#IWSG November 2017 – Rethinking my blog and writing

A short post for the Insecure Writers Support Group this month, all about my current state of affairs and things I think will be interesting to the neurotic writers who pass by blogs like this every month.

First, if you haven’t seen my guest post on world-building on John Robin’s blog, be sure to check that out – it was fun to write, and I really have to do that more often,

I’m looking at new ways to use this blog

So one big change I’m making now (and a reason for the lack of updates) is deciding what I want to use this blog for. Some of my writing tips have gone over well, and I might go back to doing that weekly. I like the idea of previewing others’ writing like I did for the Launch Pad contest – I could see myself doing little previews of upcoming and released indie works.

One thing’s for sure – I can’t do long updates or too frequent ones. Regular updates, yes, but probably not more than once, maybe twice a week. I need to do more actual writing!

NaNoWriMo

No. Not really, anyway. I need to finish the book I’m working on, not start a new one now. I’d rather devote a set amount of time to working on my current book than set a specific word count. I’ll start with 1 hour per day, and see if I can boost that up a bit.

Anxiety

I’m doing some online counseling (best option I have at the moment) and it will spill over onto this blog in some form. I think my writing and my anxiety interact in many ways, and that some tips to deal with one will also help with the other. I’m on the lookout for other blogs that talk about anxiety and writing – there should be some good links with IWSG I would think!

Anyway, that’s my rambling IWSG post for November. If you have some ideas for content for my blog, feel free to leave comments. I’ll be looking around some of your blogs too!

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Time is running out to support Far Flung on Inkshares!

With 5 days left in the Launch Pad Inkshares contest, I’m losing my hold over 4th place, let alone a top 3 place that I would need to win.

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So here I am, again, trying to get pre-orders for Far Flung. I’ve got two supporter previews left. I think those previews are why a lot of new blog visitors are here!

To my new visitors and my readers before the campaign – will you support Far Flung?

If you plan to, now is the time!

Check out Far Flung at the Inkshares page here and see the updates and chapters I’ve provided. With complex characters and worldbuilding, I think sci-fi fans will deeply appreciate this journey. Read over the preview chapters, maybe leave a comment or recommendation, and let me know what you think!

Why Support Support Far Flung?

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As you likely know, I’ve been working away at previews of other authors’ works and other promotions for Far Flung.

There are more previews in the pipeline, but not many! The rest will go up soon, but first, a personal note about my desire for Far Flung. It’s the reason for all these previews, after all – a perk for supporting the book to come. I’ll write a preview for your book, music, artwork, blog, or whatever else it is you do in return for a $10 pre-order.

Why do all this?

It’s a fair question, one that certainly keeps coming up!

With a place in the Top 50 in Launch Pad, and the supportive community at Inkshares, I saw a chance. Normally, it takes 750 pre-orders of a book at Inkshares to get a fully-featured publishing deal, but I could get the same level of quality and service if I land in the Top 3 of the current Launch Pad Contest by October 9. An e-book, paperback copies, hardcover, signed copies, distribution in major bookstores – the whole deal.

I could do this without Inkshares, it will just take a lot longer.

Story development editing is expensive. So is promotion, cover design, distribution, and I would (somehow) have to pay for all of it if I end up self-publishing. As someone already in a nasty bit of debt, a means of subsidizing production, like crowdfunding, has a certain appeal!

What happens if I don’t get the Top 3 by October 9?

Just so you don’t think I’m pinning all my hopes on this one chance, I figure I’ll let you know the alternatives I can see. First, I will not cancel the campaign for Far Flung. There’s a level of publishing at 250 pre-orders that I can take, and I’ll try for that. It doesn’t offer as much editing, but it will get physical copies of the book in bookstores in the US and Canada – something quite difficult for me to do on my own.

After that, there’s self-publishing. No idea how I’ll afford everything, so I’ll be pitching it to traditional literary agents as I work through the steps. But somehow, I will finish it. I’m also starting the sequel (yes, there will be one!) as soon as I can – it’ll be my submission for next year’s Launch Pad (yes, I will do it again, but probably without the crowdfunding part).

tl;dr – It will get done.

So why should you throw in $10 for an e-book, or $20 for a physical copy? Because it will get done. I have a plan, and I’m following it now, but if I can get a 50-80 additional pre-orders within the next two weeks, you know what happens? My plans get accelerated drastically and you get Far Flung and all the books that follow a lot sooner (hey, remember Bound in Shadows? Don’t worry, I do).

I hope you will pre-order!

Here’s the page where you order. Oh, note that if you get an e-book, it’ll come in PDF, ePub, and Kindle formats.

Order now, get a nice little promo for your work, and get a great sci-fi novel!

