Category Archives: meta

State Of The Writer’s Brain/Work

Hey all, it’s been a while since we’ve talked. I mean REALLY talked.

How’ve you been? Are the kids doing well? How about the dogs? Goldfish? Broom?

If you’ve been following along on Twitter or my Facebook page, you might have gleaned a few tidbits about what I’ve been up to. However, I think if you read on, you’ll find some surprises.

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What’s On Hold

The Galaxy and All Her Charms is officially on hold. What I realized is this: the story I have in my head doesn’t match what I’ve written. I’m not ready to write that story for many reasons. I readily admit, one of them is my lack of skill.

Good news though, I had some professional help to review what’s already written. I have some fabulous feedback I’m going to be working through, but for now, I have other projects taking precedence.

What’s Done

If you missed it, a second Clah tale is published. Clah Versus the Volcano: A Marshmallow Roast.

The first draft of parts 6, 7, and 8 of Rue From Ruin are in the can awaiting a revision and publishing here on the blog. I also had some professional feedback on the first few parts, and I’m going to do a bigger overhaul at some point and submit the resulting story to some contests and anthologies.

I submitted around 5000 words of RPG writing to be published in a forthcoming RPG game. I’ll keep the name of the game quiet for the moment. It’s due out later this year or early next, so I’ll share once there is something for you to see.

What’s In-Progress

My new novel, codenamed GIAO, is well underway. The draft is about 1/4 finished, and I’m writing on it regularly. This one is very exciting for me. I’ll write about some related topics as I go along. Maybe some worldbuilding posts and such.

Blog posts: I have one about paying for professional critiques (the short answer is: if you can afford it, do it). Also an RPG review a new version of one of my favorite games of all time King Arthur Pendragon. Finally, for those reading from work, I have several posts in various stages of completion on my tech blog: http://blog.dubmun.com

What’s Brewing

Another RPG project is in the works. This one is considerably more ambitious than the last, and I may be involved as more than a pinch-hitter. Very early stages, but I’m really excited about it. I’ll share more when the plans firm up.

I’ve also written up seeds of quite a few new stories and/or longer works. They aren’t worth sharing at the moment, but a couple of them are exciting.

Finally, I’m considering writing a webcomic. I’m talking to a few artists about an idea I believe translates well to the medium.

 

See ya around, and thanks for reading!

I’ll keep this short.

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K. M. Alexander posted a quote that struck a chord. For over a month now, my entire writing existence has centered around the idea he recently espoused here.

It works. I sit at the computer, and I say, “For the next 15 minutes there is nothing but writing.” Then I set a timer, and I go. Sometimes I get 350 words of total crap. Other times I can barely force 190 words, and none of them seem great. Other times, I feel like it’s all coming together. I feel like I’m writing something I would enjoy reading.

The other times are starting to outnumber the rest. It’s a good feeling.

Now back to work.

Tiny Role-Playing Games

Do you wish I’d quit blogging so much? Want to read more of my fiction? This is the post for you. I promise you a means to make me post more fiction. Read on.

—————–

Lately, I’ve been enjoying a personal renaissance of tabletop role-playing games. It’s been nearly 18 years since I role-played regularly. I’ll have another post soon explaining why I feel this is a valuable activity as a writer.

Today I’ll focus on a couple of specific games I think are great and, somewhat selfishly, I will pimp one of them to you without any shame or self-consciousness.

One of the fantastic things about RPGs is the time I spend playing them with my kids. I love the intellectual stimulation (for all of us) doing something other than watching movies or playing video games. Best, role-playing gets us interacting on a level I haven’t always been the best at as a father.

I have kids ranging from under 10 to nearly-legal adult so finding an RPG I could teach them the younger kids and manage to run successfully for the group was a bit of a challenge. At first, I was looking at Pathfinder and later D&D 5e, but these were way too detailed and crunchy.

Lucky for me, I know a guy.

