Progress report

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 12/13/11 9:56 AM
I've been working on the sequel for Gift of the Destroyer for a while now, but I don't feel like I'm making much progress. Currently, I am working on the 6th chapter (out of 32) and have written about 15K words (out of a ~90K goal). On the other hand, the first draft for Gift of the Destroyer took me a year and a half to write, and was about the same size. Gift of the Destroyer is 90K words, and was written in 18 months, giving an average speed of 5K words per month. Considering the fact that
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Artificial languages in my books

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 11/18/11 8:59 AM
When I started writing books, I promised myself I wouldn't go overboard with invented languages (i.e. Tolkien-style). I am not a linguist, and what experience I have with creating languages is limited to programming languages, which are far less broad in scope than spoken and written languages.

As such, the Northlandic language that is used in Gift of the Destroyer
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Inspiring words

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 11/13/11 10:45 PM
Some questions do not have simply answers. This can get a bit frustrating when you're using Twitter, as your messages are limited to a 140 characters. Fortunately, I have a website that allows me to give longer answers to those questions.�In this particular case, the cause of this post was a message by @judyblackcloud asking us what words inspire us.

Well, where
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Liftoff

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 11/8/11 3:55 PM
As of I think 10 minutes ago all versions of my book are ready. Last night I submitted the Kindle edition and during my lunch break I formatted the Smashwords edition. The last one was especially troublesome since Smashwords only accepts Microsoft Word submissions, and I had a nasty paragraph formatting error that took some time to clear up.

The print version is also ready, but
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Revised World Map

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 11/7/11 11:17 AM
Seeing as I wasn't satisfied with the world map I drew earlier, I created a new one to include with my novel.


https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/f3c170e3b449b4f39aa21ab34281eda025d05f13277a0ba8993f4f9e9cd384f2
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Title fail

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 11/6/11 3:37 PM
Last night, I uploaded my novel to the Kindle Store.

This morning, I noticed it was indicated as being "live". So I went to the Kindle store, and searched for the title of my book "Revenant Rising", and to my surprise, I found two books with that title (mine, and M.M. Mayle's book, which was published two weeks ago).

Not good.

You see, a while ago I changed the title of my book from "Forbidden Lands" to "Revenant Rising" for
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Another nanowrimo, another pass

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 11/1/11 8:05 AM
As of today, Nanowrimo has officially started. Writers around the world are now hammering away at their manuscripts in order to reach the 50000 word goal. I wish them all the best, but once again I will pass. I am simply too busy with existing projects to have enough time to write 1.6K words each day (especially since one of those projects is Revenant Rising, and another is its sequel).
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Counting down

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 10/31/11 8:55 AM
As you know, I finished writing Revenant Rising a while ago, and I've been working on getting it "out there". In fact, most of the required steps have already been completed. I finished the World Map for inclusion in the book (thanks to a wonderful tutorial at the Cartographer's Guild), the file format converter
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Oh right, Nanowrimo

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 10/13/11 11:26 AM
Almost a year ago I wrote about not participating in Nanowrimo, mostly because I didn't figure out what it was until it was halfway finished. So, with Nanowrimo only 18 days away, and half the writers I follow on Twitter going crazy, I must admit the thought is crossing my mind again.

If all goes well, I'll have Revenant Rising available just before it starts, so
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Canada

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 10/10/11 7:42 AM
As you can plainly see from the lack of posts for the past month or so, I've been away for a bit. Normally, I'd make up some excuse such as having no time for writing, being preoccupied with reading or some other such nonsense, but this time I have a genuine excuse. I was on a trip to Canada.

Going to Canada has been an amazing experience. Coming from a country that is characterized mostly by being flat and 50% below sea level, Canada has a lot to offer in terms of geography. Adding to
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It's done

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 9/2/11 1:11 PM
I feel rather strange right now. As of this morning, I have officially completed editing on Revenant Rising. So, basically, the book is done, and I can start working on getting it "out there". I still need to do a number of things though:
  • Convert the LaTeX source files to formats accepted by Kindle and Smashwords
  • Finish the e-reader compatible map I'm working on in Inkscape (the world map I posted earlier is not exactly suitable)
  • Properly format the cover (adding
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The psychological implications of time travel

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 8/22/11 8:19 AM
I believe it is fair to say that every adult has regrets, and can point out several moments in their life of which they would say if I had known then what I know now, I would have done things differently. Such feelings are part of human nature, and I guess it is the knowledge of how we failed in the past that makes us better capable of dealing with similar situations later in life.

