Sunday, February 24, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode The 13th

Girl Howdy and howdy to the boy who is lovingly misogynistic in his fantasies while portraying the dutiful partner in the here and now, and welcome to the urban jungle that is hosted by G.B. Miller, where swinging from the vine is the preferred method of travel these long as you don't get electrocuted in the process.

Last week, I mentioned a couple topics of choice that I wanted to talk about in some upcoming posts: cliches and throwaway scenes. Granted, because they are two of my favorite tropes to use in my stories, it made it that much more difficult to choose. But choose I did, so for today's post, we will talk about throwaway scenes.

Basically, a throwaway scene {IMO} is where you have a momentary lull in action at a particular point in a story and you need to fill it with something that is just barely connected by some sewing thread to the overall story. By "barely connected" I mean it has almost zero do with the overall story but it's used as an example for that particular scene that it appears in.

Confused? Well, don't be. The rest of the post will {hopefully} clear up any confusion you might have.

I have one such throwaway scene in book #1 of "The Friendship Trilogy". It fits perfectly for that particular transitional scene but has almost nothing to do with the overall story, and now I will elaborate on how this throwaway fits with this particular scene.

In general, I like writing about certain aspects of religion. Specifically, I like exploring the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory with my writing and this book is no exception, with roughly 97% of the story taking place in a particular section of Purgatory. To get even more specific, I like poking fun at certain types of religious people.

Take zealotry for example.

I've always had a certain fascination with religious zealotry for as long as I can remember. Although I haven't experienced it (fortunately) on a personal level, I have read about it extensively as well as watched it in the movies over the years. So with this particular scene needing something that would be somewhat commonplace in the late 19th century (specifically, the American West in the late 19th century), I wrote a roughly 1 1/2 page encounter between my MC and a somewhat unbalanced religious zealot.

Because this was Purgatory, this encounter made sense in a strange way. I briefly turned my MC into an Angel Of Death, hell bent on revenge, who ultimately recruited this p.o.s. of a zealot to spread the word of her arrival.

Now, you may be asking yourself, how is this a throwaway scene?

For starters, it didn't start out to be a throwaway scene. It actually started out as a chance encounter that my MC had with an old man after she had asked a question about the condition of a building that she was in only moments ago. But it quickly deteriorated from there (because I got inspired) as the old man suddenly dropped to his knees in terror. The proceeding paragraph will give you a taste on what kind of tangent I decided to go on.

The gnarly old man fell silent, but only for a moment as the realization that he might be in the presence of The Angel Of Death hit him like a two by four.
"Good Lord sweet Jesus in Heaven! It's you!" cried the man as he dropped to his knees clasping his hands and swaying his body in fervent emotion. "The day of reckoning is upon us! The vileness of this town will soon be purged by this Angel of Death! No mercy for the wicked and depraved! But mercy for the good and righteous!"

And we basically stayed like this for the remaining 1 1/2 pages of the chapter. I originally wanted to explore this a little further for an upcoming confrontation but decided instead to let it hint at a possible nefarious and useful tangent. Which, ultimately, came for naught, as it simply became an interesting example of who and what was inhabiting this particular slice of Purgatory. No more and no less.

If you want to look at it in another way, think of a throwaway character that briefly pops up in order to help move along a specific snippet of a scene, then disappears and never is heard of again.

Tune in next week as we tackle the trope that is the bane of all seasoned writers and is incorrectly embraced by newbies: cliches.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 12th

A boyish howdy and howdy to the girlie girl who knows how to ground and pound 'til the opposition screams for mercy and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where the four seasons exist in a way that brings happiness to all and not necessarily in the traditional way.

Today's post is being composed a few days early, as opposed to the usual day before/day of, which is basically due to the fact that it's pay week at work, and with the next upcoming holiday (that's right, your tax dollars are super hard @ work paying 95% of all guv'ment employees to sit on their collective duff and doing nothing of import) I'll be frazzled into obnoxiousness.

Kind of like politicians, right?

Another heavy duty factor that is somewhat related, albeit peripherally, is that I have to buy a new printer and make a decision on a new editor this week. For some unknown, and probably very expensive, reason one half of my printer decided not to work. After much aggravation, which included dealing with the worst tech support that a tech company could ever have (HP), we have isolated the issue to something being wrong with a component that deals with toner.

