Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 30

Yes, that is correct. I managed to write my 50,000 words this month, and with a whole hour to spare!

It reminds me of my undergaduate days, I don’t think I ever started an assignment until a day or two before the deadline, and I pumped out that assignment just before the deadline every time. Although it did also explain some of my less than excellent grades. I think the main thing is that I got to spend more time drinking and playing guitar than I would have if I had worked diligently. What good is a Bachelors degree if you don’t have a huge education debt and alcohol induced memory loss?

Fortunately I love writing, so I can do it any time, not just when I have a deadline.

Words Written: 1,740 (per day average)
Total: 52,204

Of course, my goals weren’t just to write 50,000 words this month. I also wanted to achieve a few other things. So how did I go?

1) Write daily.
Failed. But I did write most days of the week.

2) Get into good writing habits.
I think I’ve moved towards this. Regular writing, thinking about what I want to write and laying out scenes in my head prior to sitting down; all good habits. I got some good tips here.

3) Use writing as an excuse reason to stay up late and sleep in.
Success.

4) Put off household chores to write.
Success.

5) Get a large chunk of first novel written.
Success. I’m still a long way from finished with Overturned Stones. It is a thriller (synopsis below) and I now have the first third and the last third written. Another month and I should have a good first draft ready for rewrites.

I suppose that will be the next challenge on my path to becoming a novelist: rewriting. Whilst most of what I have written is pretty good, I did find some sections that are very bare on details. Some chapters are almost completely dialogue, with very little exposition. That may have been my intention initially, but I have a feeling that when read with fresh eyes it may not communicate all that I was hoping.

NaNoWriMo has been good fun. I’ll definitely be signing up again next year. Hopefully by then I’ll have a rewritten, edited, designed and ready to publish, manuscript.

Overturned Stones Synopsis
You never expect to stand trial for the murder of your wife, let alone if you didn’t do it. When you find out that your wife may not be dead but rather kidnapped by human traffickers for sexual slavery, you could be forgiven for being a little annoyed. Proposing lead therapy for the traffickers in an effort to help them reform and free your wife isn’t appreciated, by the traffickers, the police, or potential future employers. Can one man, dubbed “The Husband” by the media, take down organised crime, avoid the police and traffickers, and keep his gun loaded? http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/tyson-adams

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 27

Okay, I’m so close I can taste victory. What doesn’t help is that I happened to write 1200 words on a different project today and yesterday I had a great idea for another story that I had to get the basic synopsis written down before I forgot it.

Regardless I have hit 42,000 words and this last week of writing indicates I can have NaNoWriMo conquered on my first outing. This is, of course, assuming my procrastination fairy doesn’t arrive with a hilarious site filled with internet memes.

Hope everyone else is having fun with their writing. For those of you who are just plain old readers, I hope you’ve been laughing heartily at your writing pals. Remember to tempt them with time wasting activities from now until the 30th.

Words Written: 1,502 (per day average)
Total: 42,068
Remaining: 7,932 – very doable.

In financial trouble? Play dominoes!

Yes, bookstores may be generally declining, or doing their impersonation of climate change deniers, but apparently it can be solved by playing dominoes.

I reckon it is worth visiting this store for two reasons.
1) They made this pretty cool ad.
2) This looks like a store that would have just about any book you are looking for.
3) Someone needs to beat up the hippie playing guitar cross-legged.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About This Blog

This blog has been running since the middle of February this year. One hundred odd posts later, and a few thousand views, I’d like to share some information with all of my friends here.

10) Despite my lack of a second language – unless you count being able to do a passable Scottish accent and order a newspaper and a sandwich in French – a fifth of my friends here are not native English speakers.

9) This blog has not been assessed by the FDA.

8) Only 17% of my friends here are Aussies. The rest of you are all honorary Aussies at heart!

7) This blog is 99% fat free.

6) 77% of you really have to question why you are using Windows OS. All the cool people are using Mac (10%), Linux (4%), iPhone (3%) and iPad (1%).

5) This blog is currently being tested as a cure for cancer. I’m hoping to make Chuck Norris cry from laughing so hard.

