Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Hook

How do you start your stories? Do you try to begin with some type of attention-grabbing element? If you can't hook your reader within the first paragraph you probably won't retain them for the entire story. This is mostly applicable to the short story artform, but I think it's just as viable for full length novels as well. I always prefer to start off with an unattributed quote from a character. Something like this: "There's no telling how many people I'm going to have to kill today." Don't attribute that little bit of dialogue and make sure it has something to pull the reader in. Identify the speaker in the next two to three paragraphs. That gets the literary ball rolling and your reader will likely stick with you longer. Just my own personal tactic, but I'm curious if my fellow writers do something similiar.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hardcore Applications!

It's a virtual whirlwind of activity over the last few days as far as bidding for new gigs goes. On the audio front, I submitted for around 20 jobs. My quotes are fairly competitive I feel, so hopefully we'll see if I get awarded any of those jobs. On the writing front, I have very serious prospects in with Dot Com Media, ErieDrive, and a few other private groups. Lots, and I mean LOTS, of work available here, so let's hope this pans out. I've gotten a few paid sample requests from them, so huzzah! I got in with one client only to drop him right away. They wanted me to pay a third party auditor to verify the authenticity of my work. Sorry. Not how I operate, especially for the pennies on the dollar fee I was making compared to my normal rate. I don't really mind it so much, it's just the principle of the thing. I shouldn't be paying someone else so that I can get paid in the first place. It's redundant. Sent out a few more portfolios this morning. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Moving on up

I've been working off and on with, a fantastic ite that is growing very rapidly. I was chatting with the site owner this morning and was surprised to hear that he site has arond 2,000 contributors already. They haven't been operating for very long, so this is all kinds of cool. This morning's net-meeting resulted in an offer to buy a few more stories, and also make give me an administrative position with the site. Sweet! The group there is very nice and open to working with others, so it's a wonderful atmosphere to be a part of. Can't wait to dive deeper in!

Monday, October 21, 2013

General Update

Egads! I'm still here and kicking. The lull in activity is largely due to the birth of my third child. Yes, I actually convinced a woman to procreate with me not once, not twice, but three times. She's very resilient but always faults to my charms of whimsy. The kids are great. The wife is great. 'Nuff said. NOW! Let's get back into the writing world! While I have been able to maintain some smaller clients, I am once more in the market for that elusive Big Fish. That one client that really takes up all of your free time. The particular customer that needs a little extra rub. You know the one. Lots of feelers thrown out there, so we'll see what comes about. I'm thinking of starting a Linked-In profile just for freelance work. Whelp. Stating it was all the convincing I need. I'll create one today. Working on things again for Bad Tiger Studios, as well as Jungle Age. A collection of stories, Red Planet Rising, is on the way. I was hoping to get some backing for that, but having another baby pretty much killed that prospect, so I'll most likely just self-publish the thing. Got a job with a game company, writing events. Their system is...baffling, but lucrative. Is this the Big Fish? Hmm...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bad Tiger Studios - site launch (and I have two things there)

CW Russette, a writer that I admire, has launched a new site dedicated to providing new comics and stories that feature some amazing talent. I'm among them, but I would not be so bold as to say that I'm amazing. That would be conceited. Of course, I wouldn't argue if YOU said I was amazing.

Bad Tiger Studios came online yesterday, and it does indeed feature some pretty awesome stuff. And, would you look at that, I happen to have two things posted there.

The first of which is a new comic strip featuring The Skull. Brandon Wilt did the pencils and inks, I did the script and lettering.

The second of which is a new ongoing sword and sorcery serial featuring Bolstagg Freilander. This guy's first adventure was so fun, I decided to write an ongoing prose feature.

So, go ahead and check everything out. Then use the word "amazing" a lot in reference.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The arrival of the arcanist

Well, would you look at that! Another paid story is posted at Jungle Age. Kindly go check it out and leave some feedback. This author would certainly appreciate it.

