December 22nd, 2015

Macbeth the Usurper

Writing Year in Review

Here's my writing year in review.

Books Completed:

  • The Wind Before the Storm

  • A Crown of Silver Stars

Books Drafted:

  • The Phoenix and the Swan

  • Double Jack (third year running)


  • A retro-future SF story

  • A test write of a horror-fantasy story

  • A test write of a post-steampunk detective story

  • A partial novelization of King Lear

While I've greatly increased my writing speed, the process is still taking longer than I prefer. Jenny and I have been working on ways to bring the editing speed up. We'll be going fully electronic, I'll be doing more of the dumb lifting, and she should be able to crank along faster.

My goal this year was to get three books completed. I was close. If I can get the editing pipeline working better with the drafting and revising pipeline, I should be able to reach three books a year. However, I don't think that's sustainable at this point. I think that two per year will work out better, with the occasional third popping out.

My understanding is that the indie market rewards more frequent publishing, but I just don't have the infrastructure in the place to sustain that, nor the desire. I've worked on speed and the payoff has been grand, but now I need to work on something else. I already know that Swan Song, the final stand of Targa Tik, will be a behemoth. It will be the most ambitious thing that I've written so far. I just don't see how I'll do it justice in 60-70k words.
Macbeth the Usurper

Mostly Harmless (Book Review)

Mostly Harmless (2000) by Douglas Adams shows demonstrates what happens when a novelist acts passive-aggressively towards his publisher. While technically a Hitchhiker's book, the novel lacks much of the charmingness that a Hitchhiker's book usually contains. If you thought that our heroes were sent through the ringer in previous books, they're positively steamrolled flat in this one. If there was any book that the fans wouldn't want, this is it.

This book sends a message to the publisher: if you want an even less sympathetic Hitchhiker's book, I dare you, just dare you, to make me write it.

On the writing side, the whole thing works as a story, the descriptions continue to engage, and the plot still rolls along nicely. However, without its metaphorical heart of gold, it's got a metaphorical heart of lead. I figure that Douglas must have played a rousing game of Fallout before penning this book, just to reacquaint himself to bleak.

If Le Miserables were written as a comedy, it would read like this. As a film, it would be directed by Lars von Trier. If it was a play, it would go on after Hamlet just so that the audience could get properly warmed up.

If you aren't up for it, then skip it. Your happy universe will be better off. On the other hand, if you love the humor in Fallout, then this is the book for you.