Back in August of 2014 I posted plans to follow the Liliana Nirvana technique or more so thoughts to do so... The idea of this is to release multiple works at once followed by another work approximately 30 days later. The idea here, in brief, is rapid shot exposure of your name and books hopefully taking multiple spots on the Amazon Hot New Release list and stoking the ever-burning mysterious fires of the Amazon algo system to hopefully propel yourself into decent sales...
... but I didn't do it and here is why.
1. I wasn't ready
I was still learning the ropes of Indie publishing. I was new to Twitter and I knew nothing of Facebook ads (actually I didn't have a Facebook page). I also did not have my covers and considering Saints of Wura was my first trilogy, I was still learning about WRITING AND EDITING a trilogy. I'm not going to get into it now but consistency is king and sometimes that consistency gets dethroned inadvertently causing plot issues.
2. Book Three was not in a concrete state
I still changed stuff... not small stuff either, fairly large plot-centric ideas that I've warped a bit from the original forms. Heck, I was missing a whole sub-plot that developed in book two. This is really an experience issue more than anything. Thankfully, I'm not new anymore. :)
3. Financial Issues
The mere costs of pushing 4-5 books at once is prohibitive to this for *most* new authors. I've struggled for a myriad of reasons just to deliver book three and finish out the trilogy. I feel this technique is best employed once you have a few books out or if you have that one hit wonder that shoots up the lists and you then have the income to work on that many books at once.
SO? What is the point of this you ask?
As I close out this year I will have one complete trilogy. (YAY!) But I'm already on book three of a *new* 5 book series set in the same world as my first three. I am strongly considering attempting this (The Liliana Nirvana Technique) again, perhaps even with crowd funding to help financially support it. But my reason is one that I didn't have before... my readers.
I didn't have many readers back in August of 2014. Now I do and I am beyond thankful for them! I don't want to make people wait. I want to provide an escape into a fantasy world just as quickly as I can write it and deliver a story that delivers everything that readers expect. I don't want to give you one book and make you wait 6 months. I want you to have a new set of books. This aspiration may seem strange but the truth is there are a lot of much more well know indies producing a novel a month. This isn't an impossible feat and it is one that I aspire to because of my love of creation.
3 years ago the world of the Saints of Wura was merely a snowy mountain, an assassin, and a vampire lord. Now, that world has grown to five novels, numerous short stories, and at least three additional novels that are in the plotting phase... and to think, it all started off as a simple sentence.
We will see what 2016 brings. :)
Hello on this November 25th. Normally, I would've done a nice "pre-nano" post but alas, it did not happen. So if you're anything like me and in a slightly manic mad dash to 50k, I listed a few tips that helped me play catch up.
First, I will do an actual post-NaNo post with word counts and such but this is more of quick and dirty guide to pushing through.
1. 15 minute sprints
I don't care what your day consists of, 15 minute words sprints are possible... seriously, 15 minutes if nothing else, should be something you can do. For me this equals around 500 words on average... even if you get 100 words, it is a start. In general, if I can find just 15 minutes, finding 30 or 45 minutes becomes ALOT easier. Weird how that happens.
2. Quick Notes
This is a really basic outline skill I've learned to love after 6 books written in NaNo style. If you get stuck, step away from the computer and walk around, smoke, have a drink of um... water... do something else for around 5 minutes. Then sit back down reread your last paragraph and then on a scratch piece of paper (change the writing medium is the idea here) scribble down in very plain point a to point b to point c what needs to happen in your story. For some reason, this works to jumpstart and can get you out of a rut.
3. Little goals
I've been setting myself 5k word days to play catch up. (more on this in another post)
At each 1k I have a different "prize"
1k I get to have a second cup of coffee
2k Music break to recharge ( 1-3 songs)
3k Lunch/ dinner break depending on the time
4k Coffee!! (Again)
5k Free time/Smoke/Preferred Drink (depends on where I am)
These obviously are personal goals. Sometimes if I'm hitting a snag, I will set a goal (from wherever I am at that point) of 500 more words and I can check Twitter, Facebook, Etc. The point is to train your brain to not make up excuses to give up and otherwise lead to that phantom "writer's block" that I really don't feel exists except in our own minds to start with... that being said, an angry block looking thing is staring at me on my right side... or perhaps this is what happens when you consume TOO much caffeine.
Good luck in these final days of NaNoWriMo 2015!
In the second book of my trilogy, Arcane Awakening, I introduce a loose group of Islands as a direct opposition to the imperial Grand Protectorate. Let us take a look at these peoples:
The Island Nation is in southernmost region of the Glacial Seas off the tip of a peninsula where lay the ruins of the fortress of Srun. At the point in history where this story takes place, Srun is nothing but a ruined keep on the cliffs above a roaring sea. But it stands as a place of defiance for the chieftains of the Islands. It was their last major stand against the Legions and is their resolve as a seafaring people that they secured their own place in the world and remained independent of Grand Protectorate rule.