This story, entitled "iMage," features a new character named Master Eli. He is the world's foremost technomancer. I wanted to weave a story around the concept of blending magic and technology so seamlessly that it was hard to sepearte the two from each other. Eli battles abstract concepts locked behind the veil of Neverspace, which is a neutral ground between our world and the realm where demons have been shunned.

I might continue this guy's wacky adventures. We'll see how the story does.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sword & Sorcery

I've dabbled in the sword & sorcery realm a little, and when King Conan of Summeria isn't kicking me out, I've enjoyed my tenure. Thus, with a soon-to-be-announced site I have landed a new prose serial series. This features Bolstagg Freilander, a swordsman of great skill and Nordic tradition, venturing into that Realm of Murk known famously as the Black Kingdom. His task is a difficult one, but with Frigia, a practitioner of the Way, at his side he cannot fail. Sort of.

Anyway, the serial should be somewhere close to 1K words every other week when the site launches. Which could be soon. Like, this weekend. If you can't wait until then, maybe you should check out his first adventure.

Grab a flagon of mead and your best wench, and enjoy the tales of a true unruly master of the blade!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Skull - comic strip coming soon!

So, do we all remember my modern pulp hero, The Skull? His image takes up the header for this blog. Here's another reference for you:

There's a color version of that finished, but it will be used for promotion for The Skull's first book of collected short stories, as well as for his new comic strip.

What's that? A comic strip featuring The Skull? Oh, my, yes. Our buddy, CW Russette, is launching a new comics oriented fiction site. The Skull will have a strip like you would see in your weekly newspaper featured there! The first strip is completed and turned in, so when the site launches, you'll see it for the first time!

I'm super excited. Are you excited, because I'm excited. You should be excited.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

General Update

What a busy world we live in! Or, at least I live in. I never seem to have a free moment, as all of this writing keeps my more active than ever. Toss in a full time job, a part time job, and my various freelance work and the sun seems to set sooner rather than later.

I have all of the stories compiled for an anthology I'm editing entitled, "Red Planet Rising." Here's the awesome cover art from our buddy, Brandon Wilt:

Six stories all centered on Mars. We have robots, dragons, truckers, pinkertons, and of course, Martians. Some Class-A talent here with Josh Reynolds, Curt Fernlund, and Ed Ainsworth weighing in! Should be exciting. Oh, and I have a story in there as well. Look for that release soon.

I'm also furiously writing up daily content for Lots of goodies on their site, so go click something.

I've also worked up a little deal with Brandon Wilt to draw a comic strip that will appear soon at CW Russette's new online publishing company. More details on that soon, but it features The Skull, with me taking care of the writing duties.

Lots of polls being written by me at Maybe go check them out and cast your vote.

And many secret projects underway as well! Like I said, busy-busy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

That's how the West was won!

On board with two more big clients! Cha-ching! More web content being slung out, so when you surf around the net, think about all those people (me) that write the garbage you're glossing over.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Value of My Time

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is a thousand words worth? I know my rates, and I guarentee that they are below most others for the quality of content I provide, but does that mean I'm worth it?

Case in point: I got a job offer this weekend for CAD 3.00 / 250 words + research. They provide me with the topic and basic description needed, and I write up a summary based on my additional findings and whimsy.

Not only is this below my rate, but I also need to convert it to USD in order to, you know, actually spend it. I requested negotiation on the payment, so we'll see. Still, is that kind of an offer par for the course? Am I valued at that rate by clients even though I don't value myself that way?

This is just rambling, so feel free to ignore.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Read "Thirst for Chaos" now!

Clicky, clicky.

That was recently sold to Jungle Age, a new site that is trying to make itself known. I strongly encourage you to check it out, and tell the site owners how much you love my writing :-)

I should note that their posting system is awkward, which resulted in them trying to tinker with the story to make it viewable. Thus, no paragraph breaks. I assure you that I

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

General update on all projects

Lots of furious typing going on these days, and a good bit of audio production as well. Let's run down the list of projects so you can see how I fill up my free time (which mainly happens after the kids and wife go to sleep).

