The Four Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Post: The One Where I Up My Begging Game!

Well, I am finally climbing onto the Patreon platform (eventually) and trying to see if I can drum up some funds to make book publishing easier for me as far as money is concerned. I’m going to use the epic length progressive fantasy as a reward for various tiers. Since I don’t want to set anything up and not have a reward, it’s not going to be up and active yet. When it is, you’ll get access to chapters and books before they’re published – depending on which tier you take up.

I think this might be the thing to take me out of ‘desperate hobbyist’ and firmly put me into ‘desperate novelist’, but nothing is really put together yet. I need to find a way to distribute e-books to various tiers and see how much Amazon is going to charge me for buying my own books (and not have it count as sales, of course).

I wish I had planned this out sooner, but I had no idea of what I could tie this to, or how to generate rewards. Most of my stuff has an end, and I don’t think people are going to continue funding a novel that’s finished and out the door. With this progressive fantasy, the end isn’t going to happen for a long time. I can hopefully also use the platform to advertise other works and get some more sales.

Speaking of which – I have a question to anyone who is way more computer savvy than me, and it’s one I referenced earlier here. Is there a way to distribute a e-book file through methods like mass e-mail? Do you have any suggestions? The only thing I can think of is through something like Dropbox, but people might not trust the link. I thank everyone in advance for their help. I just want to get everything lined up and right before I start.

The other novel I am seriously working on is coming along okay. Chuck is still steadily descending into obsessive madness in the airport (where I’m sure it’s more common, given what I’ve heard about those places). I’m still trying to keep everything loose as far as ‘is she cheating or not’? I want the reader to come to that conclusion on his or her own. I watched this interesting clip on YouTube about madness in fiction. I’m going to use it as a guide for Chuck to make his descent more engaging.

Well, that’s all for this week. Stay safe out there – apparently people think that the interstates are now Triple A NASCAR fields. Have fun, donate coffee to me and see you soon.

The Four Hundredth and Twenty-Eighth Post: The One Where I Start Stacking Metaphorical Bodies Like Cordwood!

On the horror beat sheet I’m using; I’ve come to something called The Chase. In a slasher movie, this is where the monster chases through the camp, hacking teens getting drunk, high, or naked. This is the pursuit of the monster, and the main characters lack the skills or weapons to defeat it. One or more people may die here.

What do you do when your mind is the monster?

Good question. And I even have an answer.

Chuck – the main character and the owner of the aforementioned monster’s mind – is going to second guess and hound everyone and everything around him. He’s going to chase what little trust he has in his crew and beat it to death with his own suspicions. In this same beat sheet, we have (pardons for the language) The Shit Gets Real. That’s when the first death occurs, and the stakes get higher. In this piece, what’s the first thing to die? Chuck’s trust of Lin. A lot of the death here is metaphorical before we get to the nuts-and-bolts murder. Which is what I wanted to do. The one thing I like about The Tell-tale Heart is that this man is clearly insane, but he feels that the actions spurred on by his insanity is justified by that hideous vulture’s eye. They’re made much worse by the titular heart. This is what I am trying to do with The Show Must Go On. I want the audience to side with Chuck up to a point. That point being murder.

It’s going to be a fun trip when I try to channel my inner obsessive (Chuck’s not the only one with issues, kiddos) and take everyone with me through the enchanted land of Unreliable Narrator. Pack some sunscreen and a sandwich, please. It’s going to be a trip and a half.

The book is coming along in fits and starts, mostly because I have only a solid hour at work to write, but I manage to average six hundred words a day. I’m going to try to write a little more at home after the dust has settled. I should also head back to the gym. Bleeech. I’ve been stuffing my face since vacation and I’m starting to feel it in my jeans. Not much else is going on here, just trying to get another book done and clear my schedule for the epic that I hope will make me some money on Patreon once I get a few chapters under my belt. I’ve almost finished that outline; I just have to nail down the details of the final fight and the aftermath.

Well, have a good day everyone – please feel free to donate to my ko-fi account so I can stay awake. Bye!

The Fur Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Post: The One Where I Need a New Back and More Confidence!

My back hurts.

I’m saying this because I am on some really good pain meds, so if I start meandering this is why.

I’ve been outlining the fantasy series and it’s coming along nicely – unless you’re one of the characters, then you’ve had much better days. I’m gradually working on the horror novel. I got over a hard point and I might have to change a couple of scenes, but that’s going to come during the re-writes. Things are looking good for me…and no, that’s not the drugs talking.

Why do I feel like I’m a fraud?

I feel like I’m play-acting at being a writer. It’s more than the lack of sales. It’s looking at the screen and reading what I’m writing and not feeling anything. It’s not burnout, it’s ennui. I’m writing, I’m putting in the work, but the work isn’t the sweep of emotion that it was when I was trying to finish a novel just to finish it. I don’t really want to start another project – that way leads to abandoned novels (so many…so, so many…).

I’m going to just push through this little bit. I really need to finish this book and outline the fantasy novel and maybe get another project finished. One that I started, obviously.

Do other writers have to deal with this? Does Stephen King sip at his coffee early in the morning and wonders why he feels like a fraud? Does Neil Gaiman stare at a blank screen and call himself a hack? Probably not. Maybe I shouldn’t use sales as an overarching indicator of success. Maybe just focus on getting stuff done. Let my finished catalogue be the indicator.

I should take these drugs more often.

This is going to be a little short. I usually aim for five hundred words, but the pain in my back – while ebbing – is being a little distracting and I do need to get some writing done. I’ll have a little more and hopefully be a little more positive the next go round.

The Four Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Post: The One Where I Sound Like That Obscure Song by “Queen”…

One of the problems I am having in writing The Show Must Go On is trying to keep the protagonist likeable as he descends into paranoia. Does a protagonist have to be likeable? Can I market a book where the reader’s thought as he opens the book is ‘Okay, what’s this asshole doing now?’. Probably not the thought I can really monetize.

I know that Breaking Bad capitalized on Walt’s unlikability in later seasons, but it always framed him in the cloak that the people he was working with were worse. In the end, he did get his comeuppance. Should I look to the pork pie hat for some sort of guidance? Rip off the cloak of worse people around the main character and just revel in the badness?

The Show Must Go On is a reskinned version of The Telltale Heart dazzled up for the kids. In the original tale by Edgar Allen Poe, I felt bad for the guy. He was clearly going crazy, and we were trapped in that ride all the way down. That’s what I want for the reader.

I’m trying to play it fast and loose with his perceptions of his wife’s infidelity. We’re dealing with the Unreliable Narrator trope here and I want it to milk it for all it’s worth. I’m also trying to work on my first-person viewpoint, which is my shakiest viewpoint. I like third person, particularly third person limited, but I feel like I need to branch out a little. I did do it for The Dreaded Day Job but I want to stretch my legs as it were.

I shouldn’t say any more about this project for fear of giving everything away, but I am trying to see if I can pull off some horror. I’m doing the re-writes for The Resurrectionist’s Blues, which might be released for Hallowe’en. Based on how these two books turn out, I might lean a little more into horror as my preferred genre. I’m not going to abandon fantasy, but horror might get a priority.

That’s what been going on this week – just me trying to find my particular little genre where I can find some modest success. I know everyone says that erotica and romance is where it’s at…but I’m not really good at those genres (especially romance). I also knew there is more to it than genre – there’s marketing, brand awareness and a myriad of other things I am neglecting, but for now I am going to concentrate on what I can.

So, stay safe out there and check out the books to the right, especially the ones written by good friends who are way more talented than me. Cheerio!