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.

Rambling: Encouraging others to write.

In many ways I am an enabler. I enjoy having others find enjoyment in things that I find enjoyment in. That I have passion in. I enjoy it so much that I don’t shut up about it.

I have been criticized for obsessing about my passions and my interests.

Is that criticism justified? Warranted?

Probably.

I know that I obsess over things. It is how I am able to write about my books. Fix my house. Go to work or get out of bed. By obsessing over things, I am able to focus on something long enough to see results in that avenue.

Even if I wish that I can hit the snooze button again and go back to sleep.

My obsessions is what gets me into trouble and out of trouble. (Like watching 18 hours of a game on Let’s play and then buying it for way too much money.) I obsess with keeping a roof over my kids heads, which makes me go to work and take Overtime hours. I obsess with my half completed house renovation so that I can keep getting things done in it. Maybe one day I will finish it. I also obsess about my writing.

My writing is my passion in life. They say follow your passion and this is it.

Writing.

Writing novels, writing for my kids, writing for the complete stranger so he gets a kick out of my work. Every day I spend most of the hours thinking about some story. How to fix it, how to make it better, where to go with it. Or a new story idea that will distract me from my current work in progresses.

At the beginning, I said that I am an enabler.

What does that mean? Most people think of it as a bad thing. That I am a bad guy for encouraging someone to do something. And it can be. If I was a drug addict or a drunk.

But I am not. I cannot afford to do those things. I am a writer after all…

I enable people to follow there passions. Follow there enjoyments even if it is just as a hobby and part-time. Even if they only dabble and are not serious about completing it. I do, however, mainly encourage people to write books. Read above about my obsession.

And you may ask why? Why enable people to write books?

The answer to that question is selfish. I do it cause it is lonely over here in writing land by myself. Writing is considered a solitary affair. You sit in a room by yourself writing about make-believe people in make-believe lands doing impossible and crazy things. With no one to talk to but the people in your head…

I just realized how crazy that makes me sound…

Anyways, writing is mostly solitary. But there are times when a writer must talk to other people. Other writers. It gives encouragement and it can make you responsible for getting the work done. (Like trying to explain why your word count hasn’t moved in two weeks, but look at what you have done in that game you play.) It also helps you grow as a writer as you can learn from other people. Learn from there failures as well as there successes.

I encourage people to write as there is a lack of a strong writing community where I live and the only writers that I talk is through a Facebook group. Most are from the U.S. and I will probably never meet in person. I hope that by encouraging people to write that I can build a small writing community of my own.

Or I am a crazy obsessive compulsive who can’t stop shutting up about my make-believe characters in my make-believe world who all live in my head. You decide.

The Horror! The Torture! The College Students!

Well. It’s been a while since I talked to you all. Today I am going to talk to you about perspective and beginner writers.

There are many different people that will have there own opinion and knowledge on the subject. Many of whom are much smarter than I am and are much better writers as well.

But today I am going to give my opinion on the subject as I am an opinionated S.O.B. and I feel like standing on the soap box.

You see, yesterday I wrote the majority of this blog post in a tiny note book as I was being tortured by an unspeakable horror. I was taken captive by my wife to go to listen to her college creative writing class read portions of there ‘manuscripts’. (Please note that I did find about four of the story exerts enjoyable. My wife’s was included in that number.)

I use the term manuscript lightly.

In there defense, they are all mostly beginners and they don’t know any better. They don’t know about show, don’t tell (unless you want to). They don’t know about proper dialogue techniques. Or plotting methods to make a story easier to plot out. They don’t know about a lot of things that only experience gets you.

But all of that is okay. I can usually ignore those mistakes and enjoy the moment. I can usually try and turn off that critical part of my brain. To simply enjoy listening to these passionate new writers enjoy the beginnings of their journeys as writers. But I couldn’t. Not that night.

Which is why I wrote this blog post on a tiny note book at the back of the crowded room.

The reason for my lack of enjoyment was the fact that most of the writers wrote their pieces in First Person Perspective. Author after author did it. Like herpes, it spread to most of the class and wouldn’t go away.

So as I sat there, I wondered why did they do it? The first answer to jump into my mind was that it is a college setting and it is all ‘Literary’ fiction. And that theory is possible. But there was a fantasy novel and a historical one. There was a Horror and a couple comedies. Maybe the fact that colleges push the notion of ‘Literary’ fiction isn’t the case.

