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Finding the Time…

…to write.

This post is inspired by a posy I saw on Kindleboards in the Writer’s Cafe.

I’m a workaholic, I will readily admit that. While I like the income from two jobs, it’s a terribly wearing thing to do and leaves little time for family-time and less time for writing.

My ultimate goal in my quest to finish my novels and publish them is to be able to afford to quit my day job. I know that it’s a longshot and that it may take some time to accomplish my goal, I feel that what I’m working on is unique and compelling enough to eventually carry me into that realm.

But first, I have to find the time to write and edit.

My wife and I recently made a rule: while our 15 month old son is awake, we only use technology when it is absolutely necessary. With the exception of Sundays. This cuts out around 2-3 hours on weeknights but I’m okay with that as I’m not particularly productive between day job and night job anyways.

So I cram all of my work into Friday and Saturday nights after 10, except when we rent a movie, and all day Sundays.

During the week I’ll use my smartphone to type up plot ideas or character arcs, so some of the back end stuff doesn’t require my attention during my designated writing periods. It’s still difficult to cram all of that work into such small periods, but I’m a workaholic, I can do it!

So when do you find time to write?

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Logline and Blurb

Getting your novel to sell is a complicated process. I would think that the biggest part of having a successful novel is have a good novel. Well written and well edited. I think I’ve got half of that equation out of the way and I’m working on the editing now.

Another part of selling your novel is having a good cover; from the sketches that I’ve been sent by the cover artist I’m working with, I think it’s going to be a stellar piece that conveys the feeling of  The Cerberus Rebellion perfectly.

Finally, there is the log line and blurb. I think I’ve got my log line down:

As the nation of Ansgar prepares to celebrate a century of peace and prosperity, a war thousands of miles away begins a chain of events that will lead to rebellion, treachery and betrayal.

It’s my blurb that needs work. This was the first draft:

The nation of Kerberos has suffered under the subjugation of the Ansgari throne for one hundred years. Now, after a century of scheming and decades of preparation, Magnus Jarmann is ready to launch a war of independence that will free his people and return his country to its rightful place among the nations of Zaria.

Eadric Garrard was raised to believe that he was the rightful King of Ansgar and that his fearful subjects, even his loyal nobles, answered to his every whim.

He has spent most of his life looking over his shoulder for assassins with one eye and looking for ways to increase his prestige in the eyes of his allies with the other.

So when an opportunity arises to seal two alliances by sending his armies across the Vast Sea, Eadric sees the chance to further his standing with two powerful nations and remind his nobles who rules Ansgar with one action.

Little does he know that his actions will bring about events that will change his nation forever. He will discover that his subjects are not as fearful as he thinks, and that his nobles are far from loyal.

Raedan Clyve was an ordinary boy until an Elven ritual involving a griffin’s heart turned him into something more. Fifteen years later, Raedan still struggles with the magics that he gained and the consequences that come with them.

His problems were compounded when he was thrust into a nobility that he was not raised to have. Now he struggles to rule over a territory in the middle of rebuilding while facing pressure to find a suitable wife and father an heir.

When the King orders levies raised, Raedan fears the loss of men will cripple his wounded Barony and he must wrestle with obeying his sworn King or doing what is right for his people.

While his brother struggles with his newly-granted nobility, Hadrian Clyve has picked up where their father left off and works to expand his family’s influence.

His aggressive negotiation of alliances and shrewd choice of marriage agreements has earned him respect, and resentment.

Hadrian’s loyalty to his Duke has put him in a unique position to shape both the destiny of his family and the future of his nation.

The Cerberus Rebellion is set on the World of Zaria, where Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and traitors trade gunfire with loyalists, mercenaries and pirates.

It was definitely too long by about 200 words so I had to trim some of that down.

Draft 2:

The Cerberus Rebellion is set on the world of Zaria, where Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.

Magnus was born to rule a nation that has been subjugated for a century fights. His fight to free his people will bring him face to face with a king that will not let him succeed.

Raedan been thrust into his role as a noble of Ansgar by fate and clever politics. He struggles with the responsibilities of his title and the magics that were granted to him through an ancient Elven ritual.

