Inside the writer’s mind: 1st Draft Freeze Tag

Freeze Tag: the 4th story in the Edge World Origin series has been completed! Well, the first draft is done. Here is a little secret into the world of a writer. When we write a short story, novella or novel we actually end up writing it multiple times. For example, Peacekeeper went through 3 iterations before I let it go. I don’t think it is complete and I will most likely update the story with a 4th iteration, I can rewrite like a fiend sometimes which is why it took my wife pushing me to “just publish it already”.

Anyway, back to Freeze Tag. The first draft is done and I am looking away for a little while before I start editing and 2nd drafting. In the meantime, I will be working on Purgatory the 5th Origin short story, it is time to add a new villain.

Be on the look out for another announcement tomorrow… I do love it when a plan comes together.

 

Cheers!

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Inside the Writer’s Mind: Change begets changes

As my lovely wife has indicated on more than one occasion I should be writing a running blog about the situation our little family has been enduring since about August. Honestly, it is a very long story with many twists and turns with more drama than anyone should be put through. I have been toying with the idea, I have even started once or twice; however, at the end of the day I feel like the train has left that station and to be fair writing it down is kind of like I am reliving it all and I do not need to experience this bucket of crazy again… once was more than enough.

What does all of that mean? Well it means that I am thinking about torturing myself because my wife thinks it is a good idea!

The hints of all the mess behind the scenes is really just me setting up the excuses for why Freeze Tag has taken so bloody long to write. It shouldn’t (and doesn’t) tale me 20+ weeks to write 8k words. Yippie for excuses!

So, where is Freeze Tag?  How does it effect the release schedule for the Edge World Origin Stories? What do you think of the 2018 Olympics? So many questions….

First, Freeze Tag was supposed to clock in at about eight thousand words… An hour ago I passed eight thousand one hundred and nine words, so Ciara tale looks to be a bit bigger than estimated. I think I have about two thousand words left before I can put her through the first round of editing. Due to the long time between start and finish I think there will be a more extensive second draft.

Release schedule for the next Edge World Origin Story is on track, Beastmaster will be landing on Amazon on March 1st – more to come on that by the way.

Olympics? sorry been too busy working, writing and being dad and husband…

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Edge World: Peacekeeper

The first Edge World Origin story is officially in the wild!

“Peacekeeper: An Edge World Origin Story” – the tale of Aiden Cowan a normal proto-typical high school student who had been enjoying the summer before his senior year before his whole life was turned on its side.

 

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Inside the Writers Mind: Just Do It!

There comes a point in everyone’s life where they are confronted with their own fear. Maybe it is self-esteem thing, though there are some interesting thoughts on what self-esteem is and whether or not spending time on it is a good thing or not, maybe it is just fear of rejection or failure.

In my day job, there has been some steady messaging about not being afraid to fail, to take risks and learn from the fallout. I was having a conversation with my loving wife and explained the latest all-day session of “Becoming Comfortable being Uncomfortable” and she mentioned applying these insights to my writing hobby.  I thought about it for what felt like weeks.

I have been aware of Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for years, I have read many KDP books and short stories enjoying more than not. The polish is not the same as an AAA Tor novel, but my imagination and life are better for having read the stories, polished or not. Maybe my standards have changed. All of that said I have flirted with the idea of using KDP to release my stories into the wild.  But I have always been caught between the “does using KDP make me a failure” and “I’m not good enough in the first place” that very weird and often depressing place has kept me frozen and cycling through rewrites of stories.

In short, I have been afraid of failing, and being afraid of failing has translated to not doing anything at all. I write piles of stories, sharing them with a couple of readers, rewriting them over and over again looking for perfection, and ultimately shelving them on a flash drive.

So – all of this babble boils down to I have learned a lesson from my day job. I am going to be releasing my latest stories (written in the previously mentioned Edge World) as Short Stories on KDP.

The plan is that each story will be released as an eBook for as cheap as Amazon will let me. After the Origin Stories are complete I will compile them into a single paperback (CreateSpace perhaps). So — check back for the official release.

