Category Archives: Stadler

“I’M NOT A BOY!” said Arya Stark

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A GAME OF THRONES

–by GEORGE RR. MARTIN

Gets 5 out of 5 Lattes!

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength, and then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” –George Martin

got book 1

1. CHARACTERS [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
The development of the characters in A Game of Thrones is like a very slow snowball bounding down a hill. There is little momentum at first, and it seems that there isn’t much aim.

They are just men and women living out their lives, one trying to get a better hand at life than the other.

Somewhere along the line, we start caring about the characters, particularly Eddard Stark, also known as Ned Stark. He is the noble and honorable father of children, each of whom are lords to the castle of Winterfell.

 

But behind every nobleman is dark past that looms, and we are left to see Ned’s oldest son, Jon Snow, be shunned by Winterfell and the lady of Winterfell, Ned’s wife Catelyn, because Jon Snow is Ned’s illegitimate son — a bastard.

There are a slew of other characters who are named in Book 1 of  A Song of Ice and Fire (the actual name of the series, not A Game of Thrones, as many may believe).

One particular character is a dwarf named Tyrion Lannister who is a lord himself of house Lannister, but because of his size, he is hated, much like Jon Snow. Due to Tyrion’s height, he has chosen to use his tongue instead of his sword to fend off his enemies, and he does a jolly good job of it!

My favorite character would have to be Arya Stark, Ned’s younger daughter. She doesn’t want to be lady like her sister Sansa, and so she picks up swords and longs to be soldier like her brother Rob Stark or Jon Snow, both of whom she adores.

You won’t find any characters in this book whom you hate because of how poorly they are written (i.e. bad writing). However, you will certainly find characters whom you hate due to how well they are written — characters whom I will not name for fear of spoiling a great tale!

2. WRITING STYLE [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
The writing style of George Martin is one to emulate. It is as if his pen has disobeyed him and chosen to write the story itself, splashing ink across the papyrus and designing letters in an ancient calligraphy that Martin himself could not comprehend, even if he tried.

One of the opening lines of the book is: “Fear filled his gut like a meal he could not digest.” That image is so vivid that I cannot get it out of my mind. And this line alone is not one that unique to the story.

In fact, imagery along these lines are speckled through the story like neatly placed flowers, sprouting up like beautiful blossoms as you saunter by with your eyes.

Even in my foolish attempts, I cannot mimic Martin’s writing style. I would say that he is the Tolkien of our day, being able to take lords and ladies of the 16th century and transfer them to an audience that specializes in twitter-speak and text-talk.

3. PLOT [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
The plot is similar to watching water boil.

Though we have come to associate that phrase with something ill, actually it’s not a bad problem to have. The issues in this book seem very mild at first — a bastard son, a cunning dwarf, a spoiled prince.

With a few smacks on the wrist, it appears that the conflicts could be easily resolved. However, the more you read, the more intricate the plot becomes, and once that first boiling bubble bursts, you are in for some heated trouble!

The Starks, our heroes, are cast into scenarios that we would never have wished on our worst enemies, except the Lannisters of course, but even then, the lines between good and evil seem to dissolve like salt bubbling within the boil.

Also in this story is the fantasy element that seems to be like a distant other character, coming at you in the darkness, though you cannot see from which direction it comes. Having read through book 3, I see its direction, but in book 1, the fantasy is very minimal.

That said, the plot is so powerful that you don’t consider the fantasy that much at all. And if you’re chomping at the bit for fantasy, then you’ll get a healthy dosage of it about 75% into book 1, but you’ll need patience, because remember, George Martin always pays his debts

4. BELIEVABILITY [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
There was not one place in this book where I said, “Okay, now you and I both know that could never happen!!

The story is linked together in a very compelling cause and and effect, hand in hand kind of way. One thing leads to another, but never do you get the feeling that George Martin is playing a hand in devising what happens.

His characters seem like real people with real emotions who do real things, even at the expense of the reader’s petty little feelings. If you are looking for the typical epic fantasy, this is not the book for you. There are many others out there that would suffice; but if you want a story with a fantasy backdrop, this is it.

