SURPRISE EXERPT!

You guys have been so good to me, so congrats, have a surprise excerpt from Chapter 2.  She’s still rough but getting better (There will probably be more polish in the final version but hey, a treat for you guys).  If you need a reminder, you can find the pre-beta first chapter sample here.

Enjoy and comment away.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

from: Brother Finn Arrives

“Mum, Why is Brother Finn here?” Reimar asked once inside their longhouse.

“Do not worry about that, Honeycomb,” she said. “The sun is gone to bed, and that means it is time for you to sleep as well.” Reimar heard something in his mother’s voice. It was almost… yes, something was wrong. Why would that be with a monk? They were going to have Mass, and then back to hunting and scavenging. That meant more apple picking he supposed. Reimar took off his kyrtill, tunic and trousers and put on his nightshirt from his clothes basket. He then climbed up to the low loft where his sister and one of his older brothers slept. His eldest brother Bjorn slept on the other end of the longhouse with his mother and father, farthest from the hearth.

Below, his father came in and dragged his fingers against the loft, tapping the wood in his usual good-night ritual. Reimar, Katrin and Erik scooted to the edge of the little loft and stuck their heads over.

“Ha hah!” Anton said playfully and stood up on his tip toes to give each of them a kiss goodnight, saving the noisiest one for Katrin. She giggled the unique sound of little girls amused by their father.

“Da?” Erik began to ask.

“No,”  Anton said in a voice that brooked no compromise.  “This is not for you,”

“But how-?” His face surprised that he knew what he was going to ask.

“Because I am your father, and I know the minds of curious boys. I promise you, tomorrow you will know more. Be patient till then. For now, you just have to sleep. That should not be so hard.”

“Jah, but I am thirteen! I am old enough to be a man and part of these things,” he protested weakly.

“You are not yet enough of a man to be part of this, Erik. Do not vex me.”

“Yes, Da,” he obeyed.

Reimar and the rest rolled over onto their clover tick mattresses. A few minutes later, Bjorn came in.

“Anton, come. They are waiting,” Anette said after taking the cauldron off the fire, and banked the coals for night.

“Bjorn, stay here,” Anton ordered, hooking a thumb up to the loft where the three younger children pretended to sleep.

“Jah, Father!” Bjorn said with a disappointed sigh.

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Edit #4 begins!… and more.

Oh I am soooooo looking forward to this… but at the same time very nervous.

I got a lot of good advice on Reimarsoga.  Seriously good stuff, and Beta Readers, thank you all.

Thousands of technical issues were caught… yeah, I know it’s over 1500, plus cultural references from one of my experts, and a few questions about the ecclesiastical underpinnings of things that I am mulling over as well.

I can’t wait to start, but I have to wait a little (till after I get home from doing adult/responsible like things, ugh.) And then dig into them.

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Work, work, work, work.

And then there’s the next book which I am really champing at the bit to write.

Thanks to all the feedback, I’m having to push what I had previously written as the second book, back to third book status.  At first I was really grumpy with this, because I really like what I have so far, but after a few conversations with some of the beta readers, I realized I had to put a new book in-between as next in chronological order, which is going to focus on Brother Finn.  Ultimately, it will be a big help for the overall universe, and might work out better in the long run, making it possible for multiple books to be released this year.  Who knows?  Maybe I can go from 2 to 3.  Hah!

At least I know how to speed up the process now.

Anyway, my goal, if I can meet it, is to have the 4th edit done in a week or two, and get it to an editor before the end of the month, and I can start writing forward again.

What’s really amazing is how much anxiety I am having over this all.  I mean I just want to be published so badly but I cannot, dare not afford to put crap out there with a cheap cover.  Gotta do it right if I’m going to do it at all.  In this aspect, it’s been a fight with being patient.  Everything will happen in the right timing I keep telling myself, despite the fact I want it faster than its going.

Le Sigh…

Okay, I gotta shup, go do necessary stuff and get back to edit.

