Dealing with my Idea Cancer

As the title of this post may suggest, I have a problem. It’s a bad problem for an author to have in many ways.

As you may know, I have a set list of projects that I wish to get done this year. Many of which are first drafted and ready to be edited. My major problem in that regard is that I need to get more editing done and move some of those first drafted stories down the production line.

But that is only one problem that I have. Above my desk is a two-foot by four-foot cork board filled with cards of the different novels and worlds that I am working on.

Here is an image of the cork board:

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Each column is a story world, each card is a novel or short story. You can see the number of different stories that I want to write. It is a little overwhelming at times. The problem is that this week I have added three more cards onto the board. That is three more stories that I want to tell.

As my wife says, “There is no cure for idea cancer.”

The novel ideas that form in my head multiple like rabbits, grow like dandelions or mutate like cancer. It is a difficult thing to deal with Idea Cancer. Each novel idea wants attention, and its story told. However, I only have so much time in the day.

What do you do when you discover you have idea cancer?

The first thing is not to ignore the idea. Damning the ideas is not a good thing. It leads to an idea drought that will hurt an author more.

The best thing I do is to recognize that I’m not going to change projects. (Unless it has been years without being complete, but that is a different problem.) The project that I’m working on needs to be completed. Getting distracted by a new idea is not the way to do it.

I take a few minutes and write down the idea. I don’t elaborate, but write notes. I will stick the idea someplace to keep track of it and remind myself of the idea for later.

The idea is not to let it distract me too much.

Right now the idea I had is a story where the players of a VRMMO get stuck in the video game. It is like an earworm. No matter how long I shout, “Get out of my head foul beast!” It won’t go away.

I have written some of the world building for the story, and I’m happy with what I have created so far. It’s a Siren, calling out to me from the waves. I will resist this and not change projects. I have a list of stories I wish to get to and I will.

Now, this is not to downplay those with Real Cancer. Cancer is a horrible disease, and I wish the best to any that get it. The imagery on the issue is a strong metaphor that seems to work. And it’s bloody funny.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

New Name: New Design

I am pleased to announce the redesign of the web page with a new name. I am happier with this new design than the last. Not to worry if you have the old site URL favourited. It will still head towards this new page, which I will be adding more features as time allows.

This change has been a long time coming as I felt the old name wasn’t working. This name tells exactly what I write. I write in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres, and that name says that.

The Atomic part is for science fiction. Nuclear power, nuclear bombs, the Atomic Age. It gives images of science that usually ends by blowing up in someones face.

The Slingshot is for Fantasy. It is a primitive weapon used in ancient times. Which is usually where my fantasy books are set.

Things to Come

I will be adding more to the site including:

  • maps
  • world information on the two main story verses
  • upcoming novels
  • and more

Stay tuned for more information.

If you like what you see and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books, buy me a coffee, or leave me a review. Your help and support are much appreciated.

End of February 2019 Report

As like the post for the end of January, this is the post of the end of February. I am still putting my money where my mouth is.

Recap of 2019 Goals

  1. Write 500,000 words in personal, non-school related projects.
  2. Complete and publish Felix #2, Felix #3, Des O’Neal #1, Des O’Neal #2, Des O’Neal #3, Jovian Marines #1, Jovian Marines #2, Jovian Marines #3, Mech Warrior #1, Mech Warrior #2, Mech Warrior #3.
  3. Correct cover for Felix #1.
  4. Write four blog posts per month
  5. Give Felix #1 and Tokyo Tempest #1 a proofread.
  6. Complete and submit to market Terran Marine Raider short #1, Terran Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.

February Accomplishments

  1. I wrote 41,013 words.
  2. I finished the first draft of Mech Warrior #1.
  3. Re-finished editing Des O’Neal #1
  4. Waiting on a cover for Des O’Neal #1
  5. Worked on editing Jovian Marines #1
  6. Wrote 4 blog posts during February

Examination of Accomplishments

  1. I wrote just over 41k words in February. It is not large enough for the 42,000 words that I set for myself, but that is okay. The base goal for February is 38,360 words. My month was far from perfect. I had many days where I didn’t make the 1500 words. I missed the goal ten times this month. However, I did manage to write over 2k words for nine days with my highest word day at 2558. This is a better month than January in terms of words.
  2. The novel with the working title of Mech Warrior #1 was started back in 2018. It is the second book of those that I had only partially completed. I had left the book 41k words, but now it has finished at 87k words. That makes three novels to be edited. I may have to figure out better editing habits as the pile is growing.
  3. At the start of the January, I had finished the edits to the first Des O’Neal book called The O’Neal Saboteur. However, after reexamining the book and learning some better editing “hacks,” I discovered that I missed some big errors. They are fixed now. I expect to publish it in the next few days. Stay tuned for that announcement in the coming days.
  4. I have been working with my wife, the artist, on a cover for the Des O’Neal book. It is coming along, and it will be a post once I can show something about it.
  5. The edits of Jovian Marines #1 are ongoing. The title of which will be The Missed Drop Zone. It will be in the Odinite Campaign Saga.
  6. As you can see from my previous posts, I have written four blog posts with them going live on Sundays. This month I wrote about story ideas and how to find them and nurture them.

