Writing a book is a lot of work.

I've never finished a whole book before. Its still a little thrilling that I wrote a book. Granted, its not a very big book at the moment, but it'll grow. Which is what I'm doing now. I got a lot of good feedback on Impervious and now I'm ready to take another crack at it. I'm starting to realize that writing the first draft was the easy part.

One of the problems that I'm facing is that, by in large, I wrote Impervious by the seat of my pants. Minimal outlining, big drastic changes to the story from one chapter to the next, characters who were on one side at one moment, and on another the next. Which is just about the only way that I was able to do National Novel Writing Month.

So, right now, I'm going through chapter by chapter and figuring out just what needs to be done. I've started a new story bible, free of errors and taking into account just what's going to be happening in the final version of the story. The good news, is that the next book is about 80% done, which helps a LOT in figuring out what has to happen in this one. By my estimates, I need to add another 50k to 60k words to Impervious before I'll have a viable second draft. Involved in that, I need to alter whole character arcs, add in plenty of setting, flesh out my magic system, create a couple new characters, kill a few darlings, and add in a bit more humor. No big, right?

One of the difficulties I'm having is that I have to figure out how to play with certain cliches without hurting the story. One of my main characters is the “Evil Emperor” who I have to fit into the role while still making him one of the “good guys”. While I'm doing that though, I have to avoid other cliches even more because I'm playing with others. Plus I've got more writing craft to learn. Did anyone else know that writing a book was a lot of work? I suppose that I knew it was going to be a lot of work, in my head, but now the reality is catching up with me. I mean, not only is there all this stuff I have to do, but once its all done, I've got a completely different set of things I'll have to do. (Formatting, marketing, messing with eBook stores) Am I even going to have time to spend my massive piles of money? I'll pause while you published authors manage to control your laughter.

So, that's what I've been up to. This month should see some considerable work done on Impervious since I'm doing a 25k month. I'm a little bit behind, but I've made some good progress today. If you're attempting something similar, might I suggest taking a look at WordKeeperAlpha? If you're being extra suggestible today, go take a look at the Edge Of December Kickstarter. We're in our last ten days and almost at our goal. Help us over the edge if you're feeling extra nice.

Have you heard of Van Canto? No? Have a little “Hero Metal”.

You're welcome.

I’m back! I’m back with news!

So, I’ve been “gone” for a long time. Rather, my previous blog on my former homepage had been left to wither and die for months while I poured effort into my projects. The first of which being Impervious (first draft finished!), the second being Edge Of December (we have a Kickstarter!) and the last being WordKeeperAlpha (more on that in a moment).

I’ve been a little quiet on what was happening with Impervious because I’d entered it in a contest for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) winners. The contest was a great idea by Ravven, and others (who I will hopefully link as an edit to this post). Long story short, I won the first phase, but honorably lost to the aliterative and talented Janna Jennings. Even winning the first phase is huge for me, since I’ll be getting a lot of aid that will help me get Impervious out ready for publication sometime in the next year, including but not limited to cover art by Ravven herself! Seriously, she does some pretty awesome stuff. I reccommend checking out her current body of work here.

So I’m going to be kicking a lot of butt on Impervious in the near future, but really, if that’s all I was doing, shouldn’t I at least be half way done with the second draft by now? Maybe. Maybe if I wasn’t making a new tool for authors who want to set word goals and track their progress online! I call it WordKeeperAlpha and its online and functional. In fact, its a large reason behind why I changed hosts and moved this blog to a new site. Still, its free and pretty neat if I do say so myself. And even if it isn’t too neat, its free. Right now, WKA is still in the beta phase, and I’ll be adding features to it every couple months. Pretty high up on the list is the ability to share your graphs with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Impervious is my primary goal though. Here’s a little peak at the graphing feature though… if you want to see more go and create an account.

Edge of December has been really busy too. We recently sent Glenn, Court and company to Phoenix Comic-con and by all accounts they had a blast, made friends (also a couple enemies) and made a good showing at our first con. I wasn’t able to join them this year, but when they return next year I’ll be in attendance (hopefully with a book of my own). Also, Edge has a Kickstarter going right now! Go there and you can still get in on our early Kicker opportunities. Save money by backing before everyone else and get not one, but two stories by me!

Now, since I’ve done nothing but talk about news in this post I’m going to leave you with a little bit of happiness for the day. By I Fight Dragons, this is The Geeks Will Inherit The Earth!


Quick Update

Katie and I just got back from celebrating our first anniversary!  It was awesome, but also a little tiring.  I meant to do a blog post tonight to catch people up on my work with WordKeeperAlpha and future plans for Impervious but that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow night.

I will say that I was made aware of a bug (thanks Dad!) that stopped people from registering… Ooops.  That was a little dumb on my part, but its been fixed, I’ve tested it out and everything is working again.

So, if you wanted to register, but couldn’t, please give it another try.  It’s working now.

It’s been a while

I know, I know. I’ve been a very bad man about posting to my blog.  I have reasonable excuses for it, one of which being switching hosts (as you can see from the shiny new URL).  Please, let me be the first to welcome you to seth-swanson.com.  I’ll explain the reasons for my move in a later post.  Today, I’m posting with a purpose: that of revealing a book that I could read over and over and over … or books … pursuant of the #wanaFriday Twitter tag.