Alan Bahr is a friend. If you know or have heard of Alan, then you know that he has probably read and played more RPGs than most people in the world. Being the insightful, enlightened guy I am, I scoured the internet for a game to play with my kids before I mentioned my dilemma to Alan. To his credit, he didn’t mock me (much) before pointing me to several great choices I could try with my kids.

One of the options was Tiny Dungeon, and it is the game that stuck with the family. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “WHEN ARE WE PLAYING TINY DUNGEON AGAIN, DAD?????” over the past several months. The number would be too large for display by 64-processors. When I can compose my blog from a quantum computer, I’ll give you an actual number. Don’t hold your breath.

Tiny Dungeon has a lot of things going for it, but its minimalistic rules are a clear winner in my book. You only need 3d6 (three standard six-sided dice) and an index card for each player, and you’re off to the races! Don’t get me wrong, the setting is lovely and lends itself to easy adaptation from other fantasy RPG adventures. The illustrations are fun, whimsical even, and the book also has a sample adventure that was a perfect intro for my younglings. Now, I’m writing my own fantasy campaign for the kids along with a short story that runs in parallel. Gotta keep those writing muscles lean!

My only complaint, if it can be called such, is Tiny Dungeons doesn’t work for a sci-fi setting. There aren’t rules for ships or mechs or alien races. If you know me, you might have a sense of why that would give me a giant sadface.

Enter Tiny Frontiers.

tinyFrontiers

As I earlier name-dropped, I know a guy. A guy named Alan Bahr. A guy who just happens to be an accomplished game designer with a high esteem for Tiny Dungeon. Alan has already made a big splash in the RPG world by designing the rules for the Planet Mercenary RPG. PM: RPG funded at nearly $350,000 just about this time last year. It’s been lauded by people like Steve Jackson. Yes, THAT Steve Jackson.

Alan and Gallant Knight Games have done an amazing thing. They licensed the Tiny Dungeon ruleset and created Tiny Frontiers. Not only will Tiny Frontiers scratch my sci-fi roleplaying itch, but it also features micro settings penned by amazing authors like Steve Diamond and Dan Wells.

Well- there’s a bit of a problem. Many of those fantastic micro settings don’t get made unless the Tiny Frontiers Kickstarter meets some stretch goals.

AND I WANT THEM.

So. Tiny Frontiers is already funded at nearly $6000. Here is the deal, folks. I’m offering two stretch goals of my own:

#1
In the spirit of sci-fi awesomeness, when the $12,000 stretch goal for TF is met, I will publish a beta version of Chapter 1 of The Galaxy and All Her Charms RIGHT HERE ON MY BLOG. I’ve been holding off sharing this with you. I’d like to wait a while longer, and I probably should. Tiny Frontiers means a lot to me, so I’ll take the risk!

#2
Also, if Tiny Frontiers should fund at or above $18,000, I promise to finish Rue From Ruin within one month. Cross my heart and hope to die.

I’ll put all extracurricular activities on hold. I’ll take time off work. I’ll do whatever it takes.

Am I manipulating you (and myself) a bit here? You betcha. Am I ashamed? Not even remotely.

So spread the word. Tell your mama. Tell your papa. Tell your friends. Tell anyone you know who roleplays or used to or thinks it might be fun or wants to get their kids into it.

Believe me; you won’t regret it. Tiny Frontiers is going to be amazing! Get on over to Kickstarter and back it now! Meantime, I’ll do what I can to make it worth your while from my end.

Good News. Bad News.

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First, the bad news: Rue From Ruin – Part 4 cannot be published today. It is SO close, but I can’t give it to you like this. It needs… maybe one more day? Maybe two?

The good news: during revisions I’ve added over 400 words that are absolutely essential to the story. This will be the longest part of Rue From Ruin yet, clocking in at almost triple the length of Part 1.

Part 4 is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written. There is so much happening. My critiques by beta readers have been so helpful and I can’t wait to share it with you all. At the same time, I don’t dare publish it without a solid review of all the new words.

I hope you can forgive me. I’d hate to have three people angry with me forever.

