Monday, 11 November 2013

It's Never too Late for a Novel Change & a Little Remebrance

In the past few months I've been busy revising the first novel in my Alien Encounters Series. I never was entirely happy with the way the first ebook in the serial turned out, but I left it as it was and waited…What was I waiting for, you may wonder? I was waiting for the right time and the right editor. Well, the right editor came along last spring and she helped me out with other projects. Not long after I became busy with thesis writing and then working out the rest of the Alien Encounters Series. So, when the right time did show up I had everything in order, so to speak.

The next roadblock came when my new editor asked me to cut! Augh, she wanted me to cut out one-quarter of the book and replace it. Wow—was I ever anxious. Cutting 6,000 words is a tall order, so I sat on the idea for at least two weeks while I worked on other projects and my thesis. I had no idea how I was going to approach my quandary, so I waited and sat, then inspiration hit me with an unexpected wallop at the end of the first week. It's was almost cathartic, I couldn't stop myself, I knew my editor was right and I had to cut for the sake of my readers, and for the sake of the story: it was inevitable.

So I did it, I cut out all 6,000 words and replaced them with double that amount. When I was done pounding away at the keyboard, I was rather pleased with my result and knew I had done the right thing. You want to know why? My biggest critic: that small voice in my head, you know the one…It's the one all writers have, the one that says this isn't done until "I know I didn't cheat the reader", and I didn't cheat myself.

It took Going Home six more months from when I first published back in February to get it to where I wanted it in November, but now I think I may just be content enough to finish what I started.

I kept my story short so you would continue to read to the bottom, and remember...

You can find Going Home for free today on Kindle:

Amazon.ca http://www.amazon.ca/Going-Home-Book-Alien-Encounters-ebook/dp/B00BFUODK2/

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFUODK2

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Going-Home-Alien-Encounters-Series-ebook/dp/B00BFUODK2/



And now for a little remembrance:

You are getting your free copy today courtesy of my father-in-law. While I never met him, I heard he was a wonderful and giving person. If he's anything like my husband, he must have been. So, here's to you Jim Lewington, WWII bomber pilot, recipient of two DFCs, former group captain, and all around great guy who gave me my husband (with help from Sylvia). Thanks for giving, so we could have our freedom—I think Lyrissa would have liked you very much.


You can find me through the week at www.Kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman.

Monday, 28 October 2013

From Small Seeds Great Ideas Can Flouish

Every once in a while I like to stretch my creative writing muscles in a different way. I love to write novels; I think I have something good and interesting to say. However change can be a positive force, and so once in a while I like to turn a nugget of an ideas into a short story.

There's nothing more satisfying than reading a short piece of fiction, and reaching the end with a satisfying conclusion; being moved in some way that brings you to a higher purpose, if only for a moment. These are the kinds of gifts short stories can bring to a reader.

I was a was a very slow reader as a child. It took me forever to get through a novel, while others like my sister whizzed through in a matter of days. My sister loved to read Stephen King, and I, being a slow reader wasn't about to tackle a book like "The Stand"; I'd have to wait until I was in my early twenties to do that. I think most younger siblings want to be doing what their older brothers or sister are doing. So one Stephen King book did catch my twelve-year-old eye: "Different Seasons". I plucked it from the shelf and realized it was actually a series of short stores. I "could read these in an afternoon or a day" and feel like I'd accomplished something; it was a joyous moment.


I sat down to read and loved the sophistocated interwoven themes of the Four Seasons, its title's namesake. Reading short stories opened up a whole new world for me and I went on to read the Foundation Series, the Lord of the Rings and more. Me, the kid who read slower than most, even went on to become a voracious reader and surpassed my sister at devouring novels.

Every once in a while I turn my nuggets into short stories, and send my babies out into the universe in that form. It's my way of paying homage to the short story tradition and to those slow readers out there who may just be budding voracious readers in disguise.

You can find me through the week at www.Kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman.

Monday, 21 October 2013

All good things come in threes...

Have you ever noticed how many trilogies there are on the reading bookshelf: digital or otherwise?Even the Hobbit's storyline has been spun out to fit the trilogy format in film. Why is this, you may wonder? Is there something about three? What's the purpose?

Most novels are written using a three-act structure and trilogies fit nicely with the structure of most novels. Shakespeare sometimes used four acts, but three seems to be the magic number when wrapping up a story and plot—it also seems to be the magic number when wrapping up a story arc as well. We can get the meat of the protagonist's past from the first book in the trilogy, ending with somekind of action. Book two can be action packed, then we find resolution and conclusion in most respects to theme and plot in book three of a trilogy.

My upcoming series the Deeps will consist of three books, no more and no less, and it too will follow the three act tradition: each book will have its own discrete characters, storyline and plot, but the series will carry a larger story arc I hope you'll enjoy. Set in Regency England and Nepolionic France, and told from a female protagonist's point of view. It's got plenty of strange Regency style goings on and gothic horror thrown in—for a dash of pleasure. I'm hoping you'll enjoy the series.

Here's a picture I took of a canal at a local park. I hope you like it and would love to hear comments. I plan to use it for the book's cover.


You can find me through the week at www.Kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Never Say Never...

You'd think by now, I'd have learned...but I guess I haven't. No sooner had I written down in last week's post that I would finish the Alien Encounters Series at 6 books (and it seemed like a logical place to finish the story arc), then the realization came to me that the story arc wasn't complete: I needed to include at least one if not two more installments in the series.

