When you put yourself out there, you are opening yourself up to criticism.

You are putting your product and passion up for the scrutiny of others. Others that may not be aware of what you were trying to do, may have different tastes, and may just be cruel with their words. This is the game of being a creative, of producing anything. There will be critics.

I am a critic. I have a food and movie review blog. I like talking about my feelings on things for my benefit and for the benefit of the creative. There have been movies and TV shows that I simple don’t like and that didn’t fit my tastes. I don’t usually review them. I say I don’t like them casually, but I don’t write long reviews hating on them. It feels wrong to tear into something out of a fit of angry passion when …

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The good days are when I:

  • Can spin a phrase without even trying.
  • Put together dialogue seamlessly.
  • Make only minor mistakes.
  • Plow through a chapter in a sitting.
  • Feel my blood spark with inspiration.
  • Start planning out the future, smiling as I do.
  • Flow through the story and words like I am swimming.
  • Can focus for hours on end.
  • Know exactly where I am going.
  • Create a structure and order that is instantly pleasing.
  • Find the word and phrases to say what I want.
  • Turn my imagination into beautiful prose.
  • Create a product I am proud of.

The bad days are when I:

  • Can’t find the words.
  • Butcher a phrase so that it looses all meaning.
  • Lost in what is happening.
  • Have no drive or passion.
  • Can’t look back or forward.
  • Am conflicted on what to do and where to go.
  • Have neither ideas nor solutions.
  • Spend a few minutes


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There are times when I hit a snag along the line. The internal version, updated every moment, of the world and the events spirals along and maybe goes against what I’ve put forth as canon so far. What I believe is canon conflicts slightly with what is canon in the print. It is never a hard conflict; just like a phrasing stumble that has put me in a bit of a corner.

I get extremely frustrated when this happens. Part of me wants to go back through the already published works and make those tiny spots clearer to what I currently think it should be, but that isn’t a solution–it is a patch up. I don’t work with patches, I work with a continuous narrative. These edges can’t be smoothed out. They need to be worked with to create the entire whole that is the mosaic of my world. Having …

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A short list of common writing mistakes that I fall prey to constantly and some thoughts on them. Cause it is good to tell the world what you suck. This is very cathartic. I think every writer should do it. Including people who write but are not ‘writers.’ Showing off your problems so you can improve and so on.

Whatever.

Here we go:

  • Using ‘lied’ instead of ‘laid.’
    • I like how ‘lied’ sounds, but I suppose laid is more correct. Ugh. English.
  • Mis-ordering the syntax of sentences containing ‘with’ if the sentence has a bunch of descriptive subjects/objects.
    • I can’t really give an example without confusing myself or embarrassing myself. Sometimes my sentences can get really gnarly and icky to read. If I get confused, I know I have to gut the particular sentence.
  • Accidentally using ‘Earth’ idioms and euphemisms.
    • I’ve been training myself pretty hard to avoid this mistake,


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Preface: I don’t use DRM on my books. Do what you want with it. Pirate it for all I care. If people are reading it, I’m happy.


Brendan Mruk and Matt Lee

 

If you use DRM, I hate you.

 

DRM is terrible. It needs to die in a fire and never come back. I bought something. Doesn’t that mean I own it and I can do whatever I want (barring distribution/piracy) with it?

Dammit, I just want to read the books I bought on iBooks on my Kindle Fire. THAT IS ALL I WANT.

But no. NOOO. That is not possible. Because Apple makes iBooks an Apple thing. I can only read it on my Mac products. And THEY own the distribution rights of the iBook format of the book. So fellow authors, you don’t own all the rights to your product because



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Because I am a wonderful person and I love giving things away for free, I just posted the first two chapters of How to Stop Wildfire and Harmonic Waves as sample chapters. Nothing special. Just in pdf form. To give people something to munch on. You’re welcome. Shut up and download them.  Obviously don’t read the second without reading the first.

And here is where I say that I hate the first few chapters. Beginnings are the hardest. The first chapter of How to Stop Wildfire is probably the worst. THERE I SAID IT. I hated writing it. So much exposition and set up so I could just get on with my life writing. But it happened and I think it works overall. So yea. Try the sample chapters out, and if you are at all interested, pick up the book/pre-order on Amazon:

How to Stop Wildfire

Harmonic Waves

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Book cover design is a ridiculously important part of the self-publishing process. The book cover design is important to attracting readers. Readers, although they are named such, don’t read the blurb or first few pages to decide if they want to read your book, they just look at the cover. I am guilty of this, so I am not complaining. It is just how we as Humans operate.

Because of that we have to make something that somehow explains the 80k+ words in your novel in a picture and a few words. Design something that explains it all by various techniques. Color blocking. Masking. Layers. Typography. Layout. Madness! How book cover design people do their work is unknown to me. It is like some form of black magic that I am forced to dabble in.

Like anyone does not.

My first cover used to be pretty bad. Crap, actually. So

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