Jump to content


Premier Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by TNTOS

  1. Hello again, everyone. I thought I'd share the covers for some of the books I've published this year. These aren't the covers of all of my books; just the ones I like best. You can also click on each cover to check out each book's page on my website, where you can learn more about whichever book captures your interest. Let's start with the cover for my fantasy novel, The Mage's Grave, first book in my Mages of Martir fantasy series, available in ebook and trade paperback wherever books are sold: Next is the sequel, The Mage's Limits, which is also available in ebook and trade paperback wherever books are sold: Then we move on to the third book, The Mage's Sea, which is also available wherever books are sold: And to finish off the Mages of Martir series, here is the cover for the fourth and final book, The Mage's Ghost, which is ... well, you know the drill: Next we move onto the covers for my newest (and still ongoing as of this writing) science-fantasy series, Two Worlds. Here's the cover for the first book, Reunification: And last, but certainly not least, the cover for my newest novel and the second book in the Two Worlds series, Alliance: All of the above covers are by the brilliant and talented Elaina Lee of For the Muse Designs. I'd also like to note that the free ebook raffle I mentioned in the last post is still going until Tuesday, September 8th. So if you'd like to enter for a chance to win a free ebook copy of Reunification in the ebook format of your choice, just comment on this post or the last one saying so and I will add your name to the drawing, which will be done completely at random.
  2. It's okay if you want to go the traditional route. I just don't recommend it for new writers at the moment unless you have a ton of clout or know what you're doing. Anyway, the two routes aren't mutually exclusive anyway. There are a lot of self-published authors who hit it big through publishing their own works and were then offered a contract by one of the big publishing houses, so even if you want to do traditional publishing, it is still possible to get noticed by the big publishing houses through publishing your work on your own. Actually, your work gets full copyright protection the moment it is finished in a tangible form (including as a file on a computer). This applies even if you don't publish your book or even tell anyone about its existence or try to make any money off of it. What registering your copyright with the Copyright Office does is give you statutory damages in case that someone infringes on your copyright and you sue them and win in a court of law. For example, let's say I publish a book and then someone else steals it, modifies it a little, and then sells it as their own and makes $500 off of it. I find out about this blatant case of infringement and sue them and win the case. In most cases, the judge would order the infringer to give me $500 and to stop selling my book (as well as destroy any copies of the book they have not yet sold). But if I have registered this particular book with the Copyright Office within three months of its initial publication or before I sue the infringer, then the infringer will also have to pay for my attorney fees and such (which is what statutory damages is). Whether or not it is worth registering with the Copyright Office depends on how likely you think it is that someone will infringe on your work. But yes, The Copyright Handbook covers this and much, much more. It probably explains it better than I do, so again, if you are an aspiring writer hoping to break into the biz, I really recommend you pick up this book. It isn't the end-all, be-all of copyright law (and it mostly focuses on US copyright law, though it does talk about international copyright law as well), but it does explain the basic concepts and ideas well enough that you don't need a background in copyright law to understand it. It also tells you where you can find more info on specific parts of copyright law that interest you. Well, I use LibreOffice Writer, rather than Word, to write my books in, but yes, I've heard you can do that. My only problem, as you said, is that it is fairly messy and may not come out exactly the way you want it to. I like manually coding the HTML because, while it does take a little bit more time, it lets me know exactly what is and isn't in my book, so I don't have to worry about any unpleasant, possibly difficult to fix surprises showing up when I create the finished file. I believe it results in a higher quality ebook (and, by extension, paperback book, since I create the paperback book by exporting the ebook file to .odt format) as a result. Anyway, I hope I helped. There is a ton more to publishing and copyright and such than I covered in this blog post (which I think I mentioned in the post itself), so I really do recommend that you (generic 'you' here, not you specifically, fishers) do lots and lots of independent research beyond what I wrote here. I kept it as accurate as I could, although as your comment shows, I clearly did not cover every aspect as well as I could have. -TNTOS-
  3. Exactly one year ago today, I posted the final chapter of my last epic, In the End (which you can read here if you are interested). It was the big grand finale of the Shikaverse, my own Bionicle fanfic universe, as some of you might recall. Since then, I have published eleven original novels, four short stories, one novella, one collection, and one serial (which is five episodes), with even more works on the way before the end of 2015 and going well into 2016 and beyond. I even started a new pen name and have plans to create another in 2016. As you can tell, I have been very busy since I stopped writing and posting fanfics here, and with good reason. Why did I decide to stop writing and posting fanfiction? Simple. I counted the costs and realized that if I was going to make it as a professional fiction writer, I would have to put aside fanfiction, at least for now, so I could devote my writing time to my original works. After all, I can't make money off of fanfiction (well, unless LEGO ever decides to give me permission to sell my fanfics, but LEGO, as great a