The Final Installment of the Brains In Chains Trilogy Available!
A mildly intelligent, spider-shaped robot named Martin Van Buren has been stranded in 1982 by Thomas, his previous owner, and given a list of tasks to complete. He has vowed to do none of them, instead telling everyone who will listen that he is a super-intelligent robot from the future. Martin has met a girl in Dubuque, Iowa named Angel. She has promised him a misunderstood “party” in exchange for healing her dying grandmother who isn’t actually dying but rather only dangerously gullible. Angel has discovered that Martin is not, in fact, a faith-healing little-person inside a movie prop spider, but rather, exactly what he has said he was - an artificial intelligence inside a spider-shaped robot, possibly from the future.
I love you Amazon, but sometimes you do things that make me scratch my head and whisper WTF?
“We will again award "KDP Select All-Stars" for October to the most-read authors and most-read titles in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. All bonuses will be awarded based on total Kindle Edition Normalized Pages read during the month. We will also award bonuses for illustrated kids’ books – the top 100 most read titles in the U.S. and top 25 in the U.K. will receive such bonuses.”
I’m imagining a summer camp where the kids are taught to swim by dropping them from a helicopter into the exact center of the lake. The ones that succeed in making it to shore are rewarded with a pizza party. Congrats on not dying, here’s your trophy, and here’s a second trophy as a reward for getting the first trophy.
I don’t know how Amazon could help new/unknown authors, but this dog-piling solution seems to be neither creative nor helpful. Does giving the top-selling authors a second trophy even sell more books and help Amazon’s bottom-line? I can’t imagine it does.
Like many of you, I suffer from Impostor syndrome. Not all the time, but occasionally, I’m dead certain that I’m doing it wrong. In the grip of one such episode, I became sure that everybody else had a complete outline of the story they wanted to tell before they wrote the first word. I needed to start doing that. How? It’s just not a natural thing for me. I always start with a few characters and a strange situation. The story grows naturally from the characters being true to their own nature. But, I was an impostor, doing it all wrong, so I started googling to find out how to do it right. Eventually, I found this gem from an interview with Stephen King way back in 2000:
“Forget plot, but remember the importance of ‘situation’
I won’t try to convince you that I’ve never plotted any more than I’d try to convince you that I’ve never told a lie, but I do both as infrequently as possible. I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible.
A strong enough situation renders the whole question of plot moot. The most interesting situations can usually be expressed as a What-if question:
What if vampires invaded a small New England village? (Salem’s Lot).
What if a young mother and her son became trapped in their stalled car by a rabid dog? (Cujo).
These were situations which occurred to me - while showering, while driving, while taking my daily walk - and which I eventually turned into books. In no case were they plotted, not even to the extent of a single note jotted on a single piece of scrap paper.”