fiction


While doing research for my bisexual erotic romance novel, I ran across Marketing Beef: A Gay Romance by Rick Bettencourt and bought it.

Marketing Beef is about an accountant named Evan McCormick who falls for the new guy at work (who is way above his pay grade). A complication involves financial scandal in his company; as the accountant, Evan falls under suspicion.

From the title and blurb, I thought the story would take place in the office. Most of the novel took place while camping, though, and I kept wondering when they were going to get back to the office. I enjoy camping, but the business issues framed the camping trips rather than being an integral part of the plot. While their ‘big fight’ revolved around the scandal, the issue felt tacked on.

The main character and plot lines sometimes seemed contrived – painfully shy yet has multiple former lovers, all who ‘somehow’ end up at the same place? Hmm.

There was one place where I had to page back because of confusion about ‘what body part is going where’ … which may have been an editing issue more than anything else.

That said, the novel was entertaining and had several very funny scenes (‘egg’ in the hair, anyone?). It’s a good solid novel which anyone who enjoys m/m romance would like.

I’ll give this three thumbs up. Nice work.

 

three thumbs up

 

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Some people call this the “log line” or some other such thing, but it’s basically one sentence which tells what you book is about. I think I called the “one sentence blurb” somewhere else.

For example, the story of The Hobbit might read:

A hobbit is persuaded by a wizard to accompany eleven dwarves in order to break into their former home, which is currently occupied by a dragon.

Or something like that.

So what’s my upcoming wild ride? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

A cattle rancher returns home to find his lover dying and must renegotiate his relationship with his soulmate: her husband.

I’m writing a more mundane novel for NaNoWriMo (book #2 in my series), but once I’m done with that this one is next on the queue.

Nice article on The Rise and Fall of the Techno-Thriller on this month’s Internet Review of Science Fiction.

Is this thing on? Anyone still here?

Well —

I got to preview Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel, and the first lesson is pretty good! I dug out the original copy of Freedom that I got bound in that offer Lulu.com gave back during NaNo 2005 to use for my revision. That book has given me more fits than any other one I’ve written, so I figured it’s a good test run as to whether this class is any good. 😉

If you want to be in the first class in January 2010, just go to the link above and sign up to be on the announcement list for when enrollment starts.

Lots going on here: sons just finished out marching band season (did pretty well!), got two paying non-fiction venues, was asked to contribute to a non-fiction anthology. Way behind on the Think Sideways class. Two novels to crit. And the holidays are coming. So what do I do?

NaNo. (well, unofficially)

Yeah, I know, taking on too much again. But I got this idea for a world that I had to explore, and this is a good time for it.

This is more a seat of the pants thing than anything else, but it’s going well. Off to a slow start from migraines brought on by too much weekend, but today is looking very good indeed.

How’s everyone doing?

Since April, my sons have started high school band (they integrate the 8th graders in at the end of the year), my daughter has graduated high school, and the house is all in a flurry because she’s getting married next month.

It’s bittersweet to be losing a daughter (yet gaining a son, so to speak), but they seem to love each other, and she’s continuing with her education. So I’m pleased about it.

I’ve been working on the garden (which has really perked up this year), taking care of home and rabbits, driving kids places, and working on the Think Sideways class. I’m a bit behind, but learning A LOT.

Each class builds on the one before it, so it’s a bit difficult to explain, but the homework for this lesson is to split your planned story into scenes then write a one-sentence blurb for each scene. For example, the Council of Elrond in Lord of the Rings could be summed up this way:

The Council of Elrond meets, and after much controversy, appoints Frodo and eight others to go to Mount Doom and destroy the Ring.

As you can imagine, this homework is taking me a while to do. But it’s a great way to get a handle on the book before you write it. I had an idea of where I wanted the story to start then realized that I really needed to start the story a few scenes earlier. Also, doing this has shown me where I need to do research (anyone know how to sail?) and where the logic holes in my plot are. All this before I spend weeks writing this thing.

So I’m very happy about the class.

What have you been up to? Anything good going on the rest of us need to know about?

I just started lesson five on the How to Think Sideways class (lesson six is up but I’ve been slow). This lesson … mind-blowing. If you can imagine tapping into your subconscious for all the things that motivate you, then putting THAT into your writing on a conscious level … it’s incredible.

I have two great ideas for stories from lesson 4, but I’m going with the SF one (any surprise?) because I can do a better job on this without a ton of research — I’ll need some (know someone who curses in Chinese?) but it’s set in Los Angeles and that’s a place I already know.

Click the box at the top of the sidebar on the right there for more information on the course, or you’re welcome to ask about it. I’ve gotten my money’s worth already and I still have the rest of the year to go.

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