Tag Archives: novel

Running Hills, Writing Series

 

91SharpHill

When I began my first science fiction series, the first novel of the space-opera was a self-contained story, quite straightforward to write. The second felt more difficult, and I thought the third would be the last, but the story arc spilled out and I wrote a fourth (and last!) of the Jules-Verne saga series.

It felt like my training running hills. The first time is easy, but by the fourth time, my legs were almost quitting under me! That fourth and last novel of the series was the most difficult to write, since I had to wrap up the leads to complete the neat story arc.

Friendly advice on the Clarion blog

The Clarion foundation helps budding writers of genre (SF, fantasy, fantastique, horror) to develop and mature their style. I had the joy of being invited by Lynda Williams (the author of the Okal Rel saga)  to write a few posts from my own perspective of a SF writer with comic artist.

So my first post was about extending our writing roots to achieve a deeper connection with the reader. The illustrations are my own.

The last one is an  account of my big, fat, first novel and its endless incarnations!

Carrying a heavy novel project!

I am working on four more writing posts. Coming soon: The secret well of ideas, a another take at the well-known fan question: where do you get your ideas? 

Works in progress

A few short notices for April!

Working: on the fifth installment of the Chaaas’ Quest series, in French. I am developing the outline before getting to the actual writing. I am building new and exotic surroundings and exciting plotlines.

Otaku Ladies

The Otaku ladies Webcomic is on hold until after the elections.

Freshly done: 10 pages of Kite  Mistress, a graphic novel set in Chaaas’ Universe.

Translations: The first novel of the Chaaas’ Quest series has been fully translated in English. The second novel, Winds of Tammerlan, has been  translated, and is waiting for its final revision.

My YA novel Les Nuages de Phoenix, (The Clouds of Phoenix) is being toted around in Mexico for a Spanish translation.

Adaptations: The Clouds of Phoenix exists in treatment form for a feature movie adaptation. One movie company refusal, so far. The three first installements of the series Chaaas’ Quest have their synopses and treatments ready, available from the author.

Making plans: The serialized graphic novel adaptation: 12 chapters of Chaaas’ Quest have been prepared and the first chapter have been broken down into pages. I choose a simple manga style as in The General’s Garden.

Meet my fans: the success story fan

The successful fan... meets the slightly less successful writer!

Has this situation happened to you?

Fortunately, none of my old college friends are afflicted with such a materialistic mentality.   This meeting did not happen in a book fair, but at a dinner for young professionals at the Ecole Polytechnique. I was so well dressed that newcomers automatically takes me for a successful businesswoman. I had this same air as this comic  character…then, it is when they realize that I am a humble self-employed worker that potential contacts shy away.

For some media, the value of an artist or writer is primarily related to his or her financial success.

I do not scorn entrepreneurship itself, since I lead my own business. In a recent lecture given at a dinner of the AFAF, I mentioned that building a business, any kind of business,  requires a good dose of creativity!

SF and fantasy author Dean Wesley Smith (a prolific author who gives advice to young writers, his site is worth a visit) takes writing as a serious business. According to him, if you do not make a living from your writing, it is because you do not write enough or want it, work hard enough. This appears like a disdainful view of people whose productivity do not match his own. But the reasoning works also to remind us that we often find excuses for… not writing.

Well, there is an area for nuance or discussion, and all our situations and writing goals are not the same.  I like to dig a lot of infos for my SF novels…  besides doing comics as well. DWS believes in writing  a lot, and submitting a lot, and taking care of the business end. With a hundred novels published in twenty years or so,  he is an Olympic writing athlete himself! (A page in 10 or 15 minutes… faster than me, even when I have the story clear in my head).

This year, he gave himself the challenge to write 100 short stories for 2011. Yes, a hundred! There is already eight published, between 2500 and 6000 words each. It is fortunate that he repeats that every writer is different!  Nevertheless, his blog “Killing the sacred cows of publishing” offers great pointers and unorthodox advices.

DWS is very optimistic. In his opinion, publishers are always looking for new voices. And that too much rewriting  “blunts” your creative voice, the personal, original part of the creation.

It happened to me for my first novel Ithuriel (16 agonizing rewrites!), so his message resonates strongly with me. Obviously, DWS revises to correct the “ortograf”, or flagrant errors or blunders. But after that he rewrites only if his editor asks him. And after the contract is signed…

It was a stimulating reading for me. Dean Wesley Smith’s advices have the effect of  empowering a writer, reminding that he or she is not at the mercy of “the market” or agents. And to put the pleasure back in writing. Writers can achieve a good measure of “success” with effort and perseverance, without sacrificing their unique voice.
:^)

Splendors and miseries of the signing table

Another bookfair is coming at Montreal! And, if you are a lesser-known author, you might experiment this:

One hour at the signing table.

One hour at the round signing table

I drew this page after some signing sessions for my novel Piège pour le Jules-Verne, my table close to the Harry Potter stand.

Jean-Louis Trudel, my fellow SF writer, had accepted to figure in the comic, and even contributed to the scenario.

This page was originally published in a fanzine, (MensuHell) and found an echo with many friends and comic creators, among them, Christ Oliver , who did a piece on it (coming on my next post).

My profound sympathies to the all writers who will experiment that desertic bookfair at the Salon du livre de Montréal , very well frequented. When there are more than 800 writers vying for the public’s attention, it is bound to happen…

My S-F novel is a finalist of the GG awards!

Couverture des vents de Tammerlan

Les vents de Tammerlan,  the second tome of my Chaaas’ cycle, is now a finalist of the General Governor’s literary Awards in the children’s literature category.

“This captivating novel by Michèle Laframboise strays from the well-worn paths of science fiction. While conserving the essential elements of the genre, the author’s subtle, at times poetic, prose creates moving and colourful images and gives life to complex, lovable characters.

It has been a long time since any science-fiction book, and proudly assumed, was nominated for those awards. The last was Temps perdu, (1984) and Temps Mort (1988), by Charles Monpetit. Meanwhile, children’s and young adults book collections flourished, and SF was relegated in the shadows.

It is a small victory for my story and my paper children, and a larger victory for science-fiction, now recognized as a full  flavour of the literary ice cream!

“Les vents de Tammerlan” reaps an Aurora Award

My 2008 YA novel Les vents de Tammerlan (Winds of Tammerlan) was awarded the Aurora Prize for best novel in French published in Canada, Friday August 7th. The award ceremony for Canadian SF writers was held at the Anticipation WorldCon, at Montréal.

Christian, Danielle Martinigol et Michèle avec son trophée AuroraChristian Taralle, French author Danielle Martinigol and Michèle with her Aurora trophee.

Élisabeth et Michèle au banquet des Auroras.Élisabeth Vonarburg, Anticipation guest of honor, and Michèle, at the Aurora banquet, (before the announcements).

J’avais aussi deux nouvelles finalistes au Prix, mais c’est « Le Dôme de Saint-Macaire », de Jean-Louis Trudel (Solaris 167) qui a remporté le prix pour la meilleure nouvelle.

In English, the novel Marseguro, by Edward Willett (DAW Books), which I read, has been rewarded.

Lauréats des prix AuroraAurora winners. The Sunday artist is wearing red!

From left to right, the ceremony host, Liana Kerzner, Jean-Louis Trudel, Joel Champetier (Solaris magazine), Michèle Laframboise, Karl Johanson (NeoOpsis), Ed Willett.

Upon receiving the award, I congratulated all finalists.

The Aurora trophee is fortunately easy to take apart. The wooden base and all sharp metallic parts fitted in a back-sac. As I departed to Mississauga with tons of books, I left the trophee at my parent’s Montréal home.