His brother, Hadrian, has made it his goal to make his family a political and economic powerhouse in the nation of Ansgar. He will see his family’s name raised to heights of power through political maneuvering, clever marriage agreements and pure force of will.

King Eadric’s grip on sanity is tenuous at best and he sees assassins in every shadow. The fracture of his nation is an affront to his authority and he leads his armies to bring hislost sheep back into the fold.

So, what do you think?

Things I Did Last Week

Week in Review:

The last week has been a flurry of activity as I near the completion of The Cerberus Rebellion and prepare to move it into the Alpha/Beta Read stage.

In preparation for that, and knowing how busy a lot of the editors and cover artists are, I contacted a couple of editors and cover artists.

I decided to go with heavycatweb.net for my cover. They sent over the initial sketches for the cover and I have to say that it is very impressive and I am looking forward to the finished product. They offered to add the title and artist name to it for an additional fee but why do that when my lovely wife is prefectly capable?

After getting some quotes, I decided to schedule Nick at everything-indie.comfor the beginning of June. That gives me approximately six weeks to finish the last 5 chapters of The Cerberus Rebellion, get it through 2 or 3 rounds of reading by myself and then a round with beta readers.

Speaking of beta-readers, my uncle agreed to beta-read for me and I’m very excited about that because he’s a great writer and will definitely give me great feedback.

Finally I secured a map artist (Jared @ The Red Epic) to create a map for both the world of Zaria and a more detailed map of Ansgar.

If you’re reading this post then you’ll have realized that I’ve moved to a new site. Gunpowderfantasy.com is official and the home of my new blog. On top of that, today I started a wiki that I’m going to spend some time filling in to provide background information and to keep all of the character bios straight for readers.

Warning Spoilers will abound: Gunpowder Fantasy Wiki

What’s On Tap:

Right now, I’m working on getting The Cerberus Rebellion finished. I’m going to spend as much time this weekend working on the last five chapters.

I’m going to go through 1 read-through with Scrivener (the software I use to write) so that I can make on the fly changes.

Second read will be on paper and I think the third will be using a text-to-speech program.

I’m also working on securely long-term arrangements with my editor and artist to try and reduce the cost of production.

If all goes well, I should be releasing The Cerberus Rebellion at the beginning of July, which gives me some time to get a head of steam before my planned promotions on 9/14!

Gunpowder Fantasy

So after doing a little bit of research, I have discovered that I’m not the only person writing “Gunpowder Fantasy.” That is: fantasy set in a world that includes gunpowder and it’s associated weaponry but does not focus on steam-power or other elements typical of a “steampunk” novel.

Some previous work in this area includes Winter Wolves (Amazon link) and The Black Prism (Wiki link).

It doesn’t seem to be a particularly expansive sub-genre (a google search really only turned up these two links). However, I’m definitely going to continue on my current path and work in this sub-genre with my Yet-To-Be-Named-Novel.

And as for YtbNN, it decided to throw me a curveball and adjust the plot-line, leaving around 30,000 words that need to be adjusted to fit the new pace of the plot. And as I was reworking the plot I realized that the way that my world was set up wasn’t going to work either. So I’ve remapped the world, twice.

On this current world, I’ve added another two major nations and a handful of city-states that are currently just going to be secondary background work (who knows, maybe they’ll play a major part later).

My overall plot for Book 1 is still intact, however, and as I work through it I will be working on the overall plot for the series and on Book 2 as well.

What’s In a Name (Content)

A little while ago, while working on my current universe, I came to the realization that some of the names I was using (primarily for the nations of my newborn world) didn’t really roll off the tongue.

I’ve noticed that alot of authors tend to make their primary characters and the nations and worlds that those characters exist in have easily pronounced names. The two authors that I have read the most (David Weber and George RR Martin) have made their primary worlds and characters such.

So as I was rereading through the first few chapters of my new world, I decided to change the name of a few characters and the names of a few nations. Not only so the name of the nations themselves but also the name of those nation’s citizens. For example, originally the main nation was going to be called Bradig. But I realized that the citizen of that nation would be what? A Bradigite? A Bradigian? So I’ve renamed my nation to something easier.

When reading, or writing, how important is it to you to have names that you feel are easily pronounced?