Sunday, December 02, 2007

Since you asked

In the words of Victoria Wood, I am often poked in the street by complete acquaintances, and asked about ‘writing’. “What is it?” I get asked, “Where is it?”, “How do you do it?” and “Where do you get yours from?”

Checking this website’s post bag, I see I have been inundated lately by two or even three emails asking me about the whole ‘writing thing’, so I thought it might be time to publish a few remarks on the subject (are you sitting comfortably, Paul Braggins and Robert Collier?).

Allow me to, first, disambiguate some important stuff (‘disambiguate’ is a proper fifty buck writer’s word; see how I use it, devil-may-care, like I’ve got a bag of them? This is not the sign of a good writer. Also, see how I went and split the infinitive? And you’re taking advice from me?).

Anyway, the first and most important thing to know is this: there is NO FORMULA. There simply isn’t. There is no magic formula that will turn you into a writer. You’re either a writer or you’re not.

So, how do you find out if you’re a writer? Well, is your answer to the following questions ‘yes’? Are you a reader? If you answered ‘no’, you’re excused. Do you read and read and read, anything, everything? Yes? Good start.

Do you write? Day after day, night after night, do you fill notebooks with stuff? No? Then, at this point, you, sir or madam, are also excused the rest of this, and may skip out of class early.

Who’s left? Hands up? The hardcore? Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You guys write? You write a lot? Wonderful. Do you have readers? Do your readers tell you what you’re doing is good? Or do they tell you it’s bad? What do they say? If they’re critical of your work, do you take it personally and sulk, or do you absorb the criticism and try to learn from it?

This is a fine line. On the one hand, a writer needs a thick skin. He (or she) needs to believe in what he is doing and not get derailed by criticism. However, a writer also needs readers, and therefore needs to be producing something that other people will want to read. If someone says they didn’t like something in your work (and I’m talking here about thoughtful, well-intentioned comments, not heartless slagging off), it might reward you to consider their remarks in a positive way. You might decide you don’t agree, but it’s just as likely you’ll learn something useful.

In my experience, writing (anything, but especially a novel) is like running a marathon. You might have the will, but unless you’ve been training, you won’t last a mile. Writing for yourself on a regular basis is like weight training or practice circuits: you build up stamina and ‘writing muscles’ until you’re fit enough to take on that marathon. Writing for yourself on a regular basis also helps you to burn out all the unintentional influences your reading habits will have caused you to absorb. The more you write, the more you get stuff out of your system until you’re writing your own thing, not your version of something you once read that you liked.

Once you start listening and learning, you never stop. I had been writing for ten years (comics, and three unpublished and never to be published novels) when Black Library invited me to write for them. They wanted comics at first, then short stories, then novels. Twenty-six novels later, I may have paid my dues, but every new project brings its own lessons. Some can take you by surprise.

Creative writing classes and ‘how to’ books are, in my opinion, of dubious worth, because (as I may have remarked) there IS NO MAGIC FORMULA that can be taught or learned (and anyone who says otherwise is a dirty rotten fibber). However, classes and books are very useful in that they get you thinking about what you’re doing, and (in the case of classes) they expose your work to a critical audience. Also, many cogent, amusing and thought-provoking things have been written on the subject, by finer writers than me. I have put together some recommendations (you don’t have to agree with everything they say, but it’s worthwhile hearing someone else’s point of view).
First, google, locate, print out and digest the following:

Alan Moore’s 5 Tips For Would Be Comic Writers.
“Easy on the Hooptedoodle” by Elmore Leonard.
The Turkey City Lexicon.

After that, you may want to explore something a little longer, and I suggest Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and Norman Mailer’s ‘The Spooky Art’ as books that, if they don’t actually benefit you practically, will at least reward the reading.

Finally, submission. I get more questions about how to submit work to publishers than anything else. There is only one basic rule to remember: investigate a publisher’s submission guidelines and FOLLOW THEM. There is no point sending a publisher something inappropriate, too long, too short, wrongly formatted etc. It will just get ignored. If there happen to be any actual publishers reading, maybe they’d like to post any submission-related advice I might have missed.

Thanks for listening. Now go and write something.


Rachel Saunders said...