UPDATE (The excellent news): Rue From Ruin – Part 4 is now available to read!

This post is also brought to you by allergies:

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Coming Soon To A Blog Near You

Howdy, readers! Yes, you two over there and my wife. If you wandered here by accident check this out.

I thought I’d give you all a brief look at what’s coming up here at the iWriteSciFi blog.

This post will be the last meta post for at least a few weeks. I promise!

previews

The Schedule

Here is the planned schedule. I expect the three of you to hold me to this. I’ll publish something (anything really) here on the blog on Tuesdays and Fridays. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever post on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday. That would be silly. The Tuesday/Friday schedule just means that I want to stick to that minimum regularity.

Wow that PREVIEWS graphic is getting irritating.

Lets…

just…

fix…

that…

shall…

we?

Ahhhh. Much better. Now, where was I?

Right. I will publish on Tuesday and Friday at a minimum. I’m hoping to achieve a cadence that I can get a feel for and stick to.

The Topics

I bet you are wondering what topics to expect. So far I’ve managed to post about music once and meta-blog twice. Not a great track record for a writer’s blog is it? Now is probably a good time to announce a new category: the serial story. I’ve begun work on a serial story, and I plan to publish it in its entirety right here on my blog.

Serial Story

Are you not familiar with a serial story? No problem there. Wikipedia can help us out with a definition of Serial Literature. The TL;DR for that article is this: I’ll write 500-1000 words of a story and publish it on the blog. Then I’ll write another 500-1000 words of the story and publish it on the blog at a point in the future from the original post. I’ll continue like this until the arc of the story has been told.

Wondering what that first story will be? You won’t have to wait long because I’ve already written the first installment, and I’ll be publishing it here this coming Friday. I’ll give you a preview. That’s what this post is all about right?

The story is about a man in his twenties struggling to come to grips with the loss of his wife and child and seeking the person he holds responsible for their deaths. I won’t spoil it for you, but I already know how the story ends although I’m not sure how many installments it will take to get there. My first guess is somewhere between five and eight.

Music To Write By

I’ve already written one of these. A very special post about my friend Lance Clark. If you didn’t read the post, you should check it out!

TIL (Today I Learned)

As I go through the process of writing a novel and writing this blog, I’m going to learn. Because, let’s face it, I’m a total noob. When I learn something that I think is cool, I will write about it because I’m a WRITER. Deal with it.

Randomisms

Randomisms will probably be the category that could be aptly labeled: “William Did A Dumb Thing; Let’s Laugh At Him”.

I imagine it will be a well-used topic.

Meta

This post is Exhibit B. I give you, Exhibit A. Yeah, yeah… there won’t be another Meta post for a while, but I won’t make promises I can’t keep about the future.

That’s It For Now

So. There you have it. I hope you’ll join me again on Friday for my first Serial Story installment. One more minor hint: all is not as it seems for this man and his struggle.

A Whole New Blog

I’ve been playing at being a writer for over half a year now. It’s time to get serious. Getting serious means starting a blog, doesn’t it?

With absolute certainty, I can describe to you what you are thinking: Finally, the wait is over. Will’s going to blog about writing and life and other things! This new means of communication between him and I will surely change the world and rock my convictions about everything to their very core.

Close right?

eyeroll

Okay, maybe I’m no mind reader.

The truth is, this is my THIRD blog; I have learned a few tricks that can make articles accessible and entertaining to read. I hope you enjoy it no matter your background.

If you’re wondering what’s coming up (and if you should subscribe) here is the general idea:

  • Writing announcements and updates.
  • Short fiction and chapters from larger works.
  • Real stories from my life (humorized for your enjoyment).
  • Writing tips and other things I’ve learned as part of this experiment.

The list of topics will evolve as I learn more while on this adventure; they’ve already evolved since I started this post… so be on the lookout.

I hope those few of you who stumble here enjoy the blog. I’m sure I’ll enjoy writing it.

Until next time!