But still, many people fantasize of how things would turn out with all their hindsight knowledge available
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File format hell

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 8/5/11 8:28 AM
As� I am nearing the completion of Revenant Rising, all sorts of practical problems arise. My book's cover isn't finished yet, I still need to do a black and white version of the world map, and once all those are complete, I need to get the manuscript in the proper format and sent to the various distributors. The manuscript is currently written using LaTeX, which is an excellent format
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Things just got serious

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 8/1/11 4:00 PM
Have you ever been excited about receiving a letter from the IRS? I'm sure a lot of Americans reading this post will instantly respond "No!", but in my case the answer is most definitely "Yes!". Regular readers of this site know I intend to e-publish my novel Revenant Rising (and any other book I may write for the foreseeable future), and the most common venues for this are Kindle Direct Publishing, B&N's Pubit
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A vow of silence

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/22/11 9:30 AM
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be unable to speak? There are many religions where vows of silence are part of a certain regimen, mostly in monasteries and such. But this is mostly an effort of will, a test of faith. What happens when you want to speak, but are unable to?

https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/42081deef2645f94f101b38cc34a3c9c5f957bcb45bcf572b96878a5881bab0a
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Inspiring tunes

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/19/11 5:30 PM
A while ago I shared a number of songs that help me focus, both when working and when writing. There are plenty of other songs I regularly listen to, so I thought I'd share a few more:



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Repurposing this blog

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/18/11 5:30 PM
Ok, I admit, my spellchecker is throwing a fit over the title of this post, but as a fantasy writer I reserve the right to invent new words. A little creativity never hurts right?

As I'm sure some people have noticed, I haven't been writing many blog posts lately. Some might even wonder why this is so, seeing as I often tend to have something about my writing experience to share. There are of course several reasons for this.

First of all, I have been writing less often lately,
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The 31K word cut

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/28/11 7:24 AM
I'm taking a small break from revising Revenant Rising to do some work on its sequel. I started this year with a writing resolution to write 5000 words each week, only to abandon it two months later when I found the story was suffering from my murderous pace.

I had this problem with Revenant Rising as well. I usually start my writing with a sprint in which I really get to know my main characters, but totally botch the pacing. With Revenant Rising this happened after about 15K words. Due
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To cut or to alter?

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/22/11 5:00 PM
I think I may have to postpone the publication of Revenant Rising. There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary reason is that my current round of edits is turning into a rather substantial rewrite of the story. I've already completely redone the first chapter, and I'm sure there are many parts further in the story that would benefit from further rewrites. One particular subplot is turning out to be more of a hindrance than a benefit to the story, so I'll either substantially alter it
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Minor changes, major difference

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/31/11 5:30 PM
A while ago I read a post on Andi Judy's blog regarding troublesome words and phrases that kept turning up in her writing. Obviously, examples of what not to do should trigger only 1 response: check your own writing if you make the same mistakes. And boy, did I make those mistakes! I've been spending all my writing time the past few weeks correcting them in the Revenant Rising draft, and I haven't even started checking
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Cleaning up my Twitter friends

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/18/11 11:52 AM
In the last few weeks, my online presence has been a bit subdued. This is my first blog post in a month, and I've been using Twitter only about half as much as usual. As a result of this, each time I do turn on my Twitter client I have a lot of messages to read.� A lot of these messages I find entirely uninteresting, due to the fact that I follow a lot of fellow writers who mostly only tweet about their own work and never socialize.

Every now and then, I also receive e-mails from Twitter
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Elf Fantasy Fair 2011

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/18/11 8:43 AM
I've been a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy for as long as I can remember, starting with animated television shows and later moving to reading books and playing games (in the broadest sense). I run a D&D group with several coworkers, occasionally play Warhammer 40K, and paint miniatures for both. And finally, I'm working on two fantasy novels right now. So it's fair to say that Science Fiction and Fantasy are a significant part of my life. But despite this, I had never visited a Science Fiction
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The joys of editing

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/14/11 8:15 PM
It's been a while since I've read " your first draft is always going to suck" by Alexandra Sokoloff, but I think it partially holds true for any draft you haven't given a detailed look in a while. I recently started another round of edits for Revenant Rising, and suddenly it struck me: this was complete crap! There was so much
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Recovering from a lack of motivation

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/11/11 9:19 AM
For the past few weeks, I haven't written a single word in either my work in progress or in revising Revenant Rising. For those of you keeping score: that means I'm probably about 20K words behind on my writing resolutions, and frankly, I think that's a good thing.

