Friday, April 27, 2012

Novella, novella, novella

So, hey, I finally sat down and started writing the novella! I'm only about 3k words into it, but it's actually pretty decent. I'm not...100% sure what's going to happen next, as far as specifics go, but I have a general idea, and for me that's usually enough to get started.

I'm planning to keep things very mysterious. I don't want the reader (you guys!) to know too much of the nitty gritty background details, because I get into all that way more in The Dark Man's Son. Don't wanna show your hand too soon, ya know?

The novella is more about James and his experiences and his life...and falling in love. It's definitely more of a love story than anything else. Of course, I have the ending of this particular love story in The Dark Man's Son, so it's gonna be interesting trying to decide how exactly to end the novella. I don't want to remove that chapter from the book, so...well, we'll see. I'll think of something.

I always do.  :)

In other news, the rewrites for the book are pretty much done. I'm waiting on my friend to get back to me with the blurb, and to hear from someone about the cover illustration. Everything's really coming together! Too bad I suck so hard at this whole marketing thing. Can't even get people to the damn blog...

Well, blogledites (you few, you happy few), that's all for tonight. Tune in next time for some handy-dandy tips on...I don't know. Writing in first person? Sure!

Monday, April 23, 2012


The idea I've had for the novella has gone nowhere. I have to get back into the groove of writing. I was writing at least 2k words/day, and if I did skip a day, I instead did a bunch of editing, formatting, or rearranging. In that spirit, I've spent the last few hours formatting the Word document for Smashwords upload.

I wasn't at all happy about it before I started. I wrote the whole thing in Pages (yes, I have a Mac), and I had it beautifully formatted for an ebook. Pages lets you export as an epub, which is fantastic for previewing.

So imagine my consternation when I realized Smashwords doesn't accept beautifully formatted epub files, but only Word files! I don't have Word. I have Pages. Le sigh. I downloaded the free trial of Office just for this purpose, and I don't know what I'm gonna do if it takes me longer than 30 days to write the novella. Use one of the computers on the floor at work? *snicker* Right...

I've resigned myself to the situation now. I did as the style guide suggested in an attempt to enter page breaks between my chapter headings. In case they don't work I have these dandy little things:


Eh. Better than nothing, right? I don't have the money for an ISBN, and w/o an ISBN I can't get into the iBooks store. Smashwords provides ISBNs to people who get accepted into their Premium catalog. I don't see why I wouldn't, since I followed the stye guide perfectly. I'm very anal about formatting anyway. I want things to look pretty. Oh well. At least the Kindle and Nook editions will preserve my original formatting.

That's all for now, kids; gotta get ready for work!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Oh Crap

Here's something you may or may not know about me, blogledites: I am a crazy person. Yes, it's true, and I'll tell you why.

As I'm sure you all know by now, I just finished my first book. It was 97k words and quite a few years in the making. So what genius plan do I have now? I'm going to write a novella. Yeah. Right on top of finishing the novel, I'm diving back in for about 40k more words. My plan is to release the novella first, for free, to get people interested. And then they're more likely to spend hard cash for the book. See?! It's actually a pretty smart plan.

Too bad it means I have to actually write the damn novella, and make it damn good, too. I just exhausted my brain on the book. I don't know if there's anything left!

But I have an idea for it. A pretty good idea. It would be a sort-of prequel...but not exactly...and it would have some of the same characters as the book, but not all.

Ok. I'm gonna quit chattering to this empty room and go write something productive.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I get that no one reads any of this, and I'm even kind of ok with that. I'm just rambling and hitting the "publish" button to send these words out into the vast, echoing abyss of the internet.

My worry is that since nobody comes to my blog (which I plug quite often on Facebook and Twitter), will anyone bother reading my book? Sigh. Doubts, indecision, and lack of confidence plague me.

C'mon, cosmos. Gimme a break here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I kinda love rewrites

In case you're new here (and who am I kidding--everyone's new here!), I just wrote my first book. I've been writing short stories and attempts at books and fanfiction since I was in high school, but I finally managed to sit down and bust out 100k words all on the same subject with all the same characters and whatnot. I'm pretty happy about it.