company as it is, ain't that generous with its intellectual properties). I have not talked much at all about making that transition from hobbyist fanfic writer to professional fiction writer on this blog. This is mostly because I've been too busy writing, publishing, and marketing my original fiction to blog about it on BZP; after all, I want to be paid to write fiction, not blogs. Nothing against professional bloggers or people who want to be professional bloggers. I just don't like blogging nearly as much as writing fiction and don't care to make a career out of it. That's all. But I know that many of you write fanfiction and that at least some of you want to eventually move on from fanfiction to original fiction. Many of you would like to write fiction for a living; and not just for a living, but for a lifetime career, full of the ups and downs that every career in every industry has. That's an awesome goal that I completely support no matter who you are. But it is definitely not a simple or easy goal. Despite the rise of indie-publishing (which some of you may know as self-publishing, but I prefer to call it indie-publishing), making a full-time living as a professional writer is still very hard. It requires an almost completely different way of approaching writing than writing fanfiction as a hobby, and making that transition is by no means smooth or without its own challenges. For this blog post, I am going to discuss indie-publishing; that is, independently publishing your own work through your own publishing house, without any of the big publishers or any of the established smaller publishers publishing your work for you, usually using websites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble (or aggregators like Smashwords or Draft2Digital) to distribute your work to readers as ebooks, paperbacks, audiobooks, etc. You typically pay for the covers, editing, formatting, marketing, and whatever other expenses you have associated with your publishing business or learn to do all or some of it yourself. You will probably end up registering your business as an actual publishing house with an actual publishing name (mine is called Annulus Publishing, for those interested). I am focusing on indie-publishing because that is the path I chose and the one I know best. I do not recommend new writers go to the traditional publishers at the moment because of their draconian contracts and shady business practices; at least, you shouldn't submit to traditional publishers without first thinking it through, doing your research, and being aware of how they deal with new writers nowadays, as well as knowing what your own goals as a writer are. Knowing how to negotiate is important as well if you choose to go that route. With any potential confusion on terminology now out of the way, let's get onto the actual meat of the essay. Please note that much of this is just my own personal experience and opinions and may not necessarily apply to you. Every writer is different, so don't be afraid to reject some of my advice while accepting other parts of it. That's how writers learn, after all, because good advice and bad advice are usually mixed together pretty well in writing and publishing and can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from one another without thinking it through first. (NOTE: If you're here for the free ebook drawing, just scroll down to the bottom of the post to learn how you can win a FREE copy of my novel Reunification in any ebook format you like!) Having said that, for me, the transition from fanfiction to indie-publishing was not quite as drastic or uncomfortable as it could have been. While much of my writing time over the past eight or nine years has been devoted to fanfiction, I also wrote original novels and short stories between fanfic projects in order to prepare for the day when I would make the leap from fanfiction hobbyist to full-time professional fiction writer, although I never shared them with anyone and will probably never publish them, at least in their current forms (some of them are still really cool ideas that I'd love to write again at some point, though not sure when). Thus, when I decided to make that leap, I already had some experience writing original fiction, which really is a different game from writing fanfiction. If you want to make that transition, too, I suggest writing original fiction now, perhaps in-between fanfics, in order to get used to it, because that is primarily the kind of fiction you will be writing as a professional writer (unless you become a media writer or write a ton of Kindle Worlds stories or something, but that's a whole different ballpark from self-publishing, one I will not get into in this essay, so don't ask me about it). In many ways, fanfiction and indie-publishing are similar in that you are usually responsible for posting (for fanfiction) or publishing (for original fiction) your work. For some writers, the idea of actually publishing their own work is extremely foreign, but for me, it is as natural as posting the next chapter of my most recent epic or comedy on BZP. But publishing a book, even through the self-publishing platforms provided by Amazon and other ebook stores, is much more difficult and time-consuming than posting a fanfic online. I had to learn how to format my ebooks and layout my paperbacks, but even that was not terribly difficult. Ebooks are made using HTML, which is similar to the BBCode used on BZP and other forum sites, which I was already used to, so learning HTML was not nearly as hard for me as it could have been. As for paperbacks, that was trickier, but I can now make a paperback novel with a professional-looking interior, so that's not an issue anymore. The hardest part of the whole publishing process, for me, has been book cover design. I know some indies design their own covers and are pretty dang good at it, but I am just not all that great at graphic design and don't really care to spend the time learning it. I therefore hire out my covers to professional cover designers, which has worked out pretty well for me. I recommend every indie writer hire out their covers unless they already know or are willing to learn how to make good covers themselves. But once the book is actually