New Technique: Thoughts

So, in that little poll I did, people did say they were interested in reading me talking about my process for writing, so here’s a quick one on that topic, just an update. I am also aware that most people wanted posts about general writercraft but it’s been a long week and this is what I have right now. I’ll try and get back on topic next week. Continue reading

New Worldbuilding Approach

Friends and Internet denizens, I have been trying something new.

After working on The King’s City until I needed to give it one last time to beta readers (if you’re reading this, you know who you are, and I’m so thankful that you’re choosing to help me out despite my demanding timeframe – you are all getting homemade gifts once I can give them to you in person again). Which means that I need to distract myself for the next two weeks so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes.

I’ve done the glass of wine with dinner. I’ve done the two days of doing absolutely nothing related to writing or the project – just rearranging some things on the blog (as much as I can with my limited knowledge) and playing video games online with some friends. But now I’ve had my break, it’s time for me to get back into writing, and that means working on the next project.

This next project is a bit of an odd one. Not in terms of the story itself – though that is certainly odd – but in terms of how I’m approaching it.

Usually when I start writing something, I’ve had it rattling around in my head for a while. I used to write a lot of my worldbuilding at my job (on lunch break … of course …) where I couldn’t bring my laptop, so I would write notes on scrap paper and take it home with me. This formed my worldbuilding notes, which I’d process into the computer, making changes and filling gaps as I went. Then I got Scrivener, and the process of creating easily-referenceable worldbuilding notes got hundreds of times easier.

I made those notes for this story. I have them somewhere. But I think I lost them, and I am not willing to go looking for them again.

But I’ve also had this one rattling around for far longer than any of the others, I think. ‘The Ferryman’s Apprentice’ was a damn long time in the writing, but from idea to execution, I think it was only about eight months. ‘The King’s City’ was a bit longer – I think it was about twelve months before I started to write it. Earlier novels that have been relegated to the desk drawer of fate averaged around twelve months of worldbuilding before I got around to writing them.

FB, the next serial project, has been in worldbuilding development on and off for six years now.

I’m also trying to do my worldbuilding differently here. It has always been true that barely 10% of my worldbuilding notes ever make it into the actual story, and I think that’s not uncommon among writers who use worldbuilding notes. That doesn’t make them useless – worldbuilding notes like that give me a good, solid sense of the world and the plot.

But a lot of the detail that actually ends up in the story is throwaway details – stuff that I didn’t think about before but added at the last minute because I needed to mention something for a scene. I reference my worldbuilding notes for names of secondary characters that I forgot more than I do for worldbuilding details that I need for the story but didn’t remember.

But this plot is different in that it’s been sitting in my mind for so long that I don’t need that sort of formal worldbuilding note to form it anymore. I wrote them, I lost them, and I’m not recreating them.

This time around, I’m going in … well, more unprepared than I’ve been for a story in a long time. I’ve been talking through characters and setting with some friends for a long time, and I’ve been working out some things I absolutely couldn’t start with out (the main character didn’t have a lot of character for a while there, for one). But as for setting up the file, my usual process of adding in all the worldbuilding notes to check that I’ve got a good sense of things?
Well, we’re gonna skip that this time and see what happens. I’m diving right in with only a brief checklist of character notes, important scenes, and important thematic notes.

Let’s see what happens.

End of January Update

Hi all. At the beginning of this month, I wrote a post about naming the new year, and how I was going to make some changes to my organisational skills this year.

As you can see, while I’ve been relatively on time with my chapter posting (at least, compared to previous years), I definitely haven’t picked up with the blog posts. I’ve been pretty flat out, what with getting home from the holidays and diving pretty much directly into some convention volunteering and then the job hunt. Those of you who follow my Twitter will have seen a few photos of me floating around from Arcanacon, wearing myself out but having a great time doing it. Continue reading

Best Laid Plans

I was at Conflux this weekend just gone, so I sort of wish I had something more insightful to say – more on the side of the posts it seems I used to be able to just churn out discussing technique or grammar nuances or paragraph structure (though to be perfectly honest, I sometimes fear going back and reading those because I know many of my opinions have changed dramatically.) But that isn’t exactly what I have today. I’m getting a bit more personal today, as seems to be the case on this blog recently. Continue reading

Transfers

Hi all! Quick update from me!

I’m running pretty flat-out for the convention, but as I said before, I need to make some changes to how things are run. My e-books are about to get removed from sale for a day or two, but they should be back up with all relevant information on the site changed later this week.

Thanks for being patient and understanding!

Update:
As of 4th August 2019, e-books are now up again and available. My Support Page has now been updated with the details.

An Update

I realise this isn’t going to be particularly interesting, but I’ll try and keep this short, for those who are interested.

Where am I going?
This year, I’m doing a couple of conventions. I’ll be in Dublin from the 15th to the 20th of August for Worldcon. If anyone will be there, you can find me at the Creator’s Alley on the 16th – I’ll provide some details of exactly which table is mine closer to the date. Otherwise, I’ll just be generally around the convention — if you spot me, come say hi!

I’ll also be at Conflux convention in Canberra, from the 5th to the 7th of October. More details on where I’ll be when will be posted as I get them.

What am I doing?
I have a few projects in the works at the moment. I’ve been working on the Edit Pass Live project still (though I know I haven’t updated that in a while). I’ll have a little teaser of that project available at the conventions, if people are interested in that. It’s a sneak preview exclusive to those conventions, so you’ll have to drop by if you want a piece of that.

The second section of The Ferryman’s Apprentice is getting much closer to being released as an e-book and hard copy — there’s only a few more things to finish off. I hope to be able to provide concrete publication dates sometime next month.

The blog version of The Ferryman’s Apprentice has been trucking along, but as many may know or have guessed, the third season is reaching its end and the fourth is the last season, the big finale, the wrap-up. If anyone has ideas for things they’d like to see in the final between-season content, shout out to me on the blog or on Twitter — I’d love to see if there are any final tidbits of behind the scenes information or things about secondary characters that people really want me to publish before the whole story is over.

The next serial is also in the works, and I’ll be releasing more details about that once the fourth Ferryman’s Apprentice season is starting to draw to a close. Watch this space!

Calls to Action
I’m also going to take a second here to put on the Marketing Hat real quick. Up in the top of the page, there’s a handy-dandy “Support Me” button. If you’re interested in me or what I do, I urge you to go and visit that page. It has such useful information as my Patreon page, info on the best places to get the books that have been released, and otherwise how to support me.

You can also get in touch with me on Twitter, where I am most active on social media.

Marketing hat off now. That’s what’s going on with me for the rest of the year. I’ll update folks with more details when I have them.

Have a great day!