Writing Partner: Plans for a New Year

Death May Die Dagon Miniature Painted

Hello all,

Happy New Year!

Planning a full year of work might seem like a bit of a fool’s errand. After all, something is bound to happen which will blow up my plans. We live in what feels like a truly destabilized time, and last year was one of my worst in recent memory. But with all that in mind, the only thing we have control over is ourselves. I really want this year to be better, and for me, feeling better has always involved storytelling.

With that in mind, I have planned to maximize content output and limit distractions this year. To illustrate this plan, here are some minis that work as a metaphor. You know the drill!

Warhammer Underworld Squigs

Those are two good little squigs from the Warhammer Underworlds line. I think they are both lovely in their own right.

Warhammer Underworlds Red Squig
I’m really bad at focusing on these tiny minis. 😦

The first is a pretty standard red squig.

Warhammer Underworlds Red Squig

He’s nice but not exactly inspired. The latter is where I experimented.

Warhammer Underworlds Blue Squig

I used some undercoating and glazing techniques on him to really bring out subtle hues in his skin. I didn’t know it would work, but I think he looks great.

Warhammer Underworlds Blue Squig

More importantly, he ended up being a proof of concept for something bigger.

Death May Die Dagon Miniature Painted

Look at this monster!

Death May Die Dagon Miniature Painted

This is the Dagon mini for CMON’s Death May Die board game. I used the same techniques as the squig and I think this is some of my best work (painting-wise). It kind of proved to me that this scheme and the techniques involved have legs. Now for the metaphor part, this is also how I will approach my writing this year.

The test ground will be bite-sized chunks that outline the world and themes of the longer works. In the last couple of years, I realized that I really enjoy podcasting, so that is a great start. I’ve also worked out the template for both short fiction and long fiction. Now I just need to apply it.

I’ll explain more later but for now, just know that I’m busy and happily working. This is going to be a good year damn it!

Finished my Second Draft

Hello all,

It’s done. The second draft of The Birch Island Chronicles has been completed. Now I can start to gather some much-needed input from some of my close friends and family. That input will go into the next draft (hopefully the final one) and influence the next book in the series.

This doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about Red Devil and my fantasy series; I have a better marketing strategy for my horror series, so I’d like to start there. To that end, I will write the following two books in the same series as The Birch Island Chronicles.

I’m going to start actively working on said marketing in the new year, but there is no rush because it doesn’t need to be finished until I have two more books done. So the long and the story of it is I need to write a few new short stories and build supplementary materials. It’s a fun project, but you’ll have to stay tuned to see what I mean.

I also have some other lingering ideas for ways to keep myself sharp. Last year I wrote some micro-fiction in the margins between short stories and novel work, but I’m now looking into serial fiction as a way to keep my mind working on off days. But this is where I could use some advice, is anyone reading this blog actively using any serial publishing platforms? I only know about Wattpad and Kindle Vella, and only one of those is available outside of the US, so that limits my options.

I have perused Wattpad, and I fear my works won’t fit in. I don’t mean this as an insult, but I don’t write BTS fanfiction, and that seems to be the most popular stuff on the platform. Do any of you write on there? Is there a place for serious horror on the platform?

I could also publish serial works here on my main site. However, I wonder what the answer to my previous questions would be on here as well. Is there a place for serial fiction? Can it find readers on WordPress?

These are some of the ideas I’m grappling with. I’m a year or so from trying to launch a real author career, and I still have a lot to learn before then. I know how to write, but marketing, dealing with indie and traditional publishing, and how to find readers? I’m still pretty clueless.

Any advice is, as always, much appreciated.


Writing Partner: A Tunneling Terror

Chthonian miniature painted

Hello all,

As we’re quickly approaching the holiday season, I’m doing my best to have the second draft of my new novel finished before I go on hiatus. I have some people out there who would like to read it, and I’m trying to make it an early present.

I’ve had to dig deep and stay on task to accomplish this goal. Long shifts in the old editing mines are harsh, though. It’s dangerous down there in the dark. So it’s best to go in with a partner.

Chthonian miniature painted

This, my friends, is the chthonian for the Death May Die set. Seasoned Lovecraft fans have probably noticed it doesn’t look like a worm with tentacles for a face so much as a pile of intestines spilling out of a tube. It’s a weird one for sure, but it was a lot of fun to paint.

Chthonian Miniature Painted

I’ve mentioned this a few times, but this is an excellent set for speed painting. There are lots of edges to catch dry brushing, and the weird designs make mistakes seem almost intentional. If you’re considering mini painting as a hobby, the board games CMON produces are great places to start. Even if you don’t end up enjoying it, at least you’ll have a solid board game!

I hope my next update will tell you this draft is finished. Mainly because I’m fast approaching yet another self-inflicted deadline, but also because I’m starting to dabble in some new side projects I’d like to discuss. I know, more side projects. My new year’s resolution should focus on the ideas I already have!


Writing Partner: A Fiery Element

Hello All,

I’m still working on my second draft. I’ve nearly finished the basic grammar and typo editing and will soon be moving on to passive language, description, and the topic of this blog – dialogue.

I have a secret, my gripping supernatural horror story, well it’s really a romance in disguise. All the themes and metaphors revolve around the ill-conceived relationship the main character is pursuing. The emotional core of the story weaves in and out of the horror and if my characters don’t have believable chemistry the whole novel will fall apart. Their banter has to be snappy and their confessions fiery. To that end, I picked today’s writing partner is a bit on the nose.

