Friday, November 1, 2019

NaNo, Go, Go GO!

Okay, that title may or may not have been written by my inner cheerleader. 

And, I'm going to need her, because NaNoWriMo is in full-swing!  To compound matters, this is the most pantster I have ever gone.  I literally started out with nothing but an idea -- no characters, no scene ideas, no nothing!

Day 1 is down, and despite starting out at absolute zero
I actually made (and exceeded) my word count today!

Also, you may be curious, "Hey, what idea is he doing, anyway?  Last I heard he was still deciding".

Too true.  Thank you everybody who voted!  Unfortunately the votes were pretty much neck-and-neck, so it literally came down to a coin toss.  As I told DW as she was flipping, "Wouldn't it be wild if this book totally takes off and people want to know 'how did you decide...' "  That would be a fun story.

Anyway, without further vindaloo, the idea that won both the votes and the toss was #2, the war between fantasy realms.  Here's the working cover I hacked together last night.

Strangely, it turned out having the "feel" of an indie CD cover to me.  Oh well.  Works for now.

Plus, if you're good at reading the clues, you can figure out which fantasy realms are at war here. ;) ;)

So, hopefully somewhere in the mishmash lies a story you'll one day enjoy reading!  Till then, if you're also a NaNoWriMo participant, feel free to "buddy" me on there.  My account is, of course, "Edmund Lloyd Fletcher".


Thanks, and Live YOUR Adventure,
-E.L. Fletcher

Saturday, October 26, 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019 Ideas


Uh oh! It's that time of year again!


 Yep NaNoWriMo, the legendary "National Novel Writing Month" is upon us once again.  Of course, I still haven't finished editing and publishing the 3 books from the past NaNo experiences, but I prefer not to dwell on the... present. :D

And like last year I'm going to open it up to you, my friends and fans, to vote on what story you most want to see!

Here are our options:

1) Giant rock beasts with villagers living on their back. Goal of the beasts is to fight one another in a Highlander-esque “In the end, there can be only one” scenario.  This would be a trilogy, progressively insane in scale of the beasts and the stakes for the people involved.

2) A fantasy war story between two fairytale realms — that is told as an actual war story.  What I mean by that is less “battle of the 5 armies” and more “saving private ryan”.  Like an in-the-trenches viewpoint.

3) I have an entire file cabinet full of sci-fi stuff from way back in highschool when I was into that.  Someday I need to sort that out, clean it up (it was written in my BC days), and do something with it.  Not looking forward to this mess, but it needs to be done.


I think the easiest way to tabulate results would be to head on over to the poll on my facebook page.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Beta Readers Wanted!


Get it?  Because it's a Beta fish... 😜

Okay, never mind.

I think the real point is that even if you aren't a fish, you may be interested to know that I'm looking for beta-readers for my new novel slated to come out Oct 4.   Yep, that's right, you get to read the story a FULL MONTH before everybody else!!!

I've gotten a few people on board already by word of mouth (you guys ROCK!) but the more, the merrier.  Come on in!

Also, I should mention that is a staged-release, so each beta reader gets the version with feedback & features recommended by the previous round.  What this means to you is that you really benefit by all those already with their noses in the book - er - kindle, I guess.

If you're interested in joining the fun, drop me an email or message me on your social media of choice.


Thanks,
  - E.L. Fletcher

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Books, marketing, and a Bible lesson (that should scare you a little)



Books, marketing, and a Bible lesson (that should scare you a little)


If you're like me, it means you love to create; build things; innovate; put the pieces together and come up with something great.  I mean, that's what drives us, right?

The trouble is at some point or another, we have to make money to, you know, eat.  That means selling/marketing our work.  It means *distant shriek* actually talking to people.

If we've gone the traditional publisher route, we can (but probably shouldn't) assume that they'll take care of some of that.  And, of course, if we self-publish we're all on our own.

Either way, our marketing approach usually remains the same:  Ignore it and hope it goes away.  After all, our book is so awesome people will find it and buy it.  Riiight... 🤔

I hate to say it,  but... (No, seriously.  I really don't want to say it!) ... that's not only a terrible plan, but explicitly condemned by Scripture as well!

"Huh? What? Where's it say that?"

Matthew 25:14-30, otherwise entitled the "Parable of the Talents".  It's fairly popular, but to recap, Jesus told the story of a businessman goes on vacation, leaves some cash ("talents" were silver coins) with his servants for safekeeping.  First two did a good job investing, doubled his money, and were generously rewarded.  Third guy not only didn't invest, but didn't even put it in the bank.

He literally buried his talents in a hole.  Yeah!  Here he had talents and instead of putting them out there for the world to see he buried them away.  Haha! What a doofus!  He completely... um... [uncomfortable pause] ... oh wait. I see what you did there, Jesus. 😳

 There were two consequences for this.  First, his talents were taken away and given to the wealthiest of the wise servants.  Ever heard the cliche "the rich get richer"?  Well, what if that observation isn't about fairness (as we make it out to be) but more a matter of poor stewardship and its consequences?  Something to think on.

