Stars and Cards

I’ve published TWO things this weekend!

First, Stars End. A collection of science fiction short stories that you can read in bite size pieces.

The four short stories contained inside explore what life might mean in a distant future when space travel and longevity are things humanity take for granted.

Second, I’ve been working on Vertigo, a card based litRPG, for a while. I decided I wanted to publish it on Royal Road and Wattpad as a free title. So you can find the first to chapters there right now.

New chapters will be uploaded every weekend.

This is an experiment to see if it encourages me to write more. I’m hoping that writing in such a public way will force me to stay accountable to myself.

It also makes me happy that my daughter drew the figure on the cover. I gave her a basic idea of what to draw and she went with it.

I already have several chapters of Vertigo ready to go, I’m just editing and cleaning them up before posting every week. That doesn’t mean the other writing stops, it just means fora day or two a week I am devoted to one chapter from Vertigo. But it’s been fun, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

Short or Long?

Sometimes when you’re working on novels you can get to a point where progress seems so far away, and sometimes you can get disheartened. Even want to quite, or procrastinate.

There was a talk Adam Savage gave once where he said at some point in every project he feels like he has no business making. A man who creates amazing replicas, props, and cosplays that the world loves. A man who does one day builds that many would struggle to do in a month. Someone who has working on major motion pictures, and The Mythbusters. And he feels like he has no business making.

And that’s how I feel writing a novel. I am sure that many creatives feel like that, like they are an importer and shouldn’t even bother trying to create whatever it is you are creating. I get so far into a novel, hit that wall, and it feels insurmountable. But I keep going, a little at a time, pushing to get to the end because I know once I reach it I will have something awesome.

I’ve picked up little tricks here and there to help me get through it. One of them is writing short stories when I’m really stuck. At the moment I have been editing a few of the finished short stories I have, and trying to finish four other short stories. Since they are shorter I can usually finish one much faster than a novel, and that little boost keeps me going for the larger projects. Plus the stories I am working on currently are science fiction, while the novel I am working on is fantasy. This allows me a change of scenery, so to speak, and take a breather before going back to the novel.

Speaking of the short stories, I think I’m about ready to publish some of them. Another pass of the editors wand, and they should work well as an anthology. Oh, and a cover. The other four short stories I am still completing I already have a cover for, I just have to finish three of the shorts.

But the novel is still my priority. I’ve been working at a (mostly) steady pace trying to get through the second half of the book. I’ve hit a few snags with the plot, but I think I’ll be able to untangle them. Plot holes, they are my nemesis! Funny, it used to be fight scenes. Now I have a system for the fight scenes and I have more trouble with the time line. I think that’s because the story is taking place over the course of a year and I want it to reflect that.

My daily word count goal dipped a little in august, so I’m working hard to get them back up to what I consider a good pace. I still want to hit 1000 words a day by the end of the year, which means pushing harder and making fewer excuses. But I’m working on it.

By the way, here is a really good video about why many of us procrastinate, and some great ways to fight against it.

Now… off to write about dragons.

One Million Words!

I just broke a million words written. At least officially.

They say to be a good writer you need to write a lot, and read a lot. Somewhere along the line someone said “You need to write a million words before you start to get good.” I’m paraphrasing of course, but since I heard that it has been my goal. To write 1 million words worth of stories.

Of course I’ve been writing since I could form sentences, so I am sure that I’ve written well over a million words in my lifetime, but I haven’t been tracking them the entire time. I also didn’t think it was fair to count the words that I end up throwing away due to grammar/spelling/etc issues. I count them in my daily word count goals, but not when it came to the big number, the million words written.

In the million words I count the stories that I have finished and published, as well as the current projects I’m working on. I have another section just for ideas, dead stories, and anything that probably won’t get written any time soon.

I found that keeping track of what stories I am working on, how far along they are, and which ones are finished and waiting to be published has helped me keep on track a lot. Before I started doing this I had trouble finishing anything. It’s too easy to chase the shiny new thing instead of finishing the project in front of you.

Of the million words I have in active and published projects I have published just over half a million words. That means my next goal is to publish the other half a million. That could be six novels, or a whole lot of short stories, but I think I can get there. The question is how fast. Let’s see, shall we?

Of Gods and Goddesses

In school I was fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology. I tried finding, and reading, as many as I could. From Zeus and his escapades with women, to Persephone trapped in Hades. Because of those myths I love fantasy. So it wasn’t unusual that one of my first novels would be a book based on old myths.

This weekend you can get Forgotten Ones free. They thought the gods were dead, but they were wrong. An intricate blending of science fiction, fantasy, and mythology.

This is my urban fantasy series. If you like it please review it. I have several others planned, but it is on the back burner for now. I would love to dive into it further, and if you really want to see another book in this series reviews are the best way to encourage that.

Till then, keep reading!

Crissy Moss

Writing progress

In February I quit my job, packed up my home, and moved to Texas. It’s now May…. so how am I doing? Here are each of my goals and what happened with them.

