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Online Fiction

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Halffast, Feb 1, 2004.

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  1. Halffast

    Halffast Member

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    Hi. Some of you may remember me from TFL. I am writing a SHTF novel and posting it on a Survival/Preparedness forum. I have recieved fairly good reviews there and I would like to share it with you.

    The title is 'Lights Out'. It is about a group of people and how they react to a large EMP burst. I have been writing it for almost a year and a half. It is a labor of love, but I have vague hopes of getting it published when it is finished. I would estimate that it is 60 to 70% finished so don't read it if you can't stand to be left hangin. I try to write one chapter a week, but sometimes it takes longer.

    It is availabe in PDF at this sight.

    http://mfco.net/surv/fiction/

    I would like to hear your comments, good or bad, so that I can improve the story. There are lots of firearms and some pretty good gunfights in the story and more to come. I am writing it so that my teenage children can read it. There is nothing explicit in the novel except the gun battles. I do have a few four letter words, but they are *****'d out by the language filter on the forum.

    If you read it, please be honest with me about your opinions. I have thick skin (been married 22 years) and I take constructive critism well.

    Thanks and God bless,

    David
     
  2. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    If you can't get it published Would you consider making copies and selling it yourself on floppies/CDs? NO production costs (floppies are dang near a dime a dozen. ) Good luck.
     
  3. Linux&Gun Guy

    Linux&Gun Guy Member

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    Its ok Halffast you can just say the forum is Frugal Squirrels. :D
     
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    You can always get it published with a "print to order" publisher. No cost to the author and little to the publisher as nothing is done until someone writes and pays for a copy.

    BTW, the quality isn't the same as an acid-free sewn hardback.

    editorial note - pg 66 "bough" for "bought"; p81 "Baretta" for "Beretta"; Ch 34, p34 & p35 "Baretta" for "Beretta"

    commentary - I noticed "pre-ban" used in describing some guns. I understand it, but would just as soon omit it. This is not criticism and is just my opinion FWIW.

    One light that went off in this dim bulb head of mine is pump action air rifles and handguns. Gotta have those for training & practice. Saves on 22s.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2004
  5. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    Quite posting and get back to work on this. Once you are done you can waste your time on message boards again. :) :)
    I like the FFL following the laws after SHTF....
     
  6. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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  7. Jay Kominek

    Jay Kominek Member

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    If you can handle typesetting, the ISBN stuff and one or two other things yourself, you can do even better than $499. Check Lightning Source: http://www.lightningsource.com/

    I havn't fully looked at Infinity, but as far as I know, the best you can do with the Library of Congress is to send them a few copies of your book, and maybe they'll include it in their collection, and maybe they won't.
     
  8. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Jkominek, I searched all over that website and it looks like it is for publishers and bookstores only, not individuals authors. As far as the Library of Congress, all you have to do is fill out their form and pay their fee and they will list your book in their archives.
     
  9. eoR

    eoR Member

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    I highly recommend 'Lights Out'! It's an excellent read and it looks like things (in the book) are getting ready to get really ugly.
     
  10. birddog

    birddog Member

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    If it's good...

    I haven't read your book yet, but if it's good enough to warrant publication, let me please give you a small piece of advice -- don't pay to get it published! Not one dime! Ever! Print-to-order houses lack anything approaching quality. It is not in their interest to put out a great product, just to collect your money. Ditto for subsidy-publishers (also known as vanity presses). Whew...that said, if it's good enough, start sending it out to publishers and let them pay you.

    Trust me.

    If you're just doing it for fun, just keep posting it on the net by all means. But if you think it's worthy of going into print, start seeking publishers right now. E-mail me, and I'd be glad to give you a few pointers.

    Joel
     
  11. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    I'm very happy for your publishing success, Birddog. My journey has been a bit different.

    Back in 2000, I finished my first novel. After sending out over forty inqueries to literary agencies, I received three responses. Only one of those three was a serious response. I sent in my manuscript and the agency agreed to represent me.

    In early 2001, I finished my second novel. Believing that it was vastly superior to the first and much more likely to be published, I requested that my agent stop representing the first and begin on the second.

    In mid-2003 I stopped corresponding with my agent due to a clear lack of progress. In his words, "I haven't received a response from any publishers yet." In November I finished my third novel. Rather than send it to my agent for more useless waiting, I have decided to use Infinity. The company was recommended by a co-worker of mine who has had moderate success with his own books. After a careful consideration of the facts I believe it will be a good investment. If time proves me wrong then so be it.

    It is also important to consider that most publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Baen Books is one notable exception.

    I'm not saying a fledgling writer shouldn't get a literary agent and go the traditional route, but in my case it isn't working. YMMV.
     