Oh, but don't leave offended yet.  It gets worse!

The last line is, "cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth"  That's a common Biblical euphemism for Hell!  Okay, I never quite let that sink in before.  This whole analogy about not living up to ones' potential... okay, fine, I track with that.  But, Hell!?? Woa!  😱

Hard to say exactly why the offense called for such a severe punishment.  But it certainly does make one sit up and take notice!

The best conclusion I came up with is that if we bury our talents, either through active hiding or the laissez-faire policy of ignoring marketing, we're essentailly stealing.  We're stealing from the world something that others could enjoy and be edified by.

I don't know about you, but I don't believe in randomness or chance, but in a world that's logical and under control.  I have to believe, then, that we were put here with a specific job to do and a purpose in mind (Esther 4:14). 

But what happens when we neglect that job?  Good question.  I know it doesn't confound God's plan, but... at what cost to those around us?   And if the dire consequences of the parable are any indication, then the cost to us must be quite high indeed!

Now how am I going to end this topic on a more positive note ...?

I know! For those looking for a little more carrot an a little less stick, take a moment and listen through Matthew West's song "You've Got Something to Say"


Bueno?

Okay, now get out there, get your marketing game on, and most of all...

Live Your Adventure,
-E.L. Fletcher

Friday, November 30, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018 In Review

Well it's over - that great month of insanity known as NaNoWriMo.

And if you recall from the previous post I had determined to write a complete first draft of two different novels in the same month.  So how did that work out?

Did I make it?
Did it just about kill me?
Do I kind of regret signing on for that much?

Yes, to all three.


But it's over now, so I thought I'd share with you guys a little postmortem of things and a few gravy quotes of what you can look forward to when the full books are finally released.

Interestingly, the two couldn't have been more opposite.

Elfworld:
  • Male Protagonist
  • Just a fun, wild, and light-hearted comedy.
  • Total "pantster". I had had absolutely no plan in mind going into it, just this basic idea of the world.
  • The characters are all relaxed, endearing, and in some ways nigh invincible.
  • Has a totally concrete "and they lived happily ever after" ending.  (Well, TWO of those, actually.  But you'd have to read it to get what I mean by that.)

Yet One Way Ticket:
  • Female Protagonist.
  • A deep, brooding dystopia where mortality confronts the characters at every turn.
  • Total "planster".  I had a number of ideas that I wanted to work in and spent the entire first day doing nothing but outlining.  (If you look at my word graph it's easy to see when I switched.  I did a whopping 18 words that day, vs the usual 3,000 or more!)
  • The characters are flawed, broken, plagued with self-doubt.  At one point you don't even know who to trust. 
  • Ends with a major twist, a huge new development in the world, and characters geared up and ready to go for a sequel (though I han'd been planning to make either a series.  I couln't leave their world the way it was and so it just played out that way.)
In other ways they turned out strikingly similar. 
  • Their main adversaries were high-level influencers in their world system. 
  • Both heroes are a part of a dedicated, hand-picked team which allegedly has a traitor in its midst.
  • The main plot consisted of a physical journey from here to there.
  • Protagonist is an everyday person who learns way too much about the way the world works, their place in it, and brings themself under fire due to their unique special abilities.

In fact, at one point in both stories, the leading female character gets a certain thing into her head and has to be bodily carried away from the situation like a sack of potatoes.  I don't know why I happened to use that exact same plot device twice in a row, but the situation seemed to call for it, so... whatever, I guess.

I've had to shelve stories in the past that simply didn't seem to work out right, but both of these seem like winners in their own way.  Since I literally only finished it moments ago, I have no feedback on One-Way Ticket yet, but concerning Elfworld, I've heard my pre-alpha readers physically laughing out loud, so that's a good compliment! :)

I think you'll probably see both in print someday.

Anyway, here are a couple of great excerpts from each that you can enjoy until then.
(You can totally see the huge difference between the two stories from the tone of the quotes below.)

One-Way Ticket:

Nature had done its job well, and the body had no remaining odor to it. All that remained behind were bones and a few stray hairs.

Stricken with a sudden morbid curiosity, she reached over plucked one up.

Drawing it out, she watched in mute fascination as it slid through her thumb and forefinger.

Who were you, once? she mentally asked the bones. You had pretty hair. she added, realizing that the color and length was not dissimilar to her own.

How does it come to this? You were just an average woman living in Utopia. she thought, not sure which one of them she was addressing. But The Collectives had their points to make, didn't they? And so, here you are.

Were you going to the fridge for a snack when it happened? she wondered. Were you making a meal for your family? Are they buried here too?

Or did your body simply fall here? Thrown out with the rest like any common piece of garbage?

The bones would not answer.