published and out there in the world, that's where marketing and promotion come in. Typically, when you post a fanfic, you do zero promotion for it outside of maybe mentioning it on your blog, making a banner for it in your signature, or having it featured on a site that features fanfics (a good example of this is how the BZP front page sometimes features notable fanfiction from the community). There are probably other ways to promote your fanfics, but there aren't too many. In indie-publishing, however, you need to do some actual marketing and promotion. You don't need to spend months and months and thousands of dollars throwing together a nationwide book tour or anything like that (unless you want to or think it would be financially viable). But you do need to understand the basics of marketing and promotion and be up-to-date on all of the latest marketing and promotional techniques other writers and publishers use to get their work in front of readers and know what's worth your time and money and what isn't. Like every business, you need to have a marketing plan, which may This leads into what I believe is the most important difference between indie-publishing and fanfiction: One is a business. The other is a hobby. In early 2014, I founded the independent press Annulus Publishing. I have several different reasons for doing so, but the primary reason is because it allowed my CreateSpace print books to get into bookstores (if you don't understand how that works, please refer to professional writer Dean Wesley Smith's post on getting your indie books into bookstores). In my early dreams of becoming a professional writer, I honestly did not see myself founding a publishing company; however, I believe it is an important step for any indie writer to take, again for a variety of reasons that I will not get into right now. As an independent publisher, I have a publishing schedule I try to follow as best as I can. In fact, I have my publishing schedule figured out through 2019. That may sound far-off, but as a small business, I can't just finish my books whenever and publish them when I feel like it. One of the most important factors in making it as a professional fiction writer is regularly putting out work for readers to buy. You don't need to write and publish a book a month; however, you can't publish one book a year, either, and hope to make anything more than coffee money, if even that, from your writing (unless you get fantastically, stupidly, astonishingly lucky or are a marketing genius). And as a small business, I have expenses that I need to keep track of. This actually isn't as hard as it sounds. I have a simple document on my computer where I jot down every expense I make (for example, if I pay $80 for a cover, that goes into the expenses document). I need to make sure I don't spend more money than I have and to spend money only when I am sure I need to or when it would be a good investment. Unnecessary expenses can hurt any business, but especially small businesses, which is what my independent press is. Furthermore, I need to keep track of how much money I earn from my books every month. Right now, this is manageable, because I am not selling many books per month, but if I ever start to sell really really well (as in, bestseller-level), then this will most definitely become a chore. I need to remain aware of how much money I am making from month to month in order to figure out how well (or badly) I am doing. Fanfic writers don't ever have to worry about monthly income like that. And then there's everyone's favorite topic to discuss over a romantic late-night dinner in France: Taxes. As a small business owner, I have to keep track of my expenses and income in order to figure out how much tax money I owe to the government. Again, it's not nearly as scary or hard as it sounds, especially if you keep good records of your expenses and income and have a good CPA to help you figure it all out, but it is definitely something you need to do lots of research on so you can understand it better. You may also need to hire a CPA to help you file your taxes, depending on how complicated your situation is (note: I am not a certified public accountant or tax person or whatever, so don't ask me for any advice on your personal tax situation, as I am not qualified to do so). Also, the publishing industry is constantly changing. Old marketing techniques fall out of favor, new ones surge into popularity, publishers open and close, Amazon and other self-publishing platforms make changes to their algorithms, new laws and regulations come out of nowhere, old scammers go out of business, new ones come in to take your money, and the income of writers can rise or fall drastically on a whim. In order to keep your head above water, you must remain on top of the changes in the publishing industry at all times. Never, even for a moment, think you have it all figured out and don't need to learn anything else ever again. As soon as you do, you're done. You can kiss your writing career good bye and go back to your day job, if you have one. I recommend following as many blogs and websites on writing and publishing that you possibly can. Join Facebook or other social media groups devoted to writing and publishing. Talk to other writers about any changes they've heard about or noticed. Read good books by successful writers and never stop learning. Never. Stop. Learning. Ever. Because while you can remain ignorant of the general fanfiction community without any real problems, you remain ignorant of the changes in publishing and you are in danger of being screwed out of your money and rights by unscrupulous publishers, agents, and really anyone who knows they can make a buck or two off ignorant, naïve newbies who are too afraid to learn about the industry they've chosen to make their living in. Trust me, there are a TON of scam artists out there who make their entire living scamming new writers. Do not be ignorant. Do not. Speaking of scams, I cannot emphasize the importance of understanding copyright. Copyright is what writers are actually selling whenever they sign a deal with a publisher, whether big or small. You don't need to understand copyright as well as an IP attorney in order to be a writer; however, you must