Flurry of Ideas!

Well, it’s been a month. I finished reading the second Dresden novel. I started the third and then stopped. Then I started reading “Bookburners” created by Max Gladstone. It’s a serial novel that debuted on http://serialbox.com. It’s a subscription based site that releases an episode a week of a novel. I bought the paperback at Barnes & Noble. Each episode is self contained, written like a television show. This is perfect because it’s exactly how I write! I’ve learned a lot by reading it. It has inspired me to begin writing again!

I set aside the Jonquil, Demon Hunter Prince idea for now and worked on my gay pirates idea for a second before I failed again. Then the sentai project came up again. Usually when I attempt to make something out of the Venturi Force sentai project, I fail spectacularly. I know how things start, but I could never get into the story after the team assembles. I have written the assemblage about six times over the years. Well, I finally broke through and wrote a full 10k first episode. I’m pretty proud of it. I took a week off after finishing it and I finally got around to writing a paragraph of plot for the second episode.

I would love to get paid for publishing this series if it survives. I don’t know how to create a platform to make this possible. I need to just learn how to edit my work well enough to skip the beta reading process. Nothing ever gets published because I keep sending my stories to bitches who say that they’ll read it within the time frame I set and then they never do. Or I pay an editor who only reads it, but doesn’t edit anything. I have bad luck with this. I think I’m going to skip the middle man and just do it myself. This is the only barrier that I’ve identified… well, that’s not true. I place many barriers in my way, but skipping the beta readers is my first way around a main one.

Well, I’ve ranted enough. Goodnight!

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

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Dresden Files

I’ve spent most of the week reading Fool Moon, Book Two of the Dresden Files. I’m enjoying it so far. I’m not sure I’m learning much from it. One thing that I’ve noticed that I could use some help with is descriptions. Jim Butcher has a great way of describing things. That is something that I lack. I tend to focus more on the characters and what they’re doing instead of the background around them. If it’s important, I’ll mention it. That’s not always the best way to tell a story. Lack of descriptions has been one common bit of feedback that I’ve received. I’ve never really decided to work on it, but now I know it’s something that I need to do. Descriptions are important!!!

Descriptions of the environment are hard for me. I’ve never put much thought into my character’s surroundings. I never know how much description to put into the narrative. I fear putting too much information, you know, info-dumping. How much is too much? When does description get in the way of the narrative? I haven’t been able to find the middle ground. Trial and error is what’s needed.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue reading Dresden Files and soak up as much information as I can. I’m also trying to get more ideas about Monster Hunting Prince as well.

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

A Change in Style

Hello all. Lately I’ve been feeling like my writing style hasn’t changed in many years. I feel that my writing is a little infantile. Infantile is the word I use to describe the reading level of my prose. While I want to write for adults, I don’t think my prose reads like it’s for adults. I think that it’s more suited for YA, and I don’t want to be a YA writer. My writing is heavily influenced by Power Rangers when I was a teenager. I think that I haven’t progressed from that influence. I want to adopt a new, more adult writing style using characters closer to my age (35!!! WOW!) and more adult themes. I have been working on an outline for the monster hunting prince idea for a while, but I’ve decided to hold off on it to do some research. What is this research? I’m going to read the Dresden Files books to see what I can learn. I’m on the second book “Fool Moon”. The story is alright so far. I just hope that I can learn something good about Jim Butcher’s style. 🙂

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll check in with you all later!

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

New New Project!

I had such a great time last weekend. A coworker/friend, her roommate, and I went to Bisbee, AZ for a writing retreat! It was great! We rented a really nice two story house in the hills near downtown. We hit the town and spent a lot of money before we actually sat down and started writing, which was 10:00 pm. The weather was so nice. It was ten degrees cooler in Bisbee than it was in Tucson. The city is so beautiful! The people were so nice, and their dogs are adorable. The downside to Bisbee is that it’s not ADA compliant. It’s the “Land of 1,000 Stairs.” The city is on a series of hills and mountains. No one with a physical disability could get around safely and comfortably. You need stairs to get to most of the places there. I wanted to invite a friend who has cerebral palsy and depends on crutches to get around, but I was forewarned about the stairs. She couldn’t go. I felt bad about it.

