Category Archives: Submissions

Excitement Abounds

So. Two days to go. Games Day United Kingdom 2011.

It is going to rock!

And what’s more, I am going! Hell yeah I am! I have my plane tickets, I have my hotel reservation, I have some local currency. A shopping list of books I wanna get.

And I am definitely prepared to have a ton of fun with all of the Boltholers who are going to be showing up for the event. Although, it appears so far that I am the only one coming from out of country.

The twin Black Library seminars, a “Writing For” and “Art of”, are going to be so much fun, I have no idea how to tell you all about it.

I have still not heard back regarding any of the 5 short stories I submitted during the Spring Submissions Window, and to be honest, I am resigned to the fact that I probably will not. It’s just been too long. There is less than a week left for their 8-week notification time too.

Hence, I am excited that BL is going to be having an area set aside at Games Day where we can submit some new short story ideas. For more information, just check out their latest blog post, which you can find here.

I already have two nice ideas regarding the Invictors and a Blood Angels successor chapter. The Invictors have already seen some time in the limelight as I submitted a short story about them for the submissions window. The Blood Angels idea is totally rocking, if I do say so myself. I feel it really captures the “grimdark” nature of Warhammer 40,000. Victory is not always the victory you hope for and all that jazz as they say.

In other news, Ch10 of Sons of Corax just got posted to the Bolthole. So definitely check that out. The last two chapters (which includes this one) have been mammoth additions to this ongoing project, and I have really had a blast writing the action scenes in there. I am told by reliable sources that the beginning and end of Ch9 is particularly awesome.

I am hoping to do some kind of a breakdown of Sons of Corax soon enough on the blog. Mostly I shall be talking about how the idea came about and how I’ve managed to write so much in such a short time! I am loving this project.

Sadly, my Star Wars/40k crossover fanfic is still in its development stage. Haven’t had much time to work on it, given some real life commitments and working on Sons of Corax.

Not to mention the awesomeness that is Space Marine. I have only played the demo so far and I am really liking the combat mechanics and the gameplay in general. I shall have the full game soon enough. Expect a review on that soon-ish.

Talking of reviews, I posted two movie reviews on 24FPS this past week. The first one is Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, which is my third review in the DC Animated Universe Film Reviews Spotlight. The second one is Captain America: The First Avenger (3D). Do check them out!

Given my novel-related haul at Games Day, I shall have a fair bit of pre-release novels in my hands pretty soon. And I have decided that I am going to review them as and when I finish them. Time to branch out the blog to more than just rambling about 40k and writing πŸ™‚

So yeah, that’s all that. I fly off to London in roughly 24 hours from now.

Excitement abounds!

Recognition at the Finish Line

Last night, the Black Library Open Submissions Window for the spring ended and I am happy to say that I managed to submit all five of my planned short stories. I ended up dropping Project Long Hunt in the end because while the plot idea was something I would have dearly liked doing, the synopsis and sample didn’t quite come together into anything properly coherent even though it had what the editors generally, at first glance, require us new writers to do: bolter-action. Ah well, it is going to be on the backburner till next time.

These last three months have been one of the greatest learning experiences ever and I am quite grateful to a number of people who have contributed to this.

The most important of these people is Sarah Cawkwell aka Pyroriffic who, after the official Black Library forums closed down ages ago, started the Bolthole for people like me who love the twin GW universes and can endlessly debate them and have an interest in creatively contributing to them. If I had not found the Bolthole when I did, life would indeed have been quite dull and I would be struggling along with totally half-assed submissions.

Next up would be Narrativium, another fellow Boltholer and moderator, whose experience and feedback has been very, very valuable to me, for he pointed out plot-holes and details and other things that I generally missed mentioning in my pitches or did not even consider. I dare say that he knows all my pitches nearly as well as I do, since I pestered him repeatedly for critiques πŸ™‚

Then there is everyone else who, at one point or another, helped me with more feedback across the whole line-up of my pitches, including Project Salvation. Big shout-out to Tyrant, Colonel Mustard, BaneofKings, LordLucan, Pipitan, CommanderShadow, Malcador, Raziel, Phalanx and all the others who helped me and contributed their various insights to my pitches so that in the end I had 5 top-quality submissions. (EDIT: I forgot Paul!!!! You are awesome too dude)

I owe all these guys a lot for all their help. You guys rock!

All in all, my five submissions covered three separate Space Marine chapters, none of which have figured at all in the limelight of GW/BL/FW published material, barring one.