understand the basics and what copyright is. If you do not understand that every book, every story, every article you write is property—regardless of whether you publish it or not, regardless of its quality, regardless of whether you sell a million copies or no copies at all—and that it can be very valuable (as in, the hundreds of millions of dollars valuable, depending on how popular it is) property, then you will get screwed over by publishers and agents and anyone else who wants your money. Don't think that copyright is irrelevant. It is one of the—maybe even the—most important things anyone wanting to become a professional full-time fiction writer must understand in order to make a living. A good book on the subject is The Copyright Handbook by Nolo Press, a book you will need to read and reread several times before you understand it all. Take your time to understand copyright. You will thank me later after your understanding of copyright helps you make wise business decisions and a lot of money. Trust me. Fanfic writers never talk about copyright except when we are worried about infringing on it. Even then, I see a lot of misunderstanding in the fanfic community over what copyright actually is, which is probably why I was shocked to learn what it really is in publishing and writing. As an example of how important copyright is: Let's say you've written a novel. You license (not sell, which is different) First English Hardcover Rights to one publisher, First English Paperback Rights to another, First English Audio Rights to yet another, and First English Electronic Rights to a fourth. Each of these publishers pays you some money for the right to publish your work in the aforementioned formats, but if you're smart, these rights will revert to you at some point and you can sell them again and again and again to whoever wants to buy them. And this is just English language rights I'm talking about here. You can do the same with French language rights, Russian language rights, Chinese language rights, and so on and so forth. One of the most amazing things about copyright is that the sky is the limit for how you can divide it and license it to other people. Yet if you sold the entire copyright of this same book to one publisher, then you can't do anything like what I just explained. Well, I guess you could buy the copyright back from the publisher or maybe invoke the 35 year reversal clause, but those are unlikely to happen, so it's better to license only a part of your copyright to certain publishers or individuals with a clear reversion date written in a legally-binding contract. See how important copyright is now? I hope so. Dean Wesley Smith has a good post explaining it better than me for those interested (and of course, you should absolutely pick up a copy of The Copyright Handbook, published by Nolo Press, for even more detail on copyright). This ties into another difference between fanfiction and indie-publishing. Indie-publishers, whether newbies just starting out or veterans who have been around for a while, are constantly talking and thinking about business. Constantly. In fact, sometimes all of this endless business talk makes me weary (as fun as the business of writing is, I like talking about the craft of writing a bit more, to be honest). Fanfic writers, by contrast, never talk business. Ever. Which makes sense. Fanfiction—unless it is officially licensed or sanctioned by the original creators—is a hobby. I cannot sell my 300,000+ word Zaktan and Kotu shipping fic (which doesn't exist, BTW, as it's just an example) to any publisher, nor can I self-publish it for money (unless I pull a Fifty Shades of Gray and change the characters' names, obviously). It makes no sense to talk about income or marketing or expenses or taxes or business in general when talking about fanfiction. But it is important to learn business if you want to make it as a writer. The most successful writers are both great businesspeople and great artists. You need to understand both the business and craft of writing in order to succeed. Fanfic writers generally understand the importance of craft (though even that understanding is usually pretty amateurish), but there is zero understanding of the business of writing among fanfic writers. Zero. This ties back into what I said previously about having a publishing schedule for my publishing company. Every publishing company, big and small, has a schedule of some sort. Very, very few fanfic writers have even the vaguest publishing schedule for their works. Most fanfic writers can't even handle a chapter a week. Asking them to plan out months, even years, in advance what books they will publish, and when? Might as well be asking them to speak Klingon for all the good that will do. Now there is nothing wrong with this sort of “I'll get it done whenever” attitude toward fanfiction, but it's a huge problem if you bring it with you into professional publishing. As I said before, one of the secrets to making it as a writer is to publish often and regularly, and a good way to ensure that is to have a publishing schedule figured out. It needn't be completely full—there's nothing wrong with leaving a few blank spots for those kinds of books that come to you out of nowhere but which you need to write desperately—but it should be full enough to give you a general guideline for what you will write and publish over the course of the year. And feel free to change the schedule if necessary. Fail to get Book A published in January? Publish it in February, then, and move on. No need to obsess over a missed deadline. But do try to avoid pushing back releases too often like that. Especially for books in a series, where it is crucial to get each new book out in a timely manner so your readers don't forget or get impatient and frustrated with you. If you have a habit of delaying releases all the time, that will definitely hurt your reputation more than it will help it. I know all of this sounds like a lot of work, and it is. No matter whether you choose traditional publishing, indie-publishing, or a hybrid of both, making it as a full-time professional fiction writer is not easy. There is no publishing one ebook with a shoddy cover, priced at $0.99, on Amazon, and kicking back and waiting