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Showing posts from 2015

Origins: After Oil, The Last Iron Horse... and where the character Derek Moss came from.

I've getting asked quite a bit about where the idea originated.  It seems to be a very popular question.

The truth is... everyone in the books, from Derek to Abigail, are based off people I actually know.  The trilogy got its start a few ways.

The first was during a role-playing game called Dead Reign.  It's not a big secret that I'm no fan of zombies (at all), and the end of the world brought on by nuclear apocalypse has been done to death that it was also not an option I really wanted to explore... much as I love the Fallout series.  The game master at the time wanted to know what could possibly bring my interest back but still make it playable within Dead Reign.  I immediately asked, "Pick something without zombies or nuclear wastelands."

That left a challenge.  What else could end civilization to make it a post-apocalyptic game of survival?

The answer came from a surprising source--on the Discovery Channel there was this special called "The End of Oil&qu…

The Writing Process... or at least my drafting process.

Keep in mind the writing process is different for everyone.  I don't actually think there is a right or a wrong way to do this other than these two rules:

1) Write a little bit everyday.
2) Revise what you wrote a little bit everyday.

This advice is common--I'm not the first to say it by far (in fact, I think it was Stephen King or Anne Rice...) but ask any writer and their advice will basically boil down to those two points even if what they say dances around the subject a bit.

Because we do that for some reason.  Oh wait, it's because we play with words for a living...

I will find a way to do the above even if I'm no where near a computer--or paper, for that matter.  A smart phone or tablet with some sort of word processing or note taking... or even voice note taking... will suffice.  The most amusing way to do this is with one of those headsets that can't readily be seen that also remotely attaches to your smartphone via bluetooth.  People will think you're …

Let the revisions begin!

So, after ages since the last post I'm ready to say that The Last Iron Horse is officially deep into the first of the "concept" revisions. It's time to take the mess of a first draft and (hopefully) turn it into something better.

Notice I didn't say something good or great, but better?

There's still too much to do before we get into the grammatical edits - which takes each sentence (no, seriously!) and tweaks them by taking a word here and there to change the tone and feel of the book. 

While, yes, there is going to be some edits, the real meat of the revisions at this point deals with tying up plot holes, trying out different and alternate plots. It's all about tweaking the concept and not so much the finer details.

 Like sculpting the first draft is the rough cut. The main shape of the sculpture is evident but you still have no idea exactly where the nose is going on the face. You know there is a face, and arms (if it's supposed to have arms…