One thing that bothered me for an instant was how the Starks found these animals called Direwolves. The Direwolves are these rare mega wolves which happen to also be the sigil of the Stark household.

It seems out of place for this event, but the Starks just happened upon 6 Direwolf pups whose mother had died. The pups were going to die too, so the Starks each take pup — one for each of the children. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that there just happened to be an albino pup for the bastard Jon Snow.

That seemed a bit coincidental and contrived, but I easily looked past it since the rest of the book, and the book up to that point, were believable. However, strike 1, George.

5. GRAMMAR [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
This goes without saying: the grammar is great, and the dialects that come about, along with the slang, are easy to read.

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I highly recommend reading this book. Start now while it’s summertime, because…winter is coming.

OBSOLETE AND ANONYMOUS by JA KONRATH

So I read this blog, and I figured I would quote he whole thing: visit his site at jakonrath.blogspot.com

I tried to color code the voices, but I ran out of colors so you might notice some repeats.

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Moderator: Welcome to Obsolete and Anonymous! I’ve gathered you all here to welcome our latest member, the Print Industry.

Print Industry: Hello, everyone. But there’s been a mistake. I don’t belong here.

(chuckles all around)

Print Industry: I’m serious. I’m not obsolete. I’m relevant. Print books have been around for hundreds of years. They’re never going to be replaced.

VHS Tapes: Yeah, we all thought like that once.

LP Records: It’s called denial. It’s tough to deal with at first.

VHS tapes: Easy for you to say, LP. You’ve still got a niche collector market. They can’t even give me away on eBay.

Antique Stores: Can we please not mention eBay? I used to have stores all over. But more and more keep closing thanks to that good-for-nothing website.

CDs: At least you still have some stores left. The specialty stores that sell me are almost extinct. I’m down to a few narrow isles at Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Print Industry: Look, everyone, I assume you all think that ebooks are going to put me out of business. But that won’t happen.

Ma Bell: We all deny it at first. I remember when you couldn’t walk twenty yards in a city without seeing a pay phone. Then those gosh darn cell phones came along. Do you know some people don’t even have land lines anymore? Used to be a land line in every home…

(Ma Bell begins to cry. Print Phonebooks joins in. So does Dial Up Modems. Encyclopedia Britannica, wearing an I Hate Wikipedia T-Shirt, pops a few Prozac. A group hug ensues.)

Video Rental Store: What Ma Bell is trying to say is that when a technology comes along that’s faster, easier, and cheaper, the old technology–and all the companies that supported it–tends to fade away.

Print Industry: Why are you here, Video Rental Store? There are still Blockbuster Videos everywhere.

CDs: There were record stores everywhere once.

Cassette Tapes: Hell yeah! They sold cassettes, too! Someone give me a high five!

(no one gives Cassette Tapes a high five)

Video Rental Store: Things looked good for a while. I had a decent, twenty-year run. Then I got hit by all sides. Netflix, shipping DVDs though the mail. On Demand. Tivo. YouTube. But the nail in the coffin came in the past two years. Hulu. Roku–which allows Netflix subscribers to stream video instantly. iTunes and Amazon offering movie downloads. Red Box, which rents DVDs for 99 cents and takes up no more space than a Coke machine…

Print Industry: But ebooks are just a tiny percentage of the market. People have been reading print since Gutenberg. They won’t adapt to change that easily.

Kodak: You’re correct. It takes a few years for people to fully embrace new technology. Some never do. Polaroid never replaced me.

Polaroid: Shut up, Kodak. We both got our asses kicked by digital. When was the last time you sold any 110 film?

TV Antennas: I’m still big in some third world countries!

Typewriter: The bottom line is: when technology improves, it becomes widely adopted. Me and Carbon Paper used to have a groovy thing going. I’d make the words, he would make the copies. Then Xerox got into the act, but he’s not doing well now either.

Xerox: F*cking computers.

Floppy Disc: You said it!

Dot Matrix: F*cking laser and inkjet. Doesn’t anyone else miss tearing off the perforated hole punches on the side of paper? Don’t they miss the feel and smell of that?

