Posts Tagged ‘Pure Escapism’

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.

I was poking around some old half written stories and drafts and game across one I started some time back – and found it was 47K in length. That is a fair chunk of novel just sitting there getting no use so I thought I would return to it and finish it, as I have plans for it.

The story itself is currently called He Stands Between, the first book of a epic fantasy series called The Oncoming Storm. As with any epic fantasy it has the full array of tropes; a host of characters, daring deeds and heroic last stands, noble heroes and dastardly villains, world shaking events and everything else that epic fantasy holds dear. There are still a few details to work out, such as the name of one of the main characters. He has been through a couple and I am still not entirely satisfied.

The rewrite is coming along great, almost to 10K words from only just over 2 days. I am slowly ramping up as I haven’t had a good stretch of writing for a while. Hopefully I can match the output when I first started writing the draft, back last year. The first 40K came in just 7 days.

By the end of the year, which is only 13 days away, I’d like to well on the way to finishing. I am still considering my options with what to do with it once done, but one main one is a thought to go indie with it.

The next chapter in The Chronicles of the White Bull is now on the site, entitled Wisdom from The Ashes.

It follows on from the events of Echoes of Dark Reflections and Nhaqosa is not in a good state physically or mentally from the encounter in the dark crystalline tower. His band is starting to fray without his leadership, and worse are the dreams that haunt him both day and night.

I’d be the first to admit that I am not all that great at marketing myself – in fact I am terrible at it. I just don’t have the personality to push myself forward like some do.

But that has to change. I need to start doing so, to get my stories out there for people to read and hopefully take an interest in. Otherwise why write if no one is reading them?

Starting tomorrow I am going to look at ways to do so, finding forums and sites to share my work and get opinions, to push myself on twitter more and the like. After all I have some 24 stories on the site (plus 2 more to add) totalling around 110,000 words. That is a lot of effort.

I also hope to write a lot more than I have been – the aim being to add one new story a month from now on in.

Just a quick update of what is in the works – besides the work on the website.

Secondly, and possibly more importantly, I need to complete Wisdom from the Ashes, the forth story in the Nhaqosa series, The Chronicles of the White Bull. The sooner the better, so that I can update the compilation for Smashwords and make it premium.

I also need once last look over Tears of the Mountain and to start approaching agents to see if I get any interest.

Since I started this blog almost two years ago I have made some 300 posts. Of them one post – simply entitled The Minotaur – has been responsible for more hits from search engines than any other. By a massive amount. Minotaur has resulted in almost 7 times as many hits as the next highest term, which is ‘fantasy clichés’. In fact seven of the top 10 hits from search engines have to do with minotaurs, and even the Cyrillic spelling of minotaur rates a mention on the list.

Maybe most of my posts haven’t been interesting or maybe there is a bigger pool of Minotaur fans than I realised.

I’d like to think it is the second, and if it is so then it would seem a good idea to expand on the stories of Nhaqosa the Minotaur, of which three have been written so far.

So with that in mind I shall work hard on completing the next in the series and ponder further stories beyond that.

Its been a bit since I last posted on here – got kind of sidetracked with others things.

I’ve got a couple of things planned to do soon ™.

First is to get The Tears of the Mountain tidied up enough and start shopping it around.

The other, and bigger, project is to do a revamp of all the short stories completed to date and collated them into single volumes and give them proper covers. This is mostly for Smashwords purposes, to clean up all the stories over there and maybe give people a reason to purchase them, though a number of stand alone stories will remain by themselves (and free).

The four collations will be Cara’s Choice, The Cahuac Cycle, Primal Tales and Nhaqosa’s stories.

I’m midway through the rough draft for the new Nhaqosa the minotaur short story, untitled as yet. The very first story I put on this website – The Pit – was about him (though it wasn’t initially meant to be so) and is still one of my favourites.

I’ve just rewatched Gladiator, and doing so reminded me of what it was the inspired The Pit – that and the D&D Dark Sun setting (which at the time hadn’t even been announced as being re-released.)

It got me thinking about Nhaqosa and his story and a few ideas sprung to mind, mostly to do with how he ended up a gladiator to start with, and his life – and fights – in the world, especially about how he came to command such respect amongst the other gladiators. So at some stage I plan to write about that, and explore more the grim nature of the setting he is in.

Have finished off another rough draft, this time for a sequel to the rather silly little sci-fi short story Ray and his Human, called Ray and the Alien Princesses. And yes, they are green. As normal things go wrong for Brian and it is up to the snarky, sarcastic android Ray to save the day. The rewrite will be done at some stage, though not exactly sure when it will make its appearance.

I decided to do a word count on all the stories I have made available and discovered that it totalled up to around 121,000 words in 22 stories. That is slightly larger than your average novel and more than I had expected. And it is not done with yet. Another is getting close to completion and there are plenty more on the books to come.