The End of PTP

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know my PTP project, where I’ve been posting bits of my novel here to generate interest and criticism.

It didn’t work.

The novel segments had the lowest hits of my work.  It didn’t generate interest.  People didn’t read it, didn’t favour it, didn’t comment on it.  Obviously, it doesn’t belong in a blog.

I’ve individual blogs that have more hits than the entirety of the novel.  I know why too.  People don’t come to the internet to read serialized novelization.  It’s not what I do.  I don’t read anyone elses work like that, and I’m not surprised they don’t read mine.

This doesn’t mean I’m not still working on it.  I’m just not putting it here.

I also have a better idea.  One that will generate traffic.  The only thing is, I doubt this is the right audience.

So I’ll probably start a second blog, that’ll be related to this one, but have different content.  It may mean I take one of the updates away from this blog.  It’ll likely mean this one goes to Tuesday and Thursday, and I’ll do the other on Monday.  I haven’t decided.

The idea for the new project is to analyze video games like literature.  Short articles, using the skills from my English degree, to go into the plot of video games.  There’s a lot of reviewers out there, but they talk about if a game is good or bad generally.  They don’t look at what the characterization means, what themes are explored, what’s being said or not said. 

I think people would read that.  I think I would love to write that.  So I’ll be looking at doing that.  I’ll let you know when a final decision is made.

Published in: on February 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  

PTP: Setting Starburst, Chapter 2

This is the current draft of the second chapter of my novel.  I encourage criticism, questions, and of course, accolades…

Vey-Kalis-En walked up beside his sister and looked over at the soldiers setting up camp.  He was only a bit taller than her, and even at twenty-two, he looked like he had been carved from stone.  Hard lines had been weathered on his brow, and around his mouth.  The sun had beaten his face like leather and bleached his short blonde hair until it was nearly white.  He wore the Order’s uniform, the breast plate and the spears, but also had a broad sword and a bladed mace strapped around his hips.  He watched in silence as the strangers went about their mundane business.

“We’re their last hope, Kal,” Vey-Mara said softly.

“We’re a lot of people’s last hopes,” he grunted.  “We can’t save everyone.”

“There’s at least one Nephelium among them.  I’ve told the others to stay in groups of three.”

Kalis-En nodded.  “Probably best for apprentices.  Send for a couple more full members.  I don’t want to be on my own down there if they’ve got tricks up their sleeves.”

“Are you scared?” Vey-Mara grinned.

“I’m always scared,” he answered evenly.  “I just don’t let it stop me.”

Vey-Mara watched her brother walk alone towards the centre of the camp.  She whispered at his back “Stay safe.”

Kalis-En walked through the Sunburst soldiers, and each one he passed stopped working.  Eyes followed him, appraising him.  It would be foolish for them to attack him, and they must have known they were surrounded.  Still, if they attacked him en mass, it didn’t matter how many apprentices saw, he would still die at their hands.  In the Hills of Ruin, trust was a valuable commodity, and those who gave it to freely suffered dearly.

In the centre of their encampment, he found Captain Tyman.  A few years Kalis-En’s senior, the man hadn’t been born with a soldiers build, but had earned it, tight muscle piled on a small frame.  Shocks of red hair peeked out from under his helmet, and he kept rubbing his chin thoughtfully.  Kalis-En cleared his throat.

The captain turned suddenly towards him.  “Yes?” he squeaked slightly, a little surprised to see Kalis-En.  “Who are you?”

“I am the Emissary of the Dreamer.  My name is Vey-Kalis-En.  I will hear your plea.”

Tyman glanced over his shoulder.  Kalis-En followed his gaze.  There was a young Solarian noble, worse for wear, a cute girl with a splash of freckles across her nose.  Beside her was a Quaraldim, trying not to look stern.  Kalis noticed the Glyph on her stomach, the swirl of thick black sacred script, a moment before he felt the pressure in his temples.  The Glyph started to glow slightly, and Kalis-En pushed out the encroaching head-ache.  He felt the heat building in his own Glyph, his arm feeling warm, like the start of a sunburn.  He exhaled through his nose, trying to push her out of his head before she got in.  She looked away, affecting an air of innocence, and the pressure stopped.  The light on both Glyphs faded, returning to the dormant black.  She nodded slightly to the Captain.

“Alright,” Captain Tyman said, “What do you want to know?”

 “Everything.  I need to know what you need, and if we can help you.”

“What do you know about Gabriel Durihan?”

“Nothing.”  There was a look of surprise from the soldiers, who were gathering as quietly as possible around the fire.  “News doesn’t travel well here.  Nothing reaches us quickly.”

“Start at the beginning,” the Quaraldim said.  “They’re more likely to help us if they know what Gabriel was trying to do.”

The captain nodded.  The column was not his, that much was sure.  He was just their mouthpiece.  He thought for a moment and began to speak.