Plan for the Future

Despite not hitting the publish button in the month of January or February, I consider the month of February to be successful. I start my day by editing for an hour before doing anything else. I will need to perhaps add more time to that. Maybe working on more time to write it. I need to get not only Missed Drop Zone published, but I need to get a large part of the way done editing Felix #2.  I still write my next day’s tasks at the end of each night.

I am currently working on a Military Sci-Fi for an anthology. It is still in the same story verse as Des O’Neal and the Odinite Campaign but is about someone on the side of Terra.

So far, it is working, but I have had to make some changes. I will go into details this Sunday when I drop my weekly post. Maybe I will also talk about some of the current projects that I am working on.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

The Wrong LZ

So I finally hit the button. I have published my military sci-fi novel.

It is called The Wrong LZ.

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Chief of Staff, Prussian Army.

Gunnery Sergeant Flannagain O’Neal serves in the the First Battalion, Third Marine Regiment of the Jovian Republic Marines. They drop onto the enemy held planet of Freya in the Odin System. When the operation goes wrong, it goes wrong fast.

Now the surviving members of Third Platoon, Baker Company must fight behind enemy lines against the enemy Odinittes. A ruthless enemy that will stop at nothing to get what they want. To the enemy, the ends justify the means.

The Odinittes have numbers, equipment, and superior intelligence on there side. The only thing that O’Neal and the Jovian Marines have are suits of power armor and Flechette Rifles. But how long can a platoon of marines hold out against a division of enemy troops?

If you like action-packed military science fiction. If you enjoy stories about the underdog fighting against evil. Then you will enjoy this novel written by Nathan Pedde.

Grab a copy of “The Wrong LZ” today.

Sounds interesting?

Here is the link. Take a look.

 

 

Creating a Military Sci-Fi Novel

 

So I have decided to change my writing schedule a bit. Nothing official yet. Once I finalize things, I will post them here.

The reason for it,  I have wanted to write a military sci-fi novel for a while. I have decided that I am going to write one.

I have also decided to talk about my methods for creating my world as I build it. Cause why not.

I create a story world there are two basic methodologies. Big to small or small to big. Some people world build in a more discovering writing style and fly at it. They do very little world building before writing ‘Once upon a time.’ It isn’t necessarily bad, it just has a tendency to run into plot holes and re-writes. This is the small to big method.

I prefer the big to small. I will use a smaller and smaller brush to design the world that I am writing in. Most of which will not go into the story, but will help with making the little parts of the story make sense in a macro way.

As such, I first start with the base writing universe.

I have a dislike of creating a new writing world for a new story. Don’t get me wrong, I love world building. If I could get a job where I create worlds for people all day, I would be in heaven. It is just that I have many already and I don’t need more. So I am going to put it in my Shattered Worlds Writing Universe. It will take place after my ‘Inescapable Game Novels.’

That means that anything that I create to this writing universe is more flavor for my current world. Even though my Shattered Worlds Writing Universe only exists in the Sol System. But that shall change.

Using the nations and peoples that I have in my Shattered Worlds, and a time frame of when this story is going to happen, I can brainstorm how it is going to happen. A war still needs to make sense.

I am not going to go into detail on who is fighting who in this story. Not yet. I will. Cause why not. That’ll be in a later blog post.

For now, onto the fun part.

I need to create a military force.

That is the hard part.

For research, one of my main sources of information was this book. It was well written and had lots of information on how military forces work in the current model. It also has some ideas on what future wars may or may not look like. I recommend anyone interested in writing Military Sci-Fi to grab this book.

For the uninitiated, most people think that a military is a bunch of men with no-senses of humor, a drinking habit, and some guns. But a military is much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, it includes all of that, but it is so much more.

A military is a very set, organized organization that is capable of moving thousands of men and material over long distances through hostile, rough terrain. Men and women who are willing to fight to the death for there cause.

On paper, there is a couple way of creating a military organization. Top down, or bottom up.

I am very strategic minded, so I am going to do the top down.

