Crashland – Chapter 8, coming soon!

Things are once again picking up for the people of Crashland! The votes have once again come in and the readers have spoken. And as a result, Chapter 8 is on the way! Which means that the mysteries which have building since the beginning will soon be revealed.

But first, allow me to recap. Last time, the stories protagonist, William Holden, awoke to find himself in an abandoned subway with a group of strange men. His wounds were treated, and they wanted to know who he was. With the city degenerating into chaos, they were understandably reluctant to let just anyone in their camp and give them food, medicine and their trust. Holden knew that depending on what he told them, he might just be allowed to stay, or shot!

After telling them that he was a fictitious employee working for his own company (a lie), the one named Jacobs informed him that the city above them had descended into hell. Whatever hopes Holden had of finging aid and comfort, not to mention his family, were in vain. Holden didn’t take the news too well and began to experience a breakdown. This left Jacobs and his companions with a tough choice to make.

Jacobs boss, a man named Kurzweil, revealed that they knew who Holden really was and needed his help. The chapter ended before their identities could be revealed, but two things were clear: whatever they’ve got planned, it sounds big. And whoever they are, they mean business! In the next chapter, more will be revealed. How the world went to hell, who caused the infopocalypse, and how some plan to rebuild it.

So please, come on by and check it out. And, as usual, stay around to vote on what you want to see happen! It’s all happening over at Story Time!

Crashland – Chapter 3, now appearing at Story Time!

Well the votes are in again! Last time, in Crashland, William Holden had been attacked and went down shooting. Unfortunately, the confrontation went awry and he was presumably left for dead in the street. But rather than roll over and die, he experienced a rather powerful (and gory) vision. I asked readers to tell me what they thought. Was Holden dreaming? Was he dead? Or was he experiencing something else entirely?

Well, the voters spoke and it seems that option C was the way to go. So in short, Holden was neither dead nor dreaming. Well, you might think this would present a challenge to the author, and in the hands of a lesser man, that’d be true 😉 But in fact, I enjoyed coming up with a third option that explained what happened and I hope readers will agree. Things get quite interesting in chapter three.

And naturally, there will be more choices to make once the end of the chapter rolls around.

http://story-time.me/2012/04/25/crashland-chapter-three/

Crashland – Chapter 2, now appearing at Story Time!

A few days ago, I went looking for pictures which I felt perfectly encapsulated the story I was going for. I wanted something that spoke of desperation, of shock, awe and terror, yet also captured the drive and determination of people who had to continue no matter what. This print is what I found…

Beautiful isn’t it? Not to mention inspiring. It is for this reason that I chose to post it as the chapter header for Crashland – chapter 2, which is appearing now at Story Time.me. For those who don’t know, this is serial website where audiences get to vote on how they want the story to unfold. The first chapter is a set-up for the rest of the story which develops through audience participation.

In the case of Crashlands, the audience was given an apocalyptic scenario where the world of the near future was brought to its knees through infopocalypse. In the opening chapter, the story’s main character, William Holden, found himself along in the streets of the darkened city hoping to find help. It ended with him being confronted by a series of dark shadows, men he suspected meant to do him harm. Audiences were asked what Holden should try to do… Run away, attack the men, or try to reason with them.

After days of letting the votes come in, it seems the audience has spoken. Option C is how things will unfold! Come on by and check out Chapter 2 and see what comes of Holden’s attempts to talk his way out of this mess!

Now Appearing at Story Time

“An author should always seek to engage their audience making them care about the characters and invest in the worlds those characters inhabit, be they current or future versions of our world or other worlds entirely. A good story relies on forming a connection with the reader that will make the conflicts expressed in the narrative mean something.

Story Time will try to take that engagement further, where readers decide how the story will unfold.”

That is how Story Time’s founder, Goran Zidar, describes this new serial novel site. Here, audiences are encouraged to read the opening chapter of a story, then become active participants in how it will unfold. Simply go to the site, select a story, then choose from a list of options. The votes are then tabulated, and the next chapter is created released!

This site, I should note, began as part of Writer’s Worth/Grim5next. Those who are participating are member, and as one such person, I myself decided to join. This I did partly for fun, but mainly so I could head up its Cyberpunk division 😉 The first installment in that division, and the third story to open on the site, is titled “Crashland”. This is a future-tale I just started, set in an apocalyptic near-future where a killer virus has struck and is crippling the world’s information networks, bringing civilization as we know it to an end.

I invite all people to come on by and be part of the creative process! I’m excited myself since this is the first time I’ve ever taken part in a serial novel. Follow the link below to find the story in progress!:

http://story-time.me/2012/04/19/crashland-chapter-1/

New Website: Grim5next!

collide_2Not long ago, I joined a new writing project, known as Writer’s Worth, which I learned about through Goodreads. At the time, I thought it might be a good opportunity to rub shoulders with other writers, get some promotional stuff going, swap ideas, etc.

However, in the few shorts weeks that I’ve been part of this group, I’ve found so much more worth than I expected (yes, that was a pun, my apologies!) For starters, we’ve commissioned an anthology project known as “Worlds Undone”. This book not only gave me a chance to write what I like best, dystopian lit, but also inspired me to explore the genre of dystopian sci-fi more fully.

And that, I am pleased to note, led to my being “freshly pressed” for the first time! Yep, it seemed that the first article in my dystopian series – entitled Dystopian Science Fiction – garnered some attention over at WordPress.com. As a result, I got more traffic in two days than I have in over a year. Or, to put it another way, I tripled my overall amount of hits. Went from just under 4000 views to just over 11000 in the thirty-six hours. Wow…

Inner_city_by_aksuYeah, that was nice. But not as nice as my new group coming together to develop this anthology. And since I have some experience with the self-publishing thing, I volunteered to tackle the dust-jacket design and produced some pretty kick-ass covers, if I do say so myself. But I can hardly take all or even most of the credit.

No, the real credit goes to the artists – Ashley Evans and Alex Popescu  – famed artists who agreed to let us use their cover work to fashion a decent cover. I also posted top contenders in a photoshare over at Shaw. However, the winner will be posted on the website itself soon, so feel free to come by and check it out. We could use some outside opinions, just to make sure we’re not patting ourselves on the back too much!

In any case, named in honor of our first anthology, the site is called Grim5next, since the anthology contains three categories: “Grim Futures”, “Last 5 Minutes”, and “What’s Next?”. It’s an exciting process, and I look forward to the end product! Stay tuned if you want to know how and where to get a copy 🙂

http://grim5next.blogspot.co.uk/