Kersa: Chieftain Knasgriff
In the far west is Chieftain Knasgriff. One of the few to actually take up arms against the Grand Protectorate, he is the closest to the mainland and has been forced to deal with the forceful takings of people on the outskirts of his island. He is also a dear friend of the mysterious Kealin, the man of the sea, whom plays a large part in book two and three.
Bovika: Chieftain Tvila
To the far east is the shipwrights of Bovika. Their chieftain is Tvila, young in years in comparision to the others, she commissions her people to build the fishing ships and later warships of the books. She is the source of a love interest for one of the characters.
Ukka: Chieftain Ruir
The men of Ukka: Large, tall, and fearsome. Though the smallest in number, their black flag banners of a skull and dripping blood have flown over many decimated battlefields. In a civil war with another Island nation their power was reduced but they are the shock troops of the Island nation. Their chieftain Ruir is boisterous and is as likely to fight as he is to pass out from the drinking of too much mead.
New Srun: Chieftain Colui
Consider New Srun the city of remembrance. A grand hall adorned with relics of the past. An aging Chieftain more likely to nap than fight but not to dishonor him as a warrior, he is simply that old. Colui remembers the fall of Srun, the once grand city that had united the Island Nation. He prefers a stature of peace unless war is absolutely necessary.
Lunis: Chieftain Maerin
If a capital city of the Island Nation was to be chose, Lunis would be it. Having the largest population and the grandest of buildings, it is one of many reasons Chieftain Lunis has been under a careful eye from the other chieftains. Though some doubt his allegiance, he holds the title of Chieftain and in such commands respect from the others of the Island Nation. He also has the manpower to field the largest navy if the need arose.
The Island Nation is one of two unified rebellions against Grand Protectorate rule. Those of Taria, the land where Sviska is sent at the beginning of Winemaker of the North, is the other. I will write a post about Taria soon.
Magic in the Saints of Wura
While editing book three in the Saints of Wura series, I’ve felt compelled to write of a central subject in the book: Magic, and arcane lore in general. There are minor spoilers below but nothing too big. Yes, if you haven’t read book one yet, I will reveal that magic does exist and becomes a central component to the plot.
First, magic is in everything that exists. It exists as a unifying force and can be used for either good or evil and is indiscriminate to such. The largest barrier to the use of magic is the channeling device used and the mental capacity of the user.
All users of magic must use a device of some form to channel magic. Be it a wand, amulet, book, or staff, magic cannot be tapped without a device except in the case of the race known as the Rusis. There is a reason, however, they were almost completely destroyed well before other races of magic… more on that later.
At the time of Winemaker of the North, the only newly created channeling devices were staffs, grown from The Grove in the realm of the Sea-god Meredaas. The staffs sprouted from the trees could then be enriched by the power of the sea and were used in the Priory of Kel and Temple of Wura in Elinathrond. But these were particularly limited. The Order of Wura are normal men but ones that swear fealty to the god Wura. Other than producing light and containing the ability to “stun” an opponent, their staffs allow the user to do no more.
The staffs used by the Priors of Kel, however, are much more powerful. Healing, telekinesis, and the destructive blasts of fire seen in the siege of Elinathrond near the end of book one, reveal that the war-god Kel blesses his followers with true power. Limited only by their master in book one (the Priory Master Naskin whose staff is the actual staff of the war-god) the priors are the most powerful wielders of channeling devices at this time in history. The staff of Kel itself is one of the god devices and one of two in Winemaker of the North. (Sviska’s dagger, with the ability to manipulate water, is a device of the sea-god.)
The race known as the Rusis are the masters of elemental magic and at one time were the principle ruler within the lands. They had only one city but many grand masters of their craft. Fire, ice, lightning, earth, the elemental magic useable by this race, are essentially as simple as breathing to them, at least at lower levels. The one Rusis that remains is Garoa, but his abilities are limited in Elinathrond until given his gift by Brethor in preparation to taking the mantle as a Saint. Though the Rusis do not need channeling devices, they are weakened by its use and it would seem that the only internal way to push pass this weakness is channeling inner power of the heart (fear, greed, rage, etc.) That being said, it is obvious in Winemaker of the North, Garoa uses most of his strength to melt the floor of the Estate as the 1st Legion pursues them in the western wing. A contrast to this weakness is in Arcane Awakening at the cliffs of Tuonia where he is able to summon massive whips of fire knocking back rank after rank of legionnaires after the events there…okay, that is enough, no more plot hints here!
