Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The start to Book 2

Had a burst of inspiration at the day job the other day. Wrote four quick paragraphs to capture it because I've forgotten too many other bursts. I've learned my lesson.

Anyway, I think it's the beginning of Part Two of the Chasing Filthy Lucre series. It focuses on a minor character from the first story and is written in third person. A little weird since the first story was told in first person. I thought that it might be weird to switch points of view like that. Then I read somewhere that Lee Child has written his Jack Reacher series in both POVs as well.  If he can do it, I can too. I've read a few from that series and I hadn't even noticed that the books were different.

So, we're started. Part Two is underway. Preliminary title: And the Signal Fell Silent. There you go.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scrib'd numbers update

Thought I'd share my numbers if you haven't been over there in a while. And why would you have been over there? At least to check my numbers. Anyway.

I am at 484 right now on total reads. Approaching 500. I've done no promotion of it other than my wife and sister-in-law linking to the first part from their Facebook pages more than a month ago. Readership really spiked on those days. But other than that and mentioning it here there has been nothing done to let people know about it. That's why it's so odd to me that people find it. No one tells me whether or not they like it, but they find it. Just the last week I've had eight reads. Not a huge number, but one I'm happy with.

I probably won't talk about Scrib'd again until we pass the big 500 mark. That may be soon. It may be later. But I'll late you know when 16 more readers stumble across me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New look. Work for you?

Things look a little different around here. Let me know what you think. I like the organization of it. I'm mainly worried about readability. Is the reverse type too much?

King looks at publishing's future

There's an interesting video on ebooks over at CNN. It features Stephen King talking about the future of publishing. The first question is a throwaway and really unrelated to the rest of the interview. I was going to embed it into the post but it doesn't look like you can do that so click HERE instead.

Editing update

I'm editing slowly. I really should buckle down and get it done. Just finished the second part and I'm kind of excited. I get to move on to the two parts that I haven't edited yet. It's always exciting to edit for me, especially when I've let things sit for a few weeks. I always find stuff I don't remember writing. Little turns of a phrase or a sentence I really like. So I am hoping to surprise myself as I make it through the next two sections.

I am also trying to make corrections to the first section so I can get the plan I mentioned in the previous post under way.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So, about that plan

I suppose it's not so secret if you looked at the cover I posted last week. You read the words on the cover and you get the idea of what I have in mind. I am going to put my story that I used to call Getting Even up for download with a preview of Chasing Filthy Lucre inside.

Obviously, I am calling it Consider Us Even now. I like the way it sounds better. No other reason than that. The plan is that people will read the story and read the excerpt of CFL and be enticed to read more. Whether it works I won't know until I release the novella. I'm hopeful, though.

Originally I'd planned on selling the release, but thought better of it after talking to some folks over at Kindle Boards. I proposed the idea to the writers there who have much more experience at publishing ebooks than I do. They alls aid the idea of a short with a teaser was a good one but that they'd offer it for free. Their arguments were persuasive. So, when I get everything formatted and corrections made to Part One of CFL -- the section I am using as a preview -- then I'll post to Smashwords and we'll see how it goes. I am shooting to have it ready in the next couple of weeks. At Smashwords you can get regular updates on how many folks are downloading your books. I'll keep an eye on those numbers and keep you posted here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A new challenge

I've been wanting to take part in a Flash Fiction Friday since I discovered them. Figured that now is as good a time as any to start since I'm editing Chasing Filthy Lucre. Here's an explainer of what it is and the prompt. Check it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I have a plan

I have a plan. It involves this cover. I'll explain more later. But for now, what do you think of this? And yes, it looks like the other one for a reason.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So what's been happening?

Editing, that's what. Been slowly working my way through the first draft with the help of Gina. It's amazing to me how much I am finding, especially int eh first part. It's been edited the heaviest and I am still finding things I need to tweak. Places that can be tightened. Stuff that needs to be killed altogether.

But, editing. That's what I've been up to since we last talked. Just realized that it had been nearly a week since I checked in and it drives me crazy when author blogs sit silent for weeks and months at a time. Didn't want to be one of those guys.

Also been noodling on how to start the second book. I know what the central conflict is going to be, it's set up at the end of the first book conveniently. Just can't figure out how we get there. I've still got time to figure that out, though. Still have a lot of editing left to do.

Consider yourself caught up on what's going on in 2,000-square-foot part of the world.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another cover

So, I've been playing around tonight with the new Photoshop Elements program Gina got for me. Of course, I had to make a new book cover. I still like my original cover. You can find and early version of that one in the archive or on the Scrib'd versions.

Let me know what you think. This is much simpler than what I'd had before and my name is bigger. Vain, but from all that I've read, and important thing when it comes to Kindle and ebook sales.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A good weekend and a nice surprise

I am sad to say that I'm a newsman but still had no idea about this soaking rain we're in the middle of here in Texas. No idea this tropical storm was coming on shore just below us in northern Mexico or that its remnants were going to spend two days spinning over the top of us, giving us a near constant rain. But a well-executed holiday weekend will do that to you. Gina and I spent two days driving back and forth to one of the Indian casinos in Oklahoma. Same casino two days in a row. On Saturday we went alone and on Sunday we went with my sister- and brother-in-law. Gina cleaned up the first night and we left a few dollars lighter on Sunday. Still, we had a good time.

When we travel Gina and I have taken to reading. She reads out loud and I drive. We finished The Lost Symbol this summer that way. So on the way up to the casino, an hour drive, Gina started reading Chasing Filthy Lucre out loud. And it was weird. I had never heard someone else read my words. I have read them dozens of times. I know what the sentences are supposed to sound like. But Gina didn't, so it was very interesting to hear how she interpreted what I'd written. And does it sound arrogant if I say that I liked it? That my story actually sounded professional.

It was very helpful too. Once Gina got past the part she'd read before she helped me figure out some things that I needed to work out. There are things that need to be fixed and she and I were able to talk through some of those spots. She's very helpful, my Gina.

But that's the nice surprise. Not that Gina is helpful. I learned that about two days after meeting her. But that my story sounded good. It actually sounds like it was written by someone who gets paid to write.

What's next for me

So, on top of editing the first draft of Chasing Filthy Lucre I have been asked to participate in project at A Twist of Noir, the site that published my first two stories. Christopher Grant, the guy who runs the site, is coming up on his 600th story published and he's trying something for story 600 to 700. He's asking writers to write a story that has the same number of words as the story number. For example, story 620 will have 620 words. Story 655 will have 655 words. Well, I am going to be part of the 100 stories. I have number 693 so I'm going to try and tell a taut tale in just under 700 words. Not sure when he needs the story by, but I know I need to get cracking on it. He's just posted story 578 so I have a little time, but that's what's next for me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Can you tell I'm excited?

That's my first draft. I printed it out this morning. All four parts. I brought it with me to work today. I don't know why I thought I'd get a chance to edit at all, but I wanted to have it with me just in case I did.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CFL first draft finished

That's it. We're done. Told you we were close. I wrote the final words tonight on the first draft of Chasing Filthy Lucre. I already know what needs to be fixed, but I can't tell you how happy I am. And a bit proud, to be honest. This is easily the longest thing I have ever finished. I've done a few things that are about half this long, but nothing like this.

I think I have a good story on my hands and I am ready to get back into it and make it better. But for now, for tonight, I am going to sit and enjoy that my 20,000 word little piece is finished.