Beyond Beginnings: Sequels

A Good Year End

In November 2016 I became a published novel author, building on my years as a short story writer. 51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_51vykdagqhl-_ac_us240_ql65_

Where do you go from there?

You write the sequel.

Actually, I started writing the sequel long before I published “Faces of Janus“. It’s already gone out to beta readers, for publication in Spring 2017.

My Janus Paradisi novels run in parallel to Cheri Lasota’s Paradisi Exodus series. Our protagonists occupy the same place and time. Our characters come together and cooperate while pursuing their own objectives within a five book arc, so all planning had to be cooperative.

I had to understand her characters–their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses, abilities and relationships… We had to compare where she wanted her plot to go and where I wanted mine to go.

519bvtemdxl-_ac_us240_ql65_Underlying the whole exercise were the canon requirements of writing in a wider open-source universe, where many other writers establish circumstances or technology or characters that impinge on our stories. It’s a fascinating experience. Together we overcame all the obstacles.

So how did that work?

I’m not a plotter. I know who my characters are, where they are and what they want. I know where I want them to end up on the last page. I mark down a few “key” events for them to encounter on their journey. Then I sit back and let them control my fingers hitting the keyboard. It’s their story, after all, so I let them tell it. Often, the story they make me tell is different to the one I had in mind. (That really screws up plotting.)

So I’m a Pantser, writing by the seat of my pants. (Personally, I prefer the term “Organic” to “Pantser”. It51yudiocoel-_ac_us240_ql65_ sounds more professional.)

Cheri is a plotter. The events in every chapter are planned out well before she starts writing. Her characters go where she tells them, or else.

Naturally, my “Organic” gave way to her “Plotting”. There was no way we could share adventures without strict plotting. Together, we outlined the storylines covering the next two or three novels in our series.

Hectic Days Ahead in 2017

  • A print version of “Faces of Janus” is in the works
  • Janus Challenge” is with beta readers
  • Work progresses on the third in the series, targetted for publication in late Summer, 2017

I wish you all happy reading during the remaining bleak midwinter. Here are some suggestions: other novels set in the Paradisi Chronicles universe…

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wattpad_logo-svg

What’s With Wattpad?

I heard a few good things about Wattpad during 2014.

Wikipedia (December 20, 2016) says…

Wattpad is an online storytelling community where users post written works such as articles, stories, fan fiction, and poems, either through the website or the mobile app…

As of April 2014: [Yes, 2014]

  • 85% of its traffic and usage comes from mobile devices,
  • the site has 35 million unique visitors per month,
  • there are over 100,000 story uploads per day,
  • there have been over two million writers.

… According to the profiles visible on the site, many of these authors are teenagers.”

I took a look and found it full of YA, Romance and Undead Fantasy (not my genres), mostly written by teens. Still, I thought I’d give it a try and uploaded some short stories (horror, hard scifi…) to test the waters. I had a reasonable readership response, but few Likes or comments. Okay (shrug), I’m not Rowling or Atwood or Howey (yet). I’m not going to get swarms of eager readers seeking out every word I electronically utter (yet).

Persevering, I tried a novel.

In 2015, I started uploading chapters of my slowly developing “paranormal noir” novel. It’s actually more noir than paranormal but I write stories, not anally specific sub-sub-genres, so that’s the closest category I can claim for it. I call it “Bogart. With a ghost. Maybe.

Strange results

I had very few readers. Okay, weak promotion by me, no sex, wrong genre, bad writing, no monsters, no sex, overly mature themes (not “adult”), no sex… Lots of reasons for low readership. (Definition: “Adult themes” means lots of sex.)

But here’s the rub:

  • more people read chapter five than chapters three or four, and
  • chapter one was the least read (at the time)
Baffling!

I pressed on and submitted a few more chapters. The reader numbers continued to be inconsistent. I received one comment and one Like. (Thank you both.)

Seriously deterred, a few months ago I uploaded chapter one of my novel “Faces of Janus” to pre-announce its arrival on the market.

I received a couple more comments and Likes across my entire set of works. Nothing special, no interest.

I gave up and stopped checking my account.

Surprise, but still Strange

As I started to write this post, I checked the readership figures to post those oddly distorted early results.

Hmm… While I was busy ignoring my Wattpad account, I’d collected a growing readership for the short stories as well as for the novel chapters. But the readership pattern is still strangely skewed. Here’s the stats…

 

Can anyone make any sense of that readership pattern? Because I can’t.

Perhaps Wattpad is a platform for any aspiring authors reading this. But I’m not convinced it’s right for me.

 

FACES OF JANUS : Published

cid_cacf5aae-676f-46cb-b6a4-de5dd38d7479Can a handful of security agents overcome the greatest corporate conspiracy and reach the stars?

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, the wealthiest, most powerful families on Earth choose to escape the increasingly failing planet by constructing ten vast ships that would ferry mankind to colonize Mars.

It was a lie. Continue reading

Paradisi Chronicles Anthology

The latest in a long line of Chronicle Worlds Anthology best sellers just hit the Amazon electronic shelves!

paradisiAnother world. Another chance…

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, seeking to escape a devastated Earth, ten families focus on constructing spaceships to colonize the world they call New Eden, in the Paradisi System. But the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants do not…

In this latest title in the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.

Discover Chronicle Worlds. Discover Paradisi.

Discover Paradisi here.

Contributing Authors: Samuel Peralta, Cheri Lasota, Louisa Locke, Ashley Angelly, Claire Davon, Lindsay Edmunds, SJ Mayeski, Andy McKell, Bill Patterson, Joseph Robert Lewis

Continue reading

A Beginner’s Tale #3

Large FoJIt has been a long journey, but here I stand on the verge of publishing my first novel.

I always wanted to write, but my first High School English teacher convinced me I was barely literate. I think he resented me being taller than him, as a later (taller) teacher promoted me from bottom of the class to (almost) pole position.

Too late!

It was my final year of school and my small fantasies had been strangled. Hurrah for education! Continue reading

Janus and June

graduation_cap_and_diplomaCELEBRATION !

Another hectic month.

June started with a week in the UK, celebrating my middle daughter’s graduation (huge congrats!).

It ended with a week at a German spa!

In between, I managed to start work on my beta-readers’ responses to my novel, “FACES OF JANUS”. Continue reading

Plot Sketch #4635

So Many Ideas, So Little Time…

(I have too short a lifespan to produce a full story from every idea I get, so will occasionally throw up out a plot sketch so you can see what you are missing…)

Plot Sketch #4635

Earth is the only planet in the galaxy where Continue reading

So Where Have I Been?

Debt Collector in Storm in the Stars

Andy as Debt Collector in A Storm in the Stars

I took a long break between posts this year. I’m sure you noticed.

So where have I been? Continue reading

Mancunicon (Eastercon 2016)

mancunicon

I’m still recovering from a splendid few days at the annual British Science Fiction Convention, held at Easter and generically named Eastercons. 2016 was the turn of Manchester, England to host 1200 sci-fi and fantasy fans, and a fine job the organising team did. Continue reading