More on the Rusis people themselves, their abilities made them to me much more feared and their seeking for domination began a war that resulted in the scattering of their peoples…
So far, we have talked of channeling devices and the people that can use elemental magic with ease, but of a more particular interest, especially to book three, is the other type of magic…
The power of the mind and the Dwemhar people
There is little I can say of this. Even within the series, I’ve spoken very little of the Dwemhar. Pure bloods of the Dwemhar, at this time, have not been revealed. But half-bloods do exist. The Dwemhar were a chief race but of a purer form than even the elves. The Dwemhar were above the use of elemental magic and closer to the gods in capacity at full form. Full form Dwemhar, perhaps better termed as reaching the state of Enlightment in our world, would need little to dominate their enemies, that being said, once in full form, they would not have the same desires that became the pitfall to the Rusis race. This is a key and one to pay attention to in the development between book one and book three.
The Dwemhar are something I plan to expand on in future books. Just as I expand on the half-elf Kealin’s story in an upcoming book, my future plans will lead to a few different roads in the world building thus far and I’m excited to share it with you.
If you have any questions or thoughts, drop a line in the comments below and by all means feel free to read more in the Saints of Wura books!
Also, I am now on Facebook and if you enjoyed this post or like my books, I encourage you to like my page! I'm trying to reach as many people as I can and your help would be very much appreciated!
Forewarning, this is not my typical post. This is a bit of a rant and one that I will not be citing my information for. If I was trying to write a document for a college class, I would, but this is just me... This has nothing to do with my writings, myths, legends, or any of the sort. Or perhaps it does... it is seeming more obvious to me that while we have a proliferation of technology and "knowledge", that our culture as a whole is loosing something in our up and coming generations. Imagination.
For reference, I am in my late 20s, I have multiple small children and frequent make-believe play, sword fights, and dragon slaying as an almost daily occurrence in my house. I have no qualm with getting on the floor and rolling around with the kids. :)
As a child, I grew up believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter bunny. But now, some "experts" say this is wrong to do to kids. That somehow because I'm "lying" to my kids by having them believe and prepare for what essentially goes beyond religious holidays and goes back to pre-Christian times... I don't think my parents did a disservice to me. Some of my fondest memories as a child were making cookies and fudge for Santa or dyeing Easter eggs, but current knowledge would say: "Nope, don't make cookies for Santa. In fact you shouldn't eat cookies at all." (Is cookie monster still eating salad? Probably... I'm not sure.)
This leads into the issue of the lack of art, fiction, music etc. in schools in the United States. Sure, my children are all under the age of 10, but I understand that a lot of fiction is in the process of being eliminated from High schools as "unnecessary". I am all for education and learning core classes, but why isn't art part of core knowledge? A semester or two of Art in four years of High School is a joke. We have enough young adult people on anxiety medications that are overstressed, time starved, etc... most had some form of artistic outlet that now as adults they fail to have time for. Why? Is it all the fault of schools, government, etc. No. But did it get pushed down and deemed not important? I think so.
My last four years of schools was chock full of "Get ready for college, Take your SAT, GET READY FOR THE STATE TESTS! ..." As time goes on, I feel the only preparation that is really happening in our schools is how to bubble in a scantron for the aforementioned "State Tests". The lack of personalities in this overran smartphone zombie world has to be reaching a pinnacle... perhaps this is why zombie movies have became so popular... oh and again, this is a rant. My apologies.
From the time my children were able to understand make-believe, my wife and I have pushed for them to draw, create, explore, and as they get older, write their own stories. My wife and I both write so it makes sense our kids would have this same desire. As much as we do this, watching a fictional movie with our kids can sometimes become more an episode of "Mythbusters". It's great that the kids are curious to want to know how everything works but at one point is it too much? Everything has to be figured out? Cool. Lets do it. Lets figure it out.
How does Santa have flying reindeer?
I dunno, maybe it is elven magic? Or do you think that maybe his reindeer have wings?
Oh, like Pegasus?
Maybe. I'm not too sure. Maybe you should draw a picture or write a story and try to figure it out!? Use your imagination.
Is this wrong of me? I don't think so or I wouldn't do it. I must teach my children that there is more to this world than simply worldly things. Following numerous news outlets on Facebook, I get enough of the world. My job gives me enough of the world. I know about this world and while I'm teaching my kids as much about life as I can, I'm also exposing them to music and art of all kinds. My wife and I can't expect a school to do it and we sure as heck can't expect anyone else to... Playing outside, drawing, dancing to all kinds of music.... this isn't just good for kids. Adults could benefit too.
