Villiany Rediscovered



Hey Space Cadets, how are you today?  I’m doing well, and getting back into the swing of writing again.  Still waiting on my edits for the two short stories I wrote, but that’s life ya know!  As for book three, Operation Breakout, I’m at 37,124 words and fixed an issue that was holding me up.  I’ve not yet started my writing today but I will once I put my son to bed.  Also, I was wrong about being at 38k yesterday.  I was at 36k, but I am still hoping for the 40k by the end of the year.  In addition to working on book three, I’ve outlined another series I want to write after I finish The Sleeping Legion Series.  More on that in the coming year!!  I think I will hold off on my New Carthage Series, I love that idea too much to attempt it before I’m ready and I’m passionate about wanting to do it justice.




Anyway, I was re-reading the blog of a fellow science fiction author, even with two books publication it still feels weird saying that!  While reading, I found a great article about the nature of villainy in literature.  Joe Vasicek writes great science fiction, and maintains an excellent blog with enough traffic to make for lively debates.  Don’t believe me, check the number of older posts on his Hugo Award blog entries!  LOL!  His post about villains in literature, both practically and as a trope, was well written.  I highly recommend you read his blog and comment.  If you’d like, we can continue the discussion here as well.  While I like his work, one point he didn’t address was on the fleeting nature of villainy in modern times because villainy is often in the eye of the beholder.  Too often we view the world through relativistic lenses, even when it isn’t appropriate.  Yes, sometimes someone is so beyond the scope as to be universally evil (Hitler, Lucifer, the woman who cancelled Firefly), but that isn’t always the case.  Times change and so do social mores and values.  Yesterday’s heroes often become todays villains… an example of that can be seen in how some view our Founding Fathers.  The once heroes of our nation are only talked about in the context of their slave ownership or treatment of women by modern society.  I’m not a fan of this, revisionism never sits well with me and I tend to judge people within the context of their time, but you shouldn’t ignore this in a discussion on villainy.  What do others think?  If you have an opinion, sound off below or check out Joe’s post here!


Speaking on the topic of villains, a YouTuber vlogger I follow, Kristen Martin, recently made a video on the subject!  She breaks down how to write believable bad guys, which is on pointe for my fellow writers out there.  She even found a check list for writing better villains, written by Jerry Jenkins.  Check that out, then watch her video!



And since I also posted the ‘How To’ video, here’s another from Jenna Moreci whom I also follow on the YouTubes.  She’s a bit salty, but gives good advice.  Her novels ain’t bad either!  If you follow the links to her, you can jump straight into that rabbit hole and find her various links on her YouTube channel.




 Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!   




 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section.

When Novellas Grow Up


When Novellas grow up to become Novels

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Hello my fellow Space Cadets!  I thought I would write a quick post about my first novel, The Sleeping Legion: The Legion Awakes, and how I got here.  I didn’t start out trying to write novels, in fact, my contract was specifically for novellas that hit the adventure quick, fast, and in a hurry.

However, as I wrote the ideas just sort of grew organically until my novella grew up into a novel.  As I worked on the final scenes for part two I couldn’t help but hear the song “It is the book the never ends, it just goes on and on my friend… Some fool started writing it not know what it was, and he’ll continue writing it forever just because it was the book that never ends…”  You’re sing along aren’t you?

Knowing I couldn’t put it off any longer, I went to my boss with my hat clutched in hand.  I told Tim C. Taylor about my problem of not knowing what, and how, to cut things to the appropriate length.  He read through my rough draft, likely expecting to talk a novice off the metaphorical edge, then sent me a short email that started with the sentence, “JR, we need to talk.

For clarification, I’m a married man and those words often spell my doom.  As you can imagine, I was justifiably nervous.  I heard Tim, in his proper British accent, saying those five words like a judge condemning a man to his demise.  We meshed schedules, synced up our time zone disparities, and planned our Skype session.

On the day of the Skype session, his face was serious as he looked at me through our shared monitor.  After a moment, he said “JR, you aren’t writing the novellas we talked about in our contract–”

Tim didn’t get to finish as I verbally prostrated myself at his feet, telling him I could do better.  I wasn’t sure if I was laying it on thick enough, I needed him to know I was sincere.  I heaped on some more until I couldn’t be heard over the sound of his laughter.  I took a breath and looked at the cruel man who was likely going to burn my dreams.  I imagined him holding a match and burning the manuscript before my eyes.

Then, to my surprise, Tim said, “JR, these are novels.  Keep writing, but we need a new contract.”

And there I was, suddenly a novelist.  I guess in the end, it’s not the destination you chart but the adventures had along the way.

Until next time, stay frosty and remember to keep your powder dry.

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–> As usual, all images are found under Google’s “labeled for reuse” section.