23 March 2014

I Love Sherlock

Yes, I am a fan of the BBC series ‘Sherlock’. Not just because of the fantastic acting, stunning visual style and well-placed soundtrack – but the wonderful writing. It’s funny, quirky and so deliciously convoluted that I am truly jealous.

Sherlock is an anti-hero, which is something that I am always fascinated by and wish I could write. For a hero to have more annoying habits than good, better at getting it wrong than right and still being likeable – that is great writing! To have a character that is more than fallible but still redeemable is tricky to write because you can easily alienate readers with a dodgy hero/heroine. So much rides on the reader wanting to fall in love with, emulate or befriend the main character that it isn’t something you want to mess up. One thing I have learnt from ‘Sherlock’ is to have a great supporting cast that the reader wants to fall in love with/emulate/etc. Because if your secondary characters are strong and they like the hero/heroine then perhaps they can’t be too bad after all.

The villains too are mutli-layered and believable while still maintaining their sinister nature. Good baddies (you know what I mean) are hard to find and in many movies are laughable and stupid which as a viewer I think I could have defeated without any special powers. Sherlock doesn’t suffer from this so when the villains’ sticky end comes, you praise their demise while saluting their intelligence and dastardliness.

Another way I watch and learn from the series is so I can sherlockify my plot – hint in the first book an event that unfolds in the third. So that in re-reading, my audience can connect the dots in retrospect and get a deeper level of meaning from my story (and maybe marvel at my cleverness).

My advice:

Buy or borrow the series.

Watch it first for pleasure then with a critical eye.

As a writer it certainly gives you much to consider. And if all else fails – you can watch TV instead of doing the dishes by justifying that it’s research.

Thanks for reading.

Kym

03 March 2014

Discounted ebooks!

As part of read an ebook week Temptation in a Bottle and An Elemental Tail are 50% on the Smashwords site (mobi, PDF and ePub formats are available).

Use coupon code REW50 (valid until March 8 2014)
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/shonahusk

02 March 2014

Shona's Boot Camp: Motivation

Sometimes I have it other times not so…oooh squirrel.

Other times I’m so easily distracted and I just can’t get into it/can’t be bothered/I really want to sweep the floor.

It’s not easy to plant yourself at the computer and write. If you’re unpublished people (friends/family) don’t get it and will try and tempt you away and if you are published they still assume you can just bang out a story in a few hours (particularly if you write romance!).

So where do you find the motivation to keep going?

For me it comes from many places.

A publisher set deadline is very motivational. But I also I set my own deadlines and tell my agent he’ll have the manuscript by a certain date and I stick to it. Both of these make me accountable. If you have a critique group tell them you will put work out and stick to it—you don’t want to break your word to your friends, do you?

Sometimes it takes more than a deadline and I have to go deeper.

Why do I write?

Because that piece of rubbish got published and I can do better.

Because that book was so awesome I want to be able to write like that.

Because I thought this idea was awesome until about chapter six when all my plotting fell apart and the characters stared doing their own thing.

Because these characters are going to get naked and have a happy ending if it’s the last thing I do.

Because I don’t want to go to bed tonight I realize a wasted a whole day doing housework when I could’ve written a chapter.

I’m sure there’s plenty more reasons but they are some of mine—and even they just scratch the surface.

There is a big difference though between being unmotivated and having writers block (although I suspect they feed off each other). However some of the techniques of pushing through are the same.

Write something, anything. Set a timer for 15 minutes and just do it. Then you can say that you have written today—and doesn’t it *feel* good (notice I didn’t say isn’t the writing good? See last month’s post on perfectionism).

Use a notepad and sit in the garden.

Go for a walk and think about the story. If your characters aren’t behaving and your plot is in the bin, explore where you are going without worrying about it. Make dot points or something to see how it feels.

Skip the scene that is causing you grief and come back to it later.

I’m sure at some point in your day job you didn’t want to be there, but you showed up and put in your eight hours before racing out the door at home time. Writing is a job and some days you just have to show up. The good news with writing though is that if yesterday’s work really sucked you get a do over…it’s called edits :)

21 February 2014

SFRB Presents: Lunar Reunion

Anther little snippet from Lunar Reunion. This time Filid is trying to find Silva on the Moon. When he actually stops and thinks he knows her better than he thinks he does.
~~~
He stuck his head into a couple of shows, even watched one for a few moments. Half-dressed dancers doing moves that left little to the imagination, only to follow up with amazing feats of strength and aerial acrobatics. Silva was right. The shows were amazing. But she wasn’t here. He’d sense her if she was close.

His Silva who longed for the stars and was amazed by the natural beauty of things, not the manmade. She wanted to see the seven most dangerous planets on the Adventure Bird.

The most dangerous planet she could see from the Moon was the ice planet. In that moment he knew where she would be if she wasn’t in the pilots’ bar. He made his way quickly to the viewing deck where people could watch the ships, the ice planet and the stars beyond. Most people who came here wouldn’t care about any of those things, but she would.

There was one person gazing out the window.
~~~
Six years ago Filid made the mistake of falling for another officer in the Allied Planetary Military. He walked away before they both did something they'd regret. Yet he can't get her out of his mind, even now.

