Tag Archives: novel

Noumenon Infinity

Hello, all!  I hope 2018 is treating you well so far (even though it sure looks like it’s set to be another whopper of a year).

For those of you who’ve been asking about the sequel to Noumenon, I have some fantastic news!  Noumenon Infinity is now available for preorder!  It’s scheduled for release August 14th, and I hope you’re as excited to see what’s next for Convoy Seven as I am to share their continuing journey with you!

You can order it now at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever books are sold!

(Spoilers below for the first book!)

 

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Generations ago, Convoy Seven and I.C.C. left Earth on a mission that would take them far beyond the solar system. Launched by the Planet United Consortium, a global group formed to pursue cooperative Earth-wide interests in deep space, nine ships headed into the unknown to explore a distant star called LQ Pyx.

Eons later, the convoy has returned to LQ Pyx to begin work on the Web, the alien megastructure that covers the star. Is it a Dyson Sphere, designed to power a civilization as everyone believes—or something far more sinister?

Meanwhile, Planet United’s littlest convoy, long thought to be lost, reemerges in a different sector of deep space. What they discover holds the answers to unlocking the Web’s greater purpose.

Each convoy possesses a piece of the Web’s puzzle . . . but they may not be able to bring those pieces together and uncover the structure’s true nature before it’s too late.

***

Happy reading!

~Marina

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List Your Way to a Better (Writing) You

My least favorite part of the process is…? Copyediting. Spelling has never been my strongpoint. I particularly have problems with homophones and compound words. Trying to catch all those little flubs is no fun at all.

But copyediting is important. It’s what elevates a manuscript from armature to pro. It makes the story clean and accessible.

So, today I made two lists–one for each of my problem areas. Neither is complete, and I assume that years from now I’ll still be adding to them. The most difficult thing about making the lists was realizing that there are homophones and compound words out there that I’ve used incorrectly because I had no idea a correct version existed. What do you mean there are two spellings of compliment (complement)? Supersensitive is a word (synonym of hypersensitive)?

Making these lists has reinforced for me the importance of continuous learning. I will always have weaknesses, which means I will always be able to improve. I can get better. I can level up.

I highly suggest doing the same for yourself. Maybe your weakness isn’t homophones, but incorrect word usage, or comma placement. Maybe it isn’t prose related–maybe you’ve had trouble with time management. Whatever it is, make yourself some kind of guide, something that shows you the correct or most effective way to overcome your weakness. Even if it’s just a start, it can be a great tool to add to your growing box of tricks.

Always strive to improve. Never give up. Never surrender.

What are your tips and tricks for improving problem areas? Let me know!

~Marina

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Being SMART With Your Goals

Ok, I might be a little late here.  A goal-oriented post usually belongs at the beginning of January, not at the end.  But…

I want to discuss setting real goals vs. setting non-goals.  You’d be amazed (or, perhaps not) at how many writers I’ve seen this month declare non-goals for 2013.  Non-goals don’t help anyone, least of all the person who sets them.

Non-goals are more easily defined as dreams–something you wish would happen, but don’t actually have any control over.

A real goal is entirely self contained and under your control.

Example of a non-goal: Qualify for SFWA.

Example of a real goal: Write ten short stories and submit them to SFWA qualifying venues.

See the difference?  Some people don’t.  At least, not right away.

There’s a well known model for goal setting that has circulated widely in the business world.  Which, naturally, means that writers are the last to hear about it  (I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but if you want to SELL something you’re in a BUSINESS, so we artsy types can all stop acting like ‘business’ is the eight-letter ‘b’ word).

This model is called SMART.  It’s an acronym that stands for Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound (actual words may vary depending on who you’re talking to, but the system remains the same).

Specific.  This one’s easy.  It’s the What, Where, Why and Who portion.  What are the requirements and restrictions? Where do I have to go/send/be in order to accomplish this?  Why is it important that this goal be accomplished?  Who is involved in making this goal happen (hint: if the goal requires someone in addition to yourself they have to be working towards the exact same goal.  Most editors are not working towards the same goal as you are, neither are agents or publishers.  They do not count as goal partners)?

