Authors Answer 143 – The First Book Advance

How common are advances large enough to raise this question, anyway?

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Writing books is a job. Most authors do it with the hope that they can become a full time author, and be able to support themselves on the income they receive. But that first advance is a big milestone in any author’s career. This week’s question comes from our very own C E Aylett.

I would also like to take a moment and thank Beth Aman for her contributions in the past year. She’s going to college, and will be concentrating on that. Good luck, Beth!

Question 143 – What would you/did you spend your first book advance on?

Linda G. Hill

I would spend my advance getting myself out of debt. …wait, how much are we talking? More than $30,000? I’ll probably go out for coffee.

Cyrus Keith

Probably a car. I’ve never had a car that I didn’t have to spend dark, cold evenings in my driveway effecting…

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Authors Answer 142 – Becoming Famous

In any case, any potential downside falls into the category of “problems I’d like to have”.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

The vast majority of authors never become famous. They never have a bestseller. They are pretty much unknown. But many authors dream of making it big, becoming one of those authors who is a household name. But how would we handle that newfound fame?

Question 142 – How do you think you would handle fame if your books become as popular as authors like Stephen King?

C E Aylett

I’m a pretty sociable person so I’d probably be far too open for my own good! I’d also like to think I’d keep my feet on the ground and just keep on being me, with perks.

H. Anthe Davis

Authors are hardly rock stars, so I wouldn’t think the pressure of fame would be excessive. There would likely be convention appearances and book signings, so my antisocial little self might have trouble maintaining a pleasant face, but I’ve manned a sales…

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Authors Answer 141 – Choosing a Title

For chapter titles I like the referential sort.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

How can something so simple-looking be so difficult? The title may only be a few words, but it’s very important, especially if it’s to be memorable and eye-catching. A book could go through several titles before the final one is chosen. How do we choose our titles?

Question 141 – How do you come up with the title of your stories?

Gregory S. Close

Things that I think are important in a chapter/story/novel title:  double-meanings, turns of phrase, foreshadowing, and (if at all possible) a pun.  For example, one chapter in In Siege of Daylight is called Storms and Wards.  The title is literal, in that there is a storm involved, and magic (wards).  But there’s a bit of double meaning here, because there’s also a bit of conversation about conflict and politics, and the conversation is between a Master Bard and our hero, an Apprentice Bard (his ward…

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Authors Answer 140 – Developing Plot

I’m about halfway between a plotter and a pantser.

A plantser.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

You need characters and setting for a story, but what would it be without a plot? Not much of anything. The plot may be one of the most complex parts of writing. A good plot isn’t predictable and straightforward. There may be multiple story lines running through the plot, but they all lead to one conclusion. So, how do we develop our plots?

Question 140 – How do you develop the plot of your stories?

Eric Wood

To develop a plot I sketch it out much like an artist would. An artist might draw out the art piece in pencil with very light strokes that are easily covered. I sketch out the plot of my stories with short words, a few descriptions, and random ideas to that come to me. It’s when I sit down to write the story in full that I then fill in details and move the…

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Authors Answer 139 – Developing Setting

I think this is an area where I need improvement, but also one where I am improving.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Last week, we talked about characters. But now they need a place. A well-rounded book has a setting. A good setting can create the atmosphere, whether it’s a real place or imagined. Real places are already established for the author, but they have to know it well. Imagined places require world building, and that can be a complex process. How do our authors tackle setting?

Question 139 – How do you develop the setting of your stories?

Gregory S. Close

I develop setting the same way that I develop characters, by establishing a history, economics, rules, laws, mores, religions, geography, species etcetera and then strictly adhering to that until I need to ignore it, modify it, or do whatever else serves the story best. There were a lot of things for In Siege of Daylight that shifted or changed altogether as the story came together, but having the solid foundation…

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But are they Super Alloy Z balloons?

Toei has announced plans to crowdfund a large-scale Mazinger Z to promote the upcoming Mazinger Z movie.

Made of balloons.

Apparently a giant balloon robot costs 2.5 million yen. (A little over US$22,000.)

Also details about the plot of the movie, and if I’d heard the date (in Japanese theaters January 13, 2018) before I didn’t remember it.

Humanity was once in danger of its downfall at the hands of the Underground Empire, which was led by the evil scientist Dr. Hell. Koji Kabuto piloted the super robot Mazinger Z, and with help from his friends at the Photon Power Laboratory, he thwarted Dr. Hell’s evil ambitions and returned peace to the world.
It’s been ten years since then… No longer a pilot, Koji Kabuto has taken after his father and grandfather by starting down the path of the scientist. He encounters a gigantic structure buried deep beneath Mt. Fuji, along with a mysterious indication of life…
New encounters, new threats, and a new fate await mankind. The former hero Koji Kabuto has a decision to make about the future: whether to be a god or a demon…
This grand action film depicts the fierce battle fought by the people and Mazinger Z–once again entrusted with the future of mankind!

I guess this is one version of Mazinger that won’t need a Jet Scrander to fly.

(tagline not final)