October 30, 2012

smashwords sale for The Clockwork Giant

Unorthodox Tuesday post, but here is some news for those of you interested:

The Clockwork Giant is currently on sale for $2.99 (regular price $4.99), from this moment until Friday. There is no limit to how many people can take advantage of this, so get the book cheap while you still can, and share this coupon code with everyone.

For those of you who don't know, Smashwords provides downloads in every file format you could possibly need, whether you are reading on an e-reader, your phone, your tablet, your PC, or heck, if you want to print out a PDF, you can do that too.

Here is the coupon information:

Promotional price: $2.99
Coupon Code: VQ22Y
Expires: November 2, 2012

And here is the link to The Clockwork Giant on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/113767

October 29, 2012

another blogging hiatus

Quick post today.

Due to the fact that I need to get this novella done as soon as possible, I won't be blogging until it's finished. Hopefully, that will only be three weeks of not blogging, but it is possible that it may take all of November to finish the first draft. Blogging is just another distraction right now, and I think that it's best for me to let the blog sit quietly for a while so that I can concentrate on writing.

To keep up with my progress, follow me on Google+ or Facebook, whichever is your preferred network. I post daily updates on both sites. I may still vlog. It takes a lot less time than blogging, and I only do it once a week anyway. I am doing a short story reading for Halloween, so look for that on my channel Wednesday.

Like I said, I'm aiming to be done with the novella before the end of November. I would like to release it mid-December, perhaps the 18th, if everything is done by then. One major thing: I will only be releasing the novella as an ebook this year. Sometime next summer, I will release a paperback of the novella bundled with several short stories. Those shorts may or may not be released in ebook form. I haven't decided yet.

I do have a title for the novella now, and a (working) cover, so while I'm gone you can admire that. :)

Back to work for me. I'll see you when I'm done with this draft.

October 25, 2012

fantasy world building - guest post by a.m. jenner

First stop on my international blog tour, Arkansas. Thanks so much to Brooke Johnson for hosting me; it’s good to be here.
With the release of my new book, The Siege of Kwennjurat, I’ve had people ask how I make the worlds where my books are set.

When a book is set in a real place, the world building is less like creation and more like research. I end up going to some interesting neighborhoods; and by interesting I mean places that are slightly frightening, even though I don't get out of the car. I look at what’s there and describe it. This gives realism and immediacy to the story.

When a book is set in an imaginary place, with a contemporary setting, I can describe any buildings and put them anywhere I want, but I need to make notes and remain consistent. If the building across the street from my main character’s real estate office is a bakery, then it needs to stay a bakery all the way through.

October 22, 2012

phases of being a writer

Well, last week, I finished the plot outline for the Chroniker City novella. This should be good news, but I can’t help but feel a bit hesitant to actually start writing. I’m just not jazzed about the story, or about writing at all. I’m in one of those phases.
I don't know about other writers, but I have several phases (in order of positive to negative):

1.      I’m such a fantastic writer that it’s only a matter of time before I’m the next bestseller

I can’t decide if this is a good stage or not. I tend to overestimate how good of a writer I am, and usually, the words I write during this phase are some of my most mediocre. However, words get written. I have confidence. I love writing. I’m looking to the future and what I can accomplish with my writing. It’s usually short-lived, a week or two at best. This is the phase where I’m dreaming. I see what I could have, and I believe that it’s only a stretch away.

October 18, 2012

work-in-progress challenge

I did this before with The Wizard’s Heart, but Peter Smalley challenged me to do it again with my Chroniker City novella. These answers will be interesting, seeing as I’m only in the plotting stage, but hey, maybe this will help me in the process.

1. What is the title of your Work in Progress? 

Eep! I don’t have one yet. I just call it the Chroniker City novella, but a few (crappy) titles have crossed my mind: Clockwork/Steamworks Theater, Delaney Theater Presents, The Clockwork/Steamworks Stage, and any other number of terrible, unimaginative titles.

2. Where did the idea for the WiP come from?

While writing The Clockwork Giant, I had a paragraph from the first draft that I ended up deleting because it slowed the action down. Petra and Emmerich were passing by the theater on Delaney Road, and I took a moment to describe the way it worked:
Petra caught only a glimpse of the flashing electric lights above the theater’s entrance before Emmerich pulled her into the next alley. She had never had much interest in the arts, but Chroniker City’s theater used several mechanical props in their shows—simple automatons, mechanical orchestras, and a moving stage. She had heard that the stage floor was composed of millions of panels connected by rods to cam mechanisms. Depending on the shape of the cam and the type of panel, the floor could transform from a plain, flat surface to a grassy hill, or a river, or the deck of a pirate ship. Only the strip of floor that ran from stage right to stage left did not move, but the theater engineers could manipulate the foreground and background to look like anything. The back wall shared the technology. By flipping a few switches, the wall could be a line of trees, a blue sky with white clouds moving across it, or a tumultuous ocean. Petra never had the opportunity to see the mechanized theater, and she doubted now that she ever would.
I wanted to showcase that theater, but I couldn’t do it within the novel. Coincidentally, Solomon, Petra’s brother, wants to be an actor. It seemed a perfect opportunity to explore in a novella.