 

The Beta Read Comes to a Close

First and foremost,

Thank you to all my Beta Readers who participated and gave me much needed feedback on my first novel.  If anyone has any questionnaires left out there, I still will gladly accept them if you wish to share your thoughts.

It has been a challenge as the edits came in to look at all my errors laid bare.  I did ask for you to be honest and brutal, and thankfully you all have, just as much as you have been encouraging and supportive.  My ego took some serious hits, but that is good.  Dishonest praise is worse than honest criticism.  The fact that I got lots of both, all done out of love and caring was best of all.

So once again, thank you.

Now, the future looks like the following.

  1. Finish NaNoWriMo.  This has been stumbling thanks to my discovery about derivative works.  I have not been so enthused to finish the project since I cannot publish it.
  2. Plotting the NEW book 2.  Yes, what I have previously written will be bumped to Book 3 in the series, and a whole new Book 2 written.  The goal is to be ready to start writing this when I finish with…
  3. Finish the 4th edit of Reimarsoga.  All those suggestions, edits and conversation come home to roost.  I hope… HOPE I will be done before the end of December because…
  4. Send last edit to professional editor and hire a cover artist.  My true deadline is the 1 year anniversary of me starting to write the first novel.  If I am really fortunate, I will also find a way to pre-order the book.  So, here’s hoping all goes according to plan.  So if you have some Christmas money you saved up for buying a book, get ready for pre-order pitches.  I will announce more where you will be able to purchase your copy as time gets closer.

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Beta Read is now LIVE!

Attention all Beta Readers, you should now have your copy in your inbox that you provided.  If you have not received it, lemme know!

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X-Post Fact Toast #5

For those who have finished reading my Second edit… the third edit, having it read out loud, even through a cruddy “Text to Speech” program  has been quite revealing.  The “Ear Clunk” is rapidly vanishing, and the story has gotten so much smoother.  I did 7 chapters tonight, meaning only 9 more to go before Friday, and barring some major disaster, I will be able to make my Beta Reader deadline without much issue.

Get away from me unexpected threat to my happiness!  That was not a challenge for you to try and meet!

The process has been a surprise as well.  Writing has given me two new expressions:

  1.  “Vonnegut colored crayon”.  Meaning that I often feel like I am writing with a crayon in my mouth.  Some of the text has been bad and have been grateful for the rewrite to fix it.  To my Alpha Readers who have been so supportive… I am so sorry.e19ea468de59620c1ab6da71da2a9dd9
  2. “Nose to Bark.”  I coined this expression when talking to one of my alpha readers and trying to explain I was so close to my creation, it was like having my nose pressed to a tree, so I could not see the forest around me.

On a positive note, I got this back from one of my alpha readers after he completed the 2nd edit alpha read.

Needless to say, this came from someone who’s opinion means a great deal to me, and is not a fantasy fan… ergo, I’m one very happy person.

Furthermore, this also gave me the experience of seeing this book with my nose no longer on the bark, having the computer read it to me to catch the most egregious errors.  What I learned is that the first chapters may not be as good, but the ones done latest are significantly better and smoother running.  Not only that, I did not realize the story could be as engaging and compelling as compared to when I originally wrote this bad boy.  I had to force myself to stop editing because I wanted a fresh mind for the last 9 chapters, which, if fortunate, will be done tomorrow.  If not… Friday.  But it’s getting done!

Beta! Beta! Beta!

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You talkin ta me?

Ha ha… made you say “wut”?

I’m such a weirdo.

Okay, here’s the deal.  I am looking for Beta Readers.  I have a few confirmed, but I would like a small, comfortable herd of interested parties who would be willing to read and fill out a questionnaire (plus whatever other criticism they may have) on my latest edit of Reimarsoga.  Remember, this is going to be a critical read, not just a fun read.  (well okay, it will be fun if I have my druthers.)

