Jackie Chan on Action Comedy

This is both fun and seriously useful. I’m hoping I can incorporate some of the ideas into spicing up my fight scenes.

Mad Genius Club

So, you need to write a fight scene? This is how to film one. Think about the equivalents in writing.


The 9 Principles of Action Comedy
1. Start with a DISADVANTAGE
3. Be CLEAR in your shots
4. Action & Reaction in the SAME frame
5. Do as many TAKES as necessary
6. Let the audience feel the RHYTHM
7. In editing, TWO good hits = ONE great hit
8. PAIN is humanizing
9. Earn your FINISH

Picture credit: Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

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Book Review: Conflict

For any of you interested in writing, this book sounds like it goes a step farther than the usual. I’m looking forward to consuming it.

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In the too-many weeks since I’ve been well enough to write (if you’re interested, continual nausea shuts off my creative mind, just as constant pain does to other people) I’ve tried to keep a tiny bit of the Muse interested by looking at books on writing technique. OK, most of them get walled before I’m more than 20% in, usually because they are based on blanket prescriptions that I don’t agree with. But in the most recent survey I did come across one book that interested me all the way through and that inspired me to make copious notes.

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Now Available on NetGalley!

The first book in my series, “Exile’s Redemption” is now available at NetGalley. That means folks who do not have Amazon Prime can read it for free if they get a NetGalley membership. If that sounds like you, or you know someone who this applies to, point them toward: https://bit.ly/2LXbYLX

The overall ploy is to get more reviews for the first book. The greater number of reviews, the more likely new readers are willing to take a chance on an unfamiliar series. Once they read the first book, I of course hope they’ll read the next two. Fingers crossed, they’ll leave reviews for those books as well.

Based on sales and borrows of the entire series, people seem to enjoy the books. It’s a sad truth, though, that only one person out of a hundred readers generally leave a review. The deeper into the series they go, the less likely they are to continue writing reviews. The general feeling is that they’ve already expressed a like for the writing by leaving a review for the first book, it shouldn’t be necessary for them to do follow up reviews for the rest of the series. The fact is, those books are in need of feedback as much as the first book. It shows potential readers that the series has (or has not) maintained a certain level of readability. The more reviews, the more likely Amazon will feature the books in their reader mailings. Also, third-party advertising often requires a certain number of reviews before they will accept the book.

This is a not-so-subtle request for readers of my series to write reviews for any of my books you may have read and have not already reviewed. I have renewed my determination to do the same for the books I read. I have not done well by the writers I admire, not even leaving them a one or two sentence blurb on Amazon and Goodreads. Being a hypocrite is not one of those things I aspire to – changing that as of a month ago. I also plan to go back and catch up on the reviews I missed. Sorta a late New Years’ resolution.

Here’s that NetGalley link again: https://bit.ly/2LXbYLX

Thanks everyone!

Release Day and Events Leading Up To It.

New book out by Amanda S. Green. Check it out if you enjoy strong female protagonists and/or military sci-fi.

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Okay, if there was ever any doubt I am mad, as in insane, these past few months should put those doubts to rest. I knew my production had been down the last year or so. I was still putting out books, but not at the rate I wanted to. So, when this year began, I decided to make a few changes to my routine to see if that changed. It took about six weeks for the changes to really kick in. When they did, everything changed and I swear Myrtle the Evil Muse turned more evil than ever. How so? Starting mid-February, the real work on Nocturnal Revelations began. A month ago, the book went live on Amazon, all 120k words of it. This morning, Battle Flight, a prequel to Vengeance from Ashes, went live. That book is more than 50k words. To say my brain is fried…

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Anatomy Lesson

I would love to have the time to do serious research. Just not gonna happen. I did read a few books about horses, so I wouldn’t totally screw them up, and I have referenced images of sword anatomy, but if I went much deeper it would take ten years to put out a book instead of 2-3.

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Talking about swords is kinda difficult. Case in point: last week I tried to give a definition, and ended up skewing off into the weeds of history almost immediately. In discussing this very difficulty with Tom (who has just founded the Albany Study Group of Schola Saint George) he suggested I leave you with the definition with which I started last week, and tell you to go an prosper, under the assumption that suffering produces better art. Now, I didn’t tell him to get bent (I figure his mettle is better than *that*) and I’m not going to let him know his oh-so-clever japes actually helped.

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Free Through the 21st

So the stars finally aligned between Amazon and Book Barbarian, and I was able to run a freebie sale for Exile’s Redemption. If you know of someone who has yet to give the series a try, let ’em know they have a couple of days to snap up the first book at no cost. Lots of folks have already taken the plunge and I’m excited to announce that for the moment, Exile’s Redemption is #1 in the free Kindle store in two categories! With luck it will stay visible for a few days and more folks will discover the series.

Creeping Tyranny

Ye old “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

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It’s actually not all that common to have the Evil Tyrant take over the land and impose crushing new rules that the Hero and friends spend the book trying to overthrow. No, more commonly the Evil Tyrant replaces the previous Evil Tyrant (meet the new boss, just like the old boss) and changes who’s on the enemies list and the beleaguered subjects do the same as they’ve been doing forever and get on with life in general.

And bruised souls from the compromises that are necessary to get by when living in an abusive regime.

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It’s a Cover Up I

Sarah provides a lot of good advice in this article. As someone who designs book covers for other people, I find myself in a bind at times because the client, the person paying my bills, isn’t necessarily interested in my input. They just want me to create the cover based on what they envision. When I suggest that putting five characters on the cover is going to make it too busy, and much too difficult to distinguish at a small size, they often tell me to go pound sand and then find someone who will make the cover without providing advice. But you as the writer looking for someone to make a cover for you can benefit from Sarah’s article and either make a decent cover yourself or commission a cover that doesn’t suck.

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Most indie authors have rolled, with relative ease, into hiring content editors and even copyeditors, (just don’t put either under “editor” on amazon. That editor tag on Amazon is for anthologies. You also shouldn’t put your cover artist under “illustrator.” Before I figured out that clueless authors were doing that, I passed up a bunch of books because I thought “An illustrated hard boiled mystery? Too weird for words.” That tag is there for actual illustrated books.)  or figuring our how to swap with other indies for these services (which amounts to hiring) or other more creative arrangements.

One stumbling block remains in most writers’ publication schedule: covers.

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Relationships and Anthologies

I am very pleased with the relationship I have with Chris Kennedy Publishing. Their contract is very clear and fair for participating in an anthology. I’m still thrilled that I had the opportunity to participate in one of their Four Horseman anthologies – “Luck is Not a Factor”.

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I got involved in a conversation over on a friend’s social media this week. He’d referenced a memory, and commented that it had been 8 years since he’d been published in these anthologies, and he’d never seen any money from it. No upfront payments, no royalties, nothing. Now, it’s not that Jason Cordova is a bad writer. Far from it. And the man grinds at his work, he’s not lazing around waiting for something to hit big. But it rankled him that there had been big promises, brutally constrictive contracts and in the end… nothing. The conversation wandered from discussing, in veiled non-specifics, the publishing company that had burned him, to talking about how to find anthologies that actually care about the writers involved.

I was asked to write about how to find non-predatory small presses, and I’m happy to give my small insight into this, but I also…

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