The Angels of Retribution got two short stories dedicated to them this time, both very different in terms of settings and entirely different cast of characters. As my own chapter, that I would love to get ‘identified’ with, I sincerely hope that at least one of these is definitely picked up. I am really proud of the Sons of Corax.

The Invictors, who I have portrayed as Ultramarine successors, got one short story dedicated to them which, in my opinion, is absolutely pure blood-and-guts 40k mixed with what I sort of in-my-brain call ‘homage grimdark’. If this one gets published, you will be the first ones to find out what that means.

The Executioners got two short stories dedicated to them for this window, both very different pieces but ultimately connected with the prologue and aftermath of a single event. Set in completely different times and with different characters, I had a ton of fun coming up with the ideas for these two, and a big thanks to one of my Bolthole friends who gave me the idea for the first of these.

The Home Stretch

And the final week of the Spring Open Submission Window has arrived. As you can see in my related thread over on the Bolthole, people are starting to submit their short stories and novels, stuff that they have been working on for the whole length of the window. It’s nice to see so much creative output and I hope some of these people get in (obviously not all will *wink*wink*).

Just like Project Honour, the sample for Project R&R is proving to be a pain to write as well. I have already discarded over 800 words (collectively) for two different versions of the sample. With the final lap in play now, I’m really short on time too. Not to mention that Project Long Hunt is still MIA. That piece needs a lot of work but I am struggling to find the right inspiration.

Going to be referring to TerribleMinds’ err, umm, suggestions over here to push through this week. Definitely recommend reading that article in full. Beware that the language is quite ‘adult-oriented’. Don’t blame me if you can’t handle a little cursing.

However, none of that means that I have only been letting my soul be sucked away by the submissions window! Hell no!

Take a stroll over to the Bolthole’s General Warhammer-verse FanFic section to check out my new forum project. A WIP of course. Having finally read through all the twelve (now thirteen) sections of LL’s 60k alternate-verse setting, I present to you the Sons of Corax. It is set in the early years of the Age of Dusk, ten thousand years after the fall of the Imperium and the descent of the galaxy into the Second Age of Strife. It’s a pretty cool setting conjured up by crazyman LL and if you read all his background sections for the setting, you see how well this guy can channel his inner Tolkien in setting up the whole stage. Amazing stuff.

Response in terms of readership to Sons of Corax has been quite well and I am really happy with the whole project so far. Ideas just come into play and I write them on the screen. Feels really natural! I already have two sections of the story up, coming in at about 3300+ words. Chapter 3 shall be up today or tomorrow. Come check out the progress!

And hopefully once all the madness of the submissions window ends, I can get back to all my other neglected works which include:

War Engagement, MisterEd’s Drabbles and Project Salvation which is my Deathwatch novel.

Looking forward to getting back in the groove for War Engagement!

Full Gear

It’s been a busy few days since my last post. Heck of a lot of things have happened, not the least is more positive news on the writing front and tons of fun, new information.

#1 Short Story Number 5, not to be confused with this.

Project Oath & Duty is also complete; am just awaiting some more feedback on it. A lot of people have commented that there really isn’t any real action in it but well, the beta-readers are only reading a short sample of the larger piece and its synopsis. It is going to be a dialogue-heavy story and that’s where the action is gonna be. For now, Project OD is marked off in the ready-to-send category pending a couple minor typo-corrections.

#2 Short Story Number 6

Project R&R is now in full swing. The Angels of Retribution are finally back in their second short story! Can’t give any more information on it without spoiling the plot but this is going to be some real fun to write in full. This is a straight-up action-oriented short story with lots of bolter-fire, chainswords-swinging, bam-bam-bam-bam-bam and things blowing up and people getting decapitated. Oh yes, this is going to be lots and lots of fun.

Incidentally this is Project number 6. Coming up on that lucky number, hmmmmm. Wonder if it is alright to go over this and risk my luck?

#3 Some news from Black Library (not really their blog itself per se in some cases but includes stuff from author blogs)

The novella trend continues with Gav Thorpe’s next, featuring Chaplain Cassius, the Ultramarines Master of Sanctity.

More audio dramas, this time continuing with Vulkan’s Shield (Salamanders) by Nick Kyme and Labyrinth of Sorrows (Raven Guard) by George Mann.

Graham McNeill is prepping for a novel duology about the Adeptus Mechanicus, tentatively titled Priests of Mars. I am betting on it being set in Warhammer 40,000 as opposed to the Horus Heresy.

A slew of new artwork by the fantastic artists at BL. I especially prefer the Blood Angel by Clint Langley.

