Due to some upcoming things in the world of writing and such, I've decided to step away from The Lord Wars writing for a moment to restructure and rewrite Book 1 of CoM. Am I changing the storyline any? No. Characters? No. What I am doing is this:
1. Rewriting the Samuel chapters.
- I had written him to be as normal and boring as possible. The idea at the time was that he was supposed to be the everyday man, the eyes and ears of someone who had zero experience with the supernatural and was essentially thrust in to it. Through the book his writing style changes somewhat. Initially seeing everything for what it is (a park, a bank, etc) he would end up looking at things from a new, more detailed perspective as his life changed from the book. Unfortunately, I went a bit far on the stagnant side. So, I'm rewriting his parts of the story.
2. Chapter clean up.
- Originally, this first book was written as a series of short stories that I had planned to publish on a monthly basis for 50 cents each. It wasn't until after I had written about half the book I found out that Amazon wouldn't allow you to sell at such a cheap price. As such, the short stories became a book. What I've done (last night) was split up the content by the scene, rather than the story. So what was once 8 chapters is now 16. I know a lot of readers, myself included, like to stop at the end of a chapter, rather than in the middle of one. There's a sense of completion and it's usually easier to walk away from a book that way.
3. Possible Prologue
- I'm still debating this one. What I'm considering is having a prologue that's set in the first scene of the book, but by main characters from the distant future (time-traveled back). I'll probably write up something and show it to a few of the readers that have chat with me on a regular basis. You're more than welcome to do so, that info is on the contact page of this site.
I suspect that this whole ordeal won't take more than a couple weeks, if I keep at it. The artist working on the Death Squad cover has agreed to do one for this book as well (the entire series, really, but that's Kickstarter dependent). So, I'm hoping to get this all out at the same time, but we'll see. Keep in mind, if you already own the book this update will be completely free. The cost of the book isn't going to go up, this whole restructuring thing is just something I want to do. I've written 5 books since this one was published and I look back at it and shake my head. I have the technology. I can make this better, faster, stronger.
You remember how I said that I only had a couple chapters to go over for Five Man Midget Death Squad & Other Tales of the Tungri Clan? Well, they are done. I got a fire up my arse yesterday and now the book is ready for a real editor to look it over. Now its back to full on writing mode of Lord Wars part 1. I believe that deserves a Fonzie thumbs up of approval, don't you?
Book 5 is in full swing now and coming along nicely. Since I stepped away from it for so long (for me anyways) I decided to go back, re-read what I had previously done and go from there. All in all, I think I'm about 10k into this book and loving it so far. Since this is the 2nd book in the 2nd trilogy, there isn't a lot of backtracking to be done, so the content is new and to the point. It's also mostly action and the bringing together of characters from the entire series. It's fun to see everything come together like this for the first time.
Chris Yarbrough, artist of Radiation Day (https://www.facebook.com/radiationday2160), has begun sending me sketches. So that ball is now rolling. Which means I need to start spending a lot more time deciding what freebies to give away during this Kickstarter. Yes, I finally decided on Kickstarter. The reason is that it's more widely known and when it comes to small projects ($500 and less) it appears to succeed more often than not. Since $500 is what I'm actually going for ($300 for the cover and $200 to help me with the editing) I'm hoping this will go over without issue. The stretch goals will be for the covers of books 1-4 and Hitori. I'd like to see some consistency with the main series covers and handled by someone with a LOT more skill than I. As soon as I get permission from Chris, I'll post the sketch he's sent me so far. I'd like to ask, simply because it's not finished work and he may not want something like this in the wild.
I have maybe a chapter left to edit in the Five Man Midget Death Squad, but that honestly won't take long. I just need to do it.
Ohhh, I almost forgot. Until the end of the month, Chronicles of M is 99 cents now. If Itunes, kobo, etc haven't updated yet, give it some time. Otherwise, it is 99 cents on amazon and smashwords for sure. As soon as I finish the rewrites of book 1 (again, just redoing the Samuel parts, not the plot) I'll get that out. It'll be a free update to anyone who has already bought it. I'll let you know when that officially happens. I know sometimes ebook readers don't like to tell you there are book updates to be had.
Still not sure on that name, but we'll go with it for the time being. As I wait for my artist to find some free time to get some sketches to me for indiegogo (think: kickstarter) I've decided to move on with the writing. I only have a chapter, or two left to edit in The Five Man Midget Death Squad, but I feel like I need to start progressing the next story as well.
