Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘the killing scar’

When I was writing The Scent of Death, second in the Nemesis series, I posted irregular reports on “the Experiment,” i.e., whether I could write a book in three months. (I could.) You can find some of them here and here. I even did a “Son of the Experiment” as I started out the next book, The Killing Scar. These posts, however, were mainly concerned with charting progress through word counts, not so much about the nature of that progress. This time I propose to do something a little different.

I am currently working my way up to starting Marauders from the Moon, the fourth book in the series. And when I say “working my up to starting,” I mean that I haven’t written Word One. It seems, then, that this would be a good place to start with regular Progress Reports–not only to document where I am, but how I got there and where I think I’m going. (As you will see, where I think I’m going is an important caveat.)

Convention-goers are familiar with Progress Reports, and know that PR 0 (zero) is the very first, before the committee really has a lot to say. And that’s where I am, so I’m going to talk about the process so far.

I’ve been trying, with some success, to outline before I write. Many writers outline, and no two of them do it the same way. My approach has four steps:

  1. Write a blurb. Like for the back of the book. A book blurb contains your entire story in a few words. Once you write that, you know what the book is about.
  2. List every thought, concept, setting, character, and plot device you can possibly think of, in no particular order. Just throw a bunch of stuff at the screen that you think might be fun or useful to include.
  3. Begin what resembles an outline. Lay down a few plot lines, pencil in some character interactions. Try to work up a paragraph for each chapter, more or less. Get as far into the book as you can before you start writing so you can get a running start.
  4. Start writing the book, ignoring half of step 2 and most of step 3.

I like to write the book from the inside out, which is to say, I’m a pantser who uses an outline as a crutch. There’s only so far I can outline before I lose track of where I am and how many words I have covered. At that point, I have to start writing the book itself so I can see where it’s going. If I’ve jotted down 12 plot points and cover them all in the first 15,000 words, then I’m going to need a lot more plot points–but I can’t know that until I start writing. And yes, this is a messy process; you should have seen it before I got organized.

The plan is to write about 5000 words a week and be done by April 30. I will also try to post at the end of each week how I’m doing, and why it’s going well or poorly.

That’s it for PR 0. See you in a week. At least, that’s how I’ve outlined it…

#SFWApro

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

In celebration of the upcoming release of The Killing Scar , third book in the Nemesis series (available at the special pre-order price), the first book, The Choking Rain, is now available for free on Amazon and other platforms!

February, 1932: The city of Los Angeles is anticipating a huge boost to its depression-ravaged economy from the upcoming Summer Olympics. But when a horrifying and unexplained wave of deaths sweeps the city, the incipient panic could ruin everything. An ex-fighter pilot uncovers an international terror plot which threatens not only the city and the Games, but the peace of the entire world. He will throw everything he has into the fight–and victory, if it comes, will demand a terrible price: Before it is done, a life will be lost, and a legend will be born.

And if your tastes run more to the out-of-this-world, The Invisible City, first in the Stolen Future trilogy, is also free. A 20th-century man is hurled into the distant future, where he is considered nothing more than an ignorant barbarian to be hunted and killed. If he survives, he may save the world–but will he choose the world of his past, or of his future?

#SFWApro

 

Read Full Post »

Okay, so maybe I’m guilty of a little hyperbole: “Success” is like the mechanical rabbit that dogs chase around the track and never quite catch, so maybe claiming it is a bit premature. However, as a principle … well, let me explain.

I put The Killing Scar up for pre-order a couple of days ago, and when you do that Amazon sends you a nice little email confirming that the site is live, so people can actually, you know, pre-order the book. And in the email, it says if you want to see how things are going, you can check the “pre-order” tab on your private author site. So, being as anal about these things as all authors are (regardless of whether they admit it), I checked the “pre-order” tab, on a lark. After all, even I hadn’t known the site was live, so no one else was going to know…

And there it was, my first pre-order. I did a double-take. Somebody had gotten to the site even faster than I had. (Whoever you are, thank you!) At first I thought it must be a friend, but when I checked I saw it was from a foreign market, in a country where I don’t know anyone.

Oh my gosh. I have a fan. There is someone out there who has read the first two books and is so eager to read the third that he/she/they jumped on the pre-orders as soon as it was possible to do so. How cool! I thought, then: Oh, wow, what a responsibility.

As Ben Parker famously said: “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” Now, I’m not going to claim that writing adventure novels is a great power, but it is a great responsibility. There is someone out there (and I hope a good many someones) who has put faith in my ability to write an entertaining story, to the point of reserving my next book before it’s available. There is someone out there who is looking to me in the same light (although not in the same way) as I look to Jim Butcher.

