Book Three in the Grendel Uprising series, Heavy Weapons, is set for pre-order on June 17th. Why would I do that and what is Viking Sci-fi?Before I can explain, there are a few other things I needed to cover about the Keystroke Medium show I recently cohosted. Please check out this short video. Like, subscribe, and share for maximum effect.Thanks,Scott
On Friday morning, I created an off-the-cuff video about this unique event for writers. I was getting ready for a nine hour drive home. With energy and motivation practically oozing from the universe, I decided to write for an hour and make a video before hitting the road.
The video isn’t too long. I will do others once I have reviewed my notes and implemented some of the best practices and suggestions of the presenters and other attendees.
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Few things are more obvious to a writer than the following statement. If I could write five thousand quality words a day, it would change my life.This idea isn’t new, but it has been with me all day. And it’s as magical as lightsabers, warp drive, chocolate, or an endless supply of coffee.So let me say it again.If I could write five thousand quality words a day, it would change my life.What are some barriers to this goal?
Like most writers, even professional writers, I have a regular job that pays the bills. It provides useful things like health insurance for my family and a sense of security. In the positive margin of the pro and con log of the writing life, having a regular career allows me to finance my writing “hobby.” Computers, writing and marketing courses, book covers, and editors aren’t free. In summary, it’s hard to find time to write around a full-time job or jobs, but the money helps.
I didn’t list family at the top of this discussion, because I wasn’t sure if I should include it at all. Many writers will tell you that family demands are cancelled out by family support, but when it comes down to it, the family is what it’s all about. A lot of writers talk about quitting their jobs to write full-time but they don’t generally say they’re going to quit their families to write full time. In any event, I write at least in part for my family. I don’t consider them a barrier to success. They are the reason for it.
Physical injury is next on the list. Generally, I don’t have writer’s elbow or tendonitis but it does happen from time to time. For example, last week I reached into my backseat to pick up a backpack and twisted my wrist at a strange angle. This was dumb and completely my fault. It caused me to develop the aforementioned tendonitis in my right wrist. I am not a doctor, so this may not be a completely accurate medical diagnosis, but I know it hurts and it slows my typing. I also understand it is not going to get better typing five thousand words a day.
Steven Pressfield wrote a book called The War of Art, and articulated something he calls Resistance. His book should probably be required reading for anybody pursuing a creative endeavor. Resistance is all the psychological junk that gets in your way and prevents you from realizing goals. Much of it is disguised as important or crucial activities. (For example, I am trying to complete a novel, but suddenly decided I really need to write a blog post…
First Steps Toward 5k a Day
Today I’m going to share three simple steps that can help increase writing productivity. There are a ton of books, blogs, and experts on this subject. You can spend hours or weeks or months researching it or you can just listen to me and get started.
Set a realistic goal and create an accountability system. While my goal and life-changing Epiphany is that I want to write five thousand words per day, and that the premise stated above is absolutely true, I did something and ask myself another question. If I wrote two thousand words a day — really wrote two thousand words every… single… day, would that also change my life? I think it would. So I will make two thousand my minimum and five thousand my ideal daily goal. I already have a spreadsheet, which is going to good to on the past create a sense of accountability. So in summary, set a goal and make a spreadsheet to track your daily word progress. Or find one online.
Do your most important writing first. I worked on my novel for an hour and a half before starting this blog post.
Try voice dictation. I like using Dragon dictation on my PC laptop, but I would really like it on my Mac. So I may buy Dragon Dictation for the Mac. I am also using speech to text on my Android phone right now. The downside of voice dictation is the editing and clean up that it usually requires. There are many good reasons to use voice dictation, one of them being to avoid repetitive stress injuries caused by typing too much. However, I originally tried voice dictation to make myself think differently during the writing process. So there is that.
The bulk of my new word count goal will be fiction, but I believe two thousand to five thousand words a day will also allow me for some room to blog. Please look forward to further discussion of this topic another’s and leave comments. I would love to know what other people are doing to achieve their goals.Thanks for spending some time here on my blog and if you enjoy listening to podcasts and YouTube interviews, please check out www.KeystrokeMedium.com (where Josh Hayes and I talk about reading, writing, and everything in between.)Have a great day!