THE BRASS RING -The first in a potential trilogy of novels, being written by commission. The outline is approved by the editor and I'm plowing through the required 50K word count. This is an urban crime novel, focusing around a family in power. The patriach wants to expand into white collar crime and get into the LA market, but it's proving difficult. I want the main character here to be scary, like, Lex Luthor scary. He's smart, quick, and deadly.

RED PLANET RISING -This is an anthology I'm putting together, featuring some amazing writers. Josh Reynolds, Barry Reese, Curt Fernlund, Ed Ainsworth, and about ten more people are on board. I'll probably bug Brandon Wilt for cover art in a couple months. The anthology concept involves Mars, and each story will have the planet as a critical story element in some way. Each story is a max of 6K words, linked to Mars. That's the only guideline writers were given, so I'm excited to see what they turn in!

THIRST FOR CHAOS -Nearly done with this short story. 5K words max, to be posted on a new site coming soon. This was a pitch for the Black Library that got ignored, but has now been sold to a new buyer. Almost done writing it, and it's a ton of fun to be working in sword & sorcery fantasty again. The characters are based on a Nordic archetype, so lots of big swords and pillaging.

DEALTICKER & MAIN STREET HOST -Lots of articles for these two companies. I pump out maybe 15 articles a day between the two of them. They are easily my two biggest clients at the moment, and it's fortunate that they are run efficently by some awesome people. Both these clients provide longterm, ongoing work, and I'm proud to be working with them.

CITYWALKSZ TOURS -I completed the Lisbon, Portugal tour last week and am now working on a waklign tour of Dubrovnik, Croatia. It's a very long, tedious process to edit/process the voice over I lay down, but worth it. Lots of fun, great expierence. Finding royalty-free music that fits the culture is a challenge, though.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Duotrope can suck it

I just discovered that as of Jan 1 that Duotrope is now limiting access to paying members. $5/month to see listings of sites I could just Google? No thanks. In a related story Duotrope was just removed from my Favorites tab.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thirst for Chaos = SOLD

Awhile ago, The Black Library held their annual submission contest. I know a guy that works with them a lot (and you know him, too) and asked for advice on submitting a prop. It's all Warhammer stuff, which I love from my youth, and I pulled together a writing sample and solid story idea.

Never heard back from The Black Library. Apparently, they just ignored every submission and didn't tell anyone, choosing to focus on their established writing pool instead of ushering in hopeful newbs.

That obviously doesn't sit well with me, but to each his own. It's their business and they can do what they want, even if it was a giant middle finger to potential writers that thrive on feedback.

Move forward to yesterday, when I answered a posting asking for fantasy story submissions. I got to talking with their editor, revised my Black Libary prop, and resubmitted the idea. It got accepted, and BAM! Another story sold.

"Thirst for Chaos" will be a 5K word short about Bolstagg Frielander and his ethical dilemna with deciding to either vanquich a comrade-in-arms who is being corrupted by black magic, or allow him to flee due to his past good deeds (hoping his will is strong enough to fight off the infection).

It will eventually go to, a recently created site undergoing revision.

Hear that sound? It's the sweet music of cash hitting my back account.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Books, books, and more books

Reading, writing, reading, writing...that seems to be the name of the game when it comes to my free time. If I'm not nose-deep in reading a book, I'm knuckle-deep typing one up.

Yes, that's correct! Yours truly has been commissed to write a series of novels. The only thing I can say at the moment is that it falls within the urban crime genre. An excellent type of subject matter to work within, and one I honestly prefer to write.

Gritty, dark, revenge type stories are my bread and butter. I've revised the submitted summary and have gotten into these characters' heads already. I'm charging through and the 50K word count shouldn't be a problem.

50K? It's my own persoanl NaNoWriMo. Only this one comes with a contract promising compensation.

Good news, kids! Daddy is taking you on a whirlwind tour of NYC's gutter trash. Perhaps the next time you're in a book store, you'll search for a little tome that shall be called, "The Brass Ring."