Suffice to say, it will be cheaper to buy a new printer than it would be to get it fixed. I won't say time is of the essence, but considering M$ is ending support for Win7 in early 2020, it's imperative that I have a printer that is still compatible with Win7. Once next year rolls around, Win7 will become my writing computer and a Mac of some type will become my main computer of choice. Ye olden XP will be lovingly packed away never to be heard from again...unless I can't make a ye olden floppy disk drive work in Win7.

In regards to a new editor, I posted an s.o.s in one of my writing groups and received a few suggestions, one of which came from well known writer (in the U.K.) and was 2nded by the admin of the group, who is also a well known writer in the U.K. Turns out that the editor in question is well known in my writing group under a pen name and I've had the occasional contact with him throughout the past year.

If he does a good job, this will put me into a bit of a quandary for my 3rd novel, in that I'll have two good editors to choose from. I don't want to disappoint either one of them but this will be a difficult selection when the time comes to publish the final novel of the trilogy.

As always, you can follow me on FB and check out my writings via the book covers. Have a good week everyone and I'll talk to you again next Sunday, when the topic of choice will either be cliches or throwaway scenes.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 11th

Boy howdy and howdy to the boy who enjoys teasing the girls but secretly has a man crush on himself, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where souls hardier than myself drive scooters when the wind chill makes the real temperature drop to 'tween land.

Today's post will be semi-fluffy, in that I don't have much in the way of meatiness to write about, only seafood samplers for topics.

We'll start the festivities with ye olden Tumblr intro quote. Today's quote is from my post of April 8, 2017. The post itself covers one particular plot device {motorcycles} that I'd used in book #1, The Friendship Has Begun.

Greetings and welcome to the wonderful skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where improper language is the norm, excessive verbiage is Norm and we don't own a cute kitten named Nermal.

Kind of brief, which was due to having fun with the word "norm", and to the point.

I'm finally finished with my 4th (or was it 5th?) round of editing for book #2, The Friendship Has Continued. However, I have run into a very small snag, which is that the editor of choice is solidly booked until August. Fantastic for her, because being gainfully self-employed is a very good thing indeed. Not so good for me, since while I'm not working on an insanely tight deadline, I do have one, which is late Spring/early Summer 2019.

Which leaves me where? Where is checking out the editing services that my formatter has as her side hustle. She charges a flat rate of $50 per 10k words, so I'm looking at an initial cost of between $250 to $300. I'll probably do a little more thinking about it but it looks like I'll be using Go Published for all of my editing and formatting this time around.

One of the toughest things for me to write, besides an outline and a synopsis (of any length) is a blurb. Blurbs are what makes me procrastinate so badly that I would rather listen to bad hit pieces about the President than write one. But, it had to be done.

While I was busy transferring updated chapters/book from one USB drive to another, I found the remnants of one that I wrote for a writing prompt in my writer's group last year. It goes something like this.

She was an hybrid woman who who had just escaped from an abusive relationship and was near death from starvation when he unexpectedly stumbled across her while out doing his morning jog. He crawled back over to check out her condition and what he saw turned his stomach and made his blood boil. He picked her up with the intention of carrying her to the local veterinary clinic when he suddenly felt something wet run across his ear. He turned and raised his eyebrows questioningly. She responded by flashing her teeth before pointing at his neck and pleading with her eyes. Quickly swallowing back a rising tide of nausea, his first reaction was to drop her and leave her to the whims of Father Nature. But, after staring deep into her eyes, he decided that maybe, just maybe, this could turn into something so far outside the norm that it would be a delightful relationship to pursue. So he nodded, she caressed his check for a moment before sinking her teeth, with as much delicacy she could muster, into his neck. And that, my friends, was the start of the most outrageous love/hate relationship you've ever seen.

For a first draft blurb, it's pretty decent. Covers all the major points and would work quite well if the book it was attached to was a stand-alone. But since the book is volume #2 of a trilogy, it will have to be severely tweaked. But it seems like a good piece to start with, which is twenty-five of the battle being won.

As always, you can check out my writings via the book covers on the side, or peruse my vast blog archives (via the page tab up top). Have a very fascinating Valentine's Day this week, no matter who you love or lust after.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode The IWSG!

Boy howdy and howdy to all the drive-by visitors to my new blog, I Have Stories!

After spending roughly 1 1/2 years wandering around on another blogging platform, I have come back to where it all started.

