I wrote Steam Whistle Alley with three fingers and a space bar thumb. I can churn out about 50 words a minute, but i’m not what you would call a speed typist.
So, I shelled out the dough after hearing good things about Dragon Software. I should clarify, they’re not paying me, but I found I can churn out the story nearly twice as fast.
The problem is that it seems I’m using different parts of my brain to get the words on to the screen. I don’t know if the feeling will fade after awhile, but the writing just seems… different somehow. I really have to think about each sentence before I say it, whereas when I write I just type away merrily with my three fingers and see what sticks.
I’m sure once I get used to the software and it gets used to me, things might get smoother, bot for writing a novel there’s one heck of a comfort curve to deal with.
Anyway, the auidobook is progressing, part two’s about halfway done, I have one more week of work before taking a month-long hiatus to focus on camping and writing. Future’s lookin’ good.
Well, I did it. I went and wrote a book. Published it, made paperbacks, and gave one to mom. She hasn’t read a book since the 70’s, but she read mine. That was the one thing I wanted to take away from it, even if I didn’t sell a copy. Luckily I did, so that’s just gravy on Mom’s potatoes.
It was a fun book to write, I gotta say, but didn’t go as quick as I would have liked. When you work 55 hours a week in a restaurant and have a beautiful wife to pay attention to, that’ll happen. Luckily, I quit my job. No I didn’t sell 100,000 copies, but I have some money saved up, the job market’s good, and I was way underpaid at the place where I was at. I’m going to take a month off, do some camping, do some writing on SWA2 and some other projects, and just relax.
I pantsed the hell out of book one, and I think it shows in spots. I learned a buttload though, stuff I plan to use in book two through four and the other projects I’m working on.
I gotta say, I dunno if I could have gotten that first one out if it wasn’t for Royal Road. The rush of getting another chapter up, getting the feedback, getting the ratings. It kept me at a good pace of 15-20K words a week. Not professional feedback, but the readers will let you know if you got something wrong or contradicted yourself somehow.
The community built up around LitRPG and GameLit is incredibly dynamic. I don’t like having to call it by both genres, and I hate the politics of it, but I understand why it needs to exist like that. I just try to keep my head down for the most part. Type away, type away. And if someone really bugs me, as Chaucer said in a Knight’s Tale, “I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.” But so far nobody has bugged me that much.
About the character names. A few have special significance for me. Jacob was my adopted brother. He had cerebral palsy, couldn’t walk or talk. One of my first chores was feeding him through his stomach tube. He passed away when I was about twelve. Honeybucket is my pet name for my wife, and also a little game we play on the road. Banjo is my parents’ annoying-ass Lhaso Apso. It was funny – they were watching when Jeff Hays read a chapter on SWA live and every time Jeff said Banjo’s name, the dog would bark.
Well if you’re reading this, chances are you liked the book, so I thank you. I wonder where this journey will end up. I try not to get my hopes up, but sometimes you need to.
It was a longer road then I was expecting, but hitting publish felt amazing. My first paperback is coming in the mail tomorrow, and I’m finding it hard to sleep. You gotta see the drop caps!
Anyway Banjo is starting to get a bit of a fan club. I might have to make him a page all his own. I want to develop the little monkey into something more in book two, but why mess with a good thing, right?
Steam Whistle Alley is available in e-book and paperback at your favorite e-book retailer. Steam on!