I don’t plot, I brew.

There are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to writers. Plotters: those who in fine detail outline the order of events within and outside of their narrative. And Pantsers those who sit down and go on a journey with their characters as it happens. Every writer falls closer to one side.

Then there are

saints like

Cheyanne A Lepka

Who created a chart akin to DnD alignment

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I’m a True Plantser.

And this is the process I use.

Which is both frustrating and exciting.

I start with the problem and a question what would happen if?

Goblins used guns, Miners discover a dragon egg and abandon their contract, A duke is on a hunting expedition to slay a dragon,

Exciting because I don’t know how my stories will end or what turns they will take.

Frustrating because I thought it was going one way but no it went another.

Fiction unlike reality, or this blog, has to make sense

So I have a loose outline, but I have to keep the characters fidelity high. Which means that if a character is about to act out of character just so I can have everyone hit their marks and move the story back to the outlined path, I won’t go there. Sometimes that means my characters demand I scale a vertical cliff or walk through a dangerous marsh rather than stick to the simple well laid path.

When I hit these difficult patches, I do a lot of thinking. What do I need to do now? And I work though in my head over a dozen or two dozen unwritten paths, until that eureka moment hits and the wall is scalable and entertaining. Then I do that.

Though I am still a little sore that I was unable to use pirates in my last story because. I had them roughly outlined, their motivations, weapons, etc etc. But the characters on stage demanded more screen time and had a far more interesting tale to write. SO I put those pirates back in the cupboard and when I get a chance I’ll see if I can use them to spice up another story.

Oh man I am going to have to rewrite this post a few times to get the words as they should be.

Oh well,

Much Love

HngyHngyHppo

If you found yourself in this chart and want to argue. I’ll be in the comments below.

Turning Inspiration into dedication.

1% inspiration. 99% perspiration.

  • -Einstein

Let’s talk about energy, time, knowledge, and resources(money usually)

First you were excited about all the things you learned. You had all the energy in the world and nothing seemed like work. You were too young to even have a concept of work itself. Life was just a series of let me try this now. Now this. This way. Oh that’s new let me try that. You had the time, the energy, but had no concept of what knowledge you needed or what money was.

Then childhood was over and puberty started. And suddenly you knew everything, you found yourself surrounded on all sides by the incompetence of those in authority around you.

Parent’s just don’t understand

-Will Smith

Yet even though you knew everything you were still learning at a rapid pace. You would discard poor information for better information without a struggle, you had no concept of ego but figured this was the way to do things from now on. That was in keeping with your self concept of knowing everything. You had the energy. The knowledge basics. The time though that was kept from you by obligations like school and fun Resources either went to affluence or to enjoying your time.

It’s in this stage I was sold one of the biggest lies of my life. That “Real Life” began after high-school. Then I got that diploma, Turns out your still a child till your thirty. Then your not an adult until…. UNTIL… UNTIL. It just keeps going. Your either a child or an elder there is never an in-between.

If you take anything away from this. Take this “High School” is “Real Life”. If you wait for real life to start because you think it has a different rule set not only will you be disappointed but you’ll be behind the game. The only real differences are that your body may not be finished cooking til your older and that things can be different once you have money. But the personality you leave High school with will be your personality for just about ever. So take the mission of getting the personality you want.

Now- back to the Now

You have found that you have enough energy and time to go to work forty hours, sometimes sixty. And if your lucky in this late stage capitalist nightmare then perhaps your banking a decent amount of resources. But in all likely hood you are spending what little excess you have on inflating your happiness to put up with your work schedule. Congratulations, you don’t have the time or energy, and even if you have the resources you’ve lost the knowledge.

1% inspiration 99% perspiration

-Einstein

The knowledge you’ve lost is that you don’t know shit. Motivational life coaches and other carpet baggers will sell you the dream. One quick trick to fix your broken life. You pay the resources and get a high of inspiration but the high fades and so you chase another hit from a different dream seller.

