Friday, October 9, 2020

The Secret to Writing Powerful Action Scenes

 

Action scenes are the bread and butter of pulp stories. When the story threatens to get too boring, throw in a fight scene and you revitalize it with fresh energy, stakes and momentum. When the hero finally confronts the main villain, readers expect a climactic battle to wrap up the book.

The art of the action scene is critical to writing a pulp-style tale. To craft a powerful action scene, write to what readers want from one.

Readers want the excitement and the drama of the fight, without the experience of danger. They want to feel the crunch of bone on bone, hear the crack of a bullet whipping past, see the blood spraying from a fresh wound.

Higher-level readers also want to see the technical aspects of the fight, and learn from it. They have an idea of how violence plays out in the real world, and they demand to see it on the page. They want to see violence that matches their experience -- without the danger of it.

An action scene allows the reader to live vicariously through the characters, experiencing the intensity of a fight from the comfort and safety of their homes. It is a full-sensory assault, brimming with tension and drama and energy, with the characters gunning for the highest stakes.

Readers want intensity, velocity and characterisation. Write to what they want and they will flock to you.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Superheroes in A Post-Modern Age

 

What is a superhero?

A hero with superpowers.

What is a hero?

That is a question the genre is struggling with today.

To be a hero is to protect the innocent, uphold moral norms, and preserve society, even if it means experiencing great hardship. It is to embody and express the great virtues, even at tremendous personal cost. It is to use your gifts and talents wisely, in the service of others, instead of satisfying personal vices.

It is to be good and do good in the face of incredible challenges.

But what does it mean to be good?

And does possessing superpowers make you less than, greater than, or something other than human?

Once, there was an easy answer to these questions. Not any more.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Singularity Sunrise 2: THE SILICON ROAD is live!




As West Africa recovers from economic collapse, Anatol Corporation sees new opportunities. Central to Anatol's plans is the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, the silicon road that unites the region's megacities. It is virgin territory, promising rich rewards—and hidden dangers.

Anatol sends their trump card: Eden, the world's first sapient AI, embedded in their sales team. Escorting them is psychic contractor James Morgan and his team of elite bodyguards from Lithsman Security Solutions.When they arrive, the job goes sideways.

Hunted by criminals and mercenaries, Eden, Morgan and the Lithsmen are drawn into a shadowy world where megacorp intrigue and superpower ambitions collide. To survive, they must turn the tables against an invisible enemy in an unfamiliar land.

Powerful interests want Anatol out of Africa. But who? And why?

The truth lies at the end of the silicon road.

If they survive long enough to get there.

--

Singularity Sunrise 2: THE SILICON ROAD is now live on Amazon! I'm grateful to everyone who supported the series on IndieGoGo. With their help, Singularity Sunrise is my most successful series yet.

Blending high-intensity combat with cutting-edge tech and spirituality honed at the razor edge of life and death, Singularity Sunrise is the cyberpunk espionage thriller of the dark future.

Want to know the origins of this series? Click here for a FREE short story that details James Morgan's journey to become a Lithsman!

Thank you for your support, and please keep an eye out for Book 3: THE DIGITAL VEIL!

Cheah Kit Sun Yellow.jpg

Friday, September 18, 2020

"The Long Moonlight", a Fantasy Noir by Razorfist, Now Available!

The Excellence of Elocution, the Rageaholic, known to all as "Razorfist", is well-known as being a pulp fan. Now he has joined us down here in the arena, and below is the trailer for his debut release. This is a fantasy novel, and those who know the man's affection for the Thief series of videogames will immediately catch the vibe on offer; this is as much noir as it is pulp. If you're into Fritz Leiber's Lanhkmar series, then you should check this out.

And the relevant links are below:

It's good to see the man that's done so much to spread the word of the pulps general, and specifically The Shadow, to audiences that--at best--only know of the '90s films based on them or the myriad of media that are the offspring of the pulps (superhero comics and mecha anime being two of them) has put pen to paper to produce one of his own. I'll snag a copy when I can and come back with my take on it down the road, but I'm boosting this now because he's doing that blend that's difficult to pull off without screwing it up and I'm hoping that he has.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Covenant Chronicles 3: Prince of Shadows is live!

