Friday, February 27, 2015

Fictional road trip.

I've got my characters on the run.

Now I want to develop the relationships between them further.  I need to incubate the romance, deepen the humanity of the Golem, and so on.

This is going to be challenging.

At the same time, I don't want to lose sight of the gangster background, so I'll need to get them involved as well.

I got off work early yesterday thanks to Cameron, and instead of losing all of Thursday, I had a chance to think about the ending of The Last Fedora: The Gangster Golem Chronicles.

I know what I want to accomplish thematically and emotionally.  I have a vague notion of what I want the plot to do.  Enough to move forward.

I dreamed about the book all night, so I know my subconscious is ready.  (I dreamed a lot about two characters who were cute -- but aren't actually in the book.  I tried to think of a way to get them in the book this morning, but couldn't.)

I'm going to do nothing but lock myself in my room for the next week and finish this book.  I'm still in love with it, which is a good sign this far in.  Also a good sign, I'm excited to do it, instead of feeling like I have to do it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Linda is my Touchstone.

I know that when Linda likes something, I'm on the right track.  If she is enthusiastic about something, I really know I'm on the right track.

I have to be careful asking her for plotting advice though, because her ideas are so good they sway me in a different direction than the one I was heading.  They are good ideas, but they don't necessarily fit the the flow of the story. 

Anyway, today I knew I had the easiest, most fun chapters of the entire book to write.  I'd been pointing toward them since early in the story.

A minor villain has become a major villain, not by plan but because he just sort of took over the narrative.

Anyway, all the stuff I thought of in the initial excitement of the book, as well as the stuff I thought of a couple of days later to improve it, have been done.  I'm 2/3rds of the way through the book.

Now I just have to come up with an ending that I feel is as strong as the rest of the book.  I think I can do that because that excitement over the book is still there, and there is still things simmering in my subconscious, I'm assuming.  There is still plenty of good stuff to come.

You sort of just know when a book is going to be a book.

I just have to let it rise to the surface.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A good book is the excuse for all things neglected.

By the end of today, I should be 3/5ths of the way through The Last Fedora: The Gangster Golem Chronicles.

It's coming easy.  Much like Tuskers.  I should have it done by this time next week.

Why am I doing anything other than writing books this way?

Well, I can't be sure I'll always have that idea that completely engages me.  On the other hand, so far, every time I've needed the next idea, it has come to me.  Next, I have an idea that has a strong theme, if not a killer twist, and that is a love story called Gargoyle Dreams: A Gothic Love Story.  Don't know if there is a book there, but there is the start of one.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I need to finish Tuskers III.  I want to write the third Virginia Reed adventure, The Dark You Fear: Ghosts of the Lost Blue Bucket Mine.

But after that, I'm going to concentrate on one-ups for awhile.  Single books.  Hopefully with the feeling I had with Tuskers and The Last Fedora.

I'm getting way ahead of all the "support services," such as editors, cover artists, and publishers, but I've decided that is Okay.  The writing of the original content is the important thing -- everything else will happen in its own good time.

I've let lots of things slide, personally and professionally.  Fortunately Cameron and Matt are picking up the slack at the store. In fact, they seem to be doing better than I was.  So that's covered.

When I'm really engaged in a book, everything else comes second.  Personal grooming, eating, exercise, getting out, going to movies, reading books, TV, talking to Linda, the store, the family, the bills, the lawn and garden, the upkeep on the house, and on and on. 

I figure everything is absolved if I actually write a good book.

A good book is the excuse for all things neglected.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuskers is going to be an Audible book!

I've known this for a few weeks but I wanted to make sure it was a done deal.

Here's the announcement: 
http://www.ragnarokpub.com/#!Audiobooks-Accolades-Announcements/caet/54eb999b0cf24f8d0056ceeb

I had to ask Linda what it meant.  I don't listen to audio books.

"That's who I get most of my audio books from!" she said.

So I looked around, and it appears to be rare that authors -- especially smaller authors -- are actually offered contracts.  There are only 2525 horror novels in Audible, for instance, while Amazon touts 62,000 horror ebooks.  As you can imagine, there are lots of Stephen King novels and Dean Koontz, (top ten authors account for 10% of the audio books) then there are the old classics like Mary Shelly and Bram Stoker.

So seems like some nice company to be in!

It turns out that Audible likes what Ragnarok Publications is doing, so it's due mostly the publisher.

But it was quite unexpected.

I'm being given an advance and they do all the production and so I'm pretty excited by it.

It will be so interesting to hear someone else -- a pro -- reading my writing!

I don't know when it's coming out.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Got a cold, going to write.

I don't think this cold will stop me from writing, and it had the benefit of getting me out of a dentist appointment.

The Last Fedora: The Golem Gangster Chronicles, is coming very smoothly so far.  I'm starting to see a pattern.  I get an idea I like, I start writing, I get about 10K words in and realize I've left out some basic elements, some plot thing or a character.

So I add those in, which then expands the plot, and before I know it, I'm halfway through the book with 2/3rds of the book plotted and a vague idea of how I want it to end.

For me it is all about getting the right mix of characters.  If I do that, and they have competing motivations, the plot takes care of itself.

I need the bad guy, the good guy, the romantic interest, the sidekicks, and so on.

What usually happens is that a couple of smaller characters grow large in personality.  They just insert themselves into the story, and that's cool because it makes the plot less predictable.

I'm calling this the Tuskers model of writing, though I was doing most of that already.  It just really clarified with Tuskers.  I won't call it a formula until becomes boring and predictable.

It's really about creating interesting people and letting them do their thing.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Led to the Slaughter anniversary.

I'm a little late.  Led to the Slaughter: the Donner Party Werewolves was one year old on February 19.

I had no idea what to expect, I've learned a lot since then.  I received enough encouragement to keep writing.

Led to the Slaughter is still in the top 5% of horror novels currently on Amazon, after a year, so I'm cool with that.

I had a five year plan, which I've extended because of the success I've had so far.

Just need to keep on doing what I'm doing.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is it really so hard to believe?

I really like the way The Last Fedora is coming together.  Just need to continue the pace I'm on and I'll be finished before I know it.

I didn't set out to write these odd little stories, but I think it's the right approach.  Writing just another fantasy or whatever, what's the point?

I'm not being odd just to be odd.  These are the stories that are coming to me, and that's great.  Trying to catch people's attention that way, and maybe eventually start writing something with a broader appeal.  Or not.  I write what my subconscious wants to write.

People seem to be having a hard time buying the premise of Super Intelligent Pigs on a Rampage.  To me, Tuskers requires no more suspension of disbelief than a million other ideas.  Especially among those who already read this kind of stuff.

I write these books as "real" as possible, though.  The werewolves are just another force of nature, another form of human, if you will, in Led to the Slaughter.  They shouldn't be that hard to swallow.

I've contributed to this idea that I'm not serious by acquiescing and even contributing to Pig Jokes.  But really, is it so outrageous?

But then, the second book is more or less Steampunk Pigs.  And the third book is Zombie Pigs, so I may be pushing believability hard.  But I'm trying.