Following the Plan-ts

Writing is sometimes a breeze and others a struggle.  You authors in the crowd get what I mean.  What’s horrifying is when the story wants to flow, but the actual work is hard.  Five chapters into my Middle Build, I’m feeling just that.  The big storyline is now shaped up, the antagonists are well defined, they know their Macguffins, the twists are pre-planned, the betrayals ready to go, the thrills and spills all lined up for their qualifying heats.  I mean it’s just mmm-mmm-tasty!

But the work to lay it out?  Oh man… just shoot me.  I’m still trying to figure out my real methodology, but I’m coming closer to understanding it.  I write much like how I used to run RPGs.  Some light planning up front, decide what events were going to happen whether the PCs had a say in it or not, and then figuratively kick the anthill and see what scurries out.

I’ve kicked the anthill and fireants have come scurrying out making me question my life choices at times.

So I’m basically a “Plantser”  I plan some, start the ball rolling then react, react, react to what the characters tell me they’d do.  Several times, I’ve discovered the characters take an action I never expected, but yet there it is.  I can’t ignore it, because the character WOULD do that.  This now alters the plan somewhat, but the same events are still going to be on course.  For the most part.

I’ve been really stretching myself with seven way conversations.  I mean, how do you write a meeting of many people?  All of whom have something to say because although they are minor players, they need to be there to flesh out the event.  Ensemble writing is tough!  At least in one case, I was able to strip out characters and decide on the four I wanted involved, laid out their positions on the subject and went from there.  The other… Ummm… errr…. Not so much yet.  And they all share the same title, because they’re peers of the Hird.  So the honorifics get them ‘echoes’ started pretty bad.  Hopefully, it will not turn people off too badly, but I got to feeling a lot like this:

But, as slow as it has been going, I’m really happy with the story so far.  My small team of alpha readers has been keeping me on course and the immediate rewrites (yes I’ve had to redo chapters and parts of scenes a few times before moving forward) have been enthusiastic and constantly wanting the next chapter ASAP.  A good sign I’d hope.  May this transfer well to the rest of my readers when it hits the websites.

Not sure when its going to get done yet.  This is a far bigger book than anticipated with the multiple storylines now converging and the final chapters yet to plan out in more detail  (Something that always gets clearer the closer I get to putting fingers to keyboard.), but I’m very optimistic.  Ultimately this will make book 3 in line for a bigger rewrite than I thought.  I wish I could focus more on writing, but lots of distractions going on (mainly job related).  Hopefully I can get some of that to change for the better and clear my mind up from all that stress.  I know I know some people do far faster projects with ten times the distractions, but that’s them and this is me.  We’ll make it work.

That then begs another question.  Should I break up the release into three sections?  I easily could do 3 novellas, then release the novel in hardcover/paperback.  I dunno.  I wanted to do that with book 1 for the ebook too.  Say make it 99 cents for each part (with the first one for free).  How does that grab you all?

So I shall leave you with a little surprise.  Here is an excerpt from the first draft of one of the chapters titled “Bedtime Stories”, so mind the dust and splinters.  It is just the first draft.

Enjoy!

Bedtime Stories

 

“…and without another word, Saint Ragnar slew the evil Draugr, sending the manitou to hell, and saving the village from its evil, forever.  The end.” the Visekonge said, finishing up his son’s bedtime story.  

Compared to the problems of the crown, the nightly ritual for his son was one of his daily joys.  His simple son looked up at him with his bright slanted eyes, his broad moon face glowing and clapped with the end of the triumphant saga.  He always enjoyed the sagas of Saint Ragnar and his fight against the Skaerslinger and the Draugr, and knew when even a single detail had been changed and always reminded his father.

“Pader?  May I have another story?”

“No my son.  No.  It is time for bed, and I must also go.  My crown is busy tonight.”

“Awww,” Olivr whined.

The Visekonge suffered his son’s disapproval in silence with a smile.  The time he spent sitting on the edge of his young son’s bed was one of the few places where he found solace from his troubled kingdom.  Where he could talk about great men who had already solved greater problems than the ones he faced.  The ritual helped center him again and reminded him what it was he loved most.  The petty infighting of the Statsraad was such a terrible drain at times.

“Will you say prayers with me, Pader?”  Olivr asked again.

“Of course,” The Visekonge said, and then began for his son, “In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust…”  

Olivr picked up where he trailed off.

