April is Here. Wait, What?

It’s been almost three months since my last blog post.

In that time, I haven’t got a huge amount of writing done, certainly not as much as I hoped I would. But that’s okay. I’ve been tired and getting no further forwards as to why I’m so tired, but it has started to ease since about mid-March or so.

I have in fact managed to write quite a bit of the first part of the Caroline and Vanessa story, and outline some of the second part. I’m feeling quite positive about it!

I’ve also managed to set things up for when I decide to start releasing books on the Play Store. Yes, after some consideration about the sort of story I’m writing, and the kind of devices that my audience is likely to be using to read it, I’ve decided that my main platform should be the Play Store.

Why? Because it’s present on practically all Android devices. I’m not saying that everyone necessarily looks in there for new books to read. Hell, I haven’t even bought one damn book from there myself. But since it’s already there, users don’t have to install anything else in order to read a book. So that’s a point in its favour.

I’m not expecting that my first release will be a bestseller, by any means. I can’t really justify spending exhorbitant sums of money on marketing, so I’m going to be rolling the dice and hoping that it will enjoy a little bit of popularity in its finished and polished form.

Speaking of first releases, I’m now leaning towards releasing the story in chronological order. That would probably mean Caroline and Vanessa would be the first up. And I think that may work well for me – it will be a shorter story, it’ll introduce the main character, and of course if it isn’t well received then it need not impact the other stories in the series.

I really need to come up with a better title for Caroline and Vanessa’s story. I mean, it’s desciptive for me, but not so much for the reader.

How about these?

  • Hologram of a Linguist
  • Deceiving the Linguist
  • Love, Lies and a Hologram

The first is really a description of an important item in the story which will be created when Vanessa asks Caroline to pose for a holographic portrait with a twist. The second describes what happens when Amber is introduced into the story. The third is sort of a mixture of the other two but is accurate all the same.

I’m not sure what sort of a cover image I would use for the story. I have a few ideas, but I think it’s too early to get started on it.

So, I’ve got a lot to be getting on with, but I basically wanted to touch base and say hi, I’m still alive, I haven’t vanished into a black hole, and so on. And also, what would you like to see here, anwyay? 🙂

A New Year: Onwards!

It’s a new year and I think I’m rested enough after the holidays to get back to some writing.

There’s something that I forgot about when I decided to finish off things that I’d started writing. I need to spend a little bit of time starting on new parts as well. Sometimes that first line can be the toughest, so if it’s already done then that alleviates the whole blank page anxiety. 🙂

My special thanks go out to Google who made typing this post a pain in the ass. Have you ever tried writing tags using an on-screen keyboard? It’s drilling through to the symbols page to type the angled brackets that takes forever. Not to mention, I wouldn’t even need to be doing that if their browser supported the visual editor. Ah well. All the more reason to try out a different browser.

Hope you’re all having a productive start to the year. 🙂

Progress report, December

I’m very nearly done with Part 4 of No Way Home. Actually, I’m up to 1600 words or so and I might have to begin Part 5 with the one little thing that I haven’t written into Part 4 yet. It’s not a big deal, in fact the start of a new part is a good place to do a scene change.

The reason for this is that well, I tend to have three or four parts per chapter, and a rough average of 1500 words per part. It is by no means a hard and fast rule, but it’s nice to have some sort of a guideline to stick to.

Also, I normally have a scene break (and the appropriate spacing) at the start of each part. What this means is that when the story parts are rolled into chapters, I don’t have to manually add scene breaks, because they’re already there.

The part that I wrote tonight has Caroline being introspective. It’s good to get inside a character’s head and work some things out. And it fits very well.

And I managed to finish that despite having Transformers 2 distracting me for a few hours. 🙂

Anyway, here’s a little preview of Part 4:

Erica rejoined Caroline in the cockpit a couple of minutes later, her uniform jacket still unfastened.

“In a hurry to get back to work?” Caroline asked.

“I was thinking of catching a meal, actually.” Erica raked a hand through her hair and took the co-pilot’s seat again. “And then maybe a half hour of rest.”