PTP: Podcasts and Audiobooks

So, as I’m working at bringing Setting Starburst, the current working title for my novel, from the current format to what I want it to be, I’m considering formats.  I know I want it to be available both in a printed format and a PDF format.  I also want to figure out how to get it onto e-readers and kindles.

I’ve also been considering the possibility of using podcasting and audiobooks.  Now, I don’t currently have any experience in sound recording.  I can tell stories, and tell them well, both from written page and with my mighty and sexy voice.  So I’d need to figure out the technical aspect of doing the recording.

But would people be listening? 

Here’s what I’d be doing; I’d put the chapters I’ll be putting up on the internet in written form up as podcasts.  I would also be looking at doing some of my short fiction as podcasts, probably starting there to learn the technical side before Setting Sunburst goes audio.  Then I would also make an audio version of the book, which I would want to sell through iTunes.

If you’ve got any technical knowledge in this field, and want to get in touch with me, I’d love to hear from you.

If you just want the content, let’s talk about that, via poll:

Published in: on November 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PTP: Chapter 1

So, this is the first chapter of the novel I’m writing.  I don’t have an official title yet.  Right now, I’m thinking either “Setting Sunburst” or “The Lament of Gabriel Durihan” but I don’t like either.  I’d love constructive criticism, acolades, or even hate mail over this.  Feel free to leave a comment, private message me, or email me at  Let me know what you think.  If people want more, I’ll probably post the next chapter next Monday. 

Without further ado:


Chapter 1

Naria contemplated whether she would really miss Lenna if she leapt across the cairrage and strangled her.  “I thought you said they would help us!”

They jostled along a mountain road.  Lenna was Quaraldim, one of the nomadic elves.  Her skin was dusky, and dark chocolate hair was sheared at her jaw line.  The tapered points of her ears protruded from behind the straight locks.  She was lounging sideways, one foot wedged on the far wall to keep her balance as they headed uphill.  Golden eyes stared out the window.  She had the lackadaisical air her people displayed when lost in thought, a bored hunting cat in the sun.  She shrugged.  “I said we could go to them for help.”

 “But they might turn us down?”

 Lenna closed her eyes, apparently enjoying the beam of sun that washed over her face.  She nodded.

 “But we’ve come so far!”

 Lenna slowly turned her head.  She looked to be about Naria’s age, somewhere circling twenty.  That put the elf in the range of two hundred years old, and as she stared at Naria, the difference tumbled out.  “Effort and result are two very different things.”

“I know,” Naria sighed.  “I just … I’m tired of doing this.”

“I know,” Lenna agreed, closing her eyes again.

Already feeling like a little kid, Naria stuck out her lip and pouted for a bit.  It didn’t really help.  She glared at Lenna, who hadn’t had to dress up today.  The elf wore a sleeveless leather shirt that didn’t cover her midriff, leaving the tribal black tattoo on her arm and its partner on her stomach exposed, and riding pants, belted with a purple sash.  Naria desperately wanted to be wearing something so comfortable.

Knowing they would soon be reaching their destination, it had been decided that morning she would wear her princess costume to make a good impression.  Her objections had been ignored with suprizing enthusiasm.  The ice blue gown, a perfect match for her eyes, had been removed from its chest on the back of the carriage.  Despite the creases and wear from travel, it was deemed suitable by people she was now certain hated her.  Lenna had taken her down to the brook by their campsite, and forced her to bathe in the frigid water.  She shivered while her supposed friend brushed her obsidian hair to her shoulders.  With help she had squeezed into the torturous dress.  It was designed to perfect her form, but it attacked its task with unnecessary vigour.  The whale bone corset made it difficult to breathe.  The skirts were too voluminous to move with the graceful speed Naria was accostumed.  She plodded along, trying to hold up the hem to keep the dirt of the forest from staining it.  It left her shoulders and the upper part of her chest bare, leaving far less to the imagination than she would have liked.

Six inches taller than Naria, Lenna looked down at her while painting her heartshaped face, looking at a canvas, not a person.  A silver circlet was fastened across her brow, and Lenna nodded, proud of her work.  Naria felt like a little girl’s doll.  The resentment had grown throughout the day, and it was starting to boil over as the sun began to dip.

Smoothing her skirts, Naria glared across the cairrage.  “They better help us.”

Lenna didn’t open her eyes.  “Or what?”

“They just better.”

“I think that tiny crown is going to your head.”

“I think it’s probably the fact that I haven’t been able to breathe since you laced me into this prison.”  She tried to stare out the window, biting the inside of her lip.  The spruce raced by.  She couldn’t find the same sense of detached piece the Quaraldim was managing.  “Lenna?”  Naria waited for a slight nod.  “Who are they?”

“The Order of the Dreamer?”


