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“Everything Else Is Harder”

The real problem is that once you get out of the habit of publishing it’s very difficult indeed to get back into that habit.  Just writing stuff and then moving on to the next exciting thing is so much more fun.  Probably part of the problem is a lack of audience, it’s not like anyone is clamouring for my next thing.  I get the same feedback from writing something and setting it aside as I do from writing something and releasing it.  This makes it difficult to put energy into publishing.

Energy.  Yes.  I don’t have much of that stuff.  When I do have some, and the choice is between writing and not-writing, generally speaking not-writing doesn’t have much of a chance.

But anyway.  It is important to publish.  To judge a thing finished and release it into the wild.  I’ve got quite a few things ready to shove out of the nest.  Treasure Guardians, Bright Battle Story, Death Theory, this new exciting thing called Remember When Things Weren’t Broken, plus there’s the next book in the Charlotte Powers universe.  It’s about monsters, and also giant ants.

Enough blathering, let’s make some promises.  Seeing as we’re almost in February already I thought that’d be a good month in which to start doing stuff.  I’m not sure how I’ll go about it, but I’ll probably start with the episodic stuff.  Bright Battle Story: Tactics Heart, and Death Theory.  Then probably Treasure Guardians, the book I wrote with my daughters.  It’s pretty good.  They had some wild ideas.  Neon Bug City (the Charlotte Powers thing) needs more time, but maybe March or April for that one.  Could be longer.  Remember When Things Weren’t Broken I’ll probably just put out as I write it, I feel like it’s that sort of story and I need a bit of a shake up in that area.

Okay!  So.  That’s me.  How have you been?

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Of Writing

 

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If you come here, you’ll find me. I promise.

Right yes hello. Hello! Let’s talk about stuff I’m doing.

Bright Battle Story: Tactics Heart, SRPG underdog sports story thing, episodic format, eleven episodes in the first season and then if people like it I’ll write more and if they don’t like it I’ll cry. They’re way too long, the episodes, I think the first one’s like fifteen thousand words, it’s just ridiculous. It’s bonkers! But it’s a pretty neat story and the characters are fun. Maybe a fortnightly release schedule? Read it online or download a mobi or epub or whatever, probably I won’t put every individual episode on Amazon but maybe some kind of bundle. The thing is that I really like how I’ve got the ebook episodes formatted, there’s a little end of episode next episode preview and everything, like in anime! Oh don’t pretend like you haven’t always wanted to do that in a thing you made. I’m not alone in this. (Although it turned out to be impossible to include an ending song. I mean I could’ve put like an ending poem in there at the end of each episode? And indeed tried just that? But it felt wrong.)

Death Theory! Death Theory. Death Theory. Jungle nightmare fantasy survival horror thing. Shaping up kind of nicely? Maybe? One hopes? Probably a similar release schedule to BBS:TH, fortnightly, maybe on alternating Fridays or something. Not sure how long it’ll be, twelve episodes? Maybe? And if it works out I might write more in that particular world. Read online, epub, mobi, etc, etc.

Treasure Guardians! It’s a story I’m writing with my daughters. I wasn’t going to publish it but they insisted, so. Probably better as a novel rather than episodic but I don’t know. Could be fun. Up to ooh I think we’re on chapter sixteen now? We could just keep going forever, the ideas these two girls have are mad.

Charlotte Powers: One Girl Army! It’s so nearly finished but I don’t want to let go. You know, over the past five years and fourteen books I may not have achieved any kind of sales success, but I have gotten really, really good at writing stories that appeal to me. Anyway, a couple more weeks maybe? It really is pretty much done. Charlotte’s life as a freelance social worker in a rebuilding world. Kind of downbeat. Kind of melancholy. Kind of bittersweet. One Girl Army; a story of letting go.

Sales! I sold three books this month, making it officially my worst month for sales ever. I mean you hear about the long tail but this is ridiculous. Still, just the time to try something different, eh chums? You know, sometimes I can’t believe I’ve got fourteen books out there. That’s mad. And they don’t sell, that’s even madder! I must be doing this for love because it sure ain’t for the money.

Until next time, be excellent to yourselves.

And each other.

With love,

The Author Person

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Of Writing

 

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Not ‘Intelligence Battle’ or ‘Battle Saga: Diversity’, because that would be ridiculous

Yesterday I flouted responsibility and didn’t write a single first draft word, instead going back (again, just can’t keep away from this one) to Codename: Fantasy Losers, which is no longer codenamed Fantasy Losers–or, indeed, anything! I’ve found a proper name for it, the breakthrough occurring (as usual) after I sat down with a nice fresh text file entitled ‘Possible Titles’ and did my usual ‘anything goes no matter how lame or embarrassing’ brainstorming schtick (because there’s no bad ideas when you’re brainstorming). What I realised is that what I wanted was a kind of anime/manga/gameish kind of name, something slightly odd, even ‘off’, but which made more sense the more one thought about it, and which would gain a deeper meaning and stronger identity as the reader progressed through the story.

And so, after a few non-starters, I stumbled upon a concept that, with a little refinement, ended up becoming:

Please excuse the crudity of this model, I didn’t have time to build it to scale or to paint it.

So yes, Bright Battle Story: Tactics Heart. To be honest I was surprised there isn’t already an obscure Japanese SRPG called “Bright Battle Story/Saga/Soul” or “Tactics Heart” but nope, totally up for grabs! So I’m claiming it. Or them. Look, you know what I mean. In any case, going with the anime theme I then spent a very happy few hours making ‘eyecatches’ to insert between chapters:

Getting them to show clearly and nicely in greyscale was kind of a fun challenge. Anyway, after all that title-and-eyecatch faffery I felt more keen than ever about this project–and still do! It’s going to be a fun book, I haven’t even started writing it and I’m already enjoying myself far too much. My feeling is that although it won’t be overly long it’s not really a NaNovel, so I may start outlining soon and save Time Is But The Stream for NaNo (another one I can’t keep away from, every time I start writing notes I keep slipping into fun dialogue between the two main characters). And it’s more likely than not that I’ll have yet ANOTHER idea when November actually rolls around, so I don’t know, for now I’ll just keep writing lots of notes and try to focus long enough to finish the first draft of Against Darker Days. Resonance books, I have discovered/realised/decided, take a year to write. On and off. With breaks. Doing other things in-between. But a solid year. There’s too much in them to just storm through and call them done.

But anyway! Current plan is to have both Tactics Heart and TIBTS (seriously, thank goodness for that ‘but’) published before the end of the year, which will smoothly put me in the position of having ten books out, hurrah! It’s interesting with these two, I feel that TIBTS has some inherent appeal and may find an audience, but Tactics Heart is so niche and (let’s face it) odd that it could (eventually, in like a year or two) break out and be my biggest book or just sink into eternal obscurity, entertaining no one but myself. Either way I’m good, but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. I think there is an audience for something that explores the conventions and interesting things about SRPGs and so on within the context of an underdog sports story, but it shouldn’t be a novel. It should be a webcomic. But! I can’t draw and can’t afford to pay someone to do it for me, so a novel it is. After it breaks out and becomes wildly popular, THEN I can have it adapted into a comic. And a cartoon! And then an actual game, ah, that’d be hilarious and awesome. (Hilawerisome.)

Is anyone else enjoying being an indie author as much as me? Sometimes I wonder, it doesn’t seem possible.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Of Writing

 

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