Posts Tagged ‘fantasy writing’

The Dawn of Wolves novella has finally been finished and uploaded via KDP to Amazon where it is currently being crunched and should make an appearance in a day or two.



Dawn of Wolves comes in at 49,000 words, a little longer than a normal novella, but one I am calling a novella anyway as it is only half a novel.  While previously I have been jumping around a bit with the stories, Dawn of Wolves starts a sub-series of stories within The Commonwealth Chronicles that will follow the Frontier War against the Nacatori – The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings takes place in the Frontier War and forms part of this series, which I am entitling Frontier Wolves.

The plans for the series are the opening novella, Dawn of Wolves, followed by five novelettes (the last of which is The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings) and then a final novella to round out the collection.  Once done I’ll be collecting it in an anthology, but that is some time off yet.

The next novelette, The Rose of Nakunwe, has already been plotted out in rough form in a notepad.  next step is to write up the first rough draft.

I have finished the rewrite of Dawn of Wolves, ending at around 49,000 words, which is slightly over what is normally classified as a novella, but close enough I’ll still call it one.

Now comes the next step – formatting, editing, proof reading and of course cover design.  Hopefully that will not take too long.

For the release I’m going to do something a little different this time around – I’m going to enrol it in the Amazon Kindle Select programme.

Kindle Select is a programme where by it is enrolled in a lending library and Amazon fork up a bunch of money (currently at 500,000 a month).  Those enrolled get a percentage of funds equal to the percentage of loans they make.  In addition you get 5 days per free months where you can offer your book for free.

There is a but through – there is always a but.  Firstly a lot of people are signing up – and it is the big names that will get the most lends.  Secondly, you can’t sell the book anywhere else.  Not even on your own website.  It is for that reason I’m leaving my old books out of it, as they are elsewhere.  This one is going to test it out, to see if it makes much of a difference.

With another year just started, it seems appropriate to look forward and try and set some goals.

Basically it comes down to write more, publish more and promote more.  And post more to the blog.

On the writing/publishing more, it is off to a good start.  I am up to the final rewrite/edit of Dawn of Wolves, though it seems to have blow out a little in size.  The aim was for a 40,000 novella.  It is looking to be around 50-55K when done.  At the current rate I’m writing it should be finished well before the end of the month.

Once it is done, I hope to add it to the new Kindle Lending Library programme, to hopefully help promotion wise.

When it is done, it will be time to press on with new projects.  The main two are to finish the last stories for Nhaqosa to complete his story arc and then bundle the new ones and the old ones in a single compilation, and to write the rest of the Frontier Wolves collection, of which Dawn of Wolves is the first part, and Tomb of the Tagosa Kings comes towards the end.

After that?  Well, we’ll see.


I have finally finished the re-edit of Winter Wolves.  In addition it has received a new cover as well, in keeping with the others of the series.

In addition to trying to fix up all spelling and grammatical errors that I could find, I also re-wrote the last 10,000 words.  I had never been entirely happy with the ending, given I felt it had too much in common with the ending of Tears of the Mountain.  And there was a good reason for that.  I had started work on Winter Wolves first, plotting it out and writing about half of it.  Then, as is my way, I switched projects and starts on Tears.  This time I actually stuck through to the end and finished Tears.  However I had never had an ending for Tears planned and in the end borrowed the one I had planned for Winter Wolves.  When I went back to Winter Wolves I found myself without an ending and tried to cobble one together, one that I felt had too much in common with the ending of Tears.  The re-edit gave me a chance to re-write the ending into one not so similar, and one that I fell makes more sense – at least for me.

The new versions are kicking around at Smashwords and Amazon.

End of the year is rapidly approaching and I still have a few things on the list that I want to see done by then, so I’d better knuckle down and get them done.

First up is to finish the re-edit/re-write of Winter Wolves. I’m down to the last 2K to go, so hopefully won’t be long. After that I need to work on a new cover for it, like the others of that series.

Secondly is to finish off Dawn of Wolves – it has been sitting there for a long while now. At 40K down, there is about 10K to go for it.

Lastly is to do another short anthology of short stories – somewhere between 3 and 5 of them. I’ve got a couple of collection in the works – just need to work out which to finish first.