Silva has never forgotten Filid, but he is the last person she expects to see on the pleasure resort of Decadent Moon. This time she won't let him walk away without exploring the fantasies she had about being with him.

Filid wants more than one night. And this time he is determined to hold onto her no matter the cost.

Inside Scoop: Filid comes equipped with sexy tentacles that cannot be missed!

Available now: Ellora's Cave | Kobo | Kindle
~~~
For more sci-fi romance snippets:

16 February 2014

TV show re-watches

There are some TV shows that I love. Ones that I buy the DVDs for so I can re-watch them later. (There are also some TV shows where I have to buy the DVDs because Australian TV stations like to force feed us reality TV and an endless stream of police/medical/family dramas…yawn).

The trouble with buying 4 seasons of Farscape, or 5 seasons of Battlestar Galactica, or even White Collar and Strike Back as they come out is finding the time to watch them. While sick with a sinus infection in November and December I managed to get through Farscape and it was glorious :) There is great sexual tension between Aeryn Sun and John Crichton the whole way through.

There was no trying to remember what had happened as I was able to suck it all up ad free. I then got to watch the bonus features (one of my favorite parts of DVDs. It does bug me when some TV shows don’t put bonus features on the DVDs…looking at you Strike Back—they are on Youtube though).

While some of you might be wondering what is the point of a re-watch I think there is a lot that can be learned—particularly by glomming. In a short space of time you can see the plot arc and character growth, there are hints that have been woven through. Setting and costuming comes into play.

I enjoy the non-violent crimes of White Collar and the buddy chemistry of Strike Back. Great TV shows stand the test of time. I still watch M*A*S*H, and it still makes me laugh. I can't imagine anyone buying and re-watching reality TV shows.


But most of all TV show re-watches are fun. There is nothing better than going back and spending time with characters you know and love…much like going back and re-reading books. 

14 February 2014

SFRB Presents: Lunar Reunion


Here's another snippet from Lunar Reunion, out February 19 2014. last weeks snippet is here: http://www.winkgirls.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/sfr-brigade-presents-lunar-reunion.html

She was exactly as he’d remembered. Her long dark hair pulled back into a simple braid that emphasized the tri-clustered spots on her face and her wide lips. Her uniform hugged every small curve. The flare of her hips and butt had mesmerized him more than once.

Like old times he could read the lust rolling off her. It had almost killed him when she’d taken the urge somewhere else at the first commerce station they’d reached. Another day in space and they might have done something stupid. Perhaps she’d been the smart one.

When Silva had left the APM, she’d vanished even though he’d tried to find her. Now here she was and he wasn’t going to let her find her pleasure with someone else on the Moon. Nor was he going to invite his pilot to play even though she’d had those thoughts. He wasn’t sure his pilot would know how to play those games.

No, until the dock opened and he had to leave Silva was going to be his.
~~~
Six years ago Filid made the mistake of falling for another officer in the Allied Planetary Military. He walked away before they both did something they'd regret. Yet he can't get her out of his mind, even now.

Silva has never forgotten Filid, but he is the last person she expects to see on the pleasure resort of Decadent Moon. This time she won't let him walk away without exploring the fantasies she had about being with him.

Filid wants more than one night. And this time he is determined to hold onto her no matter the cost.

Inside Scoop: Filid comes equipped with sexy tentacles that cannot be missed!

Available for pre-order from Amazon and Kobo
~~~
For more sci-fi romance snippets:

13 February 2014

Love means never having to say you’re sorry…

I was doing some edits last weekend for my manuscript ‘Fire’ and learned something interesting about myself and my writing – I say ‘sorry’ a lot! (sorry about that…)

In my 60,000 word story, I’d written ‘I’m sorry’ a whopping 36 times. I looked at them all individually and deleted most of them. I was surprised that by taking out these two little words and changing them to different dialogue, actions or physical reactions, it became a much stronger story. The times I left ‘I’m sorry’ in really counted and were poignant to the scene and character development.

I turned over my Louise Hay calendar this morning and her serendipitous words of wisdom for today were ‘I do not apologise for everything under the sun. I choose my apologies carefully and with sincerity.’

Happy writing and I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day.

Donna