Category Archives: Second Novel

Slicing the Pie (Chapters and Breaking Down your Book)


Although I am pretty sure someone might have tried it, reading an entire book without chapters (or at least something to break apart the text) after a story is at least thirty thousand words might  be maddening to read.  This is why we have chapters and other ways to break up the text for normal length or greater novels, but the methods people use to decide how long a chapter is varies not just amongst authors, but even different books from the same author.  Like every other conscious decision by an author, deciding how to break up your chapters is one more way to give distinction to your book, and highlight various aspects that constitute your novel.

Past blogs have discussed how to group your chapters, such as by characters, by location, or by event.  Except in the case of the event this still does not control when you close a chapter.  Authors typically choose different things to end chapters such as trying to tell a series of short stories (so the chapters need small beginnings, middle, and ends), building up to specific events or revelations, needing to always end on cliffhangers, wanting a resolution of some kind at the end of every chapter, or just a single scene imparting one specific piece of knowledge to the reader.   There are also more esoteric ways to do it such as each chapter being a length of time (like a day, or even a week or month, think like what 24 did for TV), a specific word count, or some other framing device (like a story that each chapter switches to another one when a new protagonist is met so that the narrative has a constantly changing narrator).

Just like slicing a pizza can affect the dining experience, which of the above (or combination of them) you choose sets a certain tone for the book.  Most authors use only a few of the above per novel, otherwise chapter endings can feel random and inconsistent.  They may vary it up for specific reasons occasionally (such as suddenly doing a series of page long chapters when trying to build tension by showing a series of short scenes) but they will generally have some sort of structure that the reader can expect.  The biggest combination writers often use is having chapters that are similar in length, and then use one of the other above ideas (scenes, small stories, cliffhangers, specific events, etc) as a framework besides just length.

When originally writing the next book in the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy, Rise From the Sun Below, I had “determined” that I was going to make most chapters roughly 5000 words.  Like the last book that would help me know roughly how big the book would be and keep me on course for getting it done in a timely manner if I could do at least one chapter a week.  In reality what it started doing was making me want to artificially pad the word count (a tendency that authors often have in the beginning of their careers anyway) and draw out scenes past their normal termination point.  Most of the time in my chapters for this book I am doing two to three scenes a chapter, and each one points to a bigger theme or revelation. I am combining several of the above techniques, and since many of the chapters fit within swashbuckling genre, they often end in a cliffhanger.  I finally decided sticking to those guidelines, as opposed to a specific word count were better for the health of the novel.

Reaching for a word count of any kind is dangerous for anything but a college paper.  It encourages people to use more words to explain simple concepts, and sets the bar higher for when people try more professional avenues of writing such as journalism or novels.  Both of those mediums prefer high word economy and are almost diametrically opposite to what school papers encourage.  Therefore although similar chapter size might help with familiarity, it is better to set a general range for you chapters then a true uniform size.  Even with that advice,  I recommend erring on the side of shorter chapters if you have already relayed all the information you need to do in a chapter.  Few people want a pie with eight inch crust because you ran out of the actual cheese and toppings.

In other news, the final day of the #RoadToWorldcon is today, and there are still the following novels you can get FREE today:

FIRST CHOSEN – (Fantasy) by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG/

•                                       ONCE WE WERE LIKE WOLVES by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Wolves-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B006OSSF7C/

•                                       ARMS OF THE STORM by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Arms-Storm-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B008P8DE0C

•                                       HALLOWEEN JACK AND THE DEVIL’S GATE by M Todd Gallowglas

http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Jack-Devils-Gate-ebook/dp/B005XJ0V7A/

•                                       ELEGY (Fantasy) by Christopher Kellen

http://www.amazon.com/Elegy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B005ESFMMY/

•                                       THE HERO ALWAYS WINS – (Fantasy) by Robert Eaton

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hero-Always-Wins-ebook/dp/B005CMGZAU/

•                                       THE FALL OF HOUSE NEMENI by M.D. Kenning

http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S

•                                       MANDATORY PARADISE by M.D. Kenning

http://www.amazon.com/Mandatory-Paradise-ebook/dp/B008XM6ST4/

•                                       KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD by Stephen E. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Living-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B004YR54LU/

•                                       KNIGHT TERRORS by Stephen E. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Terrors-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B0069SJIHI


Sample Chapter for Mandatory Paradise and It’s Easier to Walk the Path a Second Time


I now have up the first chapter of Mandatory Paradise, my soon to be released Epic Fantasy Thriller.  It is not part of the Allmother’s Fire trilogy or even set in the same world.  It is a self-contained novel, and I only plan to write in this world again with short stories and the like.  You can click here or go the link at the top that says “Sample Chapter for Mandatory Paradise.”

