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What’s Going On?

Perhaps you’ve been wondering why you haven’t heard from us in a while. Did we give up? Did we quit? NO! Of course not!

It’s been a busy month for the entire team as we all begin new jobs and take care of a lot of the other things going on in our lives. This isn’t our day job you know! The good news is that we haven’t stopped working on the second part of Sebastian’s fall. The upcoming episode is exciting and filled with new characters like the Well Dressed Man and my own personal favorite, Pan.

More than that, we have a surprise coming for you at the end of this week! I can’t tell you what it is but I can tell you that you’re going to like it. You’ll also be getting a blog post from our resident artist here at The Eighth City blog. Trish, who made our cover art and the illustration you’ve found nestled between the pages of A Torch in the Darkness, is going to give you an inside look at what it’s like to draw and how her process works!

Thanks for bearing with us over the long period of silence. We are toiling away over here and should get back to the blogging as soon as our surprise has made its appearance!

In the meantime, the inspiration for the title of this post and the song I can’t get out of my head….

R.C.

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Reader’s Perspective: Why Episodic?

I am as much a reader as I am a writer and so I’d like to share my reason’s for releasing  The Eighth City as a serial from a reader’s perspective.

First, I’d like to mention why serialization is NOT a good idea. If you’re a writer and you’re considering serializing your work it would do you well to think carefully on this section. It’s not a good idea to serialize if you are simply attempting to get your material out quicker. Do not serialize something if it is already written as a typical novel without a thought to a proper episodic structure. Absolutely do not serialize if it is an attempt to get more money (As an independent author your readers are your best friends, don’t screw them). Lastly, don’t do it because it is new or different. The choice to serialize ought to be deliberate.

The two most important aspects I considered when I chose to release The Eighth City as a serial were the story and my audience. My story has many different climaxes and spans a long time, so it made sense to cut it into several different “episodes”. Furthermore, I’m telling a story that introduces a myriad of different characters, some that only spend a little bit of time in the action and then disappear. Instead of the typical fantasy saga that requires the memorization of countless characters, the episodic feature of this series means that side characters are clearly labeled as such.

In addition to the story I wanted to consider my audience. The idea to split my story into shorter “episodes” that could be digested in 40-80 minutes began after I watched the first season of Game of Thrones. Massive fantasy series being, as one might say say, “my bag” I thought to myself, “Why don’t I read that series? I expect it will be rather enjoyable.” And I’m sure it would have been except that as soon as I saw the massive length of A Game of Thrones I immediately abandoned all thought of reading it. It wasn’t because I don’t like long fantasy series, I mean, I had read almost all of the Wheel of Time , Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings (including The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales). It was because I didn’t have time to read a gargantuan series while I tried to juggle school, a job, and a career search. I kept that thought in mind when I began writing I did my best to design something that someone with a busy schedule could still enjoy. I wanted to create a “TV show” for people who enjoy reading.

I certainly hope that you enjoy this somewhat less time intensive series that (hopefully) still contains a fantasy series worth of characters and landscapes. Feel free to share your own thoughts on serialization and how the new eBook market is changing the way books are sold and written in the comments!

R.C.

P.S. For any writers trying to decide between self publishing and traditional publishing or are considering serialization check out my other blog post below or at “Flux and Flow” for more detail.

Hit Play and Read Away

This is the Piano Guys cover of Home by Phillip Phillips. It made me think of how writing feels to me.

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. Lately, it has gotten me a job. Reading books about business, networking, and leadership gave me the motivation, confidence, and know-how to successfully navigate the choppy waters of joblessness. As a child, reading books like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings sent me to far off places and imbued within me a sense of right and wrong. Since then I have been haunted by a feeling that I can achieve something epic. As I grew older, reading biology textbooks and do-it-yourself manuals made me feel capable and intelligent (my friends will tell you otherwise though…).

However you want to look at it reading has always been a safe place for me. It’s a resource and comfort and a vacation, depending on what I read or how I feel. Even more so, my love of reading launched my desire to write. Writing has only cemented those qualities that reading incepted (that’s a real word, I promise. Just go ask Leonardo DiCaprio) within my mind. Writing provides solace when I’m upset and a mode of expression when I’m feeling ecstatic. Furthermore, it has given me the chance to explore the worlds I created in my mind as a child.

Even more importantly storytelling is a chance to connect with other people. A story will always be more powerful than telling someone how you feel or giving them advice. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to tell stories and have hundreds of people read them. It is a connection I could never make without the technology of today. Something I’ll forever be grateful for.

