Intermittent Updates and Blather
The Blog of C. H. Knyght
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...my day I mean, I woke up this morning teetering and not really in the mood for being on the move.
Sometimes, usually, it's the little things that make the difference. Today, it was the return of a blog review for Twilight Shadows. I didn't want to look, I was too tired to deal with a negative blow. After some coffee, I sucked it up and read the review, 4stars YAY! and that one thing turned my day from tired and dreary, to tired and hopeful. (It's Friday, I'm more than a little done with the work week and still have tomorrow to go.)) But, I was reminded that I can do this. One word, one sentence, paragraph, chapter, book at a time. Writing is a long game. 99.999999 percent of the time, it is not an overnight success. Take the small wins and celebrate them. This works for whatever you do in life. Celebrate and share the positives. I've been struggling, NaNoWriMo is hard, making solid sequels is hard, but I am persevering; because, I love books, and I want to write books that other people love, ecape and empowerment through the trials life throws at us. Today, a small review changed my mood. I will work towards a positive tomorrow. Check out the day changing review here!
If you like steampunk, or haven't tried it yet, check out my new story in the Clockwork Dragons Anthology! Isn't the cover beautiful? I love it. Probably because it matches my usual aesthetic of black and purple, even though I had no input. Kinda looks like it would fit in next the Nightvision books right? This is my third of four accepted anthologies. To see the others I have stories in go here.
To write a book in a month? Fifty Thousand words here I come. Given a win this Nov. my steampunk/fantasy wip, Skyborn, with be over 100k for the first draft. I expect that will be heavily trimmed down during revisions as sentence structure gets tightened up, but edits will tell when the time comes. I won my first NaNoWriMo by writing almost entirely on my phone, here, there, and everywhere, when I had time. Which, unless you are one of the speed demons out there, 50k in a month a takes significant time investment. (There are some who spill their counts out in the first day or week. Ouch and how?) But I tend to be the plod along to the standard daily count of 1667 until the last few days when I hit my deadline pressure point a dump out a couple 5k days and call it won a day or two early; though the story is often not complete yet. This year, I am going to try adding dictation to my routine and see how it goes. I also have a specific writing channel on pandora that I listen too when I'm writing. It's kind of pirate metal, weird but has a beat, and I absolutely only listen to it if am I writing. Video game music is a great soundtrack option too-If you are like me and can't stand silence anyway. I always have something going given the choice.
So for those of you who are braving the challenge, welcome! I won't say it's easy, but it is doable! Prepare your snacks. Stretch your fingers. Here are some link you might find helpful, we all have our own systems of churning out the words.
The official site! www.nanowrimo.org You'll find partners, sprint, gauntlets, and all sorts of word games to bring the challenge along.
Writing Game fun! Get your word count and progress in the story game here.
https://4thewords.com/home It is a paying game, but past Nanowrimos have been open and free for the month and if you win the official nano, there's been discount codes for the site.
Free and simple, if unfinished, is Fighter's Block, it's timer system keeps the fingers moving. http://cerey.github.io/fighters-block
For writing progress breakdown beside the official site, try Pacemaker
There's a NaNoWriMo facebook group, which usually has sprints running all month
Same for Twitter. Probably tumblr too, though I've not run into it.
Track all of your new characters and their imporant details with my Writing Workbook series!
You can find some fun prompts here: https://www.chknyght.com/fav-writing-tools.html
Whatever you do, don't stop, don't edit. don't fall into the research pit. It can all be made pretty and sensical after the fact, in like February. Just make notes as you go. I like to insert them like ((this in parenthesis)) so I can find them later with the search function.
It is an international month of writing madness! If you join the challenge, good luck!
If you're not writing, cheer us on! If you know one of us in person, check up, make sure we are eating, and aren't beating our head on our keyboards, or totally lost in the worlds we are creating. It happens. ;P
Or NaNoWriMo as we call it, # it, sob it into our keyboard, scream enthusiastically into the night of Nov1, sob it into our keyboards about a week and a half in. Ok maybe a little dramatic, maybe, but we are writers, what else do you expect from us?
You know, besides the cliché introverted, coffee-guzzling, cat-snuggling, drowning in the research wondering why we aren't getting any work done writer's life.
