I am back to work after several weeks of vacation, and I’ve got big plans. From a tentative date for the release of my first book to progress on the upcoming Regicide demo and more, we’ve got some very exciting months ahead of us and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
First Things First: Updates & Evolving Plans
I posted a number of big announcements several months ago. You can read that article here: bit.ly/1xcZOer
Several months is a lot of time to think, and my ideas have changed considerably since I last spoke about the direction I was going. I don’t mind admitting that I’m new at this, or that I’m still finding my way.
One of the advantages of working independently is the freedom I have to set my own agenda. The downside to working independently, however, is that no one is setting my agenda for me. That freedom allowed me to set some unrealistic goals when I was making announcements. Vacation gave me a lot of time for introspection—both about my goals and my production schedule, and about the projects that I really want to pursue at this point.
Rereading my own announcements, I have to wonder what I was thinking. I decided that I was going to write and publish two full-length novels from band-new fictional universes all in the space of two and a half months. It would be awesome to succeed with a production schedule like that, and I hope to be able to do so one day, but I am not there yet. The goals I set for Palais Rose and Quail Ranch weren’t just ambitious; they were foolhardy and I set myself up for failure.
I want Lore and Spitfire Company to be the best that they can be. These are universes with so much potential, and there is simply no good reason to short-change those worlds, those characters, or my readers by rushing to meet a misguided production deadline. It’s just not worth damaging those stories to accomplish unrealistic goals.
Furthermore, I don’t know that Quail Ranch and Palais Rose are the stories that I feel like writing right now. Don’t get me wrong; I definitely want to write them and I’m so excited about the challenges that they represent, so I will be writing them in the near future. I’m just not ready to take them from what I’ve written so far to something publishable. They need and deserve more thorough attention than that, and I intend to give them the time they need to develop properly.
That is why I have decided to put Palais Rose and Quail Ranch on the back burner for now.
I’ve have also rethought my mission to expand my social media presence. I would love to be everywhere and to do everything, but my time is finite. I could just spend all day networking and managing my social media to promote my work, but then I wouldn’t be able to do my work. Do I need to expand my presence? Probably, yes. Can I, realistically, skillfully manage all of that alone right now and still meet deadlines? Unlikely.
In time, I will expand my presence. Right now, however, I think I need to focus more on my work, because all of the marketing in the world won’t help if I have no work to market. Connecting with my readers, and with other writers and artists is a blast. When I say I could spend all day doing it, I mean that, because I enjoy it. It’s so much fun and I have so many really awesome people to keep in touch with! But it really eats into the most productive hours of my day.
So, after a lot of thought, I have some new ideas about where I’m going, how I’m going to get there, and how long getting there is going to take.
New Projects & Upcoming Goals
Writing Tips & Prompts
I want to continue to improve the site, and I think that one of the best ways to go about that is to continue coming out with weekly writing prompts. They require more time and effort than I can sometimes afford, but I love the responses I receive from them. I am part of such a wonderful, creative community, and these writing prompts are my way of giving back to it.
They also offer me a chance to challenge myself in new ways. Every writing prompt that I come up with is meant to encourage other writers, but the prompts themselves are also writing assignments for me because I have to come up with and develop the idea that I want to pass along to others. It has been very good for me to have that pressure and that opportunity to develop my voice.
Because I have been on vacation, I have not posted a prompt in a number of weeks, and I do not have a prompt prepared for this week. Next week, though, I should be back to a regular posting schedule, so for those of you looking forward to the next prompt, check back on Monday, August 4th.
My editor and I recently had the very great privilege to feature “The Spoon” by an amazing young writer named Colt Bayless. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to work with Colt. He is a remarkable author and a superb person, and I hope we get to feature more of his work very soon.
Both my editor and I enjoyed working with Colt so much that we want to expand our opportunities to feature the work of more artists. I would love to see this site become a venue for all sorts of writers, artists, and creators.
We are still working out the details, but updates over the course of the next few weeks should provide more information about how the process for featuring artists is going to work, as well as how you can get your work featured on the site.