(The links below, are if fact, affiliate links. Using these links earns me a small commission, but that isn’t why I wrote this blog article. Both of the books are excellent. I have the older version of Dragon Naturally Speaking, and assume the newer version is also good.)
Keith Michaelson is narrating Weapons of Earth, the third book in the Chronicles of Kin Roland. My job at this point is to review the audio files and mark any corrections on a spreadsheet. He recently sent me a video of chapter fifty.
So I have, of course, posted it with no editing because it shows a couple of things. First of all, Michaelson is such a pro. His character (and creature) voices are fantastic. Prepare to be freaked out! Seriously. It also shows how much work he puts into his craft and strives to realize the story (which I really appreciate).
There are stops and starts as he checks his work. My favorite part of the video is where the story catches him off-guard and makes him laugh.
At the end, he explains about how much time it actually takes to finish an audiobook. Writers interested in this medium should watch this all the way through.
Thanks, Keith Michaelson! Keith Michaelson Facebook Page
Who doesn’t love a deadline!Becuase I am crazy, and want to drive myself a little farther over the brink in 2017, I decided set three books for pre-order on Amazon.One (Dragon Land) is already published. No problem there. My February release is comfortably close to being ready; I should just have it back from the editor and formatted by launch day. A little stressful, but getting a bit “real.”In March, I will be releasing my first book under a pen name (which is my actual name with a slight change), and it needs to be written. From the begining. Oh my God.There are penalties for missing the pre-order date. Wish me luck, because I am going to need it.I discovered a thing called Patreon recently. For my very first ever Patreon exclusive, I started a video series chronicling the last month before launch. This will include some of my fears and insecurities that I don’t normally share outside a small group of friends.Check it out here: Scottmoonwriter Pateron Page
A friend of mine suggested the Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. I listened to the audiobook, learning most of what I needed by the halfway mark but finished the short, nonfiction audiobook. Good stuff.Mr. Elrod has an mnemonic called SAVERS. For the purpose of today’s-lightning quick blog, I will only be talking abut the ‘R.’Which is for reading, of course. My current nonfiction selection is 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them, by Ronald B. Tobias. Each morning, after silence, affirmation, visualization, and exercise, I read nonfiction for twenty-five minutes. (Fiction is pretty much squeezed in during every free second for the rest of the day, via audiobook.)Thoughts from today’s selection: The Quest Plot.First off, I was glad to see elements I am using in my work-in-progress, Bayonet Dawn (available for pre-order), which is at least partly a quest by the definition in Mr. Tobias’s book. I enjoyed his clarification of how a quest should begin, the difference between Intent and Motivation. My biggest takeaway from the section on Act 1 was the discussion of supporting characters, the reason the exist, and when they should appear.Very nice, Mr. Ronald B. Tobias.I also liked the examples he used from Gilgamesh, Don Quixote, Jason and the Golden Fleece, and The Wizard of Oz. (Often this kind of analysis is a bit tedious, to be honest, but this time it worked well.)Mr. Tobias also gives Act 2, commonly known in many circles as “The Muddle” some respect. Basically the middle / muddle is there to make things interesting, and I am paraphrasing here, worth reading.Thanks for stopping by. Now it is time to write. My work-in-progress is the best part of my day right now; I’m really thankful I’m a writer!Peace.
Today my co-host, Josh Hayes, and I will be interviewing Peter F. Hamilton. I was hesitant to blog about this because it hasn’t happened yet.I am still a bit awestruck. Josh reached out to Mr. Hamilton’s people, and long story short, he has agreed to come on the Keystroke Medium show today. We are huge fans, old and new. (A couple of months ago, Josh learned I had not read anything by this legend of science fiction. He jumped up and down and waved his hands…in a totally dignified and supportive fellow science fiction fan kind of way.I purchased the audiobook of Pandora’s Star…and listened to it twice. (Spoiler alert, not a short book!)About the time I finished Judas Unchained and was straight up in awe of this massive story, we got the word that Peter F. Hamilton, best selling science fiction author and genuine legend of the genre, would be on the show.This episode won’t be recorded live, but please go to KeystrokeMedium.com or find it on YouTube tonight and check it out. Or maybe this Facebook event link will help.And now I will practice deep breathing exercises for the next three hours to get ready to meet one of my writing heroes. This is happening!
