I like to take stock on where I am with my work and I feel it’s important to share that with you here. Every two weeks you can find out what I’m currently writing, what I’ve been reading and other interesting factoids I have found on the interwebs instead of doing my work.
It has been an insane week for writing. Over the course of the last month I’ve been working to put together the outline and dialogue for next summer’s release, the second full-length novel in the Greystone series. From initial notes scribbled on legal pads to a chapter by chapter plot breakdown I then went to work on the scintillating and charming dialogue you’ve come to love from Signs of Portents and this very blog.
Last week I put the pieces together, mixing the chocolate and the peanut butter one might say, to create a thorough outline to work from in what will be the rough draft for the new project. One hundred eighty four pages of insight to help guide me in the process of crafting a novel. Sometimes people ask me what takes me so long. After a hearty chuckle at their expense I point out the prep work involved. There’s the research, the setting development, the character arcs and a dozen other topics that I feel should be nailed before typing Chapter One into my Scrivener file.
The typical response is – “Well, you should do that faster from now on, okay?”
With that off my plate I am back to work on Tales from Portents for one last pass before shooting it off to my editor. I am extremely paranoid about missing details in my drafts and like to give it as much time and attention as possible. Once I hit the point of hating every last sentence and the threats of burning the manuscript start flying I let it go and hope for the best. (So, probably by my next writing update.)
In my spare time (he said while laughing hysterically) I am SLOWLY getting the hang of this marketing thing for Signs of Portents. I am really hoping to build up steam before the release of Tales in February. (Your calendar is marked already so I don’t have to remind you about that.) Look for news on some fun and interesting things in the coming weeks.
Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four – I know. More Marvel. The honest to God truth of the matter is that Marvel Comics are more acceptable to my limited budget thanks to their Marvel Unlimited App. (best anniversary present EVER) All the other companies are great in the business. If you’re a Hickman fan I highly recommend East of West from Image. It is a phenomenal sci-fi western with incredible art by Nick Dragotta.
Fantastic Four, while never sparking much of a film franchise, is the cream of the crop for superhero books. Hickman reminds the reader why in the course of a three year run containing more zany and huge ideas than anyone since the days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Colossal in scope, Hickman’s Fantastic Four run is truly one of the greats in modern storytelling. The fact that he was able to close out their fifty-four year tale with Secret Wars is a testament to how well crafted a writer the man has always been. I do mean, always. The guy doesn’t have a blemish against him. IMO. (Here come the calls from my relatives about how millennials are ruining the English language. Our bad.)
Ian Rankin’s A Good Hanging – I finally finished it. Not a slight on the masterful collection of early Inspector Rebus short stories. I have a problem reading prose when writing. I feel like whatever I am reading at the time tends to dominant my own style and it takes me even longer to find my groove. So books for the next couple months might be slim pickings for me and the reason why my Kindle has two hundred unread novels waiting for me. Do I stop myself from buying more? Nope.
Back to the book. Top notch. I thought every story added a nice new layer to the Rebus character. Rankin always has an eye for detail in each of the mysteries presented. Each unique angle presented kept me fully engaged and waiting for Rebus to piece it all together. Great stuff.
Can Serialized Fiction Convert Binge Watchers Into Binge Readers? – A great article from NPR about something I am very much interested in trying someday. I have a series of novellas that act like a season of television, from pilot to cliffhanger finale.
There are some logistical issues with putting them out in the world but I am a huge fan of serialized storytelling (comic book fan, remember?) and think this would work great in the book market. There are some larger questions I need to answer (release schedule, cost involved, time between seasons, spin-offs, time for other endeavors, etc) that have kept me from pursuing this further.
Serial Box is probably right in having a staff of writers working on each season. Maybe that will be the way to go someday though I still love the idea of crafting it all. Much like J. Michael Straczynski on Babylon 5 (NERD) did during the final three seasons where he wrote every episode except one. Madness.
Some of the comments at the end also give me pause as to how willing the average book reader would be to follow a story on a bi-monthly basis in book form.
What do you think? Tell me your thoughts through social media or directly (for the shy folks) here.
Thanks for reading.