San Diego Comic Con 2017 Survival Guide

SDCC

There are a series of articles currently on Sideshow.com (written by myself) with helpful tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your SDCC Experience!  Check them out below!

SDCC Survival Guide Part 1: Pre-Show Planning

SDCC Survival Guide Part 2: Advice, Tips, & Tricks

SDCC Survival Guide Part 3: Keeping Updated on News

Enjoy and hope to see you on the convention floor!

 

Believe.

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Sometimes you just need a little push to get going. Be it writing a book, running a marathon, or even just to feel good about yourself. You can do it. This octopus believes in you, and so do I.

I just got notified that if you purchased a copy of The Rogue’s Gallery directly from Kaphua Press, they will start shipping on Monday. Thank you so much for your patience everyone! I hope you enjoy the story.

Image taken from N.K. Jemisin’s awesome twitter account. You should follow her by the way: https://twitter.com/nkjemisin

Fledgling Ideas – Development

When you decide to become a writer, there are certain struggles you need to come to terms with. The first is that it will never be easy, and rejection is a difficult yet inevitable part of the process. Another struggle can be time management, the when/where/how of sitting down and physically typing words. This is especially true if you are writing around your time at a day job, as most new writers are. There never seem to be enough hours in the day, and there are few things worse than writing drowsy. Yeah, those pages always end up getting rewritten later.

Today’s struggle is about the development stage and nurturing the ideas that spring forth from your cranium space. Every writer does this slightly differently. Some sit and meticulously outline to the tiniest detail on every plot point and character. Other writers let it all flow naturally from the pen tip to the page with little planning. Many call this “seat of your pants” writing, or “pantsing.” I call it “going commando.” Don’t judge.

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Not wearing pants…
Most writers fall between these two extremes, including myself. I outline some, usually to get started, but it’s always very loose. Just a few ideas of what I want to touch on to get from point A to point C, and usually some important dialogue bits I want to include. This is done earlier in the day, around lunch time and during breaks, but I keep a pad of paper next to me in case I get a good idea at an inopportune time. Once I get home in the evening, I use that loose outline to direct my “commando.”  Sometimes the outlined points and dialogue gets used, sometimes better ideas come along, and sometimes they just doesn’t seem to work.

This is all well and good once you have a basic idea of what your story is, who your characters are, and what you want to say with the larger work. It’s more difficult when a new idea sparks inside you. Those times when the tiny light bulb goes off, and you find yourself mumbling out loud “Now, that’s an interesting idea.”  How do you take that and give it life?

This is where I am right now. I had an idea, and I think it is a pretty good one. Problem is, I’m not sure if this idea is short story material or if the concept is enough to be a novel. I don’t know who the supporting cast will be, what subplots will be present, or what the overall theme would be. All I have is a general plot idea and a main character, and even he (or she) is on the bubble.

So what do you do when this happens to you? What is your process of growing and cultivating the idea into a workable story?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time,

DC

Wanna be a writer? You should probably read these books.

Far be it from me to give advice on how to write. That isn’t really my forte, nor do I feel it is my place as I have yet to build an impressive set of writing credentials. Sure, I’ll throw out a fun writing prompt from time to time, but that is as much for my benefit as it is for anyone who reads/uses it.

Still, if you want to write fiction well, increase your skill, and just give yourself a greater knowledge on how to go about the craft of writing, you could do worse than reading the following books. Each of them has been a fantastic help to me both creatively and structurally.

OSC BookHow To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
By Orson Scott Card.

If you have any inkling about writing speculative fiction, you should read this book. Even if you disagree with the author’s political views, you should read this book. This book is a fantastic resource with a ton of general knowledge on actual factual science, brilliant ideas on fantasy concepts like mythical creatures and magic, and basic sci-fi and fantasy story structure for both short stories and full length novels. This book also stands as the only instructional book that has inspired me to write a new novel from something factual I learned reading it.

book-cover-on-writingOn Writing
By Stephen King

For my money, this is hands down the best book on how to write. Period. Half an autobiography of the author, the other half an inspiring instruction on craft that will make you feel empowered to write more and write often. While reading it you will learn important “rules” on how you should be writing that you most likely hadn’t even thought of before, and after reading this you will feel like you can succeed at being a writer. If I need a little push of motivation, sometimes I will break out this book and read one of the middle chapters at random. After that, it’s butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, and away we go.

birdbybird
Bird By Bird
By Anne Lamont

If there is a better book on overcoming obstacles, coping with writer’s block and pushing through it, and increasing your flow as a writer, I haven’t found it.  Not only that, it is a very entertaining read with a healthy dose of instruction on everything from plot to character and more. Also, a great book for people who have thought about getting into writing but were intimidated by the thought and scope of it.  Give it a shot.

There are a ton of other excellent books and resources I’m leaving off, but these are the three that have inspired me most over the years. If you have not read them, and you are a struggling with your craft, you should head to your local library, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon and pick up a copy (or three). They will help, I promise.

Till next time,

DC