“They’re warrior priests.  That’s the best way to describe it.”

“And they’ll be enough to finish what Gabe started?”

“They’re also Nephillium.”

“Oh.”  Naria fidgeted in silence, listening to the clomping of the team, trying to stay calm.  She couldn’t stay still.  She felt her forehead crinkle, feeling an itch under her skin.  There was more that Lenna was keeping from her.  “What happens if they don’t agree to help us?”

Lenna sighed.  She sat upright, despite the slope they travelled on, and leaned forward.  She locked eyes with Naria.  “When we go to them, they will pick a side.  If they don’t decide to help us, they will decide to stop us.”

“Oh, good,” Naria said through a practiced smile.  “A last ditch effort.  As long as we’re on familiar ground.”

Outside the carriage, three squads of soldiers rode along on tired horses.  They wore the Sunburst livery of the Solarian Empire, a yellow circle ringed in tiny triangles, on a sky blue background.  The carriage was in the centre of the column, which was struggling up the steep slope.  It was nearly too much for the horses, and scouts went ahead, constantly ensuring the carriage would be able to take the slope.

The thick spruce on the sides of the road threatened to gobble up the road.  Sunlight struggled to pierce shrouded in murky gloom.  Nervous riders kept seeing shapes fleeting through the branches, shadows that caught the corner of the eye and then vanished.  The animals were becoming increasingly skittish.  Every strange sound caused heads to jerk, or people to gasp, or horses to whiney.  Warbling cries of unfamiliar birds set teeth on edge.  Far from home, not a member of the column was certain what sort of beast could lunge onto the road.

When a scout returned, announcing he had found the settlement a mile ahead, a ripple of relief flowed through the soldiers. 

The dirt road led to a plateau.  A short distance away, the stony shore of a mountain lake was lined with log cottages.  The lake itself was fed by an enormous waterfall, thundering down a craggy cliff face on the opposite side.  The foam churned at the base, and ripples created tiny waves that caressed the rocky shore.  The setting sun stained a grey sky with blood-soaked orange.  The land ground was uneven, a little wild.  They started to ride towards the village on the shore.  A handful of figures emerged, and jogged forward to met the soldiers.

The warriors from the settlement were uniformly clad in steel breast plates.  Their left arms were braced in steel, but the right were bare, each showing the same strange sort of tattoo that marked Lenna’s.  Strapped to their backs, each carried three javelins.  They seemed utterly unconcerned to be staring down sixty mounted soldiers.

A blunt faced young woman, no more than seventeen, with short blonde hair stepped forward.  “Who speaks for this column?” she demanded.

Captain Tyman rode forward.  “I do.”  There was soft sheen of sorrow across his face..

“Why are you here?”

“We wish to petition the help of the Order of the Dreamer.”

“I am Vey-Mara-En,” announced the girl.  “Follow me.  I will show you where to set up camp.”  She led them away from the town, onto an open space on the plateau.  The Sunburst column visibly deflated.  The thought of solid walls around them, real roof over their heads, and maybe even real beds, were dashed, and they slumped behind the girl.  She nodded to an area, with circles of round rocks demarking fire-pits.  There was a stack of split wood near a chopping block, more than enough to get them through the night.  The soldiers dismounted and shuffled like sleepwalkers through the familiar routine of making camp. 

The driver of the coach, a tall man in the same Sunburst livery, clamoured down and opened the door.  He grinned crookedly as he offered a hand to help Naria down.  She screwed an unimpressed look on her face and waited for him to assist Lenna.

 “If they kill us over … over this,” she gestured at the dress, “Then I want you to remember it was your idea.”

 Lenna smiled, and they headed to the nearest of the fire pits, to wait for it to be lit.

Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pen To Print Mission Statement

So I’ve figured out how I’m going to do this.  First of all, you will be seeing a lot more of my work on the book in my blog.  Any post dedicated to writing will have either PTP for Pen to Print in the tag, which will be discussions about what I’m doing to move my novel from it’s current draft to the finalized, purchasable version.  PTP posts will be specifically related to the process, not the content.

I’ll also be posting Draft Chapters, which will be content from the book.  Not all of it will be avaible publically, and anything in a draft chapter my change from the first posted to the final version in the book.  For Draft Chapters, I strongly encourage criticism.  I want to know where I can’t spell, where I’m not making sense, and when things fall apart.  I also want to know what makes sense and what doesn’t.

This project will be taking up a lot of my time.  I apologize if you are more a fan of my previous Black Book work.  In fact, if there’s a bunch of you who want me to totally split the PTP project to a different blog or address, send me an email, a private message, a twitter, whatever.  If I hear from enough of you, I’d be happy to split off.  There will be less Black Book posts, as the novel is now my main project, but there’s still love for all y’all.

Published in: on November 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm  Comments (1)