Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Politics -- Not on this Blog!

After this last week, after what happened in Boston, I wanted to make it clear that this blog will be about my writing only. Real-life politics and religion are not part of my writing life, and thus has no purpose here.

Real-life politics and religion (To seperate them from story poltical and religious subject, which might come up in this column) are very touchy subjects. They are the sole provence of the indiviudal, and discussion about either subject tead to quickly degenderate into vicious verbal attacks and flames as both sides throw themselves into the fight.

I have very strong political views, but this is not the place to espouse them. This blog is about my writing and my journey to be a (hopefully) sucessful writer. To sidetrack it into political debate would be a diservice to anyone who reads this blog. There are plenty of places to vent political opinion, I don't need to do it here, and you don't need to read it.

Like politics, religion is a personal subject and choice. It is not my place to state my views here, because they are mine, crafted through my experences and thoughts. It is a personal journey, only one I can make. They are personal to me, no one else. Looking back over the centuries, wars between people based on religion are very common occurences. It continues today and cannot be willed away.

This is supposed to be a nice blog, with my blogging about writing and the descovery process. I refuse to allow religion and politics to interfere with writing about that journey, and I can do that by keeping both subjects far away from here. This is an oasis for people to come to. I refuse to hit you the reader over the head with my views on these two subjects.

That's all for now....


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Website to visit for the Self-publisher

(I was going to post this yesterday, but in light of what happened in Boston, I thought it best to delay this post by one day.)

Publishing these days is not the same, dreary, years-long odyssey of submit, wait, get a rejection letter ansd resubmit somewhere else. With the appearence of the E-reader and tablet, the surge of self-published cannot be ignored. People who would have been ignore by traditional publishing have taken their novels and short stories to the people directly, in what is become a major part of Publishing.

Below are a trio of websites where you can start learning about this new world.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch  http://kriswrites.com/

Kristine Kathryn Rusch Is a well known writer, editor, and one of the first people who I found on the web talking about the new publishing model. Every Thursday, for the last four years, she has written a column called "The Business Rusch" in which she writes about the business of being an author and the new self publishing business that is coming into being.

Dean Wesley Smith

Dean Wesley Smith is Kris' husband, and an author in his own right. He also is one of the first people I came across talking about the shifting publishing field. As I write this, he is preparing to ghost write a novel for another author and promises to blog about it several tiems a day.

The Book Designer — Practical Advice to Help Self-Publishers Build Better Book.

Writing a story is just the beginning. An Author has to do more in this new world, as they also become the designer of the cover and the formatter of the text. This website is a great place to start leaning about the other steps that an author need to take to give their book the best chance of becoming a book worth buying.

That's all for now, have a great week!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Writing rule #1 -- Finish what you write.

I've been working hard on Merlin's Courtship, the third novel in the Merlin's Heir series. It's up over 108 K words, and I'm already seeing when I need to go back and rewrite this. Right now, its a disorganized  mess, and it's hard for me to not to go back and start the rewriting process -- that's the reason why the first two books in the series are not completed.

I realize now, that the number one rule writers should always follow is finish the story before you begin rewriting it. I've seen this on several web sites; Heinlein has it as rule number two in his rules for writers. More than one successful author has written that rule.

As simple as that sounds, it's hard to do. The urge to go back and start the rewrite before the first draft is finished is so alluring. But I cannot fall into that trap. So, I must press on and complete the first draft.

And that is the lesson for the day: finish what you start, even if it's a piece of crap by the end. Look at a sculptor and how he (or she) takes a rock and creates the statue. They start with the rough form and keeps going back and refining this section here, or that section there. They do not work on the rough form, then stop and go back and start adding in detail. They do the entire form, then go back.

That is what the first draft of a story is -- a rough form that needs to refined again, and is needed, yet again. I have to resist the urge and start refining while the story in the block of stone. I have to finish it and then go back and refine it. And this is the hardest lesson to learn up until now.

Now, back to work....


Monday, April 1, 2013

Word Count – End of First Quarter

No, I haven’t forgotten this blog, much as it seems it has. But writing and other, real-life events have been distracting me....

After an excellent January, February and March turned out of be sub-par months, writing-wise. Several real-life events, while minor, did keep me away from the keyboard more often then it should have. Below is the listing for the first three months of the year and the wordcount completion percentage.

   Words written: 41,734
   Word target:    39,835
   Word Percent 104.8%

   Words written: 30,581
   Word target:    35,980
   Word Percent   85.0%

   Words written: 31,310
   Word target:    39,835
   Word Percent   78.6%

Totals for First Quarter:
   Words written: 103,625
   Word target:    115.650
   Word Percent   89.6%

A good start (A- or B+), but there is room for improvement. Out of the first ninety days, I reach or exceeded my daily count 44 times, and failed to do so 46 times. That’s going to have to improve.

So, what did I write with all those words?

About two-thirds went to BattleCorps or Battletech products (Details which I go into on my Battletech blog, The Battletech State), while the other third was in original writing. Most of the effort has been going into the first draft of Merlin’s Courtship, my urban fantasy novel (Actually, it’s the third one in the series, but the other two are only partially written) As of right now, Courtship is close to 106K, and getting close to seeing the end. I will need to go back and rework a lot of it, but right now, it’s getting the first draft done.

The second original is Mind Wipe, a cyber thriller inspired by the Japanese animes, Ghost in the Shell, Bubblegum Crisis, and several other series. Much different and a little slower, as it’s more world building then the Merlin series. Still, I’ve gotten as far as Chapter Three and an idea where the story is going to go next.

That’s all for now. Hopefully, I can be a little more commutative in this quarter.