Monday, October 29, 2018

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 43 Results

Great Fiction Writing Challenge - Week 43 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 43 Results

Yet another serial completed. Just wanted to get it done before NaNoWriMo starts in the middle of this week – mixed results…

Metrics

Published Words Fiction:

– free – 0 (Own Site)
– paid – 32351 (D2D, Amazon), 0 (Medium)

Published Words Non-Fiction:

– free – 1653
– paid – 0 (Medium)

Subscribers:

Mailerlite: 48 (non-IF/ProlificWorks),
Instafreebie/PW:156
New Total: 3511

Book sales this week:

Amazon – 1, Draft2Digital – 1, Gumroad – 2 = Total Week’s Fiction Sales – 4

Books (pre-)published this week:

Witch Coven Harvest
https://calm.li/WitchCovenHarvest

Wish Me Luck, Witch Me Love
https://calm.li/WitchMeLove

Aggregate Production:

Total fiction books published this year: 110
Total short stories published as individual ebooks: 88
Total anthologies published: 21 (plus two 200+ page books)
Countdown to 100 published short stories: 12 in 9 weeks
Planned new short stories: 12 through end of Nov (NaNoWriMo), 4 in Dec. (104 total short stories, around 7 more anthologies for 30 total – 134+ original books published in a single year.)

Analysis

Dropped all concerns about anything but writing this week (other than getting emails done in the first couple of days.) IF/PW giveaways are on auto-pilot (I’m paying them to work for me.)

NaNoWriMo: Writing Practices

Key breakthrough was in writing serials. Wrote 5 new books this week, some just over 3500 words, including back-matter. But – I was writing this straight ahead, all in one book – so each book didn’t get the personal attention it needed, different from the “Freed” series, and “The Alepha Solution” series. So that proves the point of writing each book as its own unit.

What was dropped out in the shorter stories was the continuing try/fail cycles and heightened action. I introduced four more characters in addition to an earlier one, and only that first one was really developed. The whole series is now the launching pad for a team of witch sleuths that can start solving mysteries of a mystical nature. Completely new rules and different from the Ghost Hunters.

Update: Three of the six were rejected by D2D as being “incomplete” – which is inconsistent on their part – three others were published. So I’ve pulled those works. While I wasn’t happy with how short they were (chalk that up to the learning curve) I’m simply putting them back on the drawing board until later. When I have time to chew them over, or get otherwise inspired out of the blue.

This next week, I’ll get my “New Voices 005” out, as well as end of month IF/PW analysis ahead of NaNoWriMo starting.

Emphasis will be in on getting those 12.5K words out as finished works – while shooting for 18K.

NaNoWriMo: “Plotting” (ahem)

No, I don’t plot. Period. Neither do I “pants” my books. I do write straight ahead and will pause to get the character’s stories in some sort of shape. Like Erle Stanley Gardner, I’ll often work over a story for a few days to have it in some sort of shape as far as characters and conflicts, but not work out endings or much beyond making sure I have a story there.

What passes for plotting and editing makes for very little production. Two “big name” (not because of their writing, but because of their marketing courses) took over two years to get their big fiction novel completed.  You learn best by doing – a lot of doing. If you can crank out 50K in a month routinely, then you can proof and publish and cover a 12 200-page books a year. It’s been done.

My preferred method continues to evolve. This last week was really an 18K story in 6 parts. Finished it off on Friday, proofed and published through Saturday and Sunday. I prefer 6K stories, as they are easier to self-proof. 3 books published each week is simpler then.

And as in “Case of the Submerged Spirit” I will also do something drastic in terms of a shift if the story is too pat and predictable. (In that case, the arch-villain was a priestess that required three goddesses to work together to foil her planned takeover of the current world – in addition to the mortal mystery writer – much better than simply rescuing a trapped spirit and recruiting her to be the next team member.)

These last three sets of serial/series are all just refining methods for building a 72K book though November. 12 chapters of 6K each.

My recent work in writing at least three stories per week has also been practice just for this. Sure, I could only write 2 per week and still make my 50K/200 page book, but why not lean a little extra and pick up that ring as you go around?

(As a side bar, 20K per week will result in a million words per year – what Erle Stanley Gardner did when writing for the pulps.)

What I’ve done is to get their covers laid out, and tentative titles. I took some time this week to lay out the major action for each book so that I can develop them as longish stories on their own.

Serials are really that modern TV show concept – hook, four acts, teaser.