Details! (I will provide final instructions in the email)

  1. Start Date: No later than Oct 27th, 2016.  (Date is currently pending the completion of latest edit, finalization of the map and questionnaire.  It may come early.)
  2. End Date:  No later than Nov. 21st, 2016.  (I need time to make changes before I send it to the editor for a January release).
  3. Provided Materials:
    – 1 Copy of “Reimarsoga: Subtitle Pending” in PDF (including map and glossary)
    – 1 Questionnaire with specific questions by chapter and as a whole.
  4. Bonus Treat:  Participants who complete the beta read will be eligible for a FREE COPY once the book is released currently planned for the 1st week of January!  (I know, right?)
  5. Space is limited, so please don’t be disappointed if you do not get in… Book 2 is right around the corner!

That’s it as I see it.  If you have experience with editing, I am very interested in your input.  Enthusiastic fans of Fantasy, Steampunk, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction are strongly encouraged to apply.

To take the plunge, please reply the Contact page (extra linkypoo) and send a request through the email you wish the files to be sent to.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, you have not been selected, or I did not get it.  If that’s the case, try again before Oct 27th… cause I gotta put a hard deadline somewhere… and we’ll get it cleared up.

Once November starts, I will be focusing on my next Akiniwazi novel…la?  I’m doing NaNoWriMo, so its goal is 50k words and the faster I finish that means bonus stuff for y’all.

Thank you all for your interest!

 

 

 

Victory is Mine, Part Deux!

It is finished!

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Carlton nails the feeling.

I have completed my second draft and I am just so relieved!  Some statistics for you of book one of “Reimarsoga”  (that’s a working title so far).

290 pages (300-340 words per page)

104,333 total words

573,073 characters

Reads at about a 4th-6th grade reading level depending on what metric you use, (perfect for most big blockbusters.)

I sent out some of this to my alpha readers, and have gotten some response.  I hope they’ll forgive me, but this is so far what I’ve gotten back as a flash opinion of my final act.

I am loving it.  [My spouse] made me come down for supper but I am going to rush back.

I have received some other positive things about it so far, but will perhaps share those words later.

Now to let it rest for a few days, and then do one last clean up before I send it to my beta readers.  I’ll be contacting those interested in being a beta reader by email very soon, and post more details as that comes up.  I have to hurry, because I need to start getting ready for NaNoWriMo, which I am planning a novella/novelette set in Akiniwazi.

And then the bigger “to do” list for publication begins.

 

X-Post Fact Toast #3

Wordcount: 1,682 and 6 pages.
 
Woke up early… again… and puttered a little before I got to writing. The scenes are there in my head but are being “bocky-kookens” as my grandmother would say. Closest translations of that phrase is “stubborn cookies”.
 
Anyway… Latest chapter is “Stirring the Ashes”. It’s been incredible now to go back over many things I wrote and finding I’m echoing themes like a waveform, which is great! They are similar but not copies, illustrating and reinforcing each other. More writing later. One scene of the remaining few is in the can. So few left to go and they are just acting like that first bite of hot pizza where the cheese refuses to let go of the slice or cut with your teeth.
More to come later.
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The Strange Dichotomy I Stumbled Upon

Akiniwazi is a complex project.  It’s roots are based in some big philosophical questions:

  1. Can you make a Christian based “magic system”?
  2. What would the world look like if the Vikings discovered the New World
  3. What would a civilization look like if it discovered steam power but not gunpowder?

Number two and three have been possibly some of the most fun while number one has been the most trying.  When laying out the rules of the world in my mind, and on many scraps of paper (I tell you if this thing becomes a blockbuster, there are going to be so many scraps of real source material floating around for collectors after I die if I don’t burn them).  The biggest, even before I realized the alternative history aspects that are many of its roots is that this is based on the philosophy of what I call the “War Behind the Veil”.  The idea that there is a war between God and his rebellious creations following Lucifer and the effects it has on the physical world.

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Now, originally, this was to be a complete fantasy world with nothing in common to Earth and the world as we knew it.  But… I hit upon a huge problem:  How can you have Jesus and Christianity in truth, if you tamper with the the world and make it all fantasy.

I was stuck!

