Read ‘Empty Coffee Cup’ over at OMNI Media – #amwriting

OMNI just started a new online publishing venue, and I’m in it!

They are accepting non-fiction, fiction, and blog-style posts, and it was easy for me to submit. It looks like there’s a system to earn money from posts, based on how many views or how much interest they generate.

I submitted and odd piece I wrote – a one-act play called Empty Coffee CupThis work also appears as part of the Daejeon Writer’s Group book called Fleeting, published at the end of last year.

It features a conversation between an artist and his future self regarding the girl he hasn’t yet met. Fellow writers who’ve read through my edits and rewrites have given me very positive feedback – I hope you enjoy it too!

Read Empty Coffee Cup on OMNI Media now!

Why I had to stop my serial and write a novel instead.

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I went about writing a serial almost exactly the wrong way.

I started writing the serial for Far Flung over a year ago. I remember well why I started – I really, really needed to write and publish, and I was sick of passing my work by an unknown gatekeeper. Oh, I wasn’t afraid of rejection (okay, maybe just a little) , but I hated the whole routine of write something, submit it with fingers crossed, hear nothing for 3-4 weeks, and then get a ‘yes’ or more likely a ‘no’ with no feedback whatsoever.

I had read some great serial fiction, and decided to try it myself. I had an idea planned out, and a few chapters that I had run through my writing group. I went ahead and started with JukePop as my first main outlet, and later on made my own website dedicated to releases of my fiction.

I lost my ‘lead’ quickly.

I had 3 chapters ready before I posted my first chapter of Far Flung. I thought, somehow, that having the motivation to post regularly would get me writing new chapters quickly. I thought posting a chapter twice a month was enough. Obviously, both ideas were proven wrong.

First, simply having a serial in production can motivate, but it doesn’t change your writing speed. It definitely doesn’t help your overall quality. What I didn’t fully realize was the need to PRE-SCHEDULE. If you want to do a serial, you must must must must pre-schedule posts. From my experience, I’d say having a month or even two month’s worth of posts ready before you post the first part is ideal. The most successful serials post 2 or 3 times A WEEK, not per month. So if you are a slow writer, plan accordingly by giving yourself a HUGE leeway.

I didn’t have enough traffic to support it.

I started with JukePop because they (are supposed to) have a system for paying authors. I still can’t figure out how – I think you have to be an American in the USA. I tried running ads and placing Amazon referral links on my other website, but I just didn’t have the traffic. Even using Web Fiction Guide to promote my story and review other stories, I couldn’t bring in enough hits. Why not?

I was rushing out my writing to keep up regular posts. I was finalizing each chapter on the day I wanted to post it. Neither quantity nor quality were up to excellent standards.

So what am I going to do about it?

I’m novelizing it. I’m taking the chapters I did get out and constructing a better narrative to tie them together and bring Far Flung to life. I’m leaving what’s already out mainly so that I can show my improvement later on. I will share edited versions of the current Far Flung serial based on the improvements made for the upcoming novel. The edited serial will tie-in with the novel and hopefully help me promote and sell it.

I will do another serialized work in the future, but I will approach it more like a novella. I’ll write about 20,000 – 40,000 words before the first post even goes up, and have that much read and critiqued first. I’ll make sure that first post gets noticed on Web Fiction Guide and other sites – and I’ll have a link to buy my book at the end of each post.  Having a book ‘legitimizes’ me – I need to have a full novel out to improve my own confidence and my credibility.

It’s too bad I don’t have another chapter for the serial right now, but what’s coming will be worth the wait, I promise.


 

Far Flung Chapter 14 is up!

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy while I wait for news on my pending submissions.

I now have Part 14 of my ongoing serial Far Flung available at my other website.

Here you go folks, more science fiction from me:

Click here to read Chapter 14 of Far Flung

Click here to read Chapter 14 of Far Flung!

#IWSG – Delaying one project for another

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I really wanted to get work done on Far Flung in May! That was the plan!

But then a juicy opportunity to write something for a project called Bound came along. I’ve been in talks with two of the people behind Bound, and I’ve been working on a potential story that could use the mobile fiction platform they are developing. The story I’ve been planning out is entirely different from Far Flung, but something that’s been in my head for far longer.

I learned something interesting about myself as a writer – I handle the news that somebody is interested in my writing and wants more almost as poorly as I handle rejection!

After I learned that Bound was interested, I went through weird stages of nervous anticipation, and I had great difficulty reading books or listening to audiobooks. Obsession with planning a good outline and producing something good took over, it was hard to think about anything else. Far Flung got placed firmly on the back burner – I barely even tried to work on it while this exciting new possibility filled my head.

