Cooling

Today I finished the interim big edit of the latest novel.

It’s an accomplishment of sorts for me, because this is my first adult novel-length project in a long time (six years, actually; scary how time flies when you’re working for someone else!), and it took a bit of effort to get back on this particular breed of horse.

Have to let it cool for a day or two and then I’ll give it a read, make necessary adjustments … and then off to my first reader.

Hopefully it will be out early next year.

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Roughly Done

finish-lineJust finished the rough draft of my latest novel.

It took seven months and weighs in at a respectable 107,000 words.

This particular novel was odd in many ways; I broke just about every rule of writing I’ve developed over the last 20 years. It sure was a fun ride, though. (I’ll blog about the whole story later).

Lots of editing ahead, but that’s OK. Getting the rough draft down is the hardest part for me. I actually enjoy the editing and polishing phases.

The novel is in the LitRPG genre (Ready Player One, Alt World, etc.).

I’ll be asking my video- and tabletop game developer friends and colleagues for blurbs early next year!  🙂  Please!

Someone suggested that I claim I did NaNoWriMo … in three days. I wish.

My heart goes out to everyone doing that this year. Good Luck!

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Consulting Narrative Designer

When I left the video game industry to retire/stay at home parent/write next novel in the Summer of 2015, I immediately got emails from colleagues asking for a little help, a few worlds built, a few scripts revised, and so on … until I had so much business I had to turn people away (and explain how I was retired and just doing a few things on the side).

Well, with this update on Linkedin I’m not expanding my operations, but making the consulting part of my life more official. It also provides a way for people beyond my circle of friends to contact me, and let’s them see how far ahead I’m booked.

Good to know there’s the need for this kind of work out there! 🙂

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Unsung Hero of the HALO Franchise

It’s only fitting as Blue Team makes it’s reappearance in HALO 5, to remind fans that much credit is due someone who has been largely overlooked and forgotten. In fact, there wouldn’t be a Blue Team at all without this guy.

indexIn 2001, Eric Trautmann was part of the team that brokered the deal to create the first HALO novels. He was also my editor on the project, and for anyone who has seen one of my first drafts this is a true Herculean labor (the one with the stables). Most important, however, there was a point when the novels were ordered killed and Eric T saved them.

I was halfway through our crash dive schedule to get the FALL OF REACH out in seven weeks when Eric T tells me…

Eric T: The powers that be don’t want the novel anymore. They’ve ordered it killed. They don’t want a backstory for the Master Chief. They want him to be a blank so gamers can just fit into the avatar.

Me: (choking on my 18th cup of coffee that morning) What!? (panicking) What do we do? I’m halfway through this #*%&(% thing.

Eric T: (annoyingly calm): Don’t worry about it. Keep writing. I have it covered.

Me: How do you have it ‘covered’? I’ve only got three weeks left!

Eric T: Here, have another cupa coffee. Keep typing…

So Eric T went away, and in what I can only characterize as a cross between UN diplomacy and the bargain Vito Corleone made to get Johnny Fontaine out of his original contract (i.e. he made them a deal they couldn’t refuse), like magic the objections just … vanished.

The rest as they say is history: More than a dozen HALO novels out, and 2 million copies sold by yours truly alone.

So, next time you’re entertained by all the HALO fiction out there, please give respects to Mr. Trautmann, and if you’re in the area visit his and his wife’s amazing store in Olympia. (the best comic/card store on the West Coast in my opinion).

Salute.

PS: okay , okay — if you really want to hear about Eric T’s Sillian deal in his own words go here: link.  Click the “direct download.” Halo story starts around 17 minutes.

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No Correlation

Got a ton of concerned email this morning about this article in Gamespot about my departure from Amazon, and recent the article in the New York Times about working at Amazon.

(Gamespot nicely reduced my 15-year career in video games to a single sentence, thank you very much).

For the record: there’s no correlation between the articles for me.

I can’t speak for Clint, but I was treated well at Amazon, and the only time I cried at my desk was because of a hard contact lens malfunction (I swear!).

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