Fold-Out Paper Maps: I agree! Isn’t it fun to open up a big map while you’re driving, in hopes of figuring out where you are? Don’t you miss the old days before cars came equipped with GPS and no one ever used that bastard, MapQuest?

CDs: F*cking internet. That’s the problem. Instant access to information and entertainment for the whole world. You guys want to talk about pirating and illegal downloads?

(everyone shouts out a collective no!)

Moderator: We all read on JA Konrath’s blog that the way to fight piracy is with cost and convenience. Print Industry, are you lowering your prices and making it easier for customers to download your books?

Print Industry: Actually, we just raised prices on our ebooks.

(collective sighs and head shaking)

Moderator: Well, far be it for you to learn from any of our mistakes. Are you making it easier at least?

Print Industry: Well, we’ve begun windowing titles, releasing them months after the hardcover comes out.

(collective head slapping)

Music Industry: Have you at least tried selling from your own site? I wish I’d done that. But that upstart Apple came along…

Print Industry: Uh… no. We haven’t tried that. In fact, some ebooks–we’ll use JA Konrath as an example since he was mentioned–aren’t even available on all platforms and in all territories.

Moderator: What do you mean? Konrath’s ebooks are available all over the place.

Print Industry: Those are the ones he uploads himself. The ones of his that we sell are missing from several key markets, and have been for years. But it’s okay. We’re paying him much smaller royalties and jacking the prices up high so we can still make a profit. Besides, ebooks are a niche market. Ereading devices are dedicated and expensive.

Arcades: I used to be a thriving industry. Kids spent billions of quarters in my thousands of locations. But then Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft made home arcade machines, and now people play their videogames on dedicated devices. It’s a multi-billion dollar business now, and I can only compete if I sell shitty pizza and give out plastic trinkets to kids with the most foosball tickets. If people want the media, they buy the expensive device. Period.

Print Industry: None of you are listening to me. Print will always be around.

Newspaper Industry: Yeah! What he said!

Print Industry: Let’s not compare ourselves, okay Newspaper Industry? No offense.

Newspaper Industry: None taken. Hey, maybe we can help each other. I’m selling advertising space for dirt cheap these days, and…

Print Industry: No thanks. No one reads you anymore. People get their news elsewhere.

Moderator: So why won’t people get their novels elsewhere as well?

(Print Industry stands up, pointing a finger around the room.)

Print Industry: Look, this isn’t about me. All of you guys have become irrelevant. Technology marched on, and you didn’t march with it. But that WILL NOT happen to me. There will always be bookstores, and dead tree books. We’ll continue to sell hardcovers at luxury prices, and pay artists 6% to 15% royalties on whatever list price WE deem appropriate. And the masses will buy our books BECAUSE WE SAID SO! WE SHALL NEVER BECOME OBSOLETE!!!

Buggy Whip Industry: Amen, brother! That’s what I keep trying to tell these people!

CDs: (whispering to LPs) I give him six years, tops.

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Joe sez: I wrote the above three years ago. So what has changed since then?

Every video rental store in my area has disappeared. Blockbuster Video filed for bankruptcy and now has 500 stores left in the US. They once had 9000.

Kodak filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. In 2010, you could still buy 35mm film everywhere. Now you can’t.

One of the two major bookstore chains, Borders, has closed.

The last commercially produced typewriter was donated to a museum.

The US has almost entirely switched to digital TV.

Roku supported Netflix streaming video. Now Netflix comes preinstalled on new TVs, Blu Ray players, Wiis, Xboxs, Playstations, 3DS, Vistas, WD Live, and Apple TV. It can be installed on the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nook. Amazon also streams video, free to Prime members.

Since getting my rights back, my income from those titles has gone up over 1000%.

The print industry still hasn’t raised author royalties. They faced a DOJ lawsuit for price fixing, allegedly keeping ebook prices high, and have settled. Paper sales continue to decline, while ebook sales continue to rise.

The buggy whip industry still hasn’t recovered.