Sometimes writing is like a home. A place where you can settle down and watch everything become clear. Storytelling is my opportunity to invite people into that home and share my experiences and thoughts. It’s a chance to reach out past those barriers we typically erect and teach people that they are not alone. These stories are a chance to remember that if you’re lost you can always be found.

Champagne: The secret to getting published

A guest post done for Jasmine Eclipse about publishing. Check it out if you’re interested in learning more!
R.C.

Defeating Writer’s Block and Updates

Hi folks!

I’m excited to tell you that I’m working on a guest post for Jasmine Eclipse about my experience with the publishing process! It’s going to be fun and informative. If you are interested in the publication process or you have your book written and aren’t sure what to do with it this should help guide you in the right direction.

After a few friends asked me about “writer’s block” I thought I’d write a short post about how I deal with that ever present threat:

I, like many other writers, often suffer from writer’s block. Worse than that though, I have a terrible case of the procrastination. On top of that I’ve got this handy little voice in my head that often reminds me, just as I’m getting to the end of a piece of writing, that it’s a piece of garbage and I should abandon it.

So how, you might be wondering, did I overcome these debilitating writing afflictions? There are a thousand and one solutions to these kinds of problems and I’ve tried a significant portion of them to varying degrees of success. Right now though I’d like to share the one that worked and is still working, for me: I made myself accountable.

Woo boy that sounds fancy. Well, it’s not. I gathered up a team of friends with expertise in the fields I needed support in and asked them to join me in my project. They agreed and suddenly I had a team of people who were counting on me to produce top quality material for them to edit, illustrate, and market. I naturally try to please people, especially the ones I like so when I imagine letting my team down it makes me far, far more anxious than trying to resolve a tricky plot point or infuse some personality into a flat character. This makes it a lot easier to sit down and bang out a thousand words even when I’m not quite feeling “the flow”.

If you’re suffering from any of the above afflictions, I suggest you find something or someone that will hold you accountable and make it the most important part of your writing process. You know yourself better than anyone else so put all of those little neurosis to use!

Inform your doctor if following the above guidelines results in: elevated heart rate, unusual hair growth, uncontrollable twerking, or a writing session that lasts over four hours.

A Torch in the Darkness

The first in The Eighth City Series, A Torch in the Darkness is the start of Sebastian’s journey into the Below, a refuse heap beneath the Eighth City where only the most vicious survive. The story follows Sebastian as he attempts to discover what happened to his parents and what his strange dreams mean. Caught in the middle of powerful forces, he is left to find his own way in a dangerous world.

You can read it >>>here<<<.

~
Book Cover for ATitD!

Beginnings: Community

Welcome to the Eighth City Blog! We’re excited to begin sharing and interacting with everyone out there on the interwebs! We’ve got big plans for this blog and hope you’ll be an important part of our growing community!

As the publishing process begins for The Eighth City series I’ve been very lucky. My team, Victoria, Lauren, and Trish have been incredible with helping to market, edit, and illustrate “A Torch in the Darkness”. I’ve had family and friends who have been very supportive and have been kind enough to read my work. And even better, people have been giving me constructive and positive feedback. It’s an incredible feeling, but there is so much more to come.

While we do have an exciting plan for the rest of the 11 stories to come out for The Eighth City, there is more to this than a simple story. We have a lot we want to accomplish but the first, and one of the most important for us, is Community.

We want YOU to be a part of this. We want to build a community of artists, be they writers, illustrators, painters, dancers, musicians, or anything else who can participate and grow with the help of The Eighth City. We’re inviting you to bring your talents, be they video editing, story creation, or anything else, and apply them to our world.

It is my hope that within the near future you will be able to hear music inspired by The Eighth City or experience incredible fan art. I look forward to other authors and writers stepping forward to write a story within the world of the Enlightened Continent or write the back-story to a little-known character. We want you to engage with our work and when you produce something, we want to be there to sponsor it and spread it to the world. We want to be the platform that you can leap off to begin an illustrious career in whatever inspires you.

Even more, we want to hear from you! We don’t just want your work. We want to know what you think of the story, even if you didn’t like it. We want to know where you think it’s going or what your favorite part was. More importantly, we want to know YOU. We want to get to know the people who are engaging in our work. We want this community to reach across political, economic, and cultural boundaries to come together in honor of what binds us together: Our humanity as seen in a story.

Many thanks for reading and I hope you will reach out, through the power of social media, to us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

R.C.