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The Spiral Slayers (Encounters, #1)
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discussions > Risky, arrogant, just not true?

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message 1: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Hello,

I'm a new novelist. Just self-published my first book on Amazon (Kindle and paperback)...a few people have bought, read and given me 5 star reviews (yes, I know these people so, enough said). I put together a nifty little trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ3Gk4...). Best of all I got a shining Kirkus review (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...).

Now I need to promote it and let people know about it.

Here comes the hard part...of what I need to decide and actually this post as well.

I'm putting together a press release and I need to make it 'newsy' and, I can. Before the book was finished I realized that the story was, mathematically speaking, taking some exponential steps beyond anything I could remember reading. This could be good or, bad. At any rate, making a claim like this, was going to sound arrogant, and almost certainly there were previous syfy books that had done some of the things I was doing--though, unlikely all of them. I decided not to use this "Takes exponential steps beyond anything before it" because it was too over the top in too many ways.

But now...to make a newsy press release I'm considering using some form of his and want feedback on it.

What are those things? I hate to say as it will somewhat ruin the story and, taken out of context, will likely make you laugh but I'm going to spill it anyway, at least in this forum. Aspects of my 4 book series that 'take an exponential step beyond anything before it' are as follows:

* Traveling across the observable universe between super clusters while maintaining the light speed limit.

* A species 12 billion plus years old.

* A species that has advanced as far as it can and knows and understands 'everything' that is knowable

* A species that had traveled from the edge of the observable universe to its center over 12 billion years

* A species that goes to the center of spiral galaxies and causes the central black hole to release all the mass it contains as radiation and super heated plasma which eventually spreads through that galaxy killing everything living and serializing it (ergo Spiral Slayer)

* A species that has killed more beings then at least any other syfy I've read

* And, what's at stake: In my story, universes cycle, that is to say they are born, go through a long freezing death, then are born again over and over. What's at stake in my series (there'll be 4 books) is the destabilization and eventual death of this cycle...i.e. existence itself.

Do you think I can get away with making this claim or maybe a softer version of it?

Thanks for any feedback!
Rusty


message 2: by Wastrel (new)

Wastrel | 3 comments If I were a novelist making grandiose claims, I'd probably try to begin by NOT taking my use of punctuation exponential steps beyond normal 'correct' usage.

More seriously: no. The scale of the setting is largely an irrelevence - you could re-write most walking-across-a-kingdom fantasy novels as FTLing-across-a-hyperverse SF novels (which I guess Star Wars does to some extent), but that doesn't mean the story has gone exponentially forward, or forward at all. There's nothing more advanced, or more sophisticated, or more impressive, or better, about using the word 'universe' instead of the word 'planet'. If you want to talk about the unusual SIZE of the SETTING of your books, fair enough. It's only superficial gloss, but different people like different colours of gloss, so it's worth advertising your distinctive features. But "takes exponential steps beyond anything ever written before" is rather excessive when you're just talking about varnish colour.

Not that that's necessarily bad if your aim is just to advertise, I guess. Lots of book blurbs are hilariously inaccurate.

(The superficiality of scale particularly applies at larger scales, of course. Unless the books become exponentially larger as well, we can't actually get to see the full scope of things at larger scales (eg if you only wrote one page about each star system in your setting, it would still be a longer book than the whole of human literature to date put together), so we become entirely reliant on the author's word, TELLING us how big things are. Which kind of lacks emotional punch. It's not taking an exponential step, in narrative terms, to replace the sentence 'there are 500,000 inhabited planets' with the sentence 'there are 500,000,000,000 inhabited planets', because the only difference between these numbers in real terms is the number of naughts on the page.)


message 3: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Dear Wastrel,

Thank you for your response! It came too late but I backed away from that approach again anyway. It's more than just adding zeros--different constructs and issues are involved but I take your point.

Cheers,
Rusty


message 4: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Martin | 18 comments Hi Rusty,
FWIW, death counts and distances have no bearing on whether or not I pick up a novel. Of only marginally greater importance are stakes such as those you describe (the possible end of existence). However, you're still too far zoomed out for me. I need to know if there are characters I'll connect with, and possibly a setting that's got some elements I'm going to love. The latter is much more rare, so I'd go with the former if I were you. Give me characters. Tell me what the personal stakes are for them. End of existence aside, I need to know what they are all about and what they will lose *in particular* if the bad guys win. Is Ursula on the verge of breaking into the elite art world of the Seven Galaxies? Total galactic ruination would destroy her chance! Is Arthur trying to reunite with his father, who's been ship-wrecked on a planet near the core of the next spiral slaying? Etc.


message 5: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Sophia wrote: "Hi Rusty,
FWIW, death counts and distances have no bearing on whether or not I pick up a novel. Of only marginally greater importance are stakes such as those you describe (the possible end of exis..."


