Category: Bifrost News


editing_the_monolithSo as I work my way through Bifrost’s (almost) 3rd Draft, I’m finding it incresingly frustrating to have the version I’m working on be a hard copy.

Yes – I do love the look of my pink, purple and blue sparkly editing pens, but the fact that I’m sitting here on a bus, unable to edit because the 550-odd-A4-page monolith that is Bifrost* is too unwieldy to carry around is starting to become quite upsetting.

It became so upsetting recently that I decided “Fuck it, I’m gonna edit the soft copy from which I printed the monolith”. So I did.

Then I tried to print and integrate the edited portions back into the hard copy.

Oh.

Fuck.

Now the pages are all messed up.

So editing the soft copy is out. I get it. Thanks again, Captain Hindsight.

But what do I do? Sure, I’ve been getting A LOT more work done on my blog (perhaps you’ve noticed?) because the times I spent actually WRITING Bifrost were mostly spent in bars, on busses, in bars, on planes, in airports and in bars at airports.

I’ve been hesitant to take out smaller portions of my manuscript in order to edit them on the run because I worry that I’ll damage the pages so much I can no longer read them (I have form with the utilities bills I pay when on the bus) and also that I’ll lose bits or not successfully integrate the smaller portions back into the monolith.

But I think I have to get past this.

I think what I’m going to do is take out whole chapters. Perhaps two per bus day. So…maybe one chapter per hour of travel time. And if I have a suitcase (like I do when I fly), I’ll take the whole monolith, then re-integrate at the hotel or wherever I’m staying once I arrive.

This should allow my defective mathematical brain to be able to re-integrate the parts more easily because they’re whole chapters and I’ll just have to be more careful with the chapters than I am with our utilities bills (I think at a basic level I just don’t like utilities bills).

Hopefully this will allow me to get more work done on editing Bifrost and wishfully, I’ll still be able to get as much work done on this blog!

— IEK

 

 

*Yes, I know it’s 2 books. In fact I’m kind of vibed that it’s 2 books.

cover_art_teaser_2As promised earlier in the week (although perhaps somewhat later than hoped), I have uploaded a sample chapter of my upcoming action science fiction novel Bifrost and you can see it…

RIGHT HERE!!!

As I have also mentioned, this is my 3rd-draft version of this chapter and there may be changes between now and publication day, but I’m pretty happy with the chapter as it stands and any changes will hopefully be minor.

So, please read and enjoy this (very early) chapter of Bifrost and keep your eye out for more news on its release date!!

And yes – of course, there’s another tiny teaser for the Bifrost cover just above in this post!

— IEK

cover_art_teaserJust this morning I received the sample from the completed cover art for Bifrost!!!! I am VERY excited about it. I’ve given you a tiny sneak peak here!

<=

Very shortly, I will have the final, full-resolution copy in my hot little computer and will commence work turning it into an actual cover (complete with a title and perhaps even my name somewhere!).

I am also in the process of engaging the services of an editor for Bifrost (again – super excited).

Now…all of my excitement aside, I have decided that because Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in December and (as previously mention) it appears that the writers and I have been drinking coffee from the same beans, I am going to publish a sample chapter or two (let’s see hot it goes) here on iekenner.com. Please understand that though these will be as polished as I can make them in the short time I have – these will not be the finished product and there may be changes here and there as we move from now until release day (an as-yet undetermined date in early 2016).

Keep your eye on this site for when the sample chapter goes up and please give me any feedback you have once you’ve read it!!

— IEK

Ranger Smith in Jumpsharkoid’s spacecraft. From Yogi Bear – definitely not Star Wars*.

!!SPOILER ALERT!! If you are one of the very odd people I know trying to avoid all social media, clips screenshots or information about the upcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens, read no further (and understand that I think you are odd for trying to live in a time-bubble as if streaming video & a 24-hour news cycle never happened). Oh and that image you didn’t click on because you broke into a cold sweat isn’t from the new Star Wars film*, no…um…it’s from a lost episode of Yogi Bear where Ranger Smith climbs into a cave only to find an alien spacecraft and that annoying green martian who completely ruined the Flintstones. “Jumpsharkoid” I think his name was.

So…My WIP I’ve been working on for the last two and a bit years (Bifrost) just happens to introduce the MC with what appears to be a nearly identical scene to the new Star Wars film (a female scavenger in a desert landscape working through a huge, wrecked spacecraft).

This really is annoying me because it’s a completely freaking cool scene I don’t want to change and now (because I can’t get Bifrost released before The Force Awakens) it’s going to look for all the world like I ripped it off. Which I most certainly DID NOT!! I wrote that scene over 2 years ago.

