Progress! It feels good!
I haven’t written anything fantasy based in a very long time, but it’s one of those genres that I have enjoyed many times throughout my life.
Where am I going with this? Well, this collaboration is going to be in the fantasy genre!
And I got bit hard by the idea bug. Ideas flowed like water and we were able to hash out a more descriptive world and the main city in which the story will take place (at least the beginning of it). Maybe I’ll draw a map!
We’ve got a finger on the pulse of the races that would populate this world and what their abilities would be. We’ve even got the semblance of a series of magic systems and how they would interplay in the world and with each other.
Even a semblance of the religions of this planet has been cobbled together! I think we also got a touch of the mythology of the world in place too!
We’re still throwing the pitches back and forth to see what stays, what changes and what new things are added, but man, I am so excited!
Finding the right information can be difficult, sometimes even a gamble.
I think (huge word right there) I’ve got a handle on Licensing Agreements and Limited Use Agreements. I also think (whoa, again?) I have a solid grasp on formatting for Kindle, Apple ITunes, and the Nook. So I should be good to go, right? Right?
After having learned that the cost of having my own cover made for me was expensively prohibitive, I looked into some of those sites where a designer will whip something up for you on the cheap. It was a long day going through the designers, but I did pick a few out that I liked.
I read a lot of positive reviews and then started coming across… Dun! Dun! Dun! Licensing Agreement lawsuits…
There were also stories about designers essentially stealing another designer’s work and hosting it as theirs. I did some random checks on some of the example covers I liked and found the same ones under other designers. Now, who was the original designer and who was taking it?
Now these weren’t for the designers I had chosen, but I was concerned. Do I have the time to research a digital entity to see who the true owner is? Is it back to the drawing board?
Only Time will tell…
I mentioned this somewhat briefly a while ago, but this is not dead!
Let’s see. We’ve got a premise and a couple main characters. We are working out the world for these two and it’s been an interesting experience.
Why interesting you say? Well, we come at the story creation process differently. Some things that I just take for granted on how I do things are exactly not the way he does things. And vice versa.
We are in the process of having to come up with a communication style that works for the both of us and right now that’s all about finding where the holes in our thoughts are.
It’s been an interesting learning experience.
There’s that word again…
I am beginning to think that once I know what I think I am doing, I should just shrug my shoulders and accept that I don’t. Every new step forward seriously feels like it leads to one hundred steps back.
So, there I am and I think I’ve got my book cover all figured out. It took me forever, but I finally know what I want. I am really happy with my plan and I’ve narrowed my choices down to a few artists. Then the other shoe drops and I come to learn (!) that I what I want will be prohibitively expensive.
And I understand, boy do I. An artist has to make a living and pouring your heart and soul into something and getting little back for it is tough.
Now, most of this is due to my lack of knowledge. This means more reading of Copyright Laws, Limited Use Agreements. And I’m sure as soon as I dive down that rabbit hole; there will be even more that I barely have a clue about. So it’s back to research what can be done and come up with a new game plan.
But you know what? At least I know what I want now. And that is worth quite a lot on its own.
After NanoWrimo was a bust this year and knowing full well that my story was failing, I decided to sit back and recalibrate myself for a while.
What better time than December, I thought? I can catch up on some reading. I can lock down some more ideas on the all-important what, where, when and how so the fourth story moves forward. Since I’ve been relatively incommunicado for the past long stretch of months, I figured I’d do some friend time too.
Did I succeed? Well…
I finished The Nun with a Gun! I really liked writing her. I am pretty sure I will do another at some point. I even wrote a little about another character that popped in my head. I have a couple other characters I want to write more about as well. Not to mention the other ones that crowded my mind on my trip!
I actually did get some friend time locked in, too. It’s always good that people are willing to accept that you may disappear for months and still say “hey” like it’s only been a day or two.
I even fleshed out some pieces of the story that fit the narrative that I had cut out earlier because they didn’t seem to fit. I’ve also got an idea that I need to alter through the existing story where it will fit better for the last one.
Did I catch up on any reading? Eh… not really. Did I get as much done as I wanted? As I hoped? As I expected? Sadly, no.
But, were the Holidays an easier time? Why, yes they were. And I am looking at this shiny New Year as a time to get that fourth one done, the third one rewritten until I am actually happy with it and even get the story out there.
So, yay for the future!
(photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.com)
Is there a way to make this happen? Is there a way to make all the things happen with limited amount of time in a day? I am still trying to figure out.
When I started this whole process, it was just to see if I could. After that it was to exercise my creativity. Then it was to push for consistency. Somewhere along the way, I had to start pushing things to the side to make my deadlines.
My skills dropped, my time with friends and family fell to the wayside and my workload increased. That last bit has nothing to do with writing except that it has eaten more of my mental time and I feel my writing has suffered for it.
I’ve tried not sleeping, but that only made me more tired. I pulled back somewhat on my deadlines, but the desire was to get better and faster at this idea. So far, that has not been the case. Well… the faster part anyway. I do feel that I have improved as a writer and that was the main goal from the beginning.
So that’s one plus. Maybe I can figure this whole thing out.
Every time I think I know what I’m doing, I find out that I don’t.
Well, not to the fullest, anyway. As a case in point, I recently took a class on Self-Publishing from Alex Delia. This was to finalize my thoughts on how I would handle this whole thing.
You see, I went in with a plan that had a solid beginning and then with a couple different plotted courses. As the class went on, I realized that I would have to chuck a large portion of that solid beginning because I hadn’t really included a few things.
And by a few things I really mean many. Not to mention that I also had the wrong idea on how to handle a few steps in the process. On the good side, though, I now have a full plan that includes a release calendar.
On the less than good side, I have to push back my calendar more than I want to. I also have to find the time to read what looks like a ton of information to fully lock this plan down.
What’s the old saying, one step forward, and two steps back?