The Weird West

I didn’t realize when I started writing my Wyrd West Chronicles that there was actually a genre for this!  No new ideas under the sun, I guess; but then again, it seems that my take is just a little bit unique.  Less dark overall than the usual depiction; more high fantasy.

Speaking of which, I’ll be releasing the first story, “Showdown,” on the Spring Equinox!  That’s March 20 this year.  It’s in the final editing stages and I’m just waiting for the cover image.  When I have all that, you’ll be able to get it by pre-order.

There’s Space Western for The West In Space!, and there’s Cattle Punk for The West meets Steam Punk. The Weird West is for when The West meets the supernatural.

Read full article at TVTropes.

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A Note on Upcoming Projects!

So I figured it was time I talked a bit about my own writing, because I’m excited about it and I want other people to get excited about it!  I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now: I’m working on two novels at the moment.  The one I’m giving my most immediate attention […]

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For SF&F Writers. Building Believable Worlds Part 4: Antagonists and Enemies

Notes From The Slush Pile

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Lets talk bad guys. Most stories have one. Well crafted or otherwise, speculative fiction is full of them. Not that any one actual character is essential as the obstacle the protagonist has to overcome. Sometimes its simply the environment they’re in, other times its a whole alien species in the vein of StarshipTroopers or Ender’s Game. Maybe the story is more reflective, and the protagonist is on a voyage of self-discovery in which the only real obstacle to them achieving their goal is themselves.

While reading for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, I’ve come across all of the above, and they each have their own merits and drawbacks. The main trade off I’ve found with stories of these types is that they tend to be able to bring forth more intellectually complex and morally ambiguous plot development than the simple good vs. evil narrative, but in doing so…

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For SF&F Writers. Building Believable Worlds Part 3: Secondary Characters

Notes From The Slush Pile

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Every drama needs a supporting cast. In my time as a First Reader with Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, I’ve come across far too many stories that fail to give sufficient thought or depth to secondary characters. An unfortunate, but easy mistake to make when writing short fiction, particularly in the first person. The writer crafts a heroic protagonist viewpoint character that’s too engrossed in their own actions and opinions. Secondary characters are relegated to the role of scenery, or the bearers of a brief expository dialogue that sets the protagonist off on their adventure. Worse still, they can be enemies without motivation or explanation. I’ll save my views on the various types of primary antagonist for a future post, but as far as minor characters go I’ve encountered dozens of examples of poorly handled friends, sidekicks, spouses, and other types of acquaintances.

For convenience’s sake, I’m just going…

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So I’m Writing a Magicpunk Kindle Serial

So I’ve been kicking around this idea for a steampunk/magicpunk series for a few years (since 2012, it turns out).  I was intending to sell a couple of stories to some magazines to build interest, then publish a book that was a collection of short stories.  But instead I’ve been collecting rejection slips, and those who offer critiques and feedback tell me it’s because it seems like part of a larger work.  Since that’s essentially true, I guess I have to accept that!

My current thought is to publish them instead as a serial short fiction series on Kindle (and possibly other e-book platforms too; we’ll have to see, but I thought Kindle was the logical place to start) for 99 cents per approximately 6000 word story, with a regular publication schedule of one every two or three months (because otherwise I won’t have time to write anything else).  Is this something that would interest my readers?

Here’s a machinima trailer I put together when I came up with the idea.  Some details are changing in my current format – for instance, instead of a post-apocalyptic setting in our world, I’m more envisioning a place where many worlds overlap or fall together somehow – but it may give you an idea of the feel and tone I’m trying to create.  My current working title for the series is “The Wyrd West.”  Please let me know what you think in the comments!

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