September 2013

Writing is often a solitary occupation. But periodically, there are events that will bring the writing community together for mutual support and the friendly spirit of competition. One such annual event, is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Each year, during the month of November, The Office of Letters and Light, and writers everywhere, challenge each other to write a 50 thousand word novel in just 30 days. Some folks revel in the challenge, others despair of meeting their daily word goals, still others despair for the flood of self-published first drafts that are sure to flood the market in December and January, presuming to be finished without editing or review. No matter your view on NaNoWriMo, it still has a lot of good lessons to teach writers who are looking to move their writing up from a hobby to a more professional level of production. Professional quality comes later, as one learns the value of editing…

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Mixed up over mixers

by Doc Coleman on September 25, 2013 · 1 comment

in Voice Work

The last time I posted about my voice work, I had been approached for three new episodes of voice work in addition to the work on P.C. Haring’s Slipspace Harbinger. Now, it is about a month later. I’ve completed two of those episodes, but now I’m going to have to put the last one on the back burner in order to concentrate on my Harbinger commitment. I would have started recording this earlier, except that I’ve added a mixer to my recording set-up. Of course, the mixer itself is what is causing the problem.

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Sometimes, at Balticon, an event will come together that far exceeds anything that anyone could have planned. If you’re very very lucky, someone will record that event. If you’re even luckier, that person will let you use that recording in your podcast! This increasingly unlikely set of circumstances is what makes this episode possible for your enjoyment today! One warning before we go any further: The content in this episode is very, VERY funny, but it is also extremely offensive. If you can be offended, you should expect that something in this podcast will offend you. Since you have been warned, anything that happens from this point on is your own fault.

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Brand Me

by Doc Coleman on September 18, 2013 · 7 comments

in Asides

When I was re-listening to the audio for The Business of being an Author from Balticon 47, I was reminded of an issue that I had started to address a while ago, but then I got sidetracked and let it slide by the wayside. And that issue is branding. No, not the kind of branding made popular by cowboys marking cattle as part of their herds… Or maybe I do mean that kind of branding, just not as applied with hot irons on tender, living flesh. At least not mine.

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Our last episode focused on the business of being a writer, but this episode is focused more upon the skills needed in writing. No, we’re not talking about typing skills or penmanship. What we are talking about is the techniques that different authors use in constructing their stories. This is actually an age-old debate about which method is better for plotting out and writing your first draft: creating a detailed outline, or just sitting down and writing?

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Choose to be more

by Doc Coleman on September 11, 2013 · 7 comments

in Asides

This post was inspired by a conversation I had on Facebook this weekend with a fellow writer who has had a difficult time of late. It was also inspired by many, many conversations I have had with other friends who have expressed their gratitude and their respect for all the work I have put into being an author and a voice actor. At first, I didn’t understand where that respect was coming from…

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If it is Monday, then it must be time for another episode of the Balticon 47 Wrap up, courtesy of Balticon and Swimming Cat Studios. Today’s episode covers one of the most important subjects for any writer who wants to make the transition and become a professional Author: How do you set up your business. Most authors are sole proprietorships, and  without a little business savvy, they can find themselves becoming victims in the marketplace. As an author you make your living selling rights to your stories. While you can have someone else run that part of the business for you, you need to have enough business knowledge to know when they are doing a good job, and when you need to get someone else. As a new author, you usually can’t afford to hire someone to do the business end, so you have to hire yourself.

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One of the cool things about being a writer, even a writer who is still starting out, is that you get to meet so many talented people. And because you are a fellow writer, sometimes you get a chance to get a sneak peek at their next creative effort. I’ve had the opportunity in the past to talk to you about Maven, and about Nemesis by Starla Huchton, but this time, I’ve got a special preview of a new work by Lauren Harris, her novella “Exorcising Aaron Nguyen”.

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Ninety-Nine

by Doc Coleman on September 4, 2013 · 6 comments

in Writing

Yes, this is a #WriterWednesday post, but as I am writing it, it is Tuesday, September 3rd. This posts marks the 99th consecutive day that I have written something as tracked by The Magic Spreadsheet. So why am I writing about Day 99 when the post goes live on day 100? Well, for one thing, there is a long-standing tradition that you never talk about something you are about to do, because if you do, the forces of the universe realign to create situations where you cannot achieve the very thing you just told the world that you are about to do. And that would be very bad.

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Even on a holiday weekend, the Balticon 47 Wrap up rolls on! While most folks are enjoying some time off, or an intense retail experience, Swimming Cat Studios is bringing you another installment from Balticon. This episode continues the our look at the BBC’s Doctor Who series as we approach the 50th anniversary of the series coming up later this year. This week we are looking at our Favorite Villains from Doctor’s 2, 3, and 4. Lady Ozma, aka Jacalyn Stanley, returns as our moderator and her son Caramon Stanley, Author Alicia Goranson, and myself filled out the rest of the panel as we examined the various villains from classic Doctor Who with a little help from our audience.

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