Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10/31/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hi everyone! Today is October 31st, which marks not just Halloween (yay!) but also my last day of freedom. Tomorrow is the first day of November, which means that all of my free time will be spent frantically typing away to meet daily word quotas. I hope you're all ready for it, because you have less than 16 hours to get prepared!

I think I'm mostly ready, and hopefully if I run into any spots where I'm not completely and totally prepared I can wing it appropriately. I keep getting told the overall premise is depressing, and that's really because it is, but I think I figured out how to make it have not a complete and utterly terrible ending, so there's that! Like most years I'm also not sure if the story will be finished at the 60,000 word mark.

For those that are participating, remember to go to to get registered to track your progress and also enter in your novel information. It's also a way to connect with people also enjoying the prospects of NANOWRIMO and where you can go to meet people in write-ins and other such things. It's also fun to put in your daily progress and see where you stand against where the numbers say you should be. At least for me, but I also give myself different daily goals.

I'm looking forward to this year's NANOWRIMO, mostly because it lets me start working on 'Through the Broken Mirror', which will be the third and final book in the trilogy 'The Light Rises' belongs to. It's the sequel to it and takes place roughly 17 years after it, (13 after the epilogue, if my numbers are adding up correctly, which is always a mystery) and will follow the story of Juliet Petri. She is Amelia's daughter and a budding young metalurgeon who is trying to find her place in an early 1900' England. However, when her mother vanishes and people start forgetting her, Juliet must venture out, accompanied by Enrico's apprentice, Michael, to discover what really happened to her mother on the fateful night almost thirty years before and save Amelia before reality rejects her. Personally I think it will be an interesting experience, since a majority of what I write doesn't involve teenagers, and also historically it will only be a handful of years away from WWI. Let's see what happens!

I hope you all get to participate and have fun with NANOWRIMO this year. I'm looking forward to it, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching the 60,000 word goal. I'll be interesting to see how my work schedule plays with it though, since it changes every week. Hopefully I'll be able to adjust, either that or I will be staying up later than I should to get everything done.

I'll be back on Friday with a new review and a word count update. If anyone is participating and wants to post their progress here they certainly can, and frankly I would encourage it. Just remember to have fun, and try not to hurt yourself, it really sucks. See you all Friday!

Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/2012 Magnificent Monday!

Hello everyone and welcome back on this rather cold Monday! I hope your weekend saw you all well. I feel like mine was far too short, though that could have been because I was fighting back a migraine pretty much all Saturday, so it felt like working overtime. Oh well, I just need to last today and tomorrow, then I can get some catch-up rest on Wednesday; my last day of doing whatever I want with my spare time before the flurry of writing begins.

Though I'm pretty much ready for it, I'm still a bit nervous about NANOWRIMO this year. I just keep thinking about my schedule and how little time that actually leaves me for writing. I know I'll be able to get stuff done during my lunch, but the problem is going to come on the Saturday's I work. My lunch is only a half hour on those days, and in general they are fairly busy. I feel bad about writing at the game, but it looks like I won't have much of a choice. Well, unless I want to work double-time on Sunday, however I don't know if I am up for that. Oh well, I suppose this weekend will be the best test for it.

I am now on the waiting end of Smashwords watching 'The Light Rises' for me. I have told them about the digital shipping issues I've noticed with the new edition and have been informed there is now a tech watching it. I don't know if that means they'll fix it, or just look at it and nod affirmatively that there is something weird happening with it. For those who would like some context; Smashwords distributes my book for me to pretty much every retailer but Amazon. I can go into my settings and see when it was shipped and a rough estimate as to when it should be available on those sites. However, I have noticed, since I uploaded it, that the dates it was shipped keep changing every week, and the book is never updated at the other sites. Finally last week, after waiting several, I contacted their tech support and pointed out the problem, using Barnes and Noble as the example. They said there have been some shipping delays and now they'll keep an eye on it. I just hope 'keep an eye on it' means 'they're going to fix it' because frankly, I would love to be able to start spamming other links.