 

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What is Edge World?

Edge World is our world, our reality, our history at least until July of 2017. That is where the break takes place, so to speak.

July 2017 in the Edge World, specifically July 6th, reality, time and to a degree space shifts just enough to create a whole new reality. Some super smart scientists (or S4) have expressed the possibility that we (the real us not our Edge World doppelgangers) live in a universe that is just one among many – for comic book fans it works out to a scientific theory that the multi-verse is a real thing. Many of the theories treat these extra universes as representations of the infinite choices that impact our lives. For example, one universe where you decided to read this blog post and one where you did not.

The Event of Edge World which takes place on July 6, 2017, gives reality super-humans, normal people with superpowers. Eventually, those superpowered folks are labeled Edges. Eventually, normal people figure out the score and react in fairly typical ways… panic, fear, interest, awe, the whole gambit of emotions.

Like in our world, after all, it was born of our world the Edge World is made up of good people, bad people, and people just trying to get by.  Which results in Edges being good (heroes), bad (villains), and neither.

Starting with the Origin Story series you are invited to take a peek into the Edge World.

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New Kingdom Crisis Story (delayed)

As it happens life gets in the way from time to time and this week’s new story was delayed. Why?

Well as it happens I have been wrapped up in the day job mostly; also my daughter is not officially off her training wheels (some practice still needed).

Anyway, this week’s story is another Kingdom Crisis tale inspired by a poem I read in college, The Pearl. It reminds me of faith, fatherhood and loss. In college it was a hit to the gut now that I am a father, I cannot read it without weeping.

Kingdom Crisis: A Father’s Tears is a pale imitation, but it was a fun write for me.

I hope you enjoy it.

– Brian

 

 

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Introducing Kingdom Crisis

This week I am introducing the Kingdom Crisis Collection. Kingdom Crisis is the title I give a series of fantasy genre stories all in the same setting. Some of the stories are set very close to each other in time and space; some not so much.

The world of Kingdom Crisis is medieval in nature, pre-gun powder European society, I know pretty cliche but sometimes you have to stick with a familiar foundation. There is both divine and arcane magic; in most of the stories both forms of magic are old (myth) and new (rediscovered after a fashion).

The first story is called Duty Calls and came about with the idea of writing a fantasy story that was about a normal everyman, with a normal every day job, with normal every day problems without going the Farm Boy saves the universe route. I wanted to see how something like over sleeping could lead to an eventful day.

The story has been asking for a rewrite and I am thinking that if I hit a block on the novel I might spend a few hours giving it a fresh coat of paint.

Enjoy — Kingdom Crisis: Duty Calls

— Brian

 

 

 

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Defining a First Draft

Writing is a very personal endeavor; there are no short cuts, no apps that will fill in the blanks your imagination runs up against and very few helpful “tricks” to make it easier. Nowhere is it more apparent that in the first draft of a short story, novella or novel. It is also here where a beginning writer runs to the most daunting realization that there are more than 1 draft of their master piece.

Now I am sure folks will point out that many very famous writers claim to get it right the first time. On the whole it is unrealistic to hold yourself to the expectations of a writer that has been practicing their craft for decades. Let you be you when approaching a new piece of fiction (or your first).

A First Draft is a big pile of words that tells a story, it is okay to have grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, plot holes and rough character development. IT IS OKAY, because remember this is the first draft. During the writing process of that draft you need to allow your story to go where it wants, let it explore and find itself. Be silly with it, let the voice become clear to you. By the time you reach the end you will have decided what kind of story you are writing and the voice should be clear (or becoming clear).

Read through your first draft with a red pen and if you are lucky enough to have a trusted reader someone that is willing to look past the potholes to see the story then have them read it too. I am lucky that my wife is willing to read a first draft and cut through it with a red pen AND add some very constructive notes on the story itself.

After the red pen is set down you are ready to get down to business with the: Second Draft.

 

– Brian

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