I cannot believe this has actually happened. I only JUST watched the latest Force Awakens trailer (Trailer 3) and it was like watching another person’s take on my scene. Which was strangely cool, but also extremely worrying.

Anyway…I suppose the Pollyanna takeaway is that my ideas are just as completely awesome as Lawrence Kasdan & J.J Abrams’ ideas (hopefully even better!), but it’s feeling a little like I’m going to have to modify my intro for the Witch**.

— IEK

 

* This is a complete lie

** OOPS! Spoiler alert! ;o)

word_countThis year, for the first time, I gave National Novel Writing Month a genuine shake.

Now I didn’t win, but I did write a whole lot more than I did last time I dipped my toe into #NaNoWriMo.

In 2013, I signed up and, having decided to completely overhaul my WIP, I felt that it might be a good chance to get some real work done in it, but of course that didn’t work out and I spent November 2013 writing about as many words as I wrote this evening while I waited for the dentist to call me in.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is a (now) global event which occurs every November and involves writers, authors and people who have never written more than a few words in a row collectively attempting to write a novel in a single month. The concept of “winning” NaNoWriMo is not a singular prize, but rather a reward for achieving the global word goal of 50,000 words (50,000 being considered the minimum length for an actual novel).

This year, while not sacrificing anything in particular, I did try to write at (almost) every opportunity and I managed  21,813 words. My NaNoWriMo login says something in the realm of 19,000 words, but I never actually logged in to update it with my last bash because I was too bloody tired. But I know how many words I wrote and that is the main thing. My goal during this NaNoWriMo was less to achieve the 50,000 words and more to work out how many words I could write if I wasn’t really trying all that hard. I’m pretty pleased.

I have a serious full-time job, 3 kids and a 100+ year-old house we still need to finish renovating and painting. I also like to speak to my significant other (alias Co-Consul) and my kids (even in November). Now none of this is really a valid excuse because in reality, INCREDIBLE people like Leigh Ann Kopans and Megan Whitmer have kids, a job and also manage to actually finish books and publish them, but this mythical time to actually write is hard to come by and I have no idea how they do it!!

Because I never intended to “finish a stand-alone novel” in a month (because apparently to me, a stand-along novel is closer 500,000 words than 50,000), I used NaNoWriMo to focus on Bifrost and try to get it closer to completion (or at least Book 2 closer to completion given the now 120,000-odd words I’ve written on it). We’re getting REALLY close now. I can feel it so much that I started writing the ending chapter today. I had an ending some time ago, I’m just putting it on paper now.

I think what I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo is not so much that writing a novel in a month is possible (I suppose if you’re writing something short, that’s fine), but more that I can achieve without sacrificing everything. This is important.

NaNoWriMo is also littered with wonderful events, write-ins and bookshelves worth of #WriteClub and non-WriteClub writing sprints (seriously you could get in board a writing sprint almost ANY time) and I pretty much did my own thing, not getting involved.

To think what I could achieve if I actually sacrificed and got involved! Hmmm…2015 anyone?

— IEK

 

100000_wordsRecently week Bifrost has finally tipped over 100,000 words (um…yay?), so in typical self-assessor style I decided to have a look at how many words I’d written the last time I decided to “take my writing seriously”. You know…just for comparison.

I remember it clearly, I didn’t have a writers group or critique partner (still don’t actually…um…anyone?), I didn’t have Twitter (it didn’t exist), I didn’t have Evernote (also didn’t exist), I didn’t have Scrivener or a tablet PC or even a smartphone and I reached a point where I just didn’t know what to do or where to take the novel, so I just kind of stopped.

So this morning I had a look at my wordcount spreadsheet from way-back-when…and there it was: 140,943 words.

140,943 words…AND I STOPPED!?! I need a time machine so I can go and kick past-me’s butt really, really hard. What a dope! Another 10,000 words and I have TWO ACTUAL NOVELS!!! AAAARRRRGH!!!

Now I feel like “why is it taking me so long to get to that point now?”* I had a full-time job back then, though one other thing I didn’t have back then was kids, so my level of distraction and household work was a LOT lower. Still…it kind of feels deflating after the initial excitement of reaching 100,000.

I suppose on the bright side, every word of that 140,943 is set before Bifrost starts, so when I get done with this one, a couple of prequels are going to take no time at all! (You hear that, potential publishers?)

Looking forward to the revisions on that one.

— IEK

 

*And why does it take me 150,000 words to reach an ending I’m happy with!?!

i_feel_sickFor a writer, concentration is extremely important. No matter what you’re writing, if you find your mind wondering from the topic or scene, either your writing gets loose and less engaging or it stops altogether.

