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Craft in Reverse 1 – 2 12 2019

Welcome to craft in reverse, a blog series where I take a popular piece of writing advice and deconstruct it before your very eyes! Here’s hoping this isn’t a terrible idea.

This week’s piece of writing advice goes as follows: Don’t use adjectives or adverbs.

I really like this piece of advice. When one removes these simpler ways to add descriptive flavor the writer must rely on stronger verbs to deliver the desired meaning. Definitely, overusing adjectives and adverbs can make a piece a drag to read.

However…

A well-placed adjective (Or even, GASP, an adverb!) can torque the emphasis of a sentence with vivid verb and subject to an even higher level. And sometimes, the opposite case, where one can deliver the meaning one intends most efficiently with simple descriptors.

Like practically every piece of writing advice, this one needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

This one is brief, but if it proved at all interesting or useful, let me know. I will be back next week with more of this series. In the mean-time enjoy the podcasts and other posts on this blog.

My books are available at Amazon.com. Check out my author profile if you’re interested.

Thanks for reading!

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Practice Makes Practice 1 – 2 12 2019

Hello, writers and readers! This blog series is all about my process as a writer and the continuing journey of writing each week, each day, each session.

Lately, I’ve been following some ideas I read about from fellow science fiction author, Chris Fox. Somewhere in his series of writing advice books (I can’t recall exactly which one, but possibly “5000 Words Per Hour”) is the idea of writing sprints, a concept available all over the place.

I’ve tried the technique of writing for timed segments, whether its 30 minutes or an hour before. Last week I decided to try again. This time I shot smaller each session, writing just 15 minutes at a time in the program I use to block distractions (Cold Turkey Writer). I found this really helps me where I’m currently positioned mentally in my writing career.

The core of my writing challenges lately is something like doubt leading to inattention. I doubt my next move for whatever reason, and then I don’t want to look at the story because it makes me uncomfortable. I procrastinate as result. Anything but the book.

The above is my current problem, but investing 15 minutes at a time is easier for me as a discovery writer than saying to myself, “I know what the next 1000 or 2000 words will be, so I can sit down for an hour and hammer them out.” I like the smaller requirement of time, but I’ve been doing two or three sessions back to back a lot of the time.

Writing begets writing, as the wisdom of my elders goes.

I wrote about 9000 words last week, 15 minutes at a time.

So that’s where I’m at as of this writing.

I plan to continue this blog about my writing practice each Monday, but that’s not all. Tune in every day of the week for a new podcast or post about writing, or on Wednesdays, role playing games.

Now, for some quick business. My books are available at Amazon.com. The Pillar Universe series, The Root Conspiracy series, and the Spells of The Curtain series are all out in force. The Pillar Universe is a space opera and my latest work. The Root Conspiracy is cyberpunk with an emphasis on interpersonal and communications as well as very human characters. Spells of the Curtain is my current most-selling series and consists of six short fantasy novellas following a young mage as he works to preserve the nation where he lives.

Read Storm Fleet now!http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LCQC6JL

Thanks for reading!

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Storm Fleet Preorder Now Live

I am proud to announce my next novel, Storm Fleet is available now for preorder, releasing December 19th.

The first book in The Pillar Universe series, Storm Fleet is space opera like you’ve never read before. Follow Yajain on her journey and see what I’m raving about, hee hee.

If you love science fiction high on action and adventure, preorder and read it when it launches. Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

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Alive After Reading takes this week off

Hey everyone. Due to some scheduling issues, I don’t have an episode of the podcast for you this Sunday. My apologies. I will definitely have one out next week.

Thanks for listening.

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Friday Morning Rambling and NaNoWriMo

I don’t recall exactly what happened in my dream last night.

I wish I did because they left me feeling pretty cheerful when I woke up.

It’s been a pretty odd week. For one thing, early on, I stayed up for 30 consecutive hours, hoping I could focus to finish my current work in progress in one day and night. I got a lot of words, but the book is still in process. I should be able to finish the book sometime between now and next Tuesday.

And yes, it is NaNoWriMo this month. Many writers of all kinds and commitment levels go to the trenches to try to write 50,000 words in one month.

I have done word counts like this before, but I’m a bit out of practice at the moment. Last month I almost managed it. This year, I’m not signed up to participate, but make no mistake, my goal is to write as many words as I can this month. No staying up all night, though. I want to make this more sustainable than my past mentality of writing as a special occasion (Which is silly for a lot of reasons, not least because it’s over half my job right now).

So, as November begins, let me encourage those of you doing NaNo to keep in mind sustainability for the future. A burst of words is a good time, but words week in and week out is even better, in my opinion.

Good day and good luck.

Thanks for reading.

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Today’s Goal

Hey everyone!

I missed posting last Friday, but today I’m warming up for a big day of writing by putting this brief post online.

Writing has been okay these past two weeks. I always want to go faster, and I’ve been feeling that lately.

Overall, though, life is pretty good.

So, today I’m planning to swing for the fences. For me, this means a goal of 5000 words. Should be doable, if a little difficult.

That’s it for now. Have a good day.

Thanks for reading.