Civilian Reader interviews Jonathan Green, author of the Pax Britannia novels and one of the most consistent BL authors.

#4 The Submissions Window

This is really heating up as you can see here. I count 40 short stories and 5 novels submitted, with a ton more in the works by dozens of people! And not every Boltholer who is submitting is even on the list. One of my friends-who-shall-not-be-named has submitted over a dozen short stories plus a novel already!

The amount of work done and being done is just crazy. So much creative output! And this is just us Boltholers. People from Warseer, Heresy Online, The Great Crusade and other Warhammer forums are undoubtedly churning out a crap-ton of submissions as well.

#5 Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

If you were on the fence about getting this game when it comes out in September, then shame on you. Absolutely shame on you.

Check out this video preview of the game’s multiplayer mode. And also check out this video of its customizer for Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines. The breadth of options available is just staggering, you can customize everything from your helmet to greaves, to colours to armour designs to weapons to what-the-hell-not!

You fence-y people NEED to get this. Now! Go pre-order it already! THQ has won over thousands of fans with that customizer.

Oh and check this for the available classes for Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines. That Devastator special ability is looking boss.

#6 The Shatner

I admit to the SF geek inside me. I’ve always been a fan of Star Trek, having watched all the shows (the multi-season TV series, the animated series), the films and even read a few books. Needless to say, I am also a Captain James Tiberius Kirk fan. Big fan. Don’t ask.

Anyways, William Shatner’s Shatnerpalooza is going live soon and he is going to be presenting his documentary The Captains in which he talks to all of the famous captains from over the years: Patrick Stewart from The Next Generation, Kate Mulgrew from Voyager, Avery Brooks from Deep Space Nine, Scott Bakula from Enterprise and Chris Pine from Star Trek.

Check out details in this interview series.

#7 Conan

This movie is going live soon and this is one movie this summer you don’t want to miss, trust me. If you are not convinced by the amazing cast which includes Jason Momoa (Stargate Atlantis and Game of Thrones) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) then perhaps this trailer can convince you?

Obligatory Conan quote:

Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.

#8 Bolthole stuff

Over on the boards, I read the most amazing piece of cross-over fan-fic ever. The concept itself was extremely intriguing but when I read the first few chapters that have been posted, I was blown away.

Across The Void (Warhammer 40,000/Starcraft). Nutstoyoutoo has done an amazing job with the execution here and he managed to include my favourite Terran hero too!!! Hellz yeah!!! I am definitely tuned in for more on this.

That reminds me of all the other fanfic on the board I’ve been meaning to read for a while now.

Colonel Mustard, one my most dependable beta-readers has his 40k/Mass Effect cross-over project Angels of the Storm which is now at 30 chapters and counting!

And there is my fellow mod and another beta-reader Lord Lucan who has his alternate-verse post-40k projects Warhammer 50,000: The Shape of The Nightmare To Come and Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk. I’ve read bits and pieces of both and this guy’s imagination is just a wonder. Seriously recommend reading some of this stuff.

#9 24FPS

I’ve been slightly negligent with regards to my reviews here but stay tuned because in the next couple of days, things are gonna heat up for the DCAU Movie Reviews Spotlight! As promised next one up is going to be Green Lantern: Emerald Knights followed by Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.

The Victory-3 and other things

It is done. Complete. Poora. Finito.

Project Honour that is. The summary and synopsis are as tight as I can get them and the sample is pretty much done as well. It is slightly heavier on the word count, being a little bit over the 1000-word mark but its not an issue since the sample is fairly well-put together and everything flows from A to B. Lots of critique went on for this one and I am quite pleased with the feedback. Never underestimate the importance of feedback. It makes you think of things you never would otherwise, because they seem so obvious to you that you never bother to explain them. That can happen a LOT.

So yeah, value the feedback you get. Big shout-out to all the people who’ve helped me with this one. The Bolthole rocks!

All that remains is to send off the collective sample/summary/synopsis off to BL, which I will do at the end of the month. Going to work on my other shorts now, which brings me to the following. This now nicely brings my completed submissions to number three. A nice round number, which I like, and coincidentally, is half my lucky number, 6.

Project Long Hunt is proving to be quite an elusive beast. I still can’t get the synopsis nailed down even though I know what I want to write about and what the plot is. Its all clear in my head, yet I can’t get any of it down on the screen. Very, very frustrating. Especially since this is my most unique piece in terms of plot and larger ramifications for the characters involved. But, I still have a whole two more weeks to go so I still have time to get it done.