Greater Fire Elemental

This greater fire elemental was a lot of fun to paint. It’s a wizkids mini and it comes in transparent plastic and the painting process involved a lot of glazing and wet-blending. Much like the dialogue I’m working on it’s layered, but it’s a bit of an illusion. Each layer and color is a distraction, when the real meaning behind their words is perfectly clear. Much like the mini, and I plan to take advantage of that!

I want to use this mini for my burgeoning Kings of War army, and I’d like to build an LED into its base. That way the light will shine through and make for a really eye-catching centerpiece model. There is more work ahead but for now I’m pretty happy with the base paint job.

For the next blog I’ll be back to death may die as there are plenty of horrible creatures left in that set. Also, I have to keep ahead of my regular RPG night! Lots to edit, and lots to paint. I’m just so put upon…

Talk to you soon!

Writing Partner: Catching up With Cthulhu

Cthulhu: Death May Die Shoggoth Mini Painted

Hello Everyone,

As you know I closed up my NanoWriMo challenge on day 13 but I’ve been picking at my novel actively since then. My new book, The Birch Island Chronicles, is at that awkward stage now where it’s got all its structure but it probably isn’t worth reading. I need to get it to readable so I can get some feedback on it.

This kind of work is going to require a lot of repetitive editing, so I’ll need some support. It’s time to bring back writing partners!

Cthulhu: Death May Die Shoggoth Mini Painted

This shoggoth is one of the guys I worked on over NaNoWriMo. I have been playing the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG with my wife and friends, so working through the minis in CMON’s Cthulhu: Death May Die board game seems like a good use of my brainstorming time.

Cthulhu: Death May Die Shoggoth Mini Painted

The minis in Death May Die are easy to work with and very detailed. I find they take dry brushing well so they are perfect for absent minded painting while you’re focusing on something else.

Cthulhu: Death May Die Shoggoth Mini Painted

I couldn’t think of better writing partners to work with while writing horror. They’re going to be put to the test though. I have one more week in November and I want this new novel to be in it’s second draft before December. Beyond that, who knows, I’m really digging writing in this world and from what I can tell indie authors do their best when publishing series. Maybe I’ll just roll into the next book in the series? I have the entire Death May Die line, so I have plenty of friends to paint if I’m aiming to release a horror series next year… not that I’m going to. Though it does sound like a lot of fun…

Stay tuned.

NaNoWriMo Journal – Day 13: First Draft Complete, I Won My Challenge

Current Word Count: 50565

Hello All!

I did it! I both broke 50K and finished my first draft! Does that mean I’m done, hell no, I have lots of editing to do. I feel pretty pleased with myself nonetheless.

This means I’m done with my daily journals here, but I will continue to update my total on my NaNo profile and I’ll do a post at the end of the month with my end result and my final thoughts on NaNoWriMo. It also means that I can get back to posting my usual content. I have a ton of writing partners to share now that I’m not trying to hit 4K a day every day!

On that front, I have something new to work with. My wife bought me a 3D printer!

Elegoo Mars 2 Pro 3D Printer Review: Out Of This World Performance | Tom's  Hardware

She got it for me two weeks ago but I held off on even setting it up so I could focus on my writing. Now I feel like I can treat myself and get to work on the next generation of writing partners!

Stay tuned, we have lots of new stories and tiny plastic monsters to work on together!

NaNoWriMo Journal – Day 12: Just One More Day

Current Word Count: 46847

Hello All!

I was busy today so I only had enough time to write a couple thousand words. I figured this was going to happen, I will need tomorrow to pass the 50K mark. Luckily I have nothing on the go for Saturday and it should be an easy victory lap.

I’ll be back soon with the final NaNoWriMo Journal and then we’ll be back to my regularly scheduled blogging.

Thanks for reading!

NaNoWriMo Journal – Day 11: Will I Finish Tomorrow?

Current Word Count: 44952

Hello All!

It was a bit of a shorter day today. I only had a few hours to focus on my writing, but I still think I got a decent chunk done. According to the NaNo math, I’ll be finishing tomorrow. However, to manage that, I have to write just over 5K. It wouldn’t be the most I’ve written in a day, but it’s still a tall order.

Even if I finish, I still have lots to do. The challenge might have been won, but the book is still a skeleton. I want a solid second draft ready for beta readers by the end of this month, so I still have plenty to work on. With that in mind, what’s the rush? If I have a bit of writing to do on Saturday, it will hardly be the end of the world.

Thank you for reading!

NaNoWriMo Journal – Day 10: I’m Nearly There!

Current Word Count: 42029

Hello All!

I’m getting there! According to the math on my NaNo profile, I should be finished on Friday, just writing at my current pace. I know I’m posting this late, after a long evening of writing, but the numbers are promising. I’m also really pleased with how the book is ending, it really feels like I’m entering the final episodes of a show, the tension is ramping and the character arch is nearly complete.

But for now… I need to go to sleep!

Stay tuned.

NaNoWriMo Journal – Day 9: Getting Back In The Groove

Current Word Count: 37534

Hello All!

That was a better day. I’m still not hitting the numbers I keep hoping for, but over 4K isn’t bad. I’m now well outside of what I had fully prepared in my outline. This is uncharted water, and I only have a vague idea where I’m going with it. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t coming together!

What I’m writing is a very skeletal first draft, mainly dialogue and action beats, but it’s coming out really well! The lines are snappy and the action thrilling. If I do say so myself. :p

At this rate, I’ll hit 50K on Friday, but I’ll still need more time to polish this up. Once I add in better descriptions and fill gaps I’m thinking this is a 65K book. I keep hearing about authors who overwrite and have to make cuts. I have no idea what that’s like. Just another thing to work on I guess, I’ll need more practice to get my daily word counts up and maybe part of that is being more descriptive in my first draft. We’ll have to see.

Thanks for stopping by!