Archive for January, 2011

The latest report put out from Amazon (which can be read here) has some very interesting figures – they are now selling more ebooks than paperbacks, at the rate of 115 to 100. That is good news for ebook sellers, especially the indies.

That doesn’t mean bad news for paperbacks though. Ebooks generally sell far cheaper than paperbacks, with a whole slew of them going for just $0.99. So while the volume may be higher, paperbacks still make the larger portion of profits.

Still, it points to a shiny future ahead for those like me – I hope.

Advertisements

Bioware have put out a very short teaser for Mass Effect 3, the final part of the Mass Effect game trilogy.

Can’t wait.

The year has begun and we are already a couple of weeks in so I thought it time to take stock of what has happened and what I have got planned.

Firstly I have managed to write everyday of the year so far, and not insubstantial amounts. If I am rather liberal with my definition of ‘written’ then I have written 58,000 words in 13 days. The best day was yesterday, with 9,500 words done. Of course a large chunk, read most, of those words are rewriting old drafts into newer drafts. It is much easier and faster doing it that way, but of course the rough drafts need doing first.

Some of those words are on rough drafts, of which some have already received some rewriting, which seems a rather fruitful way of doing it. Scribble up the rough draft in the morning and in the evening get stuck into a rewrite of it.

All of that has been spread over a number of projects I’m busy working on to try and finish off, ranging from novels to short stories. The quick they are done, the better.

In addition to all that, I have finished the editing and polishing for Tears of the Mountain (or at least that is the theory – I have probably missed half the errors in it.) To celebrate I have put it up on Smashwords, and plan to make it available at more places (such as Amazon), as well as pushing it around the traps – but more on that later.

So that is what has been happening. Now for what I have planned.

I do at some stage need to give the old website an overhaul, updating the statuses of various projects, stories, collections and the like to reflect changes that have happened.

Short term plans are to complete the last part of the initial book of Cara’s Choice – the rough draft is getting close to being finished – and also to finish a rewrite and update of an old novel, Winter Wolves. Winter Wolves was sitting on around 60K of its rough draft when I left it but finishing Tears of the Mountain inspired me to return to it, given it takes place in the same setting and features one of the same characters. Since I wrote it there have been a number of changes to the setting that need incorporating, as well as it needing a complete overhaul of the ending; it didn’t work at the time and works even less due to various changes. But in a day and a half I’ve done 13,000 words of the rewrite of it.

Longer term is a goal to increase output, that being a short story every two weeks, a novel/novella every two months. An audacious target I know, but if I keep up my current output then it is entirely achievable.

I even had the short list of what those projects will be;

Winter Wolves (gunpowder fantasy novel)
He Stands Between (epic fantasy novel)
Hammer of the Skies (steampunk novella)
Cara’s Choice: The Awakening (urban fantasy novella)
Primal Tales III (fantasy short story)
Nhaqosa V (fantasy short story)
Cahuac and the Fisherman (fantasy short story)

Between all that I should be busy for a while.

When Reading Isn’t Just Reading

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Reading
Tags: , ,

I’ve always been a voracious reader, even from the youngest age. I devoured the written word, and what I read wasn’t of much concern. I even read encyclopaedias before I was ten.

I always used to just read to read, to educate myself and for fun. I’ve noticed all that has changed since I started to take my writing more seriously.

Now I do something I said I’d never do; I analyse the stories I read. I’d gone all the way through school without analysing, believing that it would ruin the read. Maybe it happens to other writers too, or actors watching movies or other professionals; they look beyond just the story and look at how it is crafted.

Whenever I read a book now I am always looking at the language used, how the stories are structured, the devices and forms in which they are written. I don’t know if it will make a me a better write but it has changed the way I read books forever now.

Professor Halir Ashford. Historian, Explorer and Adventurer. One of the favourite characters I’ve written so far. And a character who really shouldn’t have existed beyond a minor mention. It happens from time to time; characters take on a life of their own and demand a bigger say in things.

His story starts back with a novel I was planning (but never got around to starting). I needed someone to introduce the main character (Heric ‘Harry’ Ban, likewise a character that came about unexpectedly) to the adventure, and so I came up with Halir. he had been a friend of Harry’s father back during a war and was now a professor and historian. The novel was abandoned and the character would have been forgotten except for another novel I started sometime later, Winter Wolves.

Winter Wolves was my first serious effort at plotting and then writing a novel, and was designed to be a showcase for the setting and for Harry Ban. I even managed to complete a round draft. There was a need for a character who would draw Harry into events, and for that I went back to Halir and brought him along.

Though I finished the rough draft, I never got around to fleshing it out, instead, as is my want, I moved onto other projects and suddenly Halir took over somewhat. He got himself two lengthy short stories, Gifts and Sacrifices, and The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings, and then he got himself a full novel in which to star – Tears of the Mountain – which is the first novel I’ve completely properly.

It won’t be the last that Professor Halir is seen either.

I’m not going to look back at my resolutions for last year – I know that most of them never got done, which is why I normally don’t bother.

It is a good time, however, to look back over 2010 and to look forward to 2011.

2010 was a year of missed opportunities, both writing and otherwise.  While I did actually complete my first proper, full length novel, my writing output was way down on what it should have been and that single novel should have been more.  Moreover, it is still sitting there gathering dust and hasn’t been used yet, something that needs to be rectified.

2011 needs to see an improvement.  I’m not going to make any resolutions – because they will just be broken – but I want to see a lot more writing done, both novels and short stories.  I’ve got all these ideas floating around not being used.

I’m going to go over the Pure Escapism page and stories and clean it up, make it look more professional.  That includes new and improved covers.  I have a few that I’ve worked on and that I need to upgrade the rest to that level.

I’d like to try and add at least one new short story to the collection a month – more of the time permits – and of course to try and exchange the reader base. Cleaning up and polishing the pages here and at Smashwords, plus starting to join up on various forums should help with that a bit.

The big one is of course the novels. I’ve got one complete and two half complete. They need to get completed, polished and made ready as soon as I can. And then I have to make a big decision.

Do I try for an agent and publisher, a long and laborious process that has no guarantees of any success?

Or do I try and go independent? There is no success guaranteed there either but there will at least be something to show for it, which is more than would happen if I ended up with no agent. It would require a whole new skillset – that of self marketting – but there have been a number of successes to show it is not impossible.