Reading Radar – What’s caught my interest this week

read-876536_960_720

I’m trying out a new kind of post on this blog

I’ll call it Reading Radar, and it’s a look at a few of the cool new reads I’ve discovered. I’ll be heavily favoring web serials and crowdfunded books on sites like Inkshares, as most of my reading has turned toward the indie scene.

Here’s my best finds this week:

Dracula vs. Hitler, by Patrick Sheane Duncan

As if the title alone weren’t enough! C’mon, you know you want it. This is a great example of a successful book at Inkshares – it garnered enough interest to get well over 750 preorders and got a full editing and promotion treatment by Inkshares. The samples freely available show why it’s popular – it’s written in the same style of diary entries and correspondence as the original Bram Stoker novel. The story has Van Helsing decide to unleash the worst monster he knows to fight the worst monster the world has known. It looks awesome, and is definitely worth a good read.

Sorcery for Beginners, by Matt Harry

Formatted like a “for Dummies” book, complete with helpful diagrams, this novel looks like a really fun read. It’s currently funding on Inkshares, and I’m sure the author would love your help getting it made. It follows a boy who finds an easy-to-read guide to magic – and it works! Unfortunately it also really, really messes up his life. Have a look, and throw some love in if you can.

A Practical Guide to Evil, by ErraticErrata

This is a web serial that I found through Web Fiction Guide. Everyone knows the old Evil Overlord list, right? This is that same list, but fleshed out into a full story with deep characters. It’s a very engaging read, and I highly recommend checking it out.

 

While I’m doing my best to read, my main work is getting Far Flung: Castaways ready for publication. I need a book out there!

What a writing journal can teach you about productivity

A great post by Tim Kimber of rightplacerighttim.com on how to use a writing journal to increase your output!

Right place, right Tim

This week, I reached 115,000 words on my novel. I’m three and a half chapters from the end, on the home stretch, and already dreading the editing.

Since October 2015, I’ve been tracking my progress with a writing journal, in which I record the time of each session, its duration, the number of words written and what chapter I was working on. A year later, I’m up to my eyeballs in data, and can draw some enlightening conclusions therein.

But first, a graph! Gadzooks!

word-count-oct16

As you can see, there are a number of lulls in productivity, loosely matching life events: Christmas in December, getting married and going on honeymoon in April, and being on holiday in August. Oddly, it is my holiday time that I’m at my least productive.

Getting deeper into the data, I can glean which type of session I get the most out of…

View original post 411 more words

From Apathy to Determination

clip-image002

From Apathy to Determination

I wrote about apathy earlier this year because I couldn’t bring myself to write at all. I was just fed up with everything – a crappy family situation and other things not going well. I rested, I reevaluated, and I nearly lost my full-time job because of burnout. The family situation hasn’t improved, but my writing determination has. I went back to Far Flung – my work that was an online serial, but which I haven’t updated in quite a while now.

I looked carefully at it, and I took in some new inspiration. I played a bit of No Man’s Sky (I’m one of those chumps who preordered, sigh), I read the Legacy Fleet series by Nick Webb, and I started reading The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. Suddenly, Far Flung took over my consciousness again, but I found I din’t want to continue the serial without some better incentive. I simply don’t blog enough to get many readers – I find it too difficult to make good blog entries often, and I type too darn slowly. But if I had something real to show for my work – say a book on Amazon – that might be just the kick I need to revive both Write, or Else! and TCC Edwards dot com.

Just like that, I started writing. I took on Far Flung, going back to the beginning and editing the story. I’m now expanding what I already have, with the goal of producing a book between 300-400 words. I’ve set a goal to finish this draft by the end of November, with editing to follow after that. I’m considering the Inkshares program to get it edited and published.

Just as suddenly, other projects showed up on my radar.

IWSG, a group I love being part of, has a new anthology in the works. My writing group is starting another book. Writers in Daejeon, a city not too far from mine, want me to join their book. And I still have to get something on my blogs, darn it!

I have my fingers in all of these. I have a draft for IWSG in the works, but it’s a trainwreck right now. Editing it into something I’d actually want to submit could take too much of my attention away from other jobs.

I wish I could work faster!

Unfortunately, it’s looking more like I’ll scrap the IWSG project in order to keep the most important things going.

Funny, huh? I went from writing nothing to taking on more than I could handle. It’s a shame – I really did want to be in the anthology with the other IWSG folks, but I have to do a bit of project triage here. The last thing I want – the very worst thing that could happen – is to get too frustrated and find myself unable to finish the book. I need a book out there – a real novel, with my name on it, properly edited, produced, and published. I need it as soon as reasonably possible.

So that’s where I’m at! Working away on this novel and trying to keep my social presence both online and with my writing group. Having to choose carefully what I take on and in what capacity. Deciding what to do with these blogs I pay for.

Honestly, writing itself is the easy part. It’s all this decision-making and figuring out that some things just aren’t going to work that gets difficult!

Far Flung gets an update on Inkshares – #amwriting

This is a reblog from my other site:

Far Flung is going well!

Click here to see the work on Inkshares.

I am drafting a novel of Far Flung, and you can see where I’m going with it. Over at Inkshares, I have the first 7 chapters up today. My regular readers will notice many differences between this novel-in-progress and the episodes I’ve posted on this blog. First of all, I’ve gone with a third person POV for the novel, as that will allow me to bring the reader more detail and better characterization. The blog episodes will remain as first-person log entries with the occasional transcript – the plan is to have the blog episodes tie-in with the trilogy of novels.

Did I just say ‘trilogy’?

Read more on my other blog, or click the image below to go to Inkshares! Back to writing for me…

inkshares

 

 

#IWSG – A late post about being ready!

ca2e6-insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadge

There was a really good question for this month’s IWSG – When do you know when your story is ready?

The Busan Writing Group that I’m with has put out two anthologies, Nothing too Familiar and Convergence, and each one is a self-published collection of our own stories. We reviewed and edited our own submitted stories in our workshops. We knew we were done when a) our agreed-upon publishing date was looming and b) each story had no major problems that we could identify as a group. I won’t say it’s a perfect process – I have a suspicion that if we had all tried to submit our final stories to magazines and contests instead, only one or two might have been accepted. The stories met our standards as a writing group trying to show that we do actually write and publish.

So my answer to When is it done? is “When I’ve shown it to a good number of people and I’ve acted on their feedback accordingly.”

What the heck is a “good number of people” you ask? Ah, well that varies wildly. If there are plenty of friends around with MFAs in writing or an established sense of good writing, I might only have to show my story to 2 or 3 people. If the people around me don’t have as much experience with writing, then I’ll probably share my work with 5 or 6 others and get a sense of how well the story reads to the general public.

But finishing a story always means sharing it. I’ve tried publishing stories that I didn’t run past others, and it wasn’t pretty!

With how many people do you share your story before finalization?

How important is “beta reading” to your story-writing process?

Leave your answers in the comments!