Dan that is the most sensible thing about potential writers I have seen on the web in ages. I totally agree that practice is the key, and getting a good critque, along with a good editor (thumbs up for Nik), are the key to writing.



b.p.steve said...

Dan just finished Sinister Dexter! how the Fething hell did that one go under me radar.Due to the post i was gonna put on some fancy comment but "that was the fucking nuts " should do .i dont know how many of the guys out their have read S.D. so i will just say its like Johnny mneumonic ,blade runner and pulp fiction all rolled into one, with a great sense of humour about itself .Now we will definately have to have a chat about this one Dan, its right up my street. e mail u soon .

Nik said...

Big - I knew you'd like it.

Jambo said...

Hey Dan,

Love your stuff. The resolution to OID was fantastic. With regards to b.p's comment above, where does one start with Sinister Dexter?


marco said...

If we are in the mood for more bandying of good reference works, can I chip in that the best book we've found on the business side of writing and publishing is by Betsy Lerner, "The Forest for the Trees: an Editor's Guide Advice to Writers" (Riverhead - OP but still plenty around). Many of her references are literary, but they all still apply, in spades.


Matthew said...

And I'll add Lawrence Block's Telling Lies for Fun and Profit, too.

Ross said...

I'd wholeheartedly agree with Dan's approach to writing. There is no plan!

I guess you could say I'm a budding writer (in the 40k universe, simply because I like it and Dan is one fo my favourite authors), and I'm currently 160-odd pages into a 'short story' (Oh how I laughed), that is well on its way to becoming a novel. I have never really got on with writing 'conventionally', and as a masters level history student I do enough of that with relation to my coursework, so its nice to cut loose sometimes and come up with something random and silly (and often violent - this is 40k I'm talking about here).

I'm nowhere close to publishing any of my work and everytime I read it I find mistakes, but that very fact that I'm finding them is progress in itself, as I am proving to myself that I am capable of bettering myself. I'd also agree with Dan's comments on feedback, some is good and some is bad. I've had people gushing my praises (which made me horribly self concious) and some criticising me in the worst way, one chap even said, and I quote 'u iz not so kool as Da' Abnett. hE wicked - u sux lol innit'. As you can imagine I was taken aback for about five seconds, after I'd worked out what had actually been said.

Still, most of the feedback I have recieved has enabled me to progress as a writer, with peoples comments nudging me in new directions which I hadn't considered. For instance, I was never very good at expanding a character base, now I have a page long list and I'm forever noting down who is where and doing what.

Finally, I'd just like to say - Thank you Dan. for giving me a universe to escape to when I needed to!

If any body is interested in reading any of my stuff, my e-mail address is,

Dixx said...

I find that when writing you fall into a sort of trance and it comes naturally. Dan hit it on the nail.

Then again I would expect no less!!


b.p.steve said...

Jambo .Just start at the beggining and work your way to the end,an hope u dont get clipped on the way!
BTW i definately gettin me a holo shirt for next years holiday.

Or if im on the run

Rory said...

Whaaaaaw! that was probably the best advice for writing ive ever read.... i was told at school to be a writer. and i read lots. and write somtimes.

its like an ambition to write a novel. and if i write one, will your read it?

NHZ said...

I currently have 150 pages of my own original sci-fi story going. In the process of some editting, though...I'm of the opinion I don't need to try and advance eightteen different plotlines at once...

Pack_master said...

Whew, that was kinda interesting stuff there. YOu already pointed most of it out some time or another already here, on the blog, but having it stuffed is really nice.

~~~~~~~ SPOILER OiD ~~~~~~~~

Just finished it. Ah, well, okay, was last Sunday (and it was only the sunday ;) ). It really shot me out of my shoes, that gread it is!

My favorite lines:

"Sunny, some cloud."
I lay loughing for a while, it still hurts.

"I smell acceptable losses."
Simply bittersweet. genial.

Ross said...

~~~~~~~ SPOILER OiD ~~~~~~~~

I think the diary excerpts and vox-logs are fantastic. It makes a change to see V.Hark as something other than a commissarial machine.

I found myself going slowly insane with the rest of them as the combat wore on. Sven Hassel novels anyone?

Toymachine said...

Grrr... so spoiler time rears its ugly head again. Its AOC all over again :D

Jennifer Burdoo said...

Just found this site, so don't know if this is quite the right place to ask, but...