In the beginning I wanted to end the series on Earth which would have been books 5. Then I wanted to end it on Sylax book 6, but when I decided to included both Lyrissa's and Peggy's points of view as an experiment in book 4 - Back Home (see cover below), I knew the story wasn't finished and several more plot points needed to be revealed before wrapping up the series.



So have I finally learned? I'd like to say yes, but in this case I see the need for more story and more plot to bring the series to a final conclusion without cheating the reader, so the Alien Encounters will continue, as least for now....

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Big Reveal is Finally here...

I've been making a few changes lately and one of them is when to post my blog. After some consideration I've decided to now post my blog on Mondays and I hope you have time to check it out.

Concerning my time and my science fiction and fantasy writing, well things have been busy around here, more busy than I'd like to admit I guess. Back Home, Book 4 in the Alien Encounters Series is back from my editor from its first round of edits and I'm going through, making my revisions.

Lyrissa and Peggy are both back on Sylax and in a nice twist we get to see this world through both Lyrissa's and Peggy's eyes. I've never tried to write a book in two different points of view, but I do like a challenge. I read Scott Westerfeld's Levithan Series and really liked the way one character's point of view complimented the others'.

So, this newest novel and yes, it's shaping up to be a novel running at around 50,000 words, it's told from both Lyrissa's and Peggy's point of view. I think having more than one point of view it makes for a more rich and three dimensional story. Writing the novel I tried my best to remain consistent, while still following storyline and plot. Coming up with two different character flaws and two different emotions journeys wasn't easy while still creating a unique alien world with a rich mythology, but with help from my new editor I think we're managing quite well. The book is going through revision number 1 and I hope to have it out by the end of this month or the beginning of November.

Challenge is what got me started on the Alien Encounters Series. I love Stephen King novels and the Green Mile was great. Mr. King strikes me as someone who likes to experiment with form. I was intrigued by the Green Mile's delivery method. When the book was first published it came out as a serial—I believe there were six novellas in all. Well as luck would have it that's where I intend to draw the line with the Alien Encounters; six seems like a nice round number to me.

If you follow me on twitter you've probably already seen the cover art for this book, the most recent installment in the series, however I did promise to post my cover art here, so as promised here it is.



I hope you have time to post a comment and let me know what you think.

You can find me through the week at www.Kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Right Before the Big Reveal I'd like to Give a Secret Away...

I'm finished with the first draft of Back Home and have put it aside to ponder another day. Right now I'm working on Going Home and have prepared 4 new chapters, which I think will help to take the story in an exciting new direction and tighten the existing story even more. This is one stage I feel that's crucial in the editing process before I send it out to my editor to get the most benefit from my experience with her. What I like to do is put my chapters through the edit minion grinder—it's one of my editing secrets. You can find edit minion at http://www.editminion.com. This is a great little program and powerful too. I once tried it on a 96,000 word manuscript I had and it still did the job for me, although I had to lessen the work load on the poor little creature.

It's a pretty self explanatory device. You select which of the functions you want it to perform by checking boxes for any adverbs using the adverbinator, weak words, said replacements, passive voice (which I find so useful), ending with preposition, tricky homonyms, click├ęs (also very useful), common misspellings (which are in US English and not Canadian, something for Canadians to watch out for, but you probably already knew that ;) ), and frequently used words. Once you've checked off the appropriate boxes and press the edit button on the bottom you'll generate a "report card" which will use colour coded highlighting to indicate which words are suspect for those categories you previously checked off.

I've used this on more than one occasion and it's a huge time saver. I've never found it a replacement for a good editor.

A poor editor can be your worst nightmare, and believe me I've run into my share of those, but a good editor can be your best friend, and if you're writing a novel, especially if you put your work out there for other's to buy on Kindle, Smashwords, etc, in my opinion it's where you should spend most of your time and money.

I'll give you some tips for finding a good editor in one of my upcoming posts. Oh, and don't forget to check out my most recently published work Going Back. It's only 99 cents on Kindle. To find it click on the image below.




You can find me through the week at www.Kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Relax, Before You Race to the Finish Line

The first draft of Back Home is finally done! This is my fourth book in the series and I have to say that my little experiment of writing a serial has been a productive and interesting one. I've learned so much in the last seven months writing these four novella/novels and there's more to come yet.

If you're interested in my journey through this process or what I did before this, I invite you to have a look at my earlier blog posts.

In this and the next post I'd like to focus on the final stage of my novel. With the first draft completed and endnotes/thread notes tacked on the back of my book, I now have an intact story and plot line, which helps with flow and to me on with subsequent edits. At this stage I like to take a bit of time away from the project. So I'm going to give myself about a week. I have plenty of other projects to work on and I'm also gearing up for the last course in my master's program at the Mount. This down time gives me an opportunity to take my mind out of the work, long enough to come back at it at a later date, so I can look at it with fresh eyes. This process tends to be of tremendous benefit. And I know you may be saying to yourself: Well your so close, why not just finish, get the work out there? To me, this last step is crucial. It's difficult, but necessary to gain a fresh perspective on my novel so that I can make the most of my experience and provide a polished product that readers will enjoy, along with the help of my invaluable editor, Keiti, of course.

Next week, I'm going to reveal one of my little gems that I use to help me in the final editing process, before I send my baby out to an editor.

You can find me through the week at kimwelsman.ca or on twitter @kimwelsman. I have a cool new trailer on my website and hope you have time to check it out.