This is a serious conundrum for me because I do get VERY easily distracted, but also I tend to work best when I have multiple things going on at once – focus is something I rarely have.

For this reason, I have historically had multiple writing projects on the go at the same time, but of course – none of them have ever actually been completed!

It has only been in the last year that I have finally forced myself to focus on a single WIP and try to write only on either that or this blog – any other ideas or inspiration I get is written down quickly in Evernote and left at that. Sure, I now have whole scenes and passages of dialogue for other WIPs in Evernote, but I’m not returning to it, working on it, revising it or trying to plug it into a coherent story UNLESS it’s from Bifrost.

Yes, I used to get BADLY distracted by my own non-current WIPs, not to mention computer games, reading books, reading comics, building Lego, chatting on Twitter, doing my actual full-time job & all of the other things which go along with being part of a family and co-running a household. No wonder I never finished anything!

These days, though I still struggle finding time to write (see my post about Writing Tips for People with No Time), the time I do get is now dedicated to finishing Bifrost (OK or writing for this blog) and I have started to employ some tricks which either stop me getting distracted or (because I can’t avoid it) get me UNdistracted.

So…my top-5 tips for avoiding distractions or getting undistracted (in no particular order):

  • Routine – get into one. If you can schedule the same time every day to write, the world has more of a tendency to leave you alone (note that children do not count under the banner of “the world”, so schedule that time for when they’re asleep or at school/daycare)
  • When it’s time to write, leave your phone in another room where you can’t hear it vibrate & do not open social media!!
    • If you DO open social media (bad writer!) make it a rule that the first thing you tweet or post is from the scene or section you’re writing (if it’s not written yet, at least that’s social media working FOR you)
  • If you do lose focus, try to write the next part of your scene or section incorporating something from whatever is distracting you. Sure, you may have to delete everything after you got distracted, but it will force you to keep writing and might even help move you forward (it’s not like not-writing was getting you any closer)!
  • DO NOT wait until you are “inspired” to write. This is the #1 killer of WIPs. Inspiration happens at 3am, it happens in the shower, on the toilet, when you are supposed to be doing chores or doing your day-job or (occasionally) after you’ve had a particularly strong coffee – inspiration rarely happens when you’re sitting conveniently in front of a computer. Inspiration is not something which gets books finished, writing when it’s the last thing you want to do is what gets books finished.
  • Don’t quit until you absolutely have to. You may think the scene you just completed is rubbish, you may be really stuck for ideas, you may have noticed that you have ended up with a character in two places at once* (or some other massive plot hole) – DON’T STOP. Keep writing, finish the chapter ANY WAY YOU CAN – it doesn’t matter if its tripe, just finish it. Then finish the next one, then the next one until you’ve finished the book. The only thing which can’t be fixed in revisions is a first draft that isn’t finished.

Happy writing!

— IEK

*Bifrost still has this exact problem in Chapters 16-18 and I’ll be fixing it in revisions.

Well, I’ve finally broken Chapter 18.

It’s been a horrid slog through 17 and 18, but I’ve finally broken its back thanks to some stellar work from alcohol and #5amWriteClub I have CONQUERED THIS SHIT.

I say shit and hey, it probably is because it’s a first draft, but at least it’s done. Our good friend (whom I have probably never mentioned before) the Witch has met the love of her life (so far) and has discovered something quite unique about herself.

It’s all downhill skiing from here, right? … RIGHT!?! Well sod it – bring on Chapter 14!!!

— IEK

Oh yes – I have an ending!

I was more than once told during many, many writing courses and sessions with published authors that in order to write a great book, you need to start with a great ending. Once you have a great ending, a great book is easy to write.

I really hope this is on the money because literally as of last week, I have what I consider to be a great ending to Bifrost.

I have already written much of the beginning and middle, though there is some serious fleshing out to do before I can really pretend like it’s a novel. So far it’s a large number of scene synopses and a medium-sized number of actual scenes.

Anyway, it’s beginning to take serious shape on my Motorola Xoom, my PC, my Galaxy S II – wherever I can write (thank you, Evernote).

Yes, I am 100% Apple-free and loving it. That said, I do rate Scrivener VERY highly also and it started as Mac software, so I can admit good things have come from the house of Mac.

And no – I have no sponsorship from anyone, I just like to link stuff I like.

Anywho…I’m off to nurse a little finger I dropped a very heavy disk storage array on today and play me some serious computer games with my other fingers (it is Monday night afterall).

— IEK

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