For the Insecure Writer’s Support Group: How well do you handle multiple writing projects? Do you find that one story-in-progress simply takes up too much mental real estate?

As for me, I find out in another week or two what will happen. The idea I was obsessed with for May has been submitted for consideration, and I just have to wait and see what they say. Maybe I can get back to Far Flung for a bit. Maybe I’ll read a book or two. One thing’s for sure – it’ll be a tough wait.

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#IWSG #AtoZChallenge – A follow-up to my 2nd A-to-Z Challenge

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It was an interesting and fun month!

I did an A-to-Z challenge back in 2014 with a fantasy theme. At the time I had a fantasy novel on my mind, but I lacked the drive I needed to really get it finished. I ended up with a blog full of scary fantasy creatures, but no writing to show how I was using them.

This year, I’m happy to say, things were very different. I have Far Flung in the works, a serial science fiction story that I am releasing on my other blog, piece by piece. Less than a week before the A-to-Z challenge was about to start, I realized something. I was too late for the theme reveal, but I could still do it. I could tie in A-to-Z with my serial fiction, and get A-to-Z to help me with research!

I decided to do the A-to-Z Challenge with a sci-fi theme. Will I use all those sci-fi ideas in Far Flung? Probably not. But I’ll use a lot of them. It certainly doesn’t hurt to know that much more about this genre I claim I can write in!

One downside, I suppose, was that I was late posting the latest chapter for Far Flung. I haven’t been super strict about its release schedule (something I need to change about myself) but I still want to get two parts out every month. Now I think I need a break from Far Flung – I’ve been writing it as I go so far, with most of the planning in my head. Not a great way to work, I know, but it’s kept me writing at least. However, I desperately need a buffer of three or four chapters of Far Flung before I post the next one.

That is my key lesson from A-to-Z – the importance of researching and pre-scheduling posts! So I’m taking a month away from posting Far Flung, but that won’t mean I’m not working on it!

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I love what I’ve seen from other A-to-Z folks.

There were a lot of great thoughts on writing over at CR Ward’s Writing Journal, Liz Brownlee wrote poetry every day over at her blog, and Ally Bean made me hungry with humorous posts about food. Of course there were many, many more participants, so be sure to stop by some of their blogs.

Thanks to everyone in both IWSG and the A-to-Z Challenge. You are wonderful communities to share with!

 

 

#AtoZChallenge – Zero-g

Time for Z in my Sci-Fi themed A-to-Z Challenge!

 

Zero gravity, or zero-g, is one of those terms that was used in sci-fi before it was needed in reality.

Arthur C. Clarke wrote about zero “g” in Islands in the Sky in 1952, making it the first time the idea was shortened this way. Many, many authors since have written about the apparent absence of gravity in space, and about people adapting to lower gravity environments like the Moon.
In the real world, the term microgravity is preferred to zero-g because gravity is never really gone. Even if your spaceship is way out beyond the Earth and Moon, there is some small yet measurable force of gravity acting upon you. Astronauts working in orbit around earth experience weightlessness because they are in freefall – they are indeed still affected by Earth’s gravity, but they are also in a vessel that is moving forward. Effectively, they are “falling around” the Earth – the forward motion cancels out the downward motion, and everything inside the ship floats.
Would you like to experience zero-g?

More about zero-g:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-g_environment

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/more/2012/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_in_the_Sky

#AtoZChallenge – Yeast-Culture Vat

Time for Y in my Sci-Fi themed A-to-Z Challenge!

 

Doesn’t look too appetizing like this, huh?

 

I guess this sort of an addendum to my post on vat-grown meat.

Sci-fi authors have plenty of ways of feeding people without raising animals, and this one started with Isaac Asimov. In The Evitable Conflict, there’s yeast steak – various strains of customized yeast grown to replace regular food. Asimov brought up a similar idea in Caves of Steel, with vats that grow yeast to look and taste like food that’s difficult to get any other way.
In the real world, there are plenty of foods processed with the help of yeast, but nothing that attempts to look and taste like a steak or a piece of fruit. Lab-grown food has a long way to go before it gets that far, but there are interesting new developments all the time.

More about yeast vats:

 

http://gizmodo.com/asimovs-yeast-vats-may-be-the-real-future-of-food-1721654216

http://techcrunch.com/gallery/10-lab-made-meats-cheeses-and-other-odd-startup-foods/