Welcome to the (un)official site for science-fiction and fantasy writer Bryan R. Durkin!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fanfiction.net Link

While some of my close friends and family might be familiar with how I write and what I write about (when I'm not working on The Serenity Solution, anyway), I realize that most of the visitors to this page probably have no clue if I can even string together a story. Due to the fact that I want to keep any possible problems with publication rights to an absolute minimum in the event I can get this novel published, I can't share parts of The Serenity Solution itself.

I find that one of the best ways to keep my skills sharp is to work on fanfiction. Fanfiction, of course, is creating an original plot within an already developed setting, world, or universe, and often using already established characters. This alleviates the burden of having to create new settings and characters, and allows me to simply work on creating a solid plot.

At the end of this post, you'll find a link for my profile on Fanfiction.net. From there, you can browse the stories I've written, in case you're interested in how I write. I've completed a couple Star Wars stories, and one based on Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, which was also a television show. I started one based on the Halo games, but haven't finished yet due to more pressing projects (and I didn't plan the plot out very well before I started; I need to find the time to actually rewrite it).

Feel free to leave comments on the stories at Fanfiction.net, or you can do the same here on this post. Enjoy.

Fanfiction Link

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now It Gets Real

Most of you probably don't know this, but two weeks ago I mailed my first query letter to a prospective agent, regarding representation for The Serenity Solution. This came after a month of getting my manuscript as ready for submission as I possibly could, and another 2-3 weeks of searching for agents who I thought would be a good fit for representing the novel.

Yesterday, I got the response back from the agent. It was a form rejection. Basically, "Thanks for your query, but your project doesn't interest us at this time. Good luck in the future." On the surface, it seems like it would be pretty depressing, but I'm choosing to look at the positive aspects of it.

First, by daring to send a query, I put myself ahead of the vast majority of writers out there. I got over the fear of rejection and I let someone else see what I can do. This is one of the first steps in the transformation from "writer" to "author." I'll never sell a book if I don't let anyone see it.

Second, it's keeping me grounded in reality. Sure, it would be great if I got an agent for my first book thanks to my first query letter. But then that could give me unrealistic expectations for the long road to publication ahead.

Finally, it's helping me to learn more. Not necessarily about what I did wrong, if I did anything wrong to begin with (a single form rejection by itself usually doesn't give you much information to go off of), but it is forcing me to explore other options. Mainly, I wrote a second query letter, changing up my approach to better fit the new agency that I'm querying. The more I do this, the easier it will hopefully be in the future.

People have told me they're sorry I got a rejection letter. As much as I appreciate their sympathy, I'm not sorry I got one. Every author has gotten at least one. Most have gotten many, many more. I look at it as part of building my experience. Plus, if I ever need to start a fire and I run out of kindling, the paper will be handy...

Today, I queried another agency, this time by email. Hopefully, I won't have to wait two weeks to get a response back, but we'll see. Of course, I'll keep updating this blog on the process, whether I move forward or have to go back to square one.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"The Serenity Solution" Project, Part 3

Following are the bios for the rest of the main characters.

Harmony - A mysterious woman representing the city of Intensity in trade talks with Serenity, Harmony uses only her pseudonym to protect her real identity. For all intents and purposes, she appears to be a simple diplomat, but she is working for a shady group of people which is trying to extend its control over the seven city-states. Despite her current affiliations, Harmony remains fiercely independent, and she uses her paramilitary and espionage backgrounds to catch her opponents off guard.

Master Chief Joseph Gates - As the Commanding Officer of the Serenity Police Department and a veteran of the streets himself, Gates finds himself in the unenviable position of balancing his Officers' needs with playing the political game his office requires. Generally good-natured and practical, Gates doesn't tolerate nonsense from anyone in his chain of command, either above or below his pay grade. Keeping Serenity and her citizens safe is his primary objective.

Chief Bram Heisman - Heisman is the selfish, unscrupulous second-in-command of the Serenity Police Department, and also the leader of the city's Administration, the "watchdog" organization which controls nearly every aspect of the city. Although ostensibly operating under the orders of the Administration Directorate, which oversees each city's Administration, Heisman seems to have his own agenda.

Maxim - Operating as Serenity's representative opposing Harmony's position in the trade talks, Maxim also uses his pseudonym to protect his real identity. Maxim is a highly skilled player on the political field, and is more than capable of countering Harmony's arguments. Regardless of his personal feelings or belief's, his goal is to ensure Serenity comes out on top in any negotiations.

That's it for the main characters of the book. As always, comments are welcome.