Beta Reading – New Reeferpunk Story from David Mark Brown!

I just wrapped up sending my feedback on the forthcoming newest installment in David Mark Brown’s Reeferpunk series of novels.  I also had the pleasure of beta reading his first two: Fistful of Reefer: Reeferpunk and The Austin Job.  His latest work builds on the two previous novels bringing back the main characters and throwing them once again into the line of fire.  This particular story’s setting struck a chord with me (yes, I am intentionally omitting details…) through the vivid descriptions David has created.  His character development continues to be strong amidst a good story.  If you are not reading to provide critical feedback, I think you will find David’s latest story a quick and fun read.

Oh – here’s a hint to anyone else beta reading, don’t use ePub in iBooks.  You can export (email, print) your notes, but not the highlighted sections.  The notes alone are pretty useless without the text to which they refer.  Several hours of transcription later…

How is the first revision of “The West Wind” going Don?

Ummm.  Well.  Not so well.

I’ve heard much about the fear and incapacitation caused by a blank page.  I am suffering the opposite.  The sight of a full page of my prose sends me running the other direction.  I keep finding plenty of other things to do…  such as…

I was flattered to be asked by David Mark Brown to beta read his latest work “The Austin Job.”  If you are a follower you recall that I had read and reviewed his first work: “Fistful of Reefer.”  This next installment brings back some “love to hate” characters from the first book and a few “easter egg” references for readers of Fistful to discover.  David continues to develop his narrative skills as he begins to explore the “punk” side of the v1.0 Xpunk genres.  Ever present are the over-the-top characters and action that I enjoyed from his first work.  Expected release date of “The Austin Job” is on or about December 24.

In the meantime… back to not doing what I should be doing…

Abney Park – Off the Grid

I have been a fan of Abney Park for a while now.  My favorite album of theirs is Aether Shanties, but with the forthcoming release of their new album “Off the Grid” I think I may find a new favorite!  I had the opportunity to preview a couple of the songs from the soon to be released album and thoroughly enjoyed them.  A ship date of mid-november is planned, but you can pre-order here.

If you are new to Abney Park – make sure you check out their videos online at their site and their RPG if you are still in doubt of the amount of talent this group has.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revision & Editing… Part 4

I have all the timelines worked out, the arrows all going the right way, etc.  If you have no idea what I mean… you probably missed the first three parts.

Step 8: Make it make sense.  This part is hard to describe.  I worked my way up and down the timelines making sure that the scenes flowed well.  I moved a whole chapter because it made more sense earlier in the book.  I also started making notes on some of the scenes suggesting additional content to rationalize action in another location.  I identified long strings of POV scenes without interaction with other POV characters (not sure how I feel about that yet… I suspect a lot of it will get cut maybe to re-appear as a short story…).  Finally, I highlighted the scenes that I wanted to insert as flashbacks.

Step 9: Put it all together.  Having all of the scenes and dependencies helped with the next steep: numbering the scenes in sequential order.  Using those numbers, I created a collection in Scrivener and added scenes to it in the newly assigned order.  Finally, I switched over to the outline view in Scrivener where I could see the scenes and word counts to try grouping them into chapters.  I ran into a bit of a problem here.  I had no idea how to create chapters in a collection and after banging my head against the wall way too long I did what I should have done sooner – gave up and just rearranged the scenes in the binder *Then* I could create my chapters.  With a few exceptions, I was able to group the scenes meaningfully and keep the word count around the 3,000 word mark.  Why 3,000?  Back to Stackpole for the answer – it is short enough to make you want to read “just one more chapter” before I put it down.

I should probably have named this string of posts “preparing for revision and editing” because now I am ready for the real work… the actual revision and editing part.  That’s all for this series of posts.  Thank for following along and please feel free to add your comments.

 

“Fistful of Reefer” (Reeferpunk) by David Mark Brown

Not exactly steampunk, but certainly western…

I got turned onto Brown’s “Fistful of Reefer” by the author himself having bumped into him in the Wild West Steampunk Saloon on S.W.A.G.  We kicked a couple of comments back and forth and he let on that he just released a novel in eBook format.  Intrigued, I downloaded a copy and gave it a shot.  Sorry to say, I had relatively low expectations.  Enough time looking at print-and-play boardgames and unpublished prototypes has left me a little jaded towards anything that has not come from a major publisher.

Well partner, I happy to say I was wrong.  Brown has spun a fun action adventure tale with interesting, believable and diverse characters.  I won’t belabor a full synopsis, but suffice to say it is a story about friendship, good guys, bad guys, lost races, orphans, contraband, hypocrisy, forgiveness and redemption set against a backdrop of a Saturday morning western.  The only thing missing is the Morricone soundtrack.

Reeferpunk?  Sure, why not.  I think the “*punk” breed of fiction lends itself to an ever expanding definition led by imaginative authors finding new ways to mashup the traditional with the unusual.   This is what indie press should be about, authors taking chances and pushing the boundaries.  Sure, there were some technical editing errors here, but the story was interesting enough that I really stopped caring and just focused on enjoying.

I am looking forward to David’s next effort and wish him all the best in his corner of the punk mashup genres.

¡Viva la Revolución!