New ideas.

So I hate my brain. In the dark, cold recesses of the night. When I should be doing something important like sleeping, my brain is at work.

Some people think about work, or the money troubles that we all seem to be in. But for me, I am thinking about a story idea. Not an old story idea, but it is usually a new story idea.

This time, I thought of a new story centered around the idea of writing a story in the early bronze age.

That was the catalyst of the story. I have talked more about that concept in previous blog posts.

So, then I created a character. Arn. He is a 16 year old son of a tribal Chief. His tribe has been enslaved and killed at the beginning of the story. He is the last of his people and now he must find some way to move forward when all he feels is despair and anger.

The world is a land of mythical beasts, God’s demon’s and demi-gods. They all walk on the earth and meddle in the affairs of the puny mortal humans.

I have created a mythos of the gods. I have created a break down on the land and the different peoples. Magic has been created. I have written the first chapter.

The worst part is that I am excited to write this story. My mind is plotting out the story even now as I type this. I want to write it and get in onto paper.

But I have so many different projects to do.

Why brain? Why!

A short one today.

Until next time.

Futurism: Part Two

In part one, I talked about how the first colonists got off of the Earth and some of the reason’s behind it. In this post, I am going to talk about more specifics on how a corporation could make money sending people to space.

The first question the inevitably comes up is the extraordinary cost of getting anything into space. I’ll leave the politics out, but that basics of it is that it will cost approximately $10,000 per kg to send anything into Low Earth Orbit and approximately $30,000 per kg to send anything into Geosynchronous Orbit. Please note that LEO is anything around 160km to 2000km above the surface of the earth, while Geosynchronous Orbit is 35,786km above the surface of the earth. That means that it currently costs $75,000 to send an average human into LEO and 2.25 million to send one to Geosynchronous Orbit.

That price tag is huge. Impossibly huge. It is a huge barrier to human space exploration that it is what is holding everything back. It is not the risks to humans or the technologies that have to be devolved in order to make it work. It is money alone that is the barrier to space exploration and if anyone says otherwise, they are lying.

The biggest part of the cost to space exploration is the insane amount of fuel and material that it takes to get the cargo out of the gravity well of earth. The cost of moving cargo around the solar system is far cheaper. I am sure that you noticed the difference of moving cargo to Geosynchronous is only three times the cost for 17 times the distance.

A company can make a huge amount of profit by mining ice asteroids and providing the clean drinking water to the ISS. And that is only the tip of the iceberg for the amount of opportunities out there.

There are asteroids out there that are comprised of a large amount of rare earth metals. These metals are what make computers and modern life possible. But they are called rare earth metals because they are rare on earth. Out in space, however, they are not as rare as they are on earth. There is a nearby asteroid that has more platinum on it that has been mined from the earth since we knew of its existence.

That can be done by robots up to a point. At some point it becomes essential for humans to go and live in space. Only certain experiments can be done in a micro gravity and then there is the entire question of the asteroid of death issue that a multi-planet species will fix.

Once they get to space, human’s have a wide range of different needs that will need industries to meet. The best way to do that is to produce those goods in space. Where they don’t have to pay for the goods to be shipped out of the earth’s gravity well.

That means that the best way to develop long term space colony’s before we are able to build a space elevator is to cut the earth out of the equation for as many things as possible. No high prices of goods from Earth brings down the cost of living in space.

In my fictional world, that is what the corporations fight for and get. The ability to go space and the ability to ship materials back to Earth and to expect to make a profit of goods and services.

These corporations start by mining asteroids and building space stations in space. The develop Mars as a Space Colony and it is the private industry moving forward that prompts NASA to send a space mission cause heaven forbid a private industry getting to space before NASA.

That brings up a rather large amount of different issues as well, which will be talked about in a later blog post. Most of which aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things as the the story takes place in 2500 CE and not 2025 CE.

The story world changes from the time of the first explorers and settlers to the time of Des and the Jovian Empire. Just look at how life was like at 1525 CE to now in 2017 CE.

Next time I will go into more detail on what I think that brief history of what happens to each of the planets. Well, maybe one planet. We’ll see how it goes.

Productivity

I have a dream. (Enter rest of song from Tangled here.)

Anyways. My 5 year goal consists of me making my living from writing novels and other creative pursuits. To do that I have a plan. And you have to have a plan. There is no way to get a to a goal other than to have a plan.

So what is my plan.

Easy.

Well. Kinda.

It is to be able to write six novels a year. That means writing everyday. No stopping. No days off. No fun.

Kidding. Kinda. Days off are fine. As long as the work gets done. As long as the projects get completed and published.

The way to do that is to vary the length of the projects. I have ideas for longer works as well as shorter works. By varying lengths I am able to complete more publishable works than if  I did one long work. Writing a 500k word novel is good if your last name is Sanderson and have huge advances to keep fed.