Mr. Abnett, how familiar are you with Celtic music and history? I have this hunch you're a fan of Ewen McColl... ever since I learned the first name of a certain Scout-Sergeant. (grin) I've also found a number of songs about the '45 and the Wild Geese that perfectly evoke lost Tanith and her survivors. Among them, It Was All For Our Rightful King, which has the following verse:

"Now all is done that men can do,
And all is done in vain
My love and native land, farewell,
For I must cross the main, my dear,
For I must cross the main."

There's also The Highlander's Farewell, which I won't quote in full, but if I didn't know it was traditional, I'd think it was about Tanith:

"Farewell, farewell, dear Caledon,
Land of the Gael no longer,
A stranger sits thy ancient throne,
In guile and treachery stronger.
Thy brave, thy just, fall in the dust,
On ruin's brink they quiver,
Heaven's pitying e'e is closed on thee,
Adieu, adieu, forever." (includes midi tune)

Can you comment on this (she asked, hopefully)? The Scottish/Welsh touches of the Tanith are what really drew me into the series. Since I'm in the US, I haven't read Only in Death yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Sam said...

Agree with pretty much everything Dan says.

In my opinion (I'm a Journalist, so yeah, a poor man's writer!) the only way to succeed at anything is to try your best. Sounds stupid, even cliched but it IS true. The ability to question oneself honestly about whether or not you really are trying your best is a skill that can be learned and is always a benefit.

As far as reading things like the Turkey City Lexicon, try to read them critically and don't necessarily agree with them if you have a decent and rational argument against them.

Take the Deus Ex Machina, has it been used far too much? Yes, but given that your material is actually good enough readers won't even identify the device. It's been around since the Greeks stumbled across their tragedies, so it can't be all bad if used correctly. Having said that, some of the other issues the TCL raises really do need to be avoided like Nurgle's Rot. Just remember to question WHY they should avoided.

Sorry for the rambling!

NHZ said...

So...can anyone confirm Dec. 7th as the date "Only in Death" comes out in the stats?, bizarrely, has it as the 4th.

NHZ said...

States. I meant states. I write about stats.

Anonymous said...

u can tell how long ago those poems were written .No one knew Gordon Brown back then (or any of the leaders of the opposition)

eeerrrr the scots have taken over

Stuart said...

Cheers for that, Dan. I'm an aspiring writer, but I daresay that's what I'll remain due to spending too much time scribbling down ideas, concepts, and other gumph on creating worlds or plotlines instead of actually *writing*.

Of course, my major problem is I'm easily led, and when one has a Warcraft habit, it means I need to have people yell at me to get anything done.

Rory said...

sorry to go off topic.

But the theres nothing wrong with the scots being in control.. ;) we know how to do things right!

Anonymous said...

no its just all the winging they do when their not in control of Britain or when their kings are not on the throne of the British throne .The way they carry on sometimes is like they have had no say in the in the running of the United kingdoms......which we all know is absolutely insane.

b.p.steve said...

well guys bollocks to it, im going to put pen to paper and see if i cant come up with something worthwhile.A short story perhaps fantasy or 40k .The thing is with those is they have to be writen like a proffesional.Or i could write a true life story.Though the thing is with those is im not retired and they could land me in hot water! mmmmmmmmm........decisions decisions
jennifer i feel the tanith are based on a whole host of things that make up the british army but i hear what ur saying .For me its their connection with the land i like and i can see different British backgrounds in all of them.But then im from an English /Scottish background.I suppose thats why some people are reminded of Sharpes Rifles (oh god i went there)but to others they might see their own countrymen in the regiment.Its an interesting one for sure .I always saw Gaunt as an Englishmen but Colm as a Scotsmen (like a rock hard Billy Conally)i saw Rawne as a Londener,but i also saw Cuu to as a Londener (mind u in most fantasy Cockneys are the bad guys or have Cockney accents eg.Orcs,L.o.t.r. orcs,Sharpe SGT.Hakeswell,Braveheart etc i think it was a class thing!).What do u guys think?
As for the Scots being in charge ,if Gordon Brown dosent act soon he will need a passport to get into England.

Rob said...

Well, if writing PAPERS counts, I've been doing lots of that.

I think it counts.

