good NEWS everybody!

I’m trying something new. Maybe it will keep me on track for producing content on a more regular basis? At Imaginarium this year, I went to a couple panels talking about marketing strategies. Really marketing boils down to just being consistent with content. Ugh. I’m the queen of inconsistency.

Anyway, here’s my idea.

I’m going to start posting something on this blog twice a month. The 1st and the 15th. That should give me enough time to actually come up with a post and write it.

As it stands, here’s my announcements for today!

On my Patreon, I’m going to start posting the draft chapters of Shaxia (from chapter 1) in the $5 tier. If you want to beta read and give feedback, join us! My Patreon has a bunch of other cool things too; such as artwork from Clockwork Joker, and other writing-related things. If this experiment goes well, I’ll start posting Foreseen Champion on Patreon in the $5 tier as well once I get Shaxia finished.

Another promotion I’m starting on Patreon is join our $5 tier and you get to pick an item from our merchandise and we’ll ship it to you. So that’s TWO good reasons to join our Patreon! You get a gift of your choice for signing up and you get to read Shaxia draft and more!

Speaking of gifts, I’m going to be at CONFUZION this year in Muscle Shoals. Come find me and receive a special gift!

I’m going to start making my short stories available on Kindle soon. I was going to bundle what I’ve got available for .99c, which will include the shorts you can read on this blog for free, and the one story I posted on Patreon. A good reason to buy it is that they’ll be all in one place and they’ll be in order timeline-wise and you’ll get to read the one I locked away on Patreon (and I’ll do another round of editing on them all to make them nice and spiffy).

My next project will be the little book about all my aliens. I’m still not sure what I’m going to call it, but I do know I want to get it printed.

Sorry sorry

I haven’t had anything to say on Fridays last few weeks because I ran out of my queued posts and NANOWRIMO started :)

I’m halfway through the month, a little over halfway through the goal, and I think I’m halfway mark on the story. 

 

Have an excerpt:

 

Vathion waited.

He tried to wait patiently.

Daharn put a hand on his knee to make him stop twitching and shaking the tree branch they were hiding in. As Scheerahis had described, the spider-walkers were moving in a circle around the base building. There were about ten Carken playing in the mud. One of them was riding a spider-walker, waving his tentacles and yodeling. If there had been any Hyphokos out listening for signs of Shaxin or Gilon, they wouldn’t have heard a thing.

Patreon!

I’ve signed up for Patreon!

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Paymeh and Savon

This is a scene that happened during Symbol of Hope that I had to cut due to story length. The conversation in this scene canonically happened. Maybe one day I’ll be able to make a Final Mix version of these stories that includes all the extra bits.

Continue reading “Paymeh and Savon”

Killing Darlings

I’d mentioned before how my writing process is a lot of ‘write a lot’ followed by ‘cut a bunch’. Sometimes I really like the pieces I’m cutting. That’s what the phrase ‘cutting darlings’ means.

This isn’t the same as killing off a character.

A notable example of an idea that didn’t make it into the final cut was the NPRP: Natan Personality Replacement Program. He was awesome. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit him in satisfactorily. I tried to revive him for Phoenix Emperor as the personality of Natan’s clone body, but still, that didn’t work, and he got cut entirely.

In the following deleted chapters, there are elements that I kept, such as Vathion playing with his new ship and his conversation with Bibbole. However, everything else in this excerpt was ultimately deleted because it didn’t work. As such, if there are spelling and grammatical errors, that would be why.

Here’s the best scene NPRP was in. And a drawing I did for it.

Continue reading “Killing Darlings”

Killing Characters

Is FUN AND EASY!! :D

I touched on this some during my live video, but I’d like to go more in depth on it now.

Killing characters isn’t all fun and games. Though it may seem like I casually toss off characters, I always have a plot reason for doing so. I don’t go into it thinking “I’m gonna kill SO MANY CHARACTERS!” and giggle gleefully (although I do giggle gleefully when I find a good spot that requires a character death). Knowing I was going to kill everyone from the start would just take all the fun out of discovering who my characters are in the first place, followed by them making stupid mistakes and ending up dead all on their own.

My rule of thumb when it comes to writing? Murphy’s Law.

Spoilers ahead for Playing the Hero and Symbol of Hope: Continue reading “Killing Characters”

Audio Drama

I’ve been trying to come up with an idea for a short audio drama to do for Natan Fleet Show. I’ve got a few ideas, but not sure which one I should bother putting effort into writing.

 

idea 1:

Vathion getting picked to play the lead in the school play before the beginning of book 1.

characters: Vath, Mirith, Jathas, Lisha, Paire, Carf, random students

 

idea 2:

a scene on the bridge of the Xarian after Vathion has taken over as admiral.

characters: Vath, Erekdra, Codas, Bibbole, Chira, Ahri, Gatas, Paymeh

 

 

idea 3

NFS episode.

characters: Natan, Erekdra, Codas, Bibbole, Chira, Arih, Gatas, Paymeh

 

anyone have thoughts?