For now though I will wait and remember wake it feels like to be awake. I appreciate everyone's continued blog support, it means a lot. I hope that whatever advice I put out there is helping those who need it, as well as the reviews on Friday. I will do my best to keep everyone as up to date as possible regarding NANOWRIMO progress and such as well. Until then, I will see everyone on Wednesday!

Friday, October 26, 2012

10/26/2012 Fantastic Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome back! It's finally Friday, and I am going to make the best out of my last Friday to do whatever I want for the next month. I looked for a good story for today's review and I decided to go with something a little fun to make up for a crazy work week. Also, Birdemic: Shock and Terror was amazingly terrible and the riffing was hilarious.

Today I bring you 'There's Starving Vampires In Africa' by Sarah Seeley. It's a short story about a young man who follows his roommate to a blood donation at school only to get thrown into a whirlwind of action and possibly some romance. Sure it's a little over the top at point, but sometimes that exactly what you need.

Othel had barely paid attention when they had an assembly talking about the group of Vampires living in Africa; he was more focused on homework, and the playoffs. However his roommate had insisted on donating blood to help them, so he went along for the ride. He hadn't been planning on donating himself until he met Kelly, a girl who seemed to be the exact opposite of everything that was him. He though he was lucky, until there is a break-in and someone else decides they need the blood for their own group of starving bloodsuckers. However that might not be the only problem the blood drive has going for it.

I picked this story because it is a bit different premise; since it's not every day you find something that paints vampires as the victim in such a way. Also because, quite frankly after the week I've had, something a little ridiculous at points is a nice way to relax. You don't have to feel stressed out or guilty, you just sit back and enjoy the ride. Frankly, isn't that something we all need from time to time? I say get it while you can and remember that everything will be alright.

'There's Starving Vampires In Africa' is available on Smashwords for absolutely free. I encourage everyone to pick it up and enjoy it over a break or lunch. It'll brighten your day a bit, and I think will make things a bit more bearable, especially if you're having kind of a bad day. Please check it out and help the author out too while you're at it.

Thanks everyone for stopping by again this week. Next week should go as planned, but I don't know how NANOWRIMO is going to work with my work schedule this time around. I'll keep everyone posted, and if anyone is going to participate, feel free to put your progress in the comments so we can all get to 60,000 together! For now though, I'll see you back on Monday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/24/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone! With just over a week left before NANOWRIMO I am enjoying what free time I get, because I know that soon it will be all gone and out the window. I'm also super excited because I'm going to see Rifftrax Live: Birdemic, Shock and Terror tomorrow, and if anyone's seen those before, you know it's bound to be amazing.

Last week we talked about how to listen to your body when it comes to writing, and how if it starts hurting maybe you should take a break. That's good advice for all times, not just when it's about to be a month full of writing insanity. Right now though, it's coming to the wire when it comes to planning, which means frantic timeline and/or outline construction/hoping everything will come together and your head won't explode time!

Let's say you have your idea for NANOWRIMO, right now it's a beautiful and unique snowflake you are excited about and want to write more than anything else in the whole wide world. It's going to be full of action, suspense, drama, and all those wonderful things you love so much. Now then, jump to November 1st, you sit down, pull out your laptop (or sit at your desktop, or grab a notebook if you want to hand write some 2000 words a day) all ready to begin the new whirlwind adventure, when suddenly...disaster strikes. Not the kind of disaster where there's a massive power outage and you watch your writing medium explode (which again, if you're hand writing and this happens, you have some very volatile paper and should probably switch notebook brands), but more the kind where you realize all those scenes you've come up with aren't from the beginning. No, they are from somewhere in the middle, but then you realize you're not actually 100% sure where they're going to go, and then panic begins because now you have to spend time figuring out how to actually start your project rather than use what precious free time in your evening going after the daily word quota.