Short Works, Commentaries, and Reviews
This one is tougher, because I have fewer specific goals for these aspects of the site. I’ve gotten some really awesome and constructive feedback on the short works that I have posted to date, and I would like to expand on that aspect of the library that I am creating here. However, regularly coming up with short stories, writing them, and preparing them for publication is time consuming and requires effort that I could be dedicating to other goals. So I want to keep delivering up short works, but I will need to rethink when, how, and how often I am going to pursue those works.
When I first started this blog, I had also planned on posting regular commentary pieces about recent events, social issues, and whatever other non-fiction things caught my interest. In fact, I have written several of these, but I have posted none of them because I’m not happy with them. I can be something of a perfectionist sometimes, and perhaps that is what is standing in my way. In the next few weeks, I will be looking into the sorts of commentaries I really want to write and what it is that I most want to communicate through them.
I have now received requests to write reviews of several novels by indie authors. In my “About” section, I did say that I “review the work of other authors,” which is a promise that I fully intend to make good on, but I will admit to feeling some hesitation about it. I easily fit into the “aspiring writer” category, and it is only recently that I feel like I have found my voice as a writer. I worry about the quality of my work constantly, and I have doubts about the direction I am taking and decisions I am making all the time. So the idea of reviewing another author’s work makes me a little bit uncomfortable, because I definitely have my derpy moments and I don’t know what right I really have to pass judgment on the work of others. My editor has encouraged me, as nicely as possible, to get over it and begin writing reviews.
There is, of course, also the time factor involved in accomplishing all of these things. I believe that perhaps my greatest challenge is going to be the management of that time factor. It is the biggest thing that I do not feel like I’ve really gotten a handle on yet.
My desk is currently piled up in pieces of scratch paper covered with notes about book titles, production schedules, ideas about characters, and little scraps of concepts that I have been building. Since I returned from vacation, I have hit the scratch paper pretty hard. All of this has been in an effort to select and plan out my approach to writing and publishing two new books.
I assembled a short list of stories that I believed would make for good releases in the next eighteen to twenty-two months. That short list turned out to be thirty-five titles long, from which I drew the top five candidates. After making lots of notes on those five titles, I finally selected two, and I will move from planning to writing the first of the two on August 4th.
If everything goes according to plan, the first book should be ready for release in late March or early April of next year. The second will be moving toward publication during the Fall of 2015.
I’ll be posting more details about both novels and their production timelines, including specifics on release dates, as we get closer to that August 4th official start date!
My Editor’s Projects
My editor has been hard at work with me on my projects, but he’s also working with other people, and the things that they are doing are also especially cool.
The first demo of Regicide is out! Play it for yourself at: http://playregicide.com:8080/regicide_demo1/game
For the last several months, my editor has been working with an indie game developer from Punchdrunk Games, where progress continues on the release of their upcoming game, Regicide. The next few weeks will see a new demo with plot improvements, more levels, all new graphics, iPad support and more. Punchdrunk Games has announced “lots of bug fixes, lots of new features, three new large dungeons, and [much] more,” and I am very pumped to get to play it.
Seriously, if you want to be the first to give it a try, you’re going to have to beat me to it, because I plan to race you for it.
As the protagonist, players must escape the clutches of their foes, save their subjects, and build their army for the final battle. In her comments on the project, Lucia from Punchdrunk says that she took inspiration for Regicide “from the fantastic Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series….it made me realize about how overdone that trope, of a damsel in distress was.” Regicide’s protagonist is a “princess who was a damsel in distress and then switched the tables on her captors.”
So that’s what we’ve got going on around here! Remember, check back for more updates later as I move into production of my first novel. I’ll have more details for you all about those manuscripts, as well as info about how to get your work featured on our site and when to expect more short stories and commentaries!
We want to hear about your upcoming projects, too. Tell us about what you’ve been up to in the comments below, and let us know how we can help.
(Roggen Wulf, 2014)