Maybe the teacher gave them permission and encouragement to do First Person? And that theory is also possible. The teacher is trying to get them to put pen to paper and if a student was going to write in first, who is he to stop him. She is writing, right? Right?

Or maybe the students were all lazy and thought that writing it in First Person was the easier way to go? They are college kids after all and most of them don’t have fine arts majors. This class was supposed to be an easy elective to break up the hardship of their major. A reprise.

My theory is that it is a mix between the second and the third theories. The teacher gave permission and encouragement. And the students were just being lazy. The students took what looked like the easy road.

But is First Person Perspective the easier way to go. Is it easier than Third Person Limited?

My opinion is no. It is not easier. It seems like it at first glance. Like that flat straight farming road. No turns or curves as far as the eye can see. But just beyond sight are dangers. by taking this road for it can quickly turn into a mud pit if you don’t tread carefully.

First Person is more restrictive than Third Person Limited.

In First Person you can’t see or hear anything outside of the range of your main character’s sight and hearing. If the main character can’t see it or hear it, they don’t know about it.

That leads to situations where it is impossible to move the plot forward. Or the plot moves forward but the writer has no way to tell the reader what is going on as the main character doesn’t know. It is also very hard to hide anything from the reader without coming off as cheating.

It is very hard to jump back and forth in time and forget about showing a different characters Point-of-View as writing a book with multiple First Person Point-of-View’s is not something anyone should try. Too many ‘I’s’ to keep track of. There is no ‘I’ in team.

In Third Person Limited, you are inside the Point-of-View of one specific character. You can hear the thoughts of that character when you want to. Or not as you see fit. You can’t, however, hear the thoughts of other characters around the Point-of-View character.

That is Third Person Omniscient and different than Third Person Limited. Also not apart of this blog post.

In Third Person Limited, you can run into similar problems as First Person. It is limited as the reader is only experiencing what the Point-of-View character experiences. He has no knowledge of what is happening on the other floor, etc. But with Third Person Limited, you can always jump into the Point-of-View of another character to let the reader know what was happening. If is easy to hide things from the reader without coming off as cheating.

Like First Person, you are still describing the setting, etc from the Point-of-View’s perspective. The intimacy that comes from a First Person Perspective story is still in a Third Person Limited, but just less of it and only at the authors discretion. However, with Third Person Limited a standard pitfall is the characterization coming off as hollow or only skin deep.

So does First Person have a time and place to be used?

Simple answer. It does.

On the other side of an airlock.

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

Diets

So tonight I am going to talk about something completely different than normal. I am going to talk to you guys about keeping healthy while doing a sedentary job like writing a novel.

I spend my days sitting at a computer hacking away at work. Essentially I fly a desk. No field work for me. Which was how I kept in shape before I got out of field work.

I am 6 ft tall. According to the infamous Body Mass Index, I need to weigh in at 183 lbs. I normally weighed in on average 225lbs when I was in the field. It fluctuated wildly depending on what I was doing that week.

When I started flying desk at work I quickly went from the average 225lbs and then in two years I topped out at 275lbs. Ouch. Stretch marks and a big gut.

I started exercising and played around with my diet. But not much. I dropped to 269lbs in 4 months time. I eventually gave up and stopped going to the gym. My diet went back to what it was before.

So Feb. 1st of this year, my wife and I started what is called a Paleo Diet. Which, in a nut shell is cutting gluten, dairy, and additional sugar. We did it as a 28 day challenge.

That essentially means that we became vegetable loving carnivores for the month of February.

No sugar moved a lot of our staple foods out of our diet. Gluten did the same. Dairy was the easiest as I didn’t drink much milk before hand. I went a month without going to a fast food joint.

The results was amazing. I am now under 250lbs. Today I weighed in at 248 lbs. That is a change of 21lbs in a month. I look trimmer, have more energy than I did before. And I now drink my coffee black. That’s right. I have joined the crazy insane club of black coffee drinkers. A month of no sugar has essentially turned off my sweet tooth. I don’t crave pop or candy anymore. I may indulge one day, but it is one candy. I don’t pig out and drink an entire 2L of pop in a single sitting.

I added no exercise to my daily routine. The only thing that changed was my diet. That is it.

Am I a health professional? No. Far from it. This is just my experience. I got results. You may not. If you experience changes to your body as you write, you may have to make a lifestyle change. I did. I am happy for it.

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.