The Business of Writing

Back in 2014 when I first announced I was retiring from RPG publishing, I cited that running the company, which included handling other writers, first round editing, artists, art direction, approval, layout direction and approval, not to mention my own actual writing, constituted roughly 50 hours a week. And that didn’t include the actual business end of the company: budgets, sales tracking, reports, financials, et cetera.

I then stated that with the money (not) being made, overall, by us in the industry, despite the popularity of product lines like War of the Dead, that I would soon have to take a regular day job just to pay the bills.

Looking at all those factors, and having tested the fiction market for almost a year under a pseudonym, I realized that I could make more money going back to fiction full-time, for a fraction of the time requirement. Continue reading…

Managing Your Cast of Characters

This one is a bit short, as there isn’t too much to say on the topic. Well, okay, there is. But saying it all would be long-winded and  better suited to a book about writing rather than a blog. Instead, I’ll just hit the highlights.

Sometimes in a story, the main character or characters come to us. Other times, we must seek them out. Whatever the process of arrival into the story, one thing I’ve learned over the years is when to take a hard look at the cast and decide when I’ve got too many running around. Continue reading…

Writing Style

Every writer has certain themes or ideas that seem to permeate their writing. For Stephen King it’s the small town thrown into whatever supernatural mystery or horror of the story. For Roger Zelazny it was using pieces of various mythologies in new ways.

For me it’s usually been conspiracy theories or off-the-wall beliefs. I’ve realized over the years that the possibility of an ancient Atlantean society having existed seems to occur in a lot of setting back-stories. The way it appears or influences things varies widely between the works, but I have noticed that it seems to be a common theme for me. Continue reading…

Character Development

Before I start, comments should now be turned on for entries. I hadn’t realized they were inactive.

I’ve been writing in one medium or another for over two decades, and each time a story idea presents itself to me, it always begins with a character or set of characters. I’ve been thinking about that process a lot over the past several days as I prepared to write this entry, and I can’t honestly recall a story where a situation presented itself and then I had to find a character for it. The ideas have always come to me with a character in tow. Continue reading…