  12. birddog

    birddog Member

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    Devonai...

    I wish you the best of luck with Infinity. It definitely *can* work out, going the non-traditional route. I just recommend giving the traditional route a try, as you did, as profit margins are generally higher if you're successful. That said, I've had similar experiences to you with agents. My first book went through 20 agent-rejections, and 32 over-the-transom submissions. #33 was the charm and Safari Press picked up my book. The fact that I was regularly published in national outdoor magazines helped things along. Since then I sold Safari another book, which came out last year.

    I completed a novel in between those two books and am up to 50 agent-rejections (6 of them have actually looked at it), and several attempts at knocking on publisher's doors myself, hoping the fact that I have other books on the market would help me with my fiction. So far, it hasn't. So I do know where you're coming from. Right now, my novel is rotting away on the shelf since I've been unwilling to go the self-publishing or the pay-to-print route. Perhaps I am making a mistake by being so bullheaded, but I've gotten some advice from top authors not to go that way, so so far, I haven't.

    I sincerely hope things work out for you. If you have are searching for book-distibutors, you might give NBN a try.

    Joel
     
  13. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Halffast,

    Let me be blunt. I figured I'd poke around and read a few pages here and there....

    I just finished Chapters 1-10. Seventy-two pages. If I weren't tired, I'd have continued.

    I thought it was very well written. A real page-turner. This is going to sound weird, but from your descriptions in the book, I can picture the New Age Ranch, the characters, the area next to the house with the campers...just like I was there.

    I enjoyed how everything tied in together...Gunny being the wise neighbor, and the dollar box for Marks foul language. It makes me feel like I really know the characters.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck getting it published and hope that you finish it soon as I'm curious how it ends.

    esheato...
     
  14. Jay Kominek

    Jay Kominek Member

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    devonai, yes, it is for publishers, but it is very easy to do the work of a publisher. As I mentioned, you just need to handle the typesetting, ISBN registration, and get the little library data for the front inside cover made up. (which you could probably even skip for a work of fiction) It looks like Infinity will pay you 20% of the retail price(?) for each book you sell. Lightning Source pays you 100% of the difference between what it cost them to print the book, and the price you ask them to charge for it. (And they'll charge whatever you want.) Their per-unit costs are pretty reasonable. This book makes at least a couple dollars for the publisher every time Lightning Source sells a copy to amazon.com. (I can't remember exactly how much, and I can't get ahold of the fellow who knows, at the moment.)

    Regarding the LOC, I've never tried to get something in, myself. I guess the people I'd spoken with who had, couldn't follow directions.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with the quality, at all. I've got a book, in my hands, that was printed by Lightning Source, and I guarantee that there is no difference in quality between it and more conventionally printed books. You could order a book that is printed by Lightning Source and see for yourself, though.

    Its silly to say that it isn't in the interests of Lightning Source to produce a good product. If they sell crap, people will stop having them print their books, and they'll not get any more business.
     
  15. birddog

    birddog Member

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    it may be silly...

    ___________________________________________________
    Its silly to say that it isn't in the interests of Lightning Source to produce a good product. If they sell crap, people will stop having them print their books, and they'll not get any more business.
    ___________________________________________________

    I won't take your "silly" remark personally...but I suggest you subscribe to Writer's, or any number of other magazines out there with real-world stories from real authors on their opinion of the quality from pay-to-play publishers. I too have held many many of these in my hands, and found too often that they are typo-ridden. If you're not professional at your own editing, your book will end up unprofessional looking. Simple fact. Real publishing houses pay line-editors good money to correct these flaws for a reason. I've written for a long time, and am still amazed at what the line-editors catch with my manuscripts.

    I am really sorry, but...if, as you say, they sell crap only one thing will happen and that is, they will still have your money and still produce crappy quality from aspiring writers. It's just not the way it's supposed to work. That said, I hope Lightning Source is better than the publishers I've seen. It would hard for them to be worse.

    Any published writer will beg you to try publishing traditionally first. And with good reason.

    YMMV
     
  16. Jay Kominek

    Jay Kominek Member

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    Lightning Source isn't a publisher, please keep that in mind. Typos and lack of editing aren't their fault or concern. I thought you were referring to the quality of the paper, binding, cover, etc. They merely print stuff that people pay them to print. You have to supply your own editing, typesetting, etc. They make no claims to providing that service. Xlibris will do stuff like that, but they also strip you of some of your typesetting freedom. (And charge about $1000)

    And, sure, they may still have my money, but Lightning Source wants all of $50, if I recall correctly. (Plus $12/year.) You could burn through that mailing manuscripts around, and not have anything.