“You and me both.”

The shuttle ceased forward motion as they finally reached the Orion. Caroline frowned. “That’s odd. The bay doors aren’t opening.”

“I can see that,” Erica remarked dryly, looking ahead of them.

Not the introspective part, because that is all kinds of spoilery.

Assuming that I either finish up Part 4 or make a start on Part 5, I can put this part in the buffer and post the fifth part of The Maw of Despair. I haven’t actually looked at the calendar to see how often I’ve added new stuff, but it seems that it’s becoming regular, which can only be good for those hoping for more story.


Choices, so many choices

So tonight or tomorrow I’ll be finishing up the part that I was working on last week – The Rescue of Princess Irena, Part 4.  And afterwards it’s a trip down memory lane as I outline the existing parts and then try to come up with a rough idea of the next few parts.

I also have quite a few stories or parts of stories which I’ve started but not finished. A few notes here on each of these, as much for my benefit as for the bafflement and confusion of the readers.

Pegasus, Part 2

Dreana gets a tour of the Sapphire, the ship she will be commanding in the near future.

Sasha Gets Five Stars

Sasha and Rosalyn have a great night on the town, but what about the day after?

Star Trek: Voyager – “Companions”

Janeway gets early morning coffee. Seven has an interesting discovery to share.

Servant of the Siphen, Part 13

There are security concerns that need to be resolved.  In particular, the recently-revealed Irena believes that one of the Orion crew is a telepath.  Now how do you figure out who that might be?

No Way Home, Part 4

Having launched from the Orion in the shuttle, Caroline and Erica make their approach to the damaged dimensional portal.  Erica gets to go on an EVA.  They return to the Orion with their findings but… well, this is a problem – they can’t land.

I think I’m leaning towards the last one there, and I think it will be interesting to see how that situation is resolved.  After I finish the other stuff I mentioned at the top there.

If you’ve arrived here from Facebook – hello and welcome!  This is my first blog post going out to Facebook.  I write stories under the pen name Martin Burne.  Sci-fi, sci-fi with a dash of fantasy, and fantasy wrapped inside a sci-fi crispy coating.  Romance?  Check.  Parental advisory?  Oh hell yeah, although the stories I have are a lot tamer than when I started.

If you read on a tablet or phone, chances are that this site is tricky to navigate.  I’m working on a Downloads page so that you can just get an EPUB file and read that at some kind of sane font size and layout.  But alternatively check this out:

Other sites that carry my stories

Wattpad is the only other site carrying my stories for now. What you see on the above page are embedded first parts of the stories I’ve added there, which is most of the ones you can find here. You can also continue reading the story over on Wattpad if you enjoy it!

I’m considering lining up a publisher, but I’d like to actually have something close to finished before I start down that road.  So for example, having the Nexus stories nicely linked up in a good-sized novel would be a start.

More important than that though, is finding more people who want to give my stories a chance.  Or even just convincing some of you who are reading this!

Hmm, well I can say this.  I don’t plan on killing off characters.  I don’t like it when authors basically give up and rub out characters that they don’t feel like writing any more.

That may be a biased representation of what goes on in the book industry, but here’s a thing – killing off characters makes for some major spoilers for those who haven’t read that far yet.  As a result, readers who like those characters are deterred from reading further when they accidentally (inevitably given the rise of social media) read a spoiler.  I don’t see how that is a good thing.

So far I do have one character in a coma.  It’s not a huge deal for you the readers because the part where she wasn’t in a coma hasn’t been written yet.  It is, however, a huge deal for the characters.  It messes with the previous dynamic that existed, and a couple of characters move up to temporarily fill vacated jobs.

Without so much as a single line of dialogue to her credit, Rebecca’s absence is notable in No Way Home.  I liked what I did there.

Originally I had planned for an attempted but failed rescue of Rebecca before the Orion destroyed the ship she was being held on, but honestly I didn’t see the point in doing so.  If SG-1 can sneak onto a Goa’uld ship and rescue Supreme Commander Thor from under the nose of Anubis, I’m damn sure my characters can pull off something equally audacious.  Even if the result isn’t quite what they hoped for.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and have a good weekend, folks! 🙂

End of November update

I’m doing better.  A couple of nights ago I worked on the fifth part of The Maw of Despair (that’s Part 4 of The Rescue).  Damn near finished it in one sitting.

