Category Archives: Writing
About three weeks ago, I wrote a post about my plans for my NaNoWriMo project for this year, an Indian space opera story tentatively called The Veergati Codex. I talk about it in some detail here. That post also talked about some of the negative reactions I’ve seen against the entire event, established authors basically deriding the efforts of the “dilettantes” and the “dabblers” since “real authors” write all year, not just for one month a year. Its a fair criticism I guess, but its undeniable that many of the published authors of today are these same dilettantes and dabblers who’ve made it big. I know of at least three currently published authors, from major publishers no less, who took their first steps with a NaNoWriMo event and have reached all the way to where they are now. So the derision this year really rubbed me the wrong way.
But anyway, that’s not what this post is about. In the previous post, I’d said that my goal for this year was to do 30k words instead of the usual 64k+ I’d pulled the last years. With some personal things going on, not to mention some other commitments and my reading, I couldn’t afford to spend that much time on the writing for the event this year. I was all resigned to it too.
But then the first day came, and I was a mean writing machine, if I do say so myself.
In just a few short days will begin another Nation Novel Writing Month where tens of thousands of people all over the world will make a head-start on their novel projects, aiming for a monthly word-count of 50,000. Thousands will fall way short. Thousands will make that target, and thousands still will surpass that and end up much higher. From personal experience, its been *relatively* easy for me to break past the goal. In my first year, in 2011, I ended the month with a word-count of 65,866. In my second year, in 2012, I ended the month with 64,001 words committed. But this year, its going to be much different.
There are certain personal things going on that make it a impossible for me to be able to carry on this level of productivity this year. And its not just one thing, its a lot of different things, none of which are the topic of discussion here. Simply put, I’m aiming only for 30,000 words by the end of the month and even then I’m doubtful if I can make it.
No, the topic of discussion here is the reaction of some published authors with respect to this yearly event. To sum, its derision and arrogance and dismissal of the efforts that people make in November every year for this event. And that is something I have a big problem with.
So it has finally happened for really realz.
As I’ve blogged several times already, I have finally been able to get a short story published. Titled Dharmasankat: Crisis of Faith, this short story is an Indian Urban Fantasy sometime in the 1800s and acts as an origin prequel to my novella Dharmayoddha: Warrior of Faith, for which I’m still hunting for a publisher, without luck. There will be a follow-up novel Dharmachakra: Circle of Faith at some time in the future once I’m done with my current novel WIP Cloak of Secrecy.
Manifesto: UF is now available through Amazon as a digital book. You can purchase it here. I haven’t yet had a chance to read the anthology myself, but I will be correcting that first thing next month, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve read full novels by several of these authors already and I’ve been fairly impressed with their work. And all props to editors Tim Marquitz and Tyson J. Mauermann for putting this anthology together and taking a chance on an unpublished writer like myself.
I hope that you, the readers, will look favourably on the short story. And even if not, thanks for reading all the same. That’s the least I could ask for.
Back in May I announced that my short story Dharmasankat: Crisis of Faith had been accepted for inclusion in Tim Marquitz and Tyson J. Mauermann’s urban fantasy anthology Manifesto: UF. You can read that post here. Since then, I’ve been keenly anticipating the release of the anthology and seeing my name in print for the first time. I won’t lie, I’m superterriblyamazingly excited for this. After several false starts and abandoned projects things are beginning to work out and it looks like I do have the start of something great here.
Just a couple days ago, I looked at the final edited version of the short story. There actually weren’t any serious edits there other the American English-ization of a few terms here and there, and that too because I tend to write in British English, owing to my aspirations to one day write for Black Library’s Warhammer Fantasy and/or Warhammer 40,000 settings.
Having that be the most serious editing required makes me really glad. Glad that I didn’t screw up anything with my debut effort. The anticipation of release is eating at me right now, as is the fact that Dharmayoddha: Warrior of Faith is still on submission and I haven’t heard anything about it yet. Either way, I’m really looking forward to the release of the anthology.
In the meantime, since it was finalised, here’s the Table of Contents for the anthology. As I mentioned in the other post, some of these authors are friends I’ve made in the last few months ever since I started reviewing and to be able to share the same writing space as them is thrilling. Too, fellow reviewer Nickolas Sharps is making his own debut here as well and both of us are right smack in the middle of the TOC.