Work has also begun on Project Oath & Duty which is a somewhat related piece to Project Honour, but not directly. It is somewhat like a short story I read recently but not much. It will be quite a dialogue-heavy final piece though, which is going to be a good enough challenge. I am really growing to love this particular faction.

Further on about submissions, I have now finally decided to stop work on Project Salvation, my Deathwatch novel, for this submissions window. I would like to very much get my game on with my short stories rather than my novel. The submission is nowhere near done, and with my current workload from IRL and other things (read below), I am not so sure I can get it done in time and still have it be of good quality. And like Long Hunt, I still don’t have a proper and clear synopsis down in my head, let alone on paper. So yeah, that’s that.

Which reminds me. NO WAYΒ  ONLY FOURTEEN DAYS LEFT! Actually thirteen for me since I am not counting the last day. I will be submitting my shorts before midnight on July 30. Just to be safe.

Sadly, I’ve been procrastinating a fair bit though. And the source of this soul-sucking activity is Lord of Ultima. Click on the link to find out more about it. Essentially this is a free MMO from EA that involves empire-building in the form of cities, armies, trade, and resource management. It is quite an involved game, especially once you get past the rookie stage and into the big leagues. Which is where I am now, or rather, quite a bit past that. For the interested, I play on world 19 (Empire score currently 105k+) mostly with a little tampering on world 29 (Empire score currently 61k+), under the name shadowhawk20. Thanks to Christian Dunn, the friendly neighbourhood BL editor for recommending this game. And curses too, for the distractions πŸ˜€

Anyways, moving on.

I have now finished reading Victories of the Space Marines and Legends of the Space Marines. Extremely impressed with the quality of short stories in the former, not so much from the latter.

The entirety of Victories is an absolute gem of awesome ass-kicking, bolter-action, xenos-killing and deeper stuff. If I have to nominate one short from this anthology for some kind of an award, it has to be Ben Counter’s Sacrifice, which features our favourite Grey Knight, Justicar Alaric, and is about the sacrifices the Imperium makes to protect itself. Absolutely amazing, grimdark, 40k short story that is perfect in the setting.

Since I made a point last time to mention how excited I was to read Sarah’s Primary Instinct, got to say that I wasn’t disappointed one bit with it. I knew the larger story of course because of reading spoilers on Warseer, but it was still fun to read. Very enjoyable. Would love to read more from her.

In comparison, Legends mostly fell flat on its face. Only two of the stories can compare to the quality of those found in Victories: The Returned by James Swallow of Blood Angels fame, and At Gaius Point by Aaron Dembski-Bowden of Night Lords fame. Mr Swallows continues the tale of Tarikus from Black Tide, giving his story a proper closure for the moment while the newly married Aaron took something sacred to the Blood Angels and their successors, and gave it a very gripping, tense, and rewarding execution. The Flesh Tearers are quickly rising high on my list of favourite Space Marine chapters.

I firmly give Ben Counter’s Twelve Wolves an honourable mention as well. It is about two Space Wolves fighting off an invasion of their homeworld by renegade Imperial/Ecclesiarchy forces. Absolutely brilliantly done and focusing something that has largely been an obscure part of the chapter’s background. Ben Counter seems to be going from strength to strength recently and I love his work. His Grey Knight novels featuring Justicar Alaric are some of my favourites from BL. You can follow and pester him on twitter @BenCounter.

The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America did a recent guest post on their site titled: 60 Rules for Short Science-Fiction and Fantasy, which you can find here. There are some interesting points there, and a few I agree with and some I don’t agree with. I’ll let you read them and form your own opinions of them, but just keep in mind that while these may be some good guidelines for writing general SF/F, some of them do not really apply to writing for Warhammer 40,000. I haven’t attempted to write anything for Warhammer Fantasy so I won’t comment on that but I trust it is the same for both settings.

That’s all for now people. Stay tuned.

Project Honour

Finally finished the sample for this today. So far, of my three submissions, this has the most dialogue by far. Initial feedback has been quite positive and I am quite happy with how it turned out as well. Like I mentioned previously, picking the the scene I wanted to write for this sample was a real pain but in the end I just picked one and started writing. Actual writing time was perhaps about two hours but I spent about a week agonizing over the scene from start to finish.

But now it is complete and once I get all the proper feedback in, that will short story three sent off to the BL towers. Mission accomplished.

Now that just leaves Project Long Hunt, which is still in flux regarding the synopsis so forget the sample, and Project Salvation, my novel which I haven’t touched in a while because I haven’t had any creative urge for it. Which is slightly depressing really.

