All posts for August 2018


Go Elsewhere, Young Man

"The best way to write fiction is to read, watch, and listen to anything but fiction." I am not sure that it is the best way, but I think it is ultimately one of the most valuable.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/28 17:00

A Steven Savage think-piece:

Writing Fiction By Ignoring It - Steven Savage

When you’re reading fiction you’re getting lessons in things like how to write. There are examples of portraying emotions, plotting a tight story, and so on. You may be inspired by some of the ideas, but inspiration from someone else’s fiction can only take you so far because those ideas come from that given author. If you only take inspirations from fictional works that you are at best A) deconstructing them (worthy but at times limiting) or B) imitating them (which we have enough of, thanks).

The lead-in to this is the provocative statement, "The best way to write fiction is to read, watch, and listen to anything but fiction." I am not sure that it is the best way, but I think it is ultimately one of the most valuable.

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Tags: Steven Savage Dialogues  inspiration  writers  writing 


Genji Press: Projects: Give It Away Now (August 28, 2018 Edition)

UPDATED 8/28: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/28 17:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie:

My sorta-kinda space-opera novel Flight Of The Vajra is also available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie: 

Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, editing blunders, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Flight of the Vajra  Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 5: The Characters

An introduction to the roster of characters for my new novel, starting with the leads.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/24 08:00
In the weeks leading up to the release of my new novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, I'll be making a series of posts to serve as an extended introduction to the book — its origins, its influences, its themes, its setting and characters. Enjoy.

(See all entries in this series here.)

With any story the entry point for me isn't the concept but the people. I can't write a story if all I have is a gimmick; it means nothing unless there's someone for that gimmick — and that story — to happen to.

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Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Behind The Scenes  characters  creativity  projects  writing 


Genji Press: Projects: Give It Away Now (August 24, 2018 Edition)

UPDATED 8/23: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/23 17:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday. But this time it's on Thursday. Whatever.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie:

My sorta-kinda space-opera novel Flight Of The Vajra is also available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie: 

Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, editing blunders, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Flight of the Vajra  Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


For Me Or For Them Or For Us?

When you start by trying to please others instead of yourself, you end up pleasing no one.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/22 09:00

I'm back from around two weeks of traveling and vacation. Still getting up to speed on this end, but here's a post for now.

One idea I come back to often is how what is popular is not always a good model for an aspiring creator. There are many reasons not to do things in the mold of a blockbuster movie or best-selling novel, not least of which being that when you start by trying to please others instead of yourself, you end up pleasing no one.

The other day, someone else put this question to me: What if what I want and what other people want really are the same thing? Well, that just makes me drop back to the original question: do you really want those things, or is that just what you'll settle for because it's convenient, because it's popular, because it's an easy thing for other people to plug into?

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Tags: audiences  creativity  creators 


And Bear In Mind

I'm on vacation this week and not posting much, but here's some Links Of Note that crossed my desk.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/14 19:00

I'm on vacation this week and not posting much, but here's some Links Of Note that crossed my desk:

  • An interview with philosopher Galen Strawson about free will. I'm not completely convinced his conclusions are sound — I feel like he's conflating a few different areas where free will manifest in slightly different ways (e.g., the way we deal with it internally vs. the way we use the implications of such things to craft policy and social constructions). But it's still worth reading.
  • "In “Playing Changes,” Nate Chinen argues that we’re living in a brilliant new phase of jazz, and offers an annotated guide to his favorite performers," says the New York Times in its review of the book.
  • Pretty good essay about being less wrong. (Yeah, I know, it's on Medium — aptly named because it's neither rare nor well done, but this one is worth the read.)

Normal service will resume by the middle of next week.


Tags: links  real life 


Genji Press: Projects: Give It Away Now (August 14, 2018 Edition)

UPDATED 8/14: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/14 08:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie:

My sorta-kinda space-opera novel Flight Of The Vajra is also available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie. (See other books in the same lot!)

Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, editing blunders, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Flight of the Vajra  Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


Genji Press: Projects: Give It Away Now (August 7, 2018 Edition)

UPDATED 8/7: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/07 08:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie:

My sorta-kinda space-opera novel Flight Of The Vajra is also available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie. (See other books in the same lot!)

Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, editing blunders, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Flight of the Vajra  Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


The Dreaming System

On de-romanticizing the writing process.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/05 17:00

For a variety of reasons — social commitments, mostly — I won't be posting much for the next couple of weeks. Aside from that, I have the last round of cleanup/formatting for Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned to take care of, and some thinking about what the next book will be. That and how to make it happen without relying on wishful thinking or magic.

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Tags: writing 


Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 4: The Story

How the diverse influences for my new novel shaped its story.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/03 17:00
In the weeks leading up to the release of my new novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, I'll be making a series of posts to serve as an extended introduction to the book — its origins, its influences, its themes, its setting and characters. Enjoy.

(See all entries in this series here.)

In my previous installment in this series, I talked about the major influences on my forthcoming novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. Here, I'm going to talk about the way those influences came together to form a story.

Read more


Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Behind The Scenes  creativity  influences  projects  writing 


Unknown Treasures

One of the things I always hated about myself was how I was, in theory, supposed to be this gigantic SF nerd, and as it turns out I really wasn't.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/03 08:00

One of the things I always hated about myself was how I was, in theory, supposed to be this gigantic SF nerd, and as it turns out I really wasn't. A weird thing for someone to feel, when most of what they write is ostensibly SF or fantasy.

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Tags: reading  science fiction 


Revenge Of The Big Lie

I don't see any of this ending well, but I'd rather be on whatever side of history valued verifiable truths over comfortable lies.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/01 17:00

Worshiping the False Idols of Wellness - The New York Times

We all mistake repetition for accuracy, a phenomenon called the illusory truth effect, and knowledge about the subject matter doesn’t necessarily protect you. Even a single exposure to information that sounds like it could be quasi-plausible can increase the perception of accuracy.

Back when I followed the efforts to counter the then-nascent Holocaust denial movement, I saw examples of this very phenomenon play out time and again. The mere restatement by Holocaust deniers of something that had no demonstrable reality was reality enough for people who took emotional comfort in it, whatever it might have been. Even people who didn't know they could be taken in by such bombardment were suckered by it once it came along.

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Tags: psychology  skepticism  sociology  truth 


An Open Book (actually, a whole lot of them)

In praise of the Open Library project and the late John Holt.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/08/01 08:00

For those who haven't yet discovered it, I need to recommend The Open Library. It's an online resource that collates the collections of many libraries around the world, and offers some of them as ebooks that can be checked out for two weeks at a time. Membership is free. The collection is spotty, but pawing through it yields much of the same delight as a used bookstore. Maybe much of it is mediocre or outright trash, but gems abound if you look for them.

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Tags: Internet  education  libraries 


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