I thought that I would be working on Book 2 of Mystic Guardians of Caerth, but I was inspired by the name Jonquil to start something new. I’m also under the impression that my writing style is more suited to 6th graders, since that’s the reading level my works rate at. I use simplistic words and sentences. And the stories I write are highly influenced by Power Rangers. I know that some adults still watch Power Rangers, but I fear that the adult audience I’m going for might not be interested in my stories.  I want to write Dresden Files caliber stuff, more grown up, you know? In the end, I’ve decided that my style just comes naturally and I should embrace it. It is what it is. My style may not be for everyone, but hopefully it’ll be enough for someone.

I’m outlining the new new project simply named “Jonquil”. I’m trying to develop the premise of a prince fighting monsters in his spare time. Here’s hoping this one sticks.

Will I finish Book 2 of MGoC? I think I will. I’m not sure. I feel Jonquil might have more sustainable storylines. I have three planned already and am anxious to get to them. I can’t promise anything. We’ll see… (which I hesitate to say because when my father said it, it usually meant “no.”)

Thanks for reading.

XPJjengasquirrels

Book 2 Underway

So, I started outlining the second book in the Mystic Guardians series. I didn’t want to take a break because I didn’t want to lose faith and momentum in the series. I want to keep this train going! I want to write six books in the series this year and release them maybe next year. (Providing I live that long!) Book 2 is shaping up. I started out with one draft of Part 1 of the story, but I decided to change the villains and start the outline over again. I finished plotting Part 1 and am starting on Part 2. I have an ending for this book, but not a middle. Making things up is fun, right? I just hope it’s not crap!

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

Mystic Guardians Excerpt

Here is my favorite scene from Mystic Guardians of Caerth, Book 1!

David and the Demon King are about to have dinner.

“What are we having for dinner?” David asked. He wasn’t sure what demons ate. Maybe a nice light soup? A salad?

“Pizza!” Jeff said excitedly. “I thought it would be okay to make food from your realm to better relate. I hope you’re not a vegan.” He shivered at the mention of the word.

“I’m not a vegan.”

“Oh, thank the heavens!” Jeff laughed and pretended to wipe sweat from his brow. “I’m glad. I put all the meat on it!”

The door to the hall opened and a small demon with a tray arrived. He brought the pizza over to the table and began to plate.

David’s mouth began to water as he watched the servant place two slices of three meat pizza on his plate. When the servant was done, he plated the king’s slices. He bowed when he was finished and said that he would bring drinks.

David waited until Jeff picked up his slice before he picked up his knife and fork to dig in. Jeff raised an eyebrow at him. David stopped and said, “It’s too hot to hold, so…” Jeff nodded his head and replaced his slice to opt for the utensils. “It’s okay to use your hands, your majesty.”

“I’ve never eaten pizza before, but I heard so much about it that I thought I’d give it a try.” Jeff cut a piece off and ate it. He chewed slowly as he let the flavor hit his tongue. He nodded his head after a minute and gave David a thumbs up. “I like it. I could eat this every day.”

“You’ll get fat.”

“What?”

“Pizza makes you fat,” David informed.

“Pizza makes you fat?” Jeff paused for a moment and stared at his slices. He mulled it over for a bit before he said, “I can live with that. Here’s to getting fat!” He ate another piece.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

New Novella!!!

It’s been quiet on the blog front. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been trying to pick an idea to write. I had three ideas and I melded them into one idea! I plotted it at the end of January and I started writing it on February 1st! I finished writing it on the 13th! I’m feeling quite proud of myself! I didn’t want to reveal what I was writing until I was done with it because I have a habit of killing projects after I announce them.

The novella is called “Mystic Guardians of Caerth”. I don’t know how to pronounce Caerth, it just looks pretty! It’s about a group of people with super powers protecting a young man who finds out that he’s a half demon coming into his powers. The Mystics must protect the young man from the Demon King who wants him for his own devices!