Rev – Kirk Dougal
I’m an Animal. You’re an Animal, Too – Zachary Jernigan
Los Lagos Heat – Karina Fabian
Savage Rise – Adam Millard
Front Lines, Big City – Timothy Baker
Break Free – Ryan Lawler
Naked the Night Sings – Teresa Frohock
Double Date – Andrew Moczulski
That Old Tree – R.L. Treadway
Dharmasankat – Abhinav Jain
Nephilim – TSP Sweeney
Toejam & Shrapnel – Nickolas Sharps
Green Grow the Rashes – William Meikle
Under the Dragon Moon – Jonathan Pine
Gold Dust Woman – Kenny Soward
Wizard’s Run – Joshua S. Hill
Chains of Gray – Betsy Dornbusch
Bloody Red Sun of Fantastic LA – Jake Elliot
Queen’s Blood – Lincoln Crisler
Beneath a Scalding Moon – Jeff Salyards
Separation Anxiety – J.M. Martin
Blessing and Damnation – Wilson Geiger
Jesse Shimmer Goes to Hell – Lucy A. Snyder
The anthology will be released in less than a month’s time, on 1st September, through Angelic Knight Press. I don’t have any of the usual bells-and-whistles links for you yet (Amazon, publisher product page, etc), but I do have the Goodreads page. I’ll get the other links as soon as I can. In the meantime, if you could head over to Goodreads and add the book to your reading shelves, that’d be great.
Thanks to everybody who’s helped so far. Much appreciated!
Folks might remember that I made a note of my intention back in January to submit a short story to Manifesto UF, a short story anthology being edited by author and editor Tim Marquitz, as well as Tyson J. Mauermann, for publication in September. My intended idea for this was to write something with Vikram Chauhan, the protagonist of my urban fantasy novella Dharmayoddha: Warrior of Faith, set in the present day in Mumbai, India. However, before I got to writing the short story , I meant to do two editing passes on the novella so I could properly frame the setting of the short story and have a better idea of what Vikram’s character was like.
Thing is, things didn’t turn out exactly to plan, as I mentioned in this post. My fear was that I had started out too late and that I would not be able to get it done on time.
Sometimes, all you need to have is a little faith (pun intended)! And I suppose that I had plenty of it because the DAY AFTER I submitted the short story, I had a really awesome email waiting in the inbox.
Just a quick update on things before I post my monthly report for last month later this weekend. Its been a somewhat hectic couple weeks, and I haven’t been able to collate all my writing data as yet.
Anyway, moving on.
This past weekend was my first Free Comic Book Day, or FCBD for short. It is a global event and comics publishers all over put out a handful of comics that are free of cost for readers. Print or digital, they are absolutely free (the stores still have to pay though, so keep that in mind!). All I can honestly say is that it was a downright blast, at least as long as we don’t consider my Iron Man 3 experience on the same day, something that is best left to my review, which I’m hoping to get done this weekend.
My local bookstore of choice had a fair range of titles on offer by the time I got there, although they had already sold out on a few I had really been looking forward to, such as IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dark Horse’s Star Wars, Top Cow’s Aphrodite, and 2000 AD’s Judge Dredd. Pretty gutted really, but I did manage to pick up a few interesting titles, one of which happens to be an Archie’s Digest, a comic I have not read in YEARS. Possibly an entire decade at the least!
Here are the books that I picked up this weekend, including a couple trades for graphic novels that I’ve had a blast reading in digital. Money well-spent as far as I am concerned.
Left to right, that’s an X-Men spoof poster by somebody someone, Batgirl Volume 1 by Gail Simone, Witchblade Volume 1 by Ron Marz, Demon Knights Volume 1 by Paul Cornell , Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns, Thanos Rising #1 by Jason Aaron, FCBD: A World of Archie’s Digest, FCBD: Marvel Infinity by Jonathan Hickman, FCBD: Superman #1 by Geoff Johns, FCBD: Valiant Masters, and FCBD: Valiant 2013.
Now, on to other things.
I finished the second-pass edits on Dharmayoddha last month and sent the novella out to a few beta-readers. Response has begun trickling in and so far its all been quite positive, with a few minor niggles here and there. I am pretty confident of the project now. This is, I think, just the right boost that I needed, and I can’t wait to hear back from everybody, and then begin the third-pass edits, fine-tuning things as and where they need to be, and there are few for sure, no doubts about that.
Also, I just finished the prequel story to Dharmayoddha, tentatively titled Dharmasankat: Crisis of Faith. It clocks in at 5,130 words exactly and I’m really glad that I finally got it done. The short story is intended for the Manifesto UF anthology by Tim Marquitz, and the submissions window for that closes on the 15th. I’m hoping that I can get it polished in time for the deadline, but the fear niggles that I left this off too long, and that it might not be ready.
If it is not, well, then, I can consider other avenues. Hopefully. We’ll see how that pans out.
But now, I’m pretty damn excited, being in a really good place with my writing.