Me, however, I don’t get huge advances. I don’t have the capability of writing those long works. I also feel that the market for indie books is not for the doorstops. The people that buy indie books want smaller fiction that costs less and that they are able to get through faster.

So that means pulling back the scope of the books from 150k novels to 70k novels and making two novels. I also want to write even shorter length works. I like writing my 6 yr old middle grade sci fi book.

What does this mean?

That means that I must be writing for half the year. I must be be editing novels for the other half of the year. I must be writing between 1ooo to 3000 words a day. This is assuming that my editing takes half the time. If I can get my editing time down that means that I can spread the writing out between other days.

How do you do that?

Cleaner first drafts. Do I mean less spelling mistakes? Kinda. I mean less developmental edits. I mean that I am going to have to do more outlining. I have to plan my stories. Plan the work better. Get the story right the first time.

But this is not an over night thing. It will take time to build up to that. It will take time to get the productivity up to a point where I am writing enough. I do, however, have planned projects to get me to that part.

That is 4 projects under development. The 4 projects is translated into multiple planned novels. I have one current stand alone being beta read. One trilogy with the first novel being edited. My middle grade has the first book out of six being edited. The last project is a pair of novels. I might change it to a trilogy by cutting the same length of book into three parts.

But I will have to figure out how to add a projected 50k words into the ‘first’ part of the project. My wife says that I need to take a page out of the TV version of game of thrones. Add more sex scenes. I am not sure if she is joking or not…

That means that if I get the current projects completed that I will have thirteen novels. If I can get that done it will be amazing.

But this brings up the question of the night. How can writing and publishing works regularly mean that I can eventually quit my day job and write novels for a job?

By writing and publishing work, on Amazon, builds up a library of work that people can buy. As more books are published, means that more people will see the books and buy the books. They may go back and buy other books in your library. People do that.

Well. I rambled enough. More later.

Cheers.

Nathan Pedde

Ramblings: Anxieties, Readers and Talent

So I have bought the bullet and have done it. I have sent one of my novels to be torn apart. Ripped to shreds. Eaten alive and spat out….

I am running out of metaphors.

One of the problems with where I live is that there isn’t a large community of writers to connect with. Those that are here tend to lie more on the literary side of the fiction writing spectrum. I am not on that side. To be more specific, I am so far away from it that it is like a couple of those shots from one of the many space probes. You know, the ones that passed by Jupiter. Anyways, they turned around and took a photo of the sun from Jupiter. The sun was a tiny speck in the distance.  It looked just like a bright star in the night sky if you were looking on earth. I am the space probe, the literary fiction writers are the sun.

That outlines the issue that I face. It is also one that faces many writers out there new. Getting your work edited and looked at to find any glaring errors. Finding Beta Readers. Or the want to find Beta Readers.

New writers have a hard time for various reasons. New writers tend to have anxiety on other people reading there work. They are afraid that the help that they may receive will be less than pleasant. That it will be overly harsh and critical. Many that do receive such advice get deflated and defeated and stop writing. They think that there work sucks, therefore they suck. That they are not going to be an overnight success.

I fell into that camp at one point. I thought my work was good. It wasn’t. I burned it. Poof. Gone. I didn’t write for years afterwards. To this day I do not know why I even write now. I just do. It is one of those things that I have accepted.

The reason that happens to many young writers out there has to do with our view of the word ‘Talent’. Or the phrase ‘To Be Talented’. What does it mean? I think that the words first definition sums it up. From Dictionary.com.

talent

[taluh nt]

noun

  1. a special natural ability or aptitude

That says it right there. A special natural ability or aptitude. Meaning that to be talented means that the ability to write a story, or draw a picture, or sing a song and win whatever gameshow of the week you are on. It comes to you easily and naturally and that you don’t have to work for it. Or at least to those that do not have any ‘Talent’.

There are some, me included, that have realized the truth. The truth that has been staring the creative work in the face. A truth that will change it, probably for the better.

Like Neo and the spoon, there is no Talent. None. Burn the definition from the dictionary and re-write it. Why? Because people see Talent as a sudden thing. I, who have never played a Piano in my life can, if I am Talented enough, sit down at the Piano and play like Mozart. No practice. No training. Just bang. Mozart.

To those that think that, I cry bullshit. Talent is nothing more than the byproduct of hard work determination and will power to stick with something no matter what. Like extreme flatulence is the byproduct of beans and corn. As an example, my six year old son loves playing Piano. He, plays quiet well for a six year old and is a sight to see.

