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Topics - m3mnoch

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Writers' Corner / When you really, really need to write fast
« on: February 29, 2016, 09:23:36 PM »
i bet the new method of massive throughput from @Raptori and @Saurus would shine using this thing:

from the help:
The Most Dangerous Writing App is designed to shut down your inner editor and get you into a state of flow.

If you stop typing for more than five seconds, all progress will be lost.

you pick a length of time to strive for.  and, go!

Self Publishing Discussion / How to be a Best-Selling Author
« on: February 25, 2016, 08:40:57 PM »
this is pretty funny.

Behind the Scam: What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best-Selling Author’? $3 and 5 Minutes.


It’s about time that readers—and the media, which breathlessly repeats the best-selling claims of these authors—wised up. So let me show you exactly how I became a became a #1 Amazon bestseller for $2 and a photo of my foot in less than five minutes (with screenshots and proof). Hopefully, as my partner Ryan has put it, once you understand how the sausage is made, you won’t want to eat it any more.

Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Comic-Con 2016
« on: February 24, 2016, 12:31:20 AM »
oh, hey!

is anyone going to comic-con this year?

it'd be sweet to hook up with anyone coming out to san diego!  so, if you are, make sure to let me know.  at the very least, i can make recommendations on stuff around town.

Fantasy Resources / New Book Notifications
« on: February 18, 2016, 10:01:21 PM »
oh!  i signed up for this a few months ago.  it's proven super-useful.  figured i'd stop being all selfish and share it.

you'll get an email when a new book (or edition) comes out from a list of authors you choose.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / NPR Top 100 SFF Books
« on: February 08, 2016, 10:04:13 PM »

More than 5,000 of you nominated. More than 60,000 of you voted. And now the results are in. The winners of NPR's Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy survey are an intriguing mix of classic and contemporary titles.

of course #1 is lord of the rings, but i think the farseer trilogy got jobbed.

totally thought of @Rukaio_Alter when i saw this:


I’ll be publishing an anthology of reprint stories in the summer of 2016 titled FUNNY FANTASY. It will follow on the heels of FUNNY SCIENCE FICTION, my 2015 reprint anthology. For this book I’m seeking stories that are:

- Funny.
- Fantasy.
- 500 – 7500 words in length
- Were originally printed in the last ten years (2005-present)
- Were printed in curated venues paying at least $0.01 per word – for this book please don’t send material from token and non-paying venues, self-published, posted on your blog, published in magazine/anthology you yourself edited, previously unpublished, etc.
- Please do not send stories you previously submitted to any volume of Unidentified Funny Objects or Coffee anthologies.

Self Publishing Discussion / Unheard of Authors Making Outrageous Money
« on: December 05, 2015, 06:35:49 PM »
so.  i made a tool-widget-bookmarklet thing:

totally insane because i should be writing.  instead, i have been poking around at all these crazy authors and books.  looking at comparing traditional publishing and self-publishing on the kindle.

you know, comparing the 15% for authors or the 70% for authors thing.

for example, one of our faves:

Name of the Wind:  http://www.amazon.com/Name-Wind-Kingkiller-Chronicle-Day-ebook/dp/B0010SKUYM/
Sales Rank: 860
Units per day: 117
Price per Unit: $8.99
Sales per day at 15%: $157.77
Sales per day at 70%: $736.28

and the mighty, unknown self-published author with two books out:

Nightblade: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013D0H2GS
Sales Rank: 299
Units per day: 335
Price per Unit: $3.99
Sales per day at 15%: $200.50
Sales per day at 70%: $935.65

i'm sorry, what?

