Karen Traviss




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Karen Traviss

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born
The United Kingdom
gender
female

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member since
June 2014


About this author

#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award nominated Wess'har series, as well as regularly hitting the bestseller lists with her Halo, Gears of War, and Star Wars work. A former defence correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England.


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Karen Traviss My natural writing length is quite long, 150,000 to 190,000 words, and the average novel by industry standards is 100,000, which is what trad pub (in…moreMy natural writing length is quite long, 150,000 to 190,000 words, and the average novel by industry standards is 100,000, which is what trad pub (in my experience.) usually has as the default on contracts, and which I've obviously ignored over the years. But the great thing about (a) having electronic formats, and (b) being able to publish independently in any format without having to worry about what suits a book chain or a big publisher means I now have the elbow room to try different lengths. I'm thinking more of serialisation than just writing shorter novels, but once I've got the current backlog of "Normal For Traviss" novels out of my notebook and on sale, then I'll see what shakes out.

I have to bear in mind that my readers are used to long novels, and audiobook readers in particular are said to prefer longer works. Some people contact me to say that my books – 190,000 word novels, i.e. double length books – are "too short." No, they're fast reads. That's not the same as too short, and wanting the story to continue doesn't mean the book's too short either. It means you want a sequel... yep, coming right up!

The longer a single novel gets, the more it changes the structure you need to manage the story. Around 165,000 words is about the critical mass for me to have from five to eight point-of-view characters to create the "many takes on one situation" stories that I write.(less)
Karen Traviss Yes, I have. I'm actually writing an indie series at the moment, but I don't have an artist yet. (And I prefer to write knowing who'll be drawing the…moreYes, I have. I'm actually writing an indie series at the moment, but I don't have an artist yet. (And I prefer to write knowing who'll be drawing the story, because that affects how I write it.) That's always the problem; it's tough finding the right artist who's also available, even for the big IPs I write for, because the good ones who also deliver on time are always flat-out busy.

I'd love to use a new artist and give fresh talent a break, but so far I'm still short of someone who's both good and can stick to deadlines. I hear a lot of people saying they can't get a break in comics, but if you have both talent and professional discipline, you have a market. It's not enough just to be good; you have to turn in pages on time, too, month after month. The transition from a hobby producing a limited range of stuff that you like doing to a job where you have real deadlines and may be working outside your comfort zone is a big jump, and a lot of people don't make it.

Having said that, if there are any artists out there who can deliver, I'd love to hear from them.(less)
Average rating: 4.07 · 43,823 ratings · 1,775 reviews · 64 distinct works · Similar authors
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More books by Karen Traviss…
If anyone's still in any doubt about the impact that fiction has on shaping real world opinion, some of the coverage of the Yazidi refugee crisis in Iraq is a classic lesson in how pervasive myth can be, especially when there's no equal volume of reality to displace it.

I finally stopped watching a particular morning news show this week because of its increasing tendency to populate its studio... Read more of this blog post »
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More series by Karen Traviss…

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Karen's Recent Updates

Karen Traviss added a status update: Finishing script for THE FALL OF G.I. JOE #3.
Working on BLACK RUN. (Sequel to GOING GREY.)
Karen Traviss is currently reading
Imperial Roman Naval Forces 31 BC-AD 500 by Raffaele D'Amato
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"I've added a few notes on some of the stories, and I've written a foreword. So I admit my gut reaction is to hesitate to examine it further in a blog,...more "
"I've been using Scriv for three years, if memory serves, and I've still only scratched the surface. I keep finding handy things that it can do. I star...more "
Karen Traviss shared a quote
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I know genes are a big deal, son, but they're not the be-all and end-all." Rob slowed to a halt at the lights, wishing the dickhead behind would back off. "If they were, you'd be in a seafood salad and I'd be in prison.Karen Traviss
Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
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Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
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Rudyard Kipling by Rudyard Kipling
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More of Karen's books…
“Ugliness is an illusion, gentlemen. Like beauty. Like color. All depends on the light. The only reality is action.”
Karen Traviss, True Colors

“If you take a shot at someone, you keep firing until they can no longer return fire. Wound them, and you have an angry enemy who knows your position.”
Karen Traviss

“So you want a knife, a nice sharp knife. You hone that blade to its limits. It even cuts through stone when you want it to. It saves your life. And then you're outraged when it cuts you accidentally. You see, knives don't switch off. And neither do people, not when you hone them to a fine edge.”
Karen Traviss

Polls

FEBRUARY SCIENCE FICTION: This poll decides which two books will go on to the run-off poll for the February 2014 SF Book-of-the-month.

 
  22 votes, 22.4%

 
  19 votes, 19.4%

 
  15 votes, 15.3%

 
  14 votes, 14.3%

 
  13 votes, 13.3%

 
  8 votes, 8.2%

 
  7 votes, 7.1%

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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“I know genes are a big deal, son, but they're not the be-all and end-all." Rob slowed to a halt at the lights, wishing the dickhead behind would back off. "If they were, you'd be in a seafood salad and I'd be in prison.”
Karen Traviss, Going Grey




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