Jan 27 2015

WIP Update – 26 Jan 15

I haven’t made any story progress, but I did a lot of work on the peripheral materials for Junker Jorg. Why? Well, maybe you’ll find out in a few hours. I’ve been trying to set up a nice big anniversary post, but I don’t think I’ll quite get everything I want in there, but I’ll at least have some announcements for starters and then catch up with content later. Stay tuned.

Jan 26 2015

On Wordcount

If you’re not a writer and don’t have any interest in writing, this post probably won’t seem particularly interesting. I haven’t discussed it with other writers, so I don’t know if I’m peculiar or not when it comes to my interest/concern regarding wordcount. For the uninitiated, wordcount may seem completely irrelevant, but for those pursuing publication (at least via the traditional route), it makes a difference.

I got my first impression of the necessary wordcount for different classes of stories from the SFWA’s Nebula guidelines (http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/rules/), which pegs a novel at 40K or more. However, when I actually started making my first attempts to submit my work, I found that publishers were generally looking more in the range for 75-100K. Why the difference? It’s mostly a matter of bang for your buck. If the novel is too short, it’s not as cost-effective to print, I believe. Now, the standards are different depending on genre and subclass. For instance, that 75-100K is the ballpark for an adult novel. If you write a children’s book or a YA novel, the desired wordcount would be lower.

Before we go further, I’d like you to take a quick look at this list of wordcounts for some well-known door-stoppers (http://www.cesspit.net/drupal/node/1869). With that in mind, would you believe that my early draft of KoG1 was only around 16K? It’s true. I actually had to bundle the entire trilogy together to get to 89K when I was doing submissions in ’03. The rejection was truly a blessing as I’ve since greatly reworked the books and they’re much better for it. Particularly starting out, I had a very sparse style of writing and it’s still rather true today. It’s not that I’m opposed to descriptive narrative, but I do generally veer toward conservation of detail. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, I’ll leave that to the reader’s judgment.

For some comparison, let’s take a look at the wordcounts of the novels I’ve completed thus far, rounded to the nearest thousand.

Knight of Gladius, Volume I – 62K
Knight of Gladius, Volume II – 74K
Knight of Gladius, Volume III – 154K
The Three Warriors – 49K
The Trident War Chronicles, Volume I – 87K
Ticonderoga, Volume I – 100K
Ticonderoga, Volume II – 104K
Ticonderoga, Volume III – 71K

Going the conventional route, getting KoG1 published as it is would be a challenge and T3W would almost be a guaranteed no-go unless I built enough rep to get a pass on it. Personally, I’m a strong believer that a story should be no longer or no shorter than it needs to be and because the current model doesn’t have to account for publishers’ requirements, it’s fine. If I would say anything on the subject to aspiring writers, I’d say not to worry about wordcount too much. Get the story where it needs to be and if you have to wrestle with your editor later, you can deal with it then.

Anyway, that should do it for now. If you found this interesting, great. If not, well, I don’t think you have to worry about a sequel.

Jan 24 2015

WIP Update – 23 Jan 15

I’m under quota, but I managed to get the epilogue of Tico4 pretty well wrapped up and plugged a hole I found in Chapter 29. The overall wordcount for Tico4 is going to be a fair bit lower than expected. It should probably clock in around 65K when I’m done. Speaking of wordcount, I may do a supplemental post on the topic. Stay tuned.

Jan 23 2015

WIP Update – 22 Jan 15

On a bit of a whim, I decided to work on the epilogue of Tico4 and I just have the last little bit to go until it’s finished. Honestly, wrapping it up is a lot easier than tackling Chapter 28, so I might as well get it out of the way. Chapters 28 and 30 are the two big action chapters of the climax, so they are, of course, the most challenging. Have to knock them out eventually, though. Stay tuned.

Jan 22 2015

WIP Update – 21 Jan 15

It’s funny. I know what works and when I don’t do what works, guess what. It doesn’t work. What I’m referring to is how to meet quota. If I want to meet quota, I have to get to writing soon after I wake up and not allow any distractions until I’ve met my goal. Anything other course of action is almost guaranteed to miss the mark.

Admittedly, I’ve been throwing myself back into gaming. My playing of Zelda Musou has tapered off a bit and I’ve been introducing more Smash and Kakusei into the mix. It’s fun, but I’m not a daggone kid anymore, so it’s nowhere near as easy as it once was.

On to the main event, I managed to get a little work done on Chapter 28 of Tico4. Besides my gaming and such, I honestly have been a bit stuck on how to proceed, but now I think I can push forward. Chapter 28 is probably going to shape up to be a big one, so I don’t expect to get it done this week, but I’ll see what I can do. Stay tuned.

Jan 19 2015

WIP Update – 18 Jan 14

Hisashiburi again. I think things are finally settling down a bit. I’ve been so fixated on the fact that I haven’t been making much progress on actual story content that I forgot that missing quota doesn’t preclude one of these posts if some other form of progress is made. This is a bit of a spoiler for the upcoming anniversary post, but I intend to restart Everyday Magic once Tico4 has run its course. This of course means I need to start making headway with the story and that’s what I tried to do last week with little success. However, just because I only succeeded in writing a couple hundred words in all that time doesn’t mean that appreciable progress wasn’t made. I have moved the outline along, which is a big part of getting the overall plot hammered out, and I’ve done a fair bit of work in the peripheral materials, which is key for worldbuilding. It still isn’t progress to the degree I’d like to see, but it’s not nothing.

I’ll probably continue some of this work on the side, but I’m going to mostly switch over to Tico4 and hopefully get at least one more chapter done this week. Stay tuned.

Jan 11 2015

WIP Update – 10 Jan 15

I managed to get Chapter 29 of Tico4 mostly finished. I’m getting ever closer to wrapping the book. If my estimations are correct, serialization will wrap at the end of September. I’ll probably be speaking on plans for what’s next when I do the anniversary post. Stay tuned.

Jan 09 2015

WIP Update – 08 Jan 15

I found myself with a little time to write and managed to get Chapter 32 of Tico4 mostly finished and did a little on Chapter 29 as well. Once my schedule gets back to normal, I should be writing again on a more regular basis. I think I can limit my Zelda Musou playing enough for that. Stay tuned.

Jan 05 2015

WIP Update – 04 Jan 15

Hisashii nou. If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, then you know the primary culprit for my absence. Really enjoying Zelda Musou. Now, you might recall that I was expecting to get a good bit of writing done on an extended road trip last weekend. Well, that was the plan, but then I fired up Kakusei (as in Fire Emblem: Kakusei) and there went my day. Crom x Reflet is my OTP. Battle couple extraordinaire. S-ranked their social link before I even had Chapter 5 beat.

Anyway, on to the topic at hand, I took a break from gaming yesterday and so I got a little writing done, doing some work on Chapters 29 and 32 of Tico4. A few weeks of focused work and I should be done with the story. I’m not quite sure what I’ll switch over to next. We’ll see. Stay tuned.