I keep wanting to tackle some other short stories rather than my novel which, frankly, is not a good idea. I need to see this through by the end of the month or else it will hang on my head as an incomplete pitch. And I hate incomplete pitches.

So that’s that.

In other news, my second film review is up on 24FPS. I have started a review series that me and Paul are calling the DC Animated Universe Film Reviews Spotlight. Basically I will be tackling the direct-to-DVD animated films starring various DC Comics superheroes as released by Warner Bros. You can find the series write-up here.

My first review in the series is Green Lantern: First Flight and you can find the review here. Paul has already reviewed the film in preparation for the live-action movie Green Lantern 3D, so my review is a second opinion article. You can find my review here and Paul’s review here. Next up in the review series will be Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.

Sarah aka Pyroriffic, our former-and-still Grand Overlord of the Bolthole shared this link today. It is quite an informative piece on what fan-fiction is, its various sub-types and people’s reactions to fan-fiction. I heartily recommend checking out the link. A lot of you aspiring fan-fiction writers will find it quite useful.

A fellow Boltholer, Grenadier has been published! It is a short story titled Heavenbloom from Books To Go Now and I recommend people to give it a go. The direct link is this, and for the Amazonians among you, you can all go here. If you are on facebook, don’t forget to ‘like’ his page here. It’s great to see the folks from The Bolthole getting published, no matter the genre/setting so yaya! If you get the story please don’t forget to review it on Amazon as well! Let’s get the word out there people! Chop, chop.

Follow Through

Ack, another long gap in blogging! My apologies folks. Went away on sort of a family vacation/attending a friend’s wedding to India and the schedule was quite hectic, not to mention that the first five days of this vacation saw me suffer because I had no access to internet! A travesty I assure you.

But I am back though and I have several things to talk about.

First off, the Black Library spring submission window is now more than two-thirds over. I have yet to finish my novel sub (Project Salvation), or the two short stories that I also want to submit for the window (Projects Honour and Long Hunt). Fingers crossed.

I am pretty sure the novel wil not be picked up, for two main reasons. One, Steve Parker is already doing a Deathwatch novel which means my chances are really slim as he is already an established author. Two, I am an aspiring writer which means that in the era of Hammer & BolterΒ  and the Space Marine anthologies I am more likely to get my short stories in rather than novels. But as my friend Ben Warren pointed out to me the other day, best case is that I am marked out as potential talent. Which would be sweet as well.

Secondly, as per my earlier mentions on the blog about doodling a second novel, I have decided it will not be submitted in the current window, but whenever the next one opens. I have yet to finish my already scheduled subs and this would add way too much to my workload. I will continue to work on this once the window is over, continuing to plan stuff for it. It is an idea I really like as the majority of the Angels of Retribution chapter will feature in it. It is going to be full of Space Marine action goodness, which is never a bad thing.

I have also started as well to plan out a second set of submissions. These are all with a very specific theme and event in mind, and are inspired in part from Project Honour. I am really excited for this as its very much untapped territory in terms of published material. I have been told not to plan future stuff like this but I love the entire idea too much and I am far too stubborn to give it up. So yeah.

So far, this ambitious idea spans at least five short stories and a novel, with a second tie-in novel that acts as a sort of prequel and will be a Space Marine Battles novel. I have been scouring the background sources for all sorts of canon information and it has been fairly exciting. I think I will simply call this Project Honoured Duty. Make of that what you will.

Next off, my friend Paul Colbourne from over on the Bolthole who runs a movie review blog asked me to join his site as a contributor. After a very careful consideration that lasted all of 5 seconds, I accepted. My first ‘official’ review is now up – Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D. My review does have a minor spoiler so beware. You can find Paul’s original review of the film here as well.

I am also thinking of doing a spoiler-heavy review here not sure yet.

Saw Green Lantern 3D as well last week. It was superb. Typical superhero plot but thoroughly enjoyable. For the unaware, there is a tie-in video game also out, called Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. Movie review incoming within the next few days.

Bolthole’s June RiaR comp is finished as well. The voting and stuff all happened here. The feedback I got for my entry, Initiation was very welcome. No votes for me but ah well. The July comp should be going up soon πŸ™‚

I have now also finished reading Age of Darkness, the latest Horus Heresy offering. It is a superb anthology. Almost all the short stories are excellent and give us a very welcome and intriguing insight into the beginning of what really happened in the seven years between the Istvaan V Dropsite Massacre and the Siege of Terra. Most of these stories take place roughly two years after the former event so a lot has changed. Next up on the reading list is Victories of the Space Marines which features Sarah Cawkwell‘s Primary Instinct. Looking forward to reading it for some super cool Silver Skulls action. After that I have Legends of the Space Marines and Fall of Damnos to read. Hell yeah!

