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I know all about that stuff, I’ve been exploited all my life

I had way too much fun and spent far, FAR too long making a fake crash output for Power Play today.

Also spent some time pacing around out on the deck while I thought about the format of the book. If I smoked I would’ve been smoking furiously while I paced. I may not make the change to third person after all. I may just keep it in diary format the whole way through. It may work. It would be a teeny-tiny bit gimmicky but it’s kind of a fun gimmick … what I’m worried about now is writing the whole thing and then realising it doesn’t work at all. But I guess I won’t know until it’s written, and at least I’ll HAVE a first draft then. Okay, I think I’ll just continue like I am.

Also, I had a look at my release schedule for this year and I’m well ahead of the game:

April – June
Miya Black, Pirate Princess III: Fractured Lives
The Undying Apathy Of Imogen Shroud

June – August
Charlotte Powers (2): Power Play

September – November
Miya Black, Pirate Princess IV: This Impossible World, This Impossible Girl

November – December
Resonance Book Two: Against Darker Days
The Legend Of Jean Scarlet: Swansong

At the rate I’m cracking through things now, I feel like I’ll easily get both ImoShrou and Miya Black III out before the end of April, and probably CP2 before the end of June. If I do manage to do that then, well, then that’ll be great. I’ll have to sit down and think about my goals for the second half of 2011. Miya Black IV’s already written and I’ve been through it three times on rewriting/editing runs. I’d say it could use another edit and then a proof or two and it’ll be ready. Very, very keen on getting that one published. Resonance Book Two … needs work. I’d say at least three months, maybe longer. Swansong, I’m not sure about. It might be a story I need to let simmer for a little longer before I have at it. I wrote the beginning about half a year ago and every time I look over it I think “This is just excellent” and I feel that the story’s very strong and the characters are great, but … because it’s a spin-off from the Miya Black series I’d really like for the Miya Black series to actually have kind of a fanbase before I release it. It stands on its own but if you read it before you read at least the first three Miya Black books you’d be spoiled for a couple of things–nothing big, just little things I’d like to keep surprises. I know these kind of tiny spoilers don’t bother most people, but to me that kind of thing is important. So I’m not sure, maybe I’ll write it this year–because it’s a story I want to tell–but hold off on publishing it until I see how things go. Also, I’m pretty keen on doing Mystery Kids now, I read what I have of it again today and there’s nothing about it I don’t love. I don’t think there’s so much of a market for middle grade fiction on the Kindle but who cares, it’s funny and screwball and kind of clever and the characters are fun and it’s pretty much everything I love writing. Maybe I’ll make a logo for it and see how that goes, I have kind of an idea in mind that I’d like to explore.

BJK Factoid #293: My favourite movie is The Blues Brothers, but Ghostbusters is so close a second as to make no odds.

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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Of Writing


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When You Have A SuperHammer, Everything Looks Like A SuperNail

Passed 15,000 words on Charlotte Powers 2 last night. So far it’s mostly character and setting stuff. Having a lot of fun fleshing out the ‘super history’. Part of Charlotte’s character is that she’s a total superhero geek–well, supers are real in her world, she IS a super, and her parents were two of the most high-profile supers back before The Event, also she spent the first fifteen years of her life cooped up in her family’s secret volcano hideout, she had a lot of time to go through the archives. So she basically knows everything there is to know about every superhero or supervillain there was, all their major battles and enemies and allies and how they used their powers, so when she starts enthusing about them it’s just like she’s describing a comic book series–except it all actually happened. It leads to funny moments and sad moments (things got dark before The Event) and hopefully some points of interest, and it’s really fun to write. I also got to write a big thing I’ve been looking forward to for ages, Mr Falchion’s famous “I live with an unspeakable blessing” speech, that was (pardon the pun) super-fun.

Love superheroes. So fun, so interesting, so charged with potential.

I may actually have to cut out some of this stuff I’ve been doing. Maybe. It’s good, I like it, but it’s just advancing the characters, not the story. I feel like it’s necessary to have a little bit of a ‘buffer’ in this part of the book, but it might be going on too long. Well, in any case today I’ll definitely concentrate on story. AND characters. Also I have to figure out at which point I’m going to make ‘the switch’, it’s a big POV change AND style change and it has to be placed well or it’s just going to bring the whole book screeching to a halt. The place where I thought I was going to put it turned out to not work, so … well, I’m not sure, actually. I’ll just write and see what happens.

