Friday, February 18, 2005


I don't like preachiness.

What I do like is that an author teaches me something, beyond telling me a good story, without being preachy. I mean, if after reading a story, I get a sense of why being a vegetarian is a good thing, so be it. I'll be glad to listen. But don't whack me in the head with a 2x4. Also, if every good character is a certain way (vegetarian, animal-lover, etc.), and every bad character is another way, IMHO, it's lazy writing, stereotypes, flat characterization. Your characters should be human first, and not just objects that fit well into predefined boxes. For example, in a great political satire, not all Republicans are selfish snobs, and not all Democrats are whiny liberals. When you shy away from these stereotypes, that's when your characters and story become real and interesting.

I think.

On Synopsis

There's the jacket blurb/summary: a few paragraphs.

There's the short synopsis: 1-2 pages.

There's the longer synopsis: 3-5 pages.

There's the really long synopsis: 5-15 pages.

Ask the agent when you're not sure.

The following is the summary/blurb of my novel, The Pacific Between:

"Betrayal makes us do strange things."

When Greg Lockland returns to California for his parents' funeral, he discovers letters that suggest an affair between his ex-lover, Lian, and his late father. Suspicions, anger and jealousy take Greg on a transpacific journey to find the truth. One by one, people from the past return to his life, including elusive and perfect Lian. Uncovering deep-rooted deceptions creates more twists and turns to the past than an old Chinese alleyway.

The Pacific Between evinces the power of unconditional love and deals with personal subjects such as death, estrangement, and betrayal. It is a man’s journey to discover himself and the world around him. Set in beautiful Asia and told with wit and humor, this nostalgic tale speaks true to the heart about relationships, families, and sacrifices.

Backing Up

I back up my files like crazy. I think it's very important and my past experiences have taught me something valuable: the PC may go anytime. Without warning.

There are many places where I back up my most important files (final drafts, WIPs, personal data files, financial information, contact information, etc.):

- three hard drives on different machines
- SD disks (so I can take them with me)
- Apple iDisk (250MB)
- An online account (30MB storage)
- MSN storage...

My contact information is on my PDA, all my PCs, as well as two online acounts.

In this age of cheap PC and viruses, it's very important to have redundancy. Save yourself a lot of grief.