The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

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This has been an interesting year to say the least. Lots of changes have happened and there are few more coming down the pipe and that’s just in the general day to day life side of things. The writing side of my life is always whatever it chooses to be from moment to moment. The trick right now (well always really) is scraping out the time to write from all the other demands on your precious seconds.

It can be difficult to go on some times with your writing. The trick is to push through no matter what. Yes what you’re writing right now may feel like it’s complete and utter shit but many times that’s just that nasty little voice in the back of your head talking. You know the one that’s always so damn critical. It’s not that it’s not right, it’s that it’s over doing the concern thing. That internal back chatter is the thing that will kill your own voice on the page if you let it. The few times I was stuck in development hell when I was screenwriting, you’d go from the joy of having optioned your script to watching some clueless development executive who, “fancied himself a bit of a writer,” follow some ill-defined plan of execution that took the script that they, “loved,” only to slowly bleed to death with ridiculous changes sought to meet a market model never clearly defined. Small comfort when in moments like those you realized just a precedent Kafka really was.

If is one thing I like about self-publishing it’s that I’m the one steering the boat and that is where so much more than money. When I used to hear the phrase, “What if,” it would send me into a cold sweat, because what would follow would be a ridiculous idea for the most part and a rewrite. At a certain point in a development process you feel like every rewrite puts you further and further away from getting any kind of greenlight to your project. And while as a screenwriter your job is to champion your script, there’s only one of you and a whole cadre of them and they’ve got money and you don’t. While I’d love to say that money isn’t a great motivator, it’s a different thing when you’re trying to make rent or buy groceries. Plus getting paid for something makes you a professional and that does your battered ego no end of good. I know it sounds sad, and it is sad but it’s also true. At least it was for me.

Flash forward a few years (okay many years) and the arena of self-publishing gives you that thing you’ve lacked for so long, control. And that is also worth more than money. Of course the downside is if the buck stops with you, everything a happens good or bad you need to own it.

Time management has been a real bear for me this year. There’s a lot of demands both from family and from the day job. I’m not as prolific as I like to be and I’m sure the people waiting for the sequel to Devil’s Gambit feel the same. I swear, I’m really close to finishing the rough draft. Then I’ve got a screenplay to write before I get back into doing the final edit prior to publishing. I will say this, I won’t release anything before I feel it’s ready.

However, if you’re interested in getting a feel for one of the main characters in the new book, you should check out Reliance. It’s the story of why she’s on the run in the first place. And if there’s one issue I do have with Amazon, it’s that much of their search algorithm seem to driven by the cover design. My initial cover featured a man in shadow with a cowboy hat. And while yes, Reliance is a modern Western or as I prefer a thriller placed in a modern Western setting, it is a thriller first. But Amazon chose to place it in Westerns, which has not helped sales. Regardless I’m still very proud of the book and at $0.99 it’s a good deal on Kindle. And if you haven’t read any of my books. I suggest you start with Devil’s Gambit.

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