October 15, 2012

new week, new book

It’s a new week and a new book. I finished the first draft of The Wizard’s Heart last week, coming in around 96,000 words. And so! I have a new project to start this week, the Chroniker City novella. Still brainstorming for titles, so hopefully, I’ll come up with something between now and finishing the first draft.

There are a few things I have to do before I can write the first word, however. I have to write an outline, which is really more like a long synopsis than a numbered or bulleted outline. That seems to work a lot better for me (the outline for The Wizard’s Heart actually ended up over 5000 words). Since this is a novella, there will probably be one subplot in addition to the main plot, maybe two subplots—one major, one minor. I don’t expect this to be longer than 40,000 words, so I need to rein in the number of plots to something manageable and easily understood. As well as plotting, I have some research to do, studying up on some clockwork and steam technologies as well as the inner workings of Theatre. I was never a drama student, so I don’t know much about the behind-the-scenes stuff—rehearsal, auditions, costuming, makeup, props, etc. I also need to figure out a play that I want the theater to perform. I can’t decide if I want them to perform an oldie (think Shakespeare), or something actually written and performed shortly before 1881. Totally up for suggestions!

October 11, 2012

finishing the first draft

I’ll keep this short today since I want to get as much done today as possible, but I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on this first draft.

Writing has always been a mixture of passion, neuroticism, frustration, anger, depression, and love for me. It’s a wibbly-wobbly thing, writing a novel. There are ups and downs, and there never seems to be a balanced day in the whole affair—no day where you close the document and feel like it was just an ordinary work day, just words on the page. Either you close the document and shut down the computer in a frustrated rage or worse, desolate gloom, or you leave the document open to remind yourself how awesome you are, grinning ear to ear with a faint squee escaping your lips, possibly while flailing. Sometimes, the day was so flail-worthy that you force your husband to flail with you, and suddenly, there’s a flail party in the kitchen because you had such a good day at your desk. At least, that’s how it is for me.

October 9, 2012

confessions of a darling killer - guest post and giveaway!

Confessions of a Darling Killer

Okay.  I admit it.  My name is Angela Brown.  And, well, I killed a man.
Not in real life.

*I won’t lie and say I haven’t had murderous thoughts a time or two regarding a couple of gents in my lifetime that I could have done without knowing lol!*  However, the man I – erm – relinquished from life was a character of Neverlove, a darling I thought the story needed.

His name was Wallace, and he was Abby’s older brother.  He appeared in the first draft, all emotional as you please, trying to show he had purpose.  He was darling and he loved Abby very much.  A couple of CPs took a stab at the second draft, bled it out and mentioned darling Wallace as an issue.  Try, try and try as he did, Wallace just didn’t have the full relevance to stay in the story.  So…

October 4, 2012

what i'm working on for the next few months...

Just a quick update about a few things.

I’m getting close to the end of The Wizard’s Heart. As of writing this, I have a total of 78,310 words. I am roughly two or three chapters away from the climax chapter(s), which will be followed by a resolution chapter. So that’s anywhere from four to six chapters to go, depending on how the story unfolds. Using my average chapter length, that’s about 14-21,000 words to go, bringing the total word count of the first draft anywhere between 92-99,000 words. That’s about what I expected. Now, depending on how many words it takes, that will require at least another week and a bit, or two weeks. As long as the words keep coming, this first draft will be done no later than October 19th (I hope) for a grand total of (minus a week-long vacation in September and a week-long break in August) three months of actual working time. I’m happy with those numbers. Very happy indeed.

October 1, 2012

dialects of modernity - guest post

Today, I welcome Gabriel Fitzpatrick to the blog as part of his blog tour for his new book Rmnce. Details after the post!

Dialects of Modernity

I have been on both sides of the prescriptionist/descriptionist divide over the years. On the one hand, its undeniably maddening to see things that were patently wrong when you learned the language embraced as the new normal. That being said, in my experience changes to the language tend to be for the better, at least insofar as better is defined as more usable, convenient, and relevant.