Never fear though! That's what I'm here for! As I've said before having a plan of action when it comes to writing is super important, and this is especially important for NANOWRIMO because of the limited amount of time you're actually going to have. Well, it'll be a limited amount of time for those of us who also have full-time jobs that aren't work-from-home. I believe previously I mentioned how the first sentence is the most difficult. That's because a lot of writers have their overall plot in their head, but sometimes the smaller details get overlooked, and the first sentence or even first few paragraphs are often sucked into this sad black hole.

Now luckily I'm going to be starting a sequel for my NANOWRIMO project, so the actual beginning has been stuck in my head for a long time. However I know that there are a lot of people who don't have that option. For all of you who will be participating this year, I'd like for you to think about your project, and start thinking now how you'd like it to begin. Do you want it to open with action? Exposition? Dialogue? Those are really your options, and each one of them has its unique benefit. Action sucks the reader in right away and sets the pacing for the entire story, so if you go that route keep that in mind. Exposition tells the reader about the world and gives them a quick  introduction to how things work. Dialogue gives at least a small sense of character introduction, or even a brief idea of what the central conflict is going to be. If there is another option, please someone let me know, because that would be great!

Once you have your first, let's say paragraph down, hopefully the creative juices will have begun to flow. For a lot of people just starting a project is the hardest part, but once it gets going everything seems to flow a lot smoother. There are a multitude of reasons for this early onset writer's block, and they range from a sort of self defeating mentality to anxiety. Everyone has their reasons, and what's important is to keep a support group around and also remember that your worst critic is yourself. That may sound cliche, but it is absolutely true. Go back and look at something you wrote two years ago and tell me that you think it's a work of art. Chances are you won't, and that's just fine, but don't let that stop you from jumping into NANOWRIMO and getting to that word quota like the boss you are. Remember, this is the first, first draft, and the purpose of that is to just get the idea out of your head and worry about editing later.

I hope this helped, at least a little bit. I'll be back on Friday for my normal review. Barnes and Noble STILL doesn't have the new edition of 'The Light Rises' up and I am getting a little miffed. If I don't see it updated by Friday I'll see about contacting Smashwords, since it originally said it was digitally shipped on the 12th, then said it was shipped again on the 18th. I hope you all have a good rest of your week, see you later!

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/2012 Magnificent Monday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I hope your weekend went well. Mine wasn't nearly as long as I would have appreciated, but that's what I get for working on Saturday. I apologize for the lack of post on Friday, I woke up with a terrible migraine and could barely comprehend any summary I was reading, and that any review I did would only end up being a disservice to the author. After going through almost ten and spending most of my time re-reading them before I realized it was different than the one before, I decided to just give my brain a rest. This week should be better though!

This week marks my last full week to do whatever I want during my free time, and I hope to use it wisely. Next Thursday marks the beginning of NANOWRIMO, and while I think I'm mostly prepared, I'm nervous about it. I've come to the acceptance that I might have to decide that I'll finish just after Thanksgiving, and while I don't like that, since that weekend is always full of crazy, I won't cry if I have to do it that way.

At least I know I'll be SUPER motivated to finish once it gets to that time though. Persona 4: The Golden comes out on the 20th, and until I finish my 60,000 words, it's going to sit in its packaging and mock me. Now if I do manage to finish by Thanksgiving that would mean only two days worth of it, but if it's longer than that, I get to experience some form of insanity I'm just not prepared for. We'll see what happens though, either way it'll be an experience and I will finish the final word count again.

I remember the hardest part of NANO being the first sentence, and I'm working on figuring out what it is going to be right now. I keep telling myself that if I can just get it started, then the rest will be easy. I'm also curious about how far into the story the 60,000 words will end up getting me. I haven't figured out how long it's going to be in the end, aside from 'novel-length', so it'll be interesting to see where it ends up at that point. I super can't wait!