Is he talented? No. He has been interested in music since he was a baby. Since he loved drumming his fingers on the coffee table. I threw fuel on that fire. I kept him interested in drumming fingers. In making sounds that sound good. He kept his interest up. I started his lessons in September and now in March, he has finished his first book. I am told that his progress has been fast. Is he Talented? No. He practices hours every day cause he loves playing it. He puts the work in. That is not Talent. That is hard work and I love it.

Back to these young writers. They get in the belief that there work is special cause others have been. JK Rowlings, Steven King, etc all exploded in the spot light. They can too. right? Wrong. These big name authors spent years writing utter and complete crap until they were an over night success.

So my novel, that I wrote ten years ago is now with the Beta readers. I feel anxious, excited and nervous. I keep reminding myself that the novel is ten years old. It is a turd and even though I am giving it a polish, it is still a turd. That gives a new meaning to a couple of those metaphors from the beginning.

State of Pedde- Jan. 2nd, 2017

So it has been too long since my last post and I do not have time to post much on here at the moment. Every moment that I spend writing on this blog, is one moment that I am not working on one of my many projects.

So Christmas happened which is distracting enough. The family got sick with some type of flu.

Now that Christmas is now packed back into boxes, I have more time to get my projects done.

But what do I mean by my projects? And what are my plans for all of my work?

My plan is to self-publish what I had deemed my truck novels onto Amazon or another type website. Am I going to put them there cause I think that my work has no quality and self=publishing seems like the solution that I need?

Not really. I want to self-publish for many reasons. It cuts out the elitist middle-man. It gives me more say in my work. I get to chose the covers for my work, I will have to pay for them, but they aren’t that expensive. I may be able to make one as my wife runs Pedde and Pedde Photography.

So that is the plan. Self-publish my work. Get them out there with out having someone tell me that my work is bad. I just need to get my work vetted and workshopped by some beta readers.

And that brings us to the projects that I have on the go.

I have five projects at some form of work. I brought all of the trunk novels and I am now going to go through them and I will be getting them ready to be published. I am only going to do a couple editing passes on them before I publish.

  1. Dark Ages 2.0. Project is in the most complete state. I have done four editing passes on it before I tucked it away. I have given it to my First Reader (my loving wife) to read it though with a red pen. She is taking creative writing in College, so it works out. Once she is done with it, I will make some edits based on her notes and then it’ll go to my Beta Readers. I’ll make some more edits to tweek it more and then it’ll be ready. I have a cover that is mostly done.
  2. Felix the Swift Part 1. This one I am fixing the story/ part way through the first draft I decided to take it in a different direction and turned it into two parts. Once I am done, it’ll go through the vetting process like Dark Ages. This project I am actively working on.
  3. Felix the Swift Part 2. This is the second part to the story.. It is the original story actually. I had gotten about half way through the story before I changed it. I will need to do an extensive edit to what had written to the first part before I get finishing the second part.
  4. Culture Shock. I wrote this project during the 2016 NaNoWriMo. It is currently steeping as the first draft is complete. Once I am done with Felix the Swift I will be picking this one up to do a couple editing passes.
  5. Space Courier. This project is a joint project between my six year old and myself. It is going to be in the Middle Grade age group so that means that the word count is going to be much lower. Like to top out by 55k words. About half or even a third of what my adult fiction comes in at. I am writing this story along with my current project. I don’t think that it will hamper the process of the other projects as it is a much lighter of a story.

Those are the projects that I am working on, on top of all the other distractions of a 9 to 5, and kids and a wife and renos to my house.

Wish me luck?

Cheers.

Listening to the Past

So I have found the series of podcasts called Dead Robot Society. It is a group of writers that do podcasts about writing. It is apparently weekly, but they haven’t posted since early December.

So I have been going back to the beginning blog posts to listen to older podcasts. While I wait for new posts to be uploaded.

The problem is that the podcast is 8 years old. With completely different hosts. I don’t see anyone from the beginning that is currently active with the podcast.

The have been talking about topics like genre and ideas and such.The problem with it is that I disagree with most of there talking points and with the blog being 8 years old, I have no way to have a discussion with them to tell them that they are wrong.

Normally, I have no issue with listening to there 8 year old pod cast. It re-affirms my point of view on writing and how it is supposed to be done.

Now, is there a different way to write books? Yes. There is. Will they be wildly different from each other? Yes. I know of many authors that write there fiction differently than me. It is okay.

The thing is that I can gleam some type of truth from there podcast. Sometimes, there is a piece that teaches me a little on writing that I didn’t know before.

This podcast, however, was particularly bad. It was so bad that it was almost hypocritical. It talked in circles, saying things that conflict with each other.

This podcast was about intellectual property. It didn’t get into the topic of plagiarism or actual stealing. It talked about the idea that you can steal ideas. That if I go and tell people my story ideas, that I should feel bad if someone takes that idea and makes a better story out of it.

