The Writer Emergency Pack just received full funding (and well beyond!) on Kickstarter, which is excellent news because I have absolutely no idea how to wrap up my current WIP!

Congrats to John August on this wonderful project. These helpful cards got the backing of 5,714 awesome people (me among them, of course) and raised $158,109, which is well above the initial $9,000 goal.

Status

Inforgraphic: Self-Publish or Traditional?

The folks at The Write Life developed this infographic as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek guide to choosing your best publishing options.

Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing: Which Should You Choose?
Courtesy of: The Write Life

 

What are you thoughts?

Inforgraphic: Self-Publish or Traditional?

Quick Update On Revolver (A Sci-Fi Short Story)

Today, I finished up the second draft of REVOLVER, my contribution to a short-story science fiction anthology that will be releasing in 2015. No word on an exact release date yet, but keep checking back for more info!

This one clocked in a bit shy of 11,000 words, or close to 20 pages. Every page had revisions, some of them pretty significant (remember: writing is rewriting!), with more than 300 changes made to this 796 line manuscript. There were a lot of deletions, some insertions, and plenty of sentences that were altered and put under the knife. I’ve now sent it off to the editor and our other contributors and am awaiting their feedback, while keeping my fingers crossed.

Here’s the quick-and-dirty blurb, which may change as things progress but should give you a good idea of what to expect:

In a near-future America, poverty has run rampant and political apathy has allowed special interests to gain control of the country. A crowd-funding platform, Revolver, has been established by the nation’s moneyed elite to combat the increasing blight. Their latest participant is Cara Stone, a depressed woman with no hope for her future and nothing left to lose. There’s never been a Revolver entrant quite like her before. The corporate states of America are hungry for blood, and Cara promises to deliver.

REVOLVER is a bit of a dark work, and definitely the most political my fiction has gotten to date. I understand that may turn some folks off, but that’s simply what the story is. It’s dark, it’s angry, and it contains a few issues that I needed to get off my chest.

And for the moment, it’s now out of my hands. I’ve sent it up the chain, so to speak, and we’ll see what happens next. Stay tuned!

Quick Update On Revolver (A Sci-Fi Short Story)

Reblog: Writer Emergency Pack – helping writers get unstuck by John August — Kickstarter

I came across this Kickstarter project on Twitter today, thanks to this post from Chuck Wendig:

And that led me to John August’s page, and this tweet in particular:

So, now being pretty darn curious as to what the heck this all is, I hit up August’s Kickstarter page and pledged some support. Here’s the link:

Writer Emergency Pack – helping writers get unstuck by John August — Kickstarter.

And here’s what August says about the impetus behind his Writer Emergency Pack project:

Writing is hard. You’re constantly trying to figure out what word comes next.

Creative writing is even harder. When you’re working on a story, you’re not just trying to decide what word comes next, but what idea comes next.

It’s easy to get stuck.

I know what that’s like because I’m a screenwriter. I’m lucky to have had ten movies produced, from GO to BIG FISH to FRANKENWEENIE. I also host a popular podcast about film and television called Scriptnotes.

Over the years, I’ve had conversations with hundreds of writers, both on the podcast and around the lunch table. No matter what genre or medium, all writers face story problems. Plots that plod. Characters that don’t connect.

Every writer has her own techniques for pushing past these problems — little nudges and prompts to help get the story clicking.

Writer Emergency Pack is a curated collection of some of the most useful suggestions I’ve encountered. It’s by writers, for writers.

I’m really looking forward to getting this deck of cards and checking out the Dark Mode booster pack when it becomes available next year. I think this is going to be pretty darn entertaining, and who knows what kind of crazy stories this could lead to!

As an added bonus that makes donating/pre-ordering all the more worthwhile, August is taking a Get One, Give One approach to help get these cards into the sweaty palms of both writers and youngsters just starting out in local creative writing programs. I think this is a pretty exciting initiative to help bolster support for writing and show kids just how truly fun and awesome this thing we do can be.

Reblog: Writer Emergency Pack – helping writers get unstuck by John August — Kickstarter

Now Available: 30 Days In The Word Mines « terribleminds: chuck wendig

Now Available: 30 Days In The Word Mines « terribleminds: chuck wendig.

Since I know there’s more than a few of you out there who are into the writer’s process and constantly looking to hone your own technique and pick up some helpful tips and wise words of advice, here’s a new release from Chuck Wendig. Check out the link, above, for purchasing links and more details on this release.

Here’s the lowdown:

30 Days In The Word Mines takes you on a month-long journey of writing, offering pages filled with practical writing tips, motivational throat-punches, and ruminations on the craft of writing and art of storytelling. Whether you’re running with National Novel Writing Month or just want to hunker down and write to see just how far you can get, this book will help you every step of the way with a new tip, trick or thought every day of the month-long journey. From the mad mind behind terribleminds comes an original companion book to help you navigate the maze of writing every day. Good luck, and art harder.

I plan on checking this one out soon. In fact, I just bought it on Amazon this morning. I follow terribleminds regularly, and if you do, as well, then you know he’s chock full of terrific, on-the-money, frequently vulgar yet sage advice. And personally, I am always happy to throw money to supplicant the Wendig, that great, hairy beast of lore.

Go check it out!

