Tuesday Stuff

Apparently yesterday I had one of those long overdue moments of insecurity where I felt I needed to vent. Thankfully, those moments don’t happen very often and today I am back to my usual cheerful and fairly optimistic self. Let’s blame yesterday on Monday and move on, yes?

Welcome to Tuesday, the end result of when Monday finally gets its act together and goes with the program. I have a number of things planned today and getting up early goes a long way toward making it a productive day.

A sleepless night of fussing and fretting jogged some interesting scene ideas loose for Lights and Shadows so I’m incorporating them into Chapter 9. Yes, I’m still working on wrapping up Number 9 but it’s looking really well and the story is moving forward again.

I’ve decided that I will be taking a break after all, but at the end of December after Lights and Shadows is edited, rewritten, and released on Amazon hopefully with a snazzy new cover that better fits the story. I’ve also been reminded that worrying too much does little to solve any given situation and the best remedy is to simply roll up your sleeves and get down to it.

On the Sales Situation, I really can’t do much more than I currently am with regard to generating interest so I’m going to stick with I do best: writing kickass SciFi/Adventure that I’m proud to share with you all. As long as I don’t give up, the good stuff will come with time and that’s all any of us can ask for.

I had some time to think about my Writing Schedule, so here’s a brief listing. This is a preliminary schedule so it’s possible that adjustments may be made, but I wouldn’t worry about that too much:

1. Lights and Shadows: On track for early December 2015 release. The story’s been planned and plotted already so I just have to write it.

2. Parallax: Genesis: Book #2 of the Parallax Trilogy will be written during the First Quarter 2016 and released by March 2016. This installment will continue Pratt and Dubois’ adventures and will feature a glimpse of 2223 Earth. Should be an interesting time.

3. Future Finders: A standalone book that is set in The Present and will center around Michael Grey, a young playboy who is forced to grow up and assume some new responsibilities when he inherits more than his industrialist father. The novel will feature secret societies and an ancient enemy out for revenge. This book is planned for Second Quarter 2016 and should be available by June 2016.

4. Parallax: Darkfall: The final book in the Parallax Trilogy, where Pratt finally confronts the aliens that have made his life SO much of a laugh fest up to this point. This will be written during the Third Quarter 2016 and should be available by September 2016.

5. Falling Stars: Another story that I have been trying to finish for a VERY long time. All I will say about this one is that it involves time travel and is set within the same world as my novelettes, Corona, and The Three Safeties, but different locations and  with different characters and situations. In fact, this story is the one that inspired both Corona and The Three Safeties in the first place even though they were ultimately finished first. Funny how these things happen.

6. Past Prologue: This is a planned sequel to Falling Stars that will finish out the Last Quarter 2016 and I anticipate having it out by December 2016. Yes, I am ambitious but Life without something to strive for isn’t much of a Life. So kick it in the butt.

Anyway, that’s where I am on this Tuesday. As always, thank you for being patient readers and loyal blog followers and I will endeavor to keep from disappointing. Have a great day and a creative week. 🙂


Available Now on Amazon

Yes, it’s one of THOSE articles. The shameless kind where I put out the word on my books and hope they spark either some kind of discussion or boost some flagging numbers.

Parallax has been out for a month now and it’s still available (along with my other works) either from my official web page at http://www.wwcassjr.com or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00Q7KWITS.

This is more to reinforce the word already out there because my promoting efforts aren’t bearing as much fruit as I am hoping. I’ve only been publishing since January and I still have the mentality that if things aren’t moving along then I must write and publish another one. Of course, I am anyway, but spreading the word farther from time to time never hurts.

For obvious reasons, I hesitate to do these articles but when you’re a one-man band, you have to update the playlist now and again. Thanks for your time. 🙂

Giving My Books a Final Facelift

If there is one thing I do NOT enjoy doing, it’s making changes to my books. I’m not talking about clearing up a typo or fixing some questionable grammar that I missed during the original edits. That’s part and parcel of being your own publisher.

No, I’m talking about the cosmetic stuff.

I like the current book covers I am using and here they are:

Corona Paper Big    The Three Safeties Paper Big    Vessel Paper Big    Parallax Paper Big

As you can see, not great but not terrible either. To be honest, I feel a little shallow discussing this but I’m not sure that my limited budget is doing these stories justice. We work with what we can. However, there comes a point where one has to dig a little deeper to make the necessary sacrifices to get their work out there and that’s what I am leaning toward. The only downside is that the last time I did this, it screwed up the reviews and I ended up with extraneous drafts that wouldn’t go away because they had previously sold.

In the End, it’s all about the stories.

Free Promotion Monday

I haven’t done this is a while, but I’ve decided to run a one-day Amazon free book promotion for the Kindle Versions of Corona, Vessel, and The Three Safeties on Monday, 10/5/15. The promotion will last the entire day and I invite you all to download and check them out. Thanks. 🙂

My books can be found at http://www.wwcassjr.com or on my Amazon Central Author Page at http://www.amazon.com/author/wwcassjr.

