Status Updates

Status Updates

Assault on Dread Fortress Paine (FM6.5) is OUT!!!

The Glassbreaker Goes Home (FM6.75) = IN EDITING

Main Focus: FM7 School Story = 5k out of 80k estimate (6%)

Side Focus: FM7 Main Story = 0k out of 200k estimate (0%)

Back Burner #1: Welf Winter Gala (FM6.99???) 17k out of 50k estimate (34%)

Back Burner #2: Super Secret Awesome Project

Ugly Step Child: Gush (Fantasy Action/Adventure) Novel, First Draft = 21k out of 100k estimate (21%)

Other Stuff I Need to Get To: FM3-FM6 concordance updates

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Glassbreaker Goes Home is Done


Done.  Done.  Done.

Editing and all that to do, so...maybe it will come out in June?  Or July, probably July.  No huge rush.  I mean...I know, I know, you want it NOW, but...I'm going to take the time to do the extra edit this time around, cut some stuff, all that jazz.

I know I can be excessive in some areas or I could probably kill more of my babies, I can admit I love the talk before a fight a whole lot more than the fight itself, and, yes, I was lazy and sick while editing FM6.5 so some of the Tyson parts were a bit much, but I like being excessive, so there! a person with anxiety problems...that's how it feels sometimes, people!  Like you can't do anything but think!  ...Now you know.  Where was I?  Oh, have I mentioned how much I've grown to hate the term "filler"?  Every novel I've written except the first I've had someone accuse me of writing filler.

Rant on:  filler is an anime term.  It's about how studios FILLED in original manga stories with their own much crappier side stories that affected nothing.  Being I'm an author of my own original work, I CAN'T WRITE FILLER.  THEY'RE CALLED CHARACTER MOMENTS OR WORLD-BUILDING, JACKASS.  IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT AND ONLY WANT TO READ ABOUT EXPLOSIONS OR PEOPLE PUNCHING EACH OTHER THEN FUCKING SAY SO AND STAND ON YOUR OWN PREFERENCES, STOP USING BUZZWORDS.  DON'T YOU DARE START TYPING "DEUS EX MACHINA", STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

/rant off

Too far?  It's a little much...

So I really enjoyed writing this one.  The last year and a half has been a struggle.  Well...more like total complete bullshit.  Dead dog.  Dying grandfather.  Really sick father.  Actual jury duty.  The Last Jedi...

Oh yeah.  It's equal to all that shit.  I've read over a hundred Star Wars novels in my lifetime and even the one with the weird ass bug commune shit was more coherent than that disaster.  And the opportunity cost, my god, how much storytelling possibility they just...jerked away.  But I'm breaking my negative rule so...we'll stop.


Back on track:  this story, especially in the last month, has reminded me what I love about being an author.  Just...character stuff and conversations and reactions to reactions.  It's a story that doesn't start with much of a plot and manages to find a small one by the time it's over.  I laughed a ton writing it, teared up a couple times too.  Tiny Not-So-Spoiler:  There's this moment between Susan and Val that I couldn't even see the page through the tears because I could just imagine Ceinwyn giving this same speech to this 14 year old Valentine who's terrified of what she is and man did it hit me hard.  It's just one moment in a hundred.  There's another scene where Val and KH are in his childhood bedroom joking around for ten pages that I completely love too.  That's it.  Ten pages of jokes.  Doesn't need to be more.

Of course I've been up for 24 hours, wrote 30+ handwritten pages today, and...well, I really feel my wrist right what do I know?  Kinda regretting that rant a little bit...


But...I feel this is a fan's fan kind of work.  If you're the type of person who read FM6 and thought all that bit in the middle needed to be thrown out and PLOT PLOT PLOT, then...go ahead and skip it.  If you really dug the fact that there was a reaction scene to KH spilling about Paine to Val and then ANOTHER to Ceinwyn and you got to see how they're similar and how they're different and how it all effects the story going forward, then I think you'll love this.  It's not on that HUGE REVEAL level, but...

I'm going to sleep now.

More updates in a couple weeks, maybe?

Fuck me I have to type all those pages into the computer...

Maybe I'll just procrastinate it and write some FM7 instead?

Sleep!  We wants it!

Friday, May 11, 2018

FYI: On the Status Update Changes

Just wanted to let you know the reason some numbers changed above is that I've made the hard decision to strip the Vicky Welf half of the story from "The Glassbreaker Goes Home".  Both stories revolved around the theme of family, but I felt it would be better served (and quicker) if I just focused on King Henry's emotional family reunion instead.

No solid idea what I'm going to do with the 17k worth of Vicky material, if anything.  Another novella possibly, re-purposed in the timeline to be much closer to FM7's start date (possibly during the Winter break Old Mancy party season, with the idea of the Welf's throwing a gala to debut Vicky's Eureka-themed spectromancer art + Tyson meeting the in-laws + Heinrich Welf dating woes, etc.).  Or maybe even a post FM7 novella...for those that, ya know...survive ;)

Or...maybe it will just stay in lala land.  Which is sad, since I quite liked how the POV was shaping up and the Moira/Vicky conversation is one of the favorite I've written since Ceinwyn/KH at the end of FM4.