I know this will come as a shock to those who know me, but I’m not an overly complicated man.  I generally don’t read to better myself as a person, or to gain “culture”.  I enjoy me a bit of Shakespeare, but beyond that I give most literature a skip.  I’m sure its great and everything, but most of the “greats” have a decided lack of magic, monsters, swords or Jedi’s.  I’m ADHD, you have to keep me engaged in the book with the use of an array of shiny objects. Which brings us to my first book that I can happily continue reading forever:

I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole
I’ve loved the whole X-Wing series since I was in high school.  I know that its pulp fiction, but the first four books of that series are great.  I, Jedi is even better though.  As should be obvious, there’s Jedi, which also means there’s lightsabers and the Force.  Not enough?  How about a Jedi private investigator?  Still not enough?  Add in some space battles, a few clandestine operations and a great story.  I, Jedi is by far my favorite novel in the Star Wars: Expanded Universe and Stackpole is my favorite author who writes in it.  If you were ever curious about fighter ace Wedge Antilles, the X-Wing series fleshes him out nicely.  Corran Horn is also one of my favorite characters within that universe.  I spent years reading Star Wars books just looking for references to him and his distinct abilities.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Its about a city of magic zombies.  If you need more than that, we can’t be friends any more.  Brandon Sanderson is my absolute favorite author and anything he writes deserves to be on this list, but Elantris was the first book of his that I read.  If you aren’t familiar with him, then check out something of his.  He’s pretty well known by now for making completely unique and interesting magic systems.  I specifically like the symbol based Aon magic in Elantris, but I also love the metal based magics from the Mistborn series.

Monster Hunter Intl. by Larry Correia
Monster Hunter Intl. (Hereafter MHI) is pretty much a summer action blockbuster in book form.  Monsters, guns, government conspiracies, an impending world ending disaster, werewolves, vampires and one-liners.  I could read this whole series over and over again whenever I just want to read about stuff being blown up in creative ways.  Its just good fun.

So, there’s a peak into my mind.  I’m not going to win any prizes for the width and breadth of my reading, nor my tastes, but there you have it.  I also prefer cider to beer.  I’m a heathen and I know it.  Good thing it doesn’t bother me.

Come back a bit later for news on WordKeeper (my tool to help authors set and keep their word goals) and big news on Impervious!  For now, I’m off to Kansas City for the weekend with my lovely wife to celebrate our first anniversary!  Out.

Updated with links to other participants:

This is a weird feeling for a Monday…

The internet is kind of a confusing place sometimes.  Really, it depends on where you hang out, though, unlike in real life, you don’t have a map that tells you how to get to the over-your-head-zen-musicians and away from horrible back alley drugs sold by the Russian Mafia.  Still, assuming you aren’t hanging out only in the seedy underbelly, filled with terrible porn, you can come across some very interesting and thought provoking stuff.

No, I’m not talking about NASA’s latest thing on Mars.  Well, alright, that is interesting, but I maintain that NASA should be sending colonists there by now, so I’m a little underwhelmed.  No, what I’m talking about is people!  Every now and again it just hits me that the internet, the whole damned thing, is chalked full of people, doing their thing and being people.  Sometimes, this sucks.  Some people suck, you can’t get around it.  Some people are crazy, and they at least have that going for them.  Other people though, are awesome.

Awesome people are all over the place and they are doing awesome things.  Things that don’t get on MSN.com; things that don’t make Fox news.  There are people who do the craziest most wonderful stuff for no other reason than it makes them and other people happy.  There’s a lot more on YouTube than idiots blowing up soda bottles and kitten videos.  Last week, Anita Sarkeesian, of Feminist Frequency, put out a video that shifted my perspective toward women’s roles in video games in a huge way.  You can watch it here.  This was the first part in her series Women vs. Tropes in video games and I am very glad it happened.  I’m going to talk more about that in a later post, but its going to (hopefully) be more involved and also related to my own story telling and lesson’s that I’m learning in that field.

I just bumbled into Amanda Palmer’s site and have to remind myself that I should be writing my synopsis for Impervious, not absorbing a new outlook on life.  Well, maybe not that drastic but the woman has ideas.  Powerful ones.  She’s got a new TED talk (the source of my internet bumblry*).  ”Old Seth” would have written her off as a hippy, and alright, her ideas still seem a little hippy to me, but that’s probably more because some of them scare the already frightened introvert inside of me.  ”Today’s Seth” is very interested in what she has to say and what she’s doing.  Among other things she’s tossing the whole piracy thing right into the industry’s face.  She’s also talking about things like bullying, which as some people know, is really close to my heart.  We might not agree on everything (I haven’t read everything she’s got on there yet) but I think I’m definitely to a point where I’m willing to listen.

And there’s even more; on and on, bigger and broader, as I widen my social browsing.  More ideas, more people, more experiences to read, watch and listen to.  Tonight, I just had that moment of, “Whoa” and became newly fascinated by this technological terror that we’ve created.  So, maybe its just the wine talking, but you go Internet.  You keep being weird. You keep being original.  You keep thinking and putting yourself out there.  Who knows, maybe someday even I will have something worth saying.  For now, I’ve got some writin’ of my own to do.

*I’m an author, I’ll make up whatever ferplexing words I want to.