Three Cards Down

It was dark outside when he woke.

He didn’t feel as awful as he did earlier, which Vathion suspected meant that he had felt a lot worse than he thought.  Amazing how sitting in meetings all day could be so tiring. Getting his cane, he shuffled out of his room to find Scheerahis and Luth in the sitting area. The Varas sat on the other side of the tea table from Luth, frowning at the handful of cards. Next to him he had a fairly impressive stack, compared to Luth’s.

Vathion shuffled over and sat in a chair where he could watch them both.

“Want in?” Luth asked.

“What are you playing?”

“Three Cards Down. He’s surprisingly good at it?” Luth set down his cards dealt six for Vathion and handed them over.

Vathion fanned them out, sorted his cards, looked at what was on the table.

Luth said, “Though I wonder if he actually understands what’s going on.”

Amused, Vathion asked in Varas, “Having fun?”

Fun?” Scheerahis asked. “I don’t understand the point of this strategy exercise.”

Its a game,” Vathion said. “Its your turn.”

I know. The point of this is to collect these in my pile, yes?

Yes,” Vathion said.

Scheerahis selected three cards and placed them on the table.

The point of this game is to add the cards together to equal or get as close to the number on the face-down card in the middle,” Vathion said.

“Oh,” Scheerahis said and looked at the cards he had just laid down. “I was trying to get them to equal five.”

Good strategy,” Vathion said, “Really good strategists will keep track of what numbers have already shown up and plan their next three down based on the likelihood of what is left in the stack.”

The Varas squinted up at him. “Do you do that?

Yes.” Vathion selected three cards and set them down. Luth dropped his three down and flipped the card in the middle.

How are you supposed to get two?” Scheerahis asked, confused as Vathion was handed the target card.

Three of the same suit gets you a card with a two or one.” Vathion pointed out the markings in the center of the cards. “That also tips the scales in your favor if you and someone else at the table were on target or had the same number in your three-down.

But if you both have the same,” Scheerahis paused for a moment and made an attempt to pronounce the Gilon word, “Sut?” Scheerahis asked.

“Suit,” Vathon corrected, “Points are awarded based on the single card you each set out as a duel. If your number is higher than his, you get the point,” Vathion explained as he set down his three cards face-down this time. “Also, Luth has been being nice and letting you see the cards he’s picked to lay down. Its usually played with all cards face-down until the point is revealed.”

So I am not as good at this as I thought,” Scheerahis said in disgust and laid three cards face down.

Vathion laughed softly. “Considering you don’t understand a word he says and you’re winning? Be more proud of your accomplishments.

Luth set his cards down, then flipped them and the point card. Vathion revealed his. Scheerahis turned his cards over. Luth slid the point card over to him.

Why did I get it this time?” Scheerahis asked.

You put down the Emperor. That automatically makes your three equal the point. There are only two of those in the deck,” Vathion explained as he drew enough to replenish his hand.

“Deck,” Scheerahis pronounced carefully. “Is what all of these… Card are part of.

Yes.”

What are these suts?”

“Suits,” Vathion corrected again. As they turned over their cards, he pointed, “Fences, Wheel, Flower, and Sword.”

Scheerahis took a moment to look more closely at the Sword, then set it down. Luth took the point card then dealt out the last few cards to refill their hands.

They set out their cards and flipped. The point went to Scheerahis.

There’s no point left,” Scheerahis said, looking at the three cards he still held in his hand.

Whoever has the highest total gets the point,” Vathion said and laid his cards out the same time Luth did.

Scheerahis glowered at his cards and set them down, revealing a pitiful total of three.

“That’s where all the ones went,” Luth said and snorted. He started sweeping the cards together and shuffling them. “Another?” he asked Vathion.

“I suppose. Long as you don’t mind me drilling him on numbers.”

“Seems a good place to start,” Luth agreed and dealt again.

How does he do that with… Card?” Scheerahis asked and picked his cards up once he had all six.

You’ll have to ask him to teach you how to shuffle the deck later,” Vathion said and leaned forward to take his cards.

“Shuf. Deck,” Scheerahis muttered looking hardly pleased. He laid down his first three. Vathion finished sorting his cards and put down his selection then replenished his hand.

Luth turned the point and his cards over.

Vathion pointed at each card and said their value and suit. “Repeat,” he ordered Scheerahis. The Varas stumbled through pronouncing all the words and took the point when he was done.

Natan Manwhore Show

I will now answer questions from a reader!

Is perfume a major thing in Gilon society, or almost totally unknown?

Are you going to explain how Likka avoided Widow’s Syndrome? I assume Natan did it by having Hasabi send periodic care packages with her scent, but I don’t think Likka had that chance? Continue reading “Natan Manwhore Show”