for the money, sales, and accolades to pour in. Nor can you expect to get a seven figure traditional publishing deal by submitting one book to one publisher and doing nothing else (you'd be lucky to get a high four figure advance, actually, considering the current state of traditional publishing, but that's irrelevant at the moment). But trust me when I say that this business is fun. Even more fun than writing and publishing fanfiction. To me, all of it is fun. Writing books is fun. Formatting is fun. Seeing what kinds of awesome covers freelance cover designers come up for me is fun and even paying them to do that is fun. Uploading my books onto Amazon and other stores is fun. Holding the proofs of my paperbacks in my hands is fun. Talking with other writers about the craft and business of writing is fun. Seeing a book I published sell even just one copy the next day is fun. Getting money deposited into my bank account from my book royalties is fun. I am not yet making enough money to live off of. Nor am I selling many books. I don't have many true fans just yet, and I am pretty unknown to the vast majority of English language readers in the US and in the world at large. But here is another secret about writing and publishing: Despite the overnight successes and breakout hits you always hear about, it truly is a long-term business. I can't get obsessed with the success or failure of one book. My success or failure as a writer is not dependent on any one book or series I write. What matters is whether I will keep going, keep writing and publishing, keep learning and improving, and never looking back at my failures except to learn from them. I must walk forward always. I will, however, say that I am seeing my sales increase. I've sold more books and made more money this year than I have last year; and, God willing, I will do even better next year, and the next, and the next. Or I won't, as writing income can be rather erratic and unsteady. Some years you get more money than you know what to do with; other years, you wonder how you're gonna put bread on the table for yourself. But hey, who knows? Maybe by this time next year, I will actually be making a full-time living as a professional fiction writer. But if not, that's okay. I'm in it for the long haul, so whether it takes me one year or ten, I will keep writing and publishing always. And I highly recommend that strategy to every writer who wants to make a living at this crazy business, no matter what genre you write or way you publish. - If you made it this far, that's great, because to celebrate my one year anniversary from quitting fanfiction, I am currently running a BZP-only random drawing to give away one free ebook copy of my science-fantasy novel, Reunification*, to five randomly-drawn names. To enter the drawing, simply comment in the post below saying that you'd like to join and I will add your name to the drawing. Next week, on Tuesday, September 8th, I will announce the winners on my blog in my next blog post, who will then receive a special Smashwords discount coupon that they can use to download a free copy of Reunification from Smashwords in whatever ebook format they like. So if you want to enter a chance to win a free copy of Reunification, simply say so in the comments below and I will add your name to the drawing. Good luck! *Reunification, along with all of my other books, are available in ebook stores everywhere. A full listing of my books can be found at my website here.
  4. It's funny. I had the opposite reaction to Firefly: I thought the series was okay but thought the movie was awesome. Just goes to show how different people have different tastes, I guess. -TNTOS-
  5. I don't know for sure, but I bet Greg was paid a flat fee for every book he wrote, since the Bionicle books were technically work-for-hire, as Greg is an employee of LEGO and therefore is not entitled to royalties or anything like that. Of course, I don't know the full innerworkings of Greg's dealing with LEGO, so maybe they had a different arrangement, but that seems unlikely to me. -TNTOS-
  6. I've never been more excited about commenting on someone's blog in my life. -TNTOS-
  7. My username stands for "Toa Nuhrii: Toa of Sugar," which in turn is a reference to how I portrayed Nuhrii in my first ever comedy (in case you can't figure it out, he was obsessed with sugar, although he was not a Toa for some reason). I eventually abbreviated it to TNTOS because it's a lot shorter and faster to type than my full username. Then I officially changed my username to TNTOS and it's been that way ever since. -TNTOS-
  8. TNTOS

    Brick Fiesta

    I'll take your comments into consideration, Emzee. Sounds like a lot of fun. -TNTOS-
  9. TNTOS

    Brick Fiesta

    Looking at the schedule for Brick Fiesta this year and considering my own schedule and financial situation, I think I might be able to go this year. Emphasis on might. I've never gone to a LEGO fan event like Brick Fiesta before, so not entirely sure what to expect. It also depends on anything that might come up on the days its open. I have no big trips or anything else scheduled for July 23-26, but just the same, sometimes things come up when you least expect it (like my grandfather's funeral last year, which I think I blogged about here). It also depends on gas prices. As of this writing, gas is $1.79 a gallon in my area (unbelievable, I know). If gas prices go back up during the summer, I probably won't go (unless they go up only by maybe a couple of cents or something like that). But I've been thinking about going to Brick Fiesta for years now, with the biggest obstacle being a lack of money and distance. I do have some money now, more than enough to fund a trip to Austin and back, but July is still quite a ways away and six months is more than enough time for something big to come up, so I don't want to make any real commitments to it just yet. I just wanted to know if any of my fellow BZPers (whether Texan or just visiting) have been to Brick Fiesta and if so, what they thought about it. Interested in hearing y'all's experiences 'cause if Brick Fiesta is no good, I definitely won't go even if gas prices stay this low (or get even lower) and I have the time and transportation to do so.