Thanks everyone for stopping by! I'll be back on Wednesday so please come back at that time. I'm still waiting for 'The Light Rises' to appear on other retailers, and it's getting kind of frustrating. It now says it was digitally shipped on the 18th, but it said previously it had done so on the 12th. I checked Kobo and any other ebook retailer and it still looks like the original edition. If anyone sees it on their retailer's site and it says ***NEW EDITION NOW AVAILABLE*** please let everyone know! That would be great! Until then, I hope everyone has a great start to their week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

10/17/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I'm working "abroad" today and by that I mean that I'm currently in the waiting room of my local dealership while they make my car work better than it already does. There's nothing wrong with it, mechanically, it just needs a tune-up, and I want to take care of my little car!

As I mentioned before I'm getting myself mentally ready for NANOWRIMO, and while I've been slacking off in regards to writing lately I know that is likely for the best. I've had too many bad experiences to know that pacing myself, no matter how frustrating it can be at times, is something that I need to do or I will be in a world of hurt.

Taking a step back from what I usually do, I did want to briefly talk about what you should watch out for while you're writing. I don't mean like wild badgers sneaking into your house and trying to steal your soul while you focus on your work (though if that is an epidemic in your area, try to keep your doors locked) I'm more looking at physical things that you might not notice until it's too late. The last thing I want is for my readers to find themselves in some trouble.

This is kind of a talk about ergonomics in that the people who make it their job to make sure everything is positioned perfectly at a work desk are sometimes onto something. The first thing to say I suppose is, throughout the course of your writing, if you feel pain anywhere, take a break. I know that part you're writing is super involved and you've mentally and emotionally invested yourself in it, but you are also having that pain for a reason and you need to catch it before it gets worse.

If you're at a desk, the possible problems are going to be with your wrists and back. A lot of people have those little foam things at the bottom of their keyboard to give their wrists lift so that your hands aren't as bent while you're typing. Those things are awesome, but that doesn't change the fact that writing is a metric ton of repetitive motion. If you feel your knuckles and hands starting to feel stiff, or a sort of burning in your wrists, pause what you're doing and try and stretch your joints a little. Give it a little bit and if the "burning" continues or turns more into an "agonizing pain" wrap the wrist in a damp cloth (warm if the actual pain hasn't started, ice cold if it has), take some advil or tylenol and call it a day. If you feel a similar sensation in your back, it will likely be in the lower back, and is happening because you've started leaning forward or slouching without your realizing it. Adjust how you're sitting and try to stretch your back, walk around for a bit and maybe lay down on something flat and hard, like the floor, just to give your back some rest.

Laptops cause their own set of problems, not only do you have the wrist issues that are far more abundant because you don't really have the option to put something below the keyboard to make it more comfortable for you, and a lot of people use them as their name suggests, and it's very hard to keep your hands flat and even when you're keeping them bent so you can use it while sitting on the couch. There's still the risk of back problems too, but also because you tend to be looking down while using a laptop rather than straight ahead it can cause strain to your shoulders. You can try and keep everything straight while you work, but let's admit it, that's not comfortable at all, not to mention it's really hard to work on a laptop that's resting on your knees while staring forward.

The most important thing to remember, especially while you're getting ready to work on NANOWRIMO, is to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Yes, your mind is working 1000 miles a second and you want to meet that word quota and be awesome, but if your hands and back are screaming at you to stop for at least a few minutes, listen to it or risk causing damage you'll have to live with for the rest of your life. Being in constant pain is not worth any book you write, because when you think about it once it's done, you won't think about how proud you are to have accomplished it, or how many people you made happy by writing it, or even how enjoyable the experience was to write it. The only thing you'll remember is how much pain you are in right now and that is when it started.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I hope the week is treating you all well so far. I'll be back on Friday with my normal review. I'm still waiting for the new edition of "The Light Rises" to show up on Barnes and Noble and the other retailers. If you see it somewhere and the overview has the words ***New Edition Available*** that is the new one. If for some reason they don't update those, the file itself will have the list of other titles to come. That is the new edition! Please tell everyone you know and love! I'll see you all on Friday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/2012 Magnificent Monday!

