Monday, 24 March 2014

Hammering Away

The draft of my first series is now into its second part.

The Hammer, which will be a three-part series about war, expectations vs reality, inaccuracy in the recording of historical events, and snotty grandchildren, is coming along nicely.

The first part came to a natural end at about 15,000 words. I think that's a fine word count for a story that will be priced at 0.99c, or free if I can get away with it. The second and third parts will be longer, and will be priced slightly higher.

This is all part of my businessman-plan. Because although I love writing for the joy of writing, and would still do it if I knew that there wasn't a penny to be made, I hate my day job. I hate having to get out of bed every morning before the sun rises, and I hate having to defend stupid clients (only a small rant this post, promise!)

I enjoy writing in the evenings so much that I keep thinking about how amazing it would be if I could just spend my whole day doing it instead of my day job. Unfortunately, and it's a first-world problem, my writing isn't very profitable, and my lawyering is somewhat profitable.

Therefore, in order to give up the day job in favour of writing for a living, I have to make money. Barring a lottery-win, that means I'm going to have to work jolly hard in order to do it.

Although, is 'working hard' really the key to success? Of course not. Well, it is, but that's not the whole story. I must also be working smart.

And how do I intend to do that? Well, I believe I've already begun. I was thinking to myself: how can I make more money from the writing? Sell more books of course!

No shit, Batman, but how do I do that?

I believe that I'm on the right track with The Hammer: one of the things that a lot of my favourite authors have in common is that the books they write either continue an already established story, or start a new adventure with the same characters. Adams had the Hitchhikers Guide series, and the Dirk Gently books. Tolkein obviously had LOTR, which was really one long history ('long' being the operative word). Pratchett has many series going at the moment.

The only real exception I could think of, where an author I like doesn't tend to write series, but starts afresh each time, is Stephen King. King's stories tend to be about the monsters though, and not so much about the protagonists. And it wouldn't be a very good monster story if there was no element of surprise. So to an extent there's not much scope for series in his work. But that's besides the point.

Ok, so now I've started a series. Very good. Where do I go from there? Do I start another series from scratch? No! I already have jumping off points for new series in the seven stories I already have.

Roland Erhoff's vampire adventure ended on something of a cliffhanger. Where did he go from there? (I'll tell you: he went to the Vampire Tower, where they did some not nice things to him, but that hasn't been written yet).

The insidious Dwarf culture on Terra, first explored with Pon, has a LOT more to be explored.

Finegold, the alchemist, is always capable of getting himself up to mischief.

And of course, Frank Novak and Thorn Middleton's latest adventures are underway already.

The other three: Mir Jonas Mir, Rhylay Dul, and Vorn the battlemage may, unfortunately, stay retired for now. I don't have any major plans for them, nor do I really see a way of taking their stories forward, as much as I liked them. Someday though.

SO: there you have it. My plan to make money. Given that it's taking me a VERY long time to produce any work, this is going to be a 'long game' plan. Hopefully not TOO long though. I'd like to get all of the above done in the next year or so.

In fact, that's it, I'm making myself a challenge. One year from now, I will at least have drafts of:

The Vampire Horse (The Werechicken Part 2)
Technically a Dragon (The Werechicken Part 3)
The Vampire Tower (The Head Vampire Part 2)
A new Pon story
A new Finegold story
The Hammer Parts 1, 2 and 3.

I'm underway already with some of them, and have ideas for the others. If you're reading this, PLEASE, keep me motivated, and keep me sane.

Warm regards,


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