  10. Hey, everyone! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas yesterday (including those who don't celebrate it; after all, would you rather I wish you a bad Christmas?). I thought I'd share my loot with y'all because that's what all the cool kids do. Without further ado, I got: -A brand new Acer E 15 laptop. It's not the fanciest laptop around, but it has amazing battery life (almost 8 hours when fully charged) and can do everything I need it to do, so I'm happy with it -A Logitech mouse to go along with the Acer laptop above -Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. It's an awesome game so far. Really brings back memories of the original Sapphire, which I played years ago. I may blog more about this later on -The Shining, by Stephen King. Some of you may not know this, but I'm a Stephen King fan, so getting this book, which I haven't read yet, was pretty great -The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan, which I have not yet gotten around to reading but which I will do as soon as possible (so no spoilers, please) -A $20 Walmart gift card Best present is probably the laptop (which I am currently posting this entry from, in fact), but all of them are great. Definitely a good haul this year. -TNTOS-
  11. That's a pretty good Pokeball MOC, Munty. Very accurate. Will be interested in seeing how you do the other Pokeballs you said you are working on. -TNTOS-
  12. Man, English anime dubs can be kind of hit-and-miss, as any anime fan knows, but ... wow. Ian Sinclair's Brook is just as good as Brook's original Japanese voice, IMO. Makes me want to watch the dub again, actually. I've been watching the subbed version of the show and have just finished the Thriller Bark ark, which is why I decided that I wanted to hear Brook's English voice. I must say, I am not disappointed in the least. -TNTOS-
  13. TNTOS


    I was going to offer my opinions on the whole issue, but then I decided that I didn't have the time or interest (although I apparently have the time and interest to tell everyone that I don't have the time and interest, so ... ). -TNTOS-
  14. Great! Always awesome to see more winners. Even if you haven't finished the story yet, hitting that 50k is always great. -TNTOS-
  15. Today's the final day of NaNoWriMo. How's everyone doing? Anyone else hit 50k yet? -TNTOS-
  16. A few days ago, my brothers and I got the west Smash Bros. game for Wii-U. As you can no doubt guess, we've spent several hours playing the game already. We've unlocked Wario and Falco, though I imagine we'll unlock the other characters soon, considering how much we are going to be playing it. So far, my mains are Captain Falcon, Greninja, Charizard, and Sonic. Greninja is possibly the best, however, as I'm surprisingly good at him, sort of like how I was really good with Lucas back in Brawl. Greninja is just very fun all around, which is cool because I chose Froakie as my starter in Pokémon X, so I'm glad I'm good with his final form in Smash Bros. I would definitely recommend this game for anyone who has a Wii-U and is looking for a good game to play with your friends.
