Archive for July, 2011


The Black God's War (Novel)Writing isn’t nearly as much fun without loud music in my face. I need your help so I can rock (or groove, or float) on.

I recently asked my homeys on Facebook and Twitter to recommend just one song for my next music playlist. These are the songs I’ll listen to as I write my next book, The Gods Divided (sequel to The Black God’s War, which comes out on August 1st). There’s still time to recommend a song (only one, please). I’ve listened to all of the current suggestions (thanks, y’all!), and here are the ten songs I’ve approved so far.

In no particular order:

Map of the Problematique, by Muse (from @AlexJKane).
Crystal, by New Order (from @RinnFalconer).
Call me When You’re Sober, by Evanescence (from @MumofBabyDavros).
The Last of the Mohicans, from the soundtrack (from @Strassur).
Timshel, by Mumford & Sons (from @charlotte_abel).
Roads, by Portishead (from @I_Pagan).
Sigur Ros, by Sæglópur (from Corey Podwinski)
Angels, by Wax Poetic featuring Norah Jones (Alexandra Geraets)
Sign of the Southern Cross, by Black Sabbath (Eric Kent Edstrom)
Remembering, by Karen Thurber (Karen Thurber‘s MySpace)

(I’ll keep adding songs to this list as I approve new songs.)

New songs added since I published this blog post:

Philosophia, by Guggenheim Grotto (@_MoniqueMartin_)
Anywhere on This Road, by Lhasa de Sela (Sarah Bartsch)
For Prayer, by Wye Oak (@iamfantastikate)
Blow Me Away, by Breaking Benjamin featuring Valora (lexcade)
Escape Artist, by Zoe Keating  (Timothy C Ward)
Threads, by This Will Destroy You (bennylol)
A Song for Starlit Beaches, by Yndi Halda (Machine_Gun_Jubblies)
Solitude is Bliss, by Tame Impala (MunkyAU)
Lobby, by The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble (thepaganapostle)
Welcome Home, by Coheed and Cambria (Barry Napier)

Feel free to comment with a song suggestion, and leave something like an email address or twitter handle in case I add your song. The first 20 selections will win paper copies of my book. EDIT: I’ve just reached 20 songs, but feel free to suggest a song if you’d like a chance to win a free ebook edition of The Black God’s War.

My taste is eclectic, and I like variety in my playlists. Thanks for your help, and check out the links to the songs above if you’re looking for a good time.

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25
Jul

My First Audio Interview

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III    in Better Writing, Ebooks, Humor, Indie Publishing, Interviews, My Work, On Authors, Podcasts

A really cool thing happened to me last week. John Mierau (one heck of a good interviewer) talked with me about The Black God’s War, my process, and indie publishing. Here’s the interview.

I’ve conducted a lot of interviews with best-selling science fiction and fantasy authors over the last year. So it was terrifying interesting to be on the other end of the Skype connection.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the new map for my novel, here it is. I’ll probably blog about it soon.
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My dearest homeys, if you aren’t following David Gaughran’s truly outstanding blog, Let’s Get Digital, then you probably missed my guest blog post over there, Using “Free” to Generate Pre-Release Buzz. You can also check out the comments for bonus discussion.

David said some nice things about me, all of them lies:

One of the criticisms that self-publishers face is that they rush their work out. Sometimes it’s bad covers, or poor editing, but sometimes the book just wasn’t ready to be published.

Today’s guest poster, Moses Siregar III, understands the importance of making sure your book is the best you can possibly make it before you sent it out into the world.

Rather than be frustrated by seeing other indie writers dive in and rack up sales, Moses never rushed his work, instead taking the time to assiduously build his platform in a number of interesting ways, all building up towards the release of his novel at the start of August.

But seriously, thanks, David!

David recently released a free ebook called Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-Publish and Why You Should. You can get it for free as a pdf from his website, or pick up a version for $2.99 from Amazon or Smashwords.

This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

Did I mention that I recommend following his outstanding blog? Because it really is that good.
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Here’s some of the best advice I’ve read on the subject of writing dialogue. It’s reprinted with permission from David Farland. You can find out more about David and sign up for his free Daily Kick emails at DavidFarland.com. The retweet button doesn’t seem to be working, so you can also retweet from here.

