Tyler Wandschneider’s Lockheed Elite is a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi crime adventure akin to an episode of Firefly than anything else. We jump between the perspectives of a cast of intergalactic anti-heroes as they dance on the edge of the law, caught between the authoritarian Galactic Command and the ruthless criminal underbelly of the galaxy. The plot is spiced up with more than a few twists and thoroughly human and flawed characters that keep you engaged right up until the end. If you’re a fan of the science fiction genre, you won’t go wrong with picking up this book.
I think the word that really summarizes Lockheed Elite is: competent. The writing doesn’t sparkle off the page; it’s straightforward in its delivery. There’s a certain relief to not having to dig through layers of purple prose to find any kind of enjoyable story. It’s an easy read, especially if you’re already au fait with the science fiction genre.
The writing was absorbing precisely because it was easy to digest. I found myself chewing through ten to twenty pages at a time before I even realised it. If the goal of a writer is to engage the reader, then Tyler Wandschneider has certainly achieved it.
This is not to say the writing is flawless; it occasionally struggles with articulating emotions. Characters will pontificate on the stakes or over-explain themselves, even at points where the tension and pacing should be amping up. The effect is something of a stumbling block in some of the most exciting scenes, as we read through one character or another describing how and why they feel a certain way.
The book develops it’s characters slowly throughout the novel, letting them build into complex characters towards the end of the novel. Although characters don’t feel like they have their own voices in the beginning, it feels more real towards the end of the book.
Lockheed Elite is engaging, and it kept me reading all the way through to the end. Despite my above quibbles, I really did enjoy it. I think Wandschneider has done a great job in writing a solid, exciting book. I only wish that it perhaps had a bit of a stronger start and I think this would be a stellar example of a science fiction genre piece.
Pages: 416 | ASIN: B073VHM3QG
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by Don Templeton
So you want to tell a tale. What do you do? Just sit down and start writing it from the beginning? Do you even know where to begin?
Well, the first step is a “simple” requirement…or so it would seem.
Your task, O Jedi Scribe, is to write one stinking sentence.
That’s it. One sentence. Now to create that sentence, you’re going to have to boil the entire narrative essence of your Epic Tale down to one sentence which focuses on the line of action and the character (or characters). When you achieve the objective, you will know exactly what it is you are writing and why. They say the hardest thing about writing is knowing what to write. Your finished sentence will brilliantly distill what it is you are writing.
Write a paragraph or pages of notes attacking your idea from every angle. Then take that raw material and slash it down to one perfectly worded sentence. Make mind maps if that helps you “see” your material.
But when you are done, you will have a sentence that tells your story. If you’ve ever read TV Guide descriptions of what a show is about, this is exactly what you are attempting to do. In Hollywood, this is called the logline. In fact, this is exactly what you are doing here – writing a logline that tells the story of your novel.
Now here’s a set of guidelines that are even more specific to the task.
- Your sentence must focus on a protagonist, the goal, and the antagonist or antagonistic force opposing the protagonist.
- Don’t use character names in your sentence; use character types: a cop, a hooker, a rocket scientist. Add a good adjective to add some depth to the character: a burned-out hooker.
- Clearly present the protagonist(s) goal.
- Describe the antagonist or antagonist force which opposes the hero.
- Make it clear that the protagonist(s) are pro-active to the action, not reactive.
- Detail the stakes or ticking time bomb that the characters are working to achieve or beat.
- Don’t just tell your story with your logline, sell it as well. When you write the perfect logline of your novel, you’ll have the best thing to tell people when they find out you’re a writer. Everyone always asks: “What’s your story about?” That’s when you rattle off your logline.
So now we just need a good example of all of the above in action. Here’s my logline for Special Task Force: GREEN MAJIK #1 “Pretty Hate Machine” now available at http://www.bluefalconpress.com:
A maverick detective, a Gonzo journalist, and a has-been porn star fight to expose the federal government’s involvement in the worst schoolyard shooting in history while a super-secret strike unit infiltrates the center of the cyclone, the factory where little girls are turned into suicide juggernauts and unleashed.
Are we on the same sheet of music now? Is it as clear as the water in a Caribbean lagoon? This is Step One in writing a great genre novel. In the next lesson, I’m going to show you how to diagram all the important turning points in your story and structure your idea inside the 3-Act Paradigm or what needs to be in the Beginning, what to do with the Middle (a lot of writers get bogged down here and I will show you how to stay out of the mud) and how to wrap it all up with a satisfying End.
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Mystery, suspense, reality television and revenge all come crashing together in this entertaining story written by Paul Carey. Thawing A.C. Nielsen starts off with dated entries, much like a diary, as we gain very little backstory on what is to be a wild ride. It opens to a nameless man being rescued from the depths of a frozen body of water. This revival is short lived, but is important to the rest of the story. Flash forward to Kate, a young and intelligent woman who wants nothing more than to stare into a microscope for the rest of her life. At the urging of her friend she goes for a job interview at the one place that will make her desires reality. Our fierce protagonist gets a little more than she bargained for when she joins up with ExitStrategy, a facility that is devoted to cryogenics and the revival of those who should be dead.
One of the best things about Thawing A.C. Nielsen is how the characters talk. There is a fair bit of dialogue but each person sounds real. They communicate like they would if they were to stand in your living room. This makes reading this tale a lot easier on the mind. Many mystery novels or those who pride themselves on suspense get caught up in setting a ‘mood’ that makes their tales very unrealistic. The fact that the reader can identify with the characters not only through their speech, but through their actions, makes the entire tale feel like something you could read about in the news tomorrow.
This can be a double-edged sword, however. Because the characters speak so ‘modernly’ it’s quite grating to read some of the speech and hear it in your mind as you read. There are some slang words that should never be printed and it does a very good job at showing how reality television stars need to work on their linguistics.
Having a strong female lead who works in an area where women are underrepresented gives this tale a special place in the world. Not only does Kate work in a science-driven industry, she is respected by her male colleagues and never once is she demeaned or demanded of due to her sex. These types of tales are few and far between.
It’s clear that Carey did his research before writing his book. There is a scene where knowledge of medicine and medical terminology is paramount to understanding what is happening. Carey doesn’t skimp on the language and has obviously done more than just do an internet search or watch television. It’s not so in-depth that the average reader with no background would be lost but just realistic enough to bring the characters on the page to life, quite literally.
If you’re looking for a fun adventure with wily manipulative old women and socially challenged geniuses, you will find all that and more in the pages of our tale. Hold on to your hearts and keep your eyes peeled as you try to figure out the mystery of Thawing A.C. Nielsen.
Pages: 368 | ASIN: B01LOHEP7G
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