Write More

I am definitely writing more. Both March and April I wrote 20k words, and I’m on track to doing even more this month. If I keep this up I will be well over a quarter million words in a year, something I haven’t been able to do ever. And because of how I am working things are going well, and I do not see a problem with getting the word count in.
(For those interested in numbers, in 2017 and 2018 I wrote just over 100k. May just started and I’ve already written 66k this year. I’ll pass the last two years of writing by the end of June.)

Publish in April

This one didn’t happen, and while I am upset that it didn’t happen I am also happy with the reason. The novella I had been writing is now a full novel. The first two book Hub Series were around 30k words, and this latest one is 50k making it a full length novel. I’ve also taken the time to make the story better, made the characters a bit more compelling, added some things that I hadn’t tried before. The farther I go in this series the happier I am with it. On that note, I’m sending it to the editor this weekend so expect book three in a week or two.

Draw More

I have not been keeping up with my drawing. I did a few pieces in March (1, 2, 3, 4), but I never really finished them, and I haven’t added anything to redbubble or spoonflower. I’m a little disappointed in myself since I haven’t been gaming either to take up that time, so where is it going?

Stream More

I do have a Twitch stream that I have been known to do a few times, but it was rare. The trouble I found was that when I streamed I might have one or two people pop in, and they rarely stayed for more than a few minutes. This lead me to believe I really wasn’t good at holding peoples interest long enough to stream. I don’t know when or if I will go back to it. I might just try it because I enjoy playing some narrative games, and then I could put them up on my youtube channel. I haven’t decided yet.

Youtube Again

This is another one I haven’t done since being here.  It’s also another one I’m not sure I want to do. I have two channels, one for Writing and one for Gaming. The gaming channel only allows me to post 15 minute videos so I ended up using my writing channel for gaming, which I shouldn’t have done. Honestly…. I need to do this. It would be good for me because I need to learn to talk in front of a camera again. It’s very difficult for me sometimes so… I’ll have to see what I can do.

Overall

So writing is going well, and I’ll have another book to publish soon. Then I should be able to jump in and finish the second Half Blood Sorceress book since I have already written most of it, and that will be book two, hopefully by July. So much to write and so little time. I better get writing!

Finish it already!

I started on this journey to be a full time author and I started writing… a lot. In March I wrote more than I have written in any other month outside of NaNoWriMo. It’s 3/4 of the way through April and I am on track to meeting the same kind of numbers… But I feel like I should be doing more.

This last week I’ve found myself stuttering again, trying so hard to finish this novel and getting stuck on the words time and time again. It’s at that point now where I just have to push through, find some words, any words, and put them down. It’s always the battle scenes.

Right now the two parts I have left are an arena battle in the middle, and the final battle at the end. Both battle scenes, both needing some choreography, and both tricky because they involve some mechanics from unusual creatures. Plus trying to make them read well at the same time.

I think it’s time to stop trying to make them read well. It never works with me and a battle scene. I just have to block it out, figure out the mechanics, and then rewrite it to make it readable. I wish I could do this every time without having to agonize over it, but I just want to write the darn book, not have to rewrite it over and over again.

To top it off I just wrote ANOTHER battle scene at the beginning of this month for Restart, a shared collaboration between my litRPG discord group. You can read it for FREE over here. I wrote chapter 7. We each write a chapter in order, and I got the battle scene. It, of course, took me longer to write then everyone else because I agonize over battle scenes so much, but it was definitely great practice, and I enjoyed it. I also got to switch things up a bit, and then the next guy in line NERFED the ability I created because it was too powerful…. I think that’s a win 😉

Anyway, back to writing.

Onward my friend!

Is this what my life can be?

This week I am on vacation. A real, honest to god vacation where I left all my worries behind. We are out of the state, and I am able to do what I want to do entirely for a week.

So what have I been doing? A lot of reading. A lot of writing. A whole lot of brain storming.

We’ve taken walks in the country, gone swimming in the ocean, watching the sun set over the sea, and really just enjoyed being us. No stress. No obligations. Just…relaxing.

After years of stress filled “Omg what do I do now” days, this is a lovely change of pace. And we get to do it with our family that we love. It’s kind of amazing.

But is this what my life will be come the end of February when I get to be a full time writer? Some of it, definitely. Days reading and writing, researching and exploring my craft most definitely. There will be stress because I will have to focus on a thing I have avoided for so long…marketing. I’m going to have to learn it, and figure out how to sell my stuff, or find someone else who can hold my hand through the process. One way or another, it has to be done.

I have six months to figure it out, or it’s back to the day job circuit. Then I save up enough to take another six months off, maybe. Something.

Coming Soon

Because of this time Steel Heart will be out this Friday. I have been hard at work finishing the last few chapters, and now I can finally put it out there this weekend!

Steel Line is already well on it’s way, as is the fourth book in the series. Oh yes, I am going all in on this one!

Also be on the lookout for some more free short stories. I hope to publish a couple more next month. Since we are moving in February all I will be able to finish will be the short stories, but I do plan to have something out.

2019 is looking to be an amazing time. Thank you to everyone who is following me on this journey. You make this all possible@