4) This blog’s level of awesome – measured in nanofonzies – has been increasing over time. Your little bit of cool helps us all, thankyou!

3) This blog post is mostly a procrastination effort when I should be knocking out the last 15,000 words for NaNoWriMo.

2) The opinions and reviews expressed in this blog have not been paid for, no bribes have been received, nor does this blog receive any sponsorship. Please email me to rectify this situation.

1) Being a friend of my blog and I entitles you to one free business class flight to Perth, Australia*.

* Tyson Adams is unlikely to actually pay for your flight to Perth, let alone business class, so it would be a miracle if being a friend of his and this blog would ever eventuate in you receiving that free flight.

12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music

I had to share this list with everyone, mainly because it says a lot about quality being arbitrary.

  • 1. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

    Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

  • 2. Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

    Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

  • 3. Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

    Ke$ha's “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

  • 4. Flo Rida’s “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”

    Flo Rida's “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles' “Hey Jude”

  • 5. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

    The Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

  • 6. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

    Celine Dion's “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

  • 7. Same with Shania Twain’s “Come On Over”

    Same with Shania Twain's “Come On Over”

  • 8. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

    Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

  • 9. Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

    Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

  • 10. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus’ album “Some Gave All…” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

    People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus' album “Some Gave All...” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

  • 11. The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

    The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

  • 12. This guy exists.

    This guy exists. That is all.

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 18

All of the NaNoWriMo masochists are 60% of the way through challenge 2011. I have just disowned one of my writing buddies for having already passed the 45,000 word mark.

1667 words a day didn’t seem like that much of an effort at the beginning of the month. Now I’m realising it is quite a demanding effort to be consistently creative when you have a day job, travel for work, and a lazy streak wider than a truck. Being a professional writer is no easy task, I have even more respect for them than ever.

So with 12 days left to write ~23,000 words I’m still confident, but know there are some big writing days needed. Also I may just start taking the advice of many and just write and give up on that silly idea of making sure flow and research are complete. Not that I’m blaming the internet and its plethora of interesting information for my slow writing progress, that would be rather shallow of me. Instead it is proper to lay the blame at the feet of my dog, curse her and her need to sleep on my feet in such a cute way.

Words Written: 1,505 (per day average)
Total: 27,097
Remaining: 22,903

How has everyone else fared so far?

Book Review: Climate Change Denial – Heads in the Sand

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the SandClimate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand by Hadyn Washington and John Cook
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

It takes a while to read a book during your lunch break at work. It can take even longer if the book you are reading is filled with interesting tidbits of referenced information, which then inspires you to read the original research paper. I suppose that is the best thing about Washington and Cook’s Climate Change Denial, it is filled with interesting research and arguments, all concisely expressed for anyone with an interest in the future of our planet.

Usually I have an issue with non-fiction books. Often times the non-fiction genre is filled with work that lacks credibility or validity. Non-fiction is also prone to the shouting polemic, which is all doom and gloom, and short on any solutions. Climate Change Denial is the opposite, with a very well researched base of information, well rounded and reasoned arguments and an entire chapter devoted to the solutions for both denial and climate change.

What interested me was the mindset of denial. I’ve done a lot of reading of the peer reviewed literature on climate change (hint: the world is getting warmer, it’s our fault, we need to take action now) and have been frustrated with the same debunked arguments arising time and again. Now I understand why, well, aside from the massive fear and smear campaign waged by denier groups with oil $$. I also appreciated the candid debunking and slaying of the red herrings (e.g. we need to adapt) and white elephants (e.g. carbon capture and storage) often associated with the climate change debate.

This is a great book for the climate change extension people, for those who are undecided on the topic, and a must read for politicians (this book has been given to every Federal Government minister in Australia). Those who read it now have the job of converting the deniers, logic and science will prevail, but it would be nice to have that happen sooner rather than later.

Also worth reading John Cook’s fantastic site.

View all my reviews

Book Review: The Killer by Matz

The Killer, Volume 1The Killer, Volume 1 by Matz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought this graphic novel on a whim. It popped up in my recommendations, the artwork caught my eye, it was on sale; you know, the usual impulse buy. But this French story is very interesting and engaging, much more than an impulse: a great read.

