Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More New Projects

Two new projects to announce, which I'm really excited about.

First, after six years, Armand Rosamilia and I are putting our heads together again to work on some projects. Armand was the publisher for Carnifex Press back in the day, and gave me my first editorial gig working on "When the World Runs Thin." So now we're going to work on a few projects together, one of which might be on-going.

There's going to be a new anthology first. It's called "Nonproliferation" and will be all (Post)-Apocalyptic stories that don't involve nuclear disaster. Stories can be 2500-7500 words long. Check out the submission details on the website.

The other project is one that I'm quite excited about. I haven't quite pinned down a title (I have a few in mind), but it's going to be a quarterly magazine geared toward adventure and hard retrofuture pieces: you know, steampunk, dieselpunk, clock-work stories, and even some gaslight fantasy. I'm very excited for that, because I think we're onto something unique with a few of the ideas we're throwing around. Keep an eye on Rymfire Press in the near future -- and here of course -- for the announcement on that one.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Writer's FAQ #1

So here's a new series I'll be working on. I call it the Writer's FAQ. I think there are a lot of small questions that never really get touched on in writers books, because they focus a lot on larger topics like Theme and Character and Setting. So I'm going to work on some very specific questions sent to me by our lovely readers or given to me by members of The Milwaukee Writers Workshop.

Q: How do I keep my writing fresh and inventive?

My answer to many questions like this is two-fold: read and write in equal parts.

In all seriousness, though, to keep your writing 'fresh' is to understand what is going on in the contemporary world of the style you're writing. If you're writing science fiction, for example, know what other science fiction writers are writing. That doesn't mean go and buy every new book as soon as it comes out; it just means keep tabs on what's popular, what's pushing the envelope, and who is doing things that impress you. 'Fresh,' to me, means unique, and that means creating your own voice and finding your place in the world as a writer, within the context of your peers.

'Inventive' is a slightly different matter. They're kind of one-in-the-same, but my interpretation of this word is that it means "outside the box." I don't know that this is always necessary, but it's certainly a good way to go. Genres -- of all varieties -- begin to have tropes; it's inevitable. Understanding those standards (tropes) and utilizing them to your best advantage, or in some cases doing away with them entirely, is the best way to make your writing inventive. Understanding takes knowledge, though, so I'll go back to my original statement: read and write in equal parts.

I think some of the most Fresh and Inventive writing comes out of short fiction. So in the next week, go to the bookstore and look for some of the literary journals in the magazine section and pick up one in your favorite genre. See what those writers are doing. See what they're not doing, too, because honestly not every writer is going to speak to you -- even though they got published. That's ok.

If you have a question for the Writer's FAQ, send it to boone@milwaukeewritersworkshop or visit us on Facebook.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Project

So as of yesterday -- the 2nd of February -- I've been invited onto the team at Pure Steam RPG to write two companion novels to their d20-licensed gaming system for Pathfinder.

If you're not familiar, here's the run-down. Pathfinder is a system that is based on the Wizards of the Coast new release of D&D 3.5 rules set. (For those of you who aren't gamers, that's Dungeons & Dragons). It is a unique system with its own worlds and rules and is highly adaptable to a variety of worlds and eras. It was started in 2009 by Paizo Publishing and has a pretty good following in the tabletop rpg circles.

So I've been asked to help Pure Steam market and promote their material with two companion novels about a major character (or two) from the world to help shape the gaming world. It'll be like my own Drizzt or Elminster (look them up; they're cool characters).

I'm pretty damn excited about this. I even get to work with a guy named Crockett. I mean come on. Boone & Crockett. That just sounds like a bad-ass cop-drama team. Way better than those guys from Hawaii Five-0.

I'll keep you all abreast as I learn more and as we progress through development. Thankfully, I am still working diligently on the "Charles" novel, which is going through some of its own major changes. But it's working out well, and I'm exciting for the new material I'm writing.