It feels a little bit easier this time to do the final things needed to get a completed manuscript done.  The “Race” to finish everything seems familiar now. Formatting is not so bad once you learn a few tricks.  This novel was already done before I started the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy, but it has been easier to adapt properly as I do rewrites and accept edits.

I am in talks with an artist (A different one than what I am using for the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy) and I feel more confident describing what I would like this time around.  I hope to have that cover in the next week or so.  I have a final editor doing a final pass on the manuscript before I get it ready to publish.

As for when it will be published, I expect it to be ready before, or at Gencon,  (around August 16th) so I can market the book then.  The last time I was this close I was panicking, not knowing how to do this properly and not focusing on the right things (it should have been edited more, frankly, but that was my own impatience.)

After the results of the recent polls this is the most likely description. Small changes to it, including favorite parts of other descriptions are encouraged in the comments or email (the below is actually adapted from someone’s re wording of the “option B” from my poll.

Alnanla has not always enjoyed her life as a Priestess and a teacher, but she, like every citizen of the Island of Nimoa, has always had her needs met. At night she gazes up at the energy shield that keeps everyone safe from the flying monstrosities of legend, and wants more than just existing in her pre-ordained role. When hundreds of innocents are massacred, she finds herself the prime suspect. To clear her name, she teams up with a grieving Bureaucrat, an eternally optimistic Artist, and a gruff Outsider. As they begin to discover the details of what really happened, they find more than they bargained for. Should they expose the dark secrets they find and risk society’s destruction? Or should they quietly disappear to preserve their way of life?

The second novel in the trilogy is doing well, and at this rate I will easily make my own milestone to finish it within this calendar year.  It’s been so easy to write it, and I think feedback from my first novel has a lot to do with that.  Not only do I feel like I have learned as a write since the first one, I feel I know more of what my audience wants too.  Working in a vacuum with only a couple of friends for feedback can be disheartening, and the overwhelmingly positive response of the actual first book released has gotten me over any writer’s block periods pretty quickly.

Also, a road already tread once is much easier to follow the second time.  I recommend anyone going through this the first time to just breathe, and not panic, because it will be a lot simpler later.  That and the panic cause more problems than it helps.

An Epic Fantasy Thriller has the pacing and plot expected from a modern day thriller like James Rollins, Brad Meltzer, Steig Larson, or Tom Clancy.  However it has the trappings and expanse that one expects from an Epic Fantasy with its own culture, world, and magic system.   The difference is there is no magic MacGuffin of Awesome that will defeat the evil Dark Lord.  Survival is what is at stake, no one can be trusted, and on top of that your enemy might shoot fire out of a spear.

Today’s Poll

So originally I was publishing Mandatory Paradise so that when my Exclusive period for The Fall of House Nemeni ended I would still have 1 book available to be in the Kindle Select Program.  However, it has come to my attention that a very major promotion will occur after my current exclusive period ends.  No matter what, I will have Mandatory Paradise available for it.  However the last promotion got a lot of exposure for my book, and I am pretty sure that is where all my good Goodreads reviews came from.  That makes me tempted to renew The Fall of House Nemeni as Kindle exclusive for 3 more months (around August 21st)and that means it would not be on the nook till around Thanksgiving.  I definitely think it was wise to do this three month period of exclusivity, but forcing my Nook readers to have to wait 6 months total before they can have any books?

Poll Should I keep The Fall of House Nemeni exclusive three more months?

a)Yes

b)No

Also if anyone has any questions about the next book, let me know!


Everyone Desperately needs a Dan


So after I published the The Fall of House Nemeni as I was awaiting feedback one of the readers kept sending me notes.  They included what he liked, but also included the points that were confusing, or he felt defused tension to early, etc.  Ie they were an honest critique not of the copy/line editing variety but of a how the readers see and comprehend the story.

When I knew I would make a revision of the story to help pare down the typos/grammar issues I realized I had an opportunity to make the story tighter too.  He was the first one that made me realize Chapter 3 had to go, and other various small issues were cleared up or made more hidden depending upon the topic.  If you bought the book after June 30th, this is the version of the book you have, and I am still working with amazon to make the newer revision available for readers who bought the earlier edition of the book.  You can definitely thank Dan G. for the tighter version of the book (this is not the Dan thanked in the book), without whom those changes would not have happened.

