THE BUILDING OF EMOTION, OR HOW I GOT HOOKED ON K-ROMANCES

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Recently I watched the man-on-man movie BROS. About a minute of the movie, half way through, was dedicated to the confession of feelings/emotions from one lover to the other. That complex interaction took eight, thirty minute episodes for the BL (Boy Love) K-drama, SEMANTIC ERROR (available on Rakuten Viki). I can’t stop watching it, wondering how the storyline was constructed, how the direction and editing was done–so genius.

If I’m ever going to be an exceptional writer of romance, the slow burn of emotions is what I’m aiming for.

This month, I’m re-editing all my work, and republishing it. I’ve spent over twenty years working on sci-fis and over the last ten years publishing my novels (stand-alone contemporaries with elements of science and sci-fi) and two series (LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS (mostly urban fantasy) and AGES OF INVENTION (mostly historical, time travel, sci-fi).

I have worked hard with my published critique partners to make my stories accessible to my audience (a scientific generalist author with three advanced degrees needs to do that).

What makes my work stand out to me (as opposed to other sci-fis (both hard and soft/social sci-fis)) is a knowledge of how things really work in our physical reality and an ability to communicate such. I also increase the intensity of my characters with internal dialogue that is so prevalent in asian webtoons, webnovels, and screenplays.

What I’m most focused on in my stories as romances, is illustrating how no matter how negative the behavior of some, there is always a positive to come out of it. Yep, you got it. I’m addicted to HEA (Happily Ever After), as should any rabid romance writer.

Besides fixing my over ten novels to be republished with what I’ve learned over the last ten years, I’m preparing to send my last completed novel (SPACE FOR US, a sci-fi romance (SFR) and space opera) out to hundreds of agents and editors for the first time. SPACE was a three-year project in which I worked on all the items of improvement listed above. What makes this different from other hard sci-fis (instead of angular metallic spaceships) is the propulsion system is based on buoyancy. SPACE FOR US literally tells the story of how boundaries fall and space is created for relationships to evolve (whether it’s a relationship between two people, or two civilizations in nearby solar systems).

Buoyancy as a motive force for spacecrafts comes from buoyancy cubes kept within the fuselage of my spaceships. Another name for buoyancy cubes is the name I’ll give to this series of novels: SQUARE BALLOONS.

The heroine in SPACE FOR US works at a military base in aerospace forensics (as did I) and the hero is what I always wanted to be, before writing novels, that is: an astronaut.

I really enjoyed my secondary character who’s an A.I. and the growing humor that ensues as our artificial conscious being gets used-to her human avatar body.

At present, I’m working on two new novels: THE CHARIOTEER (an A.I. growing up to thwart the actions of a corrupt government that created it) and THE WALL BETWEEN US (as a continuation of the SQUARE BALLOONS SERIES, fleshing in the society and romance of the alien Sledanis from Proxima Centauri. The Sledanis are people who marry-in/live-in relationship clouds, but when they return to Earth to spy on us, they end up isolated in individual bodies and must learn all over again how to form healthy relationships).

How could I end this post without the assurance that LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS has at least one more novel coming after DANCING DRAGONS (VAMPIRES IN SPACE, where our Aminali golden hybrid brings a big old naughty vampire, Drake, to his knees).

Hoarder Followup

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Though I find myself hanging in there with the housework, even though I have loads of writing and editing to do everyday, I’d rather get my readers interested in how my writing life is going–what I’m learning–than talking about household organization, no matter how important that is.

So, here goes my umteenth incarnation as a blogger:

Right now, I’m hoping I hear something from the agents and editors I pitched to at RWA Nationals, that is, before I self-publish the two novels in my Ages of Invention Series. 

Have all the covers for the two novels ready to go. I just need to start handing out advanced reader copies for review.

And I’m anxious to finish my WIP space opera, to get to working on a young adult science fiction novella.

I’ve never enjoyed history more than that in the novels of my critique partners, and because of my background in science, I’d like to learn as much as I can about the way people thought about science throughout history. That’s what led to the writing of my historical science fictions.

The Union of Opposites website (theunionofopposites.com) explores different kinds of consciousness that I use in my stories. The site is philosophical and built on my published experiments, but it helps me create a new world of thought for my future novels.

That’s all for now. I’ll keep  you posted. 

Thanks for looking in,

S.B.K. Burns (Susan)

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Raves for Legends Series

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Over forty, four and five-star reviews averaging over four stars for the two main novels of Legends of The Goldens Series, appearing on Goodreads and Amazon.

G00dreads:

http://www.amazon.com/S.-B.-K.-Burns/e/B00GFWV5PQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7200786.S_B_K_Burns

A Goodreads Giveaway almost completed with almost 200 people requesting the 10 free paperback copies of Love Me, Bite Me. Winners will be announced soon.

