Archive for April, 2011

Its odd to think that just three weeks ago this project didn’t exist. Since then it has all taken off; the two main character have burst to life, the world is building itself around me, the first two novelettes have been written (and are waiting on polishing/editing) and a third is in the process of having its rough draft written. There are even ideas for another seven novelettes. Not a bad effort.

It all started through reading a few things a few weeks back. I had started making my way through The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E Howard again, and was also reading a few threads on some forums about favourite fantasy cities, as well as about how ebooks were a good thing for a resurgence of the shorter forms of story telling.

At the time, as mentioned in a previous post, I was thinking about my writing style and realised I preferred the shorter, pulp style. I was trying to work out a way of constructing a fantastic city that would work in a pulp series – my first thought was to slip it into the White Bull series, but I realised that it didn’t really fit the style. And so the idea came to me to start a new, proper pulp heroic fantasy series. Thus was born the setting.

It all started with the characters, as you would expect for the genre. They very quickly stabilised into view, though remained nameless for a short while. Carse, also called Blade, pretty much hasn’t changed since the first impression of him, that of a tall, languid man who was in part a dandy, but beneath that was a thief, an assassin and a dabbler in magic. Fianna, or Peregrine, did change from initial ideas. I wanted to go with a shorter warrior compared to Carse. The initial thought was to go with a dwarf, but that quickly changed as I decided to stick to a mostly human setting. The next idea was a swordmaiden who came from the wild hill tribes, a stark contrast from the civilised city dweller that Carse was.

Before I came up with their names, I was just using Peregrine and Blade to refer to them, which have remained as their nicknames. I have been waiting something like twenty years to use those names. Initially I gave them to a pair of rangers, way back in the day when I was young and ‘borrowed’ liberally from whatever at the time I was reading. Those characters vanished long ago, but the names hung around waiting to be used.

The next item was to come up with a city to act as their home base. The fist story I wrote saw the city spring to life. Much of it is yet to be explored, and I look forward to finding out more about what lurks within it as the stories write themselves. But beyond that there is the rest of the world for the duo to wander, to explore and to have adventures in.

As soon as I have the third novelette written I plan to bundle them together and make them available for people to read.

I have written two novels of what I like to think as serious fantasy, and have plans for more, but I have come to the realisation that at the moment I am a pulp writer – and I like it.

Those big, epic, world changing bookstopper fantasy series – they aren’t me. It was hard enough to finish off the two novels at novel length. It was after doing so that I realised that I prefer the short versions of stories – shorts and novelettes and novellas – and more importantly, prefer writing stories in the pulp style; action, adventure, larger than life characters etc. Nothing too serious, nor high literature, but fun to read.

I find myself even preferring to read the shorter style stories – I haven’t read one of those mega series in a long time.

For the time being I am going to be concentrating on writing pulp style shorts, working on four series mainly; The Chronicles of the White Bull, Primal Tales, The Sir Richard Hammerman Adventures and Peregrine and Blade.

The Chronicles of the White Bull and Primal Tales both have stories already written and available in the Pure Escapism collection; Primal tales is fantasy set in a primeval, low-tech world, a place of wild forests and prehistoric creatures. The Chronicles of the White Bull follows the exploits of an escaped minotaur gladiator, travelling a dying world in the search for home.

The Sir Richard Hammerman is steampunk pulp; currently with a novella and novelette half-written. Sir Richard Hammerman is a gentleman adventurer who travels with his companions who travels an Earth similar, but not exactly, to our own, a place of weird science, of pterodactyl riding pygmies, airships and odd contraptions.

Peregrine and Blade is pure pulp, inspired by the likes of Robert E Howard, Fritz Leiber and their ilk. The first novelette has been written up in rough form – and can be read here – the first of many.

Here we are, a quarter of the way through the year already. Where does time go?

Output fell again, down to around 40K last month, though there were a number of reasons for that. For half the month I was dog-sitting my brother’s dog while he was overseas and that tends to chew up time. Also looking for work.

Output wise saw work on various short stories/novelettes, cleaning them up and re-releasing them on Smashwords, and putting some of them up on Amazon for the first time. More on that in a latter post. I also, finally, finished off Cara’s Choice; it is currently in editing when I can find the time and I hope to have it released in April at some stage.

Against my better judgement, I started work on two new stories; the Tirhanium novella I mentioned previously and a pure sword and sorcery pulp idea that I will post about later.

Sales dropped from February, down to just five, but as I’m not actually pushing it at the moment that can be expected.

Not setting any real goals for April – will just see what pans out.