Gotta go now, but see you all later. Got more stuff to mention! Keep an eye out in the links section on the home page as well. It is going to be updated soon.

First Drafts-ish

Like I mentioned in Victory, Centrestage, I got the first draft of chapter 1 for Project Salvation done. Since then, as of yesterday afternoon, I also have the first draft of chapter 2 done. It’s all clocked up at just shy of 13k words, and I still need to get started on chapter 3 which is going to be about 6000 words minimum. It will be the first proper combat scene involving lots of shooty-shooty stuff and people dying.

Now, in regards to a short conversation/discussion over at Bolthole, I started thinking if the 13k words I had written so far do indeed count as first drafts. They are definitely works in progress but when I got them done, I definitely crossed a very important stage in the schedule. But self-admittedly I knew there were quite a few areas of improvement that I had already identified and knew would come up as well.

Now, what defines a first draft?

The answer to that, I think, is fairly simple. Mind you, I have not bothered to do any proper research on the interwebs about this because, honestly, there is no need to.

A first draft, for me, is the basics of the entire plot, which in this case refers to the plots of chapters 1 and 2. What are these basics? Well, they would be character introductions, settings the themes, developing the tones of the piece, introducing some sort of conflict, as well as introducing the reader to the locales and what not. Plus the immersion needs to be there.

One of the feedbacks I got so far for a scene in chapter 1 mentioned that my immersion was all over the place. Mostly because I was trying a little too hard to make it fit for new readers to Warhammer 40,000 and veterans alike. So I made some mistakes, which in hindsight appear to be quite basic and frankly, idiotic.

But do I have a first draft as defined by myself? I think I do. I am not a professional writer by any means of course and this would be my first time writing a piece for professional publication, but I definitely have a first draft because I have my basics there.

If you can recognize a beginning, middle, and end with conflict in the sample, then that is a job well done is it not? Granted, just one chapter by itself cannot fulfill that but then the sample proper is supposed to be 3 chapters long. And at the rate I have been going, it is going to clock up at around 19-20k words.

Which is a hell of a lot!

My ‘technique’, if you can call it that, is to get all my basics down first and then go back over the piece and do a few things, in no particular order.

  • Identify areas that need improvement, whether it be dialogue, or narration, or phrases or whatever else is there.
  • Make the improvements.
  • Identify mistakes like names, numbers, locations and so on.
  • Correct the mistakes.
  • Repeat Step 1.

Now, when I sent out my first draft for critiques, I apparently did not do it thoroughly enough and I guess I wasn’t in the proper mindset when I did it. Because when I got some initial feedback and made the necessary edits, I picked up a few glaring mistakes. The kind that make you want to /headdesk.

Quite embarrassing.

So today, and maybe tomorrow, is going to be spent going over chapters 1 and 2 again and again until I am sure I have not made any of these mistakes. The people I send out my stuff to critique are quite busy with their own things and it is embarrassing and ridiculous if they read crap like this.

Victory, Centrestage

Another one hit straight out of the park, and that is a DLF maximum!

*That would be one of the usual comments from the cricket commentators at the Indian Premier League matches that have been going on for the last month and a half and end today with a Final match later in the evening.*

Anyways, celebrations around because Chapter 1 of Project Salvation, my Deathwatch novel pitch to BL is complete. In its First Draft phase that is. Continuing from my last post where I mentioned that I had to seriously revise the target word count for this, Chapter 1 has clocked at 5317 words. For now. Gonna be sending it out today to various beta-readers of mine at the Bolthole for some valuable critique.

And as one of the lessons learned from this experience, I have revised Chapters 2 & 3 to 5000 words each as the target. No doubt it will increase further as I write the samples but that is OK. I have a better measure of this process now.

In another news, a friend of mine from back in LA just became an uncle, another two of my friends who are now a couple had their first baby this past week, and he is C.U.T.E πŸ™‚ *pokes fun at Harold Camping* Been SUCH a good week this one.

Also, dear Mr. Chris aka Phalanx has also finished his own Chapter 2 of his novel. That guy is knocking off the word count like crazy. His blogpost over here has been quite insightful although I am definitely not as organized as him. Organization and me just don’t go well together.