<triple checks math>

yup.  yup, that's right.

p.s.  please note these are all estimates based on sales rank voodoo calculations i've dug up from one of those guys who study these sorts of things!  this guy: http://kindlepreneur.com/amazon-kdp-sales-rank-calculator/

Writers' Corner / October 2015 Author Earnings Report
« on: October 16, 2015, 03:40:58 PM »
i happened to come across this today:

lots of crunchy data.

looks to focus on the u.s. ebook market.

the bullets:
- Amazon makes up a higher percentage of the total US ebook market than the oft-cited 65% figure: when indie books without ISBNs are included in the statistics, Amazon accounts for 74% of all US ebook purchases and 71% of all US consumer dollars spent on ebooks.

 - Outside of Amazon.com, 4 other major online retailers comprise nearly the entirety of the remaing 26% of the US ebook market: the Apple iBookstore, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, the Kobo US bookstore, and GooglePlay Books.

 - At those 4 other stores, self-published indie ebooks make up 22% of all ebooks purchases and take in 32% of all author income generated by ebook sales.

 - Between 14% and 25% of all ebooks sold at Apple, Nook, and Kobo store lack Bowker-issued International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs).

 - In total, more than 33% of all ebooks sold in the US each year have no ISBN.

 - Across the entire US ebook market, ebooks without ISBNs now command a greater share of consumer ebook purchases, reading time, and author earnings than all of the AAP’s 1,200 publishers put together, including the Big Five.

 - The true US ebook market, which includes non-ISBN sales, is at least 50% larger than ISBN-limited market statistics from Nielsen and Bowker are estimating.

Writers' Corner / What Counts as Success
« on: September 20, 2015, 02:31:36 AM »
so, i was just reading this article:

i kind of have two angles for this.

1) on the relatively low numbers required to be successful:
is that for real?  is that really all that you'd have to sell to count as a success?  i was always thinking success meant selling hundreds of thousands of copies.  is that all it takes to get a second book?  if the numbers sound so achievable, why is it actually so hard?  the author's guild doesn't count ebook authors, right?  and didn't i read that most sff writers aren't members either?

2) on winning awards and a career:
are awards really by writers for writers?  do readers actually care?  am i reading this right in that good writers aren't really best-selling writers?  how does that affect a writer's goals?

so many questions!

Writers' Corner / Sharing Your Writing Process
« on: August 30, 2015, 10:56:24 PM »
a couple things got me thinking about sharing my writing process.

1) from stuff i've gleaned from the writing corner, it seems like we've all got very different writing processes, very different definitions of outlining, very different ideas of a first draft.

2) i am a total voyeur when it comes to other people's content pipelines.  in the past, this has been mostly in game development, but since i've been writing more, it's shifted towards word creation.  i love seeing how other people work and write!  i'm hoping other folks will offer up theirs in more detail.

i've found a few places in the forums where folks are talking about different crafting aspects beyond just plotters and pantsers:
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/your-work-process/ (i almost revived this thread, but it's sooooo old...)

i've even contributed a bit already:

anyhow, it got me thinking about sharing mine in more detail.  with examples even!

i'll start with the simpler one -- short stories.

basically, after writing a half-dozen or ten over the last three months for various contest entries and whatnot, i've really boiled the process down.

first, i'll draw up a combo notes-outline thing that loosely correlates to this 8-part story arc:

1 - Stasis
2 - Trigger
3 - The quest
4 - Surprise
5 - Critical choice
6 - Climax
7 - Reversal
8 - Resolution

obviously, it's loose since we've only got a limited budget for words with short stories.  (some more than others!)  so, i'll pick a key moment or two, and then interpolate out from there until i have notes for most of the segments of the arc.

as an example, here's what i plotted out for this month's space opera story:
Spoiler for Hiden:

## Everyone Loves a Scoundrel

[world class scoundrel in a bar.]

[pov of the scoundrel.]

[talking to patron next to him.]

[patron is like a kid in the candy store sitting next to a famous outlaw.]

[bad guys try to rob the place. really a horrific thing with a hologram disguise. it’s a INSERT-CREATURE-NAME-HERE, impervious to blasters, big, strong, a wrecking machine.]

[says something witty]

[pew! pew! scoundrel saves everyone. he new the specific weakness of the thing. a dog-whistle like thing he uses to call his wombat.]