I do something that most writing advice type things will tell you not to do: I edit as I go. I kind of can't help it. I write a chapter, read it, and edit it. Rinse and repeat. It's part of my process. Because of that, when I set about doing the rewrites for my book, I thought I wouldn't have that much to do. It's all already been edited like four times, right?

Arrogance, thy name is first time writer. I read the whole book through once and found a couple of little things. Then I put it aside for a week and didn't touch it, and now I'm reading it again, slowly, and I'm finding more nitpicky type things (and the occasional typo, egad!) to fix, plus major scenes that need overhauls. My mom is reading it, too, and she's making notes as she goes, and I'm fixing or altering according to what she's saying as I go, too.

As a result I've drastically changed the order of a few things, to the point that I'll have to read the whole thing from the beginning again to know if I like it. I've also re-written some weak scenes that've bugged me since day one, and I've fleshed out some things that need fleshing.

Point is, I knew I needed an outside opinion before I knew if any of it was any good or if it was all rubbish, and at least now I know. Of course, she hasn't gotten to the ending yet, and I hate writing endings....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday the whatwhat?

Apparently today was Friday the 13th. Some part of my brain knew that, I guess, but being a very non-superstitious person, I didn't really care. I have a black cat, and he crosses my path at least once a day. In China black cats are considered lucky. I'm down with that.

Concert season 2012 is winding up, and some of my favorite acts are on tour. Ari Hest will be at the Evening Muse on May 4, and Bob Schneider will be playing a solo acoustic show at the Visulite on April 27. David Gray is back on tour, and I sincerely hope he adds Charlotte to his list of stops, because his show last July at Ovens was probably the best concert I've ever been to. Somewhere around us would work, too; I'd drive to see David Gray.

Music on my mind...I went to the Vis tonight to see a friend of mine from work play, and he was awesome. Probably the best part of the night. The band he was playing with, the Matt Perronne Band, was opening for the Pat McGee Band. Not a huge fan of Pat McGee; a bit too country for my taste; but overall it was a good night for music in the Queen City.

I've decided on some tweaks I'm gonna make to the blog layout, and hopefully that'll make things a bit easier to read. I did this design based on the design of my other blog, which is mostly pictures and very few words, and what works over there doesn't work as well over here. Live and learn, right?

I just finished reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for the fourth time. If you haven't read it, you really should. It's very funny. Perhaps even the funniest book about the Apocalypse ever written. That sounds odd, but trust me.

Speaking of things I like (and the Apocalypse, thought I'm not particularly a fan of that), you should all check out Divine: The Series. It's a web series that's like a...really violent version of my book. With more priests. And a random Japanese schoolgirl. If you're a fan at all of the show Supernatural, Misha Collins (Castiel) is one of the creators, and he's also in it. It's really well done, and it recently won a bunch of awards for directing and effects and...stuff. Each episode is only ten minutes long, and there are six of them, so surely you can spare the time.

That's about all I got tonight, kids. I'll be back later with more. Not sure if that's a promise or a threat....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where are you going...? Know it, I do!

Where are you going to!?

Yeah, okay. For those of you who aren't old school mega-geeks like me, that was a King's Quest 6 reference. It was pretty bitchin' back in the day, and it was the first game I ever played on CD-ROM; that is, the first game that ever actually TALKED to me! I played it so many times I can still hear certain lines in my head. "Don't just wander, Alexander; let your conscious be your guide."

Right, moving on...

A friend of mine sent me a link to Patrick Rothfuss' blog (If you don't know who Patrick Rothfuss is, stop reading this right now. Go find one of his books. Read it. Read the second one. Come back.) in which the author instructs a first-time fantasy writer in the fine art of not showing your hand too early. Don't pile on the info so fast that your reader gets bored and wanders off, in other words.

It's great advice, and in a fantasy story it's especially important. So how does this advice apply to The Dark Man's Son?

Well, ya see. People ask me (quite often) what my book is about. I, being me, kind of assume they're just being polite and give them a sort of over-simplified version. "Oh, it's a modern urban fantasy with mythological elements. Like, angels and demons and whatnot. Good vs. evil. Ya know." It is all those things, don't get me wrong, but I'm leaving out pretty much...yeah, 99% of "what it's about".

How, then, do I explain that, yes, it's about those things I just said, but also I created this class of being that's unique (not 100% unique,, Joseph Campbell) to my story. Am I supposed to launch into an entire background spiel? Maybe some people would find that interesting, but other people might be like, "Yeah, um. I was just bein' polite. Thanks, though."

Besides that bit of social awkwardness, Pat's blog sent me into a tailspin of rewrites. In the original (as in, 10 years ago) versions of this story, which are all VASTLY different than the final one, I had long paragraphs basically describing the Guardians' origins, function, history...everything. I had taken most of that out in this story, but I did have a prologue that established some of the story's mythology straight off the bat.

In response to the "don't share too much too soon" advice, I chopped my prologue up into little bits. There's no longer a prologue. Instead, peppered throughout the story, are pieces of the prologue. Like croutons in a salad. Wait: I just said "peppered". Right. So the prologue is now peppered like salad croutons, because I did not mix my metaphors, dammit.

Do I like it better? Yes and no. Yes because I prefer a non-linear style of storytelling anyway, and doing this allowed me to mix the prologue up (like salad dressing) so that the first bits are now middle bits, and the last bits are first bits, and the middle bits are all over. But for the no: I'm not sure I like how I've peppered the croutons throughout my story salad, and maybe it doesn't work at all.

Sigh. Okay, kids. Next entry won't be so much second-guessing. I'm going to try to point you guys towards some of the reference sources I used, because for a modern urban fantasy with mythological elements, I did a helluva lot of historical research.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Aaaaand breathe

I think the header image is pretty well tweaked by now. Robin McQuay girl will stare into your SOUL!

It's kinda funny, because I have a LiveJournal, and I have another blog (WAY different than this one), and I never keep up with them. So why will I keep up with this one? Hum. I have a plan. A sort of take-over-the-world type plan. No, not really. It's smaller and simpler than that.

I just wrote a book. I'm kind of impressed with myself, but only in a "wow I can't believe I actually stuck it out this time" sorta way. Not like "holy crap I'm the new Hemingway" or anything.

Anyway. It was an arduous process, and not for the faint of heart. It literally hurt at times--I tend to type like a crazy person banging away at the keyboard, and some days my hands felt like they were on fire. I miss my old school "natural" keyboard. You know, the one that looks like Salvador Dali got ahold of it? Yeah...that's the one.

I have one like that for my old PC, and I like it. Scoff if you will, but Dali knew his stuff. I mean, geez, have you seen his movies? Go Google it. I'll wait.

Hum. Guess I shoulda warned you about the eyeball thing. It was a cow's eye, so that nice lady is fine.

But I digress. I posted a lot on Twitter and FB while I was writing my book, because they were right there on my phone, all convenient and whatnot, but I'd like to devote more of my energy to telling the story of writing here. I don't mean telling the story of my book--that's what the book's for--but more the experience of writing it.

A lot of people want to write books, and on the surface it looks sorta easy. Really, though, it's pretty frakkin hard. Yeah, I just said "frakkin". So?

The hardest part for me was the title. That sounds ridiculous, but up until...hum, right before I wrote the last chapter...I had no title. Even now, I'm not 100% committed to the title I chose. It just stuck in my head, and nothing else sounded right. So I guess that's its name.

The Dark Man's Son. My first book. What a trip.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's so shiny and new!

Hi, all! It looks like I finally stopped being so lazy and decided to actually create a real blog. It's still in its infancy, so stop by often to watch the process unfold. I gotta tweak the header image...and I need to create buttons...and I gotta think of something to talk about....

Yeah. This should be interesting.