Promotion, promotion? I’ve read in a lot of places recently that the best promotion is writing your next book. I’m forced to agree! So I’ll be putting my head down and working today. If these two busy girls let me.

BJK Factoid #102: I regret publishing under the name Ben White because there are like a dozen authors called Ben White. I should have gone with BJK White.


Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Of Writing


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Warning: Contains Faineance

Another day, another sale. Maybe things are starting to pick up? Do I dare hope?

After some intense soul-searching and a period of deep introspection (or, in fact, I had a thought while drinking a cup of tea this evening), I have decided that it’s not a lack of sales that leads to my famous Black Moods. It’s a lack of writing. Finishing a first draft is always a little emotionally fraught (or fraughtly emotional), and that I didn’t have a solid ‘next project’ to move on to left me at a loose end–basically, what I should have done in those few dark days was concentrate on something other than writing, on going on walks with my daughters, on cleaning the house, even on simple pleasures like playing games–things that I … well, that I didn’t neglect, not exactly, but things that I spent less time doing while I was in the depths of First Draft Frenzy (which is now a recognised medical condition).

To look at me and my life, you might conclude that I’m a fainéant, torpid slugabed, and you would be accurate in doing so. (Incidentally, if you would actually use the word fainéant then I think you’re super-brilliant.) I am extraordinarily lazy. Without motivation I will do literally NOTHING. Well all right not LITERALLY nothing, but I’ll just sit around in my pants all day eating biscuits and wasting time on the Internet and playing games. Well all right so playing games isn’t EXACTLY a waste of time but you get what I mean. What I need are projects, creative in nature, things to keep me interested–because once I am properly motivated I am a powerhouse of enthusiasm and drive. That’s how I keep up 10,000+ word days for weeks at a time, because I am SO excited to be writing and SO keen on seeing what happens next. Even fully outlined a first draft will surprise you every day, every hour, sometimes every minute, and each second spent writing is a second LIVED. Don’t listen to those pantsers who say that outlining kills a story, they are flat out WRONG. And I don’t often say that. (To be clear: I’m not saying that the ‘seat of your pants, no outline, just point your keyboard at the end of the sentence and gun the metaphorical engine’ method of writing is wrong; to each their own, I say, and good luck to you if that’s what works. But if you think a fully outlined story is dead or holds no surprises or is dull to write then you could not be wrongerer.)

Dragging myself back on point, writing is one of very, very few activities that doesn’t drain all of my energy in a matter of minutes. I can do it for hours, without stopping, without pausing, and in those times I am, I think, at my best. Everything’s simple and pure, my body is irrelevant, the computer disappears, the keyboard disappears, my hands disappear (“Holy Moses, where’d my hands go?”), and there’s only the story.

Wait, that wasn’t back to the point at all! I lied to you! Let’s try that again:

I have no idea what my point is. Well, that being the case it looks like it’s time for another patented (all right, all right, patent pending, stop splitting hairs) Point-From-Nowhere! Let’s see what we’ve got in the sack today:


“Carry a spare pair of socks with you at all times. That way, your feet need never go cold.”

Yes. That is EXACTLY what my point was. That’s what everything in this post was leading towards. Spare socks. Let’s just end this with a BJK Factoid:

BJK Factoid #152: My favourite ‘pure’ iceblock is the ever-elusive Fruju Grapefruit & Lemon.

And with that, it’s time to say good night, everybody! Except ah! Ah! Ah wait, because I remember now–today I wrote like 8,000 words on Power Play and I feel GREAT. Really having fun, really enjoying spending time with these characters again, really enjoying seeing what they’ve been up to in the six months (in-story time) since the last book (four months real time) (it feels like longer), REALLY having fun playing with the ‘diary’ format.

Quick Tip: If you want to make yourself feel good and produce a huge number of words every day, I recommend writing a book in the first-person diary format. It’s just like writing bjournal posts, except you can make up every single thing that happens.

Basically, writing is good and it’s good to write because writing makes you feel good.


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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Of Writing


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