 

THE OLD GODS ARE COMING BACK!

When a black op goes awry, the Nemesis Project pulls deniable operator Luke Landon off the line. But while mortal authorities want him to stand down, the gods aren't done with him yet.

Pressed into a secret war between infernal and divine powers, Landon is thrust into a new campaign. The elder gods are returning to do battle with the Unmaker—and they are choosing agents to carry out their will.

In Japan, a goddess has chosen a shrine maiden as her soldier. The shadowy Organization, the secret rulers of the world, have her in their sights. Without official sanction or backup, Landon and his allies must go rogue to save her.

Landon has always been prepared to lay down his life. But this time, he may just have to give up his immortal soul.

--

Prince of Shadows is the latest installment of the supernatural espionage thriller series The Covenant Chronicles. A genre-twisting blend of military science fiction, urban fantasy and espionage thriller, the Covenant Chronicles is the story of a secret war within a War on Terror fought with magic and demons.

Prince of Shadows can be found on Amazon here!

Want a FREE cyberpunk espionage story? Click here to read a teaser for my next series SINGULARITY SUNRISE!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Wolves of Babylon Chapter 11

 

Hold The Line

The rest of the week passed in relative peace. But only around Hunter’s Heights.

The Pantheon surveillance team disappeared. With the police investigating the ambush outside the Temple of Galen, and stepping up increased patrols, it was no longer prudent to maintain the operation. While the Pantheon’s influence surely extended into top floors of the BPD, it would not do for some low-level cop to ask the wrong questions.

The Street Wolves kept their distance too. Leaderless and bleeding, they retreated to their home turf and consolidated their numbers. In the nights that followed, a few of their senior members were found dead or dying on the streets, ripped up with long-range gunfire.

The Wolves turned to the Court of Shadows for protection. The Court flooded their turf with their troops, an overt show of strength and a low-key power play. If the Wolves couldn’t manage their territory, the Court would do it for them. The Court in turn hunted for the ones who had sniped their representatives.

The Pantheon suffered the brunt of their attentions. The Court sent a mission to discuss the situation with the senior Pantheon leadership. The priests, one and all, kept stonewalling them. They promised to order a ceasefire until they discovered the truth of the situation, but alas, the Pantheon was a decentralized faith and many of its members were unaffiliated with any one guru or god. Those they could not exercise control over.

On the street, a group of Shadows encountered a gang of Pantheon worshipers. Harsh words followed, then fists flew, and then the guns did the talking. Just another iteration of the same old story repeated all over Nova Babylonia. Then came the reprisals, and counter-reprisals, all while the senior leadership publicly denounced the attacks and ordered restraint.

The Guild officially remained silent. But the sound of railgun fire continued to echo in the night. And bodies of Guild Elect started to appear in the morgue.

A steady stream of steak flowed from the neighborhood steakhouse into the Temple of Galen. If anyone noticed this newfound taste, they didn’t comment.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Babylon Red Chapter 10

 

Alpha

The crackling roar of the railgun flowed through the streets of Babylon, filling the narrow stairwell within electric rumble. Hot on its heels was a wet POP and a heavy SMACK. Karim sprung up, drawing Kayla’s shotgun from under his coat, unfolding and extending the stock.

Galen! I seek your aid! Tear ward and the watcher spirit apart!

A distant wolf howled. Images of fur and fang flashed through his mind’s eye. Heavy crunching and shrieking seared his mind’s ear. A construct detonated in the Aether, the energetic shockwaves rippling through the world, a pressure front he felt in his soul.

He charged up the stairs, constantly angling himself to cover the roof, shotgun pointed just below the horizontal, ready to snap up and kill. Halfway up the stairs, three dark silhouettes presented themselves before him, hands going for waistbands, torsos and legs twisting around.

Where is Jamal Wright?