So the story is done after that last act, but then you get a teaser of what’s coming in the next one – which is a preview of action you’ll start up then. Very simple. Meaning you just overlap the two books, slightly.

The sequence is to finish the first, start the next, then back up and revise the first to segue smoothly (or not) with a cliffhanger.

I am not writing a single novel as such. I’m writing a serialized novel built out of individual episodes.

And it’s nice to know that I’ve been practicing for the last three weeks to streamline the process.

NaNoWriMo: Kickstarter Cannon Fodder

While the IF/PW Kickstarter training will begin this month, I’ll post what I learn and my critiques of it on my blog – in addition to writing three short stories (18K words) each week. This Hooman Saga, Book II, Part 2 will become that book for the kickstarter. They don’t want me to actually publish it for three months after that. A nice test.

So I’ll have another set of nice stories (12 covers/titles/etc.) to play with as raw material for this kickstarter. The kickstarter itself starts in January and runs for a month, I expect.

Again, my approach is running right against conventional wisdom and the general non-prolific approach to writing and publishing that is the “norm”.

This will probably give me a 300-page book, plus to earlier volumes in that series.

Oh – some of the S. H. Marpel characters will also make their appearance – so the book will be co-authored between that and C. C. Brower.

This Kickstarter stuff is getting interesting as it starts up. and my IF/PW Insider list will get the details as I flesh these out.

You Can Join Our Kickstarter Pre-Release Team

Just set this up today. Reason being is that kickstarters are best run by promoting them through emails.

So I opened up a new group to mail you, and am inviting you.

The details are in the first email that you get on signing up. What the book is, when it’s planned to start, all that swanky stuff. I just have the hard work of writing it, getting it ready for publishing, and generally setting everything up for success.

All you are asked to do is to open the emails I send you from now until Jan 1st, 2019 (a little over 60 days from now.) Don’t worry, mate – they won’t be any more frequent than once a week.

Here’s that link:

https://calm.li/HoomanSagaKickstarter

Building Fictional Character Teams.

You may have noted that in addition to the five-witch team (6, with the male nymph) we also introduced Harpy’s sister in “The Alepha Solution” series, and reinforced the Lazurai connection – with it’s own anthology of stories. The goddess Gaia gained a new prominence, and we also had a guest appearance from the god-type Akashi.

Also, the “Freed” series introduced a team of interstellar sleuths.

It’s been super-sleuth season for the last three weeks.

Meaning that S. H. Marpel has nearly unlimited work ahead for inspired stories – those can now take in any time-space. Great job security.

In this upcoming Brower book serial/series, the characters are mostly developed. We’ll see another start developing in the first new book, and an arch villain show up, as well as a hench-woman-turned-heroine around the middle. But the characters we will borrow from the Marpel universes will also be there. Oh, and I can see a possible new interstellar goddess – maybe. Otherwise, I’m sticking to the action sequences and let the characters develop as they solve the situations they face. (That’s the plan, anyway.)

What about December?

One short story per week, may or may not be a serial. I did find some great art this week, so I have blank covers to work with. Also, I have three J. R. Kruze covers already laid out, so might play catch-up instead of anything intensive.

The rest of the weeks of December will be analyzing the Challenge and writing the 12-13 non-fiction chapters (usually about 2-3K words) while also recording these as podcasts and setting them up to be a course. All from what I’ve learned this last year. Most of this is how to be prolific as a writer. The marketing aspect will be coming this next year, as it’s far more extensive that I thought.

I still don’t have a definite model for fiction writing business by itself. I know of few indie authors who are only making a living from their fiction. The ones I’ve been tracking have multiple passive streams of income in both fiction and non-fiction. And that will be the approach for the next challenge – but again, starting based on the Content Inc. model.

I’m writing this hear to start laying out the broad strokes for myself, and predict the future a bit for you.

Last Week’s To-Do’s:

  • Three/four new short stories written as continuing serials. DONE
  • Emails out. DONE
  • Keep up with IF/PW giveaways DONE
  • Get half of the remaining Hooman Probe II:01 up on both Medium and Wattpad. (Then follow up with the remainder the last week in Oct.) NOPE
  • Try some basic figure-out preps for NaNoWriMo DONE

This Week’s To-Do’s:

  1. Emails out.
  2. New Voices Anthology 5 published.
  3. Analysis of IF/PW giveaways and subscriber drop-off/cost
  4. 12.5K NaNoWriMo words in completed stories – 2 6K stories this week, starting Nov 1.
  5. (Probably not time for much else.)

 

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