Monthly Archives: November 2015

Development Of A Bright Power Rising

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The best thing about not knowing what you’re doing is you are willing to attempt feats you would realize were difficult to almost impossible.

In 2004, I started the first draft of what would become The Golden Rule Duology. Back then, it had the snappy title of The Two-Thumbed Hand. (I don’t know why I changed it.)  The story concentrated on the Ors, one of the five races in the Photocosm setting I’d created. Up till then, the Sables (the myrmidons of the Dark Light) had been the focus of my efforts, but the Ors captured my imagination so much, I had to write about them.

The book originally began at the start of the second section of A Bright Power Rising. My original plan was to see the entire story through the viewpoint of AscendantSun and NoName (who were DayRise and SunSet back then) but their interactions with the (human) Mixies became quickly unwieldy to write. The Ors were alien to the reader, while the Mixies were alien to the Ors. Explaining things became quickly convoluted. The story quickly became an onion of aliening. I cried every time I had to cut through the layers.

The problem with writing the alien is you are merely three letters short of alienate. While readers might enjoy the alien perspective, emotional resonance takes time to establish. The readers need ‘rules’. They need analogies. They need to relate the Ors’ reactions to their own emotions.

To ease the reader into this world, the Mixies’ role was expanded into what became the first section of A Bright Power Rising. The Mixies’ society became fleshed out. In some ways, they, too, are alien but they are recognizably human.

The Two-Thumbed Hand eventually became The Golden Rule. It was so long, a printed copy filled two thick ring binders. My initial readers came back with three clear issues. It was too long, it wasn’t long enough, but the ending was really good.  Basically, I needed to slow down the pace to give people time to adjust to what was going on, and at the same time not inflict an excessively long story on them. I needed to split it into two volumes.

The initial problem was how to end  the first volume.  I wanted to tell a complete story, but I had to do so in a way that readers would want to read the next book. The third part of A Bright Power Rising was the result.

My beta readers loved it so I was soon off to get it edited. The first problem was where to get an editor. I must have looked at about thirty to forty different options. It’s an expensive decision, not simply in the initial financial outlay, but in time and morale. Picking the wrong editor can set you back. I wanted someone who knew what they were doing and would be brutally honest with the book’s issues. Fortunately, I lucked out by finding Finish The Story and Claire Ashgrove in particular.

I worked very hard through the editing process. I wanted the book to be ‘right,’ Ultimately, while it was at times painful, I learned an immense amount and the book improved beyond all recognition,

I had the book proofread a couple of times by Finish The Story and by Proofed to Perfection. One of the things always missed in the debates about errors in self-published books is that one proofreader is not enough to guarantee errors are minimized. My understanding is the big publishers use multiple proofreaders per book. Whenever I read a proofreader claim to never miss a mistake, I raise an eyebrow.

Everyone I’ve read talks of publishing for the first time as exciting. It is, but it is also nerve-racking. If I had to do it all over again, I would have first published a short story first to get familiar with the publishing process on Amazon, etc.

I was very happy with the final product. During editing, I weirdly get less satisfied with them when I haven’t read them a while, but when I reread them and get back into the story, my confidence in them returns. Fortunately, once they are published (unless some typo/error crops up), I just let them go as my brain starts work on the next book. It’ll be interesting to reread A Bright Power Rising in a couple of years. What will I think of it then?

SPOILER BELOW:

The one issue I would change in a perfect world would be the pronouns for the Ors, given their genderless nature. I would have liked to use something like xe/xem/xyr for them. But as an unknown self-publishing my own book, I decided this would create a barrier for readers who were unfamiliar with the terminology. I couldn’t afford to come off as being willfully obscure.

 

NEXT WEEK: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN & THE PARTING GIFT.

 

 

The Unconquered Sun

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I am delighted to announce that The Unconquered Sun will be released on 11th February 2016. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon HERE.

 

Ever wish you were someone else? AscendantSun is about to…

He is beset by foes. The Harbinger’s legions threaten the people he strives to defend. Critics among his own followers undermine him. The ambitions of his unreliable ally, Garscap Torp, endanger him at every turn. Worse, the blood-thirsty god he spurned is about to return. However, the greatest enemy he must face is himself.

The riddle set for him on the Crooked Stair will be answered on the bloody fields of Cliffringden. But will he survive it?

 

The Parting Gift Is Now Available On Amazon

ThePartingGift-Cover

A short story set in the same world as A Bright Power Rising and The Unconquered Sun.

Certamen’s god is dead. His people, the Ors, are broken and enslaved. He finds consolation in the knowledge that they are safe… But not for much longer. Their masters, facing decimation by disease, are growing desperate. Desperate enough to kill.


ISBN 978-1-910206-06-5 (Mobi) from Amazon.

Paperback to follow!