You definitely should write something! And remember, true stories don't have to be about work. Personally, I write stories about the strange things that happen when I go drinking with my friends or go on dates. These stories aren't action-based or exciting, but they are quite funny. I'm sure you have some of those...

Rob said...

Er... crud.

Rob = Robert.

I was trying to find an online venue for the above mentioned stories and decided on Blogspot.

NHZ said...

Stuart - I can empathize, dude. "My documents" has my actual story in it...and perhaps a dozen false starts and ideas I can't fit into my current story's framework. I also love doing background stuff to the point where I sometimes write it for a day or two, then delete most of it because it closes off too many options.

b.p.steve said...

just a quik one ,did anyone see the fight last night .If u di imagine my shock when i saw Ricy Hatton walk down to the ring with an Imperial Eagle on his chest!
Yes an actual Imperial E.
And a Skaven symbol on his arm !
Its called Affliction fightware they also use it in the U.F.C.
whats happening with the copyright?

An where can i get mine!

Pack_master said...

Hmm, that's kinda funny, because GW has it officially forbidden using their symbols for tattoos or the like.

Kampfhamster said...

Heh, he had a Imperial Eagle and a Skaven Tat? I only saw the T-Shirt and had to laugh, because it had also an IE on the chest and Skaven symbols on the sleeves. Funny thing, I have now that disturbing picture of a stone hard boxer, playing Warhammer in my mind.

Nik said...

Jennifer - I hope that you (and Dan) won't mind me answering on his behalf, since he's horribly busy with Titanicus.

Dan's parents used to run a folk club, back in the sixties. It was so popular that they had to turn away Paul Simon, because the list was constantly full. They were great friends of Ewan and Peggy, and still see Peggy when she visits. Dan's father is also a luthier, and has provided instruments to any number of folk bands over the years. He, and Donal Lunney developed the Irish Bozouki, way back when.

I always think of the Tanith as Irish, but certainly Celtic. Having said that, you own this stuff now, so your interpretations are right, if they are right for you.

Allandaros said...

Hey Dan, I just wanted to thank you for this essay on writing. It's this, plus reading through a bit of Steven Brust last weekend, that gave me an idea as to how best to rework my budding story.

Also, I just read Horus Rising, and was blown away. Thank you.

james said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jambo said...

By way of an update, have just finished Gunshark Vacation and loved it. Thanks.

lordy said...

Yes, they have, but there's also nothing they can really do about it. I know loads (well, a few) of people with GW themed tattoos.

b.p.steve said...

Well Kampf i was a boxer and i played warhammer...its not the fact that a boxer was playing warhammer is it ?
Its the fact in your mind, he was in his underwear that disturbed u Kampf.(ha ha )

come on admit it were all friends here

Jennifer Burdoo said...

Nik -- Wow! That's awfully neat to know. It can be fun (albeit suspense-breaking) to have one's suspicions confirmed... Thanks!

-- Jennifer

nik said...

Jennifer - you're welcome.

BigWill said...

Hi Dan I was wondering if you could clear up something for me.
How many men is in a company of Luna Wolves?
Just finshed AoC, it was very good even though my Favorite Ghost is now a freedom fighter.
When you do another Inquisition book it would be cool to see him as part of the retinue.
Now that Nayl is going to return the sword Ravenor's retinue now has a job opening

Pack_master said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pack_master said...

In the Great Crusade, most Legions were organised in Great Companies (or Chapters, as some called them). One Great Company cinsisted of 10 Companies with 100 Marines each.

Toymachine said...

The ghosts, irish?

Pah! Their not nearly half tough enough :D

Mechanicus said...

The Luna Wolves, however, had a company of three hundred, from what I can tell. They were an oddity in that respect. Most others supposedly had a hundred in a company.

Ross said...

I think that the number is actually close to somewhere areound 600/1000 (casualties etc accounting for the variation, and buying into the theme of a 'Great Company'), if you read 'Horus Rising', the bit where Loken's 10th is deploying to destroy the nest of resistance fighters in the mountains (look out, Samus is here!), there are three hundred Luna Wolves on one embarkation deck, with two embarkation decks in use. 300 x 2 = 600.
This is the Heresy after all, they did things bigger back then!