#IWSG for September – Surprising

 

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A short post and a late one for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

if you’ve never heard of them, the IWSG is a huge group of bloggers who talk about the neurotic dangers of writing. Be sure to look around the huge list of blogs – there are always insightful and useful posts and helpful people.

I surprised myself with my writing for the Busan Writing Group, my local writing club. I was always certain before I fond them that sci-fi and fantasy would be my writing mainstays. When we got an anthology together for the first time, however, my story had no fantasy at all. It was a touching tribute to the loneliness of an expat’s first time in Korea, and an odd, sad love story. Shortly after, I had my first story published outside the BWG, and it had no fantasy or sci-fi at all either – just a confrontation between nephew and aunt over a dark secret.

In following anthologies, deep personal themes made up the basis, with fantasy in small doses. I’ve had a taste of a style I didn’t even realize was in me – a more literary, realistic scenario with the fantasy working its way in gradually. I still write full sci-fi and fantasy (as a glance around this blog will confirm), but for short stories, I think I’ll further explore this ‘realistic’ style and see how the weirder ideas play into it.

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Help me kickstart my writing career and get a great sci-fi novel!

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Far Flung, my sci-fi epic that’s in the Top 50 of the Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, is in funding now.

Be sure to read the preview chapters & tell me what you think! Consider supporting the campaign – your support will help me put this in the hands of readers everywhere!

#IWSG for August – Dark Times

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Getting back into writing seems a lot harder for me now.

Last time I was putting up one of these IWSG posts, I had a crowdfunding effort relating to my writing. I ended that campaign and contest with all of 16 backers total. I simply didn’t have enough of the right kind of contacts and friends to see it through, or the knowhow to reach out to people who might have helped. I couldn’t go on with the promotion – it was taking away all my time to write.

I am thankful for those 16, and the many more who read the work I was displaying for the contest. I wish I could have done better for them. If I ever decide to crowdfund for writing again, it will be an even harder uphill battle, since everyone I know saw me fall flat on my face. But I will get the story done, along with the others I am working on.

Home life is not going well, and I don’t have a way out other than to keep working my main job I have to make a living. My wife and I are making progress on our debt, but at the cost of making any progress on our stalled relationship.

Yet here I am, still at the writing game. I’m still teaching a writing course in September – a course for ESL learners that I have adapted from my own influences and writing guidebooks. I must still have a set of materials to teach from, and that is exactly what I was preparing with my series of blog posts on writing short fiction.  I will return to the series of posts next Tuesday.

I must keep writing, even with feelings of darkness.

I don’t know how I will spread the word and get the support of friends, family, and more when I have a major project ready. All I know for now is that I must have a very good project well and truly ready. I must work out some way to get to my writing group regularly despite the hard work I must do with my family. While online critique groups are great, in-person meetings have by and far the strongest motivational power for me.

For other members of the Insecure Writers Support Group – what gets you writing through feelings of being overwhelmed, through feelings that even your best writing will not be enough?

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A slight delay while I’m crowdfunding…

This is embarrassing.

It seems my work with crowdfunding has caused me to fall behind with my pre-scheduled writing exercise posts.

The exercises will return shortly!

In the meantime, help me get the pre-order numbers up for Far Flung. Your help will help me create the best sci-fi experience I can!

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May updates for #IWSG and the #amwriting community.

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Hello visitors from #IWSG! Happy Star Wars day! I have some updates here that might be of interest to the neurotic writing community.

First up, I’ve got my ongoing series of writing exercises.

Every week for the past few months I’ve put up posts on Tuesday and Thursday featuring a writing exercise and my own sample take on the exercise. I’ll be compiling these exercises into a book later on, as I really need a new textbook for teaching fiction writing to ESL students. While I won’t claim to be a writing genius, I think the exercises will work well with writers at all levels of ability. I hope they will inspire you as well.

This month’s exercises focuses on using different points of view in writing. I hope you’ll check them out.


Other happenings:

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I have a story called Far Flung in a contest on Inkshares.

This contest is held by Launch Pad and Inkshares, and requires that you submit the first 50 pages of a novel you are working on. Your 50 pages will be read by successful authors and publishers, and you will have a chance to win a publishing contract or one of several other prizes. Might be worth checking out!

If you’ve never heard of Inkshares, it’s a crowd-funding program for indie authors. They’re a really good bunch of people, and I encourage you to check out the website.


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I’ve been hanging out in writing subforums on Reddit, especially /r/writingprompts

There are some very good prompts, and anyone is allowed to add their own. One prompt was so appealing, it got me to break my long Reddit silence and write a weird little fantasy piece.

Anyway, I suppose my message to IWSG this month is that I #amwriting, and finding excuses to write rather than excuses not to. Maybe that’ll help you find your own excuse!