One of my fellow moderators at the Bolthole, Squiggle, referred this blogpost from an author named Joe Abercrombie. I have no idea who this guy is or what he has written but that particular blogpost is very, very insightful. It deals with the pitfalls of obsessing over word count and the good and bad of it. I definitely recommend it. I definitely relate given my own ongoing experience with writing a novel.

Shenanigans Abound

A fairly busy few days I’d say.

Things have been rather slow over at the Bolthole, just random stuff and a few fair bits of exciting information:

  • Mr William King returning to Warhammer 40,000 with a trilogy about the Macharian Crusade,
  • A brand-new Dark Eldar short story e-book set in Commoragh,
  • More details about the content of Promethean Sun,
  • GW announcing their brand-new Citadel Finecast range.
  • An amazing guy, Richard Marsden, fellow Boltholer, got his book Travelling Tyrant published a while back and he has been actively promoting it since. Read here for his success and the tips he has shared.
  • Bolthole’s monthly writing comp is currently in its voting phase for the month of May, here. I’ve read some of the entries and they are just amazing. As usual. Unfortunately I missed again on it. Something I’d really like to change.
  • People have been debating the new LOTR film – The Hobbit – here. It is an exciting movie for sure, if the book is anything to go by. And by hell and back it is!

That’s on that front! The shoutbox was quite fun as well for the last few days, especially yesterday. A certain man-who-must-not-be-named predicted Rapture (Christian mythology) was yesterday and that the world would suffer earthquakes in every timezone at a specific time. Fortunately nothing happened, we are all still here even though the prophet himself has disappeared. Perhaps he was the only one pure enough for the Pearly Gates? Got a lot of laughs out of this whole farce. Wonderful time.

Disclaimer: I do hope that people realize I am only joking here.Β  But I do think it is funny and extremely sad that some people spent their entire life savings over this, or that some parents even used up their kids’ college funds. I find that despicable.

In other news, I have been making serious progress on Project Salvation aka the Deathwatch novel. I got Ch1 and 2 done and they were about 2000-2100 words with about room for 200-300 words more to fill up details. And then I read something from Chris/Phalanx on Twitter and in the shoutbox and I got thinking. I made an excel sheet to figure out my wordcount plan.

I was in for a rude shock.

I had planned initially to have each chapter (10 total) at about 4500 words or so with about another 3000 shared between an epilogue and a prologue. Considering that BLP has mentioned the 100k range, I barely cover half that. So I started to plan it all out that way.

Result: Most chapters have been bumped to 6000-6500 words each. The first three are currently at 4500 words still. My chapter-by-chapter breakdown has so far failed miserably so I am reworking things. The target for now is 91000 words.

Still, progress has been made on the sample since last time. I have written about 6000 words so far, spread across (still) a prologue, and the first two chapters. And I have about ~4500 more to go. Then there is chapter 3 which is another additional 4500 words. Once I get a proper first draft going for the whole thing I am going to go back and pick out where things need to be beefed. And where plot holes need to be filled out. And generally make things flow much more smoothly.

I am still doing that, but yeah. This is a T.R.E.M.E.N.D.O.U.S. learning experience and quite shocking too. I am aghast that my initial chapter plans only result in about 2500 worth of words for the sample. Definitely need to revamp things there. I have stuck with that 500 word a day challenge but it hasn’t been too successful as I haven’t written every day since. But when I have written, I have definitely written a fair bit. So that’s progress yeah?

I also had an amazing week personally. I got to play World of Warcraft again. Sadly, I do not have Cataclysm and I was only using the free week of gametime courtesy Blizzard because I haven’t played in 11 months and they want me back as a customer. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to, I cannot oblige them. Perhaps sometime in the future I can change things around. But it was definitely fun to reconnect with my guild and a few of my friends on the server. A few of them have stopped playing but there are still a few. For those who are interested, I played Alliance on US-Medivh.

Here is my Paladin – Vorianloken. My second toon actually but definitely the first in terms of real interest and my pride and joy.

Here is my Death Knight – Ajeet. Proud of this dude too because He just rocks.

This is my Rogue – Sherana. She barely hit 80 and done a few raids before I stopped playing.

Here is my rookie Warrior – Bulveye. He is only 74 but still awesome.

Have a Druid as well but she is on a separate account which I will reactive for the free gametime sometime this week and post a pic.

I definitely used to be quite the raider when I was still playing. At one time my Paladin was ranked in the top 20 if not the top 15 on the server as a tank. Of course, that was during the infamous Trial of the Crusader era but damn, it was still progression for someone like me who was late to the party for both Naxxramas and Ulduar. I was part of the first wave of people into Icecrown Citadel as well but by then I had moved from L.A to Dubai and couldn’t afford regular hours.

