My short story The Death of Giraurd de Vallaysjust got published in Red Sun Magazine Issue #4. Red Sun is one of the newer action oriented independent Fantasy and Science Fiction magazines that make up the exciting indy market. While I haven’t managed to read through back issues I like the blind reader philosophy and the fact that the editors are all military veterans.
The Death of Giraurd de Vallays is a story I care about because it’s actually the first short story I wrote when I decided I wanted to take up fiction. The only other place I submitted it to was the Writers of the Future contest where it got an Honorable Mention. I’m glad that if found a final home after sitting on my drive forgotten.
When I wrote it I was in a Red Sonja mood and also reading a book on the Cathar’s and the Albigensian Crusade.
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From Boston to Bordeaux, revolution was in large measure the achievement of networks of wordsmiths, the best of whom were also orators whose shouted words could rally the crowd in the square and incite them to storm the towers of the old regime.
The personal application of understanding and observing networks in everyday life is fascinating and exceptionally interesting. For example, myself, and most of the readers of this blog are part of a lateral network of right-leaning conservative readers and writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy. A lot of us are also networked through different social media and share memberships in some of the same groups. A few of us have published work in the same magazines.
I would love to see a network analysis that plotted all of the connections and correspondence. It would be fascinating to see where the main nodes of communication and transmission lie. Looking at myself and how I fit into the network my guess would be that one of the biggest common nodes a lot of us share is Jeffro Johnson, closely followed by Cirsova.
Understanding networks and subsequently focusing and harnessing their power is critical to success in a hostile environment like SFF writing. The traditional publishing world is made up of a series of interconnected networks and the last few eventful Hugo awards illustrate that fact. It’s no secret that a lot of the traditional publishers are very homogeneous in thought and style. You can map a lot of the publishers and writers through different nodes based on writing programs and writing workshops.
Networks are powerful. Building and cultivating a network of like minded readers and writers is critical. Supporting and being active members is critical. Comment on blog posts, share blog posts, encourage others to read works by independent writers you respect.
Actions that help build trusted networks serve your cause
I often get in these black moods where I just want to close off my social media, erase everything, and unplug from the internet. Most posters on facebook and twitter are dimwit chimpanzees thumping their chests and flinging excrement at each other. Sites like twitter and facebook, even good blogs that I often read, are nothing but time traps. Infinity pools designed to keep you coming back and refreshing.
But as a writer, networking is important, if not critical. Best of all I follow a small circle of independent writers that are at the cutting edge of the fantasy world. I know that some of them will one day break out and take their rightful place among the greats.
The current exciting conversation is taking place over at Emperorponders, where he is discussing the current unshakable trend of Deep Third Person POV and how it harms the fantasy and science fiction field. Read his posts, they are thought-provoking and made me analyze my own writing.
Misha Burnett joins the conversation and brings up the topic of The Invisible Character. Who is the narrator and who is he speaking to. In his opinion, a writer must keep in mind who is telling the tale and to whom in order to get the proper voice across. Fascinating stuff that I will keep in the back of my mind when writing.
Inspired by these posts I sat down and knocked out the first draft intro for a new fantasy piece using distant omniscient third-person point of view.
It was a dark time. A time of war and massacre. A time when regicide plunged the country into bloody war. Republican fanatics, in the name of liberty and freedom, deposed and executed the rightful King. Loyalist took up arms to restore the monarchy and engulfed the land in bloodshed. Neighbor turned on neighbor, brother killed brother, all was chaos and strife as each side committed bloody crime and atrocity. Common peasants suffered from bands of armed men roaming the countryside looting indiscriminately, murdering anyone that didn’t swear fealty to whatever cause they championed.
It was in this dark time that two men traveled through the ancient Hercynian wood. They trudged north, racing the icy winter whose early snows were already upon them. The younger of the two was Oswin the Magnificent, at that time known as Oswin the Hand due to his predilection towards thievery, or due to his skill with women if he was the one telling the story. His companion was Merle, a fat itinerant priest, a follower of the Good Book and a lover of drink and village women. The pair had no destination, but they both knew that staying well ahead of the war was the best course of action for men like them.
From here I plan on going in deep into the perspective of the character then pulling out when needed. I’m excited about this one.
I started work on what I’m hoping will end up a multi-chapter novella or short novel. It will be an action-packed story of adventure and exploration set in my Musket & Magic world of colonial powers, treacherous jungles, and ancient magic that I introduced in my Storyhack Issue 0piece. The adventure features the exile Valen, his servant Bartholomeus, and the uptight Capitan Henrik. If you haven’t read A Tiger in the Garden go ahead and pick up Storyhack 0 and give it a read.
Amazon Associate Program
Barbarian Book Club is basically a personal journal that I use to challenge myself to write. I also love talking about the books I’ve read, my currently sparse writing, and games I’m currently playing. I know that people enjoy discussing books and both real life and online friends have picked up books I’ve discussed and recommended on here. I figure that if I really enjoy the book or game I might as well use an associate link and if you the reader enjoy my content and want to read the same stuff you will buy it from Amazon using my link. Will this work? Probably not, but if I manage to make 2.99 in three months that equals to about one large coffee or one indy book. So, please click on my links if you decide to read the same stuff I do.