Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October revisited

And so, it's time to tally up my October goals. Here they are:

My goals for October include: 1) Finishing three more Wizard stories; 2) Writing 10,000 words of Ascension; 3) Write two short stories for a workshop; 4) Prepare Quantum of the Past for Createspace.
It was a very ambitious set of goals. I didn't do half as well as I wanted to.

I actually only got done one Wizard story, 0 words on Ascension, and did not prepare Quantum for Createspace. At least I finished the two short stories for the workshop.

The lesson is not to be too ambitious. There is plenty of time to do things at a slooooooooooooooooooow pace. Next year is a big drafting year, so I would like to have at least The Wizards done.

November will be interesting. I start a second job, hopefully, while finishing up the semester at school. Just writing that out makes the endeavor seem crowded, busy. But it is what I have to do to keep my books looking a certain way. I mean, I could start doing the art for my books again, but that didn't work out so well. And good artwork costs money. Publishing too has costs. Next year I will add advertising costs, etc.

It's more of a hobby at this point (an expensive one). But there are bigger goals and bigger plots I have to follow. At least next year school will be a thing of the past, unless I wish to pursue a different degree plan. But I'm a little burned out from school.

More on next year's goals in two months.

These are my goals for November:

  1. Finish at least two Wizard stories.
  2. Prepare Quantum for Createspace.
  3. Prepare Quantum ebook.

That is far more conservative than last month's goals.


And now, here is more work by Celairen.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MT volume 3

After a flurry of things to do last week, I managed to squeeze out the third volume of The Quantum of the Past. I feel great now that it's over.

I remember when I said last year that I would have it out by November 30th! It has been a year since that. But that time doesn't compare to how long I have worked on the story of Miles Trevor.

I think it has been a little more than ten years since I created Miles Trevor. Ten years. A decade. I was about to leave the army. I finished a draft of another novel with him a year later (the first of several novelizations of his life). How ironic then, that this is just the start of his story.

The process of publishing the novel in parts taught me some valuable lessons.

1) Serial publication of novels is an old strategy that magazines used (still use?). Charles Dickens serialized novels that were very popular, like Oliver Twist.

In this age it is a way to give the reader more than just 15% (what ebook dealers give as a sample). It is cheaper too; they can purchase each volume for under $2.00.

2) Releasing a novel in volumes will not work for all novels. I don't see me releasing Ascension that way. There has to be natural breaks in the narrative to do it.

3) The careful author must be able to control the material. It is very easy to lose control. Consider that one volume could read differently than another. For a novel like Quantum, this is not a problem. But for linear novels, this may mean a vital flaw that produces a disjointed text that has varying tones and pace.

4) However, looking at each volume separately allowed me to truly focus on them. I said before that I am only human. Looking at about five hundred pages of fiction all at once is tiring, especially the way I look at it. If I had done the whole novel at once, the result might have been lower quality in the third section.


And so, with The Quantum of the Past complete, I can move on to other projects. I am currently trying to finish out the second short story for the workshop I'm in. I need it done by Monday. Talk about a tight schedule!

After Monday, it's back to The Wizard of Oxnard. And yes, Ascension.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

On the road...

I moved again a few days ago, making it the third time this year. Let me tell you, there is a reason there are professional movers. A kitchen stove and a refrigerator are heavy, and stairs suck. A major appliance fell on me so I haven't been in the mood to do anything with my hands. My limbs are all okay, just a few minor scratches and bruises, but I am sore as hell. Luckily, I had all the Quantum volume 3 stuff for kindle and nook ready to go.

I will load the files either later on today or tomorrow and double check the ebooks, so that they are on sale by Tuesday or Wednesday at latest.

The hiccup with moving was just part of my time. I also wrote one of the two short stories I'm supposed to write for my workshop. It's up in the Chasing the Coyote page. I have to finish another by the 21st of this month.

As for The Wizards, with Quantum subdued, I will have all of two weeks to work on one. The Wizard of Oxnard is all set up, I just have to write it.


Last week, I got the artwork for the novel version of The Quantum of the Past: A Fantasy. That marks the fourth artist I've had the pleasure of working with. Each is unique in their own way. That gives me options. I'll show off the artwork in due time. :-)

It's a very unique experience to work with them and trying to pass a vision you have in your head. I'm glad I decided to go with artists instead of doing it myself. That fiasco made me waste a lot of time.


So, that's a photo of the panel discussion we had at PVLD a couple of weeks ago. We had a good talk about plotting mysteries and the constraints of genre expectations. These were good folks and I hope I see more of them in the future.