With a night of notes and overly deep thoughts behind me, I've got the next 4-5 books planned out. Not entirely, but well enough to know the main points and some of the overlap. Book 5 (Lords War #1) is well into the writing process, sitting at about 10k words that I've been re-reading and editing, mostly to remind myself where I left off. At this time, I have no plans on making this book worthwhile without the previous book. As I stated at the beginning of this series, I wanted to write these in trilogies, or sets of some kind. Book 4 (Consequences) was the first of this set. So, if you are new to the series and have the urge to skip ahead, you could technically start at #4.
Book 5 is going to be fun book to write. It starts with action and will remain action packed for the bulk of it. That's pretty standard with this series, but I think even more so for this part. At present, I'm trying out a change in technique with the writing to include mid-stream backstory. By that I mean a short paragraph, or two of how the characters met, lacking in most description and explanation. How the frak am I going to do that, you ask? I wrote a short chapter prior on how two other characters met, giving the place and setting, left it off with the feeling this scenario happens regularly. This way, when I bring up the mid-stream backstory later, you (the reader) already have all the necessary information you need to imagine the quick character introduction. I think it'll work out just fine, but I'll have some people beta-read it for me, just to be sure.
For those of you reading this, wondering why I would change the style in this book when its the 5th one in the series, the answer is simple. I've done it in every single book and will probably continue to do so. I like long series with well understood characters and a living, breathing world to watch them tromp in. I am not overly fond of the consistency that comes with a long series, when it comes to writing style and sometimes unchanging characters. I'm writing this series in such a way that I hope I can avoid that, but the reasoning for this (beyond my own taste) will also make sense from the story standpoint.
If you pick up the Death Squad book when it comes out, that'll give you a hint of the overall plan with the writing. Down the road of this main series, it'll all be spelled out. For now, just sit back, relax and enjoy the bizarre ride with me.
It's been a while (long while for me) since I did an update. So, let's get on with it.
Five Man Midget Death Squad: A Brief History of the Tungri Clan is on its 2nd draft. I want to do a couple more drafts to get the language and style the way I want it. I'm probably going overboard with the minor details, but I enjoy it and it seems to come off well. The review of Hitori prove that much.
I started doing some rewrites on Chronicles of M: Book 1. It's pretty minor and only changes the style of how Samuel thinks. I'm pretty content with the rest of the book, but an experiment I did with Samuel's inner thoughts didn't work out the way I wanted it to. Don't worry, you don't need to rebuy the book. Amazon and everyone else will notify you of the updated version and tell you to download, or auto-update itself. Win-win.
I'm in talks with a comic book artist (I believe I've mentioned this before) and once I can get a 8 page script to him, he'll start working on the art. I'll probably handle the lettering on it (it strangly sounds fun). To pay the starving artist I'll either go through Kickstarter, or Indiegogo. Rather than start with the Chronicles of M Series, I want to start with the Five Man Midget Death Squad. I mean, who doesn't love steam punk, biker dwarves in modern day Scotland, killing goblins and mythological meanies? I'm aiming for a 20-24 page comic.
By the way, hotdog water has nothing to do with this....and no hotdogs were harmed in the writing of this. I can't guarantee that won't be the case afterwards.
So here it is. Some of it will give you a slight hint at what's to come, some of it...no so much. The ordering may change a little, but in no way will it matter for the content.
3. Religion and Society
5. The Expedition
6. Journey's End
9. Balor the Evil Eye
11. The Fifty Years Siege
12. The Death Squad
13. The Giants and the Elites
14. Tommy Rawhead and Bloody Bones
15. The Red Caps
17. The Leperchaun
I may end up adding another chapter or two, but we'll see.
I've been hitting the writing a bit less than I like, but it's coming. Part of it is trying to research something properly. I couldn't tell you exactly how I came across Up Helly Aa, but after reading into it (and numerous youtube videos) I decided I'd use it as a backdrop to one of the stories. However, I want to get it right. Since I can't afford to fly to the Shetland Islands and experience the event personally, I'm doing the next best thing: I'm absorbing everything I can get a hold of on the subject.
This is a fantastic resource put together by the Up Helly Aa Committee. Check it out, it looks like a fun time to be had.
I'll find some pics of the event and post it on my Pinterest account as well. For those of you who don't know, the Pinterest account sort of teases at what is/will be in the books. I also have a "silly things" section that's completely unrelated.
