C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

WORST SEX SCENE IN A MODERN NOVEL – A Special, Rotting Post Competition

Oh, for the love of Thor, NO!

The Rotting Post

Just how horrible can a sex scene in a contemporary novel get?

This is the critical question we at The Rotting Post intend to answer.   We will offer two of the worst descriptions of sex ever recorded in a serious novel as our finalists.  And you the reader can choose for the winner!

worst sex 2

Needless to say, there are many ways to write a bad sex scene.  Before we get to our more current examples, let’s see how David Guterson did it way back in 1994, in his hugely successful, “Snow Falling On Cedars”:

He held her tightly in the curves of her waist, and after a while lower, at her hips…

Then his hands left her hips and traced the line of her waist and traveled along up under her dress to  the clasp of her bra…He undid the clasp without struggling and pulled the shoulder straps down…

His hands…

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How Janet Evanovich Writes

Live to Write - Write to Live

I recently picked up a copy of Janet Evanovich’s (with Ina Yalof) How I Write – Secrets of a Bestselling Author (2006.) The book is written in question/answer format which makes it a little tough to read (no real continuity) BUT if you can stick with it, it’s filled with tons of good information from a very accomplished (and fellow Granite Stater) writer.

janetI have yet to go to see an author without someone asking if the writer is a “pantser or plotter” A pantser writes by the seat of their pants and a plotter outlines and plans what they will write (for the record I am a 100% plotter.)

It’s the question everyone wants to know – how do you do that voodoo that you do so well? Read how Janet answers this question in her book:

  1. Q. How do writers set up their books? Do you outline…

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Chewbacca Mom Is Everything That’s Wrong with the Internet

Lorca Damon

I know, I know, I’m a little late to the “let’s all hate this woman and her infectious laugh” party, but it’s taken me this long to really care about the issue. And now I do. Thanks to the asshole who made it all about me.

Back up: this lady posts a Facebook Live thing for her own friends and family to enjoy. Her little slice of discounted retail item heaven is so uplifting and happy place-inducing that it goes viral. First, she gets a visit from a major retailer who thanks her for all the free exposure of their store with a few more Star Wars-themed goodies. Yay. Then she gets a few TV appearances…more yay. Then somehow, that translates into scholarships for her children…what the what?

Of course, it took about twelve parsecs (that’s a Star Wars references for those of you who simply aren’t cool enough to…

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The Joy of the Staying the Hell Home

Most writers I know are trying to get out of their day jobs so they can write and do nothing but write. I’m in a bit of a different situation. I have four jobs. My wife, AKA She Who Must Be Obeyed, has three. We have plans to change that crazy trajectory but, for now, this is how we live.

Getting pulled in so many directions can be stressful, but it must also be said that we’re generally pretty enthusiastic about all we do. Nonetheless, precautions must be taken so exhaustion and burnout do not burst our overtaxed hearts. Not working ourselves to death is generally a good thing. That’s why I’m on vacation this week.

It’s not the sort of vacation where I lounge on a sun drenched beach. Who needs skin cancer? I’m not touring castles. I mean, castles are cool, but all that walking and bad food? Pfft! It’s not the sort of vacation where I fly anywhere. Especially since 9/11, air travel is a nightmare. I’m not enthused about the ordeal of going through security, allowing people to be rude to me and getting packed into a tube with irritable strangers for a death-defying trip on Air Schnitzel. I am staying the hell home.

This is a writing vacation and I couldn’t be happier. On the first day, I piled up 6,802 words. That might be a personal best. I can focus on creation and do nothing else. I don’t worry that I left the house unlocked or the stove on. I don’t have any other tasks looming overhead. What luxury!

When the economy went south, someone invented the term, “staycation,” to make a virtue out of poverty. We all need vacations though we don’t all get them. I am grateful for this opportunity. Don’t hate me because I’m relaxed. I’ve worked hard for this.

