My daily writing routine

Posted in Writing on June 29, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

Here’s a picture I took yesterday that shows a typical day’s writing schedule:


I’ve been using this little white board to keep myself on track each day for a couple of weeks now, and it seems to be working pretty well. I’m not the fastest of writers, and I tend to get side-tracked and distracted easily (er, like right now – I just spent an annoying half an hour trying and failing to get that image uploaded until I tried it from my phone and it worked straight away…), so anything that helps keep me on track is a bonus.

I like this technique as the white board is there right in front of me – it’s a good way of keeping myself honest and accountable.

I was pleased with what I got through yesterday. As well as the writing, I also chopped up a (small) tree that had fallen over in the previous night’s storm, got to the gym, did the grocery shopping with my lady, and ate fajitas, so it was an all-round pretty productive day.

Today though? Hmmm… I need to get back to my writing. Words for the word god!

Anyone got any particular techniques they use to keep themselves on target each day?


Amazon to pay for fan-fic…

Posted in Random, Writing on May 23, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

So, this popped up today:



“Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by
popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you
can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers,
and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for
Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries,
with licenses for more Worlds on the way.”


The link is HERE, and the link to the writer’s guidelines are HERE.

This has the potential to be huge – or to explode spectacularly in a big flaming ball of death – but I think it’s probably more likely to be the former.

Already people are crying out that this is the end of traditionally tie-in publishing, and subsequently the end of good tie-in fiction. Others are seeing dollar signs, perceiving an opportunity to get their writing out there and get paid for it (writers getting paid is a good thing. I support that shit.) Others are already getting excited about this being way of potentially making a few bucks from writing that awesome tie-in they’ve always wanted to write that no publisher would go anywhere near – your own unique take on pre-existing IP franchise. (Note, however, that there’s a ‘no pornography’ rule in the writer’s guidelines – thank goodness – so we won’t be seeing any sweaty Buffy/Battlestar porn, for which I am eternally grateful.)

I not 100% sure how I feel about this yet, but in no particular order, here are some rambling, off-the-cuff thoughts.

  • This is really weird.
  • There’s gonna be a lot of crap out there. There already IS a lot of crap out there, but now that there is a potential way to make a few bucks from it, there’s gonna be a lot more. Editors, copy-editors and proof readers are pretty useful, you know… and sometimes there is a reason why a story/writer has not been published through the traditional routes.
  • Writers that might never have been paid before will now have an avenue to start making some cash from their fan-fic. Writers getting paid is good. I have no doubt that this will launch a few writers’ careers, which is no bad thing.
  • Publishing is a-changing. That’s pretty obvious and is certainly nothing new, but it really is changing fast, and publishers and writers need to adapt. For all the changes and challenges that are there, however, people still like to read, and are doing a lot of it (hurrah!). There are definitely  new opportunities for writers now – and this may well be one of them.
  • Much depends on what licenses Amazon manage to secure. Writing a dark horror Star Wars piece would be fun…
  • Much also depends on how much Amazon sells these stories for. At the moment, fanfic is free. How much would people be willing to pay to read it? Having said that, it looks like the writer will get a decent cut the profits, often more than most tie-in writers would receive through traditional publishing.
  • For a licensee, this is free money. However, it will also see their IP mangled, but of course, being fanfic, none of this fiction will be ‘official’, so… that might not really be a problem. It could become a problem, I guess, if this really booms… What if the fanfic starts selling more than the more expensive canonical works?
  • Since there is bound to be a heck of a lot of fiction available through Kindle Worlds, if you want to make money from this, it will be really important to build your brand (as wanky as that sounds) so that your story gets bought ahead of the hundreds of others on offer.
  • Could this be an avenue for established writers? Well, maybe. Who knows. On the plus side, established writers already have an established fanbase. It would be incredibly interesting to see some numbers once this thing launches. If Steven King decided he really wanted to write a 10,000 word Star Trek short story and sell it through Kindle World, I would imagine it would sell rather well. Could this make him more money than writing it through traditional publishing routes? Quite possibly, I guess…
  • Taking that thought a step further, what if Amazon secured the rights for Game of Thrones fanfic, and George RR Martin wrote a short story for Kindle Worlds (perhaps tracking a side-story that wouldn’t fit in a novel). I’m sure he has a pretty good royalty rate with his publisher, but for something like this? Could he make more cash going down this route? Who knows. Martin writing fan-fic of his own fiction? Mind. Blown.