The Story Idea, Part 2: Putting Flesh on The Bones

The first Story Idea article had a nice response so here we go with the next step in the process. This is how I do it so you’re under no obligation to follow it. It’s simply what works for me.

You have your original amazing, super-fantastic, going to blow the doors off the Industry, Idea, but it’s not a story yet. Fair enough, all stories start out as ideas.

So, what now?

We’re discussing World-Building now. After all, you have to build the house before you can live in it and it is no different with stories. I’ll incorporate Characters into this equation later so for now, let’s focus on the Story World. How do we begin?

Here are a few helpful suggestions to get you started. These can be used in no particular order so go nuts:

1. Ask yourself what kind of world is the Story set in. Earth, Venus, The Milky Way, Somewhere over the Rainbow? (hey, it can happen…hehe) The point is that you have to start developing a framework in which to populate your characters. A good way to do this is to ask yourself some basic questions: Where do the characters live? Where do they work? Where do they play? As you can see, there are a LOT of potential questions that you can ask yourself and they are ALL valid. It may not seem so at first but for every question you answer, you reduce or eliminate future problems that can lead to Writer’s Block.

2. Write down descriptions of the distinctive sights, sounds, smells, whatever, of the world you are building. They are important because they act as guideposts for the reader to navigate by.

3. Time. The time period that the story is set in has a huge influence on the Story’s Plot. A Story set at the Dawn of the Industrial Revolution will use different elements than one set in the distant future unless of course you do one of those Apocalyptic type of stories where everything gone to Hades and is broken, mangled, burnt and getting ready to take that final plunge down the proverbial tubes. Note: If you do spring an Apocalypse, consider putting it at the end of the Story. Blow up the World, not much after that unless you have a couple of astronaut apes using time travel…hehe.

4. Consider carefully the Genre you will be writing in. I know I’ve said in the Past that Genre is most important when marketing your Story/Book, but in the initial stages, it’s important because it helps when selecting the construction materials your world is built with. Science Fiction would use things like plastic, sheet metal, rivets or welding, while Fantasy would be more like thatched huts, wood screws and lots of rope.

5. Develop a feel for how the Society operates in this world. Is it a dictatorship? Communist Fantasy? Democracy? Don’t obsess about Politics, just get an idea for yourself how things are run. Even an Anarchy or Feudal System can work. Remember, it’s YOUR story.

These are merely suggestions based on opinion and we all know that wonderful saying about opinions…hehe. The only rule that I want to stress here is HAVE FUN WITH IT. When we enjoy something, we tend to put our best effort into it. Writing is no different.

Now get Writing. 😉

Character Development

Characters are the people that populate our stories. Without them, all we have is a collection of interestingly described settings with nothing going on. It’s great if you are an artist, but not so much if you’re a writer.

However, simply plopping some fictional people down isn’t enough. That is where Character Development comes in. The Collins English Dictionary defines it as:

“the portrayal of people in a work of fiction in such a way that the reader or audience seems to learn more about them as they develop.”

Pretty simple, right? Well, let’s do a little handy-dandy deconstruction of that definition.

“The portrayal of people in a work of fiction”

Pretty straightforward. You need people in a story in order to create action. People can be humans, aliens, sentient turtles, amorphous blobs, pretty much anything you want to tell the story around.

“In such a way that the reader or audience seems to learn more about them as they develop.”

Again, pretty straightforward because as we experience the story through their eyes, we learn more about them. Therefore, we could conclude that characters should possess a minimum dynamic that allows them to grow and develop as the story develops.

Still with me? Good, because putting my “Mentor” Hat on isn’t the most fun thing. I’d rather be writing. 😉

How do we develop our characters? The first thing, in my opinion, is to plan out who and what they are. There are tons of different techniques to do this that range from writing long in-depth character biographies to starting with basic characteristics (General Physical Characteristics like Height, Weight, etc) before advancing to internal attributes like personality, intelligence, education, occupation, potential internal conflicts, etc).

It’s not enough simply to give them a name. As writers, we are responsible for giving our characters life and if we are really fortunate, the reader will latch on to what we’ve done and adopt our characters as their own companions or friends. James Bond started out as a character in a novel as did Harry Potter and Hermione Granger and we all know how popular these characters became. These are, but three examples and you could find hundreds of memorable characters throughout literature over the years.

I write Character-Based Fiction, which means that my characters’ strengths and weakness take precedence over Plot Events. This also means that I have to invest more into who they are and what they do. It’s a more challenging way to tell stories, but I find it to be more rewarding at the end. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I hope I’ve made the concept a little clearer to understand.

Now get writing. Ever Forward. 🙂