Archive for January, 2009

A Better Day

Posted: January 16, 2009 in writing update
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After last weeks rather poor effort, yesterday I got a rather solid day of writing in, clocking in at around 3600 words written.  In effect I got more done yesterday than all of last week.

Of that around 2000 words were of the rough synopsis of In Fire – I sat down and wrote it out all in one hit, and I like where it is going.  Another 1000 odd words were of the first part of the rough synopsis for the Steampunk story, though the synopsis isn’t finished yet.  Later on I’ll have to go back and write up the full synopsis, which will probably take up ten to twenty thousand words on previous efforts.

Week Two of 2009 was pretty much a write off. All up, I managed around 3000 words for the week, which is what I am aiming for per day, not the week overall.

Admittedly there were some mitigating circumstances, with a few days out due to visiting my parents for their joint 60th birthday party, but that still left a number of days where I should have got more done.

I am also going slightly crazy – I have far too many story ideas reverberating around in my head wanting to get out, but not enough time to do so. This is the list of the current ones (though it changes fairly regularly).

Serial Story:

Cara’s Choice.  Takes up a couple of hours a week – no plotting, just write what comes to mind.

Short Stories:

The Pit:  Man and Beast are thrust into a fighting pit to battle for the crowds.  Who lives, who dies and can they win their freedom?  First draft complete.  This one is set in the In Fire novel world.

The Bronze Man:  A small Maedari village comes under attack by Chelosian sea raiders. Can they hold out long enough for help to arrive?  First draft around two thirds complete, this is turning more into a novella than a short story

The Straits of Tuafi:  Privateers and smugglers make a daring raid on the strategic islands at the center of the Straits of Tuafi.  In conception/plotting stage.

The Charioteer: Beast stalk the ancient lands and Lahaenar the Charioteer must battle one such beast to save a village from its devastation.  In conception/plotting stage.

The Professor: While investigating an ancient burial site, Hjalir and his escort come under attack by desert raiders.  Taking refuge in the tombs, they find something that may be more dangerous that even the raiders.  First draft one third done.

Cahuac and the Sun:  The Sun has wandered from its course and abandoned the Aracan.  The mighty Cahauc sets out to find the Sun and return it to its appointed way.  First draft complete.

Ray and his Human:  In the depths of space, their ship crippled, the sarcastic android Ray has to keep his ‘master’ alive.  Conception/plotting complete.

The Village:  In the far distant past, simple stone age traders arrive at a wondrous village, where hundreds live and possess vast wealth of copper, clothes of dyed fabrics and other unheard of treasures.  This story was written for something else – I am in the process of rewriting it to fit into my world.  Rewriting old draft.

The Duel:  An old knight and a young knight exchange words and a duel is provoked.  A surprise lies in store as the pair meet to settle differences by a trial of arms.  This is a story I wrote back in high school, though I seem to have misplaced it.  Conception/plotting stage.


In addition to those short stories, I have a number of novels floating around in my head, plus more I am deliberately avoiding even thinking of.

Winter Wolves: Synopsis complete – 12K words done of first draft.

In Fire: Plotting/Conception stage.

Out of Time: Plotting/conception stage.

Queen’s Honour: Synopsis mostly complete.

Primal Tales:  Uncertain as to whether this will be a novel or a collection of stories, but revolves around shapeshifters and beastmaster, berserkers and the wild magic of weather and beasts and plants.  Still in the conception stage, but the concept leapt out at me recently and won’t let go.

Steampunk Tale:  In a fantasy world where magic and monsters meet steampunk – guns and clockwork and steam engines and air ships – a young man joins up with gentleman explorer Sir Richard Hammerman and his entourage and embarks on a wild adventure.  Conception stage.

So there you have it.  Some six novels and nine short stories all fighting to be heard.  No wonder I’m going stir crazy….

A Writer’s Joke

Posted: January 14, 2009 in General
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I heard a writer’s joke the other day – can’t recall exactly where, otherwise I’d credit it – but it went something like this.

Person 1: What do you do?
Person 2: I’m a writer.
Person 1: Oh, have you sold anything?
Person 2: My couch, my car, my flat-screen TV.

Amusing but at the same time rather insightful. There are very few writers out there who wouldn’t like to be published, to make a living from it, but the vast majority of us never will. We write because we love to write. We’d write more if we could, but certain things keep getting in the way – ie, the need to earn a crust. If we could do that by writing, we would. In the meantime we can dream, and writers most certainly dream, otherwise they wouldn’t write. For every successful author (no matter how bad their books) there are ten of thousands wanting to follow in their footsteps.

Sort of like actors in a way. Many want to be up there on the big screen, living the life luxurious, but most will remain stuck as waiters and maybe make a bit scene in the odd B-grade movie.

Still, if we do not try, we can’t know if we can succeed.

What we need to do is get more people reading more books – the more they buy, the more demand and hopefully the more chances of getting found. Of course, that may just be that aforementioned dreaming.

The Pit

Posted: January 14, 2009 in writing update
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I have finally had a chance to sit down and finishing writing the first draft of The Pit, a short story I have been working on of late. It still needs a polish and I think the end needs a littlw work as well, but I am happy with the overall story beyond that. I have added it to the website for people to have a look at, in the Book of Deeds section.

Writing Links

Posted: January 9, 2009 in writing update
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I’ve added a new blogroll category to the page – Writer’s Links. As time progresses I will add further links to that category, but currently there are just two there.

Both deal with collections of markets for short stories (of numerous types), poetry, novellas etc. If you are interested in getting something published, such as a short story, and maybe even get paid for it (a small amount as it may be), then this is a good place to start.

Ralan’s Webstravaganza

Duotrope’s Digest

Unlike back at the height of the era of short stories, you won’t make a lot selling them. It is more about getting published than anything – if you do get one published expect to make less for it that Robert E. Howard did for his first ever published short story. Weird Tales published ‘Spear and Fang’ in July 1925 for $16, which would go far further back then than it would now.

Still, the act of getting published is the notable part – someone thinks that your work is good enough to be read and hopefully it will lead to bigger things.

Hard to believe but we are already one week into the new year.  Just fifty one more to go.

In terms of writing output these weeks has been my most productive to date – around 14,500 words.  Not quite at my stated goal of 20,000, but that it largely due to me not putting in a proper effort at times and get distracted when I shouldn’t have been.

Of that 9K was for a mostly completed synopsis/outline for the as of yet untitled work I started on New Years Day.  The next question is if I continue on with it or, as normal, get distracted by something else.

The rest was scattered amongst various short storied in various stages of writing.  Around 3250 words were on a new short story, called for now The Pit, that is getting close to being finished in the next day or two.  When it is I will be posting it up for people to read.

The 11th Doctor

Posted: January 4, 2009 in General

The 11th Doctor has been announced and the new Doctor is…Matt Smith.

At 26 he is the youngest Doctor to appear in the 46 years Doctor Who has been running.

I will reserve my judgment, but so far he just doesn’t look like the Doctor.  He looks a bit…metro.  We will have to wait until 2010 to see how he goes though.