That's what I'm trying to teach my kids in hope that they will continue you doing it in adulthood. Imagination may be under attack but if it wasn't for imagination the movies we watch, the music we hear, and the world we experience would not exist. Knowledge and imagination go together. We must keep both alive in both our hearts and minds... we need more art, more songs, and more fiction... textbooks may teach the rules but its the imagination that creates the end result...
ON SALE NOW!!
Kindle Countdown of Winemaker Of The North
Its just a few days before the release of Arcane Awakening, the next book in the Saints of Wura trilogy and I cannot wait for you to read it! In preparation for the release and as a special prior to it, I have a Kindle Coundown deal for book one, Winemaker Of The North. Right now it is only .99 for the first book! Head over to Amazon quickly because after tomorrow the price goes up to 1.99!
Also of mention, the sequel is only .99 as well. That's two fantasy tales for under a price of a cup of coffee! :D After the release of book two, the price WILL go up so act now and secure your copy at a lower price!
I wanted to share a few bits of news tonight and also take the time to thank everyone that has purchased Winemaker of the North! Since release, it has spent much of its time on two hot new release lists and has gained TWO five star reviews! I appreciate everyone that has supported me now and before! If you haven't checked it out, follow the link above or the cover image to the right!
In the coming two weeks there will be a cover reveal of a new short story! This one will be directly related to the Saints of Wura world and can be enjoyed whether or not you've read Winemaker of the North! (If you have read it, you will gain some interesting knowledge on two prominent characters!
Arcane Awakening, the next book in the Saints of Wura series, is in the editing stage now. The preorder is on Amazon at this time.
I'm busy right now working to finalize not only the upcoming short story but also two others. I WILL be offering these stories to those on my mailing list first. So if you've not joined yet, do so above!
Have a good night everyone!
I never really had an actual term for the way I write novels. It was when I was setting up my profile on Twitter the term "binge writing" entered my mind and it is fairly appropriate. Write a lot one day, not much the next, maybe not much more the next, and then write like crazy again. Not very efficient but when you look at the fact I am writing 5000- 8000 words every few days, it works for me and my schedule.
I have read plenty of books and articles on writing and I do believe it is a good thing for us writers to write something everyday but it is necessary to write 2000 words a day? Eh, if it works for you great, but if not, find a method that does work. Most of us have lives where writing is a kind of "back burner" thing, we want to do it, we try to do it, but it isn't easily done.
I didn't jump to binge writing, I use to only write in small 500 word chunks but then BOOM, enter NaNoWriMo 2007. I started 8 days late and busted out 48,900 words before the midnight cut off. Quite a feat, in my opinion, considering before that the most I had written of a "novel" was 37,000 words over the course of three years.
I didn't attempt NaNo again until 2012 and this time I was ready. I started on time and completed my 50,000 words by 11/20. Most days I easily hit 1667, the daily amount needed to reach the goal mark in 30 days, and a few days I hit 3000-4000. At the end of 30 days, I had reached 67'000 words.
But that wasn't enough. I wanted a challenge. I decided at this point that by the time November 30th 2013 came around I was going to have three complete novels. (first draft wise, of course.)
To make the post shorter, I will skip over my plotting and worlbuilding conundrums (believe me, there are many!) and tell you I hosted by own NaNoWriMo type event with the same 30 day timeline. On book 2, written in June, I wrote 2-3 days a week, averaging around 4000-8000 words per day I actually wrote. Not bad, and the novel's first draft came to around 70,000 words.
NanoWriMo 2013 was interesting. I had less days of writing but set my own personal record of words in one day at 11,017. Thinking about that, it is crazy. Talk about a binge session! I think I still have a headache sometimes from that marathon! At the end of 30 days, I made it to my goal and completed book three thus reaching my goal of three novels in roughly a year.
Now by no means was (or is) my work done. There are pitfalls to writing novels this quickly but I feel accomplished that I actually was able to write three drafts in that time period. And in case you are wondering, on Book one of the three, I was very much a
"pantser". I jotted down a few ideas but then ran with the story. Easy to do this with a new world but with rules and precedent of a first novel book two and book three and a good deal of detailed planning. So I can best be described as a "plotting when necessary pantster".... That indeed is the key, plotting ahead of time. If you know what you will be writing, it makes the writing process that much easier!
If you want more about fast writing, I am a big fan of Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10K. Though her techniques differ from my own to a degree, her scene map organization as well as editing method are both very helpful. I recommended it to both plotters and pantsers alike!
So what has come of all this binge writing? I am now working to release Saints of Wura Book 1: Winemaker of the North this fall! Follow the link for a sample!
How do you write? Small chunks of 500-2000 words a day, or do you too have marathon writing days? Let me know in the comments!
Too much of a good thing...
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