Peter Laurent's Blog - Posts Tagged "writing"

Fully Sick

Hey there fine people who read this. I was planning to make a start on Book 2 this week, but I came down with a very nasty cold on Tuesday. Woe is me and all that.
I think I'm finally on the mend so hopefully I'll be able to get going with some writing on Monday. Yay!

I read a few writing blogs on writersdigest.com this week, and was amazed to find at least two or three blogs written by authors who incorrectly wrote "less" instead of "fewer" (i.e. less words). But I won't name names.

I'm not perfect myself, having got "its" and "it's" wrong throughout The Covert Academy. One reviewer who didn't read the book (just the sample I assume) pointed this out in a review on Amazon.
I've since fixed the "its/it's" mistakes. I'm not sure anyone else even noticed.
Well, now we know...

Making mistakes is only human, and on a blog it's fine (though it doesn't instill me with confidence in the author).
What galls me is people being able to review books they haven't read, like a few people who have "reviewed" my book on Amazon US and UK.
I'm also told that some hateful reviews are written by jealous authors seeking to sabotage their fellow authors' work! What sort of sick mind would do that?
There is no way to trace these people, but it is apparently a fairly common occurence.

Amazon's review system is broken. Indie books live or die based on customer reviews.

They could easily fix it by:

*Forcing customers to buy the book to be able to review it. This would help weed out spammers.

*Increasing the minimum number of words for a review from 20 to, say, 100. This would help weed out reviews from the authors' friends and family.

*Abandoning the 5 star rating system entirely, or not making this number visible to the public. This would force customers to judge books based on the content of the reviews (and the book itself), rather than an average numerical rating.

*Perhaps only allow star-ratings from well known reviewers such as those in the top 10,000 on Amazon or other editorial reviewers.

Any other ideas?

I hope I don't sound bitter, I'm really not at all.
My book is doing better than I could have dreamed, and I am incredibly grateful to the people who write honest reviews, whether they are full of praise, criticisms or both.

Maybe it's because I'm still feeling a bit sick. Hopefully I'm back in full writing mode next week!

Cheers,
-Petes
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Published on March 01, 2013 14:28 Tags: amazon, blog, grammar, review, writing

#amwriting

The Covert Academy reached #78 Overall and #1 SciFi Adventure on Amazon in the last freebie sale.

Fantastic to see so many people interested in reading it, thank you!
Double thanks to those who took the extra time to write a review.

I'll be writing Book 2 full-time over the next few months, which means writing these blog posts less often.

You can still follow what I'm up to on the Twitter machine, I'm @petes117.
Say hi and I'll follow back :)

Cheers,
-Petes
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Published on March 17, 2013 14:30 Tags: amazon, blog, freebie, review, sale, twitter, writing

Pete's First Author Interview, by Ryan Schneider

Ahoy-hoy, I did an interview over on Ryan Schneider's glitzy and glamorous author blog!

It consists of 10 fascinating questions with 10 witty and interesting answers, if I do say so myself...

Check it out here: http://authorryanschneider.blogspot.c...
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Published on May 22, 2013 15:11 Tags: author, blog, interview, writing

Book 2 - Prologue

Hello sexy people,
I thought I'd share some of my latest writing for some light weekend reading! This is from a scene around three quarters of the way through Book 2, and I am considering using this as an action packed prologue at the very start of the book.
My one major regret with The Covert Academy was to call the first chapter a prologue when it really wasn't.
What follows below, however, is very much a prologue. Which means you won't miss anything if you skip it, but sets the tone of the book nicely.

Please keep in mind this is only (updated to 2nd) draft material! That means everything is subject to change between now and publication.
Please be kind :)

So without further ado:

The Covert Academy 2

Prologue

     ‘Oh, I don’t think Sarah Jensen will be leaving us any time soon,’ a silky voice, emanating from behind Ichiro, interrupted.
     Sarah tensed, reached for her sword, but it wasn’t there. Liam! He’d lifted her sword. Deal with him later. Movement from behind the sphere. Someone walking toward her. A dark shape. That voice, that calm, neutral accent, unforgettable after all these years…
     ‘Now we don’t need any undo fuss,’ said the voice. ‘In fact, Sarah, I wanted to thank you personally. You’ve delivered the last of the resistance right into my lap.’
     ‘Not the last,’ Sarah said. ‘Show yourself!’
Rhys walked into the light of the pulsing purple sphere and stood a few short steps from Sarah, hands clasped behind his back. The light-bloom from the sphere cast long shadows over his face, lending him a demonic aura.
     ‘Fletcher,’ Sarah growled. Her eyes darted around the room for a weapon. It was too dark even for her iPC. Something was interfering, or else there really was nothing to see… for all she knew the universe ended where he stood. ‘Rhys Fletcher. You knew I’d come for you one day,’ Sarah said, balling her hand into a tight fist. ‘I would, or the Academy would.’
     ‘How poetic,’ Rhys mocked. ‘Don’t be absurd. You’re not important, none of you are. There is no prophecy to be fulfilled. No secret bloodlines. It’s all just a matter of control. Control and efficiency... many hands make light work,’ Rhys chuckled at his bad joke then buttoned up into a grim smirk once more. ‘It’s for your own good, you can count on that. Now hand over the bio-ID.’
     ‘Count on this.’ Sarah charged him, aiming to get in close, fast. Rhys let her come. She ducked his oncoming elbow then dodged his outthrust leg. She twisted, using her shoulder stump as a shield to try and open a gap and plant her one closed fist on that smug face of his. Sarah rained down blow after blow in a flurry of rapid one-hand attacks. Rhys Fletcher blocked her every move with seemingly careless precision. He was a machine.
     No one is this good. Sarah gasped for air, utterly spent, and Rhys pushed her backward into the purple sphere. It flicked off just long enough to admit her inside the bubble.
     ‘Impressive, for a cripple,’ Rhys said. ‘Well if you won’t surrender the bio-ID then you can’t do any harm in there,’ he added patiently, and turned to go, fading into the blackness of the room. ‘I have all the time in the world. You will break soon enough. Let’s see how you handle the other one,’ he said, then he was gone.
     Sarah looked at Ichiro. ‘What did he mean, the other one?’
     ‘You,’ Ichiro mumbled through broken teeth. He pointed toward the transfer panel where Sarah had come aboard. ‘The other you.’
     Sarah gasped as her twin walked into the room. But it couldn’t be; Fletcher had seen to that long ago. Sarah could never forget, she’d seen it with her own eyes, had it etched onto her retinas forever.
     The woman wore a jumpsuit so new it could have come straight off the Academy factory line. Her skin was perfectly unblemished, unnaturally so, as if she’d applied too much makeup. But her eyes were bleeding - two red tears streaked down her cheeks.
     My cheeks.
     The woman scanned the room, at a loss for direction until some unseen order had been processed. Her gaze drifted onto Sarah and locked in place. Sarah stared back into her cold, dead eyes.
     My eyes.
     The woman smiled, but her eyes remained vacant. When she spoke it was in Sarah’s voice, but with Rhys’ accent. The same bland accent which had haunted Sarah’s dreams.
     ‘Hello,’ she said, cracking the knuckles on her hands.
     My hands. Two hands.
     ‘Shall we begin?’

***
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Published on October 13, 2013 01:11 Tags: amalgamation, covert-academy, draft, prologue, writing

First Draft of The Covert Academy's sequel is DONE!

Yes! I can come into the sunlight once more. What a marathon.

And what a rough draft it is too! Last time around all I really needed to do was tidy up a few continuity issues, fix up lots and lots of punctuation and grammar mistakes, and formatting for publication. And that still took over a month with help from my parents.

But this draft is a mixed bag of scenes that I'm really happy with and scenes that are either going to be outright deleted and/or rewritten. I've got far more subplots than I ought to, haha.

It's going to be a big job since this first draft clocks in at 83,110 words. That's around the same length as The Covert Academy combined with Scout's Honour. I expect it will be around the 90k mark by the time I'm completely done.

The name of the book will probably change too. I've got a new front-runner which I'm going to try out on a few people I know before announcing it.

Time to start editing!

-Pete
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Published on November 27, 2013 18:24 Tags: editing, first-draft, the-covert-academy, writing

Neglected Child

Yes I'm still here, but I haven't been writing. The next book has been a neglected child, but I still love it.

It's hard to believe it's been over a year since my last blog post!

In 2013 I took some time off work to write The Covert Academy, then Scout's Honour, and in the following 6 months pumped out a 100k draft of the next book by February 2014. That's just shy of 200k words in around 15 months, not to mention editing it myself and the creating the cover art.
It burned me out.

When I began to go over the new draft I got to the point where I just couldn't read another word. It was overly complex, I needed a break, and I felt I needed to get a real job.

In the year since mid-2014 to the present I've concentrated on a new venture, entirely unrelated to writing, doing architectural visualisations.
If you're interested check out some of the work I've been doing here: www.virtualrealtystudios.co.nz

I've also been helping out with the animation on an upcoming PC game 'Cross Fate', which will be launching a Kickstarter soon-ish (it's out of my control as to when). Keep an eye out for it here: https://www.facebook.com/CrossFateGame

So the next book in the Covert series has been on the backburner.
It's sad but I'd rather not release it until I'm happy with the quality, and I hold myself to a high standard. There are some chapters in the next book which I think is some of my best writing yet, far better than The Covert Academy (there's some real stinky parts too which need re-writing)!

So if there's anything to take away from this post is that I haven't forgotten about my writing, and I aim to get back into action as soon as I can.

Cheers,
-Petes
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Published on June 17, 2015 15:46 Tags: covert-academy, cross-fate, scout-s-honour, writing