That means that I am going to create the larger structure before I get to the individuals. But take note. A story is about the individuals. Not about the organization or unit.

Now. My story takes place 600 years in the future. Humans have spread across the stars and will be at war. I am thinking other humans, but that is for ease of storytelling and not anything to do with the aliens. I will write other stories where the fighting will be against aliens, but that is not this one.

In order to create the structure for my soldiers to fight in, I need to make some assumptions. The first one is that there will only be two branches of the military. In most current armed forces, there are three.

Airforce, army, and navy.

In the future, there will only be the army and the navy. Sorry Airforce, you go the way of the Doto.

In this story universe, the army has been re-named the Ground Defense Force. The GDF. It is tasked with defending the specific world from threats. The Airforce has been merged with it.

To make the GDF fight harder, a unit based on a planet has there personnel families relocated to the planet. Someone that is defending there home and the family will fight that much harder for it.

The Navy, now named Fleet, is everything outside of the atmosphere. The structure of it stays pretty much the same. Ship personnel, the ‘air power,’ and the marines. It stays the same.

With those assumptions made, I can create a rank structure. For the GDF, I only go up to a Brigadier-General, while the Fleet, I go all the way up. I figure a defensive force will only have so many men in it. I have also decided to use modern ranks instead of creating new ones. The less I have to explain the better. More pages for more explosions and gunfire.

I then created unit structure. This part I was inspired by a video game. Hearts of Iron 4. In it, you create divisions by putting pieces of different companies together. I used that idea and created some base unit types. How many men in squads, platoons, etc. That way if I talk about a full strength platoon of Infantry having 40 men on page one, on page 300 it should have the same.

Also, the specific structure of the platoon? Do they use squads? Do they use fireteams? Are they like the USSR or the US? For clarification, communists use masses of men to win fights. The US use LMG’s and accurate firepower to defeat the enemies.

Do they have some type of fire support? Do they have artillery at the battalion level or the division? Does each company have a mortar unit? Or maybe it is a heavy weapons company that gets split up per platoon as needed.

These are all important pieces of information.

The reasons why comes to one of the basic tenants of storytelling that I follow.

It is more interesting to read about a character overcoming the disadvantages that he has with any specific skill, force, power or technology. In a military sci-fi setting, I can throw them into power armor and with flechet rifles and send them into battle. And that is all fun, but the good war stories, the ones that resonate with the reader/viewer are the ones that even though they are skilled and equipped for war, they still have an enemy to overcome and figure out how to defeat.

It is more interesting to have your men get pinned down by enemy sniper fire and force them to think outside of the box to get the enemy defeated. Or I can make them unstoppable killing machines, but who wants to read a story about that.

Until next time.

And p.s. Sorry for the space of time between posts.

Cheers.

Title changes

Just a short note today.

The Space Courier is no more. So in the light that I have made no sales from the Space Courier Book, I have replaced the name of it.

It is now, “An O’Neal Spy Adventure.”

That is the new cover. I also tweaked the marketing copy, so maybe people will be more interested in it. We shall see.

Now I have to get back to the land of Agersolum. I am working on Felix Book 2.

Cheers.

Missile Attack: O’Neal Spy Adventure Book 1

In times of war, it is often the youth of the age that must step up and fill adult roles…

Des O’Neal is an ordinary boy that lives an ordinary life with his uncle and older brother. He lived in the Jov 1-H Colony Station that orbits the planet Jupiter. In his free time, he explores his neighborhood. He plays sports and does what most boys his age do.

When a turn of events lurk out of nowhere, Des is ejected from his normal life and thrust into a world filled with spies and turmoil. In order to save himself and those closest to him, he must excel in this new world of espionage. He has to overcome his unknown enemy that lurks in the shadows with the intent of sabotage and destruction.

Will Des succeed in defeating the enemy saboteur?

Or will the station be victim in the Missile Attack?

And this book took a long time to get published, but more installments of it are planned in the near future.

The book can be found here.

Missile Attack: O’Neal Spy Adventure Book 1

 

Thoughts on this Indi-Publishing thing 1.0

As it goes from being January 2018 to February 2018, it is approaching 15 days since I published my first book.

You can find it here. Phantom Sorcerer.

It has not been any type of success. No movie deals offered, or entry onto the New York Times List.

It just hasn’t. It has sold a grand total of four copies. I managed to give away forty-five copies one weekend, but people horde free books and never read them. So I don’t expect any reviews from that bunch.

It happens.

So does that mean that I need to give up? Like all the pessimists out there that tell me all the time?

No.

This is exactly as I expected it to happen.

I am a complete unknown with very little social media presence. I have an email list, but no one on it.