I think every self-published writer needs a Dan.  I know this is one function of  editors, but most self-published authors are lucky to have grammar nazi friends copy/line edit for them.  Most of the time if it’s a friend or relative they are not going to tell you, “Seriously, get rid of that entire chapter” or “WTF happened here?”  As an author, if they did and they were a non-writing friend you would be likely to ignore that anyway, since it’s your book.  If you did take the advice you would probably take it in the form that changes your book the least.  It’s important to have that person who is not only going to tell it like they see it, but then back it up with a logical reason or why they think it makes things better and not just a vague “I don’t like it.”

At the same time, you do not have to follow everything they say either.  They are not writing the book, they are not the “editor” who decides if it gets published.  There will be times that your style, and how you choose to frame the narrative will be different than their preferences.  In that case as a self-published writer you need to go with your vision of what the book needs to be over any one specific reader.  At the same time it’s great to have that one constant voice questioning what you are doing so you can make it stronger.

I am around the 30% mark or so on the second Allmother’s Fire book, and just handed it to Dan before the copy and line editing are started on that. It would be such a waste for those poor editors to make it be grammatically correct and then I re-write the whole chapter.  As for the name of that second book of the Allmother’s Fire, I’m almost definite now it will be Rise From the Sun Below.  More than a few people who did not answer the poll told me that was their preference (of course I prefer if people record things in the polls it makes it easier for me : ) )

Speaking of book names, time for today’s Poll!

This is meant to be the final naming Poll for the new epic novel, formerly known as Nimoa.  I have pared it down to two choices, one the top poll pick from the large list, and the other a really great sounding suggestion given.

The New Epic Novel Fantasy Thriller should be called:

1)The Labyrinth Conspiracy

2)Mandatory Paradise

Upcoming on the blog this month you should be seeing an interview with one of the other Genre Underground writers, some world information about the new Epic, and the typical posts about writing and e-publishing.

For today’s world info we will stick with the Allmother’s Fire series.

An interesting tid bit is although their main religion has a God like analogue with the Allmother, there is definitely no specific Satan like analogue, even though much of this church is similar to the Catholic church.  There are said to be a race of creature’s called the “Firesouls” however that come up from the Sun Below.  They are said to be able to either burn people or even take over their body and souls if they are not blessed by the Allmother.

The best way to be free of the influence of the Firesouls so to go to the Questionary weekly.  This means not only sing the songs and the formal worship, but then later be with a Priestess inside a Questionary and admit your sins before the Allmother.  You are then anointed with the sacred oil and drinking her holy drink made of specific herbs that only the Priestess’ know of, and then the Firesouls will not be able to reach into your heart and soul, at least for a little while.

It is grumbled by some that this means the Church has an inordinate amount of power, since it knows everyone secrets. The Church  always responds it will never use that power lightly, and only cares about saving the souls of everyone on all the Islands.


Characters and Authors can be Lying Liars


It’s a truth often forgot by readers: Characters and Authors can and do lie.  That Ancient prophecy might not only be false, even worse it could be a trap sent to manipulate future populations to do certain actions.  Just because the head villain says he’s your father doesn’t mean he’s not just saying that so he can cut off your other hand.  The Old wise Man leading the hero down the path to his true destiny might actually be stealing everything the hero owns why he is away from his house.

Readers have this tendency to see the Author themselves and certain devices (wise old women and hermits, prophecies and last will and testaments, deathbed revelations, etc) as immutable truth.  Part of this is from the oldest myths encouraging this, sometimes it’s latter day laziness on modern authors, or maybe it’s just the feel that an author is revealing a world and story to you, so you can’t imagine why they would not tell the truth.

This of course means that some of the greatest emotional shocks can be from when one of these trusted sources lies to you.  If done too much the readers won’t trust anything and they can be numbed by further twists. It can be as bad as M. Night Shamalyan (don’t make me spell this right) movies got, or poorly written soap operas.  If used sparingly though you can hook them into the narrative and then turn the tables on them when unexpected.  It is definitely something I utilize in my writing (including the section I am currently working on in my novel).  The current novel I am reading also utilizes it.  As a person who loves twists I had guessed the big one but the way it was revealed showed further twists ripple out of the main one I was not expecting, and caused the same sort of reaction I like to give to my readers!

