I promise you’ll read this and smirk

As storytellers we make a promise to our readers that they will at the very least be entertained. If we don’t fulfill this promise, they will but down the book and find something else that fulfills that desire to be entertained.

What does that mean though?

To be entertained.

Of course for everyone it is a different and unique flavor pf desire. Some like a complete character growth arc one where the lonely neglected street urchin becomes king honored, refined, and desired. Through their journey we achieve a temporary relief from our own dissatisfaction with our place in this would.

If you don’t know what you are promising your genre reader than you won’t be successful. Period.

I write pulp western fantasy novellas.

My first promise is simple.

SEX

Premo Prose,

Ink stains that your eyes easily…oh so… effortlessly slide over crafting euphemistic yet euphoric images inside your minds,

I promise a sweet dark chocolate surprise somewhere hidden within my text.

But I am not writing Erotica. I’m writing Pulp I am literally writing easy to digest garbage. Staple of the pulp promise are racy plot driven stories that finish quickly and leave no marks on the reader after the experience is over.

My second promise is a bit more complicated

Western stories

mean more than the three decades of American expansionism that sprung the genre. In its basic elements a western is a story following an unchanging iconic hero often a stoic emotionally as they navigate a hostile world. At the bare minimum it must contain the stoic emotionally distant hero and a hostile world. No gun-play and cowboy boots needed.

My fantasy promise

is the fantastical. From the magic’s of the elder dragons of the northern kingdom to the rumors of dwarves. These are facts of reality for the denizens that populate my world and stories but they are not of the earth that we inhabit and when you read about how an illusion caster summons lighting from the clouds. You should be impressed and your own imagination should run with the questions of how, why, what if, and that would mean, etc.

Those are the basics of my promises to readers

This blog has made the promise that if you didn’t smirk you’ve left unsatisfied

and well i am sorry but this is a blog

and as such it’s only promise is that it is a web based log of it’s author’s thoughts. Which it is.

I didn’t promise Shakespearean turn of phrase.

I didn’t promise you atmospheric mastery like Lovecraft.

[Self thought: it would be rather ironic once my writing mastery has reached the point where I can craft works on par with Lovecraft or Hemingway but have to shelve those works because they do not satisfy the promise of pulp western fantasies.]

What have you promised your readers? Drop it in the comments. I’ll get to it if I can

By entering genre fiction.

Much love,

Hngyhngyhppo

Creating Milestones that take less than a mile…

There are many terrible things about being a writer. My gripe today is about milestones and deadlines. While all of these are self imposed and I can change them tomorrow if i felt the need. It is important to use them.

I don’t like it but it is none the less important.

I started writing ages ago and never finished anything. Then in 2017 I was left with only one choice if I wanted to continue to be an entrepreneur and work for myself. I had to write. I don’t want to write… It is not the most enjoyable thing I spend my time doing.

But it is the only thing that I have enough resources and skill at that it was worth pursuing. Also it solved a huge problem in my life.

The lack of decent male orientated novella length pulp fiction. If penguin publishing was still commissioning new or similar series to the Trailsmen then I would never have picked up the pen and instead refined perhaps my programing and game design skills.

But they didn’t and here we are.

My first book took over a year for only about 42K words… I know that I should have been able to finish it sooner but I didn’t know how to do. My second book took six months and my third and best book so far took only four. I should be able to get a book done every three months at a pace of 8k a week and so my next book will be ready by the start of September.

What does this have to do with milestones well I found that these milestones work for me. 600 words take a break. Finish scene take a long break. Keep track of my progress towards my deadline am I behind, ahead of schedule, or right on target.

In school I’ve always been a do it at the last minute type and the fear of failure has been a good focus. But with no publisher and audience breathing down my neck for the next Song of Ice and Fire, I have to manufacture my own fear.

The first thing I do is increase the demanded production to much higher than I can handle. It’s overwhelming but I’ll try to get 8k words done today and another 8k words tomorrow and another 8k after that. I took an extra day off of my part time job that pays my full time bills so that I could have the day to write. This helps keep that pressure on… I enjoy work and the bills it pays. I now have to prove that taking that day was worth forfeiting the steady days pay in exchange for higher production on my novella.

If I’m successful at reaching my word count goals than this book 4 will be draft a month and a half before I expect to publish it. Allowing my more time to edit and apply wordcraft polish before I send her off to the editor. While at the same time will remind me of the extreme work flow that I’m capable of and draw ever closer to my goal of having four more quality novellas done before June of next year.

And gee I wish these words counted but they don’t this distraction has cost me 30 minutes I should be writing,

With love

hngyhngyhppo

Why I’m using Acts instead of Chapters

A typical 300 page or 80k+word novel will have anywhere between 30 and 60 chapters that cover the typical beats of a 3 act story structure.

Now there is nothing wrong with this. This is fine and I’m sure plotters get a lot of use out of it. But I’m a pantser and I’m writing pulp

My novellas follow a 5 act structure to cover the 40k word count or 150 pages.

Each act should be a self contained pulp fantasy western story

Conflict introduced – Conflict resolved

Act 1

The Duke and The Dragon

Mouse is a hired gun for the Duke’s hunting party

The hunt is Dangerous

Mouse fights wolves

The Duke hunts falcons from inside the safety his hired and loyal men create

Conflict introduced

Mouse and the men risk there lives to protect the duke who doesn’t come close to danger. But the duke’s personal bard sings of the duke’s heroism and skill in hunting and the men who haven’t faced danger cheer the story

Conflict resolved

Mouse and the men have a private meeting with the duke where he learns more about them and their pasts, their families, and shows that he actually cares about the men under his command both the temporary hired and the loyal men from the kingdom

Act 2

Conflict introduced

Mouse and the men need a plan to hunt a specific bull of the duke’s choosing but they don’t know which bull the duke will want to hunt

Conflict resolved

They “red team” each others plans and come up with a plan for each of the wild herds prize bulls

and the hunt starts

Act 3

Conflict introduced

The duke has trouble with ladies and Mouse offers him bad advice (get really drunk)

Conflict resolved

The duke becomes so drunk that he almost challenges Mouse to a duel. Which if he lost Mouse would become the Duke of Rose-Scent…

So the duke’s tutor casts a magic spell to distract the duke.