I also started working on the next section which may or may not be the last chapter of the book. I suspect this book will end up around 50k words, which doesn't sound like a lot, but keep in mind what's being written here. This isn't some usual fantasy book. This is a series of short story/mythological tales that detail the history of an entire race. That means it's nothing except content. The second half of the book reads more like modern short stories (details, subplots, etc) but it's still just that, short stories. I'm hoping you'll agree with me that content supersedes length. If I wrote this well enough, you'll pick it up, read it and by the end you'll be satisfied. If I remember, I'll post the chapter names. Think of it as a teaser...idk. If it goes over well I'll probably do it with each book.
So, this is the "working" cover for book #5. For the most part, I'm pretty happy with it. I wanted to keep with the wall art theme that I started with book #4. The only part I'm not real happy with is the "Chronicles of M" part. Where the rest blends into wall texture and looks like graffiti, CoM does not. I'll probably pull everything apart a bit (it seems a bit squished to me)....anyways, I thought I'd show what I've got so far.
A friend of mine (Damont Jordan) is making a new cover for Hitori and for the Five Man Midget Death Squad. You can find examples of his work under "Artist's Corner".
Okay, so they don't know jack about this website, but it does sound more interesting that "bla bla bla updates".
If you flip around the website, you'll see a number of changes have been made. It's all aesthetics at this point, but I think it's for the better. If you've never been here before (shame on you) then make sure to check out the pages. Artist Alley is a slowly growing section of artists that I know and have taken an interest in, as is the Other Authors section. Don't know anything about my books, check out the About section. Okay, on to the good stuff.
For the past couple days I've been cranking away at the Death Squad book. I believe the title will be "The Five Man Midget Death Squad: A partial history of the Tungri Clan". I decided to add another layer to the writing that I think will be very entertaining for fans of the CoM series, as well as newcomers.
Throughout the first third of the book, which is all pre-Death Squad stories: why the dwarves moved from ancient Germany, how they met Balor the Evil Eye... I have introductions written by the author of the book, Charles Uhler. These intros do a couple of things. They explain the slight changes in writing style from one story to the next (think of it as going from old folk tales to more historical accounts) and to also explain just how he got the information.
The rest of the book, where the Death Squad takes over, the introductions have been replaced with Q&A sessions with the Five Man Midget Death Squad. As far as the man CoM series goes, they will become important characters from book 5 on. Not simply because they help the main characters to deal with situations, but also their importance to the Tungri clan and their impact on human culture as well. These Q&A sessions also open something else.
To the reader who has never read the CoM series, this will seem simply like a documentary style concept. Think of World War Z (book), or Band of Brothers, where through the present day interviews the reader gets a better grasp of the past, which is really the meat of the story.
To those people who've read the series, this not only explains this book's stories a bit more, but it also hints at the direction the main series will be taking. We aren't talking spoilers here, but more of a...a light sketching of the background to the world canvas that is CoM.
So, what you have here is a book, written by a main character from CoM, about another set of main characters and their race, written from the future (for the CoM series as it stands), about situations that happened from pre-Germanic tribes to modern day (which is ~2025AD in the CoM series). It sounds far more confusing than it really is. Just think of it as a History Channel special about...idk...World War 2, with interviews from the people who lived through it.
Hey look! It's one of those book updates. He still does these?
Yeah, it's been a while. For a number of reasons, mostly life getting the best of me elsewhere, I haven't had a lot to report on. Death Squad is going, slowly. Part of it is coming up with good mythology that I can work with that isn't highly grounded in fairy type stuff. I really don't want to add another dimensional layer to this already complicated world of aliens, magic, zombies, mutants, androids, pocket universes, etc. Maybe down the road when the CoM main story is coming to a close I'll bring in some new BIG ideas like that. For now, I think I have enough to run with. At any rate, Death Squad is progressing far slower than usual. I honestly should be done with this piece and moving on. As such, I am moving on.
I don't believe in writer's block. That's just fancy talk for being lazy. If I'm stuck on an idea and can't see a way past it, I don't pace my room, or stare at the screen for hours. I edit previous chapters, move on to the next substory, DO SOMETHING USEFUL. Doing those things gets the brain exercising.
Death Squad isn't being shelved, but I need to keep writing something. So, I'm starting in on Book #5 of CoM. At the moment I'm calling it the Lord Wars. Possibly Part 1, we'll see how the content comes out. I have pretty detailed notes on how I want the first 1/2 of this book to go, but what looks like 1/2 a book in notes could be 1/4, or 3/4, who knows. All I know is that it's going to be badassery of the highest order. No intro to the storyline and background info, no wasted time explaining who this person is and what their objectives are in life. No dancing around big ides by filling pages with details and short miniskirts....okay maybe some miniskirts. This book is straight into the action and the mystery. In fact, I need to get on it. Adios, amigos.