Monthly Archives: August 2014

maintaining your own web page

I have to tell you, it’s great to have the freedom to maintain your own web page, but it’s really irritating sometimes:
Just today I was updating the Artifice Academy page with the latest chapter, and somehow it had eaten all of my bookmarks so that you couldn’t link around the page, which makes reading it on you phone nearly impossible, and even reading on your computer is a hassle at that point. I had to go back in and manually add them.

Now I’ve saved the text of the html as a separate backup document, but why should that even be necessary? In order to make a professional page, you rely on others to be professional with their work. How can people set up this stuff and not prepare for something as common as a NAME tag?

That will teach me to code in anything except the raw text from now on. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Of course now I’m turning into an old hermit that hates everyone. Well here it is folks: if you want to truly self-publish and self-market, you have to be a jack-of-all-trades, and do all of the work yourself. If you can find a publisher, then all you have to do is write.

That sounds ridiculous even as I write it: writing is a tremendous amount of work! It’s just that once you get that all done, you expect to be handed some kind of reward for all that effort, even more so if you’re doing all the editing yourself, but instead you just get more work ahead of you.

In order to get the recognition you have to be about seven different people, doing all of their jobs, then maybe you’ll get recognized. Overnight success is a myth, people. Even if you do super-well and get published on your first try, there’s still all of the training that you went through just to develop the skills that got you there. Sometimes it’s a whole team of people’s skills all added together that create’s that success, and all of those people didn’t develop all those skills overnight, trust me. There’s always years of training practice, and a lot of schooling that lead to those language skills, and the more people that are involved, the more you have to have interpersonal skills and communication skills as well.

Ultimately, it takes a village, whether it’s inside your own head or an actual team of people.

What I’m really saying is “thank you” to all of you who compliment me on my work. It really keeps me going, and keeps me writing. It’s not just a compliment: it’s validation of all those hours spent training, schooling, practicing, editing, all of it.

Thank you so much for the appreciation and recognition, even if it’s just taking the time to read the stuff: that still means that it was good enough to hold your attention.

eBook Cover

I bought some ShutterStock images that had the feel I was seeking for cover for “Ascent”, as I’ve started calling it. I realized when I was trying to make my own eBook cover that ‘Artifice Academy’ was really the name of the series. I was looking at it, and it just didn’t feel right by itself.

I’ve had to go by feel a lot recently. Choosing the ShutterStock images was an instructive exercise there. There were several images that had a closer literal resemblance to the details of the story, the right robes, skin color, etc., but I could feel that if I didn’t get pictures with the correct feel, the correct attitude, it wouldn’t be anything that would attract people to the book cover.

I hope I keep remembering that feeling is everything. If the reader isn’t feeling anything, then there’s no point in reading the book. No one reads a book to be given a bunch of details to memorize. There are enough details in life to have to remember already: I need something that will simultaneously distract the reader from their problems, while making them feel alive: young love, jealousy, vengeance, danger!

All the rest can be carved out. details? Logic? Exposition? All less important than drama, than excitement. If there’s a scene with no dramatic purpose, it should probably be cut.

Indie Art – Penny Arcade post

Below is the latter half of a Tycho Brahe post of Penny Arcade. It makes me very happy: for the state of the industry, and for my own prospects.
“…I’m not sure I see a lot of difference between Early Access and Crowdfunding. I do, however, see these tools being used to bolster moribund genres, and I see people tripping over their inlaid sabatons trying to fund “their” style of game. Broken Age is a good example. Torment, Wasteland 2, and Pillars of Eternity are even better. And Planetary Annihilation may be the best. Let me tell you a story.
I had a friend (and may still have one – I haven’t checked) who put together a seminal Internet Multimedia Excursion, and with the use of a grant had transformed it into a DVD Boxed Set for we magpies to covet. There was a window of opportunity where this DVD Set could be pressed, and demand existed for about five million in sales.
The people with the distribution rights were like, five million? We’ll pass. Right? I don’t pass on five million, and it’s inconceivable that someone would, but that’s not what a large company is designed to do. They are not oriented around snacking. They want to fill their baleen with seawater and strain out four and a half tons of krill per day. We’re the krill, by the way; I’m not sure if that’s coming across. It always seemed like madness to me, this story of his, but those are the caloric requirements of creatures that size and it shapes their thinking.
So the RTS, the Fiddly-Bits RPG, and the Adventure Game are all back, and they’re essentially an Indie phenomenon. They’re not passing on five million. If you ever wondered what it would be like to see an Ice Age – to watch existing orders topple, to watch great beasts wink out of existence – settle back. You have a front row seat.
(CW)TB out.”
Ripped from this Penny-Arcade post.