Bigwill, i'm sorry but i'm going to be terribly geeky here (67% rating on one test!), Ravenor Rogue finishes in 405.M41, thats well over three hundred years before the Sabbat Worlds Crusade kicks off (755.M41), even if Gideon Ravenor is still alive in 755 (possible), I hardly think he'd recruit MkVenner into his warband, he also happens to operate hundreds of light years away from the Sabbat Worlds.

I'm sorry about that, I'm a terrible one for continuity issues.

Mechanicus said...

Two embarkation decks were in use, but note that the remembrancers and terminators had to come down as well. I stand by that number, especially since on Davin's moon, there are about 200 in the company (perhaps due to casualties and placing some in reserve) :)

BigWill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BigWill said...

Ross I would think Ravenor and the Big E both would be alive and well.
Heldane and Lilith were both active Inquisitors and they were in the Guant books.
The Inquisition can go anywhere they choose they are not shacked to the Helican sub-sector.
I see Kys becoming and Inquisitor in her own right and Nayl working for her,so Ven still gets my vote.
However Ven is an interesting enough character to get a book in his own right.

Ross said...

I can't see Patience becoming an Inquistor, she's a principal agent, not Interrogator material.

Both Ravenor and Eisenhorn were a part of the Ordo Xenos Helican, both dedicated to keeping the Helican-sub taint-free (as much as is practical anyhow). I won't deny that the Inquisition has a remarkably wide mandate, but the fact remains that both Inquisitors are linked to the Helican-sub/Scarus sector. Besides, as far as we know, Eisenhorn dies in 404...

BigWill said...

I just cannot see Dan Killing off Big E with just a one sentence,"O yeah by the way the fraterity killed Eisenhorn"
I think Dan has more Inquisition books in his head and I hope to see Gregor again.
It would be a shame if he did'nt write more Inquisition books. Both series were some of best books I ever read and I go thru 2 paperbacks a week.

Pack_master said...

Ross, the Divine Fratery pretended ti have killed him. Did you read the Short story "Thorn Wishes Talon"? It's about this in 404.

BigWill said...

Thorn wishes Talon was set right before the Ravenor series started.
In fact the only clear cut info on Gregor's fate is in the Guant series when they describe Ravenors book the Sphere's of Longing, how intense the book was when Ravenor was talking about the terrible fate that befell his master Eisenhorn.
But that could mean Gregor ends up following the path of Quixos and completely falls to Chaos which in 40k is a fate worse than death.
which would make a great book too.(hint,hint,nudge,nudge)

Ross. said...

I haven't read 'Thorn Wishes Talon' no, that was in Inferno ages ago wasn't it?

BigWill said...

I'm pretty sure Thorn wishes Talon is in the What Price Victory short story collection

Pack_master said...

Right. But it's Out Of Print, sadly.

b.p.steve said...

guys do me a favour and list were to find the other Eisenhorn stories

b.p.steve said...

ahhh and by the way i have found a theme for my short story

BigWill said...

The other 2 short stories I know of are both in the Eisenhorn Omnibus.
Blackcloth for a crown additional and the other title slips my mind but it is the story on Sameter where Eisenhorn loses his hand to IG cultists.

Steve,if you steal my Fall of Eisenhorn idea ,i'll have to kill ya.
See how I jump in directly with the second level of interrogation
(j/k I would love to get sent a copy of your story if you are going to do one on Big E)

Xhalax said...

Bigwill...Thron wishes Talon takes place BETWEEN Ravenor and Ravenour Returned NOT before the whole series starts.

The Fraternity mention the encounter with Eisenhorn and Ravenor in Ravenor Returned as their last and most recent failed attempt to kill Eisenhorn.....after those events, they send out more but none return and Eisenhorn no longer appears in their visions so they take it to mean he is dead (and so successful)...when in fact it could merely mean he has no further part to play in their visions.

Rory said...

so Eisenhorn could be alive...?

Pack_master said...

Well, in Thorn Wishes Talon he was very much alive, and that's the last we know of him.

BigWill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BigWill said...

Eisenhorn is very likely is alive.
I do not think the Divine Fraterity could take out Gregor and Cherubael both,In an Ad-Mech temple no less.
How many thousands of access hatches and conduits have to be leading in and out of there.