Die Like A Man is an urban fantasy cop thriller with an emphasis on action and thrills. I spent over ten years writing it with many drafts and revisions. Although it has a professional book cover and professional edits, it is not selling as well as I hoped.What can a writer do?He can ask for advice (and give away a free copy to curious volunteers)!If you think you might be able to rescue me and this book (which is really good, by the way), please sign up here and start by getting a Rebranding & Relaunching Team Copy of Die Like A Man right here.
Tomorrow is another big day for the Keystroke Medium Show. Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author of Hell Divers and the Extinction Cycle, kindly agreed to be interviewed. Here is the Facebook link.I noticed the Hell Divers book when it came out and was interested. Like a lot of readers these days, my to-be-read pile is rather deep and wide. Josh Hayes, my co-host at Keystroke Medium, gave it the thumbs up and said he basically listened to the audio book straight through. So I figured I better see what it was all about.The premise of Hell Divers is this: humanity survived the aftermath of World War III in a fleet of airships never designed for the purpose. Two hundred and fifty years later, give or take, the last of humanity struggles to keep their homes flying. The Hell Divers must parachute to the surface and scavenge for supplies and parts amongst the worst conditions imaginable.There are several character view points, well balanced to keep the story moving and the suspense level high. Like really high.This is a fast paced book I recommend to fans of science fiction, military science fiction, and post apocalypse stories. Read my review here.
I haven’t blogged for a while, it’s true.I could blame it on my new book release, Weapons of Earth, which is the third and final book in the Chronicles of Kin Roland trilogy. I might even contribute my lack of blogging to my study of marketing and other things related to the book business. All of that would be true, however they still seem like a lame excuses.So guess what, I’m back. Here’s what’s going on right now.I did in fact release Weapons of Earth. This book is now available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback. The audiobook may be somewhat delayed because my narrator has joined a band called The Long Run, which is a well-known Eagles tribute band. He’s extremely talented. It will be late Fall before he can work on the audiobook.I started reaching out to some of my email subscribers with the hope they would join the S.M.A.R.T. ( Scott Moon Advance Reading Team). This is very exciting to me because of the great feedback I received during the final stages of the Weapons of Earth launch. I am not afraid of making this a fairly large group, however it is limited and will be exclusive. Please send me an email at email@example.com if you are interested. I am more selective with people who come from outside of my subscriber list, because I know everyone receiving the newsletter is interested in my writing (as opposed to selling me infomercial products). Unfortunately I also get unsolicited emails who could care less about reading anything. Hard to believe, right?One of the things my advanced readers (S.M.A.R.T.) asked about was whether or not there would be another book in the Kin Roland universe. As it happens, I have some great ideas about a prequel. Also, I have some stories brewing that would start right after the Kin Roland trilogy ends. My original plan was to pursue a very interesting premise that occurs 50,000 years after Kin Roland makes his big decision on Hellsbreach. I will write short stories based on my favorite characters, including those who were not given large parts in the current trilogy. One of these, is Ashton Roland, Kin Roland’s little brother (half-brother, actually) is a space pirate and governor of a faraway world. His mistress / love of his life is Tabitha, the mother of William Orlan.Since anybody who has followed my blogs or watches the Keystroke Medium show knows that I tend to work on multiple projects at once, this next thing should not come as a surprise. I joined a Facebook group with some of my writer friends that is doing the 90-day novel (a book about writing by Alan Watt). About a year or so ago I used Alan Watt’s techniques to create a book that is currently not published, because I became distracted with other projects and life.What makes this different is that once I get to the 90-day stage I will go through exercises in the 90-day rewrite book by Alan Watt. So here it is, at the end of the 90-day novel project, which we are actually scheduling to be a bit longer to incorporate NANOWRIMO 2016, I plan to put up this new project, Run Girl, for preorder. This’ll be the longest preorder I’ve ever done and a bit of an experiment for me to commit to a project like this.I will blog about the process.Run Girl is a book I already have a book cover for that I like and it is also a slightly different genre. I would call a science fiction thriller. At this