Thursday, July 28, 2011

Great morning session

The manuscript is currently at 41042 words.  It looks like I'm going to come in at around 45 - 50k for this one.  I've decided on the ending and I can now see beyond the first book to the second in the trilogy, so - that's exciting.  At the rate I'm producing I should finish up the first draft next week. I've also settled on the title and I'll be launching that sometime soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Scrivener 2.1 released yesterday.

The release resolved my only real compatibility issue, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on Lion.  I'm not overwhelmed with anything so far.  But, you know, downloading, installing, and screwing with a new OS is a great way to completely blow a day that could have been used for writing.

Geekery is difficult for me to set aside.  Y'all better buy these books so I can go get a Macbook Air.

Current word count: 36,495.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Update and distraction

The project statistics are telling me I'm starting with 35613 words today.  However Apple released OS X Lion and new MacbookAirs today.   So, there's that.

UPDATE:  It appears that Scrivener's full screen-mode in incompatible with Lion.  I need that, so I'm waiting until Scrivener's 2.1 release at very least.  :-()

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New process Tuesdays.

Tuesdays have been my least productive days, so I'm trying something new.  Breakfast while reading previous days' pages, then I'm going for a walk.  Giving my brain and my body breathing space.  Project statistics report 34033.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I didn't knock it out of the park today.

+999 words, sitting at 34,033.  I've got 4 chapters to go.  I think its time to line up my editor and artist.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Are Estributors the future of publishing?

I have my own thoughts on the matter, but here's a pretty good article on the subject.

I've been spending some time looking at the online presence of several literary agents, and I find it unsurprising that they are about to get their lunches eaten in the digital realm.  They complain about things like poor punctuation in query emails and can't seem to manage a spam filter or an over-flowing inbox even if they have enough savvy to maintain an amateurish website or a blog.  Every single employee at has an overflowing inbox and they learn how to deal with it.  (Hello,  inbox rules?)  The only  thing that makes it a fight at all is their relationships with legacy publishers and their distribution channels.  It will certainly be interesting as those channels begin to dry up.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Busy day.

Lunch with friends, appointment.  Still kicking out the prose though.  32,069 words baby.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yesterday I woke up with a case of software tester brain.

My hillbilly self used it to evade the primary and secondary shielding.  I don't think he likes how much of him I put into the characters I created on Monday.  Better now.  I'm starting the day at 30,111.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's not you, it's me.

I've been asked to explain my decision to forego traditional publishing.  For me, it boils down to these three factors:

1.  Publishers and agents don't seem do enough to justify their commissions in perpetuity. 

I'm not saying that they can't provide valuable services, I just believe the price over the long term commercial viability of intellectual property is simply too great.  They are running a business based primarily on marketing the creativity of others, and they haven't streamlined their operations in such a way that they can feed the great digital beast of the internet just yet.  They may come around to it at some point, but from a strictly logical perspective, I believe it will be just as much work to create, polish, and publish a novel as it would be to try to attract attention from publishers.  That may not be true, but I'm going to find out.  At least I'll know how much work it really is once I get there and I'll be choosing my distribution partners from an equal footing.  Know there's literally nothing stopping a tech-savvy author from creating their own storefront on the internet and distributing their work with a hefty 0% commission minus cost of running the website, which can be negligible.     

2.  E-Book revenue splits are far lower from legacy publishers. 

The information shared by Barry Eisler and JA Konrath illustrate this to a far greater degree than I ever could.  You could hope to maybe make 15% on your overpriced, under promoted, digital novel through a traditional publishing house.  That is, if they can even report the revenue accurately.  Dean Wesley Smith breaks down the upside fairly succinctly here.

3. You give up price control, final title, time to market, cover art decisions and more with traditional publishing contracts.  Contrast that with the ability to re-compile and re-release at will.  When I'm done with my first trilogy, I'll be able to release an annotated copy of all three books nearly immediately with the way I'm using technology to capture notes in my process.  I can then release the compendium and the annotated versions at different price points, with new cover art, immediately.  By self-pubbing you give up none of avenues, and gain process flexibility and time to market as well.  

But how?  I'm still working all of that out and I'll be ready to share it as soon as my own product is published and I've got some real experience to talk about.  First big deadline is in 10 days and I'm nearly on target.  I feel great so far.     

Single-threading this morning

I'm going to turn-off the internet and write.  I'll be back when I reach my first word goal of the day.
Starting the week at 27534 words.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

27087 words.

Can't say I'm exactly flowing, but I like what I've written today.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day interrupted.

I had an appointment today so I stopped at 1004 words.  I'm trying to get back into the swing, but it's just so damn beautiful outside. 26139.

Imprimatur and the brimstone of the media

The reaction to the Casey Anthony decision has got me thinking.  While there is most certainly a clear purpose for freedom of the press in a democratic society, where is the current balance on what ought to be broadcast or published?  Facebook is full of condemnation for this woman from people who did not hear evidence presented in the court, did not sit on the jury, and most importantly did not hold her life in their hands.  I would use the phrase "armchair quarterback" here if it did not utterly over-trivialize the discussion.

There is certainly cause for some local media stories to have the national media spotlight, but this one does not rise to that level.  Her fate is not connected in any meaningful way to our own.  She did not enjoy any previous celebrity.  She is in our collective conscience only due to sensation of her alleged crime.  In this case the "isn't it awful" sensation is the nearly unavoidable human instinct to witness pathos.  It is the same concept of our inability to turn away from car accidents, or to wince and look on when a vampire bites.   The truth is Casey Anthony's story ought not to have caught our attention, but we simply cannot help ourselves.

As a writer who can create and control not only the characterizations of my creations, but also the actual behavior of the characters themselves, I have to struggle to avoid the injecting pathos for its own sake.  I am not writing of vampire strikes, rather I strive to write of realistic characters who live through extraordinary events.  It would benefit us all if news producers and the chattering heads on television picked up those character notes for the very real people they choose to cover with the blistering disfigurement ray they call a spotlight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

That first day...

When you start a new job, there's always a period of nervousness and confusion.  Where is the coffee machine?  Will it be good coffee?  Will I like my new co-workers?  Where am I going to sit?  Will I like my boss?

Well,  this morning I had none of those questions.  The coffee machine is brewing delicious Caffe' Vita.  The kitty is nuzzling my shin.  My desk has a Space Needle view.  However, the boss is an irascible but funny jerk with delusions of grandeur.  It's a good thing I don't have to talk with him if I don't want to.

Goal today: +2000 words.  (Stretch goal +3000)  I spent the weekend enjoying Hood Canal and getting my workspace ready so I only wrote about 160 words.  Current word count: 22078.

Update - I decided to rest for the day after 3057 words.  Total word count now 25135.  Fantastic day!