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Alive After Reading Episode 26 – Suzy Vadori Returns

Of Mooks and Monsters
Alive After Reading Episode 26 - Suzy Vadori Returns







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This week on Alive After Reading, I, Tim Niederriter have an interview with Suzy Vadori, award-winning author of The Fountain, and now, its prequel, The West Woods.

Find Suzy’s new book, The West Woods, here.

You can check out my books on my amazon.com page.

Thanks for listening everybody!

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Alive After Reading Takes a Week Off

Hey, everybody, it’s Tim.

Just a heads-up. I am behind on recording interviews, so in all likelihood, there will be no episode of Alive After Reading this weekend. However, I promise you now, the incoming episodes I have scheduled will be worth it.

Anyway, thanks for listening.

And have a good weekend. Stay safe as you can.

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One Week Off (Of Mooks and Monsters)

Hey, everyone. Due to some scheduling conflicts, there will be no new episode of the podcast Of Mooks and Monsters this week.

Our apologies.

However, coming up this Sunday, we are pleased to announce the first episode of Tim’s new interview podcast “Alive After Reading.”

That’s all the news for now.

Thanks for lending your eyes and ears.

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Straight from the Subconscious! It’s Urban Fantasy!

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So, I’m writing this blog post from the depths of my near-delirious state. I hope it is, at least, understandable when I post it.

Stayed up late last night talking to my twin brother online.

This kind of 2-3 hour conversation was of the sort of scale I have fairly often with my brother, but last night’s talk was something special as far as the amount of fun I had. It reminds me how well these conversations can go.

We discussed A LOT of different story stuff, mostly related to dark stories (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Narcos, Joe Abercrombie’s First Law books), and the anime Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Now, of those four TV shows and one book series, I have only barely read or watched about half of the total stories. However, these are all up my brother’s alley.

I told him he really seems to like dark stories to a degree I do not (Though I like at least some things about most of the stories I mentioned above). While I don’t think I really fall in love with the dark stories, I do enjoy them. Of course, as a writer, that distinction is important.

The most powerful ascendant element of fiction for me right now is adventure, not tone or grit. I enjoy adventure stories and having realized recently how much Urban Fantasy I’ve been writing over the past few years, I think this is an important element to emphasize. Some Urban Fantasy goes more toward horror, while others lean on romance. Mine rely on adventure, at least at this point. And I do not plan to fight this (Apparently) natural development.

With a mighty mental leap, I managed to fit my thoughts into Urban Fantasy. My brother and I also talked about genre last night.

My first released novel, and the sequel I’m working on, the whole Maker Mythos really, is Urban Fantasy. That point is fairly clear to me now. It has a contemporary setting in which technology from present Earth can have an effect on the supernatural and fantasy elements (Unlike something like Harry Potter where guns and phones are pretty much unknown among wizards, for example). So, that one fits.

Many of my other series ideas surprised me a bit in this regard, but I realized I could just slightly tilt them and have them fit as kin to the genre of Urban Fantasy if not quite fit them in as kind.

A few examples from other story-worlds I have not released much stuff for yet…

Rem’s Dream has a novel out, and even though I’ve categorized that as cyberpunk, I realize now how much magic and crazy fantasy elements are effectively present in the story. Young people can alter the dreamworld at will. Nightmares become real monsters. There is a lot in just those two sentences that make the story as much fantasy as near-future.

Next up, my short stories.

Stolen Parts deals with necromancers in the modern United States in a small-town setting. It is DEFINITELY Urban Fantasy in the most customary sense of the moment, a la The Dresden Files.

Weirder to think of as Urban Fantasy for me is Ludosensitivity. This is a VERY short story I released a bit over a year ago. It’s also set in a setting I always thought of as Science Fiction, near future, but still. However, there are people who gain psychic abilities temporarily by drinking the blood of strange nonhuman characters as a major part of the story and world. It takes place in a city on Earth. Huh. And the technology level is basically similar to the present, despite the year listed. So, my point? This could easily qualify as Urban Fantasy too, even though my personal prejudice wanted it to be some kind of science fiction. The larger, unreleased stories from this universe fit the family even more clearly.

Does that not cover all my current releases (Except for Tenlyres I, which probably does not fit)?

One last example is a book I wrote years ago, with no consideration for genre whatsoever.

This novel’s working title was Hanging Jupiter, and it takes place in a modern city on a different Earth (Much like a couple other unreleased stories I will not go into here because they are not as complete at the moment). There is magic in this book, side-by-side with technology. There are nonhumans, a protagonist with a dark past. Huh. I guess this is pretty close to Urban Fantasy tropes too.

You see? I write and have written a goodly amount that can be classes in the Urban Fantasy sub-genre. I don’t think that is a big stretch.

Anyway, my point is this: I can fit a lot of stuff into this genre, world-wise.

So, I’m waking up now. I’m happy to report that this post actually has helped me get my thoughts together this morning.

I can only hope you will get something out of it.

What are some favorite books of yours in Urban Fantasy? Do you like dark stories or prefer a lighter tone?

Let me know in the comments if you like.

And you can check out Rem’s Dream and Hunter and Seed today on most online stores.

Thanks for reading!