My writing enthusiasm for the sequel to Revenant Rising was bordering on frenzy for the first few weeks, and while I made great progress, I think the story is suffering due to the speed at which I was progressing. At 33K words,
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Professionalism

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/30/11 8:40 AM
I've been told I handle criticism really well. I firmly believe there is nothing wrong with admitting your mistakes and learning from them. Of course, this can not be said of everyone, as was pointed out on Twitter this morning by Rebecca J. Fleming. Rebecca stumbled upon a review by a guy called BigAl of an independently e-published novel called "The Greek
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Defining my genre

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/24/11 12:40 PM
** This post may contain spoilers **
I've been wondering for some time how to exactly define the genre I am currently writing in. I generally just say I write fantasy, but fantasy is a rather broad genre. It can include anything from Elves to vampires to spaceships, or in some cases ie=UTF8&qid=1300952587&sr=1-1]vampires in space (by the way, if anyone wants to use this last sentence
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Self-publishing revisited

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/7/11 9:28 PM
A while ago I wrote about my thoughts regarding self-publishing. In that post I expressed various reasons to consider self-publishing, and how I thought about them. The conclusion of the article was that I might consider self-publishing if my querying would not go well. I've had well over a month to give it some further thought, and the more I think about, the more I think that self-publishing would be ideal for me, and that
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The vampire dream

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 2/24/11 9:42 AM
The people who follow me on Twitter know I have strange dreams sometimes, and that I like to share those with others. Last night I dreamed about vampires, but when compared to other dreams, it actually made a whole lot of sense. Seeing as I'm getting a lot of questions about it from my Twitter followers, I thought I'd share some details of this dream.
"""
First of all, the dream was unusual because I spent most of it as a passive observer, looking over the shoulder of the "main characters"
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A quarter of a novel

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 2/18/11 10:02 AM
My writing resolutions dictate I have to write 5000 words each week unless I'm outlining a new book. I have managed to surpass this goal for 4 weeks in a row now, as you can see by the progress bars on the right side, despite some serious obstacles such as a bruised rib and a severely strained shoulder (which still hurts like crazy despite the painkillers, and I generally have a high pain threshold).

From my perspective, I've barely started writing. Yet when I look at the word count, it's
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Twitter Pet Peeves

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 2/14/11 7:47 PM
I'm rather specific with regard to social media. I've never been one to do something because "everybody else is doing it", which is why I'm absent from websites such as Hyves and Facebook (partially due to the barf people turn their profile pages into, and the fact that I do not consider a cloud of smiley faces to be communication - yes Hyves users I'm looking at you).

On the other hand, I do have a profile on LinkedIn (which I update once a month tops), and am an active user
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Writing resolution update

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 2/5/11 12:03 PM
At the start of this year, I made a list of writing resolutions. I've been doing my best to keep up with them, and I'm happy to say that so far I've succeeded.
  • Write at least 5K words each week, unless outlining a new book. There's a bunch of progress counters on the right side of this website. At the start of each week I post the new goal and the progress so far. I update the counter several times a week. I finished
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Thoughts on self-publishing

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/28/11 7:50 AM
A number of my co-workers have suggested I try self-publishing the second I told them I have written a book. They have a number of reasons for this:
  1. A lack of faith in the future of the traditional publishing industry
  2. A preference for e-books and reluctance / unrealistic pricing for books that also appear in print
  3. A perceived lack of English language mastery on my behalf, based on the very real lack of English language mastery of Dutch people in general
  4. The fact
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Lydia Sharp's "The Awesome" contest

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/19/11 8:04 AM
I think I've mentioned this on Twitter, but I haven't written about it here. A few weeks ago I entered in Lydia Sharp's contest that was nicknamed "The Awesome". The concept was simple: send in the first 500 words of your novel. Lydia would then read each entry and give a critique of the entry. One entry would be declared the winner, and then receive a full chapter critique by both Lydia and Joe
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Revenant Rising Map

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/18/11 8:56 PM
Pretty much every decent fantasy book I've ever read has included a map of some sort (the exception being Urban Fantasy of course). Seeing as I consider my own work to be at least "decent" as well, I knew I had to include a map of the world events happen in at some point. Thanks to an awesome tutorial by RobA at the Cartographer's Guild and several hours spent
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What to write?

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/12/11 8:52 AM
Last monday I blogged about the premise of my current work in progress, and earlier I blogged why I would be working on that story rather than a sequel for Revenant Rising. There's no arguing the logic of working on my currently unnamed project - should I not be able to find an interesting party for Revenant Rising, there's no way I'm going to find
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Novel premise

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/10/11 9:40 AM
For those of you keeping track of my writing resolutions: I've written exactly 0 words last week. I did work on the premise and outline for my next novel however, so I haven't violated my resolutions. I'm not sure if I'll actually finish writing this book, as this depends on how well my querying goes when I finish the third draft of Revenant Rising. If �that goes well I'll drop everything on this project and start working on a sequel for Revenant Rising instead.

But for now, I'm working
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Writing resolutions

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/4/11 9:33 AM
I love to make new year's resolutions. I never start a year without at least some idea of things I should do better. Actually living by them has proven to be a mixed success over the past few years, though I honestly put an effort into them each time, and I have succeeded on various occasions.

There seems to be a trend among fellow writers (especially those of the unpublished variety, which includes me) to post their writing resolutions. I can certainly think of a couple of things I could
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