Archive for April 24th, 2009

CODG wordcount update

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on April 24th, 2009
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Well, I’m less than 300 words from my original estimate of 140,000 words. The problem is that estimates are notoriously unreliable. Especially when most of the invention comes during the draft phase. It appears I have 20-30k more words. So I’m back down in the 80% finished range. But here’s my goal for completing. I hope to deliver it at somewhere around 170,000 words, maximum.

  • April 20 -24: finish pre-climax story lines
  • April 27 – 1: finish pre-climax story lines
  • May 4 – 8: climax, finish
  • May 11 – 15: revise
  • May 18 – 22: revise
  • May 25: deliver

BTW, let me tell you this story is exciting me–the giant dogmen of Toth that breed monstrous dogs called maulers, a tall insect like creature called ungar that are stealing souls for their magic, wurm fields, battles, mysteries, traitors, our first meeting of the woodikin and Harnock (the one bred by Lumen to be a superior warrior), a wonderful sleth called Eresh who was completely unplanned and completely delightful, plus some incredibly delicious character situations.

Oh, baby. This one is shaping up with all sorts of delights. Of course, if I don’t execute, readers will just see it as a mess. So it’s back to work.



Check out Dave Farland’s new cover

Posted in John's Reviews - books, movies, whatever  by John Brown on April 24th, 2009

Isaac Stewart pointed this out to me. Wow. And what a change. Farland’s got a whole new look and feel. I don’t know much about cover art/marketing and how well various colors and styles do in the book store (will buyers gloss over this because of its dark color?–I hope not). But however this performs on the shelf, it’s a great illustration.

See more images on Irene Gallo’s blog about it. Compare with the old style.


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Can you write for love AND money?

Posted in On Writing  by John Brown on April 24th, 2009

Many artists think you can’t. And not simply because they envy those who are selling hundreds of thousands of copies.

The reason they think this is for the simple fact that the creative process is fueled by following the zing. It’s ruled by passion. You have to care about AND believe in what you’re writing. You have to because if you think it’s boring or unbelivable, then it’s likely everyone else will as well. 

For example, let’s say you are deeply bored by vampires, but see that vampire love stories are making piles of cash and decide to write about one with smoldering eyes and a bad habit of chewing tobacco even though it leads to dental problems with the fangs (hey, why would her man-toy care?), then you’re substituting passion (that which springs up from within) for graphs and plots about marektability (stuff that’s imposed from without).

And so many folks think that there’s a continuum. On one end is writing for passion. On the other is writing for money. And the two don’t cross. But this is a false dichotomy. The truth is that money and passion are independent factors.

Lon Prater, a writer friend, recently expressed it this way.

Not a dichotomy, but rather an X and Y axis, the way I see it.


low love, low money (SEO writing?)

low love, high money (For me, this would be tech writing, or media tie-in to a universe I didn’t care about)

high love, low money (unfortunately too much of my writing!)

high love, high money. (Loftiest of goals) :)

You can find datapoints for every quadrant, and of course “love” is highly subjective and individualized, as are what counts as low and high for each writer.

If we put labels to the quadrants, we get something like this, along with common emotions they tend to evoke in other writers. (Although I will say that envy seems to want to run amok in the author quadrant as well.) 


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