February Update

Well. So, 2017 is certainly starting off interesting. I'll save the politics for a specific post sometime. I imagine that most of you who keep up with me in the real world and online know my political leanings, so it won't surprise anyone to know that I'm not enjoying the new regime.

Now, I'd love to be able to blame my lack of writing progress on that, and there might even be some credit to that, but it feels a bit like a cop out. I mean, not everything bad that happens can be blamed on Trump. Doesn't mean I can't try.

That being said, work on Impervious is progressing, though I have to say, I've been a little less enthusiastic about the project since I discovered I'd have a next to impossible time selling it, no matter how good the finished version turns out. Also, its becoming increasingly obvious that its going to need another fairly substantial edit, with a significant amount of world building going into the next draft. I'm having a hard time figuring out if shelving it until my career is at a point where I could have a shot at publishing it is the right move or just cowardice.

It's a good story, I like it…but the ending just isn't giving me the punch that I want. I'm sure that my author friends can relate to those feelings.

While all this is going on in my head, I stumbled back upon my NaNoWriMo project from 2014, a first-person urban fantasy about a novice vampire. Its nerdy, its fun, and (in my opinion) a surprisingly well written first draft. I spent the last week just reading it, wondering how in the world I'd forgotten about it. The project doesn't have a name right now, but I'm leaning toward punching out an ending to the first draft, then smashing out a second draft.

It would be a shorter novel, but something that would be much easier to shop around to agents and editors, or if that doesn't work, something much easier to toss together into an eBook and put up on Amazon to start a little self-published series. You'll undoubtedly hear me talking more about this in the next couple months, because I'm itching to do something with it.

I'm also going to be working on an Edge of December light novel: something the size of a novella that Glenn would then add illustrations to. Like last year, my New Years Resolution is simply to write more than I did last year. So far, that isn't working out so well, but I think if I focus on some smaller projects, things I can get done quicker and not get burned out on, I'll have a decent shot at increasing that word count.

I'm also regularly working on WordKeeperAlpha again. I know that progress on that hasn't been anywhere near as fast as it should be, but the features I'm working on are turning out to be bigger than expected. Still, they'll be worth waiting for. I've got a big update coming soon for Goals and Projects, and then I'll do some minor tweaks to the front page and a couple more small upgrades that I've been meaning to get to.

I've been promising social functions for a while now, and I'm still going to do them, but they might have to wait for version 3.0, which I'm planning to get to next year to really get going. Sadly, I've only got so much time in any given day, and its just really hard to fit in writing and working on WKA. Progress will continue…just slower than I'd like. For the most part I'm working on WKA on the weekends while I write during the week. At least that's what the plan is. We'll see if I can stick to it.

That's about it for me. My goal for the rest of the month is to average 500 words a night for the month of February. Right now, I'm not doing all that well toward that goal, so I'll have to kick it up a notch or two over the next few weeks. I'll check in with you guys in March and let you know how I did. Give me a poke on social media and let me know that you've got your eye on me.


Edge of December: Volume 1

Tuesdays will never be the same again. At least, not for me anyway. Every other day of the week is going to have to contend with the fact, that on this Tuesday, the 25th of February, I have finally seen my name in a real, honest to goodness book! There are words that I’ve written, a lot of them, printed on the pages of just over a thousand physical books and they are there because I did that thing. I sat down, and I made some stories and now people are going to read them!


Yes, yes yes… I know, I know. It was self-published, there’s only a thousand copies and those aren’t really going to appear in many stores so … Well, you can shut up about all that, people who aren’t really criticizing. You may be the voices in my head, but today I have no time for you. Today, I have accomplished something. It may be a first step, but by God, I’m walking down that road now.

I always wonder if I’m doing as well by Edge of December as I can. This latest story arc in particular has dragged on much longer than I was envisioning a FEW MONTHS ago when I wrote it, and I’m wondering if I didn’t make a mistake with the pacing. That being said, there’s been a lot of fun stuff, and character detail that got revealed in the last coupele chapters, and I have a hard time feeling really truly bad about it.

Today, though? Today I’m just going to bask in the awesome that is this book. I’m going to flip through the pages, look at the spectacular art, and just maybe, reread a few of the words that I put there. Or, that’s what I would do if I wasn’t busy writing on something else. Back to the coal mines, I suppose. This short story ain’t gonna edit itself!

P.S. If you’re interested in getting yourself a copy of that beautiful book pictured at the top of the page, meander your way over here and buy a copy of your own!

 


An end of year update – Merry Christmas!

Sorry I've been quiet since my mid-NaNoWriMo update. I'd like to say that I've been super busy getting stuff done and finishing up my project from November, but the truth is that I've been super-lazy. Granted, I have been doing some work on Edge of December, but I've mostly been screwing around catching and trianing my Pokemons. Delphox will totally kick your ass, so back off.

That being said, I'm back in the game. I've got a nice long break for the rest of the year and a little into next that I'm going to (hopefully) use to get some serious work done. December was supposed to be to finish up my NaNo project and kick WordKeeper V 2.0 out, so I'm hoping that I can still get at least one of those done. I also have the added goal of figuring out how to end out the current Arc of Edge of December. Granted, a lot of work for the few days I have, and not everything is going to get done, but I'm sure I can make some serious headway.

Most of my design work is done for the new version of WKA. All that's left is a few smaller pages and finishing the design of the social aspect. That, I don't know what I'm going to do with it. It might be a little bit of trial and error until I find something that works. Version 2.0 will be significantly more fully featured than the current generation, with a bit of social built in, some Twitter and Facebook integration, a nifty little tool that counts the words you've written and a much more advanced graphing utility to track your progress. Also, I'm integrating projects so that you'll be able to set goals per project and track them independently. Once I have it done, it will be a pretty awesome way to keep track of your writing trends and hopefully inspire you to write more.

Once December is over, I'm starting work back up on Impervious, with the goal of pushing right through the second draft, at which point I'll be looking for some Beta readers. While the beta reading is in progress, I'll finish out book 2, and maybe get a start on book 3.

Though I did spend a fair amount of time screwing around this year, I've actually written more than I ever have previously. According to WordKeeper I've written some 85,000 words since I started it at the start of the year, and had a few really good months before I got it up and running. I'm guessing that I wrote at least 100,000 words this year, which isn't bad at all! I finished up Impervious, split off Unstoppable from the vast expance that was the original draft, got started on the second draft of Impervious, got WordKeeperAlpha up and running, started on the second version of WKA, got a new blog up and running (though I need to keep it better updated), made several new writer friends online and finished NaNoWriMo again with a brand new story! None of this takes into account the awesome stuff that Glenn and I have been doing over at Edge of December where we Kickstarted our first book, and put out several eBooks. We're getting really close to finishing out the current Arc of the story, which is going to be HUGE!

Granted, that's not quite the goals I had set at the beginning of the year last year. I wanted to get a few more short stories written and submitted to various venues, and have closer to 125,000 words written, but I'm still really happy with everything I've gotten done! If I can keep up this pace, I'll have my first book done and available in 2014 with a second and third following close on its heels! That's super exciting and will serve to motivate me! There's going to be a lot of awesome stuff happening next year, so make sure to stay tuned. Hopefully I'll be a lot better at maintaining the blog and putting up some more articles that are more than just status updates between my long absences.

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, however you celebrate them. I should be putting out one more update before the new year with some updates on WKA, but if that doesn't happen then everyone have a good rest of the year!


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!