I know the story I want to write and it’s going great. It’s going so great, in fact, that I am about halfway through a new novel. I’ve committed to completing the first draft this week. The bulk of the rest of this year will be devoted to editing and publishing the many book projects I’ve managed to pile up in the last six months. You may call me lots of nasty names, but you can’t call me lazy.

I am always reluctant to take any time off but She Who Must Be Obeyed insists and she’s always right. Without fail, I return to work fresh and full of new energy and new ideas. 

My vacation’s writing schedule is full. I know it’s not a vacation in the truest sense. I really mean that I’m down to doing one job: writing stories to melt hearts, tickle brains and make you say: ah-ha, ha-ha-ha, oh my gawd and wowzers (repeatedly, in no particular order.) Since I’m used to juggling four commitments, one job seems remarkably easy, especially when that one job is writing. I love writing. I’ll even get more reading done this week, too.

I’m having a great time. If you want to talk, email or dance the samba, I’ll be available next week. If you haven’t had a pure writing vacation this year, I urge you to plan one if you can. When I make the big move back to having one job and one job only, every day will be like this: coffee, couch and laptop. Writing is the one job from which one can never really retire. Happily so.

Love and kisses to all (substituting man-hugs where appropriate.)

~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute. Catch all my sexy hexy texty epic weirdness at AllThatChazz.com.

 

Filed under: All That Chazz, self-publishing, writing, writing advice, , , , ,

Goodbye SparkyLee/ Coming Clean

Let us welcome Sam out of the pen name closet. I’m thinking of going deeper into that pseudonym closet with some new work. What are your thoughts on pen names?

Sparkyleegeek's Blog

For years I have written under the pseudonym of SparkyLee Anderson. I chose this initially because I figured it would be a short time affair writing pieces that no one would read so if it flopped no would be the wiser that I had failed as writer; my life long dream.

I have now been blogging for five years and have picked up more followers than I imagined I would so, in accordance with my “living my true self”- I have decided to come out (again) only this time I’m not coming out as a lesbian (which I am) but I’m coming out as Samantha (Sam) Clattenburg.

But who is this Sam Clattenburg?

Me Doing What I Do

Well, she is reluctantly turning 42 next month but will probably still tell people I’m 37 because I use a lot of facial creams and with my OCD nightly regime I…

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The Haunting Lessons Review

The Dyslexic Reader

The Haunting Lessons

By: Robert Chazz Chute & Holly Pop
Category: Fantasy, High-Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: ★★★★★

Difficulty: ★★★★☆ (I have a hard time with acronyms)

When tragedy strikes, a young woman from Iowa discovers ghosts walk among us. Now our fate depends on her (and maybe you, too.) Warning: Some scenes may be disturbing to sensitive readers.

These are the first 81 Lessons every budding shade seer and sword slinger needs to know to survive a magical Armageddon.

Swords. Holy firepower. Devilish jokes. The Underworld and the Overworld are coming together in the Secret City of the Unseen: New York City!

Review

Ho. Ly. Crap!

This is an amazing novel! There has to be more books in the making, there just has to be. **Shaking the authors between my fists**

I was a little skeptical at first when I realized the book was not necessarily a linear novel, but had…

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How to keep moving forward.

My wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed, deals with a lot of sad, difficult and traumatic situations in her noble work. She helps a lot of people but it’s not easy. To combat the downside, she keeps what she calls a perk file. That’s where she holds on to commendations and thank you letters from those she has helped. Writers should have a similar file.

As an author, you will have disappointments. It’s inevitable. As I wrote in a post below (The Writer’s Curse) we are imaginative and therefore perpetually dissatisfied. Copy and paste your fave reviews to a special file for those dark days to come. When the disappointments arise, reread those five star reviews and fan letters. Cherish them and keep going.

