To Outline, Or Not To Outline, That Is The Question

As a writer, I HATE outlining. I'm not an outliner. I'm very much a discovery writer. Which is okay. It works well for me.

The only times I've actually used outlines is in collaborative work where my partner had done an outline and we worked from it. So I'm really not very good at outlining–no practice at it at all. But now I'm having to write an outline for a new collaborative project, because the senior author asked me to do it. <sigh>

So I'm trying, but it's very slow going. Partly because I'm no good at it, and partly because the story is shaping up to be a complex tripod story framework with three parallel story lines and character cross-overs between the lines. Plus it's a space opera story in which aliens abound, some of which are truly alien, which takes extra thought on my part to figure out what they're going to do in certain situations.

Even slower going.

So, I'm having to build it in Excel to keep the cross-storyline timing straight.  I'm lucky if I get one paragraph done per day.

This is going to take a while. <sigh>


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A Contest! A Chance at a Freebie! What Have You Got to Lose?

A giveaway of a free ebook of The Muse of Music.  Try it!  You'll like it!


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I’m Back!

Okay, this is going to be a pretty mammoth update.

First of all, major apologies for disappearing, but the host of my website had to make some technical updates late last year, and in the process of doing so, my website package got somewhat discombobulated, and long story short, it took a while to get it straightened out.  But it's fixed, and I'm back!

Second, I have several writing announcements to make:

  • I had a book published in January 2017- a collaboration with Enrico Toro, entitled The Muse of Music.  This is laid in Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series, and it parallels and intersects with my stories about the musicians Marla and Franz.  So those of you who liked 1635: Music and Murder will probably like   Available as an e-book or as a Print on Demand trade paperback either at the publisher or at Amazon
  • I finished another collaborative work in the Ring of Fire series.  I collaborated with Kim Mackey to produce the short novel Essen Defiant.  This is the sequel to Kim's book Essen Steel, which was published some time ago by Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press.  Eric was pleased with the collaboration, and I'm told it's in EFROFP's production queue now, so I'm hoping it will be available later this year.
  • I wrote a novella entitled Etude last year, which is the continuation of the Johann Bach musician story arc I had begun in the Ring of Fire universe a number of years ago.  The previous stories were Prelude, Adagio, and Interlude, and you can look them up in my bibliography.  Anyway, Etude was serialized in The Grantville Gazette in issues 67, 68, and 69.
  • I had a story entitled Drumline published in The Grantville Gazette issue 69, in addition to Etude Part 3.  It features a couple of the supporting characters from 1636: The Devil's Opera, in particular Johann Gronow.  It's a short little story, but fun.
  • And continuing with The Grantville Gazette news, issue 70 saw the beginning of a lengthy serial entitled Letters from Gronow.  It's an epistolary story (told in letters and diary entries) featuring a young down-timer man who wants to write stories for the new up-time-style horror magazine called The Black Tomcat, and the letters he gets back from Johann Gronow.  Light-hearted for the most part, and fun, but with the occasional serious moment.  Going to run at least six installments, maybe seven.
  • Future publications include a story entitled Whodunnit? which has been acquired by The Grantville Gazette.  It features my character A. N. D. 'Andy' Wulff, an attorney first seen in The Taxman Cometh.  A tiny bit of mystery, and a whole lot of comedy of errors.  Not sure when it will be published, but probably later this year.
  • I will be collaborating with Chuck Gannon on a series of non-fiction articles about some of the behind the scenes infrastructure issues that the 1632 writers have to wrestle with.  He's the lead author; I'm helping to organize the material and adding a few subordinate points.  First one is done and turned in to The Grantville Gazette.  Not sure how many there will be–at least two more, maybe three.
  • Going back to the Johann Bach story arc, I recently finished the final story in that arc, a novella entitled Toccata  That has been packaged with the preceding four stories and with a short novel that is not connected with the Bach stories but is also music-themed, although it's more of an adventure story.  Eric is reading it now, and it will probably be submitted to Baen Books.  More on that when I hear about it.
  • And my two solo fantasy novels, Fire of Stone and Fire, Salt, and Blood, are actively seeking a publisher.  (And despite the similarities of title, the two books are not related.)

And I think that's it for what's been happening and what's lining up for the immediate future.  I'll talk more about long term plans in another post later.


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Interview Part 2 is Up!

Part 2 of the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast interview with Eric and me was posted today.



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New Interview is Up!

Totally forgot to mention that the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast did an interview with Eric and I about The Span of Empire a couple of weeks ago. It turned into my first two part interview. :-) Part one was posted up last Friday, part two will be posted up next Friday. And here's a link.


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Etude is up

And Grantville Gazette issue 67 begins the serialization of my novella “Etude”.


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Publication Day for The Span of Empire

Well, Tuesday is the official release date for The Span of Empire, but I’m hearing reports from fans that they’ve been able to find copies in bookstores already. Cool!

Big thing is, we need you to buy your copy this week, if you can, to help boost the first week’s sales numbers toward best-seller territory. So, tomorrow, or Tuesday, or anytime through Saturday, feel free to go pick up your copy. Eric and I will appreciate it. :-)


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PSA for The Span of Empire

Just noticed that Amazon finally has the Kindle edition of The Span of Empire up and available for order.  If Kindle is your preferred choice, you now have no excuse for not pre-ordering.  :-)

And here's a link to help you along.



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Bringer of Fire

And Baen Books today published my story "Bringer of FIre" on their website. This tells the backstory of Vikram Bannerji, one of the new characters introduced in "The Span of Empire" which will be published in three weeks.



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It’s A Review!

A rather nice reader review of the e-ARC of the forthcoming The Span of Empire down at the bottom of this page.:

First one I've seen.  :-)


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