She creates an illusion in the sky to make a thunder cloud look like a dragon. The duke passes out before he can finish his challenge.

Act 4

Conflict introduced

The duke says he had a prophetic dream last night that they will meet a dragon in less than three weeks and he offers extra gold to any of the hired guns willing to stay. After testing the duke’s memory of last night, Mouse thinks that this is clearly the duke misunderstanding the magic from last night and there is no dragon.

Conflict resolved

As they march north it becomes clear that there is a strong magic caster killing virgins. They are attacked by a flame avatar of a dragon. There might be a dragon involved…

Act 5

Conflict introduced

Yes there is a dragon

Conflict resolved

Yes they fight a dragon

In the Duke and the Dragon

This final climax is the hunting of a dragon. But it is not the focus of the any Act except Act 5. Act 1 is an introduction to the dangers of the Freeland and the Duke’s hunt. Act 2 shows how Mouse navigates as a scout and a ladies man. Act 3 is where the story turns from Mouse being competent to Mouse losing and the final conflict is spelled out for the reader. Act 4 is resolution of logistics necessary for the final conflict as well as a minor conflict that feeds into the climax. Act 5 uses as many tools from the previous acts to bring about a satisfying resolution to the novella.

Each act consists of as many scenes either written in traditional format or in vignettes as is necessary to give a successful resolution to the introduced conflict.

Because this is a western I do not linger on descriptions or world-building. If a scene does not contain conflict-resolution then it will be rather short.

The best part about this structure it’s really easy for me as a pantser to use and create a constant quality novella. Each Act is roughly 8k words of minor conflicts and resolutions one major.

Act 1 introduction

Act 2 Rising confidence (the readers confidence in Mouse)

Act 3 The Turn (The Final conflict is revealed)

Act 4 Regaining competence (Mouse adapts and prepares to face the conflict)

Act 5 Climax conclusion

If this was a wonder women comic

Act 1

This is wonder woman (introduction)

Act 2

See how she beats up a bad guy (readers gain confidence)

Act 3

Oh No! She has been tied up (readers worry)

Act 4

She hears the evil plan (readers regain confidence and are excited about the resolution)

Act 5

She could have escaped the whole time.. She saves the day (hurray)

that’s what I have to say about that,

With love,

Hngyhngyhppo

Dear Romance Reader,

There is a man in your life who needs a helping hand…

You know one or more of these men they may be your brothers, sons, or friends but they haven’t picked up and read a book in year or more. Perhaps they have abandoned reading for fun somewhere in primary/high school and haven’t gone back to find the wonder and thrills hidden between the pages of a good story.

Whether we are strolling the emerald shores of the Scottish highlands, listening with anticipation for the waves crashing against the cliffs to come to a crescendo as our lovers are about to shed their shame that has kept their lips apart and become as free as the seaside’s misting spray.

Or

Holding the pages clutched tight as we can’t help but feel a burning rage building inside as our heroine becomes blocked, put down, and is faced with an unexpected yet inevitable obstacle barring her from her love. As a reader we desire nothing more than to slap our heroine’s villainous foil across the face and shout “Bitch!” with conviction.

It’s only after we’ve put these books down and look back at the world, at least for me, feel a twinged of guilt.

I want the world to experience this joy. I shouldn’t feel bad I know there exists a good book for everyone…

Sadly here is the problem I need your help to solve.

Every year someone goes without reading a full length novel they have lost reading speed. This is a huge problem for men. During the droughts in my life: The 60 hour work weeks, the 25 credit course loads, the high school activities and responsibilities that demanded more and left no time for a vacation between the pages of a good story. My reading speed fell.

In the time it takes you to be five pages deep, surrounded by the bright sights, calming scents, and rich sounds of a million dollar beach vacation, I’ve barely met our leads…

Blessed by god at the right time in my life I found western pulp fiction.

Small and simple books that are low on description, the author trusting that my imagination could fill in the gaps. Fast paced action preformed by flat almost cardboard-like caricatures that carried me from the initial conflict to the last page.

Soon my speed and concentration were back in form and I could read not just what I wanted but books that I needed to grow as a man, husband, and servant.

We know that books have an impact on not just our emotional health but our future success. They have shaped how we are able to deal with conflict and challenges in our life. Our hearts have been broken and healed by fiction.

If you’ve asked these men why they haven’t read a book and they’ve responded. Something to the effect

“I just haven’t found something that holds my interest.”

What they may be trying to communicate is that their reading speed and concentration is too low to enjoy the greats you know they’d love.

Here’s the shill, For the next 5 days this is free and after that 99 cents is the lowest amazon would let me offer it.

disguised inside the pages of the 180 page action film of words, is a tale about prejudice, acceptance and keeping your promises.

But don’t tell them that.

“This shit’s got a dragon, loads of violence, shape shifting wolves, magic and guns…”

My beta-reader hadn’t picked up a book in two years and now is reading Dune. So I know that if you man gives this junk half a chance they will be back into the written world and finding not only what interests them but what will make them better.

Thank you for your time and attention today,

Now someone you know needs to be sold (free til June 2nd) on this book because this is something they didn’t know they needed in their life until you’ve given it to them.

With Love,

Hngyhngyhppo