I’ve often thought about quitting, especially when I’m overwhelmed. (Quitting isn’t always a bad idea, either. More on that in a coming post.) I did stop writing completely for almost five years. Those were not good years. For me, the dissatisfaction of not writing is worse than the bad writing days.

This week, a reader reminded me why it’s important to keep going. Stories are powerful. I replied, thanking her for being a reader, of course, but her letter is too important an inspiration not to share with fellow writers. She wrote:

Dear Robert Chazz Chute,

I read zompoc because I need to read something that takes me away from my reality – a genetic condition that slowly transformed the woman who could turn somersaults in mid-air to the woman in a wheelchair.
Fortunately,my sense of humour is intact.
Friends, family and NHS have stuck with me, so I’m lucky compared to most disabled people.
And the connection with This Plague of Days?
It distracted me from my pain – always present unless I’m asleep.
Yep. Stories are that powerful.
Even when they’re stories about unrelenting terror.
This Plague of Days is an epic piece of writing.
But you know that already.
I just felt like telling you that I know that too.
And thank you for writing something that set me free, for a while.

~ I am Robert Chazz Chute and I am often sad. I get misty reading this letter, but in a good way. I am less sad this week thanks to this reader. You can check out all my stuff at AllThatChazz.com, or just read and reread this letter to get inspired to write something epic that distracts readers from their pain. Distracting us from pain is, I think, what it’s all about.

Now I’m off to write more. Thanks again, to all the readers.

Filed under: All That Chazz, publishing, Writers, writing, writing advice, writing tips, , , , ,

What’s your big little idea?

It’s amazing how something old, small and simple can catch on. Ideas turned into action can be very profitable. Sometimes it’s the small ideas that are overlooked that pack the biggest punch.

Tom Papa is a comedian who has appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast several times. He mentioned that he makes his own bread using 100 year old yeast. That’s a yeast people keep alive, much like a pet, except you turn it into bread and eat it. (Think about that bit of weirdness a moment before you spread peanut butter over some toast.) The idea caught on and Papa got a lot of people interested in making their own bread. A chore became a phenomenon which turned into a thing. Then it went viral.

Or consider Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock. He’s a huge and charming superstar. The Rock gets up really early every day to work out. That one lifestyle choice has become part of his brand. He’s inspired millions to do the same and now has an alarm clock app to get fans and followers to start their day early and right. Check it on his Twitter feed here.

You don’t have to start with an audience of millions to do something that catches on, either. Jeff Sanders has been very successful in a similar vein with The 5 a.m. Miracle. Motto: “Dominate your day before breakfast.” Mr. Sanders helps entrepreneurs use their time more productively with the simple idea that you can get more stuff done before everyone gets out of bed to interrupt you. (I’m boiling it down a bit much, but you get the idea.)

Tim Ferriss made a big deal out of making your bed in the morning. His thing is finding ways to hack life and do everything faster, easier and with the minimum effective dose of effort. If you don’t already own the 4-Hour Work Week, c’mon! Where you been?

Believe it or not, a World Planking Championship is a thing and yes, you can buy t-shirts and hoodies telling everyone you torture yourself using gravity.

Examples of harnessing the power of simple are everywhere. Remember when the word staycation became a thing? We couldn’t afford to go anywhere, so put up a hammock in your backyard instead of flying to the Bahamas. Bam! A thing!

What’s next? A popular return to canning vegetables? Speed reading competitions? Sidewalk climbing for fun, fitness and profit?

See my previous post (below) on the big idea behind writing short stories.

Writers can often come up with a high concept for a book by smashing together pretty simple ideas. Vampires that sparkle and vampires that definitely do not, under any circumstances, sparkle? Books emerged from each premise. What about cozy mysteries where the protagonist is a chef, works at the yarn barn or sells tea? These are tropes and niches that have turned into profitable books. 

