Writing

What’s on the Horizon?

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I posted anything except sharing other posts and helpful information. It’s been busy of late so my time to write anything for Archer’s Aim has been very limited. I may have mentioned some weeks back that I was dealing with a health situation that sapped my energy. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better and have been able to accomplish a lot in recent weeks.

The recovery is just in time for a working vacation on a cruise with the literary agency where I’m represented. I’ve been making preparations for the trip and everything on the docket for the onboard writing conference, including the opportunity to make some pitches to industry representatives. I’ve been developing all the necessary documents and sharing them with my agent which has taken needed editing time so I hope it will work in my favor when the time arrives. It may be a working vacation, but I’m looking forward to taking time to relax since I really had no opportunity to take any vacation for several years due to my time unemployed and then working as a contractor the last year. I’m looking forward to the break.

Otherwise, I’ve been hard at work with writing, trying to catch-up on projects that progressed far slower than I wanted last year. I’m happy to report I’ve completed a revision of my longest novel code-named “Mage” and turned it over to my agent. Regardless of the submission outcome, I’ll continue working on the project and progress toward publication sooner or later.

I have another project entitled, All Things Forgotten, which is a YA Fantasy Adventure with some possible gamlit elements to it. I’ve completed a revision of the manuscript and turned it over to my editor who will do me the honors of ripping it to shreds so it can be vastly improved. The work may take several more months but I’m targeting late April for a possible publication date though that might be wishful thinking and it slides into May or June. I’ll share more about the book as things progress but there’s a lot of work to complete before it’s ready.

Next is my other full-length novel code-named “Glove” which has been at a standstill for months due to my flagging efforts with the other books. I restarted work on this manuscript on the first of February and I’m well over half-way through the revision. I’m very excited about all my books but this one has been on my mind for a few months and I think it will turn out well. It will go to my agent for submissions which is why it and Mage have code-names at this point. If nothing changes, I’ll work on publishing this book around September or October but there are a number of decisions to be made as with Mage.

I have another book that is nearly completed as a rough draft. Honestly, I’ve shoved it aside for a while to fully focus on these other books and I’m just about ready return to work on it. It’s my Hopeless Knight book and the manuscript is likely only a few days of dictation away from being completed, after which, I’ll delve into revising it to send to my editor as we work through rounds of editing. This book is more of a sword and sorcery with some possible gamlit elements mixed into it. I like it a lot and hope to publish it during the mid or late-summer. I’ve got so many books in the mill from my work last year that I can start releasing them as soon as they are ready and this one will be in the mix.

What’s next? Well, I will continue editing but I’m also going to begin plotting the next books for each series that I’ve started, then dictating them. Additionally, work on the parallel short sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga will go into development for possible publication late this year, probably early next year. Likewise, I will begin plotting and developing the longer, direct sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga for publication sometime next year. The short sequel is necessary to set-up some of the elements of the sequel that involves Athson and Limbreth so that’s the delay and not all the other books in the hopper.

Dictation will become a daily process once again as I begin work on all the next books. I expect to churn out quite a few rough drafts throughout the rest of the year and then editing for publication throughout 2020. It will be busy but, as long as I retain my energy, I should accomplish quite a lot since I’ve proven to myself how much editing I can accomplish in a short time. I’ll keep moving forward and share developments as soon as I can. Thanks for reading today!

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Fantasy Authors Unplugged New Release Special: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

Greetings to the Archer’s Aim readers today. I welcome C. S. Boyack back to the bog with his new release: Voyage of the Lanternfish. Take it away, Craig!


Thanks for having me over again, P. H. You’re always welcome at my place too. I’m here today to hawk my new story, Voyage of the Lanternfish. Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy all the way. It differs from classic fantasy in that gunpowder is involved. This story has cannon and muskets to go along with it’s swords and sorcery.

It’s been a few years since I wrote an ensemble cast into one of my stories. Someone may teach this somewhere, but I kind of came up with the recipe myself.

On a tall ship there can be hundreds of men that make up the crew. (Even more on a pirate ship.) The main task is manning the sails, but it doesn’t require everyone. Most of them are needed for battle. In reality, you need at least three men per cannon, plus there could be some fancy sailing going on during the battle. As pirates, you’re going to need plenty of boarders too. Sinking ships isn’t profitable. You have to take them and loot them.