Now Available: 30 Days In The Word Mines « terribleminds: chuck wendig

Writing is Rewriting

The old adage – writing is rewriting – is a small and wise nugget, but inside this little phrase is a whole world of magic. Maybe that’s a bit too much wide-eyed mysticism, but, damn it, there is power in the rewrite. Old world hoodoo. I’m a believer.

Writing isn’t easy. It’s not working in a mineshaft or being a grave-digger or garbage man difficult, but it can be incredibly frustrating, exhausting, and mind-numbing. The act of carving loose a story is tricky business. Stories, you see, they lurk. They hide and cower, shriveling away in stubborn obstinance, and sometimes they require a tremendous amount of coaxing to do with it what you will.

Not all stories are like this. Not all of them, and not all the time. But sometimes you get a good idea that you just cannot get a solid grip on. It’s an idea that wants to be a story, but which is slimy and feisty and refuses to be pinned down in a corner. That’s when you have to go at it from a different angle. That’s when you rewrite and trap it.

Convergence came somewhat easily, but that second draft…man, that was full of rewriting, trying to get those ideas lined up right and flowing sensibly.

I wanted to follow it up with a horror novel whose idea has been percolating in my head for about six years. I couldn’t even get through the first chapter. It was awful. I had no idea how to start it. Or, at least, I did have an idea but not a proper way of executing it. The idea still lingers, and I’m working on a new approach now. We’ll see if I can nail it down or not.

I shelved it for a while and tackled Emergence, a sequel to Convergence. Again, it came easily. Three months of solid writing and I produced a first draft I was really happy with. I sent it off to my editors at Red Adept. There’s a lot of rewriting in store for me again. I spent this past weekend rewriting and rearranging an entire chapter early on in the book’s going. I’ll be rewriting the ending and expanding it. There’s a whole litany of notes from my content editor, and a heck of a lot of work ahead before it’s publishable. But it’s all doable. I already did a lot of the heavy lifting. Now it’s just finessing and modifying and cleaning shit up.

Consumption came easy, fired out after three days of frenetic writing. That one bled out of me, and took on a life of its own. I wanted to follow it up with another short story for an anthology I’ll be taking part in next year. The first idea I had was solid, but again, the execution was a failure. Just couldn’t figure it out.

I came up with a new idea. It’s called Revolver. It wasn’t always called that, but it is now. I sat down to write it and got about three thousand words in. I was not feeling it at all. There was no direction. There was too much infodump. I had the big idea of splitting the narrative into present day with flashbacks to flesh out the character. It drained the story of any energy, robbed it of any sense of necessity, and felt a lot like chasing after myself in a big damn circle, getting nowhere.

I started over. Not right away, no. I let the ideas run free and waited for the story to come to me. I couldn’t force it, not this time. Trying to deliberately write Revolver was trying to hold onto a fistful of water. No matter how hard I tried, it just kept running away from me, leaking away. I waited and waited, until the story came and told me how to tell it.

Every story is a lesson. There’s always something new to learn, a new approach, a new mechanism. The imp inside Revolver wanted to change everything – narrative choices, point of view, characters, everything that surrounded the core concept of that small, initial kernel of an idea.

Sometimes, you just have to wait and listen hard. And rewrite.

Writing is Rewriting

CONSUMPTION News, An Interview, Giveaways, and More!

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Consumption has been in the wild for a few days now, and had a wonderful launch this past Tuesday. As you can see from the image above, it was a #1 short story release on Kobo, and even made it as high as #3 in their overall Horror listings upon its release. I’m really, really proud of this one, and a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has purchased the eBook thus far.

If you haven’t yet bought Consumption, what are you waiting for? It’s a terrific Halloween treat for yourself or your gore-hound friends. Or it could be a fun 99 cent trick to play on somebody, but they might end up thanking you for it anyway.

To celebrate my new release, I’m offering up 25 freebies of both Consumption and Convergence eBooks through a LibraryThing giveaway. There are a huge amount of titles up for grabs over there, so if you’d like a shot at either (or both) of my titles, go enter! To make finding them a bit easier, run a quick search (Ctrl+F) in your browser and start typing the titles. You’ll land upon them pretty quickly.

The Consumption giveaway is running until the afternoon of Oct. 28, and Convergence is being offered until Nov. 7.

I recently had a great conversation with fellow author S. Elliot Brandis, whose work I’ve become a huge fan of. You can read his interview with me over at his site, where we talk a bit about both of my titles and what’s coming up next for me. While you’re there, be sure to check out his review of Consumption, too!

As far as what’s next for me, as I said the interview, I’m working on editing Emergence, the follow-up to Convergence, for a 2015 release. 2015 is going to be a neat year for me, I think, as I’ll also be taking part in an anthology of sci-fi themed works. I’m taking a small break from editing to work on a new short story for this collection. Hopefully I don’t jinx myself by saying the writing is going well! I can’t tell you much about this story or the anthology just yet, but as soon as I can release the news I will. I’m über excited to be involved in this project and there’s some fresh, top-notch talent involved. So, keep your eyes peeled for news and be among the first to know by signing up for my newsletter.

You can also check out the full details on Consumption and Convergence at these links, and be sure to add them to your Goodreads page, as well.

CONSUMPTION News, An Interview, Giveaways, and More!