hours with the others tucked away in their bunks. A few, like Svana still roamed the modules and interconnecting umbilici, the graveyard shift who where either unlucky enough or obsessed enough to work the first twelve hours of Hetica’s 38 hour rotation.

Svana leaned against the the curve of the plexiglas and admired the tops of the starlit forest. From it’s position atop the volcanic rim, the compound commanded unparalleled views and a highly defensible perimeter the efficiency of which had not been tested in the eighteen months since the Directorate had landed them on the planet. Which caused much speculation as to the cause of the tension in Captain Kava’s shoulders and the new lines in her forehead.

Something nocturnal winged it’s way through the night, a deep rumbling craw following in its wake.

Page 4

I’ve made an executive decision (since no one else has weighed in), The Hybrid Theory will the 3rd person.

The tall white bucket was almost comfortable put her in easy reach of the fruit. Three discarded skins already lay on the frozen concrete floor of the cold-room and she plunged her hand into the tub for a forth.

The botanists were calling them Citrus musa, the rest of the expedition called the tart, curved fruits Grape-nanas and relished the latest addition to their diet of protein packs and dehydrated vegetables.

Svana peeled the thin, fleshy skin back with practised ease, careful to keep the inner flesh intact lest a cascade of juice run down her arm. She dropped each long piece of red-orange peel to the floor and then began separating the long, slightly curved segments with more gusto.

Page 3 – 1st Person

World changing. My twin’s words ring in my ears, following me into the dark mess hall and around the vacant tables that sprouted the legs of upturned chairs like a herd of hedgehogs. I didn’t need world changing, I’m wasn’t looking for anything more than life changing, my life changing, but all the same something had tightened in my gut when Sassa flung her hands in the air and said the words. The something stayed with me, crouching in the back of my mind, running up and down my spine with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

I push past half-door, slipping into the galley dimly lit by the green exit sign and small red standby lights on the huge appliances. The heavy cold-room door stands at the end of the long row of stainless steel benches and I pull it open slowly, waiting until the flickering automatic light steadies before stepping across the threshold. Rows and columns of carefully stacked and sorted food and, towards the back, a stack of frosted plastic drawers. I slide one out, revealing a pile of orange-red, banana like fruits the gathering party collected the day before, and reach in and pick out the juiciest.

“A single genetic marker.” My breath frosts in the cold as I study the fruit, my mouth already watering. “Changing the world.”

Page 3 – 2nd Person

World changing. Your twin’s words ring in your ears, following you into the dark mess hall and around the vacant tables that sprouted the legs of upturned chairs like a herd of hedgehogs. You don’t need world changing, you weren’t looking for anything more than life changing, your life changing, but all the same something had tightened in your gut when Sassa flung her hands in the air and said the words. The something stayed with you, crouching in the back of your mind, running up and down your spine with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

You push past the half-door, slipping into the galley, dimly lit by the green exit sign and the small red standby lights on the huge appliances. The heavy cold-room door stands at the end of the long row of stainless steel benches and you pull it open slowly, waiting until the flickering automatic light steadies before you step across the threshold. Rows and columns of carefully stacked and sorted food and, towards the back, a stack of frosted plastic drawers. You slide one out, revealing the pile of orange-red, banana like fruits the gathering party collected the day before, and reach in and pick out the juiciest.

“A single genetic marker.” Your breath frosts in the cold as you study the fruit, your mouth already watering. “Changing the world.”

Page 3 – 3rd Person

World changing. Her twin’s words ring in Svana’s ears, following her into the dark mess hall and around the vacant tables that sprout the legs of upturned chairs like a herd of hedgehogs. She doesn’t need world changing, isn’t looking for anything more than life changing, her life changing, but all the same something had tightened in her gut when Sassa flung her hands in the air and said the words. The something stayed with her, crouched in the back of her mind, running up and down her spine with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

Svana pushes past the half-door, slipping into the galley, dimly lit by the green exit sign and small red standby lights on the huge appliances. The heavy cold-room door stands at the end of the long row of stainless steel benches and she pulls it open slowly, waiting until the flickering automatic light steadies before stepping across the threshold. Rows and columns of carefully stacked and sorted food and, towards the back, a stack of frosted plastic drawers. She slides one out, revealing a pile of orange-red, banana like fruits the gathering party collected the day before, and reaches in and picking out the juiciest.

“A single genetic marker.” Svana’s breath frosts in the cold as she studies the fruit, her mouth already watering. “Changing the world.”