Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group #001: Is there ever enough research?

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh of his blog. On the first Wednesday of every month, we writers who are insecure about ourselves one way or another talk about what makes us insecure. The purpose of this blog hop is to encourage and help writers move past these insecurities and write the stories we were meant to write.

You can view the main page for it here & join the fun!

This Month's Insecurity: Did I do enough research?

I've found while writing Mermaid Tears, I've done enough research on mermaids, pirates, how ships out at sea work as well as other significant things. But then I come across something in my story that makes me freeze and it makes me start to think that maybe I should have looked into the moon's phases more as I lightly touched earlier.

And yet I realize that I'm writing a fantasy - I can practically do whatever I want with my world, story, characters. On one hand, this does give me a little bit of freedom to explore the world, especially through Misora's eyes. Remember; Misora had never been outside the prison walls all her life - everything she sees other than the Ruby Heart crew is completely brand new to her as well!

Then it seems the story included itself with not just humans and mermaids, but lizard people, Dwarves, and Elves and even the casual mention to Orcs! And maybe even more peoples and races I've yet to even start writing about!

Is there no end to research? Thankfully, it's not that bad since it's something that I, not only have to research for my story, but for fun. Maybe it's mindless trivia for some people but I feel like since I'm a writer - I have to know how everything works. Thus the research never ends.

And that scares me. I don't want to seem like a know-it-all and I don't want to just throw in random tidbits in my story just for the sake of "look at me, I've clearly done my research". What do I do? How do I know when it's enough research?

Even though it's a fantasy setting, how much research is too much?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Another contest so soon!!?

This morning when I woke up, I received an email about yet another contest that's going to happen soon! It's apparently going to be run by Amazon. Here are the details for it:

The contest is designed to search out the "next great voices" in popular fiction and publish them online. Authors can enter Jan. 14-27. Up to 10,000 eligible entries will be accepted.

The company says finalists will, for the first time, be chosen in five categories: general fiction, mystery/thriller, romance, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and young adult fiction. Winners will receive publishing contracts with Amazon Publishing. The grand prize winner will be chosen by Amazon customers and will get a $50,000 advance along with a publishing contract from Amazon. The other finalists will receive an Amazon publishing contract and a $15,000 advance. 
"Over the past five years, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award has helped thousands of authors realize their dream of writing a novel, while connecting them with their peers as well as readers and giving them the opportunity to be discovered," Nader Kabbani, vice president of Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing units, said in the company's press release. "We're excited to evolve the contest this year to recognize talented aspiring authors in even more genres, with bigger advances, more winners, and quickly bring the winning novels to readers around the world." The five finalists will be announced on May 21, and the grand prize announced at Amazon headquarters in Seattle in June.

You can go to this site to read the entire article here. I've talked to 3/4 of my editors and they've all said the same thing: Go for it! The only reason why I'm even hesitating is because the contest isn't due until January 14 to 27th. And not only that, I'm still only on chapter eight on the first draft. Forget about the rewrites!

However, maybe I should remind myself that I've accomplished eight chapters (although some are extremely long) already with 50,000 words under my belt with many more to go. I can do this! And hopefully I will win this contest too.

Do you think you could enter a contest like this for yourself? Why or why not?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

A little bit of the fine details!

You know, during NaNoWriMo, there was something that I haven't really thought of.

In some fantasy worlds, including the distant planets of sci-fi, it's always pretty cool to have 5 moons and 2 huge suns.

But how does that effect the world? That's something NaNoWriMo user John Campbell went into great detail about. To be fair, the moon's phases for this planet is already confusing enough for some people (including me).

Imagine having to babysit two moons, yikes!

On one hand though, based on what I've skimmed on the site, he not only explains just the Earth's moon - but what could happen with possibly two! I had considered using two moons for Mermaid Tears only because, you know, it's cool and why the heck not? Also because the moon's influence over the oceans tides, currents, etc etc.

But as he points out:

Just like our single-moon world, here both moons are full, and rise together at sunset, set together at sunrise, and are directly overhead at midnight.

But... this isn't always going to be true. In fact, it won't often be true. Because of the way orbital mechanics work, moons in different orbits won't be moving at the same speed.

Yep, that's exactly right. He goes on to explain in further detail just one possibility of how two moons orbits can work. He gets a little bit into Mars's moons, Deimos and Phobos but doesn't get too much into detail. To be honest, I think it's a great little detail that shouldn't be overlooked. If you guys want to read it yourselves, you can check it out here and let me know what you think! Do you think it's a good thing to pay even a little bit of attention to such details?