East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Radio Karavansara # 4: Aeon Trinity

In about 24 hours I will start a new roleplaying campaign, playing online a game of Trinity – the science fiction RPG originally published in 1997 by White Wolf as Aeon. The game was just re-issued with a new engine as part of the Trinity Continuum by Onyx Path, but we’ll be playing the old ruleset and universe.

And as I have always done with Trinity, I’ve been sketching the campaign while listen to some music – and so I decided to prepare a sort of soundtrack, and put it up on Mixcloud.
Will my players (and my readers) appreciate it?
I do not know.
In case you are interested, it’s here…

And now, off to draw some pre-rolled characters.

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Horror and adventure

There is a very attractive call for stories that cross horror with adventure, and when I saw it I thought “Ah, that’s a job for me!” … but in two days I doodles a lot, and came up with nothing.
Which is disheartening, because… well, because writing is my job and my idea of fun, and I have always loved adventure.

So I started going through all the resources I had about adventures.
And here is what I found that got me writing.
I thought I’d share.

Now that the adventure angle is covered, I’ll just need to add horror.
And I’ve found an idea in that direction, too, inside this video.
I’ll keep you posted.

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More news from isolation, and plans

I know, this is getting boring. We’re still here, tenth day of isolation, waiting for the next supply drop, and trying to devise some more contingency plans as the situation looks bleak: a new lockdown on the horizon, the country’s economy stalling, no jobs coming my way, payments fizzing out…

Which is depressing for me, I don’t see why it should be for you too.

Because there’s also good news.
I’m also writing like mad – a testament to Michael Moorcock’s idea that creditors are an infinite source of inspiration.
And I do not know if I’m ever going to write something as good as the Hawkmoon series – I am no Moorcock, alas – but consider this: between January and August I had submitted 33 stories. In the following six weeks, I have submitted another 35, and I am now at 68 submitted stories – and yesterday I sold one, and also received a very complimentary mail from the editor.
It’s good for the soul, and the accounts.

And when I mentioned I’d like to offer online courses starting this November, I was asked by some to do a course on

how to sell stories to foreign magazines

Because let’s be clear – domestic magazines won’t pay you. Not really.

And so I have been thinking about it.
I did a post, at the start of the year – when everything was looking up – about what I called the Bradbury-Heinlein Method.
In the intervening months, I have refined it, turning it into the Bradbury-Heinlein-Zelazny Method … that is a mouthful, but it seems to be working in a good(ish) way.
My average is a 23% sales.

I might call it BHZ Method and try and bottle it up and sell it.

It might be fun – and it might keep the lights on.

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This is Plan B

While the world crawls towards a new lockdown, we are still isolating at home (but we’re fine! Tanks for asking), and jobs and payments fizz out and disappear, I am working on a series of contingency plans to try and keep the lights on and food on the table (and an internet connection).

True, I could take the advice of the people that cold-call me twice a day, and start investing my saving in online trading, the sure way (they say) to make money with no fuss.
I have no savings, but I really wonder – is somebody falling for this?
Will people in time of crisis blow their savings for the mirage of easy money?
It’s scary.

But what about my plan B?

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Five Days Novel – I can’t do it, but…

Based on my current wordcount (32.000), it is plain to see that I cannot write and edit a novel, from conception to finished draft, in five days. Granted, I had a few time-wasting accidents along the way, and will end up with a solid fill-length novella, still needing a thorough review.
But 50.000-words worth of novel ready for upload on Amazon in 5 days?

For me, the limit for that sort of feat is seven days, and in this I find myself more in line with Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing a Novel in Seven Days. One full week is more my sort of thing – five days are too tight if you can’t fully isolate from the outer world.

But while more hangups loom over the weekend (including a deadline for a submission I want to hit), crippling the final mile of my marathon, there are still a few takeaways from the whole experience, and this is good. Let’s see…

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5 Days Novel – the boring parts

So we have passed the 25.000 words mark, and we are coming to the end of the middle and the beginning of the end. Or something.
And the middle is always a problem. That’s where the story sags, where the excitement of the start is gone, and the excitement of the finish is yet to come.
I have no figures about this, but I think this is where most people drop their writing and move on to another story, or another job altogether.

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