Hello everyone! I'm glad it seems like we all made it through the weekend, even if it felt all too short. There are a lot of times when I wish every weekend was a three-day weekend, but then I think about how long that would mean my workdays are throughout the week and I take that back.

I'm starting to do my annual writing slow-down in preparation of NANOWRIMO, which is good in that it means hopefully I won't do damage to my wrists (well, any additional damage), but also sad in that any ideas I currently have either get to be put on the back-burner or will drive me crazy until I cave and write them down anyway. Not to say that's happening now, but I know my luck and am trying to prepare for it. As always my goal will be to get through the 60,000 words before Thanksgiving, and as I've mentioned before there is a bit of concern this year with that day being on the 22nd, but I'll do my absolute best and not cry if I can't make it by then. I'll at least be close and it'll just be a matter of getting the rest down in order to finish up.

I'm roughly 1/4 of the way through my notebook containing 'Daughter of the Shackled King' and it feels nice to revisit that story since I was being lazy about it. I like this method of writing in that it lets me add details that I either left out or was in too much of a hurry to write down when I was handwriting it, so it feels more like a content edit than simply transposing it. I know that's not true, but it's a nice feeling. As I've mentioned previously though this is an incredibly slow progress, and that does drive me a special kind of crazy.

As you all are likely aware by now, my weekends are generally filled with gaming of some sorts. I would like to say a word about that, mostly because of a situation that I find is still bothering me several days later. I won't go into the rule-specifics, but what I will say is that if you're at a friendly gathering of people who are involved in a casual tournament and you happen to be playing against someone who has a crappy deck build and is the only girl there, don't be a jerk and assume they don't know what they're doing. That's what happened to me, and when it initially happened I was rather tired and just didn't want to deal with arguing about rules, but when I was more awake the next day it was still on my mind and I went back through what happened and discovered that was actually the situation. So yes, don't be an ass is my recommendation there, it just makes you look like dirt.

Anyway! I hope everyone has a good start to their week. My Wednesday post will be up, but it will likely be a bit later. I'm going to be doing the point 'on the road' and by that I mean I'll be writing it up while I'm getting my car worked on. Until then, I hope everyone has a great couple days, and I'll see you then!

Friday, October 12, 2012

10/12/2012 Fantastic Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome back on this Friday morning! I don't have a whole lot of time, so I'm going to get right down to the good stuff. Besides, that's why you're all here anyway, isn't it?

Today I bring you 'Ours Is Just A Little Sorrow' by Gwen Hayes. It's a steampunk novel that, rather that playing on the idea of an alternate history like most have, took it another route and set the story in the future. After the world ended it was up to humanity to rebuild, and looking back at what historical records were left, the colony of New Geneva rebuilt itself based on the Victorian Era, since everything seemed to go wrong after that.

The story is about a young woman named Violet who is purchased from an orphanage by the man who owns Thornfield Abbey as the governess to his youngest son. However, his two older sons have taken a liking to her and want her for their very own. The only problem is that something else has noticed her, and it's going to have her, even if the ghosts that quietly haunt the abbey need to be awakened and everyone is taken to hell.

I picked this story because for one, it's been a while since I've played with another steampunk story, and two, I do like the concept the author used for it. As I mentioned above, most steampunk stories are set in an alternate past, usually in England (though there's been a rise in old west style lately), but this one took the opposite route and used it as a method humanity is trying to rebuild after a cataclysm.