    I'd suggest most people try to publish traditionally at first, too. You get stuff like free marketing (though for authors' first books, I bet the houses don't care to try much, I've seen stories from real authors about that, too), and you don't have to typeset your stuff well. It isn't too big a deal to send a copy off to the publishers, etc. I'm just pointing out an alternative that worked for my organization.
     
  17. Halffast

    Halffast Member

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I hope to go the traditional route in getting it published. If that doesn't work, I may try doing what Matt Bracken did with EFAD. Right now, my main concern is getting the book finished.

    L&G Guy - Thanks. Some forums are a little funny about members plugging other sights. I'm glad this one isn't like that.

    Larry - It's funny how people react to situations that are unfamiliar to them. There are more examples of this later in the book as well.

    eoR - Thanks for the endorsement. I hope to get a wider response than just from us wacky survivalist.;)

    esheato - Thanks for the compliment. I am glad you are enjoying it. If you liked the first 10 chapters, I hope you will like the later ones even better. I feel that my writing, with the help of those that have read the story, has improved considerably from when I started.

    Thanks again,

    David
     
  18. Mornard

    Mornard Member

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    Halffast - is this your first attempt at a novel? Man, you done good - very will paced, interesting, good logic, etc.
     
  19. Scottmkiv

    Scottmkiv Member

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    Its very engaging, I'm probably going to end up staying up all night to read it :)

    I'm keeping a running list of typos I catch to send to you also.
     
  20. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    Your story grabbed me right away. I'm only a few pages in, and I want to read more.

    There's just one thing: My friend, you need to learn to punctuate.

    "Damn it!", he exclaimed.

    That should be...

    "Damn it!" he exclaimed.

    Here is the rule. If the speaker has finished a sentence (and you'd normally put a period), add a comma INSIDE the quotes:

    "I need to learn to punctuate," he said.

    If the speaker exclaims, use only the exclamation point:

    "I really need to learn how to puctuate!" he yelled.

    Questions work the same way:

    "Will I ever learn how to puctuate?" he wondered.


    Then, work on commas.

    The two of them had spent countless weekends together hunting and fishing much to the chagrin of their wives.

    That should be:

    The two of them had spent countless weekends together hunting and fishing, much to the chagrin of their wives.

    Many of your sentences run on like the one above. The rules are somewhat complicated, but try reading your story out loud. Listen for the pauses. Those are probably the places where you need commas.

    On page 8, a semicolon should appear after "busses." And the common spelling is "buses."

    Then check you homonyms. A sight is something you see. A site is a place. You made that error in your book and also in your first message of this thread.

    "Loose" is the opposite of tight. "Lose" is the opposite of find.

    A "drug" is medicine or dope. "Dragged" is the past tense of "drag."

    "Buhla" is probably "Beulah," doncha think?

    "Every body" is "everybody," unless you mean every dead body.

    And for the love of all that's holy, figure out the difference between "there" and "their" (hint: page 20).

    The Mexican name is "Manuel," not "Manual."

    Don't get me wrong: Your story is great. But if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, don't neglect the fundamentals.

    Or hire a good editor. (Hint: I am recently unemployed!)

    Good architecture doesn't make a good house -- it has to be built as well as it is designed.

    Good luck!

    Matt
     
  21. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    Just wait until you're scanning your 100,000 word text looking errors like "of" when you meant "off" or "to" when you meant "too," and other really nasty stuff the spelling and grammar checkers never catch. :neener:
     
  22. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I enjoyed what's out there. The typos don't bother me too much and I realize that the author is always the worst editor.

    Old Gunny Sgt. with a M-1 Garand. ARs, AKs, FNs, HK-91s, 1911s. Mutant zombie bikers get blasted. Miscreants being runned off. Decent folks coming out on top. What's there not to like? Ya did gud.
     
  23. MAURICE

    MAURICE Member

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    Ive only spent 3 minutes or so, and am on page 5 and I think I am hooked already. Finish it quick!!!
     
  24. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    Page 3--“I don’t know, Suze, I’m just an accountant.†Is it Suze or Suzy? You have it spelled both ways.

    Page 6, line 1-- “And do think you can dig up a map of the city?†should have you inserted after do.

    Page 7--“I guess you’re right. This whole thing is just kind of freaking me out. I’m sorry†needs a period at the end, after sorry.

    Page 9--About 40 hand went up. Add an "s" after hand.

    Page 12, last line--“Good you got it running. Add a comma after "Good,.

    Good stuff. That's all I have for now. How come it is that all this stuff surrounded by metal was unaffected yet the cars' computers get fried? They're all surrounded by metal too.:confused:


    GT
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2004
  25. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Don't forget the successes of small presses... Clancy's first book was the first fiction that his publisher had ever attempted.

    And I'm surprised that John Ross hasn't chimed in...
     
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