Personally I think the best way to serve a lie to the readers is with the sandwich method.  Have two things they expect to be true or from true sources turn out that way, and then then in the middle of that have a lie.  It makes it much harder to expect, and means thata  later truth they will think is a lie won’t be.  In other words, this allows you to shock them with the truth!

The poll is being narrowed down from the last post, and I may keep it open for a few more days. I will then narrow down the Epic Novel book title with one more poll where each voter cna only vote once.  Either way I should know the title by the end of next week, and then I will be searching for a new cover artist.  This next epic novel (not the new novel in the trilogy being written) has a different feel, so I wanted to brand it with a different artist.

Today’s poll is about naming, though.  The second novel in the Allmother’s Fire trilogy is what I am currently writing, and I have narrowed it down to two names.  If you have read a decent amount of the book the reasons for these possibilities will be obvious, with the more you have read giving more nuance to both possibilities.  I have run both of these names through my mind for a while, and I at least wanted to see what others are thinking.

The next novel in the Allmother’s Fire Trilogy should be:

1)The Rise of the Allmother’s Grace

2)Rise from the Sun Below

Both also “fit” along with the current title of “The Fall of House Nemeni.”

World Info for Allmother’s Fire

One of the types of Noble Houses not currently shown are the one’s whose Domain is over Motion.  There are multiple Houses that have these abilities, but each manifest in different ways.  Some are direct, and can move themselves or vehicles or weapons faster or slower depending on their specialty.  Some are more indirect, and can use control over motion to increase or decrease the temperature.  These users do not know why it works this way, but the results are obviously true.

The other Houses not detailed yet are a lot of the minor guilds.  Some of these like the Dyemaker’s guild have as much temporal power as the lower noble houses, but the span of their abilities are so narrow (being able to change the color of objects in the case of the mentioned guild) they do not command as much respect.  It seems like there are an infinite amount of families that can do some minor thing to loophole the Grand Laws of the Universe. It is thought by some that even the lowest peasant might find that his family had some unknown ability if only they had the leisure to practice and figure out just what they were.


Killing Your Characters Reasonably


I saw the new Spiderman movie over the weekend. (Incredibly Mild Spoiler alert.  If you know anything about Spiderman in any way shape or form and have ever read a comic or seen a movie, this is not a spoiler alert at all.)  This time when Uncle Ben dies it felt a lot more realistic the way the plot unfolded and I’ll admit it, I was a bit misty eyed when it happened.  It was not just that he died, or that I felt more for the character in this incarnation (which I did) it was that it felt like something that could naturally occur in the plot.  Now I know it was also a needed thing to happen for the plot and the characters to be motivated and act as they should for the rest of the story, but it was all together believable and that helped.

Anyone writing in certain genre’s (horror, fantasy, thrillers, sci fi) is going to probably have some characters die.  Maybe even well liked or known ones.  The main two reasons a writer does it is because A) it would reasonably happen in the story.  A chain of events cause it so that a specific person would just have to perish. You could always find a way out for a character but it may not be believable or reasonable that they could and so their time is up. B)The other main reason is that it helps the story.  Maybe someone needs motivation to know that with great power comes great responsibility, or someone has to die so that there is risk in the conflict.  Possibly they have to die for plot reasons, so that someone investigates a murder or someone needs to take their place.

I have concluded that unless there is a serial killer involved it’s best if you can do both.  If you can trace either the events, or the motivations of the killer and go well yeah or course this person would die, it’s a lot better than a “freak accident.”  I know some people think things like freak accidents add “Realism” to a book.  In my mind however it can make a reader feel cheated, and can come out deux ex machina.  I honestly think the killing of Uncle Ben works better than Batman’s parents dying. I understand the lack of reason is part of the batman mythos, that the senselessness of it all in violent Gotham city is part of what shapes him, but I can’t say I have ever shed a tear for Martha and Thomas Wayne.  Uncle Ben however, especially in the new movie, yes, I did.

Also if there is no long term affect on characters or plot it also feels like something done out of malevolence.  I have had a high body count in some of what I have written, so I know that seems odd to come from me, but I do like to think every named character that dies has some sort of large effect on one of those two things.

Obviously another side of this is writing characters with enough complexity that they are missed.  All of these thoughts are in my mind of course, because I have been busy this week writing a new chapter.  I might even be about to kill your favorite character in the next day or two, who knows.  Oh who am I kidding, of course I am!

