Posts Tagged ‘Short story’

It has been a while since I have last updated what has been going on writing wise.  Probably about time I did.

I have today just finished off the rewrite of a brand new short story, in the Peregrine and Blade series.  It comes in at around 11,000 words and is titled The Oasis of Broken Bones.  The series has been the main focus of my writing as of late.  There are currently 16 stories completed in that series, ranging from 2000 to 25000 words in length. Between them they number some 166000 words, which is a fair amount.  Only seven of those have ever been seen so far.  In addition, 8 more are in various stages of planning.  All of them will be coming to light soon I hope.

In addition, there are some 24 other short stories and novellas in other collections gathering dust, with a number more planned.

More news on what is going to happen to them all should happen soon.  At least that is the plan.

 

We have now completed the second month of the year so it is time to look back over the progress of it.

I did not have quite as much time to write this month, given I was doing relief work for two days a week during it, and as a result the output did drop a bit.  Compared to the 120,000 from last month, this month was only 81,458 in comparison.

Of that 13818 words were written on the background notes for the new epic fantasy under design.  I had been aiming for 14,000 so fell just short.

24812 went into drafts of new stories, a bit short of the 28,000 I had been aiming for.

42,828 was of rewrites of old drafts and stories, slightly above the 42,000 I had set for the month.

There are now 1 novella, 11 novelettes and 2 short stories complete, an addition of 5 novelettes from last month, still all from the same three series.

Obviously the proofread, edit and covers didn’t get done last month.  No promises for this month either…

January is now over and it is time to take stock of the last month.

In terms of writing, I have never done more.  The grand total was 120203 words written.  Those were split the following way.

16878 words were written on the background notes for the epic fantasy series I’ve started working on.  That covers the history leading up to around the time the books will be starting.  From now the notes will be a little more detailed and will start to sketch the outlines of the stories.

32769 words were on rough drafts and outlines.  I wrote up short outlines for 14 stories, as well as finishing off 2 previously started rough drafts and completing 2 new rough drafts of short fiction.

70556 words were of rewrites of old rough drafts.  I now have 1 novella, 6 novelettes and 2 short stories finished, with another 2 novelettes in the process of being rewritten.  Those are split between three of my short fiction series – The Chronicles of the White Bull, The Deeds of Peregrine and Blade and The Adventures of Sir Richard Hammerman.

During this month I hope to proofread/edit them, get them covers and publish them.

I haven’t posted much for a while, for a number of reasons.  I’d been studying full time most of last year.  Then three months ago I got married and moved across country, which was a big change to the system.  I’m now settling into the new life, and with 2014 just starting, are making plans for the coming year.  Program subject to change as they say.

One of my early projects is to tidy up this and my other blogs, to get them running again.  I plan to make this one more of a general interest bog, while the others are focused on writing.

As for writing, this year I am aiming ludicrously high.  If I fail, it will still result in a good output.  My main aim is to do the million word challenge.  That is, to write 1,000,000 words over the course of 2014.  It sounds a lot, but works out to around 2740 words per day, which is manageable.  To help this, I am breaking it down into 3 blocks per day.

Block 1: 500 words/day on the setting master document for a new epic fantasy series I want to write.  The setting master document will cover the setting, history, characters, plots and so on for the series, and by years end should be around 180,000 words in length.  More on that one in the future.

Block 2: 1000 words/day of new drafts. This is the writing of first drafts for new stories.  Very rough, getting down the core of the stories.

Block 3: 1500 words/day of rewrites.  Taking old and rough drafts, I will rewrite them, tidy them up, flesh out their skeletons and make them readable.

Depending on work/study/other commitments, these are rough guidelines.  Some days I may do more, others less.

That is the word count done.

I am planning to temporarily pull down my stories, fix them up and re-release them with new covers etc, along with a whole heap of new stories.  By the years end I hope to have 56 short stories/novelettes/novellas and 3 short novels up.  Of those I have 24 short stories and 1 short novel done.  So by that count I need to write 32 new short stories and 2 short novels.

It’ll be a challenge, but unless I set myself one I won’t aim for anything.

Hopefully I’ll provide weekly, or at least monthly, updates.

Just a quick update on things.

I’ve finished the rewrite of The Rose of Nakunwe, the followup to Dawn of Wolves and next short story in the Frontier Wolves collection. I want to finish off the one after that, an as yet unnamed short story that has been plotted but not yet started, before releasing them both.

And then it is two more short stories, another novella, and the collection is done. Hopefully before the end of the year as well…

The first rough draft of the next story has now been completed. The Rose of Nakunwe is a planned novelette which is next in The Commonwealth Chronicles series, forming part of The Frontier Wolves sub-series.

The rewrite should be done by the end of the month.

However I’m still debating what exactly to do with it. It may be a little short to release as a stand alone story. I may end up waiting until the following novelette is done and releasing them together – or maybe wait until the entire Frontier Wolves story is told and releasing them all together as one volume.

That decision can wait for now, at least until the rewrite is done.

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.

Just an update on the process of re-editing all the old stories – so far two have been done. The Tomb of the Tagosa Kings and The Adventures of Ray the Robot have now had a go over trying to fix any errors that fell through the cracks previous times. I also gave The Adventures of Ray the Robot a new and slightly improved cover.

The other stories will slowly get the same editing process.

Also, the next two Nhaqosa short stories are getting close to being finished, and after that it will be time to finish Dawn of Wolves.

Over on Book Brouhaha, a site dedicated to the short story, The Pit got reviewed, receiving 4/5 stars, which is high praise indeed given most short stories reviewed there seem to get a lower rating.

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.