'Ours Is Just A Little Sorrow' is available on Smashwords for $2.99, which is a reasonable price for the length of the story. I encourage everyone to pick it up and let the author know what you thought of it.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I hope everything sees you well this weekend. I'm looking forward to relaxing, seeing friends, and also seeing my blog reach 4000 views! How exciting is that! I'm still waiting for Barnes and Noble to post the new edition of 'The Light Rises', but I'll post that up as soon as I see it. If anyone's see the new edition on Apple, please post your link! I don't have access to the iBookstore, so that would be lovely! Until then, I'll see you on Monday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10/10/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back! I hope the week has started seeing everyone well, we're at the halfway point, so that means just a little bit more to go until the weekend! If you follow me at Twitter (@ExplodingRunes) you've probably seen me spamming the internet regarding the new edition of 'The Light Rises' as well as it's FREE short-story companion 'Uncrossed Paths'. I would like to say I'm going to be slowing down, but that would be a lie...advertising is super expensive, which is what brings us to today's topic.

Advertising is expensive. I seriously can't stress this enough. If you go the cheapest ways, or the seemingly cheaper ways, you're likely going to be look at Facebook, Google, or doing actual promoted posts on Twitter, or even (awesome) Project Wonderful. All of these services charge per click, and you also set what you're daily "budget" is going to be. Sometimes you can go as little as $2.50 a day, which may not seem like a lot, but quite honestly my statements don't seem to reflect that at all. I have been completely turned away from Facebook's version of the ads, mostly because it has recently come out (and please correct me if this isn't actually happening) that their own system will click on the ads to boost how much traffic they're seeing. I have seen evidence of this on my pages, where I've seen the visits go up into the hundreds in one day but not a single sample (which is free) was downloaded. With "Uncrossed Paths" it was even more obvious since the entire story is free and there weren't any new downloads (aside from the one or two that generally happen a week) for the month. Google was a bit more reasonable, but it still didn't help with sales.

The other option that is available, that costs an absorbent amount of money, is to go through a promotional service. These are people who make it their lives to promote people's work and businesses, and they know they're good at it. A lot of the time you pay for packages (typically with the Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Adamantium levels) and each package will get you a different level of work they'll put into your product. I've looked at these as well and suddenly the cost I ended up paying for both Google and Facebook didn't seem so bad. I've also talked with people who have used promotional services before and they say the level of success is about equal if not less than average. Quite frankly I don't care for those odds.

In my experience the most successful route is the 'word of mouth' method. This is where social networking is a viking, especially Twitter. You tell someone about your product, let's say you have 20 people who follow you; if even one person tells their friends/followers, that opens your product up to let's say another 20 different people. This numbers continue to grow exponentially to the point where the amount of people talking about your product are seriously higher than anything you imagined. I always ask people to tell everyone they know and love about my books because I know this method works the best. Sometimes it's just friends helping friends, family helping family, but it's when you get that one person who isn't either talking that you're going to start making a lot of headway, since the likelihood you know any of the people they're telling isn't very high, which means your work is getting out to an entirely new audience. Facebook is similar since you can make Pages for your products and spam your news feed (guilty) until more people find it. There's also putting your links into your signatures in forums you frequent as well, since people there will click all on sorts of stuff.

Thanks everyone for stopping by again today. I hope this wasn't just seen as a rant and that it actually helped people make some choices regarding advertising. It's a tough world out there and I know that any bit of publicity helps, which was the whole point of this blog in the first place. For the most part indy authors aren't made of money, so paying some ridiculous price for advertising isn't very helpful. I'll be back on Friday though for my normal review, until then I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/08/2012 Magnificent Monday!

Welcome back everyone! I hope your weekend was full of fun and excitement. I was tired through most of mine, but I'm hoping to make up for it today. While I don't care for not having PTO, I do appreciate having banking holidays off, so I'll take whatever I can get.

According to Smashwords, the new edition of "The Light Rises" should be appearing in the other retailers soon, since it says it digitally shipped on Friday. I'll keep everyone posted though and will post links when they become available. It was a rewarding and humbling experience, and I'm glad it seems to have turned out well. I'm going to keep this all in mind for future projects as well.