I decided to break down my cast this way. What I’m trying to do is solve a writing logistics problem.

  • My main character.
  • his best friend
  • Named supporting characters.
  • Named third tier crew members.
  • Nameless crew.

In reality, everyone has a name and a story, hopes, dreams, etc. In a book, this would be maddening for readers to keep up with.

Obviously the trick is to make it feel like an entire crew of pirates, without getting into too many details about most of them.

My lead character and his best friend drive the story. They have a common goal here. The captain’s fiancé is the best friend’s sister. She’s being held captive as insurance to force them into starting a war with a neighboring country.

The named supporting characters are fleshed out, and help give some idea about how a ship functions. It’s obviously an easier sell to stick with the officers, because they give more insight into the functioning of a ship. You’ll meet the surgeon, the quartermaster, sailing master, and more.

Those third tier characters add a bit of color to the story. You’ll meet a talented man named Stuttering Lewis, old Chappie who has horrible dental problems, and Biscuit Bill the cook.

This tier system gives me the ability to focus on the main character and the story, and after things are established, readers will assume the Sailing Master is keeping the canvas adjusted according to the prevailing winds. They’ll also assume he has random crew up in the rigging to do the job. Bill keeps the crew fed, but behind the scenes.

There is also an international flavor here, because it’s true to the age of sail. This story takes place on a fantasy world, but there’s no reason not to make things like this realistic. I’ll save my “leaps of faith” for things like root monsters and Big Boogah. (You’ll have to read the story for more information.)

Readers will have to decide if I pulled it together, or not. I hope you’ll take a chance on Voyage of the Lanternfish. I think it presses all the pirate buttons, but takes things in a different direction than some of the more recent stories.

This is one of my stories, so it’s filled with monsters, mayhem, and magic. There are even a couple of artifacts involved. I hope your readers will take a chance on Lanternfish.

How about it, you authors out there? How do you deal with an ensemble cast? I’d love to learn about it in the comments.


Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Congratulations to Craig on his latest book release. I’m currently enjoying Voyage of the Lanternfish. Take a look at the book and more about C. S Boyack at the book page.

The Turn of the Year

Season’s Greetings to all the Archer’s Aim readers. With the turn of the year upon us I thought I would give an update on my year past and my goals for the upcoming year.

2018 started out with a lot of promise regarding the publication of books. After beginning the use of dictation, I was able to finish the rough drafts of four books, all of which are the initial novels of new fantasy series. However during the second half of the year progress with all of these books became quite a slog through the mud. I didn’t know it at the time but I had developed a change in my hypothyroidism which was affecting my energy and focus. For the last six months, I struggled along but recently visited paid my doctor a regular visit, discovered the problem and received an adjusted dosage. I began to realize just how much the problem affected me even though it was only slightly out of treatment range. It can take several weeks before the changes take affect but I began to notice a little more energy this last week even though I’m still struggling. It appears that even mild symptoms can affect my writing productivity.

Even though I’ve been struggling along, I have made a lot of progress in addition to the rough drafts which I’ve already mentioned. Because of the problem I was having, I seem to flounder around while I was editing and switch projects more than once. I have partially completed one shorter novel while working on editing and nearing completion of a much longer novel which is code-named Mage. My hope is to gain some energy and devote more dedicated time to preparing all of these books for publication this year. I have two books which will be considered for publication in one of three ways: traditional publishing, hybrid publishing and self-publishing. I don’t know which way I will go with these just yet so these books may not the be released during 2019 though I hope that they will.

But, the news was not all bad 2018 since all three of the novels and the two free short books for The Bow of Hart Saga were published on audio by Podium Publishing. It made for a busy fall season to release all three of these books on audio but I’m pleased with the outcome as well as having the new format available to readers and listeners.

 

My intention to go to print with the series beginning this month but I have run into a few problems completing the print projects so that has been delayed. Print will come in good time, perhaps even during the next few months if all goes well.

Looking ahead to 2019, I will pick myself up from the difficulties of the fading year, and work to complete my various projects. As I work toward publishing between one and four books this year, I’d like to also dictate the next books in each series. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am beginning to have some ideas about a sequel to The Bow of Hart Saga. I’ve already begun making notes about what this sequel would look like, so it may be that I will be able to begin some work on that it this year as well. Thanks to all of the readers out there for their support and patience this year and wish you all a Happy New Year!