stage in the writing process the main character is a young female federal agent. It might fit new adult type science-fiction thriller. I’m not going to give a lot of spoilers because everything is going to change during this 90-day novel writing process. What I have in my head and have started to work on is really cool. Here are some images I am collecting on Pinterest for inspiration. https://www.pinterest.com/…/new-book-inspirationThat’s enough for now. I won’t going into the many other projects in various stages of completion. Dragon Land, the final book in the Michael Prim (The Lost Dragonslayer trilogy) is basically done except for the dramatic ending. However I’ve been doing a lot of self editing before sending it to the professional editor. I really want to wrap this one up right.Thanks for reading my blog. I know that this one is a bit longer than usual. I am writing the first draft of this blog article using Scrivener voice transcription and then putting it in my scrivener for iOS folder so that I can revise and edit on the go. I have a hard time expressing how cool this is.Have a fabulous day.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away known as “Texas” there was a gathering of word-wizards and prose-warriors known for their fearlessness, generosity, and clever minds. They were the Smarter Artists and this is the story of their Summit meeting. Everything about this magical event might have been lost if not for the reluctant hero of this story, the protagonist with a heart of gold and access to Google Maps. Might have is a key phrase here, because it is suspected that other writers in attendance have also chronicled the daring adventures of both the hosts and the attendees. To ascertain the veracity of this hypothesis, quest for the Self Publishing Podcast, the Creative Penn, and Garrett Robinson. You might even search for #TheLegendOfBenHale on Instagram.Ben Hale, you see, is an author who writes in the YA Fantasy Genre (The Chronicles of Lumineia), thirteen books at the time of this writing and more on the way. “Ben is the most excellent of people,” one attendee reported. Later, as the event neared it’s dramatic conclusion, Ben Hale was called upon to name one-hundred-and-fifty attendees that he had just met, including the sound engineer and photographer. The price of failure would have been dire humiliation, or at least some awkward teasing — since the Smarter Artists were all great friends by this point.“It was amazing,” an attendee said. “It shows that Mr. Hale really pays attention to the people he meets. He is of excellent character.”From the first moments of the Smarter Artist Summit, it was evident that this was no ordinary writing conference. First of all, there was a magical creature known as Amy who rallied all the forces of good. It is roundly believed that Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright owed her many thanks and encouraged all of the Smarter Artists to thank her by clapping and otherwise expressing appreciation.This occurred frequently. Sean would identify something awesome and say, “Big hand for Amy!” And there was much rejoicing.The protagonist of this story, who will remained unnamed due to his inability to remember every master and student, felt the two day event was magical beyond rational description and secretly wished he was Ben Hale, so that he might know all the Smarter Artists. Do to the benevolence of the universe, he learned a great deal about building a quality writing career and met the coolest people ever. Many of whom pledge to stay in touch with the Book of Faces.What might have happened if the Smarter Artist Summit never happened? The world would be a less interesting place. Many writers would have missed finding “there people.” Stories that are destined to entertain and inform thousands of people would remain in the dark.The Presenters included:Andre Chaperon (Internet Business Guru)Nick Stephenson (Best Selling Author and Internet Marketing Smart Guy)James Tonn (Podium Publishing)Mark Lefebvre (Kobo Writing Life)Joanna Penn (Best Selling Author)Julia Kent (Best Selling Author)J. A. Huss (Best Selling Author)Damon Courtney (Book Funnel App)Dan Wood (Draft 2 Digital)Ben HaleJohnny B. Truant (Best Selling Author)Sean Platt (Best Selling Author)David Wright (Best Selling Author)Amy Teegan (The Amy Teegan)Jim Kukral (Best Selling Author and Business Guru) Bryan Cohen (Author of Ted Saves the World)In time, all of the attendees and presenters will find their names in the story of the Smarter Artists. And that will be the best adventure ever.
Have you ever wondered about points of view and how they affect narrative order? What about the finer points of space opera and other genres? Listen and watch was Josh Hayes and I completely demystify these and other topics…or at least talk about writing and stuff.
Video blogging is new and mysterious to me. I can’t speak for Josh or the audience we had during the live broadcast, but I had a lot of fun. Probably, there will more and better video blogs headed this way.Thanks for stopping by!