I'm still trying to get mentally geared up for NANOWRIMO. I know I still have a few weeks, but it's good to get the creative brain juices flowing now so that I have less chances of getting stuck during the writing explosion that is November. As always, my goal will be to get finished before Thanksgiving, and since it's on the 22nd this year, that means I will need to average almost 2860 words a day. I'm a little worried about that number, since last year I averaged 2100, and while I did manage to achieve my goal, that did a number on my tendonitis riddled wrist. I just need to remember that pacing is important but that doesn't change my concern.

That's why I am letting myself rest as much as possible before that time comes. While the transposing work is slow on 'Daughter of the Shackled King' in the end I think the speed is probably for the best. It lets me work on something without doing more than I likely should. As I go through the month of November I'll continue to post my progress, and if anyone would like to do the same here that would be wonderful and fun. I know there are people who can do the entire 60,000 words in one night, and to those people I say "Congratulations" and also "Are you a robot?" because quite frankly that is just a staggering number that I can't comprehend doing in a 24 hour period.

It's really nice seeing some things come together, and as I also ponder getting ready to actually edit 'Rending the Seal' and how huge of a task that's going to be (mostly because the thing is super long) I can't help but wonder what it's going to feel like when one third of the whole story is told. It's going to be an experience, that's for sure.

Again I'd like to thank everyone for stopping by. As another plug at shameless self promotion, I'd like to remind everyone that "The Light Rises" is available on Smashwords. It's the new edition and I would appreciate everyone telling all the people they know and love about it. Advertising is expensive and I'm trying to save costs wherever I can, and word of mouth is the best kind of advertising. It's up there for $2.99, and if you've already purchased it, you can also get the new edition as an update to your e-reader, so you won't need to purchase it again. Thanks everyone and I hope to see you all back here on Wednesday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

10/05/2012 Fantastic Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome back on this day! I hope your week has seen you well. With a lack of time this morning to do a bunch of searching, I have decided that today will also be about shameless self promotion, so listen up!

Today I bring you 'The Light Rises' by me! It took a lot of blood and sweat, but the new edition is finally completed. It's been polished and made pretty for everyone to love, enjoy, and tell their friends because advertising is really expensive!

The story begins with a homicide detective and freelance necromancer, Keagan Gillette, returning to England after leaving two years prior in a bout of drunken grief. When he comes back he finds the world has moved on without him, including his friends, and for once he thinks he might be able to have a normal life too. That is until he sees a man in a white suit hold his hand up to the sky and create a blizzard in the middle of August. Seeing that he's once again been thrown into the thick of it, he must repair the bonds he severed and get ready to save the world from the coming Apocalypse.

I like this story, not just because I'm the one who wrote it, but because after not looking at it for about a year I can really appreciate where I pulled everything from. I'm a mythology buff, and I wanted to be as close to accurate to the source material as possible while still taking a bit of creative license with it. It helps me feel motivated to jump into editing for 'Rending the Seal' and also get ready for NANOWRIMO so I can start work on 'Through the Broken Mirror'.

'The Light Rises' is currently available on Smashwords for $2.99. It will be available again, at least the new edition will be, at the other retail locations once it goes back through the review process for the premium catalog. We needed to do some work on the cover image, so it needed to be resubmitted, but I'll let everyone know the second it digitally 'ships' to the other locations. In the meantime, check it out and tell your friends!

Thanks everyone for stopping by again today. I hope you all have a great and fun weekend once this Friday is complete. I appreciate all the visits I get to this blog, it really helps keep me motivated to keep it up, so again I thank you for that. Until Monday, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10/03/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone, I hope your day is going well so far. I apologize for the late post, but I wanted to give my back as much rest as possible. That's a better excuse than I just wanted to be lazy, right? Anyway today will be when I hopefully complete Phase 3 of 'The Light Rises' overhaul. Then it will be sent off to Harper Voyager and also to Smashwords for everyone to enjoy.