  17. TNTOS

    Fanfic Ideas

    Send me a PM when you start posting it. Like I said, I still think it's a cool idea and I'd love to see how other writers handle it. -TNTOS-
  18. TNTOS

    Fanfic Ideas

    As most of you probably know, I have officially "retired" from writing fanfiction in order to give my real writing career the time and care it deserves (though I may take some time in late 2015/early 2016 to write a couple fics I have ideas for, but that's very far off and not worth talking about at the moment). Over my fanfic "career," I wrote over 50 epics, short stories, and comedies combined. Not all of them got on BZP; in fact, there were quite a few that I either never finished, never started, or finished but just didn't think were worth posting because of their lack of quality. So I thought I'd take a little time to write about some fanfic ideas I had, but either never started or never finished. I likely will never write any of them, anyway, so I don't think it's much of a problem to discuss them here. Let's start: Title: The Toa Makuta Fanfic type: Epic What it was going to be about: Set in an alternate universe where Makuta became the Great Spirit of the MU and killed off all of the good Toa, this epic would have featured a new team of Toa, known as the Toa Makuta, who acted as Teridax's avatars in the MU, squashing rebellions, intimidating potential threats, and generally doing whatever Teridax told them to do. The members of the Toa Makuta would have been Ahkmou, Gavla, Vican, Vultraz, Kirop, and Radiak and they would have all been Toa of Shadow. The protagonist probably would have been Vican, who would have somehow turned good and betrayed his comrades at some point when he realized how evil they all were. He like would have joined a rebellion against Teridax as the last good Toa in the universe, though whether the rebellion would have succeed or not, I don't know. All I know is that it likely would have been a very dark story (pun unintended). I actually wrote the first couple hundred words of this epic, but I abandoned it 'cause I was already done with in the End and didn't want to write another Bionicle epic, even though this idea is really cool, in my opinion. If anyone else wants to take a crack at it, feel free to. Title: Mata Nui Frees the Band Fanfic type: Comedy What it was going to be about: Set in the Legendverse, this comedy would be about Mata Nui teaming up with the Toa Inika to save the All-America Rejects from the Piraka. This fic never got past the idea stage. Though I imagine that if it did, it would have ended with Mata Nui, the AAR, and the Inika using the power of rock to defeat the Piraka. Title: The Legend of Lightning and Shadow Fanfic type: Epic What it was going to be about: This would have been a Shikaverse prequel, focusing on the events of the Kra-Matoran War that happened very early in the Shikaverse's timeline. It would have followed the War from its beginnings all the way to the end, as well as deal with some of the events that happened after the conclusion of the War. Like Dimension Hoppers, this fic would have been told from two alternating first person narrators to show both sides of the War: Turaga Klio, former Toa of Lightning and leader of the Toa Avha, and Toa Teivel, the (currently deceased) leader of the Shodios (basically a group of evil Toa of Shadow, for those of you unfamiliar with the Shikaverse). I wrote maybe the first couple of chapters of this fic before abandoning it. Like with The Toa Makuta above, I just felt like I didn't want to write another Bionicle fanfic, even though I think it's a cool idea. Besides, I felt like the Kra-Matoran War had already been sufficiently explored in the other Shikaverse fics and I didn't want to risk the possibility of contradicting what I had already written. Title: Cracked (working title) Fanfic type: Comedy What it was going to be about: Another Legendverse fic, this comedy would have featured Mata Nui teaming up with nearly every single fictional character ever from every conceivable media in an attempt to save the omniverse (sort of like a multiverse full of other multiverses) from an entity known only as Ognomit Ultimatos. Basically, it was going to be a gigantic crossover with so many characters that even I couldn't keep track of them. It would have also served as the true finale to the Legendverse itself, as it would have explained the strange physics of the Legendverse. Unlike other the other ideas here, this story got very far into development before I abandoned it. I wrote the first 24,000 words of it, but again, I abandoned it 'cause I wanted to start focusing on my actual writing career. That, and it just didn't feel as good as the other Legendverse fics (not to mention that some of the jokes are not very BZP-appropriate anyway, which meant I would have had to censor it beyond the usual changing swear words and the like). Title: The Five Eds Fanfic type: Comedy What it was going to be about: One of the few non-Bionicle fanfics I planned to write, this comedy would have had Edward Elric, Ed, Edd, and Eddy, and Edward Cullen (yes, that Edward Cullen) teaming up to save the universe from some kind of threat I never worked out. Yeah. I'm not sure what I was on when I came up with that one, either. Title: The Magical Adventures of Agent Coulson and Doge in Tahiti Fanfic type: Comedy What it was going to be about: Exactly what the title says: Agent Coulson (from the Marvel Cinematic Universe) would have teamed up with Doge (yes, the Internet meme) to have magical adventures on the island of Tahiti. Pretty self-explanatory. Unlike The Five Eds, I know exactly what I was on when I came up with this idea (the Internet, obviously). Tragically, this would-be masterpiece never made it past the idea stage. So we'll never get to see Agent Coulson and Doge sucker punch the head of the Illuminati for eating all of their ice cream without their permission. That's all I can remember for now. Maybe I'll edit this post if I remember anymore. -TNTOS-
  19. Thanks . It was a lot of fun (and still is a lot of fun, seeing as the story isn't over yet). -TNTOS-
  20. As of today, I hit 50k (actually, it's 51k). This is the fastest I have EVER won NaNoWriMo. Last year, I hit 50k in thirteen days. I mean, I expected to beat last year's record, but actually doing it ... wow. Of course, the novel itself is still not done (it will probably be around 80k by the time it's finished, so about 30,000 more words to go, I think), so I will spend the next week or so working toward that. Assuming I finish the novel before the end of the month, I have a short story I need to finish, and once I finish that, I'll get to work on some other projects I've been thinking about.
