Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How my writing is coming along thus far

Well, things have slowly but surely been getting along in my writing subjects and I am glad to say that I am steadily increasing my rate of productivity.

When I started in December of 2013 I set a goal for writing a minimum of 300 words per day, as writing within time blocks just wasn't working. I'm ADD to the point of absurdity, so time schedules don't work that well. Thus, over the course of a week I might get 2,000 words written down for a novella.

Why yes, that is an embarrassingly small number. Baby steps lads, baby steps! A few months ago I upped the ante and was getting a steady rate of 1,000 words down per day, or at least 500 if it was a busy work day. I'm glad to say now that after about six months of writing and treating it like a professional, I'm now on average cranking out 2,000 to 3,00 words daily, which is around a tents of a full sized novella!

I'm working on addressing my faults, and I feel no shame in admitting that I have them. Sometimes linking an event or transitioning from one plot point to another gives me trouble, or figuring out how to resolve an issue takes place, but it seems to be getting better. Thus far my dialogue is wooden. But wood can be carved, and hopefully I can have some conversations that don't feel like they are being delivered by robots!

I am pleased to say that many of my beta readers find my action and description to be superb. It is tricky at times to balance the action and exposition while making the exposition interesting, but I think I'm hitting that balance for the most part. Heck, just today I ended up writing more than I meant to by getting caught up in explaining some backstory to flesh out a specific element. Yay!

Naming people, places and things is easily one of my most difficult angles, as every time I try coming up with a name it sounds silly or forced. Although it's also quite possible that I'm just being nitpicky and being overly self aware because I'm the one at the helm. Almost never do I ever call out named things in other stories, so it might just be me.

It is also quite fascinating in how I keep switching between story structures. Initially I tried to write like Robert E. Howard, where the plots ran fast and smooth without any lulls. While I've succeeded in some of my stories in doing that, I've also found that I'm straying into travelogue territory, writing out longer journeys where other events happen at a somewhat slower pace, very much in a H. Rider Haggard story. It follows the journey and the events that take place rather than just having pulse pounding action for every second. Then again, both of those types have their place in my series!

I have noticed that in my attempts to keep my stories lean and devoid of any useless elements that some of them are almost anorexic! I've found that if I trim things too close that I end up not just giving my stories haircuts, but end up cutting off chunks of their cheeks! Yikes! I think I need to ease up just a little bit and not try to have my novellas so tight that you could bounce a dime off of them.

I've been learning lots of things about myself and am working on all sorts of different story telling styles and at different angles, and it's quite an adventure itself to see how I'm improving and what I can continue to work on. I am thankful to say that some elements are getting easier as I practice more, like the aforementioned writing speed. Hopefully by the end of this year I can be cranking out 5K words per day- or more! Story elements are getting resolved more quickly and I'm encountering kinks less often as well as story ideas forming more rapidly and more intact.

I have a handful of stories finished as of today, one of them up to 45K words long. With luck I'll have my very first novella out before September. They do require touching up however. Editing is far from easy and being objective about my own writing is quite a challenge. I'll have to touch up paragraphs, switch some words around and check grammar.
Also, as a side note: Writing linguistics for non-existent peoples, even just individual words, is frigging hard!

My very first story, The Hunter from the Red Hills will be my introductory story, showing of the origin of my main character, some history on the world and setting, and set the stage for the adventures to come. If everything goes as planned for the Kindle system, this one will be free so you all can see the style and setting.

I am still wondering how to sell my other stories, as for a good while I will have to use the exact same book cover for quite some time. That stuff is expensive! And yes, it's the one on my main page for Primal Frontier. What do you folks think? Should I lump a handful of stories into an anthology for five or six dollars? Or should I release them individually for a dollar a piece? So far my minimum word count for each story is around 22K pages, which translates to almost a hundred pages on the Kindle system. Tell me what ya'll think!

All in all, things are looking quite well, although I still have a ways to go. And as another side note, although I'm focusing the bulk of my energy on Primal Frontier, I do have plenty of other ideas rattling around in my head. I've got a seed taking root in my head for a Steampunk setting and a handful of stand alone horror and action stories that set my skin to tingling!

Well, that's all for the moment folks. Can't wait to keep cracking away, whoo hoo!

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