All this editing though is seriously making my head spin. I know, and I have stated before, this is the step in the writing process that takes the longest, no matter how hard you try to make it not. If it wasn't for the fact I have a deadline to meet I would like likely be taking it slow, but since that isn't an option I think my head is going to actually explode. It doesn't help that I have decided that working on transferring from notebook to digital is going to be too slow of a process for NANOWRIMO as well, so my brain is going to melt, I think I just need to accept this.

With NANOWRIMO so close (in that there is now less than a month before it starts) I have been trying to mentally work out any kinks that will slow down the creative process with the story I will likely be working on for that month. I'm kind of nervous because I feel like I am going in at half-strength, and I really don't want to risk not getting to the 60,000 word goal. This is the point where solidifying plot becomes vitally important, which is what I wanted to talk about today.

So let's say you have your main character, awesome! They are dynamic, strong, have their own faults, and are basically a person. The question then becomes what are they going to do? Do they have goals, dreams, aspirations, and how do they work with the plot? These things need to fit together, since if you have someone who's dream is to become a steamboat captain and your story is about a post-apocalyptic wasteland of death where there is no water (kind of like the opposite of Waterworld, I guess), there's going to be some clashing. The point is that the people need to feel like they fit in the world you're making, and that's the only way the plot is going to feel organic.

This also goes back to what I mentioned previously about making your antagonist. They also need to fit into the world in a similar fashion, but it's alright is they go against the grain a little. If they didn't, they wouldn't really have a reason to be evil, right? There's something about the world they are against, and they are going to do everything in their power to make it go with them, and that's one way you can make your plot work. While the protagonist works to gain allies, fight the bad guys, and save the day, it's the antagonist that is helping drive the plot and create the problems the hero has to fight against. If you can make these two people fit together you will strike gold.

You also need to decide what kind of plot you're going to make. Is it going to be an overarching epic of fantastical journeys and magic? Or a coming of age story where someone needs to learn what it really means to find their place in the world? Both? It can be both, nothing says it can't, but if you do make sure it doesn't feel forced.

I hope this helps, it actually helped me remember things about my villain and such for the third story in 'The Light Rises' trilogy, so that's a step in the right direction. I appreciate everyone stopping by, it's really a big motivator for me. I also see we're almost to 4000 views, which is simply a staggering number. I hope we can get there by Friday, that would be super awesome! I will be back on Friday with my normal review, so I'll see everyone then! Have a Good rest of your week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

10/01/2012 Magnificent Monday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I hope your weekend saw you all well. Mine was filled with friends and fun, which is nice even if it didn't feel like I had a day to just relax. That's fine though, that's what Wednesday's for, right? Well that and a couple errands-running adventures, but other than that, relaxing!

Right now I'm in my mini-break-ish period while waiting for someone to finish looking at 'The Light Rises' to let me know whether or not it makes sense and where I need to adjust a few things. I've been working more on getting 'Daughter of the Shackled King' out of its notebook and let me tell you, I am still shocked at how slow of a process that is. I was convinced that taking something that I wrote down and just typing it out would be something that would happen at a reasonable pace, but even after working on it all week I feel like I've only added two or three pages to the digital document. It's kind of bizzare.

I'll admit I'm a little concerned for the page difference I'm seeing right now. My notebook is on page 36-ish while my Word document is about ten pages less than that. If that page difference holds up I think it will be alright, but I have the feeling that gap is only going to become larger. I just hope the final document still ends up being over 120 pages; at least then I can feel like it's a real novel and not just a super (and ironically) long short story.

I'm also working on getting my brain in gear for NANOWRIMO, so at some point I'll have to take an actual writing break so as not to destroy my wrist during November. I must remember how I handled pacing last year and also decide what I'm going to work on for it. Likely it will be 'Through the Broken Mirror' so I can get the jump on finishing up that trilogy, but we'll see. There are still some details I haven't fully worked out yet, though I'm hoping they will happen in the form of grand epiphanies!

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I hope everyone has a great start to their week. This week looks like it's going to be a little tough, but I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, and Wednesday will be a nice cool-down day. Until then, have a good couple days!