The premise is pretty standard: contract killer is hung out to dry on that last job. I’m sure there is a book of cliches out there for writers, if someone could send me the title so I could buy it, I’d much appreciate it. Anyway, it is Matz’ take on the character and story that works wonders. It is also Luc Jacamon’s artwork, capturing the details and inner workings of the protagonist. We get to see inside the mind of a hitman. There is also nudity, so, you know, bonus.

Volume 2 builds on from this edition nicely. It evolves, it progresses to a higher level that belies its first pages in Volume 1. I don’t want to spoil things, I mean, who didn’t figure out that Bruce Willis was actually a ghost, aside from the entire theater who threw everything bar the chairs at me? By not spoiling things I won’t be mentioning the protagonist’s growth from being a loner hitman to having friends.

If you like noir graphic novels, then this series is worth a read. Apparently they are making a film of this with David Fincher directing, so worth seeing before Hollywood ruins another book (ahem, ahem).

View all my reviews

Marketing ideas – Jesus style

We had a knock on the door this morning. A lady was inquiring if we “followed the bible”. My immediate reaction was to say something like, “Inanimate objects don’t really take me places these days.” Of course I was very polite and told her that my dog was hungry. She persisted with, “Do you follow God?” to whit I retorted, “Which one?”

I should point out at this juncture that I’m not against religion or religious people. Religion has done some good things and it has done some bad things. If we were to express their good versus bad as a baseball batting average, then I’d have to learn something about baseball.

Anyway, this got me thinking, which has been known to happen occasionally. Religious people are often very keen to sell their religion door-to-door. They often have pamphlets, invites to their church (or whatever), or even their indoctrination material for sale. I am yet to have a scientist knock on my door of a Sunday morning, “Have you heard the word of Newton?” At least with scientists door knocking they could fix the zero-point anomaly in our laundry; it’s starting to cause a gravity sink.

See, this would be brilliant marketing for any author. Imagine an entire squad of people devoted to spreading the word about your book/s. Unpaid labourers whose goal it was to sell your writing to everyone. Of course this wouldn’t be easy to arrange. I’m not sure I can afford the price of souls these days – what with the economy and all – so getting boots on the ground might either take a lot of  enigmatic persuasion or be the realm of wealthy authors.

There are plenty of examples of this happening. If you do a little digging you can find how L Ron Hubbard got his book Battlefield Earth on the bestseller lists. Every Scientologist was sent out to buy a copy, which they then sent back to the “church” (I use that term loosely) and the books were sent to the stores again to be resold. Brilliant!

Obviously not every author can create their own religion to sell books, but maybe there is something to be made use of here. Maybe your local Jehovah’s Witness may need some extra redemption and would like to sell your book door-to-door if you promise to not set the bear traps on the doorstep. Think about it!

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 10: Writing is overrated!

So I’m travelling through this first fortnight of NaNoWriMo at a less than stellar pace. I’ve technically had most days free to write as much as I please. I’d imagined this would result in 10,000 word days and that I’d have that pesky 50,000 word total done before I go back to drudgery next week (or the day job, which ever term you prefer).

The reality has been much too horrid for me to bear. All of those professional authors who talked about how hard it was to hit writing targets were right. I guess that is why they are the professionals and I’m still the amateur, they must use better whips on the room full of monkeys.

Of course I have still been achieving the required writing goals, but the problem with having a day job is that it will suddenly rear its ugly head and swing me around in its mighty jaws as it seeks to devour me whole. Being on schedule might be a bad thing at this point. Maybe I should think more like a blogger or self-publishing slime-ball and just write rubbish: who actually needs the chapters to fit together?

Either way I’m enjoying writing every day, and I am actually achieving my primary goal of sitting around having fun. My secondary goal was to get into the habit of daily writing and getting sizable chunks written. That is my achilles heel as a writer, not finishing the larger projects. My writing itself is actually quite good – IMHO – and I’m continually working on aspects that need polish. As Stephen Leather said, writers do need to focus on becoming better writers.

Words Written: 1,698 (per day)
Total: 16,985
Remaining: 33,015

How has everyone else fared so far?