This indie-publishing thing. this experiment. Is not for the faint of heart. It is a long-term game.

Does that mean that after the first books that I should be able to make lots of money?

No.

There is a strategy that is called, “20 books for 50k”. In it, the idea is that you write twenty books you should be able to get successful. If you write twenty books, then the total sales of each book will make enough to be successful.

The traditional model of being able to write a single book a year and being able to live off of the royalties and the advance from that is dead and gone. Traditional Publishing as we know it is an unwieldy, dying beast. The indie-community knows it. The traditional publishers know it. The traditional publishing world is thrashing around to save itself.

Indie-publishing is the way to go. But it is not perfect. In the indie-publishing world, a big argument is the elephant in the room.

Amazon.

There are many publishers that an indie author like myself can go to. There is Direct-to-Digital, Smashwords, Amazon to name a few.

Amazon has 70% of the US market for indie books. It is also the only one to demand exclusivity in being able to sell on Amazon.

But it is only some of its books. It is called, “KDP Select.” In it, you get a range of promotional benefits as well as the ability to put your book into the lending library of Kindle Unlimited.

One side will argue that it is best to go wide. To not leave out the 30% of the market that is not Amazon. That you can still get 70% royalties from any books sold on Amazon and be able to sell it everywhere else.

That Amazon is an evil beast, and you shouldn’t hitch your horse to that wagon. That by saddling yourself with Amazon, you are becoming a dependant author reliant on Amazon for your lively hood. That I am no better than going with traditional publishing.

I, however, have a different opinion.

Scary huh?

While I have sold a grand total of four units, which means that I have a total of approx. $15 Canadian so far. It is approx cause the differences in the values of the currencies.

So far, I have a total of approx. 2000 KENP Reads. That is the number of pages that someone that subscribe to Kindle Unlimited has read. That is, of course, new page reads.

I don’t have any idea on how many people started the book and went to something else, or how many people have actually read the entire thing. They don’t give me the number of users that have read it.

For authors, KENP works by Amazon setting up a fund from the subscribers to Kindle Unlimited. That pot is split up to be paid to all of the authors. It is currently based on the amount of KENP page reads that has been read by a subscriber. Based on the given approximations, it doubles my revenue from that single book.

Now, this is without using any of the promotional abilities that KDP Select allows me to use other than the free days. It does not show the other side of the equation. How much could my book have made by going ‘wide?’

For an entirely accurate number, I can’t tell you. I’d have to pull my book out of KDP Select and put it up on the other markets. I may do that when I can. I may not.

But if Amazon has 70% of the market and I have managed to receive 70% of the sales possible for that book, then I should be able to get another $4.50 from them. That means KDP select is $30 while going wide is $20.

That is only a guess at the moment, based on some rough numbers. It might have gone differently if I had done differently.

Now in regards to the notion that my going exclusive with select, that I am no better than going with traditional publishing. I disagree.

As an indie author, I still hold my rights. I have the audio-books rights, the paperback. The only right that I have given up is the digital rights to the books. And it is easily returnable. I’d only have to wait 90 days. With tradition publishing, you have to wait a pre-selected amount of time that the book is out of print, or spend a boatload of money to get it back.

Those are just my thoughts so far. I plan on posting more of these posts later, once I publish more books.

Nathan’s Amazon Author Page

Phantom Sorcerer

Until Next time.

 

Phantom Sorcerer

Phantom Sorcerer is ready on Amazon. It has been a long time coming, but it is finally for sale. If it seems interesting, please feel free to take a look. Give it a read.

Felix the Swift, an alias, lived in the land of Agersolum, in the Empire of Aurre. Felix was a thief and a good one at that. He was arguably the best thief in the city. A pimple on the Duke’s rear end.

When his last job, quite possibly his grandest, goes bad it costs his apprentice’s life and the freedom of everyone he has ever loved. His entire family and he are sold into slavery to pay for his crimes.

Felix gets dragged across the globe and thrown into a world of magic, and Gods. He must face High-Princes, assassins, traitorous brothers, Gods, and the scorching heat of the desert. Felix must overcome the obstacles that have been laid against him to become truly free.

Felix must find a way back to his homeland and a way to free his family. Or he fails and the hostile environment will overtake him as it has to so many others.

Site Updated

This is a very short update.

With the approaching soon-to-be publication of my debut novel, Phantom Sorcerer: Felix the Swift trilogy Book One, I have updated the site. I needed a better layout as I didn’t have enough room for all of the things that I wanted to do.

I have lots to do and not enough time to do it in. Please enjoy the site and wait for the announcement when the book has gone live.

Until Next time.