It annoys me when I hear agents reject a book premise because it is “too clever.” It sounds anti-intellectual and personally, I love clever. However, boiling your plots and plans down to simple ideas that work for wide audiences is a strong bet. For an in-depth discussion of tropes that work (and what can blow up in your face like wet dynamite), catch the frank, fun and breezy discussion between Simon Whistler and JA Cipriano on Episode 149 of the Rocking Self-publishing Podcast.

Have a think on it. And tell us, what’s your next million dollar big little idea?

~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute and I’ve got ideas big and small. Check out the really good ones in book form at AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: publishing

Short stories are coming back. Here’s why.

Murders+Among+Dead+Trees+1121-1

Have a free book on me. Murders Among Dead Trees is free this weekend.

If you listened to the SPRT interview with Michael Anderle on Thursday night (link below in the previous post) you know that one of his marketing strategies is especially killer: Write short stories in the same universe as your series. This is a really cool idea I’m excited about.

Aside from keeping you up in the Amazon algos, you can give readers more appetizers to the full buffet that is your wonderful work. I love this idea and will definitely do it. I love short stories and it’s a time management treat to be able to create a story in short order and give readers something they can enjoy over their lunch hour.

I’ve gotten away from writing huge books. The Robot Planet Series is quite long, but it’s made of four fast-paced novellas. I enjoy writing and reading a book of around 50-60,000 words. If you’re writing epic fantasy, readers seem to prefer longer works, but that’s not a rule. Readers are more flexible than the rules writers often repeat to each other. What they want is a good story above all, so tell a good story. Worry less about preconceptions around word count. Avoid too much throat clearing and story flab and bingo! Readers who matter, the ones who get you, will approve. Publishing more often increases your visibility. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a tome that could stop a bullet.

I have two short story collections, Self-help for Stoners and Murders Among Dead Trees.  I honestly didn’t think I’d write another short story collection. However, if I write a bunch of short stories within the universe of a series, I can see repackaging them down the road so they’re all in one collection. The point of the short stories, prequels and side bets is to gather new readers to my series, of course. However, this strategy can also lead to more real estate on sales platforms and more opportunities for readers to grok the juices from my brain meats.

Bam!

~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute and did I mention Murders Among Dead Trees, my suspenseful collection of awesome, is free this weekend? Yeah. I think I did. Here’s that link again, in case you missed it.  You can check out all the awesome at AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: publishing

Tools, tips and hilarity to help you write faster

Authors argue about whether writing fast is a virtue. I won’t blog about that today because, frankly, the argument seems to boil down to, “I hate you if you don’t write precisely as fast or as slow as I do.” No time for that. However, I do have two useful links for those who enjoy the writing and marketing pleasures of speedy production.

Last night, Michael Anderle spoke on the Self-publishing Roundtable about his astounding productivity and stellar results. He also talked about the uber-robo-tech that could help you optimize your books and sell, sell, sell. My nipples got hard about his short story strategy, too. Bonus: I start the interview with some helpful advice about targeting the most cooperative murder victims. Go SPRT!

Watch the entire interview with Michael here.

Next? Hey! It’s May 20! Time to plot what you’re going to accomplish in June. (Don’t invade Poland.) Instead, it’s time to write another book, right? Boost your efforts with a creative jet pack by joining JuNoWriMo. Write at pulp speed and proceed apace. JuNoWriMo harnesses your cooperative, hopeful and competitive instincts. Writing doesn’t have to be lonely. You can have social support and not fall into the sad, dark and solo cliche that is my usual writing life.

Join JuNoWriMo here and let’s get cracking on that life we meant to have. Yeah! Damn skippy!

~ I’m Robert Chazz Chute. Check out my books at AllThatChazz.com. Then buy and read every single one within the next two weeks or something terrible will happen to this ant I have in a jar. I’ll be watching. Don’t call the police if you know what’s good for the insect.

Filed under: publishing

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

All the dark fantasy fun of the first three books in the Ghosts & Demons Series for one low price.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

You never know what's real.

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

Write to live

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

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