Category Archives: Weekly Update

The Size That Fits

Two weeks have passed since the last of these, and it may be that will happen often, at least for a while, until I have a completed book to promote. It turns out that I don’t have a lot of topics ready to hand that I want to talk about on an ongoing basis, except the current state of the writing, and perhaps, just saying, “Still writing,” isn’t a compelling topic in and of itself.

However, I’m still writing. It’s not a breakneck pace, but I don’t expect any pace but a plodding one for quite a while. Still, the novel sits at 37 thousand words, which is almost the length of October, yet I don’t believe it is much more than a quarter of the way done.

Speaking of the length, I do want to mention, briefly, that I intend for this kind of length (160-180 thousand words) to be my new normal. If you look at the books I wrote in the years before the drought, my longest book, Fragments reached only 120k words, which was about twice as long as Moony and Minders and the unreleased fantasy novel that will now be getting a rewrite. But even Fragments did not quite match the kind of books I really love, and prefer to read, in terms of length and depth.

There just isn’t room in a 60k word book like Minders or Moony to tell the other side of the story, or to fit in scenes that provide more of the flavor of the place. You can, of course, write that more flavorful thing as three separate books, but I feel every book needs to conclude “something”, even if it’s not the whole story, so breaking a 180k word book into 60k chunks so you can publish once a month gives the story a rhythm that might not be there if you weren’t doing that.

And I don’t prefer that rhythm. It doesn’t make any of those 60k word books bad books, by any means. They’re just not my favorite.

And that’s what I decided to do during the dark days of the drought. I won’t be chasing trends, or trying to drop a new book every month like some people are able to do. I will be writing what I love, in the way that I can write it, to whatever length best fits it. Which means it’ll probably take four to six months to write a book. We’ll find out together, won’t we?

What I’m Reading

I just finished Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, which is honestly, a book I should have read long ago. I was put off by the setting, years ago, but after having finished it, finally, I think it’s a fantastic book

I also finished reading Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski. It’s a fantastic auto-biography of the man behind Babylon 5, as well as a bunch of other well known properties. The first half is brutal, though.

My next book conquest, I think, will be The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. I previously read Best Served Cold and enjoyed it very much, and it’s high time I read some of his other work.


I wasn’t planning on talking about this, but I’ve been putting words down on a new novel, now, every day for the last five weeks. Thirty-five days in a row. It’s not a huge accomplishment, in the overall scheme of things. I once wrote 450 days in a row, which I still think is pretty impressive. My next longest streak after that was 40 days in a row, when I was writing Shattered. This one comes in at number three.

A friend of mine and I have had multiple discussions about streaks vs the need to take days off. I’m not going to rehash the argument here, because we’re both right. I think getting and staying on a streak is useful as a way to keep the momentum going, and he thinks you need days off to recharge.

For me, if I take days off, I worry that I won’t come back for weeks, which has been proven to happen, time and time again. So when I get a streak going, I’m really, really excited about it, because it means words are going to get written, and books are going to get finished.

I don’t think I’ll ever write 450 days in a row, again. I might take a couple days off between books. But again, I might not. While I’m on a streak, I wanna ride it while I can.

What do you think?

What I’m Reading

I finished the available Cradle books by Will Wight, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next one, which is supposed to be the last. So I had to pick something new to start, and I ended up picking two things. The first, which has had more time spent on it, is Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay, and the second is Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erickson. There’s a good chance I’ll still be reading at least one of these next week. See you then!

So, Wednesdays

I had a good week of writing. The story has taken a bit of a twist that I’m really pleased with. The whole thing will likely require some major redrafting of the opening, if I ever decide to publish it (spoiler: I probably will, even though it was intended to be a learn how to ride a bike again kind of thing), but I’m super okay with that.

A note to new writers out there. If you hear writing advice, check to see who’s giving it to you. If you see some advice about how to start your story (for instance), and you go and check to see what they author has written and see they’ve only written two books, read their openings. See if they follow their own advice, and then see if you like their openings (or whatever is relevant to the advice they’re giving).

I watched a video from a young author (young in book terms, it turns out), who gave the “standard” advice about what NOT to do when starting your story. Don’t start with exposition, don’t start with a character we’ll never see again, don’t start with a boring day in the life, don’t start with your character waking up in bed. So I looked up their writing, I found two published books. I read the openings. One started with a dream sequence, and then they woke up in bed. In the other, they woke up in bed to see it snowing outside. Couldn’t follow their own advice.

Also, don’t follow my advice. I don’t know what I’m doing.

What I’m Reading

I’m still reading Will Wight’s Cradle series, but I’m in the middle of the last available book (Dreadgod). I dread finishing it, and having to wait for the final book in the series (which I think should be out this year), but I’m having so much fun reading it that I don’t want to put it off.