The second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award arrived, and not to my surprise, I didn’t make it! Writing contests are tricky as luck plays a major role with who gets picked, unless you are just such a super-duper writer that your talent outshines everyone else! There are other opportunities tout there for writers who want to enter contests.
I was a runner-up in a contest several years ago with my manuscript, Fallen Raven, which is no longer around as far as I know. It’s just for screen writers now. Even so, I’m looking into entering a contest from writersdigest.com. I’m going to do some research about it first, but this particular one is involving short stories: http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/writers-digest-annual-competition.
My new short story series is coming along well. I’m currently outlining each book and I’m looking to keep my original idea of 7 stories total. Book 1 is finished after three drafts and I am confident that it doesn’t need any more work. I love MS Office 13’s speak option which allows my computer to read my work to me. I find it helpful, because I don’t like reading out loud and it sounds like a person is speaking. I can hear how it sounds without my mental bias getting in the way! If you don’t have that kind of feature in your word processor technology, you should have someone else read it to you out loud or do it yourself. It really helps.
Book 2 and Book 3 are outlined at this point and I’m beginning to get a broader picture of what the series is about. I still have a few more books to plan out and that should help me with the title. I don’t usually write like this. But, since working on my third novel Target: Foxtrot last year, I have found that outlines really do help when writing a novel. Too much structure is constrictive, so you have to find a balance. A loose, basic structure can be helpful without forcing the writer to go a certain direction.
Once I have all the books in the series mapped out, and a series title, I’ll be adding a new page dedicated to these books. The way this will work is that I will be releasing one short story or book from the series ever so often on amazon.com. I’ll have promotions when the new book comes out, which will include free e-book copies to download, discounts, and possibly other types of promotions. So, there will be 7 standalone e-books available for a low price. Once all 7 are released, I will eventually combine them into one book, in paperback and possibly a complete e-book version too.
I hope to build a small following of readers and I also want to build up the amount of published work. What is really new about this project is that I am returning to my roots, the fantasy theme. Technically, fantasy is considered to be a sub-group under science fiction, but others believe it to be its own genre. Whatever the case, most of what I have published so far is either romantic comedy or present day/futuristic sci-fi. This is my first attempt at self-publishing medieval fantasy. I’m excited to see how this project turns out. After book 1, I feel like this might be the genre I should focus on, and I’m really looking forward to writing book 2. I hope you all enjoy reading this series as much as I have enjoyed writing it so far!
I’m pushing for an end of February release for book 1, but it may be closer to beginning of March. Stay tuned!