“Let me never be ashamed and deliver me in thy righteousness,” The boy continued.  His father raised his eyebrows and mouthed along with him.

“Bow down thine ear to me.  Deliver me speedily and be thou my strong rock, and castle to save me.”  Olivr said smiling at his father’s mock serious faces.

“For thou art my rock and my fortress, therefore for thy namesake, lead me and guide me.  Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me, for Thou art my strength.”  He giggled a moment, before his father’s face got serious again and encouraged.  

“Into thine hands…?”

“Into thine hands, I commit my spirit.  Thou hast redeemed me, Oh Lord, God of Truth,” Olivr continued, refocused on the words.

“Amen,” Gregor whispered.

“Amen,” Olivr agreed.

The Visekonge leaned over and kissed his golden haired boy on the cheek.

“I love you, my son.”

“Love you too, Pader.”  The boy rose up a little to rub his nose against his father’s in a side to side motion.

Pages 197
Words 59188
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Rolling Forward

Just a quick update on Book 2.  We’re still not entertaining titles yet, so Book 2 it is.

The process of writing the first draft is often filled with lots of fun revelations as well as wandering down blind paths.  I had been caught in one for a week or two now, but have worked it out, cut out a minor character, and things started moving again.  Two more chapters have been added to the Beginning Hook, and I am almost to the climax of the beginning hook.  I can’t wait!

See, although I have an idea of where I’m going, I never see it till I get there.  That’s what makes it both fun and frustrating.  Sometimes you think you’re going in one direction, but when you sit down to write it, the characters or circumstances tell a different story and you are stuck being along for the ride.  On a positive note, the villains are all shaping up nicely.  The secondary characters are well established as well as the main characters.  Such fun.

I’ve made one of my alpha readers very happy with one chapter so, I hope it translates well to the rest of you all when the book comes out.

That said, I figure 3 maybe 4 scenes left before I pull the trigger on the Beginning Hook’s climax which I know how it must end up, but I still can’t see clearly how it will come about.

Hopefully I will have this built strong enough that the roller-coaster effect will kick in once the few following scenes are complete and I start melding all the subplots together.

But that’s all for now.

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Update: Book 2

We have reached chapter 6 of the second book.  The scenes are still a little difficult to put out, but I am falling in love with some of the characters.  Can’t wait to share more about them.  Oh… and I am bringing back some characters from “A Light Rises in a Dark World” and Book 3.  Yes, remember, book 3 has its first draft done already.  It’s in for a heavy rewrite once this one’s done, but I think we can do this fairly well.

Nattbilder av Gamlehaugen etter snøfall den 26. des. 00.

Stats

Chapters – 6
Words – 11,995

And the plotlines are sprouting up like weeds.  I had forgotten how fast this happened with running RPGs.  You run the first adventure, and suddenly you have a plethora of directions to go in, and it becomes a case of careful pruning.

One of the plotlines, I am toying with making a special freebie for mailing lists since it is an asynchronous story inside the book and necessary for explaining things into the future.

One of the most fun aspects of writing of course is that I do a lot of “on the fly” research.  How did people write these kinds of complicated works before the interwebs?  I mean I am writing a scene where I have to describe the kinds of desserts available to royalty.  Much to my surprise, variations of cookies, called ‘kex’ in Iclandic go all the way back to Persia in the classical era!  Well hell!  Crusaders could have picked up that recipe since that’s when they came over to Europe.

Not to mention, this time, you guys get an out and out palace and castle. Achievement Unlocked!  Get ready for Dyrrvatn Kastali, home of the Visekonge and the celebration feast of Klarrvatn.

There’s your teaser.

Also, this book is going to be bigger than the last, and possibly the next.  Just a suspicion.

Anyways, happy days!  Now I need to move about before my butt falls totally asleep from working so long.

Book 2 Chapter 1 (oh and some book 1 news too)

The rough draft is moving forward nicely.  I had fun with the first scene of the first chapter.  It sure is rough, but it’s enjoyable.  I took a gamble with it too, but I think it’s going to pay off in the end.

Oh… and it looks like I might have the cover finalized inside the next 2 days which would be fantastic because then I can have the pre-order up even EARLIER!  WOOT WOOT!  That also means I will be sharing the book cover as soon as I can get it up for you all to enjoy.  At least I’m going to link to where it is located so WordPress won’t take it for their own uses.  Sorry.  Watch for Wattpad  (BTW, we’re up to chapter 6 there now)

So, get ready reviewers, Amazon will be ready to take the reviews shortly… and any place else you want to talk about the book.  Consider this the final lap flag.