Elfworld:

His friends had long ago given up any idea of participating in the fighting and now merely stood aside and watched. Though he plowed through the soldiers as reckless as lemming on crack, and though he had too many holes in him to count, Benny's life bar hadn't budged a single tick.

If the previous battles were any indication, he should be feeling tremendous physical pain right now, but apparently the effects of Trina's last Courage +50 were eclipsing even that.

Kamauski cleared his throat. "Um, guys. You know we're probably the worst fantasy team of all time, right? I mean, the only reason we're even winning right now is because we slipped our own leader a power-up mickey so he'd do all the fighting for us..."

They nodded slowly.

"No, okay. As long as you're good with it."

One-Way Ticket:

From her present point of view the city seemed to be a rare oasis of life in this world of war and decay, but now Emily had seen the truth behind the illusion, however. It was no oasis at all, but a great and hungry leech, sucking away the life and all good things from the surrounding land. This even included its own underground, for not but a level or two below the surface, the destitute people of the Fells treadled the great millstone that made the whole engine turn. Utopia, built upon hollow stuffs, in more ways than one.

Elfworld:

On the TV screen, a drone shot panned across a roaring stadium of mixed-species fans of all walks of life.

Cut to a balding announcer in a crooked tie. "We're back! Bottom of the sixth, Cubs are still up by two. It's been an exciting game sportsfans."

Same announcer, in voice-over as they cut to the diamond. "But they may be in trouble, folks, coach has sent in Kellan Frostbeard."

A white-bearded dwarf spit (not to be racist, but dwarves tended to like that part of the sport), tapped the dirt off his cleats, and settled into his stance.

"Now, Frostbeard led the league in RBI's last season, despite having a fairly low number of hits."

Another voice, "Right you are, Chuck, but I'd like to remind you that when looking at the stats of your halfling batters it all comes down to a question of whether the pitcher can put it across the strike zone or not. And with the bases loaded like they are, it looks like the Cubbies could be in for --"

Untold thousands of fans around the nation groaned in unison as the picture cut out in favor of the station logo.


Well, that's it for now.  I guess I have to come out of hibernation now and see what real life has to offer. ;)


Live YOUR Adventure,
-E.L. Fletcher

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NaNoWriMo Double-Down!

So you guys asked for Elfworld, and you know what?  You got Elfworld!  (Or a first draft, at least.)

Submitted for your approval, a photographic re-enactment of me crushing it:




But here's the real question.  Today is Nov 14 - only halfway through NaNoWriMo - but I've already got the 50,000 words in.

Therefore, since I wrote the one you wanted for the first of the month, I'm going to write the one I want for the second half.  Sound fair?

That makes this post my second NaNo announcment.  This time the book is:



One Way Ticket
(Working title only.  Still thinking up a cool name.)

 In a dystopian future, the continent has been reduced to a number of warring city-states. Each, in a desperate scramble for survival has devolved to the level of bloodthirsty efficiency. Needless to say that when Emily Conrad is diagnosed with a terminal illness, she suddenly finds herself running out of options.

Only one alternative remains: To join the army's death squad division and at least go out with a bang!

Sound exciting? 
I hope so.
For updates, follow me on social media (links on the right) and my NaNoWriMo profile.




Till then, Live Your Adventure!
-E.L.Fletcher

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Nanowrimo 2018 announcement!

Yes folks, it's that time of year again.  Time to binge write like a person half my age and end up getting wheeled off to the looney bin.  Fun times!

This year I narrowed it down to three ideas and let you, my loyal fans, decide on social media.

Well, the votes are in and the winner is...


Okay, first off I had way too much fun doctoring that image. :)

And secondly, the elf dude actually does resemble one of the characters shaking out of the story.  His name is Hadley Morrel, a power-executive who seeks to leverage the q.e. for his own financial gain.

Oh, but what is the q.e.?  You may ask.

The q.e. is the Quantum Eclipse. 

You see, it turns out that "parallel dimensions" are anything but parallel. Rather, they are constantly adrift, coming in and out of phase with one another. 

The reason why our culture has been so influenced by the the fantasy genre is because that particular dimension is nearing our own. 

Of course, Benny doesn't realize any of this until he arrives at the office one morning and holds the door for an elf with a briefcase. The fantasy world is suddenly mashed up with our own, and he grows increasingly frustrated that only he seems to know the difference between the two!

Now he has to walk that fine line between fantasy and reality, and hopefully save both from tyranny and destruction!

There are some great surprises along the way, including some guest appearances by certain persons you may know.  I'm not going to say any more than that.  You'll have to read the book.  :)-

Anyway, the first day of binge-writing went rather well, propelling me to a respectable start of 6,590 words.  NaNo says if I can keep that up I'll be done in a week.  I make no promises in that regard though. Lol!

Finally, if you are a fellow NaNoWriMo participant, you can find me / buddy me / verbally abuse me via:
https://nanowrimo.org/participants/edmund-lloyd-fletcher