Measureable.  This means you must have a concrete way of assessing your progress towards the goal and the goal’s completion.   You are looking for quantitative, not qualitative criteria.  How questions prominently figure in here.  For example:  I must write X number of stories and submit them.  Not: I must write a bunch of good stories and submit them.

Actionable.  This means the goal can be implemented and attained through your direct action only.  Which means it must be within your power to attain.  It is not a goal so lofty that you cannot reach it.  Nor is it only attainable if outside forces or circumstances happen to aid you.

Relevant.  Is there a point to this goal?  Will your career suffer should you fail?  Will it be aided should you accomplish it?  If the answer is no, it’s not really a relevant or worthwhile goal.  Is the goal of stamping and addressing twenty envelopes in a row relevant to your career as a writer?  The action might be necessary at some point, but it should not be a focal point.

Time-bound.  This one is especially important, I think, to writers.  It’s all about When.  How many people do you know who say, “I’m going to write a novel one day”?  I’m guessing a lot.  Most likely those people will never write that novel (they might never even start it, let alone complete it), because they have not deemed it important enough to put a time frame on.  A worthwhile goal must be constrained by time.  I will write ten stories someday will most likely leave you feeling unaccomplished come 2014 when you’ve failed to meet that non-goal.  Whereas if you say, I will write ten stories by June first, you have given yourself a time limit, an area of temporal space in which to work, and most importantly, complete your task.

So, it might be time to reevaluate your most recent goals.  You’ve lived with them near a month by now, how far along are you?  How close are you to completion?  When will you finish?  What is there still to complete?  If you have no way of concretely answering such questions, you might want to scrap your non-goals and set some real ones.

Non-goals only leave you with heartache when they are left incomplete.  We all want to have real goals that pull our dreams down to Earth and help make them our reality.  Otherwise, what’s the point of setting them?

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Was this post helpful?  Did you reexamine your goals?  Were your goals solid the first time around, or did you need to change a few things?  I’d love to know!  Leave me a comment.

~Marina

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Nano’s End

Having completed not only my Nano word count, but also the first draft of my novel this past Monday, I am now on to editing–which I regret to inform you is my least favorite part of the creative process.  Not so much because it’s difficult, but because it’s when I start to notice that the gems I thought I had might actually be colored glass… or worse.

This is the fighting stage, when I have to push to make it work.

Hope those of you still in the game are nearly done with your Nano project–good luck!  You can do it!

~Marina

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Dragons, Anyone?: Lectures from Brandon Sanderson

Ok, this post has little to do with dragons.  But, I am here to introduce you to “Write About Dragons”–a blog dedicated to posting videos of Brandon Sanderson’s Introduction to Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy class at BYU (its main focus is novel writing, but shorts do come up.  Eric James Stone is a guest in lecture 5 and speaks pretty exclusively about short stories).

As the title implies, this is a beginner’s course, so for those of us who’ve been at this a while it just makes a nice refresher.  I find that re-learning old information in new ways helps to solidify it in my mind.

He does utilize a good portion of the classes to talk about the business side of writing.  For those of you who don’t know, that’s practically unheard of in university creative writing courses.

Without further ado: http://www.writeaboutdragons.com/home/

ALSO, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce a minor hiatus.  I won’t be updating the blog for about two to three weeks (unless something spectacular happens and I just can’t keep from posting).  Just have some life things to take care of.  Nothing bad–just hectic!

Let me know if you find the lectures useful,

~Marina

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Need a Better Way to Edit?

Happy Wacky Wednesday. 

If you’re like me, you have trouble performing organized edits on long pieces.  I tend to jump around a lot.  And I’m always afraid I’ll cut something important out of a dead scene and forget to put it back in somewhere else, or that I’ll make changes that create inconsistencies that will remain overlooked, etc.

It’s not the most effective process.  So, I’m always on the lookout for ways to edit more efficiently.

Recently I found this step by step guide for a one-pass, total edit from Holly Lisle.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I thought I’d share because it looks promising:

One-Pass Manuscript Revision: First Draft to Last in One Cycle 

Hope you find it helpful.

~Marina

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