I had a lot of fun writing it. I always try to write comedy, but when I plan for it, it always fails. I was able to incorporate some comedy in this. I’m going to post an excerpt in the next post!

Mystic Guardians of Caerth is an attempt to be a book series. I’m already trying to keep the momentum going by attempting to come up with the next book. I hope I haven’t doomed myself!

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

Quit Naming Projects!!!

I really need to quit naming projects because when I do, they tend to die. I have once again abandoned Peternatural. There are three ideas that I always have in my head at all times that I return to at least once a year:

Peternatural – a normal guy, Peter, suddenly gains the ability to see supernatural beings. He ends up living with a demon and a ghost and funny things happen. This is also known as Being Human. (Sigh)

Personal Demons – Matthew accidentally summons a demon in his sleep and awakes to find it is bound to him. The demon complicates his life in different and funny ways.

Venturi Force – This is my Power Rangers spoof where an eccentric Japanese professor assembles his own Power Rangers team to fight evil creations of Dr. Vivian Underwood. Funny things happen.

Each year, I try to do something with these ideas and I get stopped and stumped at the same point every time. I create characters, but I have nothing for them to do. Every time!

So what I’ve done is combine them all into one. Let me tell you that it’s an interesting mix. All of these ideas are supposed to be funny, but what I’ve come up with is not very funny at all. Dark and serious is what I’m good at, so that’s what I’m sticking to, even though I desperately want to branch out and try something new.

I’ve got some ideas down, but it’s been slow going. I’m in no rush, but sorta am. I’m going to let the ideas flow as they come. I haven’t decided if this idea is going to be urban fantasy or fantasy… or maybe both. My goal is to mold this idea into a tiny book series that I can release every couple of months. I’m hoping that I can maintain faith in this project long enough to make something of it.

I need beta readers for “Time and a Half” (Janitorpunk). If you are interested in reading it, please let me know.

Thank you for reading!

XPJ

2017 Goals

2017 is upon us! I’m super excited for it! I’ve got a plan! I want to publish several books this year! I thought last year was going to be the year, but it wasn’t. I sat down with a coworker/friend and we made a simple book release plan. I would get my first book released sometime in May, release a short story a month or two later before releasing another book and so on. She mentioned that it was best to do this with a series. It makes sense! I only have the horror novellas and Meanwhile in Space… which needs retooling.

So I’ve been trying to find a series I could start on. I’ve had my years old super sentai (Power Rangers) idea come up again. I can never get past the character creation phase before I lose faith in it and move on to something else (which happened again today.) Another idea called “Peternatural” has come up again today. I got to the character creation phase, which is easy because I’m using characters from other failed ideas. I’m just having a hard time finding them something to do. That’s how “Venturi Force” (Super Sentai) suffers. I don’t have any villains for them to fight. With “Peternatural”, I have a vague sense of villainry. I was able to come up with a few ideas of what the characters could be fighting. I’m hung up on what kind of style I want “Peternatural” to be. I’d like it to be funny while dealing with serious action. I write comedy so poorly and shit gets serious and dark quickly. Do I want a serious plot or should it be a Seinfeld kind of format where nothing important happens? I hate Seinfeld. I’d like to write like Regular Show where the simplest things turn into big silly messes that are funny. I can’t seem to pull it off. I will not despair. It’ll be what it’ll be, right?

I’m slowly working on rewriting “Time and a Half” (The janitorpunk book). This is the book I hope to release in May. I just need people to read it and give me feedback. Drop me a comment if you’d be interested in reading it and giving me feedback in a reasonable amount of time!

Back to procrastinating!

Thanks for reading!

XPJ

Nanowrimo Day 25

Today, I finished “Time and a Half”! I was at the last chapter today! I wrote 3k at a write-in and I JUST now finished the book! I’m super excited! That’s the good news. The bad news is that it fell 3k short of 50k. So now I get to work on one of the other novellas I prepared for this month! WHEE!

Words Written Today: 4,201
Total Words Written: 46,979

SO CLOSE!!!