YOU DON’T NEED EYES TO SEE

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ORACLE by JC Martin Gets 4 out of 5 Lattes!

“You don’t need eyes to see.” — JC Martin

I would say, “you don’t need eyes to see,” that ORACLE is DANG good book! I’m giving it 4 cups of coffee because you’ll want to be jacked up on caffeine so that you can stay up all night enjoying this great read!

oracle

1. CHARACTERS [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
JC Martin puts you right into the driver’s seat of the action with a very vibrant first scene, telling you exactly how things are going down. The opening scene is vivid and risqué, but not over the top, which is a big plus for me. Continue reading

STORY IS KING!!

HOW YOU CAN GET AS MUCH OUT OF YOUR NARRATIVE AS YOU CAN

So there’s action and thrills and world-building and plot progression and character development and all kinds of -ers, -ings, and -ments that go along with writing.

There are dozens of rules and just as many ways to break those rules, and then there are punctuation patterns and story enders and finishers. It seriously can become as daunting as Santa’s Christmas list.

But in the end, there’s one thing that remains…the story. Continue reading

Savvy Writers & e-Books online

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From the small town of Reidsville, and now from Raleigh, North Carolina, William Stadler enjoys writing novels, specifically in the epic fantasy genre where heroes and villains come to life.

William Stadler: “I wrote short stories in sixth grade, and my teacher used to give us six or seven lines to fill in. I’d use those seven lines, and then I’d turn the sheet over and fill up half of the back.  After that, I didn’t write extensively again for over fifteen years (except for a poetry phase).

But then something crazy happened. Steve Jobs died. I’m not typically bothered by the death of a celebrity, but Steve Job’s death really got to me. I started reading some of his quotes, and one said, “Set a goal, and work at it everyday.

Now I’ve heard that philosophy all my life, but something about that instance really got me thinking about what I…

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FIGHT ON!

HOW TO CREATE A BATTLE SEQUENCE

Free Digital Photos

Free Digital Photos

For all the fantasy / thriller / sci-fi people out there, this post should be helpful — something to aid you in sorting out an intense battle sequence. If you’re anything like me, whenever I think about a large-scale fight, I tend to cringe. In fact, in The Pioneers Saga, there are several of such sequences, and there were times in my writing where I found myself skipping the fight scene so that I could get on to something that was a stronger writing point for me.

 But after my escapism writing was done Continue reading

A WORD-WIELDER

HOW TO WRITE GREAT COPY

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Free Digital Photos

Copy is something all self-publishers need to develop. In fact, I would even say that all writers need to have great copy. Unfortunately, developing this skill is tough, since the books about copy relate more specifically to marketing for business rather than for fiction.

And if you write fantasy and sci-fi…good luck honing that copy talent.

The task of presenting your work in a few short lines seems impossible. I mean, how are you supposed to reduce 100,000 words to 100 words? That’s a 1,000% reduction! Continue reading

GIGGITY GIGGITY GIVE-AWAY

HOW TO BE TOTALLY AWESOME {note the Family Guy referenece above}

So for a limited time (not sure how limited – but certainly not longer than the end of the world – but probably until I run out of supplies), I will literally be GIVING AWAY awesome T-Shirts of EXTRACTED.

And how can one receive a free T-Shirt?

Simply request a size ALONG WITH which province from EXTRACTED you’d want to be associated with if you were a citizen of Clydenholm:

NATURALISTS Jade Emblem : Command creatures via psyche. Communicate through thoughts.
SPIRITUALISTS Violet Emblem : Command spirits – both from the living and the dead.
POLARISTS Azure Emblem : Lower temperatures with the best being able to raise temperatures.
MATERIALISTS Auburn Emblem : Separates molecules and reforms them to create usable compounds.

With your EXTRACTED T-Shirt, you will also receive an emblem corresponding to the province which you selected.

Just comment on this page with which province you like best, then email that comment along with your address, and I’ll get your gift to you right away!! (Remember to include your T-shirt size in the email).

Send to: StadlerStyle@gmail.com

Note: T-Shirt text says: The Pioneers Extracted by William Stadler.