Without further ado, here is my ye olden witty intro to the monthly IWSG blog hop.

The first Wednesday of the month is set aside for insecure writers across the blog-o-sphere to share all of our individual experiences, the gud, the baaaaaad and the plug ugly.

If my name sounds familiar to some of you, then three cheers and a Tigger for you. I have previously participated in the IWSG blog hop under my previous Blogger blog, Father Nature's Corner. For those of you who do remember me and are curious on what I've been doing for the past couple of years, please check out the 1st two posts of this blog for the all the salacious details.

With the intro out of the way, I shall now enlighten everyone on a minor {or major, depending on how you want to look at it} insecurity/worry of mine: writing a trilogy.

For the past several years, I've always written stand-alone stories. They were relatively easy to do, as all the characters were self-contained and whatever back story you wanted to introduce was usually a one off. And because I'm a dyed-in-the-wool panster when it comes to writing, writing stand-alones worked perfectly for me.

But then came that fateful day back in late 2016 when I decided to re-write a previously vanity published book. Excruciatingly long story made painfully short, I'm now one-third of the way through the final book of the trilogy, and let me tell you, it's not been an easy journey.

Developing characters, bringing some characters immediately forward to the next book, having some characters lay dormant for the next book but come roaring back with a vengeance for the final book, and above all, keeping track of all of them as well as the various plot lines. It's enough to make me lose my mind.

Even though for the final book I decided to break my cardinal rule by writing a four page manifesto/outline that was intended to map out exactly what I need to accomplish in this final book, I'm still thinking I'm missing something important. Something that is a key component to the completion of the trilogy. Something that when it does pop up, will make me pull my hair out with a pair of zircon encrusted tweezers (I'm pretty much bald, btw), especially since I wrote another one page outline for when I start writing the book again sometime later this year.

I've already found one major error while going through a final round of edits for book #2. The kind of error that left uncorrected, would throw the story into chaos.

I tell ya, it ain't easy writing a series of any length, and I give major props to those people who can do it and do it well.

I thank everyone for stopping by to read my IWSG and I look forward to interacting with everyone in the near future.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 3, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 10th

Boy howdy, girl howdy and howdy to all of those who choose to be both, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where talk is cheap and you can't touch my three lock box or surrender to the inevitable.

Yah, I know, that was bad, but hey, sometimes you can swing for the fences and all you get is a dribbler.

Today's post will be a bit fluffy as I have a special post coming up on February 6th. When I decided to come back to Blogger, one of the first things that I wanted to do was to start participating again in a certain monthly blog hop sponsored by the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog. So I accomplished that by signing my blog up to be exposed to dozens of other blogging peeps.

So while that particular post is going to be very much writing related, this one will be fluffy and light (see the photo on the right for a shining example of that fluffiness).

I used to be a major macadamia nut when it came to reading. I would often check two to three books out of the library at a clip and finish them within two weeks. Last year I decided perform a novel experiment, in which I would keep a detailed list on the amount of books that I was reading for the year.

So for the 1Q of 2018, I did really good, as I checked out 30 books and read 25. For the most part they were evenly split between fiction and non-fiction. I had started three different mystery series: one set in the late 15th century, one set in the mid 1980's and one set in the post WW1 era of England.

The 2Q wasn't as productive, as I'd started working on getting the 1st book of my trilogy out to the general masses. I finished that quarter with 14 books checked out and 12 read.

Then came the harbinger of ill-winds: my birthday.

My family had been bugging me for years to get a smart phone, so for my b'day, I decided to get a smart phone and use the one remaining vacant line that I had on my account. I originally got the smartphone in order to listen to baseball games, since we switched cable providers and my channel of choice was no longer available.

Then I discovered podcasts.

Suffice to say and in no short order, my reading dropped precipitously. Long story short (the longer version will be for a future post), reading for the 3Q dropped to 4 books checked out with 3 read as I found myself deeply immersed into the world of podcasts.

And as you've been probably able to deduce, no books were checked out or read for the 4Q.

So there you have it. Instead of my usual quota of roughly 110+ books read for a given year, I read a very pitiful 47 books for 2018. Sad, sad, sad.

Remember to stop by on February 6th for my very first IWSG blog hop post, and as always, you can follow me on FB as well as checking out my writings by clicking on the book covers.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved