Here we are at the end of the year. From my point of view, this year has been a long journey with lots of loss and precious few dividends. It is ironic that one of my few bright spots this year happens to be a book about a long journey with few dividends: Long Way Home. To finish 2016 and kick off 2017, that book is free at Amazon.com through Monday.
If you haven’t read Long Way Home yet, you should check it out. It’s a fun little read, and it ends well. Get it today!
Well, it’s July 4th, and fireworks are coming. We are officially halfway done with 2016, and so far this year I’ve only released one book. I need to pick up the pace. Fortunately, it’s a good book, and even better, it’s FREE Monday and Tuesday at Amazon.com.
As you may recall, Long Way Home tells the story of a middle-aged man who skips out on his life and goes east to try to reconnect with the past he left behind. It is literary fiction about life, grown older, potential and opportunities, regret, and redemption.
The book is unique in that each scene is a ficlet, which is a unit of of fiction no more that 1024 characters, which is about 200 words. That doesn’t mean it’s not a full story, though. It has 52 scenes across 24 chapters in 4 parts. Each scene is boiled to its essence, but the story is full and satisfying.
If you haven’t read Long Way Home yet, this is your big chance. Free book promotions are no longer part of my strategy, and this is only happening because of a quirk in the calendar, so don’t miss out. Get it today!
It was about a year ago that I had the fleeting vision of a mysterious man hitchhiking up I-17 away from Phoenix. From the moment the image entered my mind, I knew I had to figure out who he was and where he was going. When I looked closer, I was surprised to find he shared much of his geography with me. He isn’t me, but he isn’t far off.
It’s been some time now since I wrote and published Long Way Home, and I’m more happy with it now than I was then. I love the story, and I’m very happy with how the device of limiting each scene to one ficlet worked out. I think it’s a great book.
This weekend, Long Way Home is only 99 cents. If you haven’t read it before, you really should give it a try while it’s on sale. And if you like it, please leave a review of it at Amazon.
And as always, tell your friends. And thanks for reading.
I spent much more time than I thought I would completing the publication of Long Way Home, a process that started in the morning and continued through the afternoon. By the evening, I was exhausted. I reviewed Spring Rains, but I will have to start the push to the end of it tomorrow.
I’m super pleased to announce that Long Way Home is now available at Amazon.com.
Long Way Home tells the story of a middle-aged man who skips out on his life and goes east to try to reconnect with the past he left behind. It is literary fiction about life, grown older, potential and opportunities, regret, and redemption.
The story is unique in that each scene is a ficlet, which is a unit of of fiction no more that 1024 characters, about 200 words. That doesn’t mean it’s not a full story, though. It has 52 scenes across 24 chapters in 4 parts. Each scene is boiled to its essence, but that doesn’t mean the book itself isn’t full and satisfying.
An Amazon Exclusive
For now, Long Way Home is enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program. That means members of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program can read it for free.
99 Cents This Week
To celebrate the release of Long Way Home for my best fans, I’m pricing it at 99 cents this week. You’d be crazy not to!
Q. So, this says “ficlet” and “novelette”, does that mean it’s a short story?
A. No. A novelette is a full-length work of fiction between 10 and 20 thousand words long. This one is 10,358 words long. It is a complete story that could be a movie, with lots of characters, actions, events, subplots, and the rest you’d expect to find in a novel.
Q. So, are the scenes short stories?
A. No, they are scenes in a full-length work of fiction.
Q. Is this book made from ficlets you wrote before for ficlets.com or somewhere?
A. No, this is a completely new and (hopefully) original story.
Q. Why don’t the characters have names?
A. At first it was a practical choice to try to keep the character count low, but it became a stylistic choice because I liked the idea that readers would fill in names from people in their own experience.
Q. The main character has a lot of details similar to yours. Is this book about you?
A. No. A “trick” for developing and writing a story quickly is to model the main character after yourself, and that’s what I did here. The protagonist of Long Way Home shares some geographical history and other details with me (saying more would be spoilers, I think), but he was his own person right from the start.
Q. If I don’t like it, can I get my money back?
A. Sure. You’ll have to see Amazon’s site for specifics, but I believe that all Kindle books come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, go to the Amazon page where you manage content and devices, find the book at the top of your Kindle content, and return it. I’ve returned some stinkers myself.
Q. Will you be doing more of these?
A. Most definitely. This was fun to write, and I think it turned into a powerful story that is quick to read but packs a wallop.
Q. What do I do if I like it?
A. First, write a nice review (it doesn’t have to be long) and post it on Amazon. Then, tell all your friends.
With Long Way Home completed and out to beta readers, I went across town for the day to attend to some tasks related to our move, and in the evening, I went to play poker.
Writing: Spring Rains
When I left off, I felt bogged down in Spring Rains. Today I looked over the work so far, and I like it. What’s more, I think that the experience of Long Way Home might have some impact on Spring Rains, tightening up the scenes and keeping things flowing. Though I shouldn’t, I might even rewrite some of the existing scenes to be punchier. We’ll see. I’ll get back to it tomorrow.
I spent the day with my daughter. I’m not thrilled that she watches so many videos while I’m working, but I don’t have a better idea yet.
Writing: Long Way Home
Cleaning up the text, which meant cutting scenes as necessary to make them fit the ficlet format and making sure they still fit what the story has become, took most of the day, but it was interesting and fun. I finished that work, polished the front and back matter, and got it out to beta readers. I will probably push the publication back to Thursday, though, so I can release it the way I want. So far, I’m very happy with how it turned out, and I think the ficlet restriction made the writing better and fit the story perfectly.
Now, I’m eager to get back to Spring Rains. Given how much fun I’ve had with the ficlet format, and how much I think Long Way Home benefited from it, I might introduce some arbitrary restrictions into Spring Rains also.
Also, I’m on the lookout for another story to do as a ficlet novelette or novella. Long Way Home wound up being a little over 10,000 words long. To reach pulp speed of a million words a year in books that size, I’d have to do 100 of them. That’s one every three days. Could I do that? Maybe. It sounds like a fun challenge. At any rate, I’d like to do them sometimes.
Services at UUCP, then off to visit my parents. Late dinner. Also in there I finished the content generation phase of Long Way Home.
Writing: Long Way Home
I have written before about the interesting phenomenon of a scene appearing just because I need one. It happened again today, as it several times in this project. After finishing the text, I began the cleanup to make sure everything both fit the ficlet constraints and matched what the story had become. I had hoped to finish the cleanup phase, but it was rougher than I remembered. I should finish the cleanup tomorrow, but think I’ll have to push publication back to Wednesday. Oh, and the ending turned out to be great.
It was one of those days where I felt like I was busy the whole time, but at the end of the day I could not name anything I’d accomplished.
Very late at night, I got some good work done on the new project. It looks like it will definitely exist, and soon, so here is a good time to introduce it.
Introducing Long Way Home: A Ficlet Novelette
Last summer, when we were getting ready for our road trip, I had an idea for a story about a guy who drops everything goes on a desperate search across the country. I wasn’t sure what he was running from or to, but I had a sense of the mood: wistful desperation. I didn’t know more about it than that, however, and I didn’t have room for it on my schedule, so I set it aside.
Some time ago (I don’t remember when), I had another idea, this one of creating a novel where every scene is limited to the length of a ficlet. Ficlets.org used to be a social writing website where people wrote short stories. Each had a hard limit of 1024 characters, though they could be linked together to form longer narratives. 1024 characters works out to about 200 words. I wondered if that would be enough words to capture not just the occasional scene, but every scene.
A few weeks ago, while I was (supposed to be) writing Spring Rains, the ficlet novel idea started bothering my brain again, and when I allowed it some thought time, my idea from last summer returned and said it thought it could work with that. Somewhere along the way it had picked up a title, Long Way Home, after the Supertramp song.
The next thing I knew, I was writing scenes for the damn thing. It turned out that I could write decent scenes in only 1024 characters. Soon, I had 52 of them planned, telling a full and complicated story. 52 scenes at 200 words each amounts to 10,400 words, the length of a novelette. Sweet!
Then, Long Way Home had shoved Spring Rains aside, and here we are.
Now, it’s almost ready to present. Don’t let its short stature fool you. This is a full-featured story, with loads of settings, characters, character arcs, subplots, quirks, and resolution. It will be a quick read, and it’s been quick to write, but it’s a full and satisfying story. Supposed to be, anyway. We’ll find out soon. I’m planning to release it this coming Tuesday.
Make sure you’re on my e-mail list to get notified!