Sunday, September 8, 2013


I think I'll be publishing a little slower this fall than I thought.  I'll likely be publishing the same stories I said, but it will just take a little longer.  This is due to two problems:

1) Stone-Cold Dead at the Trading Post is turning out darker than I expected. (For all that it's based on a perky Calypso song about domestic abuse, it's still about domestic abuse.  In the ninetenth century.)  I realize that I have to take longer to write it, let it get as dark as it wants, and then maybe pull it back in a next draft.

2) My computer is going whacky.  It has been doing this for a while.  I haven't fixed it yet because I really don't want to reformat it.  Because even if you restore from a back up, sometimes it's the system and not the drive, and then you have to reuild from scratch, which means all sorts of hassles like re-registering software (and finding registration codes deep in your files) and redoing settings you forgot you did in the first place, etc. (UPDATE: running disk utilities have fixed it again.  We'll see how long this fix lasts.)

In the meantime, the weather is (mostly) letting up and I am having a creative burst.  When I get stuck on a story, I have other stories to leap to.  (And that's another problem: as I get older, I have the attention span of a newt.  Do newts even have attention spans? Do I?)

One thing I've been doing is getting back to variations on the plotting game.  Although right now I'm doing a different game.

Writing Game - Old Chapter Titles

In the old days, novels tended to make good use of chapter titles.  When I go through Project Gutenberg for interesting old illustrations, I also sometimes grab interesting chapter titles for my titles database.  (The titles database is really just a word and phrase list I use to generate ideas from.)

Well, the other day, I decided, sight unseen, to simpy grab a whole table of contents and come up with short story ideas for each of the chapter titles listed.

As it happened the book I grabbed had 25 titles -- so it will be a while before I complete this exercise.  But I have no deadline.  It's just a project.

The really interesting thing is that when I sit down and brainstorm on a title, I find myself with multiple ideas for each one.  I haven't started writing them yet.  I'm kind of keeping them for moments when I find myself stalled and I want to leap to something else for a while.

Even more interesting, a couple of the more generic titles may be spawning some interesting story _collections_.  It's kind of re-invigorating part of my Experiment in Mercenary Writing.  I want to get back to these short romantic suspense stories.  Possibly long novelettes or trilogies of short stories.  And as they would stick closer to genre lines, I might write them under a pen name (but an open one, you'll know about them).

New Publications - upcoming

Nothing new this week.  Next week I'll be publishing The Ride to Save King, a middle-readers story about riding a horse to shelter ahead of a hurricane.  I've actually already formatted and uploaded the ePub to Smashwords, because it takes so long to get through their vetting process.  On Monday, I'll be uploading more formats, and to Amazon.  I'm hoping it will be available more widely by next Sunday's update.

A Fistful of Divas is finally trickling into the other vendors.  Now available at Barnes and NobleKoboSmashwords as well as at (Apple, Diesel, Sony coming soon.)
(Amazon international stores: UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, IN, CA, JP, BR, MX.)

And as I said above, I am not sure when the book after that will come out.

On The Blog This Week

I haven't written it yet, so I'm not sure, but I think I'll be talking about two of the following five subjects:

1.) Bruno Bettelheim, a psychologist who beautifully defined the point of storytelling -- why we tell stories, how important it is to our psychological development -- in his seminal work on fables and fairy tales, The Uses Of Enchantment.

2.) P. G. Wodehouse, and my very favoritest of all Wodehouse stories, and the problems of bad copyright law, public domain and piracy and lazy indie publishers.

3.) Cover art -- cool covers I've come across lately.

4.) More about my writing games: maybe I'll list that actual chapter list, and challenge others to write stories based on it or something similar.

5.) Some interesting math on prices, in relation to the work done. (May be informative, may just be a numbers exercise...)

I will most likely talk about Bettelheim on Wednesday and Wodehouse on Friday, and the others some time later on. But you never know.

See you in the funny papers.


JenBusick said...

I just picked up "The Ride to Save King" for Cora. I think she'll love it!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Jen. I bet Cora will. She's exactly the kind of kid I had in mind.