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.


The posting frenzy continues

So, there are a couple of thoughts which came up when I was looking at publishers earlier today.

The main one is this: does it bother you that a dude is writing stories about women, for women?

I have to consider this when approaching publishers. They may not want to take me on, or they might insist that I use a gender-neutral pseudonym. Which I’m not wild about, but I’d do it for the sake of reader sanity.

Fun fact.  My real name, shortened, is gender-neutral.

I’m a storyteller, and I’m affected by and interested in the reactions of the readers. The more readers I have, if you follow this logically, the better I will get at telling stories. 🙂

If now and again, I have to kindly remind them that my pseudonym is just that, it might be a bit of a let-down for some. Others, I suspect, will shrug and say ‘whatever.’

Later! Off to eat something and work on the writing some more! 🙂

Searching for a publisher, Part 3

I had a look at the submission guidelines for Bella Books just now. I think that I can tick all the boxes there. Honestly though, I’ve never knowingly formatted anything according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

They do accept e-mail submissions, and it must of course include a covering letter, a synopsis and of course the manuscript, although they will also take questions about the submissions process.

Overall, I would say that they’re a good find, even considering the 90-day turnaround on submissions. 🙂

Searching for a publisher, Part 2

My next hit of the day is Dreamspinner Press. Now, unfortunately, they specialise in M/M pairings, with F/F being acceptable as a secondary relationship. However, the rest of their submission guidelines look good, and they’re interested in cross-genre works!

Also, they accept e-mail submissions.


Anyway, positive result, even though I probably won’t contact them. Who knows, maybe someone reading this will be inspired to get in touch with them.

Searching for a publisher, Part 1

So my first hit today is New Victoria Publishers.

Looking over their guidelines, I found myself inwardly nodding at each point. Okay, looks good, I’ll do that, mm-hm. Wait, what? No electronic submissions?

Okay look. This is the twenty-first century. If you want to print out a bunch of my manuscripts so you can look them over, fine. I’m not going to blow a load of ink printing something to send by snail mail.

I mean, dear lord. have you guys never heard of Dropbox?


Of brains and HD images

Strange dreams continue. I’m not quite sure how brains can conjure completely new photo-real images. I don’t even know what to do with such an image, except maybe to describe, and words are almost inadequate.

I guess the focal point has to be the eyes. They’re narrow, and the irises are light, possibly light blue or grey. There’s eyeliner, but it’s subtle.

A mostly clear complexion. perhaps light freckles. As for the hair, sun-bleached blonde is my best guess.

That’s it. It’s faded to the point where I’m not sure about any more details. Well, except that this character is a woman.

Thank you, brain, for being random. HD quality, without a frickin’ care about how it gets stored.

I mean, I’ll try and use this somehow, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t one of my existing characters.

Well actually, now that I think about it, perhaps this could be Caroline’s wife, Wilma. The hair doesn’t match what I originally envisaged, but who cares, this one is better! 🙂


Martin December 8, 2:11 GMT+0000

I did get around to the writing, a day late.  I now have The Rescue of Princess Irena Part 4 as a buffer.  No Way Home Part 4 has also progressed nicely. 🙂

I don’t think I got a lot of words done, what with watching Under Siege 2 at mum’s tonight, but I blew off the cobwebs at least.  There was almost no delay between finishing up one piece and picking up where I left off with another, so evidently I’m getting used to hopping between stories!

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! 🙂