Tales from the Bin: Pariah Company (Part 1)

Since I don’t feel like wasting my reject writing projects anymore, I thought people might get a kick out of this. So I have this 70-ish page novella lying around that’s basically the A-Team that I’m not going to continue in this fashion, so I figured I might as well share it over the course of a month or two to generate at least some regular content. So have “fun”.

Pariah Company

The Multiverse (Earth 7538) – The Year 1581 A.D.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Hermann Voigt of the United Kingdom of Greater Brandenburg stepped into a stinking wyvern turd. It had just lied there, directly in front of his office. The upper-mid level bureaucrat glared left and right. Men-at-arms, handmaidens, smiths, all seemingly aware of what had just occurred and simultaneously busy looking innocently elsewhere. Voigt sighed, counted silently to fünf, and continued his walk, hastening his pace.

The city of Hamburg had never been intended to be a capital of a kingdom, and it showed these days. As such the fourth most important bureaucrat in the state had to be content with walking to the palace on foot, as the streets were blocked by cavalrymen, wyvern riders trying to pick up fair maidens, and the city watch trying to keep – and failing to – keep order. No way a litter could navigate the streets in the middle of rush hour and so he had to both walk at a brisk pace and stop every few meters to try and get the remnants of wyvern lunch from his best leather boots while not trying to step into any more.

Voigt cursed under his breath even has people made way for him, which was hard in the winding cobbled streets between all the carts and mustering soldiers, but they managed to make it worth. “Make way, make way for the deputy vice chancellor,” some helpful voice screamed in the local dialect that Voigt barely understood in anything but vague meaning. As the streets cleared for him as best as they could he could finally dare to raise his eyes from the filthy streets of hay, stone, and feces, to look up ahead where the main donjon of the new castle stood proud in the distance near the harbor: Lindwurm Keep. It was a magnificent side for all the squalor and grimness of the port town’s city center, a shining beacon for the future yet to come. If it was to come at all. It was why Voigt had no idea why the leadership had called for him at this point. Every moment away from his papers, reports, and charts was a moment the city wasn’t growing, a moment the realm was in danger of running out of money, and other hyperbolic statements he was currently preparing to throw at their lordships’ faces if it was another meeting about the gentry and merchants complaining about the new zoning laws.

The walk to the magnificent Keep took Voigt another twenty minutes in which both his boots had been cleaned by the rough streets, and his temper had cooled once again. As he approached the guards at the main gate, he was glad to see at least some of the troops had been issued with the new flintlock muskets from the Helgoland mission. They stood at attention as he passed, hiding his smile under his broad feathered hat. Last time they had asked for papers as they had not been informed that Voigt had followed the current trend of appearing clean-shaven before court. That had been fun for at least one party involved.

He was quickly ushered in through the gates and up through the several staircases, side doors, hallways, more doors, more staircases, and the grand hall itself, brightly lit at all times, as servants walked around with baby wyverns and candles in one hand and a bucket of sand in the other. What a marvelous modern age it truly was.
The footmen saw Voigt approaching from over a hundred meters away, but waited until the last moments to turn, knock, and then open the doors just as he nose came into reach, shouting: “His lordship, Hermann Freiherr Voigt, Deputy Vice Chancellor to his Majesty Leopold…”
“In, Goddammit, in with him!” Continue reading “Tales from the Bin: Pariah Company (Part 1)”

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Writing Update: Historian’s Crusade on Goodreads

I swear, next time I update this site it will be an article or short story or something. But I wanted to say thank you to everyone who downloaded Historian’s Crusade over the past five days and got it to 200 downloads. I hope everyone is enjoying it.

Second: I found that I have a presence on Goodreads thanks to getting published on Amazon. So check it out if you haven’t and maybe follow the author and his put-upon illustrator:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37787876-historian-s-crusade

Historian’s Crusade Available FOR FREE – Happy 2018

Get your copy now for free on Amazon in every region

First of all, Happy 2018, everyone!

2017 was a great year for me, both on a personal level and creatively. I managed to write/complete two books, the second of which will release sometime in the first quarter of 2018. I know not everyone was as happy as me this year, and to those I want to say and wish that I believe you can make 2018 your year.

And for New Year’s Day 2018 all the way through January 5th Historian’s Crusade will be available for free on Amazon IN EVERY REGION. Get your copy, share it, have some fun on me. Also many thanks to Peter for updating the cover to make it more readable in thumbnails.

Shameless Plug: Historian’s Crusade now €0.99 on Kindle!

Update on Historian’s Crusade: after nearly two months out, I’ve decided to reduce the price of Historian’s Crusade to €0.99 in time for the Christmas season. I figured it’s only fair since you can get a base version on the website. Consider it an early Christmas present.

Historian’s Crusade: Now Available on Amazon Kindle

I’m proud to announce that Historian’s Crusade is now live on Amazon Kindle. Get it now on your regional Amazon site for the equivalent of €2.99! Click the picture below for the link to Amazon.

 

 

Remember: even when you lent it through Kindle Unlimited I will be getting a kickback. So don’t feel obligated to buy it if that option is available.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Reading Non-Fiction Books (as a writer or normy)

Just a small post today. I have a feeling this is an instance of stating the obvious, but even then it is sometimes necessary to do just that to see how many people actually think alike.

When it comes to finding new ideas for your next story, many writers, usually at the beginning of their career or hobby, see the finding of inspiration as a big problem. I have to admit, I have felt the same for a long time. Nowadays I have found the solution to that problem. Many experienced writers have stated before that reading and writing is the best training for a novice writer. I would agree with that, all I have to add to that is the following: don’t just read fiction.

I’m a pretty big fan of non-fiction. A lot of people immediately think of boring school text books, but that’s not necessarily the case. Be they biographies, historical, political, or otherwise in nature, reading non-fiction is a great way to find out about the world around and get inspired by it. Many concepts in stories I have (and am) working on  are influenced all the time by the non-fiction section of my bookshelves. Usually I’ll find a way to apply that book on militarism or political shenanigans to something I have seen on television or read in a fiction book. Then you combine the two and already have the idea for a new story, whether consciously aware of it or not.  Continue reading “The Benefits of Reading Non-Fiction Books (as a writer or normy)”

Architect or Gardener: Approaches to Writing

Architect or gardener. Which approach works for which story?

If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class,  talked with friends who also had aspirations to become a writer, or read an interview with some famous writer in the Stephen King/George RR Martin mold, you inevitably come to one point:

Architect (Martin) or Gardener (King)?

This has, unfortunately, nothing to do with exterior decorating of suburban houses to make your daily two hour commute less of a macabre preamble to your inevitable stay in hell for all eternity, but one of approaches to writing a story.

I talked before about my disdain for creative writing classes in colleges and universities, and a lot of that has to with with having to put grades on your work, which leads to many professors and teachers encouraging the creation of outlines.

Writing with an outline is not necessarily a bad thing. It essentially gives you plan, more or less detailed, from which to draw in the creative process. This can be anything from a simple list of characters to full character bios, from short diagrams outlying the relative distance between places to full topographical maps of the region.

When done well, it it s a great crutch in longer projects to keep the draft you’re working on on point. It can most definitely cut down on the time you have to spend working on reworking the story once you are done with the initial draft.

When done poorly, it can lead you down a rabbit hole of world-building from which there is no escape. Guess which experience made me swear of this approach? Continue reading “Architect or Gardener: Approaches to Writing”