  21. For this story? No. Actually, I think I've done the reverse of what you've done. I started the story with a small cast of four main characters and have introduced only a handful of other characters since then, only one of whom wasn't planned to appear. Not that I'm complaining, as I tend to prefer writing stories with smaller casts over bigger ones (makes it easier to develop each character fully and it's easier to keep track of them if they get separated for some reason). -TNTOS-
  22. Well, seeing as I just hit 31,000 words today, I'd say I'm doing pretty darn good, though it's not quite as good as I hoped. Even though this novel is speeding along, it doesn't really feel like it is. Maybe the book is just slower-paced than some of my previous ones *shrug*. I am a "pantser" (hate that term), which means I don't outline. I've tried outlining in the past and it's just no. For this novel, however, I did have a basic synopsis I had written several months ago to work off of, so it wasn't like I was writing into the dark completely. But I've given myself permission to deviate from the synopsis as much as I need to, which has resulted in quite a few turns I did not see coming. Also, as I've said before, I wrote a few short stories to give me a basic grasp on the world and characters. Considering I've reached 31k in five days, with no hints of slowing down or stopping, I'd say this method works extremely well for me and I recommend it to anyone else who is starting a book in a world you're not familiar with. Not only is it a fun way to learn about your characters and world, but you can even submit the stories to magazines or self-publish them yourself to make some money with them if you want (which is what I intend to do with these short stories sometime after I finish this novel). Those character-building exercises that ask those kinds of questions are just a big waste of time, IMO, which is why I never use them when making my own characters. As you yourself have discovered, most of the time those questions just aren't very relevant to the story you're writing and are more trivia than anything (although trivia tends to be more interesting than the questions on those character-building exercises, but I digress). If you worry about your characters not being distinct or believable (which seems to be your problem based on what you've written here), I suggest focusing heavily on what they want and what they are willing to do to get what they want, rather than what you think they need to do in order to advance the plot. Every character in your story--at least every major character, including the antagonist if you have one--should want something, whether it's something as big as saving the world or as small as getting a glass of water. Identify what your characters want more than anything else and let them go after it, even if it goes against your idea of what the story or plot should be like. You may be surprised at what you learn about them as they struggle to get what they want. Hope that helps, though if it doesn't make sense to you, feel free to ask and I'll try to clarify whatever you don't understand. -TNTOS-
  23. Currently pursuing a career as an independent author/publisher. Not making much money yet, but I'm having a blast and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Hope to make a living with it within the next five or ten years if all goes well. -TNTOS-
  24. Great to see a topic about NaNo here. Not sure how active I'll be in here, but I'll definitely drop in every now and then to see how everyone else is doing. For me, this is my sixth NaNo (first one was in 2008) and I've won every NaNo I've entered since then. So far, I am doing very, VERY well (hit the halfway point yesterday), so I figure I'll hit 50k well before the end of the month (though the novel itself likely will be longer than 50,000 words, although I don't know exactly how long it will be right now). I'm not much an outliner, but this year I decided to spend the last week of October writing short stories set in the world of my novel as a way to worldbuild and get to know my characters better. I think it worked out well because this novel has been incredibly easy for me to write, much easier than my last one. I'll probably use this method again for my next non-NaNo novel set in a world I haven't written in before. -TNTOS-
  25. Wow. Didn't think anyone was actually reading this, although if I recall correctly, you were one of the people who asked me to repost the Shika Trilogy, so I guess it makes sense that you read it. Not that I'm complaining or anything. Just didn't expect to see any comments from anyone in this review topic. Yeah, I didn't really give all of the Toa Shika equal screentime, though in my defense, I wasn't as experienced then as I am now. If I rewrote the Trilogy today, I'd probably give more development to Nonzra to give his death a larger impact. Glad you liked the characterization overall, though. Characters are one of my favorite parts of writing, even back when I first wrote the Shika Trilogy, so getting compliments on that is always nice. Thank you. Introducing mysterious elements is another thing I like to do, mostly because I think it's cool (although I usually try to make sure the mysterious elements are relevant to the story itself, rather than just being there for the sake of coolness). So glad you liked the ending. I'm always insecure about my endings because I never know if they're satisfying or not or if they at least work with the story. This is especially difficult for the ending of a series like the Shika Trilogy, but I guess it worked out all right. You're right about the contrast between this trilogy and my username. I never noticed that, but it is funny. Thank you. The Toa Shika (and related characters) aren't the focus of most of the other Shikaverse stories, but I hope you enjoy them anyway. They get better, don't worry . Again, I appreciate you taking the time to read and review this, despite it not being the greatest fanfic trilogy ever written. Always appreciate a thought-out review like this, whether on an old fic or new one. Thanks. -TNTOS-
  • Create New...