[“yeah, ran into them on zenos-4. discovered that the hard way.” points to the gnarly scar on his cheek.]

[we love this guy!]

[patron next to him turns out to be a bounty hunter. is going to shoot him in the back.]

[“after seeing you dispatch that thing, there was no way i was going to try and subdue you. sorry."]

[wombat swoops in and knocks the blaster away.]

[scoundrel turns slowly. he’s pissed. more wit!]

if you've read the story, it's kinda-sorta close, right?  once i have the general feel of it sketched out, i'll then pants my way through the actual prose.

now, for my novel.

it's been a bit different but i feel like it's working.  my first two chapters were pretty awful.  then, i rewrote the first one using a heftier outline.  it was better, but still bad.  then, i tweaked and tacked my process to rewrite the second chapter.  again, better but not quite there.  one more tack and then chapter three -- now i'm where i feel like i've got the right writing process going.  it feels like it's all about execution now.

so, i'm rewriting both of the first two chapters with the newest iteration of my process -- it's basically where i landed for my smoother, more sane chapter three.  feels like it gets my first draft for each chapter pretty squared away.

this is the process i've landed on.

first, i take the chunk out of my giant outline i've put together for that scene/chapter in order to help keep the story on track.  the giant outline is effectively fully broken down and follows the same 8-point story arc formula.

as a more detailed example, here's how the process rolled out for chapter four.  (if you're honestly interested in reading the previous chapters, holler and i'll point you to them)

the outline chunk for chapter four:
Spoiler for Hiden:

Scene Four
Amon confronts Cyriac about a Sush conspiracy to destroy Mantisarr land and accidentally kills him

Perspective: Amon
  • Amon and Thred
  • Amon and Cyriac
Conflict: Cyriac vs. Amon
Foreshadowing: Cyriac and Warin REDACTED with the Sush. Amon is trying to start a war. Thred is REDACTED.
Surprise: Amon freaks out, kills Cyriac.
Button: He's going to frame Warin.

How far out is the Edos estate? Why are Amon and Thred paying him a visit? What does the estate look like? Where is Cyriac's estate in the duchy?

Why are there no servants or guards? Why does Cyriac dislike Amon? Why does Amon flip out and tackle Cyriac so quickly?

Reinforcement that Thred is muscle - They're there to talk, not hurt. Amon kills Cyriac accidentally. Stages the scene as a break-in.

Cyriac Edos is another Viscount in Rainn and is fiercely loyal to the Margrave Warin Daloret. Amon wants to be the Margrave, not Warin, but needs to remove Warin so that Amon's house is next in line for the Duchy Rule. He'll do that by revealing proof to the court of Cyriac's traitor relationship with the hated Sush.

Amon visits Cyriac quietly at his estates since he wouldn't respond to Amon's summons. Slips in with Thred in tow for some muscle, just in case.

There are no servants around. The hellborn have actually REDACTED.

Accusations and denial ensue. Cyriac says his dealings with Bute are between himself and Warin and are no concern of Amon's.

Thred keeps staring at Amon.

For some reason (Thred), Amon loses control and attacks cyriac. they fight and crash into a table. cyriac's neck is broken. He is wildly creepy-freaking out, but a sense of calm comes over him. He has to hide the body? Aha! Make it look like a break-in. they trash the place. kitchen too.

finds and pockets the emerald swordbelt. it was given to bainburn on his raising to Commander of the March.

Spiraling down into evil bigtime now.

then, since my brain moves WAY faster than my fingers can type, i'll bust out the abbreviated notes for it like so:
Spoiler for Hiden:

### Daylight

[rolling out at night - thred thought it would insure fewer guards... er... less activity]

[it's a day's ride, so they left late. the estate is swampy land, right on the border with sush]

[talking to cyriac about information from the torture -- you're feeding us to the sush animals!]