You can never quite guage age in WH40k because of Warp Travel and Juveate treatments.
Just because Gregor was born in the late 100's does'nt mean he can't be alive in 999m41.
Who knows just how far gone he is to Chaos now.
He might easily justify using chaos magic to enhance his lifespan so he can continue his works.
I seriously think we will see at least some more info on Gregor's Fate in the years to come.

Dan,one more quick question.
Will the two Horus Heresy shorts stories written by Graham and Yourself ever be available to the masses?
That one slipped under my Modar and I am dying to read it.

Rob said...

I think the fate of Eisenhorn is purposely vague to reinforce the fact that the Inq. is shadowy and you never really know what's going on.

I don't have the book on hand because I'm moving and all my gaming crap is in boxes (anyone ever try packing a Penitent Engine? Murder!), but in the Inquisitor RPG there was a whole page on Gregor and the stuff he's done.

I've also heard there was a mention of him in Codex: Daemonhunters, but don't quote me on that.

Frankly, I prefer the idea that Gregor is alive and making people look over their shoulders.

...and speaking of Eisenhorn, Dan deserves a "tut" or two for turning one of my favorite characters into a daemonhost. Tut, Dan! Tut!

BigWill said...

The Deamonhunters book only has a few paragraphs from one of the novels.
Hopefully when the new Inquisition codex comes out they can make offical 40k stats for him.

Pack_master said...

As far as I recall the Inquisition Codex is veeeeery far away... it's alked about, but more in the middle, nearer the bottom, of the prioirty list.
I feel very sad about this.

BigWill said...

yeah I know, at this point I'd be happy to see it in five years

Ashley T. said...

Merry Christmas Dan!

OiD has become one of my favourite books, and the only book to ever scare me (I don't scare easily). Keep up the writing.

b.p.steve said...

and if anyone is not feeling it they should remember those soldiers in the great war who left their trenches shook hands played football........true christmass magic!

Toymachine said...

Merry Christmas Dan!!

Have a gud 'un!!!

John said...

Merry Christmas to all!

I keep meaning to leave a real reply to the blog post about writing, but I'll have to get to that when I've got a tad more time.

Anyways, just like to say I got 7 books for christmas, 5 of which are (and this is most awesome) by Mr. Abnett himself! Was lucky enough to get Brothers of the Snake, Armour of Contempt (finally catching up!), Only in Death, and Horus Rising. The other two were Gates of Fire and Zombie Survival Guide.

Can't wait to get through more of your stuff Dan, and catch up with me ghosts. :)

Hope you've had a great christmas and have a happy new year!

Pack_master said...

Some best wishes from me, too!

The Zombie Survival Guide? Heh, my bro had that thing once and showed me, really funky book.

Me, for myself only had some RPG books (limited edition, of xcourse ;) ) and a picture book (sorry, I am really out of shape, and some simple words won't come to me right at the moment, sorry folks for what you have to endure now) about wolves. Wheee! I adore wolves!

So, a happy new year from me, too! It's not that far any more, eh?

Rory said...

Merry Christmas all.

And zombie survival guide? my friend lives buy it.. hes actualy made a plan in how to make the street he lives in, into a Fortress... =D

Xhalax said...

Mr Abentt, sir.

Will be ever get more from the Lone Wolves?

Rob said...

Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide, is the son of Mel Brooks. Just a little factoid.

I've also heard his novel "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" is a lot of fun.

The highlight of my Christmas was snorkeling with spinner dolphins.

Rory said...

----------+ OID SPOILER!+----------

Ive litteraly just finnished it, and i have to say its def. one of the best. i couldnt put it down. especialy when soric came back, sort of.... Dan, your a legend!

Toymachine said...

Rorys right. There was something about OiD that just wouldn't let you put it down. Its the only GG book i finshed in one day. I found it hard to read - not physically hard, but the style was so much diffrent to the other books its like it caught me off guard.

Its in my opinion your best book yet Dan!!!

Rory said...


dry skulls in a dusky valley with the tops sawn off...

THat sentence haunted me.. im not even sure what it means still.. im guessing it was soric trying to get through... i read it when i was full of the flu. so i mightof missed somthing.. but that book was brilliant! dan your a legend of a man!

John said...

Yeah, I've already read WWZ, quite good.

Knew that little factoid... and from WWZ alone I say he's quite talented in his own right.

