Monthly Archives: June 2011

Major announcement coming soon!

A brief alert to everyone that I will be announcing details of a major new project in the coming weeks.  While I run the marathon that is writing my epic fantasy novel, The Lost Tower, I am now involved in a side project that will fully illustrate the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Does that sound vague enough?  Good.  I am holding off on sharing the details until a bit later.  Check back for updates.

I am very excited about this project and it will serve as an excellent foray into the world of publishing.  There, that’s a little hint.

More to come.

In the meantime, read this announcement by J.K. Rowling regarding the Harry Potter franchise and you’ll know why my decision to e-publish my epic fantasy series feels like the right one.

Link to article in the Huffington Post.

–Mark


Novel Update #3

Just a quick update on the progress of The Lost Tower:

Returning visitors to this blog may have noticed the progress bar in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  I draw your attention to this bar to spotlight the fact that this week I hit the 25% threshold of my original target word count of 100,000.  Now, that length is a standard novel, not the epic door stops typical of the genre, but good-sized for Book One in a series.

So, at 25,000+ words, why have I only written seven chapters?

Some of you may recall how I discussed the ever-changing traditional publishing market for fiction from first time authors, even within the realm of fantasy.  My goal this year was to outline and write a novel closer to that marketable length of 100,000 words.

Alas, two important things have happened:

  1. Although my target word count was and still is 100K words, after outlining and breaking down the outline by scenes, my revised estimate word count is close to double that.
  2. I have decided not to pursue an agent or traditional book publisher.  When completed, I will publish as en eBook directly to the Amazon Kindle store, the Barnes and Noble Nook store, and a few others.  So, if you don’t have an eReader yet, the make really great Christmas gifts for the readers in your family and circle of friends.

Some of you may be wondering if publishing electronically and bypassing the regular publishing route is wise.  I will post in the near future about the logic behind this decision and the tremendous opportunity it is when compared with the old way of publishing books.  In short, more people will be able to read my stories at a better price.

So, am I really 25% of the way finished?

Yes and No.

Yes to my original target.

No based on revised projections.

What does this mean?

It means I have a lot more writing to do to finish this novel by the end of the year so it is available for download by all those new eReaders everyone will be purchasing.

–Mark


How to break a slump

How often do we find ourselves struggling to progress in what we’re doing, be it work, sport, hobby, or writing? When an athlete known for his ability to score is suddenly not scoring points or goals, then it is noted that he’s in a slump. When a writer struggles to put words on paper, or thinks everything written is garbage, he is in a slump.

The reasons for the slump are actually not important. Part of the reason for a writing slump or any other is the over-thinking aspect of dealing with it. We go round and round in our minds about why we’re struggling and how untimely it is and how miserable it is, etc.

I know how it is because I just emerged from an extended writer’s slump. Why did it happen? How many reasons or excuses do I have created? How much did I analyze it?

Doesn’t matter.

The solution was simple.

I sat down, opened up my work in progress, The Lost Tower, re-read the previous chapter and started writing.

Sounds easy, right?

Not.

I had to just write. Not think AND write. I had to force off the half of my mind that wants to edit every keystroke that comes from my fingers as they dance across the keyboard of my laptop.

I’m writing the first draft and thus need to keep the editor mind on ice for a few more months.

That is the trick I used. I gave myself permission to write an imperfect first draft. I told my editor mind to take a summer vacation and to leave me alone.

I wrote in half a week more than I’d managed in the past six weeks.

Slump over.

What are your slump stories and solutions?

–Mark


Scott's Grimoire

MY SPOT OF INK: my ramblings on the ups and downs of writing a fantasy novel (or anything else that grabs my interest - books, food, movies, life)

The Undiscovered Author

A Day in the Life of aspiring Fantasy Author Stephen A. Watkins

Geoff's Ruminations

The thoughts and passions of a hopeful future author.