Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come on Irene

I know the joke in the title has probably been done already, but I couldn't resist.  Bonus points if you catch it.

Anyway, it is gratifying to hear that this hurricane that everyone was panicking about turned out to be more of a whimper instead of a bang.  The last thing the United States needs right now is a major natural disaster, all things considered.

 Still, it did considerable damage.  Let's hope it isn't too bad.

On the bright side, this hurricane brought out one of America's finest heroes to help make sure no one was hurt. Don't believe me?  Check this link out.

Some things are just too awesome for words.  Thankfully, for me writing this blog, this isn't one of them.  Still, it's pretty cool how some people can just take this so calmly.

Humor aside, if any of you reading this are up in the New England region and getting rained upon, I hope you and your families and friends are safe and stay that way.

Although I'm a bit irked about the screw-ups to the MLB schedule this caused, it's a small price to pay for how lucky the rest of the region was.

I don't have much else to say, except that work on the novel continues.  It's been a little slow lately, but I hope I can speed it up this next week.  (It doesn't help that I was out of town for most of today.)  The end is in sight...and I cannot wait for it.

Stay frosty, my friends.  (Not thirsty, though.  I don't want you to go thirsty.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The unreveal of the novel, plus more rambling

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I was a bit busy this last week with odds and ends.

It doesn't help that I've been writing the climax of my novel.  One thing I've learned is that scenes you envision in advance are much easier to write than making stuff up as you go.  And naturally, this being the climax, I've had this scene in mind for a while.

That doesn't mean it's exactly how I originally pictured it, of course.  I've adapted my ideas over time.  In fact, the novel looks nothing like I originally envisioned.  The main characters are different, the tone is different, and the ending? Definitely different.

On that subject, I know I haven't told you much about what the novel's about.  That much isn't going to change.  I'm going to be cautious about this.

But I can provide a few general details.  The novel is set in a fairly Tolkein-esque world, with the usual mix of races like dwarves, orcs, and such.  I wasn't trying to do anything too out there in terms of setting.

As for the actual plot, I'm not going to tell you what it is, but I can tell you what it isn't.  The plot itself is very far removed from Tolkein-style high fantasy adventure.  I'm honestly tired of such things.  Saving the world is nice and all, but it's a bit much of a stretch when everyone has to do it.

I know it's pretty disappointing, for the 3.1415 of you that currently read this, to know I'm not telling you that much.  I can live with that.  Once it's available, I'll feel more comfortable talking about it.

Not that I expect someone to rip me off though, but caution never hurts.  While I have been accused of being too cautious in the past, it has worked for me.  Hopefully, it will continue to do so.

Well, this whole affair turned into me rambling about my weird views, so I guess I'd better stop here before I say something ridiculous.  It can get tempting at times, but I'm not about to fall to that.

Anyway, I'll try to remember not to go too long between posts next time.  Keep those cameras safely rolling, and honey...oh wait, I'm not married.  Guess I can't steal that joke after all.

Take care everyone.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Proper" techniques

I was looking a catalog for a nearby college, taking a curious peek into what writing courses they offered.  My main reason for doing so was trying to find a few local writers like me to meet and swap stories with.  I figured someone there would be interested in looking at my work, and someone who's work I was interested in in turn.

However, the selection was fairly limited, and almost all of it seemed geared at people who haven't any real experience writing.  I naturally had a few doubts about this.  After all, if I came into that situation with a little more knowledge of what I'm doing, however slight, it could be a problem if everyone was looking up to me or something.

More disturbingly, though, one line caught my eye as I was reading the description for one of the courses.  It mentioned the goal of teaching you "proper techniques for successfully plotting a novel".

All I could say to that was a big fat "Huh?"

Now, I'm hardly the greatest expert at writing, but I'm pretty sure there is no "proper" way to go about any facet of writing, no "right" way.  There's a few general guidelines that one would be smart to follow (use good grammar, silly people!), but a writer is free to ignore them as they wish.

Now, I'm not so stupid that I would judge a book by its cover.  I'm well aware that the teacher for this course could be excellent at actual writing, and have had nothing to do with this description. But...

It's telling that they have to sell writing courses as teaching "proper techniques".  It shows that people still think of writing the wrong way, for this sort of thing to actually work.  And given that they are running this in their catalog, it pretty clearly works.

Doesn't matter to me, as I'm not going to take that course.  I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing with my plot.  Now their course on publishing (in dead tree format) is something I'm going to look into.  I can meet people that way, and actually learn something.

At least, that's what I'm hoping.  I'll probably do a little more digging into the course first.  Research is always helpful. Once that's done, then I'll make my decision.  I have a month or so to do it, judging from the time frame (course is in October).

For now though, I'll just keep on writing.  Same Chris Mitchell time, same Chris Mitchell channel.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Welcome all

Well, this is an unusual feeling, starting a blog like this. It's kind of difficult for me to know what to type here.

I suppose I'd better give some background info. As you might have already guessed, my name is Chris Mitchell. Also, as you might have already guessed, I'm an author. Well, not really.

I'm a fairly semi-ordinary guy, who just so happens to be working on my first novel, a nifty little fantasy story, which is fairly close to completion. It should be done within the next month or so, and then I plan to publish it digitally.  If all goes well, I'll be able publish it in dead tree format as well.  If not...hey, they can't all be winners.

I know it's somewhat pretentious (had to get an excuse to use that word somewhere) to call myself an author when I haven't published anything yet. It is kind of nerve-racking, knowing I'm putting myself out here like this.

But my book isn't going to sell itself, so I came up with this oh-so-brilliant idea of promoting it this way. Or maybe not so brilliant. Time will tell.

Part of the reason I went with "Chris Mitchell the Author", incidentally, was due to my name. It may surprise you to learn that Chris Mitchell is a very common name. Lots of Chris Mitchells out there in the world. One of you may even know one.

Since I had no desire to write under a pseudonym, I had to find a way to make my Chris Mitchell-ness stand out from all the other Chris Mitchells. Hence "the Author" got added. Some may not like it, but hey, it should draw attention, shouldn't it?

Since I'm starting to ramble, I think I'll end this post soon. Before I go, I'll go ahead and post my contact info for those who like e-mailing a random guy claiming to be an author. You can e-mail me at

I'll probably update this blog two to three times each week, discussing everything from the state of Major League Baseball to what books I've read to how my writing goes. It's really depending on how much time I have. Maybe some people out there will enjoy this...and hopefully I'm one of them.