NaNoWriMo if you have heard of it, starts Nov 1, the goal being writing fifty thousand words by the end of the month. We all approach it our own way, classic, rogue, overkill, planner, panster, plantser. However we pull it off, the idea is to spew out the first rough draft of your book. Once, it exists, it can all be made pretty later, draft two-infinity. Nano is purely for getting it out there. There are actually other months, April and June I believe, that have similar challenges called Camp NanoWrimo.
This will be my fifth NaNo, I am semi-rebelling by working on an already in-progress project, Skyborn a steampunk tale I worked on previous Nano, but I am intending to add another full 50k to it, so it still counts. ;)
There's time to prepare and jump in! Have a book you've been dreaming about?
In other news, Nightvision Dawn's Sacrifice is off to endure its first editing round. Getting it edited is nerve-wracking, but my developmental editor, Michelle Dunbar, will help me make it the best it can be, and it's nice to have other eyes on it to point out the weak spots that I'm blind to.
Inktober is upon us, and I say that with nearly the gravity bestowed on NaNoWriMo, (a thing for next month if you haven't heard of it.)
Inktober is not my brainchild, but it is amazing for brain sparks. It is a prompt list generated by the artist Jake Parker who started the idea of spending the month flexing our art muscles by drawing daily in ink. This month, they've added the idea for writers to join in by writing 50+ words for the prompts. It's a creative exercise to help us break out of ruts or back into the creative stream if we need a jumpstart. It can be scrabbles and drabbles or masterpieces with hours of work poured into them. If you live on s.media, especially IG, and follow any artists, chances are really good your going to be seeing a lot of inkwork, if you haven't already as I'm writing this two days into the month already.
I haven't officially started either version of Inktober, though I usually try my hand at drawing all month. I'm still scrambling to hold to deadlines for Nightvision. It's happening, but not at the pace I need it to be. This blog post is already longer than what I've written on Nightvision yet today; though, it is my plan for the rest of my day. I do have a few ideas sketched out, mostly illustrations for Nightvision to keep my brain on the right track, so hopefully I'll get some proper ink on my fingers.
If you are curious, inspired and want to join in; here is the official prompt list, though there are several unofficial lists, or rogue players in general. The idea is to create, whatever form that takes.
Some of my sketch plans to be inked. Everything starts as scribbles. ;) It doesn't have to be perfect or pretty in the first drafts, some of these have already be refined since I snapped these pics. There's a couple of peeks into Dawn's Sacrifice here. Princess Nakai, Prince Dante, King Marius, King Marius's Elemental, Lemurta, Queen Jeziah.
So, with the power of the digital age the world of fiction evolves constantly as writers create books as fast as the readers can consume them. That's how we get niche genres, smaller corners that specialize in favorite subjects and tropes for readers to eat like potato chips, one is never enough. I'm pretty sure I have very small grasp on the concept, but I am learning.
One newer niche for me, is LRPGs or Literature Role-Playing Games. Think, Dragons and Dragons for table top, or Mass Effect and Dragon Age for videos. LRPGs take styles of the games and roll them into a book. In my experience, the connecting factor is the level-up style systems, and item gathering. As in playing a video game, there is often a HUD sort of thing described and a dungeon master or game AI that directs your world. How you get there and what kind of world it is varies according to the author's imagination as RPGs can be fantasy, scifi or an amazing conglomeration of both.
I've played more video game rpgs than read as of yet; however, two that have stood out to me is Clerical Error by D. R. Perry and Goblin King by R. R. Virdi. I like both of them, but I think between the two Clerical Error is my favorite because I relate the mc more. The Mc of Goblin King reminded me a lot of Rurouni Kenshin (an older anime that I grew up on.) If you are unfamiliar with RPGs in general, Clerical Error is light enough on the jargon that it won't scramble a noobs brain and is a light fun read. Goblin King is a large world akin to Elder Scrolls and has the book size to match, so if you like exploring the grand depths of the worlds, this one is for you.
Hope this find you well and enjoying the oncoming fall, (I could do with a little less rain myself, but at least it's not snow.)
Care H. Knyght
Get a free ebook from ProWritingAid.
I do seriously love this program.
One of my current favorite tools is simple, unfinished, and exactly what I need.
Fighter's Block, it's a small writing site that was the beginnings of a game for writing, like I said, it's not finished, but it's functional, and the important part is there, a moving bar. You set your word count and speed, and go. Typing keeps the timer bar up, but if you're idle, staring at the screen, then it drops. If forces me to spit out words instead of brain wandering.
