My name is Philip and I am an aspiring science fiction writer. This tumblr will document my efforts at getting my science fiction novel published. I will also post random stuff that interests me in the gaming/movies/music/theology arenas.My Lists My Writing Video Games Ask me anything
2. All supernaural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.
3. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.
4. No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.
6. No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.
7. The detective must not himself commit the crime.
8. The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.
9. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.
10. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them. Father Knox’s ten rules for writing a mystery, 1929. (The racist one is taken out)
I’ve learned a few things since doing PitchWars, several lessons of which I have gone out of my way to insert into my writing.
But first, a confession. I was certain I would get picked for PitchWars.
Well, not so much certain, but pretty damn close to it. Basically, I was confident. I was confident one of my four mentors would read my query and be amazed and immediately request a full manuscript. I assumed that much. I would definitely at least get a request.
I got nothing. No requests, not even a partial. For most of the first day of PitchWars I became increasingly frustrated that I had not received anything. I sulked, I whined, I complained. I did lots of things that likely made my wife frustrated - frustrated by my lack of self-esteem, my initial overconfidence, and most of all, my sulking and sulking. After a much needed pep talk from my wife, I decided to reevaluate everything. The query, the pitch, the first chapter, the first paragraph. Everything. And I came to realize something.
My query was shit. Seriously, the pitch paragraph was four sentences. That’s it. For some reason, I thought extreme brevity was the key to getting an agent. Turns out I was very wrong. So, I posted my query on some critique forums and quickly discovered exactly what I was doing wrong. I also went online and looked at examples of successful queries and I was very surprised that most of them were pretty long. I mean, not really long, but at least five times longer than my own. And they were all written with voice, pizzazz, and fervor, none of which my query included. So I rewrote it and rewrote it, gaining more comments about how to tweak it. I still do not believe it is ready to send out, but it’s close. I really feel like I am very close to finding THE query: the One. The query that gets me an agent.
In the meantime, I also examined my first few pages and my first chapter as a whole and I realized that I spend far too much time in the beginning of the novel introducing a string of characters. Very little plot occurs in the first chapter. So, I’m thinking of, if not cutting the entire first chapter, at least doing some rearranging so that more plot happens right up front.
Guys, I thought I was already a genius at this. Turns out, I am far from it. I’m still learning. If you are writing a novel, I suggest putting your shit out there to be critiqued. Not every critique will be helpful, but most of them will be. It’s your shit. Own that shit. Put that shit out there so your shit can be the best shit you’ve ever made.
Ahem, sorry for the profanity.
The explanation for this gap is simple. In Britain, guns are rare. Only specialist firearms officers carry them; and criminals rarely have access to them. The last time a British police officer was killed by a firearm on duty was in 2012, in a brutal case in Manchester. The annual number of murders by shooting is typically less than 50. Police shootings are enormously controversial. The shooting of Mark Duggan, a known gangster, which in 2011 started riots across London, led to a fiercely debated inquest. Last month, a police officer was charged with murder over a shooting in 2005. The reputation of the Metropolitan Police’s armed officers is still barely recovering from the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian, in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London.
In America, by contrast, it is hardly surprising that cops resort to their weapons more frequently. In 2013, 30 cops were shot and killed—just a fraction of the 9,000 or so murders using guns that happen each year. Add to that a hyper-militarised police culture and a deep history of racial strife and you have the reason why so many civilians are shot by police officers. Unless America can either reduce its colossal gun ownership rates or fix its deep social problems, shootings of civilians by police—justified or not—seem sure to continue. Armed police: Trigger happy | The Economist (via kenyatta)