[thred is there for tough-guy suport]

[amon hasn't been able to hook up with cyriac at stormhall]

[should be a non-violent meeting since it's just him and not an assassin or a bunch of armed dudes]

[he'll be there... and off-balance]

[there are no guards. thred suggests the kitchen door -- there were always people around the kitchen this time of night]

[Surely at this hour, Cyriac would be in his study or the library with a pipe in his teeth, a snifter of apple brandy in his hand, and a thick, leather-bound book on his lap.]

[at a noise, thred ducks into a doorway, amon is all 'what? huh?]

[they find cyriac in his study napping with a book and a snifter of brandy]

[amon gets all 'WHAT UP BEEYOTCH?!?!]

[cyriac is all coy, irritates amon, thred is pushing him too]

[amon attacks cyriac. they fight. they break. should thred stop them?]

[they breathe. something sets amon off again.]

[amon attacks cyriac again.  this time he's ready and pulls his dagger.  they scuffle over the dagger.]

[amon wins out, gets cut, but totally shivs cyriac with his own dagger]

[describe thred assessing the situtation]

[it was his fault!  he pulled the dagger!]

[thred gives him a drink from the snifter]

[what have i done?!? first jylai, now this. i'll have my shit stripped fo' sho']

[a flash of creepy, scary amon on the horizon -- i might as well just kill them all.]

[thred's all 'ummm...' -- and snaps amon out of it]

[we've got to get out of here, yo]

[yeah, you're right. and i hear sush raids are pretty common up here.]

[they trash the study]

[they go to leave]

[amon realizes they need to trash more of the house. they trash the kitchen]

[one more! amon goes around and punches out the window to the study from the outside. "in case those lazy servants come back"]

[they need to ride back through the night. thred thinks it's best for the margrave to know immediately.]

[amon can totes frame warin for this!]

and, finally, i'll put my headphones on, and rip through the prose, replacing the bracketed notes as i go.  the final result of my first draft was this:

so, that's basically how i get to a chapter's first draft.  is that weird?  is it basically how everyone works?  what do you guys do?

Table Top & RPG Games / We might have a slight MTG problem at work
« on: August 24, 2015, 07:22:26 PM »
walked in today and found this at a coworker's desk.

General Discussion / Serial Box - Weekly Episodic SFF Stories
« on: August 14, 2015, 12:37:17 AM »
whoa!  how cool is this?!


from their site:

Like TV, we release a new episode of the series every week.

Episodes are simultaneously available in written and audio forms and take about 40 minutes to read. Subscribe to have the latest episode delivered straight to your device, right when they’re released, or you can buy them one at a time. Plus, we’ll remember where you left off so you can do more reading and less searching.

and here's this week's episode:

hrm.  tho, it appears they're a bit expensive at $1.99 for 11k words.  that puts a moderate-sized novel at, like, $15.

General Discussion / time to fess up -- who is this?
« on: August 13, 2015, 04:51:27 AM »

Writers' Corner / Writer with a Capital 'W'
« on: July 30, 2015, 09:00:26 PM »
i've been an artist and/or worked with artists professionally for 20-ish years now.  in my experience, they really come in two different flavors - artists with a capital 'A' and artists with a lowercase 'a'.  (most actually mix both flavors together in some sort of spectrum-swirl, but bear with me)

the difference between the two, is that one does it for the Art (these are the pollacks and picassos of the world) and is always the last word in 'the vision'.  the other does it for the work (these are the graphic designers of the world) and is just fine compromising their personal integrity to please the customer.

it strikes me that there's a similar thing i see in writing -- even in this genre writing that we all love so much.  so, it makes me wonder, what kind of writer do you want to be?

personally, i see this as orthogonal as to whether you write for your own enjoyment or to get published or to simply entertain your friends.  you can be either a 'capital W' or a 'lowercase w' and still accomplish all of those goals.

so, do you want to be a capital-W-Writer?  or a lowercase-w-writer?  and how does that match up with the audience you hope to write for?

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