Blog Archives

Academic Papers as Fantasy

An idea that I’ve had floating around in my congested writer’s head is the idea of using an academic paper as a means of telling stories and world building.

I already have several concepts running around for stories that I could tell with this form of writing but I have run into a couple of issues that I think that this type of writing would run into.

The first, and probably most daunting for me, is the fact that all of the primary and secondary source documentation that these essays would need to cite and use as arguments would have to be written first, which could be a dry and uninteresting process.

One solution for this would be to have someone else write the essays and ask for the primary and secondary sources from the world builder. This would introduce an element of surprise and would also prevent the world builder from slanting their source documents to fit the essay that they want to write.

Of course, this means gathering writers that you trust and like their writing style so that the stories are interesting and stay true to the concept.

Another problem I could see with this approach is that, without a narrative drive for the essay, it might be a bit boring to read and would really only be interesting for people deeply invested in the world you’re trying to write about. I think of this as the long form reddit posts that people write about fan theories. For those invested in the fandom, these essays can be intensely interesting but for those on the outside they’re fairly boring.

I think that overall this is an endgame type of concept, most suitable for once you’ve completed, or nearly completed, the narrative arcs that you’ve set out and are trying to fill out the concepts and ideas that you’ve explored in your books.

So, for now, these ideas will remain on the back burner. But I’d love to hear if anyone would find these interesting, ways to keep readers and invested and other ways to bring this concept to market.

Shifting Gears

So I’ve hit a bit of writer’s block on The Hydra Offensive.

This is partially due to the fact that my teenage sister and ailing father are currently living with us. I’ve become responsible for getting dad to and from his appointments so my sleep schedule has been massacred and a lot of my spare time has been eaten up.

I think it’s also partially due to the fact that I’m in the middle of Hydra. I seem to get heavily bogged down whenever I get past the first third of a novel. I thought that because I had several POVs to work with, I’d be able to skip over any slow downs and work around them. But for some reason I’m just not feeling it right now.

So I’m shifting gears. My novella, Battle at Broken Plains, has been sitting on my “Waiting to be Edited” shelf for about 3 months. It ended up at approximately 18K words but it was missing something. So while my mind works through my writer’s block, I’m going to do some work fleshing out Battle by adding a new POV. I’ve already got a cover ready for typography so I just need to flesh out the writing and put it through its editing paces.

I’ve also got a cover ready for another novella, The Griffin’s Heart, so I’ll be working on that as well if the writer’s block doesn’t clear up.

Once Battle is finished, I think I’m going to put it up for Free to try and draw in some readers.

On a side note, I recently put up The Chesian Wars on Amazon and it’s slowly filtering out from Smashwords onto the other sites. The Chesian Wars includes my three previously published short stories (The Sithean Betrayal, The Red Dragon’s Gold, and The Gathering Storm) and an exclusive short story, The Dragon’s Prelude. You can find the links on my Products Page

Giveaway #2

So since my last giveaway was marginally successful, I figured that I’d do another one!

This time, I think I’ll take to Twitter for this one!

So here are the rules. From Monday 8/13/12 to Saturday 8/18/2012 any comments or likes on this post will receive an entry.

Additionally, follow me (@authorjkjohnson) and tweet this:

I want to win a #GunpowderFantasy Short Story!

To receive an entry into the contest. On Sunday 8/19/2012 I’ll figure out the winners. Depending on the number of entries, I’ll give away the Winners’ choice of Griffins & Gunpowder Short Stories (Read the descriptions here). Winner’s choice of .pdf, .mobi and .epub for their file of choice!

Get tweeting!

Short Stories Live!

Over the weekend, I got the edits applied to my trio of short stories and jumped headfirst into Amazon’s KDP. After spending a couple of hours trying to feel my way around, I hit publish!

If you’d like to have a look, please visit the new Products page that I’ve set up and you can click straight through to my short stories!

Proofing a short

With The Cerberus Rebellion in the hands of beta-readers, I’ve turned my attention to writing and alpha-editing the short stories and novellas that will accompany it as part of my first set of releases.

So far I’ve finished 3 of 4 of my planned short stories and have set about editing them so I can get them beta’d.

For me, it has been difficult to write short stories that are meant to be both independent stories but also serve as worldbuilding pieces for my overall universe.

I find working enough worldbuilding into the stories to make them viable standalones while not infodumping the reader to be a delicate balancing act.

The process that I’ve developed is to write on a minimalist scale and only feed the information into the story that is essential to the story. When I go back through editing, I write down every proper name, nations, people or events, and make sure that the questions “Who?/What?/Where?” are answered for them.

So far I’ve found a couple of places that needed to be tweaked, but I think this will help walk the line between too-little and too-much.