For today’s Poll I am going to ask a question having to do with my Epic Novel’s new name.  Originally it was going to be called “Nimoa” which is the island it all takes place on.  I had rethought the intelligence on that move, and when I gave a poll on naming possibilities that was the idea no one liked.  So it seems like a smart move to keep going with a new title.  “Themes” of the book was the winner, but plot related was the runner up.  This is a poll that you can choose more than one choice.  Which of the following words do you like, and might draw attention to you in a title.  Each word here is evocative of theme or plot.  If you have synonym ideas from words on this list, you can leave them in the comments.

Poll: Which words would you want in the title

1)Labyrinth

2)Labyrinthine

3)Paradise

4)Nimoa

5)Island

6)Isolation

7)Conspiracy

8)Bureaucracy

9)Massacre

10)Survival

Don’t worry, I am not just going to string together like the top three words or anything. This just helps give me a snapshot of what types of words ring with readers more.  Next poll will be several differentactual title possibilities based off of what is chosen.

World Info:

In the various Islands in the Allmother’s Fire Series there are two main drinking types of establishments.  There are Public drinking houses which can be known as “Pubs” and occasionally “Ale Bar’s.”  These serve beer and by most laws have to have a place that people can sleep it off if too drunk, so they double as cheap hotels.  Other activities in these establishments also make it lucrative for owners to rent rooms, often by the hour.  By their very nature they are often seedier with the exception of a well frequented pub by locals if they self-police enough to keep out ‘riff raff.’

The other type of drinking establishment is a Tavern, and they only serve wine there.  Like it’s source material (Renaissance Italy) wine is held in high regard, and wealthier members of guilds and even some times royal families will patronize these places.  In many cases you have to either get an invitation to enter, or drop a lot of gold coin.  This makes Taverns a much better source of information on the location of valuables as many merchants speak with a freer tongue for they feel safe there.  All a would be Pirate has to do is act convincingly, forge papers and drop lots of gold to get in. In other words this tactic is rarely successful but when it is, it’s always lucrative.


More Like Tornado of Change (and talking heads)


I’m going to have to declare the Winds of Change Promotion a success, at least so far.  A E Marling spent a lot of time sitting at number One in the Kindle Free Epic fantasy list, M Todd Gallowglas sat around #2  or #3 for Dark Fantasy (and also #3 and #4 for another book of his and around that on the Fantasy Series list), Christopher Kellen was around #7 and #8 for Epic Fantasy, and I was up to #14 for Epic Fantasy!  Dave Meek with Stalker Squadron was at #30 for Action Adventure and # 5 for Sci-fi High Tech and we all went below the #1000 mark in the general free kindle store!  Needless to say good stuff.

So what to expect in the future because of this?  More promotions of course, but more general interactivity as well.  I have positive feedback oorm the Interview with M Todd Gallowglas, so I can tell you that won’t be the last.  The books are all still 99 cents today and tomorrow, so if you did not pick any up, there is the time to complete your collection! Hre is the link to my page http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341334069&sr=1-1&keywords=nemeni and look in the product description for the otehr great titles!

As for other Tornados of change between this promotion and work being swamped I have not been able to move much on the book recently.  I hope to rectify that this week and get caught up on the new book.  It’s hard learning to balance actually getting the book done, all the rest of what I need to do in my normal life, and all the long term important things for securing my career with writing, but it is looking up.

Also I am mapping out my long term plan better, to keep something always available on Kindle Direct.  I may get the next novel done 3 months after I get my epic published, but I frankly might not so I have back up plans.  A novella may be released after the epic, and like the epic it is already mainly written but just needs to go through editors.  However since the novella is a smaller and cheaper work, it seems weird to me to do a complex cover like the current one I have.

That leads to today’s blog poll.

If I release a novella what should I do cover wise:

1)Keep it the same grade of quality or more so than the current one and what you plan for the epic.

2)It’s a novella.  It should still be professional, but it can be simple and not require tons of graphics or art.

3)It’s just a novella.  Slap a name on it, and don’t bother wasting any money at all on the cover.

As for info on the sequel:

I’m writing a flashback right now to when a massive amount of power was announced it would be transferred. This is a pretty big scene and most of what takes place in book one occurs because of this scene.  Obviously that makes it important, but right now it’s coming out as just talking heads.  I have written about before that I like to just throw in a cliffhanger or action if I feel like the pace is slowing, but that would be incongruous with what I am currently writing.