Also, if you want to help support me and my book by a purchase, buying the book any time during the pre-order or on the day of release is the most helpful.  It’s very much like opening weekend for a movie.  That opening weekend sets the tone for all weeks that follow.  Very few movies end up like Titanic where it started okay and built into a phenomenon for weeks and weeks like a top 40 song.

So keep that in mind if you’re thinking about it.

Anyway, 3300 words in to C1B2.

I am a happy boy.

 

Book Two Has Begun! (and other news)

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The first 1200 words in the first draft from Book 2 of the Akiniwazi Saga have been put down.  How much of this will remain at the end?  I don’t know because frankly I’m trying to feel this out still.  I know where I have to get to and what I want to accomplish in this scene, but, it must be worked out.  Some significant changes have already happened in the last 36 hours on what I want to write and how certain characters are going to be, but, hey… we shall see how it will go.

I expect writing to go kind of slow for a while, but I have a personal goal in mind.  I do expect this book to be longer than book 1 and possibly book 3, and it may cause some fun rewrites in book 3 (which the first draft is already done).

In other stuff…

I’m toying with what movie to review with The Breakers #4.  I just watched Suicide Squad and am personally desiring to break down that film… but I feel like I am going to be unfair to it because it got poisoned in my mind before I watched it, and honestly, I can’t say that the bad rap it got was unfair in some ways, but very unfair in others.  I dunno.  What I will probably do is wait till I purchase it (yes I will still purchase a Blu Ray version if I can get it for somewhere around 5 bucks) before I review it.  Which means I will probably do my first choice, my second favorite film of all time:

“Emperor of the North Pole”

Now a little teaser trivia here.  It was retitled “Emperor of the North” much to my indignation because… in the words of Pete from “Oh Brother!”, “That don’t make no sense!”

Emperor of the North Pole was an expression among hobos in the 1930’s to say someone was powerless, or ruled nothing.  It’s really a stunning “lost” movie most people never knew and…. well I talked myself into it.  Be watching for it soon.  Till then…

Restraint and Patience are Difficult

I received my first draft of the cover.

I’m a very happy boy!  I so want to share this right away, but I have to wait till we get some minor tuning things figured out.  I can tell you this much.  I chose well for the artist.  It hearkens back to the old school game book covers that I used to love like you’d find on the old AD&D hardcovers.  Very classic, but with a fresh modern edge that works extremely well.  May not be something a lot of proper Christians expect or like on the cover of one of their books, but, well, it is perfect for nerds into fantasy.

I can’t wait to show, and we may have it sooner than I had hoped, so… yippie!

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Sampler Platter #4 “For the Greatest Good, They Leave Home”

Chapter 4 is now posted for your reading pleasure.  Please feel free to drop by and leave comments.

https://www.wattpad.com/361577151-a-dark-light-rises-in-a-dark-world-4-for-the

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Review Copies are Out!

If you did not get your review copy tonight and you had wanted one, I apologize.  I either lost track of your email in the shuffle, or I claim Gremlins.

So, contact me through the website if you have any problems with the file OR if you did not get yours and still wish to participate in the review.  I see a few people who have been checking out these posts, and had not received an email from so I can include them.

Come on… you know you want to. 😉

 

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Buster sez ‘Wai u no want?”

Looking for Pre-Release Reviewers

Ahoy-hoy all book review bloggers and others interested in talking about a new book!

Yes, I am finally in the last leg of the book release process, and am looking for those willing to do reviews!  I will be sending out a request to a few people willing to get a free copy for a review and a shout out on your blog if you feel it is:

a.  Appropriate
b. Something you enjoyed

(Beta Readers don’t worry, I have not forgotten you either.)

There are a few major steps left that I can forsee:

  1. Format the book for release
  2. Get the cover illustration.
  3. Set up with distribution (Currently looking at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and Apple iStore, and possibly Google Play Store.)
  4. Finalize plans for incorporation for my intellectual properties (Gots ta have dat legal protection, yo!)
  5. Press Launch!

I have set a new deadline, the one year anniversary of Ash Wednesday.  Therefore, any reviewer needs to be able to provide a review on or near that date.

As a reminder, this is Epic Christian Fantasy Adventure.  It is a low Fantasy/Historical fantasy setting with steampunk elements.  If this sounds like your cup o’ tea, please feel free to contact me.

<Insert witty sign off here>

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.