The re-edit of Tears of the Mountain is now done, fixing up various little grammatical and spelling errors that hadn’t been caught previously. It also now has its new cover. The edited version is now up and working on Smashwords and is currently being published on Amazon, so should be ready to go in a day or two.

Now to start on Winter Wolves.

I’ve finally got the re-edits of all the short stories completed and now have the hard part to go – the re-edit of the two novels. The first, Tears of the Mountain, will be the easiest given it is just a grammar/spelling check, but Winter Wolves will take a while longer as there is a large section I want to rewrite, given I was never entirely happy with it.

In the meantime I have to finish working on some new covers. I have some done so far, but there are plenty more to update to the new and improved style. Here are the ones done so far.

And finally, when that is all done, I can return to the 2/3rds done Dawn of Wolves.

The new story ‘Dawn of Wolves’ continues to make progress – the rewrite is up to 39,000 words already (even though the rough draft isn’t finished yet.) When I started I thought it would be only about 40K words, but now it is looking at being between 50 & 60K, taking it out of novella range and into a short novel. I’ll still probably label it as a novella. Fleshing it out to a fully fledged novel would need another 30-40K words and there just isn’t that in the plot, not without masses of padding and adding that much verbose purple prose would just ruin it. Sadly it can be a bit of a trap many fantasy authors fall in to. There is one series that got bogged down in this to such a state that one entire lengthy chapter of a book was just a precession of people entering a room described in such detail that near every stitch on their clothes was made note of.

The story of Dawn of Wolves recounts the start of the Nacatori Wars that The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings is set near the end of. It is told from two sides, on one a young, inexperienced Lieutenant Elraes, but also has appearances from other important characters, like Professor Halir, Harry Ban and others. It is the first meeting between Elraes and Harry as well. On the other you have Colonel Inkhumetekh, Haksetian advisor to the Nacatori. It is important to get the other point of view as it is an effort to help dissuade the notion that somehow they are the ‘evil empire.’ Also of interest is a character who makes an appearance, Tol Ventaro, who works alongside Inkhumetekh.

That is a name I have used before, in Tears of the Mountain. It is the name Prince Travanto gave himself. One thing about fantasy is you rarely see names used more than once – there can be a cast of thousands and each has their own unique name. This is a far cry from how we do it in the real world. Some names are far more common than others – one year in primary school there were six of us called Andrew in the one class. I know plenty of other people who share names as well, not to mention the fact that some names run in families. This is something I intend to happen in my stories.

One example is the name Heric – named after a legendary figure in Maedari history, Heric Jennet, it has become the most popular boys name in the setting, though for various reasons every single one is more commonly referred to as Harry (much as in our world Henry used to be known as Harry – Prince Harry’s real name is actually Henry). Of course they need to be differentiated and as such acquire nicknames, such as Red Harry, Tall Harry, Harry the Younger and the like.

Now back to the writing so I can get the story finished.

I have started a new section of the website that will explore the various nations and cultures of Sharael, having a brief look at their histories, appearances and more.

To start it off are the Maedari, about whom I mostly write. Strangely, though they are prominent in all the stories, I haven’t written one yet set in Maedar.

I will be slowly adding to this – and there are a lot of nations and cultures to add.

I noticed I haven’t posted for a while so it is about time to fix that. I recently fractured my right collarbone which hasn’t helped matters, and slows down writing given I am right handed.

I have actually finished the rewrites of the next two Nhaqosa short stories and at some stage need to get around to polishing and editing them. I am considering keeping them waiting until I’ve finished the others I’ve planned and releasing them – and the currently released ones – as a single compilation.

It has also come to mind that I’m not getting as much done as I should, and that is because I am spreading my time too thin between too many stories. I need to focus on just a few. Besides the Nhaqosa stories, the other one I’m working on is the Dawn of Wolves novella (currently up to 21K). Only once I’m, done with them will I consider which of the numerous other projects to work on – and I have a few. On the short list is actually sitting down and properly mapping out the maps and timelines for the setting. A lot of it is only rough at the moment, and that really needs to be fixed.