Archive for the ‘Current Projects’ Category


It’s about time

   Posted by: amrath

Ok, milestone in the 3rd novel, one that took me much longer than I imagined it would: I’ve sorted out the locations and character movements into a correct timeline. I am now convinced that this is perhaps one of the more difficult tasks facing an author who tries to create a long, exciting, and believable tale.

This wasn’t all that important in the past novels. They encompass a longer period of time, months or years. There is plenty of gray area regarding when events take place, and when it does matter, the timing is fairly obvious. The third novel, however, takes place over the course of a week, and is basically the part where all of the characters run up against the consequences of their actions, interactions, and values. It moves very quickly, one event on the heels of another, and characters reacting to those events. For it to make any sense and keep momentum, certain things must occur in a certain order, and in addition, the places where the storylines touch as they all converge have to have the characters in the same locations.

It’s very easy to make a complete mess where some characters seem to have been standing about doing nothing important for hours or days, despite the fact that they had urgent motivations, simply because there is no sensible way for those they are to interact with to travel to meet them in the right amount of time. That’s the problem I had, and it required some analysis and some plot changes to get it to all fit into place. And it’s what I have fixed.

All of this is done in a very detailed outline form, with about half the chapters written to first draft status. Now, finally, I can get on with actually writing the remaining chapters, confident that none of my characters will need a jetpack (except, of course, the ones that actually fly)or a touch of narcolepsy to explain their presence in crucial scenes.


The front fell off

   Posted by: amrath

Ok, as of 1 Sep, I am counting myself as recovered from this summer’s massive burn, and therefor am hitting the third book hard every morning. Though, to be honest, this may be spotty this week, in that September is planting season in Florida, so I will be spending a lot of the mornings prepping the garden spot this week, before it gets to hot to work outside. It will be late morning before I hit it, for now.

So the first order of business is dreaming up a better final wrap to “War God’s Will” than is currently planned. There is good stuff at the beginning and in the middle, but the end is broken. Not only does it have central action by a character who died in “Mad God’s Muse”, it’s just not all I would like. The events do not meet with the tension I want, and the characters are not all as important as they need to be.

So we fix. Still would love to have some ‘alpha’ readers who might be interested in discussing the work as it progresses.



I forget how to write

   Posted by: amrath

As I have noted recently, after ‘finishing’ “The Mad God’s Muse”, we welcomed our new daughter into the world, and I began working a second job. It’s eaten a good two months, but now I have a bit of free time again.

Only I have forgotten how to write.

Okay, perhaps that’s a little hyperbolic, but it’s built on a kernel of truth: every time I stop for any extended period of time, it’s as if I have lost everything. The reasons vary, the causes for the stoppages. Chiefly, it’s that writing is not my day job, and so it must always give way to matters of practicality: I am a weak creature, and have become far to accustomed to luxuries such as food and shelter. My writing has yet to provide me with such extravagance as a living wage, much less the vast sums of wealth I have always envisioned as my rightful due for my genius, so I must needs program, too.

During those gaps, I forget.

I forget how to start. I forget that it was deliberate, an intentional process, not some foolish notion of being guided by a muse, of waiting for inspiration. It is art, but art, like code, does not simply come into existence. It must be crafted. It may be joy, but it is also work.

I forget the work is actually good. I remember it as drek, as half measures that desperately need editing and rewriting. I avoid it, ashamed of it, not wanting to take up what feels like an impossible task of making it even marginally acceptable. But in fact, when I finally force myself to return to it, the work is much better than I remember.

I forget that the story is still not done, or that there might be people who would hear how it ends.

I forget that the characters themselves want to live, to have their moment in the sun and be who they would, and they cannot do that without me to channel them, to dream them, talk to them, cajole them.

So, this week, having caught my breath again, it is time to remember, time to take my seat in the morning and type words, even if I throw them away later.

I’ll remember soon enough.


Kindle Scout End of Week 2

   Posted by: amrath

“The Mad God’s Muse” has been on Scout for nearly 2 weeks now. It’s currently just ‘there’. It looks as if there is a pattern: the new stuff comes up, goes hot with the fresh social media assault, then settles. There’s no way to tell how well you’re doing, beyond being ‘hot’ or not, but that seems to be a function of recent activity, rather than a vote count. Presumably, one could garner every vote on amazon the first day and still fall off of the hot list a week later.

I like this program. It feels hopeful, an alternate route around gatekeepers who have become too rigid in their selection process. It feels like Napster in the 90’s, a new way of discovering media. But if you’re the type to obsess (and many writers are), it can be nerve wracking, too. The very possibility of reloading the page and hoping something has changed is a distinct change from the old ‘stuff it in a manilla envelope and forget about it until it comes back with a form rejection’.

Well, there’s nothing to be done about it anyway, and the third book is already underway. Of course, it needs some reworking. Some people who had a role to play are…no longer with us, and I have to fix that hole in the plot.

Fucking Meites! Damned troublemakers….


The rest of Chapter One, for your perusal

   Posted by: amrath

Sadly, my Kindle Scout excerpt skips the second and more exciting half of chapter one. On the off chance that anyone has come here wanting more, you can find the rest of the chapter here.


Week One on Kindle Scout

   Posted by: amrath

I think the book did pretty well. It held a spot in the hot and trending for most of the week. The competition is pretty tough, though. I could really use all the help I can get. I need to really work the social media angle to get this out there. Please, if you haven’t already, like the Facebook page and share it with your friends. And let your friends know about the Scout contest. I need every vote I can get!


I could really use some reviews on my other stuff on KDP, too. Reviews, even if they are not perfect, really help.



   Posted by: amrath

I submitted Mad God’s Muse to the Kindle Scout program today. I am hoping this will get me the much needed exposure. I am good at a lot of things, but selling has never been one of them.





Non-Repeating Decimal Percent Done

   Posted by: amrath

It’s very close, now. I could release it now, but I still feel I can make it just a little better. In my experience, though, you never reach a point where you think, “Fine, it’s perfect.” You just reach a point where you think, “I’ve done all I can, and I can’t see this for what it is anymore, so I have to let it go.”

That’s about where I am, now. Still hoping to hear from some of my beta readers before I call it done, but barring some catastrophic reports that point out huge errors I have missed, I am not seeing much more to be done.

Waiting on the cover from Max. If you DO have any comments, send them soon. It’s time to put this out there.




Almost there

   Posted by: amrath

“The Mad God’s Muse” is at 95%, by which I mean I have actually managed to read all of the way through and not find much more to fix than a few spelling errors, descriptions, and clunky dialog. No walking dead (i.e. characters who were previously dead but are now on stage doing something) beyond those who are in fact shambling corpses. No completely maniacal actions from non-Meite characters. Nothing I think to myself, “Oh, bullshit, no way it would happen like that.” Of course, some may disagree, but the cool part of being the author is that I get to make that final call.

Looking for some cover art right now. Thinking I’ll put this thing out in the world in a couple of weeks. Then on to the next.



The Mad God’s Muse is now in Beta

   Posted by: amrath

All of the chapters are done and I am now cleaning them up and polishing. Well, unless I decide I need to write more chapters. I’ve said this before, but I’ll try to actually make it happen this time: this will be ready by the end of the year.