Below David’s Daily Kick, you’ll find a link to an excellent article on “Dialogue Tags vs. Action Leads/Inserts”by freelance editor Lane Diamond.

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants – Don’t be “On the Nose.”

David Farland

David Farland

The topic for today’s kick comes from a question by Brandon Lindsay, and it’s going to take a moment to get to the point.

In screenwriting, one bit of advice that you’ll often hear is “Don’t be too ‘On the Nose.’” It means, don’t have characters giving speeches, telling you what’s going on inside them, playing down to the audience. Imagine that you have a character who is angry, and we get the following snatches of dialog:

Angela: “What are you so mad about?”

Derek: “You! Why did you have to wear that red dress? You look like a slut, and at my company party!”

Can you hear how hokey, how contrived, that dialog sounds?

There are a number of ways to avoid being ‘On the Nose.’ For example, maybe Derek doesn’t quite know what he’s angry about, or maybe he doesn’t dare say it. Or maybe he’s torn, because Angela looks so hot, and Derek noticed how his boss was eying her. Or maybe he’s even worried that the problem goes deeper. Maybe he’s not sure about Angela. Is she flirting? Does she really feel committed to him?

So you re-cast the dialog, you circle around the truth, skirt the deeper issues. You let the audience wonder what is going on, let the actors perhaps interpret the performance, insert their own nuances. You might reconsider the argument:

Angela: “What are you so . . . furious about?”
Derek: Pushes her away, turns and starts to walk. She follows. “Nothing.”
Angela: “This isn’t nothing. Tell me, please?”
Derek: “Really, I’m not mad.”
Angela: “Liar.”
Derek: Sighs. “It’s not you. It’s . . . did you see my boss, undressing you with his eyes?”
Angela: “He’s a drunken slob.”
Derek: “A rich drunken slob, and other women throw themselves at him.”
Angela: “I’d rather throw myself at you.” Derek hurries his pace, leaves her behind. “Grow up. You’re so immature.”
Derek: Whirls and yells at her: “You looked like a slut! And you acted the part . . . perfectly!”

Now, do you see what I’m doing here? Instead of having a character define himself, instead of having him come to the point, I let him circle the point. I let characters argue about who they are. Derek is defining Angela. She’s trying to define him. Others will be defining each of them separately during the course of the story. In other words, one central conflict in most stories is “Who are you?” It’s not just a question, it’s the center of an argument. A lot of different voices from various characters should come into play, sometimes with wildly different accusations. Who is Derek? Maybe his priest thinks that “He’s that gay guy.” His mother might think he’s too shy to ever “make a catch.” His father worries that he’s an over-educated loser. His girlfriend thinks that he might be ‘the one.’ The local cop might think he’s good for a murder, and the truth is, even Derek isn’t sure who or what he is. The story grows as he decides which roles to take and steps into them.

So, when you’re creating characters for a screenplay or book, you avoid being on the nose. You as the author know all of the secrets, all of the answers. You just don’t spill them too easily.

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Hi, everyone. Moses again. Another article I recommend on writing dialogue comes from freelance editor Lane Diamond. Check out his advice on Dialogue Tags vs. Action Leads/Inserts part 1 and part 2.

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I’m goofy-excited to announce that my debut novel is scheduled for release on August 1st, a few days before my birthday. (EDIT: The book is out!)

The Black God's War (Novel)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.

Her messianic brother wants peace.

The black god wants his due.

She suffers all the consequences.

King Vieri is losing his war against the lands of Pawelon. Feeling abandoned by his god, he forces his son Caio, the kingdom’s holy savior, to lead his army. Victory ought to come soon.

To counter Caio’s powers, Pawelon’s prince enters the conflict. Rao is a gifted sage, a master of spiritual laws. He joins the rajah to defend their citadel against the invaders. But Rao’s ideals soon clash with his army’s general.

The Black One tortures Lucia nightly with visions promising another ten years of bloodshed. She can no longer tell the difference between the waking world and her nightmares. Lucia knows the black god too well. He entered her bed and dreams when she was ten.

The Black One watches, waiting to see Lucia confront an impossible decision over the fates of two men—and two lands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you all for witnessing the journey!

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