Friday Link Pack 04-04-14

A Matter of Electric Sheep
It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!


The Shapes of Stories, a Kurt Vonnegut Infographic
Designer Maya Eliam recreated Vonnegut’s classic Shapes of Stories into a rad infographic—if you’re unfamiliar with Vonnegut’s presentation make sure you watch this video. It’s well worth your time.

JUST WRITE IT! A fantasy author and his impatient fans.
“The online attacks on Martin suggest that some readers have a new idea about what an author owes them. They see themselves as customers, not devotees, and they expect prompt, consistent service.”

What Killed It For Me #4: Clichéd Characters
Great article about how to go beyond a list of positive or negative traits to break away from cliché when it comes to writing engaging characters.

Tracy Hickman’s Sobering News for Aspiring Writers
I debated including this link this week. However I feel it’s important to show all sides of the disruption in the book market. What can you take away from this? Well, as the old way of book marketing crumbles around us those who don’t adapt to the new paradigm risk being left behind.


How History’s Biggest Thinkers Spent Their Days
Great graphs showing how some of the most famous people in history spent their time. I couldn’t get over Balzac’s 50 cups of coffee a day.

Medieval Castle Anatomy 101
From barbicans to the portcullis—Setus over at Katana Pen posted this really handy guide to all the random terms for the different parts of a castle.

A Matter of Electric Sheep
One of the coolest Blade Runner theories I have read in a long time.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

Into the north window of my chamber glows the Pole Star with uncanny light. All through the long hellish hours of blackness it shines there…

Farewell Gif of the Week:


Real writers ship

real artists ship

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the creative process in regards to publishing one’s work. Over the weekend I went to Emerald City Comic Con. It was both enormous and fascinating and I walked away learning a lot. It’s amazing to see what is out there and what people love and loathe and how passionate fans can be about a particular title.

In discussion about the con with my best friend I dredged up an old adage attributed to Steve Jobs that I always like to quote whenever I get on my soapbox:

Real artists ship.

Ouch. Kinda brutal isn’t it? No one likes to be told what they aren’t doing isn’t “real.” For some it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but as important as your work is delivery is just as important. Putting you work somewhere where it can be consumed by others is how you make it in this business, it’s the thing that separates the real artists from the hobbyists. What was Heinlein’s 4th rule again? Oh yeah, “You must put the work on the market.”

I’m now over halfway into my final edit on “The Stars Were Right” and not long before I begin the page layout process. Only a few months from self-publishing my first novel. (Eeep!) Looking back at what it took to get me here is kinda eye opening. I wrote two complete manuscripts before “The Stars Were Right,” and three or four half manuscripts, but I never shipped them. I never delivered. In a few months that’s going to change.

Is it scary? Hell yes, it’s terrifying, but as Rumi said:

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.

We live in amazing times. Never before has it been so easy for content creators in any medium to get their work in front of an audience. Distribution platforms abound: Kindle, iOS App Store, WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Twitter. Those platforms are full of potential fans eager to dive into whatever quality product you deliver.

On my Twitter bio (and at the top of this blog) I refer to myself as an “aspiring novelist” – and I am and I will continue to be “aspiring” until that manuscript becomes a novel and readers are able to download it. I believe in what Steve Jobs said: real artists ship, and damn it, I’m going to ship.

(The image associated with this posts comes from Andrew Power. Check out the full sized version here or suport the artist and buy a print here.)