Sunday, 25 September 2011

Answers... Sort Of

For some reason, and I think it's a software issue with my own machine, I've lost the ability to comment. No idea what that is, but it's pretty much everywhere. Some kind of software issue that will get dealt with as soon as that happens. So, if you look at the 'Yes' entry you will find a comment by The Deposed King, which is the one I'm responding to here, because the points made are interesting to me and I can't do it any other way right now. But I'll start with something else, because I'm like that.

Will Sumto ever catch a break?

It's a good question but the answer, the real answer, is complicated. I answered that question by saying that Sumto is suffering from a well understood problem - he has knowledge but lacks experience. There is a saying that the difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference, but in practice there is. And that's true, as far as it goes. It's also true that I'm breaking rules, playing games with story structure, because its fun and I think I can just about pull it off. It is also true that he does, in some ways, gain from his exploits; he is gaining experience. There is something else he is gaining that I can't talk about but should become apparent as the series progresses.

Speaking of the story progressing... I originally intended to dip in and out of Sumto's life at roughly two year intervals until I was done with a specific story arc. That hasn't happened. I now intend to do blocks of five books and skip larger numbers of years in between. That may not happen either.

Everything that happens is filtered through Sumto's senses and perceptions; so, when someone is off-stage for a while, Sumto has no idea what they are doing. He can assume, suppose, or guess, or think that he knows... but he really doesn't until their actions once more impact on him directly, or he hears word of them. Some of those events, motives, actions and consequences are going to have to wait until Sumto gets back to the city.

There will doubtless be a few surprises... and some of those surprises will involve the trials, which is about all I can say about that. Oh, and Jocasta, yeah - that's pretty much the way it was going to go, but someone off stage surprised me with a better idea. And yes, you were 100% correct; truth spells can be circumvented by subtle phrasing of answers, and what the speaker believes to be truth. And other things.

I'm hoping to have All The... book IV, I mean, ready by the end of the year. It's looking good for that but no promises.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Yes is my favorite word in the language. I like the way it sounds and I like to say it and hear it said. it's a nice word, is yes.

This particular yes is in response to a question that was raised on kindleboards. I had to think about it a bit, and my first response was no. But I don't like no, so I changed it.

The question was, more or less, has your writing process changes since you published. And my first, knee jerk reaction was: No. It can't. It's like an internal combustion engine, it functions because all the parts have a purpose and work together and if you change bits it stops working - like the car made out of confectionery in an advert I saw once; that car won't run, guaranteed.

But, here's the thing. I noticed a review for The Key To The Grave that raised the question of Sheo and other characters who were important to Sumto in The Last King's Amulet. What happened to them? Well, I know what they are doing and where they are and how their actions will effect Sumto later. Especially one of them. But, as this is a first person story and everything gets filtered through Sumto' direct experience, we don't know anything about that yet. He doesn't, we can't. Then I turned back to thinking about book 4 in the series, and I know what happens and how it ends and what happens next. Book 5 is vague in my mind but well enough shaped that I'm pretty sure Sheo (and the others) won't appear there. They won't turn up again until book 6... and that's too long a time to leave it. So, thanks to the reviewer, I found a way to re-connect that situation sooner, in book 4, so that the Readers don't wonder 'who the heck are these guys' when things start to happen because of them.

So, I get to use my favorite word in the language. Yes. My writing (or at least my thinking) process has been effected since I published. Readers leaving comments has changed that process somewhat, and I'm glad of it, and thank you for it.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Comedy Heroes

I'm sure I mentioned, at some time or another, that I have a soft spot for stand up comedians.

With that in mind, I'd like to say that I'm very happy to see Dave Chappelle back on duty. Should appear right below here if I have this thing working right. If you don;t know who Dave Chapelle is, treat yourself. It's all good.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Unwritten Things

Of course, there are things that you don't write. Thoughts mid flow that end up on the mental cutting-room floor. Sometimes they make you smile, or laugh, and sometimes you wish that the work in progress could be tweaked to be the kind of book where they would fit. Sometimes not, though.

Early in book four, Sumto is sitting in a new and crudely built inn and listening to a song. After a bit he becomes aware that the song is about him:- 'honored one day, reviled the next (I think and write as a note just ahead of the paragraph that will stand), and then the next line of the song pops into my head:- 'A patrons' lot is not a happy one,' from whichever Gilbert and Sullivan show it was.

Well, it made me smile and shake my head and smile some more. Mostly at my own barking mad brain, which should be more disciplined by now.

So, anyway. There are things that you don't write. Thoughts that belong on the cutting-room floor. They also ruin your train of thought, unfortunately, and make you take a break. Sometimes a coffee will do it, sometimes a walk, sometimes it's needful to give up for the day as the proper frame of mind just won't re-establish itself until there has been sleep.

The coffee didn't cut it, so I'm off for a walk despite the rain. I hope it's a short walk, as the story is generally progressing and developing the way I hoped.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Available Amazon

The new cover art for The Key To The Grave came today, so I uploaded to amazon and TKTTG should be available there in short order.

I have, sorry to report, upped the price to $1.99 for now. When The Invisible Hand comes live on Amazon, sometime soonish(ish), then I will up the price of both to $2.99 for the simple reason that I must secure the 70% royalty to have any hope of making a living. I need to make a living so that I can up production of what should (Readers willing) be a fairly long series of books. If I'm to have any realistic hope of finishing the series as originally envisioned - and I really want to do that - then I'm going to have to write at least two a year.

The fourth in the series (I have a title but I'm keeping it to myself for now) is coming along nicely now - looks fun, a little more lighthearted than the last one in many ways. And where it isn't... well, I'm sure Sumto can take it.

I might, just might, get this one done before the end of the year.

That's it for news. Back to work now.