Another scene I did a few weeks ago that was similar I could use dramatic irony and inter character tension to punch it up, but that would not fit here either.  Anyone got any advice on how to punch up necessary talking head scenes?  At this point all I can think of is cutting down the dialogue to the most efficient dialogue possible even when out of character to shorten the scene as much as possible, but that does not totally fit.  Without physical action, character tension, or dramatic irony I lose alot of my tools to keep things flowing well.

Another idea I had was instead of doing what feels more like natural back and forth dialogue between the main character and who he is imparting information to I could just have him do a quick info dump, not give people a chance to react, and change scene.  Then I could show the necessary reactions of other characters in other scenes that have other events occur, and let things move on.  Any thoughts?


Spinning Plates


It feels like both as a writer, and in my actual life the key things I am trying to do is like the vaudeville act where someone would spin a bunch of plates on long poles and try to keep spinning new ones without letting the old ones stop.  In its own right its harder than juggling, because you have to do all these things simultaneously.

Although at its heart The Fall of House Nemeni is a personal tale of a family who’s House is destroyed and their attempt to rise up and survive against all its assembled foes it’s also a sprawling epic.  Many countries are involved, the basic myths of that universe tie into the events and characters from all over the lands get roped into the schemes of a few.  Currently I am trying NOT to add too many POV characters regularly, but certain events that are very important cannot be currently witnessed by most of the survivors of House Nemeni (once you finish the first book, you would understand why).

This has led to secondary characters taking a more important role in the next book.  On one hand as an author I love this, expanding the world and showing how more people live in it.  It also helps flesh out earlier scenes once you know more of what a secondary character is actually like after you take a peek in their head.  On the other hand the main characters people love are the ones they were really introduced to in the first book, so you can’t really ignore them or give them a short shrift either.  My current way to help with this issue is to have multiple character POV’s in the same chapter.  I took care beforehand not to do that, but with the current cast it would be insane to give them all separate POV’s without ballooning the size of the book or turning each chapter into a 3 page mini chapter.

I do a very small amount of that at the end of the first book (tying things in more either geographically or by theme) and I like the way it turned out.  This is not my poll, but I am curious if anyone else has opinions if it’s better to have only one POV per chapter but tons of tiny little chapters, or group them by geography or theme so they are of similar size as the current book.

In real life, I feel like I am doing the spinning plate thing too.  I am preparing for a cross country move before the year is done, wrapping up all the things we want to do before the move, writing the novel, overseeing the editing/release of an older novel, planning outside things having to do with the writing career (twitter, a podcast I was asked to be in, a writer’s event coming up etc) and then trying to write a few short stories for other publications to get my name out to other audiences.  Kind of connected to all this will be my next blog post this week.  For a teaser of what that is about go to http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70802-genre-underground and join this group on goodreads. 🙂

Needless to say I feel some of those spinning plates are going to crash down soon and since some of those simply can’t be put on the back burner some of the newer things will have to be cut or everything will suffer.  Originally I was planning on doing a few short stories for online magazines, as it felt like a good way to reach more people, and would not be too much of an investment of my time since most of the stories would only be about the size of two of my chapters.

In reality, I am finding the fact that my mind has to switch gears to the different worlds of the short stories causes them to take much longer, and I feel like they are draining away time and mental resources from the main story.  At the same time, they do tend to give a decent amount of exposure for a minimal amount of effort overall.

Today’s Poll

What should I cut so all the Plates do not go crashing down:

1)The short stories.  Save the time and effort for the current novel and rewrites needed from editing.

2)Cut down on twitter/blogs/interviews and other publicity stuff.  Just write the novel and short stories.

3)Cut Both of the above.  You are early in your career and do not need to worry about publicity or short stories at all.

World Info:

In the Allmother’s church there are no sacred written texts.  In modern times and with the modern focus on literature some people are writing them down, but the Church insists they can only be sung or chanted in worship services. This has led to most Priestesses being decently talented signers, except for a few poor churches who cannot be picky.

It also has led to some divisions, as certain islands are definite that some passages are worded different than others, for that is how they have always been taught.  The Allmother’s Daughter and representative in this universe is always the one who gets to interpret what is the “accurate” songs of the day, and this has led to some bitter rivalries amongst island to see who gets to have the official version of the Allmother’s Songs spread to everyone.


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