So my Death Knight there and the Paladin? They got geared in ICC through pugs. Some were obviously fail. Some were excellent. I even got some Gold DKP runs in as well and they were massively helpful in that the quality of the players was just generally so much better and I properly learned the encounters. Two months or so before I stopped playing, I had a system in place where I led raids for both TOC and ICC for the 25-man versions. They were fairly successful although not without some drama of their one. Its definitely something I miss. Quite acutely in fact.

So yeah that’s that. (What? I like that phrase!)

And I’ve been tossing around an idea for a space battle involving (suprise, surprise) Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines. I have some doodles and diddlings down. Will see how that goes.

Update

Ah, hard to believe there has been no bloggage for ten days now! That’s a sin if there ever was one πŸ™‚

Nothing big has really been happening around in the 40k world. Unless you count the Tomb Kings release or Dark Eldar advance orders. Or perhaps the fact that BL has finally started shipping out copies of Promethean Sun.

On the writing front, Project Hunt is still stalled, Project Honour needs only a sample and Project Salvation is currently seriously WIP.

What is Project Salvation you ask? Just a Deathwatch novel I have in the works πŸ™‚ The breakdown for the submission required chapters plus a prologue is complete. Currently working out the remaining chapters. The prologue has been written, as has chapter 1. First drafts only though mind you. Waiting on a feedback for the breakdown/summary as well. I have found that when I get any critiques back on my work, it really spurs on my writing.

At the moment, the sample stands at nearly 4000 words for a prologue, the first chapter, and the beginnings of the second chapter. The guidelines say I need 10,000 words minimum across three chapters. The prologue obviously will not be submitted, it is mostly there in the sample for now so I can get a few details about my main character clear. And I aiming to get it done so that it kind of foreshadows later events in the novel and gives me a basis for some of the motivations for this character. My main aim is to do 500 words a day, which is really not that difficult. Considering how far along I am, it should be about another 10 days at most to get the first draft done and then back to editing and ironing out the kinks in the pitch. The first month of the window isn’t even half over and I am quite far along on my pitches. Its a really good feeling.

I wanted to tackle a novel as my fifth pitch instead of a short story. Mostly because I was completely unsure what to write about in a short story. Although even as I write this, the creative wheelsΒ  are working and the output so far suggests a prologue-ish short story for this novel submission. However I find I am not keen on submitting continuous works.

It has been almost two weeks since I have even seen Project Hunt. I aim to get that done this week. Perhaps looking at it again with a fresh mind may be the spark that lets me finish the synopsis so I can move on to the sample. I have always been a fan of Space Wolves and I really really like this idea. Definitely want to see it done.

Same goes for Project Honour. However the summary and synopsis are in place, and I am just undecided about where to start the story at. There are 3-4 potential entry points for the sample to begin at, and choosing between them is a serious chore. Hopefully I can get that sorted out this week as well.

In other news, I have been prepping a Deathwatch character for the RPG I am aiming to take part in with some of the folks over at Bolthole. Rolling with a Blood Angels Assault Marine. Its a two-bit process creating a character for the RPG. On the one hand all the options and the actual creation process are quite fun but it is all also so very confusing. Work and Bolthole/Submissions stuff has really kept me busy though so my assault marine is going nowhere at the moment. We have not been able to organize a proper meeting yet either.

And our very own Pyroriffic today informed us that her novella Accursed Eternity has cleared the First Draft phase. Exciting stuff! I cannot wait for the associated anthology, Fateweaver, to come out. Or The Gildar Rift.

Let’s see what else. Umm nothing really. How are things with all you folks?

Going up the Evolutionary Ladder

So, within the last month and a half, this blog has really grown to where I am not just talking about the Angels of Retribution, formerly known as the Sons of Corax. But also about other things related to Black Library, Games Workshop, my pitches for the spring submission window, other chapters of space marines and last but not the least, about writing in general!

Like I have said before, I am pretty proud of how far I have come since I started this blog. I found the bolthole, started to actually write fanfic with the intent of going professional, the improvements in my writing, and all the awesome people I have met.

Oh and thanks to all the people who have been visiting the blog!

By the way, just because I am really excited about this, I have started work on my fourth pitch, thanks to prodding from a couple of Boltholers. Its another short story, this time dealing with a multi-chapter force, with particular focus on the Executioners chapter. This is going to be really fun to write a sample for!

And interested parties should check out this thread. The amount of submissions planned by people is amazing, most of all what all that means for a combined word count for finished products!