Still haven’t finished the challenge I set for myself.  Who knew that it would be so difficult to find a place to use the word ‘snapped’ in a story?  I suppose that as long as I’m writing, that’s the main thing.

What with feeling tired all the time, there hasn’t been a lot of writing going on.  Still, I need to make time for it, like I did on Thursday there.  Every now and then I need to close down the browser, shut down my e-mail, and just work.  I can do it if I put my mind to it.

I need to work on an outline for The Maw of Despair, as well.  I’m not doing too badly by winging it, it would be nice to have an outline to prompt me when I get stuck.

Also, in case you missed it, I posted Part 3 of No Way Home, here and on Wattpad.

Here’s hoping you have a great December, folks! 🙂

November update

So I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog lately. I’ve started a higher dose of anti-depressants and I feel better, but I have been asleep quite a bit.

Hopefully this just means that I’m adjusting, and I’ll be more energetic in a few weeks.

I anticipate being able to do more frequent blog updates now that the WordPress app on my phone works. So that’s good, right?

I’m still writing a little bit. I’m yet to complete my first three-word challenge. Could it be tonight ? We’ll see!

Progress update and a request

Today I’ve finally got around to doing some writing.  You know what?  The whole challenge thing was a good idea.  I mean, admittedly, I’ve only done 346 words today, but I feel relaxed about it and the words are actually coming.

More to the point, I’ve already used two out of the three words that I set out to use.  Not that it was a very difficult set, mind, but it’s nice to actually get somewhere with it!

What I’m working on today is an update for No Way Home, Part 2.  I’d say that about 600 words or less should wrap it up, in which case I may well get finished with it tonight!

Um, so the not so great news is that I signed off this week with depression.  It’s nothing to get too worried about, but the tiredness and lack of motivation I’ve been experiencing lately seem to indicate that my anti-depressants aren’t effective any more at the current dose.  It isn’t an unusual thing with SSRIs.

I called the surgery and the doctor agreed that I should go up an increment, and I’ll be going in for an appointment in three weeks to discuss how my treatment is going.  I could do with more support, to be honest.  And you know, it doesn’t have to be from a mental health professional.

What I mean is, like many writers, I do sort of thrive on feedback.  But persuading readers to stop by and let me know what they think is sort of difficult when I have incomplete stories and not a whole lot of progress going on.

Still, I’ve decided that I would rather bug a lot of people to come and check out my unfinished stuff, than sit back and wait for them to come to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that I need to write for me, rather than being  dependent on the audience.  But equally, if I don’t engage with the readers a little bit, then I’m writing only for me, and that’s not really what I want.

So, if you find a DM in your inbox asking you to come read one of my stories and tell me what you think, this would be why.  If you don’t, well then maybe you could come and read them anyway. 🙂

Post-mortem for September 2014

Well, again, I didn’t hit my target of 2900 words.

If I’m being honest, having that goal to beat isn’t really helping much.  What actually helped more than anything last month was having three words to set me off in a particular direction and write a particular piece that I wanted to do.

So that’s what I’m going to do from now on.  Word count is irrelevant now, apart from when it comes to managing the chaptering of the story.  All that matters is that I find an interesting way to use some words in a bit of writing.

We’ll see how that goes!

Making time to write

This is basically the difference between having a successful time and word count in a given month, or not.

When I think about it, it’s not exactly that I don’t open myself to the idea of doing some writing, it’s just that I don’t shut myself off from the things which suck time out of each and every day.  Mostly, playing games.  Mostly, playing Rimworld.  Damn you, Tynan Sylvester! 😉

It’s time to start testing my willpower and try to use my day more productively.  Then, unwind at the end of it.  This will be a new monthly goal!  Which reminds me, I haven’t done September’s goal sheet yet and I’m nearly a third of the way through it.