I call bull on that concept. That concept is coming from someone who doesn’t understand the concept of copyright. If someone lifts passages from one of my books and puts it in theirs, then that is stealing.

If my main character is a samurai sword welding woman who wears a black duster in a science fiction story and someone takes that idea of her and runs with it, that is not stealing.

If I call the location of my setting, “Lucy’s Pub”, and someones takes that. It is not stealing.

If some one takes my idea that the samurai sword talks to her and is very bitter at being a sword. It is not stealing.

If someone took all three of those ideas and put them into a book. Then that could be called stealing. Maybe.

But if all three of those ideas originally found from three or more places, books or not. It is not stealing.

You see, there are no new original ideas out there. Everything has been done before and often. Even that grand idea that you have that is, like so original.

To help prove my point, I will break down James Cameron’s Avatar. More specifically where some of the ideas and concepts may have came from. Now I won’t do the whole movie as it is a long movie, but I will a couple few ideas and concepts.

First. The story is roughly from the story of Pocahontas and the story of Moses. Main character is brought into a different society to eventually decide to join that society and to fight against the society of his childhood.

Second. The concept of having the rider control the animal that you are riding mentally. It can be found in David Eddings Belgarion books. Not a new idea.

Third. Alien planet that air can kill you. Not a new idea. Standard science-fiction trope.

Fourth. Evil corporation that only wants there product and damn the consequences for anything that gets in its way. Another standard trope. You can find it anywhere from the Umbrella Corp of Resident Evil to the Company of Aliens. It is not anything new.

Every idea and concept of Avatar can be found elsewhere. No single idea of the movie is original.

Should the authors and writers of those ideas start claiming plagiarism to James Cameron? No. Unless a vast majority of the movie has been done in a single source, then it is not stealing.

Is there the possibility that something may be close and is so by dumb luck? Possibly.

Should an author be afraid that someone might steal his work? Work, yes. You have to be careful. Don’t put the full work online without taking steps to justify your copyright. Keep original drafts of the work on your computer. That sort of thing. Talk to a copyright lawyer or visit there websites if you want some real advice on copyright law in your jurisdiction.

Should an author be afraid that someone may lift your story idea? No. A single idea taken from a book is inspiration. Not theft. By being inspired by single ideas all over the place, you create a single work that together as a whole is original. Even if the building blocks are not. Like the kid building a Lego masterpiece. (With out instructions of course) Each block and piece are not original and are a dime a dozen. The masterpiece together is original and unique.

If you are so disheartened that you can’t stand the thought of someone using an idea of yours in there work that you throw the fiction away in disgust, then you need to rethink some of your choices that you have made. Maybe get into something less creative.

Just a though.

Cheers.

N. A. Pedde

Ideas Part 3

Ideas. I just got one. Is it going to cause a rash? Or is it fatal? What do I do with it now that I have it? Oh noes, I just got a bad idea, how do I get rid of it?

First. How do I get my ideas?

I will usually get a single idea or a scene or a character.

In Felix the Swift, it was the idea of a thief coming back out of retirement to do one last job.

In The Long Journey Home, it was the idea of a guy coming back to his hometown five years after a society collapsing disaster. The idea was of how does conflict and trauma change a person.

Are these ideas run of the mill standard bullshit.

My one word answer.

Maybe.

Those ideas are so broad and vast in nature that they can go any which way. If you give that initial idea to a hundred authors, you would have a hundred different stories.

Once that idea pops into your head. You must incubate it. I say ‘must’ as it has to happen. If you start writing an idea before you incubate it, then there is a distinct possibility that it might be crap.

Incubating is how you sort the good and from the bad.

In medicine, when you get certain diseases, they must take a sample of the disease and grow it in a lab. Once disease has grown, they can tell what it is. The small sample is not enough to determine anything.

Translating that into the realm of story ideas, the little idea that pops into your head has to be grow. You have to use brain cycles on it. You need to expand on the idea, add details in you head, ask questions about it. Fill in holes. See how it forms.

You can either write it all down in note form or just keep it in your head. It depends on how well you remember stuff. I can keep multiple story ideas in my head at once, some people can’t. If you can’t keep it together in your head, write it down. You are big people. you decide what works best with you.

I do, however, have a story idea thresh hold. Once that story idea has a passed that thresh hold without me determining that it is utter shite, then I will write it into once of my hundred of 80 page cheap note books. I will write down all of the info that I can so that it is saved.

If you start to incubate it and then you realize that it is very similar to a TV show or a movie, or you determine that it is utter shite from another way, the best thing to do is to realize that it is shite and tell yourself that. Get it out of your head, put the notebook away.

You may find that that story idea will come back to you at a later date in a different form. It may or may not be any good. It is for you to decide.

Anyways, lots more to talk about, but it’ll have to wait until later.

Cheers

N.A. Pedde