Book Review: The Genesis Flaw – LA Larkin

The Genesis FlawThe Genesis Flaw by L.A. Larkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got a lot of mileage out of the Sydney Writers’ Festival this year. Saw a lot of great authors and presentations, picked up some fantastic books and had a good time. I’d like to see my local Perth Writers’ Festival get the same sponsorship so they could put on a big event too. I’m looking at you Dymocks!

Anyway, I saw LA Larkin talk about her writing and the book The Genesis Flaw and managed to miss out on picking up a copy. I blame the scheduling and Sydney baristas for not knowing how to make a real cup of tea. Fortunately The Sydney Writers’ Centre were kind enough to send me a copy. Yes I’m getting to the review.

I’ve read three or four GM crop themed thriller novels this year, this was the most realistic of them by far. At the Writers’ Festival LA mentioned some of her research methods, put lightly she goes to great lengths, even Antarctica (she even mentioned a hackers conference she attended and how to spot the undercover cops). A still hate the anti-GM themes in books, being a plant scientist and all.

Despite this, LA has put together a very believable and engaging thriller. I was caught up in the story and liked the more realistic ending to the novel. This was an engaging tale of David vs Goliath, people who have had their phone hacked vs Rupert Murdoch, 99% against the 1% (that’ll get the site traffic up). This book is well worth a read if you like the idea of an eco-thriller to make you think.

View all my reviews

Creativity again

This follows on very nicely from my post on schools stifling creativity, the video of Sir Ken Robinson.

In fairness to John’s teachers, he did marry Yoko, maybe John missed the point of life.

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 4

Yes I have been a little lazy in regards to my novel writing. It’s early to start making excuses for my lack of writing, but then again excuses are meant to be pathetic self-affirmations that make voters and creditors give you a break.

Yesterday I hung out with friends and went to my friend’s bucks night. We’d organised go-karting in some super-fast karts. Nothing like hitting high speeds 12 millimeters above the ground with no suspension. A wet track worked to my advantage, being the heaviest racer, but my weight worked against me for acceleration and top end speed. The only time I have regretted being a weightlifter, well, this and the time airport security thought I was smuggling cocaine in my protein powder. You never realise how much you enjoy sitting until you can’t.

So writing wise, I had been hopping to get some large chunks done, but have instead been hitting ~1600 words-a-day. I have a good introduction done, with the protagonist – The Husband – having to dig his own grave.

Words Written: 1,599 (per day)
Total: 6,399
Remaining: 43,601

How have others fared so far?

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 1

The month of writing madness has begun!

This is my first attempt/entry into NaNoWriMo (NaNo details here). I am a virgin who doesn’t know any better, a lamb to the slaughter, a bright eyed idealist…… Blog posts count towards the word total, right?

The story I am writing is tentatively entitled Overturned Stones. It is a thriller with humorous overtones to subdue the dark subject matter. I had previously started this particular project but had to bin it in June and redo the outline (stupid characters didn’t do what I wanted them to!): I’m new to novel writing, live and learn.

Outline: You never expect to stand trial for the murder of your wife, especially if you didn’t do it. When you find out that your wife may not be dead but rather kidnapped by human traffickers for sexual slavery, you could be forgiven for being a little annoyed. Proposing lead therapy for the traffickers in an effort to help them reform and free your wife isn’t appreciated, by the traffickers, the police, or potential future employers. Can one man, dubbed “The Husband” by the media, take down organised crime, avoid the police and traffickers, and keep his gun loaded?

My journey has begun with a nice lead in. Yesterday and Sunday I managed to write a few short stories, plenty of writing to pique the creative juices. Currently they are with my trusted critique providers and then edits before submission – I’m thinking Crime Noir, Wet Ink and I have another paranormal story that I’m still thinking about which publication would suit it.

Today my writing was done while Australian’s were stopped for a horse race. Given that all I care about is buying the glue and dog food after the race and not throwing money into a void prior, I was able to get a sizable chunk written.
Words Written: 1,771
Total: 1,771
Remaining: 48,229

Who else is slightly mad this year?

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 846 other followers

%d bloggers like this: