Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Post Rings Twice

I am writing slower for having an outline than for not having one. I think I'd be done by now if I were making it up as I go along.

But, not to be unfair, I think it's because I usually can finish a story in a day while keeping it all in my head at the same time. To be scientific about the effectiveness of outlines, I'm going to have to make an outline for a serial book and write that in a month or so, putting up each week's section as it gets finished. There'd be more reason fro the outline then.

Anyways, when it comes to writing Alan4, it's good, but slow, because with the outline finished all I'm doing is expanding the brackets, so I'm distracted by outlining the next story in my head. I'm going to write a sequel to Ostracon, and it turns out "Sharia and the Gays" is the tale of a youth detective named Sharia who suspects that Mr. and Mrs. Gay, her neighbors, are up to something. DUN DUN DUN.

The Ten Thousand Dollar Whore pretty much explains itself, but I think it'll end up being steampunk, or diesel/atom punk, at the very least. We'll see what develops. I also have the glimmerings of a "biopunk" story in my head, but a character hasn't developed yet so it's on the back burner. Then there's Alan5...

DAMMIT! See what I mean? Stupid outline.

Oh, also I finished reading two romance novels (yeah, they read fast). I think I could do that. I'll call it "Fire in Khartoum". Classy. That sounds like a pretty good serial novel.


This is quite possibly the most uncool exhortation to coolness that has been or ever will be.

They're talking about the weather, you say?

My point stands.

Words? Yes
Short Story "A Blot On The Escutcheon"
Short Story Ostracon2
Short Story "Sharia and the Gays"
Short Story "The Ten-Thousand Dollar Whore"
- - - -
Reading - ?


Friday, January 21, 2011

The Post I Was Expecting

I'm still writing too slow. I want white-hot incandescence and I'm getting a camp-fire sing-song. I blame you, me. I also blame my being drawn like a moth to the flame that is the endless parties of the local landscape. Alas, the sacrifice, but at least it was in the cause of fun instead of pure procrastination.

My attempts to write a second story from an outline are causing difficulty, so I'm going to try again using the Right Way. Here's how it works, apparently: if I already know the characters and setting, an outline works fine. If I don't, I have to dive into the icy cold waters of uncertainty and allow it to seep into my pores and out by the fingers into the keyboard.

I think I'll write a sequel to "Ostracon". I'm drawn to the character, and the story did leave itself open to a sequel.

I'm reading a romance novel. I do rather like breaking into new genres, so I might as well do the basic research necessary. As far as I can tell thus far, it's mostly the same, just don't describe the heroine too much. Except for her hair.

Never look back, people.


You know, even by the standards of wartime propaganda posters, this one rubs me the wrong way. Still, it has inspired a new, much better plot for "The Ten-Thousand Dollar Whore".

If I'm going to be rubbed the wrong way, it's going to be for research purposes.

Words? Yes
Short Story "A Blot On The Escutcheon" - almost there
Short Story "Sharia & The Gays" - images collated
Short Story "The Ten-Thousand Dollar Whore"
Short Story Ostacon2 - planning
- - - -
Reading - "The Master and the Muses" (Amanda McIntyre)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not The Post I Was Expecting

A general slapdash of today's highlights.

Because I usually only critique at the Critters Writer's Workshop in big chunks once a month or when I see somebody I know, I completely forgot I had something coming up in the queue until I had a pile of critiques show up in my inbox. Pleasant surprise. I think I'll use a Most Productive Critter bump to get another pile next week. I'm in the mood for criticism.

Adding to yesterday's post, I'm also not going to post any sales numbers until the quarter after that full quarter in which I have 100 stories up. There's no point in proceeding in this experiment without a fair data set.

Alan4 is a bit more on the magical side of the magical realism spectrum, but it's pretty cool. It incorporates some of the research I did at the same time as the event relayed here, including a basic grounding in Pali. Exciting. This story is also the first one I've outlined entirely before sitting down to write. Results seem to be about the same, but I think that's because I already knew who Alan was, so I didn't need the 1000 word start to know who I was writing.

Alan5 "Disease of the Heart" is forming itself in my mind and will probably be my project-after-next, whatever my next project turns out to be.

I'm writing to Ella Fitzgerald love songs.

Regarding my proposed short story "We All Die 4000", I think it should be set on a cruise ship. With bears.

Words? Yes
Short Story "A Blot on the Escutcheon" (Alan4) - totally outlined, in progress.
- - - -
Reading - ?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Business Side 100

Here's the deal: This is a lot of fun, but let's get organized. To commemorate that, here is a disorganized but lucid series of Business Side reports.

The simple goal and plan is as follows:
I'm not doing anything fancy until I have 100 stories online.
I've looked at a lot of ePub folk (and applied my otherfield knowledge), and worrying about advertising doesn't seem to have any noticeable effect until you have (or at least have the promise of) a big pile of material. I'll announce each story as it goes up on Twitter (and on this blog if I remember), then try my very best to ignore the sales numbers entirely. Besides, 100 stories is a fine goal. Wanna race?

Second, I put up my first SF short story five-story series (find it here), and since I have 15 stories up already it won't be too long before I have another one up. I don't know about you, but I can't keep track of all these, and I wrote them! I was trying to find a way to organize all this for obsessive types like me, and I did what I normally do when I'm trying to figure out something about ePublishing: wander around other ePubbers and see what they're doing. But none of you folk are doing it right, jeez. So I'm doing it my own way, thanks to Google Docs. If you go to Available Stories, you'll see a bibliography that's convenient both for me and you, with the added bonus of listing upcoming releases.

In the future I intend to roll out stories in the following levels: 1 @ .99, 5 @ 2.99, 10 @ 4.99. Oddly enough, on Amazon for the Kindle it's better for me if you buy 5 @ 2.99, because then I get about two bucks for five stories instead of the buck eighty I'd get if you bought them all separately. So weird.

I also want to do serial novels, because those are a lot more fun than regular novels. On that...
Because I ran the numbers (which sounds more impressive than "realized I did something dumb") and "discovered" that since I was planning on eventually selling the five Moon Base stories all together at 4.99, selling them one by one at $2.99 didn't really make much sense, so I set them down to a buck. They're on the border between "short novel" and "long story", so I'll put them in "story". If you bought one at the $2.99 price, shoot me an e-mail and I'll coupon you the full book free when it comes out.

I think this is shaping up to be quite a pretty cool plan, if I do say so.

And if I'm just totally wrong, hey! You'll know first, because Writing Failure is just another of this blog's missions.


Since I did promise honesty, I do have to remark that this is a pretty cheap (but not lame!) way to get some new cover art. But, c'mon? It's got that big blue space in the middle, and it is one of my most popular stories, along with one of my favorites. It's good for everybody.

If you purchase a Series and happen to want the hand-crafted Cover Art you totally missed out on, I'll be happy to send it upon request.

Words? Yes
Short Story "Bitsy Pollo Save Us!" - finished, submitted
Short Story "A Blot on the Escutcheon" - researched, beginning, mostly outlined
- - - -
Reading - ?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Pile of Karma

Looking at why it takes ten hours (@ 500wds/hr) to write a story instead of five hours (@ 1000wds/hr), I discovered that it was because I've been involuntarily updating the outlines of other stories in the midst of writing the one in front of me, holding three or four stories in my head and spending at least 250wds/hr worth of time untangling them to get the one I want.

I needed an organizational system, so I tried to clear my mind by ignoring the other stories entirely. That didn't seem to work. I was about to look on the Internet for "meditation" when the thought occurred that I live in the country with probably the highest number of monks per capita, and I was going by the local mountain temple anyways. So I figured out my question and asked the abbot:

"Long-pa, I'm trying to clear my mind, so that I can think only one story-full of ideas at a time. How can I do this?"

"A difficult question," he said, nodding. "Come back next week for the answer."

I came back today and asked "Long-pa, did you think about my question?"


And so I was enlightened.


(The rest is beyond the scope of this blog, so here's a picture of a crazy fish.)

(Pretty crazy!)

Words? Yes
Short Story "Bitsy Pollo Save Us!"
- - - -
Reading - MASSIVE Sqwertz
(I have no idea if this is any good...researching)


Monday, January 17, 2011

A Tempest

I've learned some stuff in the last couple of days as I've been keeping to the full-time writing schedule.

1. I feel much, much better when I write a lot. I'll feel even better when I unleash myself and regularly write out five stories a week.

2. There is no stupid goal I can't achieve, if it's made by me.

3. I'm still taking 10 hours to write a short story, 500 words per hour (at best). I intend to tune that down to 5 hours/1000 words per hour using Writing Science.

4. People will apparently buy my writing. Good to know.

5. Cover art is not only fun, it gets me tramping around outside to get the requisite materials. Win-win.

6. Daily blogging is also fun.

Now, if you'll excuse me, real life inebriated me and I'll have to take a well-deserved rest. Tomorrow, I'm back in action to finish up this story and start/outline a few more for Speed.