You know...I knew I didn't want to click on post. Of course you are right. Oh...

"Williamson’s novel tackles complex issues surrounding the problems of immortality and perpetual youth, along with facing insurmountable challenges, without stinting on an emotionally compelling, action-packed plot. And the multilayered, eclectic characters each have their own carefully woven emotional patchwork.

The first installment of an intense, philosophical sci-fi series."--Kirkus

I didn't forget the elements you mentioned...the scope, width and breadth of my story is just in addition to the important things.

Thanks for replying.
Rusty Williamson


message 6: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Martin | 18 comments Rusty, the bit you quote isn't specific enough about the characters for me. :) Just in case you're still fiddling with it.


message 7: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Sorry, that's all Kirkus said on characters. If I get a review that is more specific I'll post it. :-) I did the best job I could on my characters and so far feedback/reviews seem very good. "fiddling with it"? Not sure what you mean, if it's character development or the book then no. Book one is done (except for adding the Kirkus review, Making the cover standout more and adding an excerpt from Book 2, LOL). Done being the relative word that it is.

r


message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 121 comments Rusty wrote: "Williamson’s novel tackles complex issues surrounding the problems of immortality and perpetual youth, along with facing insurmountable challenges, without stinting on an emotionally compelling, action-packed plot."

How does this series compare to another that uses rejuvenation and immortality, such as the Familias Regnant series by Elizabeth Moon?


message 9: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Marc wrote: "Rusty wrote: "Williamson’s novel tackles complex issues surrounding the problems of immortality and perpetual youth, along with facing insurmountable challenges, without stinting on an emotionally ..."

Haven't read that one...is it sci-fi?

Rusty


message 10: by Marc (last edited Jun 14, 2013 11:25AM) (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 121 comments Rusty wrote: "Haven't read that one...is it sci-fi?"

Moon is one of the best military SF writers around. The Familias Regnant series deals with an interstellar plutocracy that has discovered a repeatable rejuvenation process, and the social and military destabilizing effects. The main characters are military or upper-crust, only just discovering the can of worms they've opened. The issues of rejuvenation become steadily more important, but they mostly stick to the background, as being somehow causal to the main action of the books.


message 11: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Marc wrote: "Rusty wrote: "Haven't read that one...is it sci-fi?"

Moon is one of the best military SF writers around. The Familias Regnant series deals with an interstellar plutocracy that has discovered a rep..."


I'll definitely check it out. My favorite sci-fi author is Peter Hamilton and he uses rejuvenation. Have you read anything by him: Nights Dawn series, Pandoras Planet series, the Void series? The later two should be read in that order as 'Void' is a continuation.

Rusty


message 12: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 121 comments Rusty wrote: "My favorite sci-fi author is Peter Hamilton and he uses rejuvenation. Have you read anything by him: ..."

No. I'm much more into soft SF and Fantasy.


message 13: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Marc wrote: "Rusty wrote: "My favorite sci-fi author is Peter Hamilton and he uses rejuvenation. Have you read anything by him: ..."

No. I'm much more into soft SF and Fantasy."


Yeah Hamilton is not for the faint of heart.


message 14: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Martin | 18 comments Rusty wrote: ""fiddling with it"? Not sure what you mean, if it's character development or the book then no.

No! The press release!


message 15: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments Oh. I always assume people have read the previous posts.


message 16: by Derek (last edited Jun 17, 2013 09:14AM) (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) ??? I'd read the previous posts, and I wasn't sure if you were still fiddling with the press release, either.

I always assume that somebody asking for advice is interested in it. I'm usually wrong...


message 17: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Williamson (RustyWriter) | 10 comments I see that I wasn't very clear. I'm sorry for that. The 3rd post I said "Thank you for your response! It came too late but I backed away from that approach again anyway. ..." I'd already sent the PR out making the primary newsy item "Local author gets big thumbs up from Kirkus". That worked quite well.

Rusty


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