Giveaway:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/170999-love-me-bite-me

If you’re wondering about the series, take a click on the  AUTHOR SHOUT link below where you’ll find my interview and discover how I came to write about the alien psychic vampires (the Goldens) and also some tips on writing.

AUTHOR SHOUT LINK:

http://authorshout.com/author-interview-archive/author-interview-s-b-k-burns/

FOR THE BEGINNING WRITER

FOR THE BEGINNING WRITER

In one of my creative writing read-and-critique classes, a first-timer asked me, “If I’m going to write anything of any length, where do I start?” I thanked him, because I’ve been struggling to find some way in which to help my fellow authors to express themselves in a more comfortable and fluid way.

Where do ideas come from?

Personally, I live a life immersed in scientific philosophy (my own cosmology). What that means is, from the time I was very young, I loved to play in the dirt, and with insects and to climb trees and to examine the clouds. That turned into a group of ideas that were nurtured as I attended classes in biology and physics and eventually publishing a paper about an expanding two-dimensional universe.

(Lots of my ramblings about the world (both human and scientific) and my awe at it can be read on my website The Union of Opposites.com (theunionofopposites.com) that mixes the physical with the spiritual.)

So, since the language in any topic of choice is so different and really inaccessible to the layperson, how can we simplify it and integrate it into our stories?

We can boil all of the above intro into three questions that I’ll attempt to answer in this post:

  1. How do I start writing?
  2. What do I write about? What topics seemed important to me both in growing up and now?
  3. Once I find a topic that impassions me, how can I edit what I write so that it speaks to my audience of readers?

Okay, so, I’m sitting at my desk, ready to type on the keyboard. What should I type?

All I can say is “should” can’t be any part of it. Don’t be like that monkey who randomly, after an infinite amount of time, types Shakespeare. But do type.

Type anything. And this may shock—type garbage. Garbage, you say? You have the most noble of goals as a writer. How can I ask you to type garbage? How can you allow yourself?

Because writing is a layered process, first you need a raw material—no matter how raw—down on the page before you can mold it into something worth reading (you can tell I’ve spent some time as a sculptor). Without creating something, it is impossible to edit. And editing may be the most creative part of the writing process.

Okay, so, the first requirement to be a good writer (someone who keeps writing and getting ideas, and doesn’t get writer’s block) is to stop judging yourself as a writer or judging any garbage you put down on the page.

How do I find a topic that’s important to me that I’m passionate about?

Explore. All scientists, with all their mathematics, still have to explore the environment. To know yourself, look at the subjects that are easy for you to write about—the writing you’ve already accomplished. If you can’t find appealing ideas within that, look for topics online and write your opinions about them. Are you practical or logical where others are not? Are you caring and idealistic wanting to see a better world? There are online tests of personality asking questions that you can expound on to find out more about yourself.

I like to write about a once-published science experiment I performed in college. I like to think about how it could apply to the real world of people to make their lives better. Maybe you have some unique way you like to do things that, if you could share them, might improve the lives of others.

How do I begin editing in order to clarify my message to others?

Personally, I attend four writing groups. Perhaps that was a bit too much to take on with still trying to sit down at a computer—type, edit, indie publish, and promote. The groups are as follows: two read-and-critique groups per week, three critique partners, and a local RWA workshop once a month.

Writing can be lonely unless one forces oneself to be social. So that’s why I interact with so many people each month. And here’s the second challenge to bravery as a writer: not only must the writer survive their own critical lathe, they must survive that of all the others. The best way to do that, even if the critique is upsetting, is to do something I have a problem with—keeping our mouths closed and respectfully taking it. The more we practice being gentle with ourselves in writing those first words, the easier it will be to take criticism from others and be polite while learning from it.

The more you listen to others and make changes you feel necessary, the more you internalize them as an audience. It’s also important to have people whose work you can edit. The more you edit and share your knowledge with others, the more comfortable you’ll be in critiquing your own work.

You might say the above paragraph sounds a little too optimistic, when you don’t even know, while editing your work, which criticism to take seriously. I take them all seriously, but some more than others. How do I prioritize the importance of my critiquer’s comments? I examine whether the changes they suggest might clarify my meaning. If they do, I keep them. If they don’t, I ignore them. But, usually, I can always find ways of making my writing clearer.

So, I’ll leave you with this:

  1. Just write and don’t expect it to be great at first.
  2. Be brave by taking criticism in a positive light, both yours and other’s.
  3. Learn by doing. You will learn from yourself and others naturally without school-like cramming the rules into your head.
  4. It’s all about the reader, to bring entertainment and joy into his/her life, so write as clearly and honestly as you can.