Writing to Market

There are a couple major schools of thought with writers. One is “write what you love.” The other is “write to market.”

The way I see it, writing what you love, what you’re passionate about is essentially being an artist.

Writing to market is a way to approach writing as a professional trade. You study genres to see what’s selling really well, and what looks like it will keep selling. Then you read a bunch of it, see what the standards and tropes are, and then you (in some people’s opinions rather formulaicly) write that.

When I was first introduced to LitRPG it was through a friend who saw huge potential for it and figured he couldn’t pass that up. He then wrote some amazing books for it and is doing really well.

I figured it warranted a look. I liked his books, but read several others which left me pretty unimpressed. “I can do better than most of these,” I said.

But I didn’t want to just write it because it might be good money. I needed a way to get excited about it. I didn’t see a way to do that, so I set it aside as a “someday, perhaps.”

When the idea for Riftworlds Online came to me it was one I got excited about. It’s a story I can really get behind, with a reason why the character has to go into the game, knowing he might not be able to get out for quite some time, knowing he could die in the process.

The more I mapped out the series the more excited about it I got. Now it’s a storyline I’m passionate about, and I think that’ll come through. The first draft of book one is complete, and I’m working on revisions. I think it’ll be a worthwhile addition to the genre that people will enjoy reading as much as I’m enjoying writing it.

There’s enough in the future books I don’t see myself getting burned out on, don’t see myself lagging on. This is a series I can enjoy writing through the end, and that’s important to me.

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Fight Scenes

Scenes 71 and 72 (of 81 total) in Riftworlds Online book one are the climactic fight scene. I my outline I had it as, “Fight scene. Very physical brawl. Ends with [spoiler.].”

Um, yeah. I needed a lot more outlining than that!

Now I have a 950 word outline for that one scene. I’m guessing that’ll become more like 2500 by the time it’s fleshed out.

The scene after this?

“Daring escape with explosions and more guards all the time.”

I’m thinking I’m going to have to expand on that one, too….


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The Paperback is Live!

If you’ve been waiting for the paperback for Rectifier, it’s live on Amazon now.

Go get it!

It’s off to a good start already: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,556 Paid in Kindle Store

(It’s always interesting to see what categories Amazon puts things in, but urban living and how we address homelessness as a society are significant themes in the book.)

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Rectifier Release Day!

(Paperback release is lagging due to delays getting the proof from UPS and USPS, but should be live Monday.)

Preorders (slightly better than Simon Rising had) got me off to a decent start:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,108 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

My goal is to keep the overall rank under 100k and the Superheroes rank under 500. I really want to get it pushed to the top 100, but that’s going to take more traction.

But for still partway through day one, I’m not disappointed with where it’s starting.


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Rectifier featured on ReadPer.com

It’s always nice when I get to be featured on someone else’s blog. In this case, their Science Fiction/Fantasy section.


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WhyTF do we Criminalize Homelessness?

The way we treat the homeless in this country is appalling.

“…sleeping outside is one of many activities deemed illegal in parts of Colorado. The state’s 76 largest cities have collectively passed 351 ordinances that target the homeless, from bans on camping to sitting or lying down in public to simply sharing food outside. “

Earlier this year I spent nearly two weeks technically homeless, although I was fortunate enough to be able to beg and borrow place to sleep overnight. I packed everything I could into two large bags I tied to my bike so I could lug them around. I walked for miles each day because I couldn’t get that onto the bike with me and I couldn’t store it anywhere.

I was truly fortunate for friends who loaned me couch space, and people I barely knew who paid for hotel rooms for me. But thousands of people aren’t so fortunate.

Rectifier already had homelessness as a theme, but I think my experience did help me portray it better. The book definitely has its share of grittiness.

People deserve to live with a certain minimum level of dignity. I look forward to a future where maybe we can all agree about that.




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LitRPG Progress

Riftworlds Online. Seven books with one connecting master storyline. It’s feeling like an ambitious project, but I’m excited about it. I’m about 30% of the way through the first draft of book one, which is on target for about 85,000 words.

As for over-arcing story, I have the major elements mapped out through the end. So I have a 1-5 sentence or so description for each act of each book. I’m really hoping to get books 1 and 2 out this year.

Updates will be coming as I go.

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