I know I don't have the busiest blog, but if you peek at it, what would you like to hear more about? Writing, progress?
On the progress note, I'm pushing my limits this month. Dawn's Sacrifice is my priority and due to my editor on Oct21. I scheduled her on purpose to put my butt in gear, but damn it came up fast. I also am working on a steampunk anthology submission, and have again, signed up for the Writer's Games. It's a doable schedule, but not any easy one. I'm going to have to stay one task. Feel free to drop a note and cheer me on. ;P
One thing you, and I, didn't realize we needed to know as Indie Authors, but will add a special touch to our blurb: computer coding! No, no, don't run away. I know, it sounds like numbers and math, I stay as far away from those as possible. Html text codes are not that awful, at least the four codes I've learned this week in my quest to strength my publishing career path. That's it four: Heading, strong, paragraph, and italics. There's more of course. If any of you are programming people, or had computer classes, I'm sure you're well ahead of me on the html knowledge ladder. Yes, in this I'm a noob.
This first screen shot is from a html test site I found through google, Tryit Editor, it was the first one I clicked on, so I'm sure there's others, but it shows you exactly what your codes are, or aren't, doing, before you go through the steps of uploading to the 'zon and waiting days for approvals to see the coding results.
(Look at it! I wrote that! And it made sense! Lmao)
The image below is a screenshot I grabbed of a Youtuber breaking down some of the basics codes for us, they list more than I've needed to use yet. Seriously, all I've done to figure any of this out was our dear friend google, once I learned that it was even a thing. My friend offered to do it for me, but she's hammering out books full time--at least one a month, I believe-- and I didn't want to dump work of mine onto her if I could figure it out, so I did! Felt down right accomplished for it too!
You can see the blurb in live action on Midnight Sands!
I'm still weaving the web of my writing career, but I'll share tidbits as I learn them. It's one of my primary focuses in life right now. ;) That and writing the third and final book in the Nightvision trilogy. It's taking proper shape.
Oh, and did you know that rss blog feeds are a thing? I still don't totally get them, but yesterday I did figure out that there's one here (orange kinda wifi button on the right side over there) Anyway, the point I liked about it was the rss feed link attaches to my Author Central on the 'zon, one more strand in the web. I'd tried to link my blog in before, but it has to be rss link. I was confused, but again google was my friend. Sometimes you just gotta know it's there to be found.
I hope this helps my writer peeps! If ya'll have any tips, I'm always happy to learn! Questions, if I know, I'll try to help! But I did mention I'm a bit of a noob right?
Still, as humans, we can always learn and grow!
Ps. part of my learning corners are insisting that blogging is a part of the thing, so I'm going to try and be a little more consistent. (Pintrest is a font of knowledge, I have loads of writer and art boards over there, give them a follow!) They also say to pick your favorite social media corners, I'm still fluffing my feathers around to pick my nesting zones.
Be the first to read "Dusk Sorrows" a free short story, preluding the Nightvision Trilogy, and introducing us to Dante and the fantasy world of the Mother's Realm.
Shapeshifters, magic, elementals: Fight!
It's come time for Dante to prove himself as the crown prince. Stopping a feral fire elemental from burning down Ookamimori should be a good start.
One of my favorite things in the giftbox is the Reckless Deck, a creation of Clark Huggins. I got in one of his Kickstarters and was rewarded with the full set of his creative decks, of which he has several. I am excited to include the first and primary deck in the giftbox. It's just a cool creative sparker, you shuffle your card and draw from the various attributes: intrinsic nature, costumes, modifications, weapons and accessories, and run with them. It's great for writing or drawing unique characters.
Help me build the coolest Writer's giftbox, and invest in the Kickstarter for the initial foundation pieces.
We have to reach the full goal to receive the funds. Please invest and share with your friends!
No worries, it's not for the next Nightvison book, that's in progress. THe Kickstarter is for a Deluxe Writer's giftbox that I'll offer for sale on Etsy, along with the current one and a new smaller one for three tiers for writer support options. I am working on a world-building encyclopedia, similar to the character workbooks, that will be included. If you'd like to support the initial launch and get in on the reward goodies, check it out: kck.st/2Vx3D6h
That's about it for updates, I'm working on two shorties, one of which is a prequel piece to Dante's story, and then I'll tear into revising book three of the Nightvision Trilogy. I hope you are all looking forward to it.