Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Sixth Seal

If I could do a backflip, I would. My serialized novel, The Sixth Seal, has gone live over at JukePop Serials, and I am absolutely ecstatic. In case you didn't read my previous post on this wonderful new serial fiction site (shame on you), it's a great place that hosts serialized works by new and established authors alike. The thing that sets it apart from similar sites is that they encourage interaction between the writer and reader. You can vote for your favorites, and even make suggestions to the authors.

The Sixth Seal is a novel that I wrote during last year's NaNoWriMo. However, anyone that has ever participated in this delightful event knows that despite how creatively liberating it is, one is often left with a very dismal and often incomplete first draft. Unfortunately that was the case with the Sixth Seal, so I was more than a little interested when I first heard about JukePop. What better way to allow some of this work to see the light of day. Of course I had to do some polishing to get the first chapter ready for submission, but I've become newly invigorated by the story line.

Yes, I do have quite a few rough scenes written and a fairly good idea of where the story is going, but I am also looking forward to going where the moment takes me and incorporating feedback from readers. That's not to say that I'll incorporate every suggestion into the story, but I'll certainly consider any feedback given.

My plan is to release one new 2,000 to 2,500 word chapter every Saturday. The editors of the site suggest adhering to a regular schedule as much as possible in order to build and keep a loyal following. I think this is going to work out pretty well for me because I do my best work under deadlines.

This is definitely going to be a great adventure and learning experience for me, and I'm excited to be sharing it with all of you. So stop by JukePop, and while you're there check out some of the other great works. There are quite a few wonderful stories encompassing an array of genres. By the way, if you write romances, JukePop is looking for you. I've seen a few posts saying they are actively seeking submissions in romance.

Monday, October 1, 2012

An old familiar friend

I was browsing on Amazon, as I often do these days, when I came across an old favorite, Ross Macdonald. I remember reading his Lew Archer novels when I was in high school. I was completely wrapped up in them for a time. They're quintessential hardboiled detective novels steeped in gritty realism.

I think the thing about Macdonald's detective stories that makes them really stand out from the crowd, and in fact stand the test of time, is Macdonald's adept handling of character. All of the characters in a Lew Archer novel are rich tapestries of motive and emotion. Macdonald had a knack for getting into the mind of the character, and entwining their hidden desires and neurosis into the plot.

I tend to take my time reading a book, but I remember how fast I sped through the Lew Archer novels. They were just so good that I couldn't put them down. Since I discovered them after the author's death, I was able to read them all back to back. At least I thought I had, but somehow I missed one called The Doomsters. I just bought in on Amazon. They have all of the Lew Archer novels available for the Kindle, along with some of his early short stories. I can hardly wait to dive back into that world.

The last of the Archer novels, The Blue Hammer, was written in 1976, so they're a little dated, but Macdonald's tight storytelling and rich characterization make them relevant today, especially for the aspiring novelist. I would encourage anyone to pick them up. As I remember, you don't necessarily have to read them in order, but Macdonald does elude to events in past novels from time to time.

If you start with one of his short stories, available for $0.99 on Amazon, keep in mind that they are some of his earliest works. They're still very good, but they lack the depth of the novels. I'd recommend starting with The Moving Target, which was adapted to the big screen as Harper in 1966 starring Paul Newman.

Go ahead, give Macdonald a try, and tell Lew I said hello.