I'd recomend WWZ to anyone who enjoys zombies, or good books. heh.

NHZ said...

Sacred feth. I finished Only In Death a couple days ago, and not that I ever say that an Abnett book is bad--well, I think I said the ending to Ravenor Rogue was a little disappointing--but that was a great book.












-It was good to see the Ghosts in a knock-down, drag-out, honest-to-god-emperor fight again. The Armour of Contempt was great too, but there wasn't really a big battle for the ghosties.

-I'm going to have nightmares about the part with what's left of Soric, his handlers, and Hark. I got a very vivid picture of that in my head and it ain't pretty.

-Larkin's sniping while hearing Cuu, Mkoll being Mkoll again at the end (he's never going to die. never), Baskevyl's heroic's, and Daur's inspired defense of the gates stole the show. Loved seeing Rawne get his shot at command too.

This leaves the Ghosts in a weird place going forward, what with the extreme causalties...they're not much of a regiment anymore.

Can Gaunt please be able to shoot lasers out of his new eyes?

b.p.stevie said...

Happy schnew year!

Pack_master said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pack_master said...

Oops. Happy new year, so far...

Pack_master said...

~~~ SPOILERS OiD ~~~


Hell, yeah, the book was one of the best. I can't decide yet if I should rank it ahead, in line or a step after Necropolis. I doubt that anything can kick Eisenhorn from the top (well, at least as long you don't write another 1st-person Eisenhorn-story), but OiD is very near he top.

Ludd's going badass. Thats really hard. I think the regiment's more than respecting him in the future. He's not only hard as adamantium, but he thinks, and listens to the men. That's going to get the respect of the men.

"Sunny, some cloud" was the best in the complete book. I lay laughing for minutes and nearly had a heart-attack. :D

Rory said...

im embarresed to say this.. but ive only just started reading Eisenhorn. i knew the story but ive only just begun to read it.

i loved dans comparrison of a 30.Cal support gun to a Monsterous sewing machine. that made me laugh out loud!.

Jesse said...

Hey all,

Just a quick note to say that I'm still alive. I made it to lovely Tikrit, Iraq unscathed. I hope all is well with all of you and that your respective holidays and New Years were everthing you hoped they would be.

Dan, I ordered Only in Death from It should be here in a week or so. I can't wait.

It's funny, Dan. This horrible place is what got me started on writing to you. You and Nik have since become great inspirations to me. I want you both to know how much I appreciate that. Do you remember my anecdotes about 'G'? He's here as well. On a different base, but here in-country. I should be seeing him in a few weeks.

I don't have long on the internet each night, so I'll close this. I just wanted to wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year.

Nik said...

A Happy New Year to all!

Hi Jesse - always a pleasure to hear from you, and huge thanks for the Christmas e-mail, it was lovely. There should be something on its way to you in the next week or so, mail allowing.

Give G a bear hug from both of us. The tales of his antics are more than worth it!

b.p.steve said...

Xhalax top question

xhalax said...

B.P Steve....even in my broken, typo ridden english?

Matt said...

Hi, Dan!

Long-time reader, first time commenter. I just wanted you to know I finished Horus Rising and just tore through it. It was a fantastic read. I've been reading BI's big 13th Black Crusade book, and it's fascinating to see how 10 centuries later everything's kind of gone horribly wrong. Not that even when the Emperor was around, things were particularly nice, but there was still a long way to fall.

I'm really looking forward to all the Heresy books, including Legion since I'm sure it will an awe-inspiring tale of Alpha Legion's Primarch, Braniac 5.

Also very much looking forward to Titanicus, and loving the heck out of Blood & Thunder. We need more Ork-based entertainment, says I!


b.p.steve said...

Xhalax yes ,yes it was .Dan ARE we going to see any more Lone Wolves? like to think so.Even if they went straight to graphic novel,or even novel

Xhalax said...

Fairy snuff

Nick Kyme said...

Hey Dan,

It's Nick here, of BL (the short-ish, editor type - that's right).

I really must read your blog more. I must say, that this was fascinating stuff. Your comments really rang true to me and, thankfully, chimed with my own beliefs about writing.

You continue to be an inspiration.



Pack_master said...

Wheee! Am just reading "Oathbreaker". Fate must be kidding me :D