December Write Day: NaNo is Over, but I barely Noticed

I’m sensing a pattern here, in that each month seems to pass more quickly than the last.

This post is a week late because I wanted to finish “The Grand Mythos”, so we’re already almost halfway through December. Oh well.

November was solid. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and we had a nice time with family, but I’ve also taken some interesting steps on the writing front.

Not only did I finish publishing my mythic fantasy series, but I’ve also started writing my short story. Continue reading “December Write Day: NaNo is Over, but I barely Noticed”

Reflections on Another Completed Story: "The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan"

As you might have seen on Friday, I just posted the twelfth and final chapter of “The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan, Volume One” on Wattpad, so I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the last year of publishing with Wattpad, as well as the writing of these stories. Continue reading “Reflections on Another Completed Story: "The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan"”

The Finale: "The Grand Mythos" Chapter 12

I’m really stoked to finally release the final chapter of “The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan, Volume One”. Somehow it doesn’t feel like that long ago that I started publishing this story on Wattpad, but it’s been almost a year.

I intend to write a full retrospective post both on this story and my Wattpad experience this year, but just know that I’m really proud of this story, and I want you to read it.

Wattpad is free, which means you can read my story and a ton of other great stories just by creating an account and downloading the app (or just reading on your computer).

There is no Volume Two yet, but I’m already forming ideas around what that might entail. For now, I have other things to work on.

Genre: fantasy, high fantasy, mythic fantasy

Chapter Blurb: The First Life fulfill its true purpose, but to what end?

Series Blurb:

Every world has its origin story.

The vibrant world of Úr’Dan and the powerful beings who created it are eager to find life in the cosmos. But their untested powers will clash as they each strive to bring their vision of the universe to fruition–and control the wondrous creatures who live there. Witness the creation of a vibrant new world.

Based on the unique fantasy universe of the novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

As always, this story is free to read on Wattpad:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/163684352-the-grand-mythos-of-%C3%BAr%27dan-volume-one

Thank you for reading if you have been, and even if you haven’t, thanks for following my progress.

Steve D

Aaaand it's the holidays

I had intended to finalize the 12th and last chapter of “The Grand Mythos” on Monday and post it to Wattpad, but I had some online shopping to do.

I generally avoid the consumerist craze known as The Holidays, but we’re doing a fun gift exchange with my in-laws this year, and I wanted to get something on a deal.

The short version is there are too many options, I’m indecisive, and I’m probably overthinking what my intended giftee will think of their main gift. Buuuut… it’s 10:30pm as I write this and I really don’t want to stay up all night writing a real post.

So you all will get chapter 12 and the attendant announcement post this week. For now, have an impressive Evanescence cover.

Don’t Be Afraid to Write the Story You Want

A lot of blogs and publishing websites will tell you to research your genre and see what concepts or ideas are currently trending in the market. If you can quickly develop a similar concept, write the story, and publish, you could ride the coattails of similar books and sub-genres to a better launch.

That’s a solid strategy for selling books, but I personally do not feel like it’s a great strategy for writing meaningful stories. If you’re writing a concept that is meaningful to you, and it also happens to be trending in the market, that’s great! You’re probably on your way to some good sales numbers.

But I would argue that telling the most meaningful story should come first; sales and marketing come second.

Tell the Story You Want to Tell

Beyond the sales side of it, it can be easy to get wrapped up in your own expectations for your ideal story. You have a great concept in your head, with your main characters and a good sense of where the plot will lead all lined up.

But you can’t start writing… you actually avoid trying to craft that first line. Why? Because the concept is so perfect in your head. Before it touches paper or a computer screen, it doesn’t require revisions or editing. No one can criticize it. You don’t have to worry about disappointing sales numbers or lack of readership. In your head, that story is exactly what you think it could be.

I realized I was doing this recently with a new concept for a two- or three-part short story. I’ve had a lot of ideas to diversify my writing projects and to get smaller things published while I work on WoEL, which will certainly not be ready to publish for at least another year.

One such concept is a multi-part short story that I can publish in parts on KDP, then as a single volume in print. I’ve outlined quite a bit, particularly for my protagonist, and I feel like the concept is solid enough to start writing.

But I have yet to actually start writing. Instead, I was getting ready to start another project, one with much lower stakes. This one would be a running travelogue-style series on Wattpad — just short entries every couple of weeks following one particular character.

I like both of these ideas, and I want to pursue each of them, but I haven’t had any movement on the short story.

Now, what are the key differences between these two ideas?

  • One, the Wattpad series, is very low commitment. I can casually write a new chapter every couple of weeks, publish on the interwebs, hope some people read it, and keep going.
  • The other is a story I want to publish professionally: cover art, revisions, book design… the whole nine yards. Then, I would try to sell these stories online and at conventions next year. That means I have to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

See the difference?

This short story is the one I really want to write, but it comes with a much greater commitment of my time and energy, and it will be exposed to a wider audience (I hope).

I’ve neglected actually writing it because of the risk it involves. I can’t get it done in time, or people won’t like it, or it won’t sell. I’ve let the fear of those things keep me from writing, but I can’t control any of those things until I actually write the story.

So, it’s easy to get caught up in all the what-ifs involved with writing and publishing a story, but if that idea sticks with you, lingering in the back of your mind for months on end? Leave the fears behind. That’s the story you should be working on. Worry about the rest later.

Steve D

VINDOLANDA Hit All the Hallmarks of Historical Fiction

I love finding great things in unexpected places.

Vindolanda is the first in a series of historical fiction novels about the Roman Empire in Britain circa 98 CE.

I found this novel when searching for books about the Celtic goddess Brigantia. Not exactly related, but what I found was a compelling fictional story that had the detailed approach of a history book. Continue reading “VINDOLANDA Hit All the Hallmarks of Historical Fiction”