Monthly Archives: May 2016

Group Chess

Chess BoardI’m sure someone has done something like this before, and yet…I don’t care.

The basic game mechanics of chess remain unchanged. Pawns move as pawns move, Kings move as kings move, and the little horsey guys do what little horsey guys do.

Here is where it gets interesting.

instead of being a two person game, Group chess requires at least three players on each side. If you can manage five players a side, do that. You can work out variations with fewer players if you must.

The Three Players

The Royalty: The person playing the Royalty can move only the King and Queen pieces. As the monarchy they get to send orders downward through their General.

The General: The person playing the General can only move the pawns. They receive orders from the Royalty as to the disposition of troops. Here is where it gets interesting. They can chose to ignore those orders and pass along orders of their own to the Rooks, Bishops, and Knights.

The Elite: The person playing the Elite can move only the Bishops, Rooks, and Knights. They receive orders from the General which have (maybe) been passed down from the Royalty. Just like the General can ignore the orders of the Royalty, the Elite may ignore the orders of the General. If you have enough players, get one person to pay the Rooks, one to play the Bishops, and one to play the Knights.

Let the chaos ensue.

Two Manifest Delusions Novels Coming Your Way!

The awesome folks at Talos Press (an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing in New York) will be publishing the next Manifest Delusions novel! We’re currently bouncing title ideas around (they won’t let me call it Fred) and discussing artistic direction for the cover (they won’t let me do a crayon sketch of the characters). I can’t wait to see what comes of all of this. Maybe someday down the road I’ll share the list of titles we’ve put together so far; we have about 30.

Tentative release date for this novel is mid-2017.

Without giving anything away, I can say that this book takes place in the same world as Beyond Redemption but introduces a completely new cast of characters. It is not a sequel.

“What,” you say, “not a sequel? But I thought—”


There will be a sequel!

beyond_redemption_map_finalI’m currently giving The Mirror’s Truth—which takes place where Beyond Redemption leaves off—one last read through and making some minor tweaks before sending it off to the lunatic who has agreed to edit this monster. You’ll see many of your old friends and most of them will likely try and kill you. I’m also researching artists, trying to find the mad genius who will work for pocket lint and grilled cheese sandwiches. I keep thinking about running a Kickstarter for art and editing expenses, but if you sent me money my Doppels would just drink it. Bastards.

Anyway, my editor at Talos has asked if I’d be interested in including an excerpt from the as-of-yet untitled novel they’re publishing in The Mirror’s Truth and I think that’s a brilliant idea!

I’m self-publishing this novel and aiming to release it by November, 2016. So if you’re jonesing for some maddark, I should have two new novels coming your way in the next 12ish months.

The Best Advice Ignored

Writers are awesome at giving other writers advice. We’re even better at ignoring it.

For no real reason whatsoever I decided to ask the folks of the Grimdark Fiction Readers and Writers facebook group what they thought the best/favourite advice they ignore was.

For me it’s ‘write every day.’ I don’t. Not even close.

Here are their responses. This is pretty much a cut and paste job.

Scott Oden “Kill your darlings.” Hell, no, I say! Instead, I find a way to make my darlings relevant to the story.

Mark Lawrence revise revise revise

Auston Habershaw Write every day, for me, too. I’d add in the whole “finish what you write.” Generally good advice, but some drafts are such a train wreck it’s best to put them out of their misery early.

Richard F. Gallipeau Exposure bucks?! Someone on the other thread said finish the first draft completely before revising. Not only do I not write in sequence, I’ll “pre-edit” a little bit as I write the other sequences. I’m going to start trying to finish the draft as completely as possible before editing anything next chapter.

Jeff Bryantwrite every day and don’t think about world building while you are writing.

Mark Turner ‘Lay down the bones of the story first. Go back and flesh it out later.’ I can’t remember where it came from, but I always think of it when I start something, then find I’m unable to do it. Gotta add some flesh as I go. Scared I’l forget something good otherwise.

Kareem Freshpots Mahfouz Sometimes the pace needs to come down so it can build back up. Oh no’s it doesn’ts precious!!!!!

Jonathan Ashman Agree. I don’t write every day either. I write when I want to, otherwise it’s shit heh

Jake Scholl Write what you know is a limiting thing I don’t follow. Also I don’t write everyday.

Wade Garret Do you, don’t Do someone else; if I wanted to read Tolkien I would…

Dick Hitchcock “Don’t quit your day job.” Granted, I don’t actually have one, and haven’t had one in almost 4 years…

Anna Smith-Spark No one’s ever given me writing advice. They know I’d either punch them or cry.

Thomas James Clews Use less words make them tighter. I struggle with this a lot as I tend to enjoy being verbose.

Wade Garret Be a Storyteller 1st and a Writer 2nd

Quint VonCanon use as many German words and names as possible.

Matthew Summers Never revise as you go… yeah… that isn’t happening.

Charles Phipps Write in other ways than the first person.