The problem is your Ego. You’ve been successful for so long in the status quo that secretly you don’t want to change a thing. Because if you did, honestly, you would have. You’ve met the basic needs of Maslow’s hierarchy and while you strive to complete the second tier before you can reach the top. You’ve been holding yourself back.

If you can work sixty hours for a paycheck then why can’t you work for yourself six more?

What do I want to do?

Who am I?

Where do I want to be?

Ask the right questions and fucking accept the answers. I don’t want to write books but I have to. I don’t want to work in a warehouse but I need to. These are the things that make me … well myself. The more I stay true to how I am the more energy I seem to find. The less resources I need to spend on happiness. The more open I am to receiving knowledge that helps me without having it conflict with what I already have in practice.

In Maslow’s hierarchy Self-actualization is at the top. To be taken care of after all other concerns are addressed. But you’ll be spinning your wheels if you don’t answer that need first.

Ask the right questions and accept whatever the answers are

By doing that you will create the energy,

You master the time,

If you know how to use google the knowledge is at your beck and call.

You may not have the resources, but that means you need to ask smaller questions.

Not just because you are going to need to sweat doesn’t mean that it has to be something that isn’t inherently fun.

With 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

It takes more than time…

Ten years ago I had grand dreams as to who and where I would be

A year ago I did not imagine I would be where I am now.

A year from now I cannot imagine where I will be.

To even attempt to do so is a waste of time.

Success takes more than time.

If all it took was time

Their would be

no

Wal-Mart

Greeters over fifty

That didn’t intentionally want

There careers. No no no if you need

More for your future then you have to do more

Do more than you ever thought was possible and learn

More than you ever dared to imagine. Learn more, Do more.

Wait no more…

..

This hourglass poem was crafted with love and care for you,

Hngynhngyhppo

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

Resistance through pain.

This has been inspired by two thorns.

A fantastic YouTube video by Storytellers

How To Be Creative: How an Artist Turns Pro

And my current flaring hemorrhoids

The video covers the subject of resistance. The resistance of doing anything but the creative work that you should be doing. Whether that is procrastination, fear, and/or anxiety that prevents you from starting or continuing.

What this hasn’t covered or mentioned is the resistance of being in physical pain.

Everyone has experienced at least a bad day when you haven’t had enough sleep. You’ve forgot to take your caffeine and you’ve got a headache that you know will rob you of the next few hours of work. Bruised and sore muscles.

We can get through our paying gigs just fine. Suffering through these aches and pains without a great loss to the man we are making dollars for. But then when we have the chance to work for ourselves … well … results may vary.

I’ve torn a muscle in my shoulder two hours into an eight hour shift during my first ninety days at a cardboard factory. It’s been two years and there is still of whisper of that muscle that hasn’t been reclaimed reminding me of that I’ve lifted and worked through a 7 on the Stanford Pain Scale. And I’ve experienced a certified 9 as reference.

Right now I’ve got a cough and a hemorrhoid that spikes my pain from 3 to 5. But here I am still getting work done. Tonight when I’m lifting in my warehouse job I might be between a 5 and 7 but that’s not going to stop me there.

So why does this pain stop me when I’m here?

Why then can’t I get work done, pages written, plots thickened, or characters killed, if I’m experiencing anything greater than a 4 on the pain scale?

Why isn’t this type of resistance discussed?

What really burns me through… is how I forget that I was ever in pain to begin with. I was sick last Friday and I couldn’t get more than a single page of a comic script transferred from storyboard to word. Then I spent all Saturday beating myself up about how I’ve wasted a twenty four hour period. Only to have a cough remind me that I was still sick and bring some form of validation for the choice I made.

I know at this point that even taking one day off is disaster to my time frames and deadlines. One day breeds two years and a decade later you’ll be just as unhappy with yourself as your unfinished or unstarted projects.

If your in pain but you do a quality 10%…

Try to be happy with that

rest and heal

Maybe tomorrow you’ll be able to do 15% or more.

But if you start doing 0% the resistance will only grow stronger and you’ll need to be at 110% before you start again.

Wishing you all good health,

Hngyhngyhppo