That’s a lot to live up to. Not that I am comparing myself to Jim Butcher (you may laugh), but we share the same burden: We both owe our readers the experience that we ourselves have set them up to expect. We both are responsible for producing the best product we can, every time we sit down.

And with that being said, I’m sure that when I sit down tonight to write, there’s no reason to believe that I will suffer from terminal writer’s block. Really. No reason at all.

Help…

Read Full Post »

The cover for The Killing Scar is here, and the book is available for pre-order at a discount price!

cover1-3

A German scientist pursued by Allied agents…a victim of mob violence…both believed dead by the world at large. But the history of their struggle, begun in the chaotic months after the Great War, will come to a fateful conclusion in the days of the Great Depression, deep in the wilds of a ravaged Europe, where a deadly secret weapon is being developed which could change the course of history!

After the War, Eric Reinhold pursued the murderer Captain Skorzos for two years, until their final confrontation on a night the Eric still will not talk about, twelve years later, but which is widely believed to have ended in Skorzos’ death. Since that time, Eric himself has wrongfully been declared dead, the victim of a gangland shooting. But now it appears that both men are still alive–and their next meeting will have consequences that could shape the fate of the world…

The Killing Scar will be released on February 28 for $3.99, but you can pre-order through Amazon and Smashwords at the reduced price of $2.99. Plus, in celebration of the publication of book #3 in the Nemesis saga, the first book, The Choking Rain, will soon be available for free on all platforms.

And don’t forget, the fourth book in the series, Marauders from the Moon, comes out this summer!

Read Full Post »

I’ve been wanting to write, honestly I have. It’s just that I’ve been too busy writing. As you know, The Killing Scar is drafted, but that was only the beginning of the work. First I had to edit it, which means I had to re-read it, not an easy task when I just wrote it. It sounds like a lousy pitch for your book that it’s the last thing in the world you want to read, but it’s true. But that’s done now. As soon as I get the cover, I’ll preview it. Then, if the beta readers don’t threaten to turn my ms. over to the police as evidence of a literary crime, I’ll publish. That’s a big “if.”

In the meantime, I have to start outlining Marauders from the Moon (due out in June, and when am I going to start it?). And at the same time I’m re-reading The Choking Rain, because one of the problems with maintaining a series is that you can’t always remember the details from one book to the next, and I don’t want that problem. Yes, I could create a bible (which I probably will if this goes on), but I don’t have one and I don’t have time to write one. (See paragraph above.) It’s been a while since I wrote Rain, but it took a long time to finish, so re-visiting it isn’t a picnic, either. (Honestly, these are good books, you just wouldn’t know it to listen to me.)

Anyhow, I didn’t want more time to go by without touching base. The government might shut down, but my publisher has a schedule to keep, and believe me, he does not like it when I slack off. It may be a while before I get back here.

–Okay, okay, boss! I’m going back to work… Sheesh, what a grouch.

#SFWApro

 

Read Full Post »

Writers are like sharks: If we don’t keep moving forward, we drown. (Not in water, of course, but in our dreams. It’s messier.) And so now that I have (finally) finished editing The Scent of Death, I find myself starting to outline the next book in the series, currently tentatively entitled The Killing Scar. As I have mentioned, TKS will bring back an enemy from Eric’s past whom Eric thought was dead, and who, ironically, thought the same thing of Eric. Whether either of them survives this time depends on my mood.

I had planned to bring out TSD in mid-September, which seems feasible, since the cover is almost ready (I hope). I am hoping to find a couple of beta readers just to go over it and ensure I haven’t made any huge plot errors…if anyone is interested, you can email me at brianklowewriter@aol.com. All I ask is that you read the book and get back to me within a week or ten days, so if there are any necessary changes I can make them. (I’ll even throw in an e-book of The Choking Rain for your trouble. If you were moved to leave a review on Amazon, I would be grateful, but it is not required.)

So in a couple of weeks I hope to start serious work on The Killing Scar, and be done with it some time around Thanksgiving. Given the exigencies of the season, editing that will probably take the rest of the year. The first half of 2018 will be occupied by writing no. 4, Marauders from the Moon, and no. 5, The Invisible Crimes. Then we’ll see where we stand.

It’s funny; I have never planned this many works in advance before. It makes me feel like a real writer. Up until now, if I planned a year ahead, it was only to finish the current novel. Life certainly can surprise you.

What will really surprise me is if I can carry this off. The Experiment hasn’t ended, it’s only gotten additional funding…

#SFWApro

Read Full Post »