News Post!

Heyo folks! Who’s ready for some news! A good chunk of it! You? Good! Because that’s what this post is! We’ve got a couple of topics to cover today, from news about Axtara and Fireteam Freelance to Patreon.

Okay, so first up, let’s talk about the Patreon. And … there went half of you. Wait come back! It’s not what you think!

Okay so first up, I want to let those of you that are Patreon Supporters know that another chapter of Sunset: Stranded is up on Patreon for your perusal. If you’re familiar with it, you know the deal. If not (and you’re not a supporter) it’s a fanfic project, and I throw chapters of it up on Patreon as they are completed. Those of you who have been enjoying that adventure though, rejoice! There’s a new chapter at last. You can head on over to the posts page to find it, supporters.

But that’s not all. As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, one of my goals with in starting 2020 is the revitalization of my Patreon Page, and that starts tomorrow. Tiers are going to be simplified. Goals are going to be reined in. The front page is going to be cleaned up. Nothing at the core will change: The Patreon is still going to be about keeping this site ad-free and in support of more Being a Better Writer articles (and as a bonus to help an author stay afloat). But the page itself will reflect that a lot more than it currently does, in more concise language.

Additionally (and you may have noticed this last week), but each Being a Better Writer article will now have a special thank you section, thanking each Patreon supporter by name. Well, with one exception, that being names that appear to be a person’s real name. In that case, I have chosen to use one part of their real name, rather than the whole name, in the interest of privacy.

But now, current supporters will have their names attached to each BaBW as it is written as a public acknowledgement of their support. In hindsight, I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to it, but … Well, you know what they say about hindsight.

So anyway, that’s the plan with Patreon. Now. onwards to talk about Axtara – Banking and Finance!

Last night, I completed the draft. Yes, that’s correct, Axtara – Banking and Finance is now done! Well … the draft is. Which means it is now in PRE-ALPHA STATE.

Yes, I put that in caps just in the hopes that you’d read it in a booming voice. You’re welcome.

Anyway, so does this mean that it’s time for the Alpha Read, and for me to start contacting (and looking for) Alpha Readers?

Well … no. I’ve found that it’s best to let a book sit for a time before coming back to it. To let the mind disconnect a bit and look at it fresh. So I’m going to give it at least a few months. What it may end up being is a release sliding in between the end of Fireteam Freelance and the start of Starforge.

Some of you may despair at hearing this, because that sounds like a delay for the much-anticipated Starforge, but fear not, because Axtara isn’t actually that long. The pre-alpha clocks in at 122.275 words.

Sure, that’s a 350-400 page novel to anyone else, but to me? Well … while it makes me laugh, in all honesty that’s a “short work,” the result of two months of writing. On the one hand, I’m a boss. On the other … No yeah, I’m still a boss. Freaking yeah!

Anyway, my point is that Axtara will have a much shorter editing period than the titan that was Jungle. And will be able to come out much sooner. And, if I’m totally honest … I already have a sequel in mind. Won’t stop Starforge, and it’ll probably end up being like Axtara was: A palette cleanser between large projects.

On that note, I’ll confirm right now that while I don’t have the exact price locked down, Axtara isn’t going to be $8 when it comes out. It won’t be free, naturally, but it won’t be the price of Jungle, that much is certain.

Also, it’s not quite as “in depth” as say, Shadow of an Empire or my other, larger second-world settings. Axtara is, I’d venture to say, the closest thing I’ve written to a “generic” fantasy setting. There are technical reasons why that is: The setting grew out of the short A Game of Stakes (the short launching in this year’s LTUE anthology) which couldn’t dive into a really deep, unfamiliar world in the interest of brevity. As Axtara is canonically in that same setting (it actually references, albeit secondhand, events from A Game of Stakes) it needed to fit into that same world.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t worldbuilding. Oh no no no no. There’s definitely a neat world here, and attentive readers will start piecing together how it all came to be as they read through the story, but the core of things? Well, it’s about the titular Axtara, and her experiences in starting a bank in a very out of the way kingdom. As such, it’s pretty character based, and one could say almost slice of life. Don’t expect ancient evils or world-threatening plots, but a tough, determined young dragoness trying to make her mark on the world, and the struggles she goes through to do that.

But yes, Axtara is complete! Rejoice! Which means that it is time to tackle the next big project … Fireteam Freelance.

Okay, I want to talk about this one for a bit, because Fireteam Freelance is one of those stories that I’ve seen some confusion regarding. In fairness, that’s on me. Fireteam Freelance is a bit different, and everyone’s excited for Starforge, so there’s confusion about what Fireteam is.

So let me clear this up now. Fireteam Freelance is, or will be, an episodic story that will release each of its Alpha chapters here on the site as they are written.

Yes, you read that properly. It’s my next project, and as chapters are finished, they will be released in the Alpha form on this site. To read. For free. There will even be a page tab at the top for the series.

So that’s definitely different. As to what this will accomplish? Well, I don’t rightly know. As I said, it’s an experiment. Maybe it’ll bring in new readers, maybe it won’t. Time to find out.

But what this means is that you can expect fairly regular and free chapters to this new venture to go up here on Unusual Things until the story is complete. Different, but neat! After it’s done, the whole product will get a full editing treatment and see a release as an ebook, polished and cleaned and with a cover. The freebie posts will note that it’s an Alpha, and there will be errors and cleaning for the final version.

So that’s what it is, now … what’s it about? Well, now that Jungle is out, readers, I can finally talk about it.

Fireteam Freelance is a side story to Colony and Jungle, centered around Earth. From the view of a small, independent team of mercenaries officially known as the titular Fireteam Freelancers, or unofficially as Valkyrie’s Valkyries (Yes, that’ll make sense when you meet them).

These four are all career mercs, sisters in battle doing whatever jobs they can stomach and survive for no other reason than to survive and keep from being squashed by either the megacorps’ or the UN’s ever-extending reach.

Naturally, of course, they’re going to get caught up in something vastly beyond their control. I won’t say what, but if you’ve read Colony and Jungle, you likely have a pretty good idea.

In other words, this is going to be an episodic story about four well-equipped, lifelong mercenaries taking jobs and kicking lots of butt .. and along the way maybe, just maybe, ending up being swept up in the aftermath of events on Pisces.

You can read that maybe as “absolutely.” It’s fine.

So yes, it’s a bit of a different project from me. In some ways experimental. But I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and look forward to seeing what results as I spend the next week or two bringing all the pieces together to get the ball rolling.

And … as far as news goes that’s it! I’ve got to get to work on Fireteam Freelance now, so I will see you all Monday for another entry of Being a Better Writer!

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