Don’t Let World-Building Get in the Way of Story-Building

A post of mine regarding Far Flung on John Robin’s blog, Epic Fantasy Writer!

John Robin's Blog

Happy almost-November!

Today I’d like to share more on world-building by means of a guest post from an author I recently connected with—TCC Edwards. You can check out his book, Far Flung, which is has been picked by an Inkshares syndicates and is still funding, at nearly 1/4 of the way to meeting the Quill publication milestone.

TCCHow many lists of world-building tips, hints, questions, and resources have you seen on the internet? They’re a bit intimidating, aren’t they? Especially when they’re as exhaustive as the queen of all world-building lists by author Patricia C. Wrede, with questions about politics, science, religion, and many more aspects of your fictional world.

You could spend a lot of time building your world with a list like this, but without proper attention to the story and characters, readers aren’t likely to appreciate the effort. If you are writing a multi-novel…

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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!

From Apathy to Determination

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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!

FREE eBook and The Year of Marketing (Help for Self-published Authors)

This reblog from Diane Tibert’s website gives a lot of useful insights into promoting self-publishing. This author hails from my home and native land, so I just had to give her a shoutout!

Diane Tibert

Lessons in Self-publishingI’ve reached many milestones in the past twenty years in my writing career, but there are still things I want to accomplish and things I need to learn.

One of the things I’m working to improve is my marketing abilities. I’ve done minor things to promote my books, but that’s not enough. In 2015, I attended farmers’ and craft markets to increase my exposure and, well, sell a few books. Obviously one-on-one sales increased; that was a no-brainer.

However, I saw an increase in online sales too. I can only assume it was due to meeting people, giving them my business card and introducing them to my books.

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Author Brian Rathbone: FREE Book : Call of the Herald

I follow Brian Rathbone on Twitter, and I just found out about this deal:

Call of the Herald – Book 1 of the Godsland Series

Free Fantasy eBook and Audiobook – Links Below

Read the entire series free with Kindle Unlimited

Books Series 1-9 Dragon Ore, Inherited Danger, Call of the Herald, Regal, Feral, Regent, The Seventh Magic, Dragonhold, The Fifth MagicCall of the Herald - Book One of the Dawning of Power Trilogy by Brian Rathbone A World of Godsland Novel

Buy the first box set for $0.99 get the premium audio trilogy for just $1.99

That’s 27 hours of epic audio!

Power is back. No one is prepared.

Catrin Volker accidentally fulfills the prophecy of the destroyer and becomes the most feared person on the planet. She and her friends must find a way to convince the world she wants only peace.

Seems like a good deal! I bought it on a whim – and I’m taking this as solid writing advice. Write lots, run special promotions like this. It gets attention!

via Author Brian Rathbone: FREE Book : Call of the Herald.

#IWSG July 1 – My story is now in eFiction Magazine!

In my last post, I talked about how surprised I was to get a story in eFiction magazine.

I expected to be asked for some edits, or to confirm my bio info. Imagine my surprise today when I found out that my story, Painted Blue Eyes, is already out!

Okay. I’m with this. A little odd that no changes at all were asked of me – makes me wonder. I truly do hope the story is satisfying to all who read it!

My job now is to get the word out. See, that’s the thing about getting published in online magazines – you can get a much greater readership than you could in print, but only if you brag about it, constantly, on every channel you can find!

Ah, you’ve caught me at my game, IWSG – yes I am using my July post to plug my story. Can you really blame me?

All right, let’s get more into the community Q&A spirit of IWSG. My take on eFiction and online magazines in general is that they offer great chances to get your name out there, and they can attract a huge base of readers (providing you do the social media work). What’s your take?

Do you ever read online magazines like eFiction? Do you think they are great places to get some attention?

Have you been published in both online and paper magazines? How do you compare the experiences?

Hope to hear some answers, and hey, go check out my story, along with the four others in the book. I’m sure you’ll love them!

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Painted Blue Eyes by TCC Edwards

Part of eFiction Vol. 6, No. 4, published July 1, 2015.

This magazine is also available on Amazon!

An Interview with David Henry Sterry

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I had a chance to talk with David Henry Sterry – bestselling author and all-round superstar of books that help writers get it done and sell it.

I’ll let his Wikipedia entry and his own website speak for themselves.

Last week, I talked about my all-to-brief consultation with David Henry Sterry. This week, I feature the results of a quick follow-up interview with him!


 

E-mail Interview with David Henry Sterry, May 13, 2015

(Bolding mine, along with some very minor edits)

Me: I’ll have to ask this first – so what is it you do, exactly?

DHS: I am the best-selling author of 16 books, I’m also a performer & producer, as well as a book doctor. I help people in all stages of their writing career. From figuring out what book to write, to what’s the right title, to editing your book, to figuring out how to find the right agent or publisher for you, and ultimately how to get readers to buy your book.

Me: What is the writing project that currently occupies most of your time?

DHS: I’m working on a piece of epic noir that is set in San Francisco’s tenderloin. It’s all about a giant battle for who controls the underground sex business in the city that some called Baghdad by the Bay. Kind of like Game of Thrones meets The Wire.

Me: You obviously help a lot of writers – what seems to be the most common writing problem that you deal with these days?

DHS: Most writers just don’t seem to understand how to explain what’s exciting, unique, familiar, funny, educational, riveting, and valuable about their own book. They also don’t know how to do the research to find the right partner, whether it be a publisher, an agent, a reviewer, a bookstore, an online book seller, a blogger. 

Plus, so many manuscripts I read are filled with mistakes. Grammatical, spelling, plot mistakes. People don’t hire professional editors to review their work. There is this idea that it’s harder to be a brain surgeon that it is to write a great novel. That’s not true. It takes just as much time, expertise, knowledge, learning, wisdom, hard work, and perseverance to write a great book as it does to become a brain surgeon. Probably more. Because I know a couple of brain surgeons, and frankly they don’t seem that bright.

Me: Last question – What’s your top piece of advice for aspiring writers?

DHS: Read. Become an expert in your section of the bookstore. Connect with people who are going to be passionate about what you’re working on. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. But be smart in your perseverance.


My thanks go out to David Henry Sterry for the quick little interview. Be sure to visit his website & check out his book Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man For Rent!