But...I'm grooving with KH at the moment, in a way I haven't grooved in over a year now.  Finally feel like I'm recovered, in a good mental place to focus on the massive task that is FM7, and back at the Crazy.  So...instead of taking a month or two with Vicky, I'd much rather finish up FM6.75 and immediately start kicking FM7's ass.

Cuz that's some dragon-sized ass...

Monday, April 23, 2018

It's Heating Up Notes

1.  Hit 90 yesterday.  That lovely Fresno summer is right around the corner!

2.  The reason it seems like the status bars haven't moved is because the weather has been so nice I've been doing a bit of hand writing away from the laptop.  Every other year I get the fancy and pump out some pages this way.  Of course now I have 20+ handwritten pages to type into the computer eventually...

3.  Down to two and a half scenes left to write for the KH half and like 4 for Vicky's.  As expected, lots of conversations and funny moments, not a whole lot of earth shattering plot.

4.  Avengers comes out this week, yay!

5.  Loving the crap out of the new God of War.  A sizable chunk of the worldbuilding for the King Henry Tapes comes from Norse mythology so leading Kratos around killing the shit out of some dark elves in Alfhiem and chatting up the World Serpent is pretty awesome.

6.  Finally watched Altered Carbon.  Was overall very good and would recommend.  Although some of the changes they made to the plot were quite odd, I have to admit, and the last few episodes got super melodramatic.  At the very least, it's just awesome that there's a TV series for Altered Carbon of all novels, that's the world we live in now.

7.  Trying to stay away from the net and focus on writing mostly.  Especially from reviews.  If I could just completely ignore them my mental health would be so much better.  Am quite a lot more cynical about them than when I started with all that naivety years and years ago.  So, if you email me and I take a week to respond, that's probably why.

8.  Seems like you're vastly picking Option A for FM7, so may the cliffhanger be on your own heads!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Real Talk on FM7

As some know, I considered splitting FM6 in two due to its size.  The reality of the marketplace is that more releases = better, and bigger books = largely punished.  If you study which authors dominate the sales charts, it's the ones who put out a 200-300 page book every other month, even every month.  Push that product, make sure you're constantly on the new release lists, etc.

I'm not saying I'd ever go that far or even could, but splitting FM6 into two was probably the smartest economic move, even if the mid story cliffhanger would have been annoying for some.  (It would have split when KH grabbed Ceinwyn and teleported to the Geo Realm so...yeah, just a little cliffhanger...)  In the end, I decided not to and instead just raised the price by a dollar.

In retrospect, probably a huge mistake.  Not only did I lose out on the multiple new release bumps, I also still undervalued my work.  The only way Amazon actually rewards large novels is that they changed Amazon Unlimited payouts to be per page.  As such you can get an idea on how Amazon values output.  I priced FM6 at $4.99, earning a 70% royalty around $3.40.  Conversely, Amazon paid me a whole $7 each time someone borrowed and read the book.  According to Amazon, I should have split the book in two AND charged a dollar extra for each, or split it into three parts at my original price.

Now, the be fair, sometimes that goes into my favor.  FM6.5, I get $2 for each sale, while borrow-wise I don't even make $1.50 on it, so as Amazon sees it, I'm slightly overcharging.  Of course if I was only after the money I wouldn't be a man writing a male character in a genre dominated by women writing female characters, or have a rated-r character VERY not fit for broadcast television at that.  But, as much as I hate that it can't all be about the story, business is part of it and these are the facts.

There's also the smaller point of print on demand to consider.  Anyone who has picked up a print copy of FM6 knows it is stretching the laws of pyshics and that it can be used as a blunt weapon to kill skeleton warriors.  Splitting in two would save you lot on arm injuries.

So, all of these are reasons why FM7 likely will be split into two.  It sucks, it does, bad for wanting to write epic stories that really dig into character motivations and who knew two timelines could get so difficult...right?

To me, the most important aspect is the new release list problem.  New releases mean new fans and I want as many people enjoying King Henry as possible.  Money is nice and all, but that's what's most important to me.  FM6 struggled massively on that front, I'd like to correct that.

The question I'm working through is:  how should FM7 be split?  There are two options.

Option A:  Straight down the middle.  The books would release as The Runaway Rumble and the Most Obvious Trap.  Each would contain 4 chapters of school story and about 12 chapters of mainline.  There's a natural cut off point in the story.  Plenty happens in each haf although I admit part 2 will be one of the craziest books I've ever written.  You would hopefully get the first part around a year from now and part 2 later in 2019.

Option B:  Split school and mainline.  School would come first, released as The War to End All Wars.  Maybe even this year.  Next year, The Runaway Rumble would release as the first school story-less FM book.  My biggest fear with this option is that those who don't visit the blog or keep up to date with whats going on will see that FM7 tag, buy it, and be extremely pissed to only be getting a school focused book.

So that's where we stand.  As always I try to be completely open about my process, both ups and downs.  I feel authors hiding progress or roadblocks from fans leads to resentment and VERY UGLY situations.  In addition to keeping you informed, please go ahead and give your thoughts if you'd like.

Just don't riot, okay?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018