I realized you could not have that if there were any changes done to the “Old World” of Asia, Africa and Europe.  I had to leave them be, untouched and historically the same.  That single realization was a terror to overcome.  How could I have this setting I envisioned with the world being exactly as it was historically?  Then I stumbled upon it,

The New World can be totally different!

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The map was mutable.  I could make the new world and have it all the way I wanted, save for one last issue:  The Skaerslinger.

It is painfully obvious that I have taken heavily from Native American cultures.  The names of the lakes are taken from corrupted translations of Ojibwa words, for example.  But something I want totally divorced from this is to make the Skaerslinger anything like the actual indigenous people.  While the old world medieval Viking culture and related materials have to be at least honestly researched (maybe not perfect, but darn good enough to satisfy all but the biggest nerds/experts who will pick at this), I needed to abandon the same level of research and historical accuracy to the Skaerslinger.

I can’t do this, because I am not going to be accused of hate speech or racism (though some might try it anyway) because they want real world accuracy on their cultures in a fantasy novel.  So there is a big reason why I have thrown historical research for all New World cultures out the window and thrown in multiple influences into the mix from Celts, Cossack to Zulu to Aztec and Inca.  Plus many other ideas I have that make for a good ‘spice palette’ of the culture as it develops.

There are some very strong black and white lines because that is the nature of the novel, but I do not want to have anyone claim I’m saying “insert Native American culture is Satanic”.  I’m not, and will not.  But there is a reason for the structure, what I have to say and what is to come. It will be illustrated throughout the entire series.

So that’s the strange dichotomy.  All things in the old world and before the discovery of Akiniwazi are going to be considered as truthful and attempts will be made to make it accurate.  The New World, its people and geography and events there are a rapidly diverging splinter timeline and world from the base because it is fantasy and it MUST be.  This gives me freedom to create from raw cloth as well as just spice things up a bit from time to time, or even take interesting aspects from those cultures and use them as a template.

Many of these things will not really come about till book 3-4 I think, but you’ll see hints as we go.

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BTW, I am toying with releasing another sample chapter as it passes through the third or fourth edit.  Let me know below if you want to see another chapter out of the book!

 

 

The Editorial Two-Step

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Buster sez, “Ai r nawt teh happiez wif dis process.”

I think I finally burned down the impediments, and now can start the final battle.  Not only literarily… is that even a word?  As well as compositionally.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my two main characters I’ve driven to a “all is lost moment”, and I just have a little ‘grace note’ of a scene I need to do to drop out the bottom in my other main character so the two are both there.  As I think of it, that scene just grew too into something exciting before the big “Fire in the hole” moment for the battle.  I set my plotline and wove all the pieces together that were fighting me, and I took a few days to let my brain refill, and now… I just need to get real life out of the way so I can push forward.

So why the title?

To get all the weaving done, I was pulling my hair out.  I have in this part, a bit of story that could be off-putting for some of the audience.  I’m going to definately get another alpha reader opinion on it, but once again, one of my sounding board readers in this, Francois, came to the rescue and pointed out where I was overthinking it.  Something I really don’t want to do.  So I wrote, then threw out, wrote then threw out, wrote again… thought about it, forged forward, had another think and a talk, went back and rewrote, throwing a bunch out but not as much as I thought.

The editorial two step.

At work, after listening to the Presidential Debate… wow… just… trust me, my Facebook is a bit singed this morning, I listened to another Creative Penn Podcast and had a nice thought hit me.  I might not get this done before the one year anniversary of my major push starting, but I might be able to do a pre-order for the book and put the first book on sale right out of the gate with maybe some other promo things if it looks like it won’t make it for Christmas.  It’s a thought at least.

So, tonight, when off work, I’m going to hopefully kick off the battle and be one YUGE step forward to polishing this bad boy off… and get to beta readers sooner rather than later.  I was also encouraged by Ms. Penn discussing her need to abandon false deadlines too.  I sighed a large relief at that.  Then realized that she’s also cranking out far more words than I am, so I need to start getting my act together.  Inspiration, not competition… inspiration not competition.

;c)

 

Besides, she already won if it was.