Collation of announcements:

New Fiction: "City Muse, Country Muse" An Alan Story
Halted by the Figure at the crossroads, Alan struggles to choose between a free life in the city and a full life in the countryside. An Alan Story, magical realism set in small-town Thailand.

New Fiction: "OstraconMesolithic Errantry
In this tale of a fantastic mesolithic era, one warrior and one trader set out to find a mysterious Grove. Will they survive the perilous journey and find adventure and trade, or will they find something more...primitive? A fantasy short story.

New Fiction: "Timpani the Ostrich Rancher"
Led by a gentlemen aviator and financed by his lover, the respectable citizens of the Kingdom of Kenya decide to take a preemptive approach to threats against the London Confederation by liberating Reichland Africa. Meanwhile, a lowly rose-quartz man fights his own, more personal, battle. The thrilling tale of love, war, and the search for freedom in another Africa. A steampunk short story.

Speaking of a tempest, this is kinda steampunk, right?

Wait, what?

Words? Yes
Short Story "Bitsy Pollo Save Us!" - half, not yet outlined
- - - -
Reading - ?


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sexy Is Always Polite

To me the essence of writing is to write things that people won't say they want to read, but actually do. This is why Romance is so popular.

To me the essence of writing is to write exactly what people want to read, and let them give you money to do so.

To me the essence of writing is to write exactly what you want to write, and trick people into letting you make a living at it.

To me the essence of writing is to engage in thought-provoking discourse with a number of personal vices while at the same time fueling them via that self-same discourse.

To me the essence of writing is to get dames without climbing a mountain.

To me the essence of writing is to mark each day with a sort of eternal seal, I was here, it reads and other people read it too.

To me the essence of writing is to have something to do with the 42 hours I spend mostly staring at walls and thinking.

To me the essence of writing is to learn a lot about the business of writing and in general get paid for it while in specific getting new and exciting ways to get paid more for it.

To me the essence of writing is to practice my touch-typing in the dark. I want to write with the screen off and have very few typos.

To me the essence of writing is that, sometimes, this girl looks over my shoulder and asks me what I'm writing about, and I have an answer that sounds both erudite and witty as opposed to or in fact despite being "It's abut chickens."

To me the essence of writing is that I have a million ideas a day and I might as well write them down so somebody else doesn't have to. The sooner we have every possible idea, the sooner we can settle in and await the heat death of the universe in style.

To me the essence of writing is to go to new places and meet interesting people. Then kill them. Without going to jail, because it's a damn book.

To me the essence of writing is to fill in this blank page.

To me the essence of writing is to draw the attention of otherwise normal people to the abnormal.

To me the essence of writing is not having to explain why my post title doesn't have anything to do with the post itself.

To me the essence of writing is that I could do this all day.

To me the essence of writing is being a Presence on the Internet. It's good to be Internet-famous, because being real famous means you get stalkers. On the Internet everybody is already a stalker, so that saves time.

To me the essence of writing is carefully disguising the fact that all of your characters are Mary Sue, and all the situations are Mary Sue Goes To The Piggly-Wiggly.

To me the essence of writing is looking down on all the merely literary writers.

To me the essence of writing is not caring too much about what you wrote, but that you have written and that you are writing.

To me the essence of writing is an overabundance of productivity and an underabundance of cost.

To me the essence of writing is that I can make up my own words so long as I define them in the context.

To me the essence of writing is a waste of time that's fun to do. And then you realize that it wasn't a waste of time at all, maybe ten, twenty, thirty years later when you know what a tachyon is and your idiot neighbor could care less.

To me the essence of writing is Outer Space.

To me the essence of writing is Eldricht Horror.

To me the essence of writing is Man Bites Dog.

To me the essence of writing is A Fashion Show.

To me the essence of writing is that it's something I can do, because I can do it, and because other people want me to do it.

To me the essence of writing is that people will read what's good if they've heard about it and have the opportunity to buy it. They don't care who wrote it, the good ones don't, they care what the who wrote about.

To me the essence of writing is that my computer still thinks eldricht is spelled wrong, but I don't.

To me the essence of writing is having something to blog about every day.

What's the essence of writing to you?


The Way I'm Doing Write1Submit1:

If in a given week the spreadsheet title row is
RED, then I'm behind!
BLACK, then I've not yet finished one story.
GREEN, then I've finished one story.
GOLD, then I've finished two or more stories.

Each week, it resets!

4000 words? Yes
Short Story "The Ambassador's Lady" - Finished, Submitted
Short Story "Bitsy Pollo Save Us!: A Love Story" - in progress, not yet outlined
- - - -

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