I could go on, but well,  this is already getting rather rambling. Plus, I’ve got stuff to do – real writery stuff. Yes, I know that’s not a real word.

It will be very interesting to see how this goes, and what the ramifications are.

What are you first thoughts? Is this a good thing?

Tears of Isstvan

Posted in Gaming, Painting/Modelling with tags on April 16, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

I came across this blog recently (thanks to Andy Hoare) – really impressive stuff.


The faded glory and gothic weirdness of 40K. (This is an image from Tears of Isstvan - check out the site below).

The faded glory and gothic weirdness of 40K. (This is an image from Tears of Isstvan – check ’em out).


It’s an awesome 40k gaming/painting/modelling blog. These guys really get the look and feel of 40k – no real surprise, really, since John Blanche is part of their gaming group…

Inspiring stuff!

“Where’s the Mountain Dew?”

Posted in Random with tags on April 10, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

Just over a month ago I packed up my belongings to put into storage, but I took the snapshot below before this particular picture went into a box. This was presented to me by the guys just before I left the UK in 2006. Pretty cool, huh?

Oh how fresh-faced and youthful we all looked...

Oh, how fresh-faced and youthful we all looked…

Must say, this really was one freakin’ awesome roleplaying group. We’d play every Wednesday at Graham’s house (accompanied by pizza and wine/beer), and damn it was fun.

We played D+D mostly – one mammoth campaign brilliantly run by Marky Mark Raynor that lasted the whole time – interspersed with random board game nights, a short Warhammer Roleplay interlude and an awesome Firefly adventure concocted by Graham. In the D+D campaign I played Tann, a human barbarian/druid with rage issues… until he got turned to stone and left as a statue in the depths of a dungeon. After that I played Azazel, a Tiefling spellthief who was a proper little bastard.

Ah, good times.

Oh, and if you don’t know what I was talking about with the title of this blog post (shame on you), then go here. Right now. Actually, even if you did know what I was referring to, then go watch it again anyway. You know you want to.

Writing advice from Neil Gaiman

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 2, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

Some pretty good writing advice to be found right here:

Simple and succinct.


What’s been happening?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

Hi folks,

It’s been a while between posts – apologies for that. So, what’s new with me?

Well, I’m currently travelling South East Asia with my beautiful girlfriend. We’ve been to Singapore, Thailand and Laos so far, and are currently travelling through Vietnam. The plan is to go back to Thailand next, there to knuckle down and get writing on a new (secret) project for Black Library. It’s going to be an interesting experience, writing from an island in Thailand – I think I’m going to have to be very strict with myself to put in the hours on my laptop. I think it’s going to work really well, though, and am looking forward to getting started…

Beautiful waterfall near Luang Prabang, Laos.

Beautiful waterfall near Luang Prabang, Laos.

From there, we are going to travel a bit more – Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), and possibly Borneo. Then we are heading off to the states, where all going well, I’ll get started on another BL project. In between all of this, I’m also starting work on a young adult fantasy book that I’ve been wanting to write for years. Exciting times! I’m planning to do a lot more writing this year than I have in the last 3 or so years, which I’m really looking forward to.

I’ve also got the hobby itch at the moment – which is, of course, entirely impractical as we are backpacking – but perhaps when we get to the states I’ll pick up some toy soldiers and see if anyone fancies a game. I’m torn as to whether I should add to my existing Chaos Space Marine force, or start a new one – Orks (partly ‘cos I reckon playing some old-school Gorkamorka would be a laugh).

Green and cranky...

Green and cranky…

Do I add some Word Bearers, daemons and cultists to my Death Guard army...

Or spikey… and cranky?

So, apart from travelling, trying not to get (too) ripped off, putting together proposals for Black Library and poring over the Chaos and Orky sections of GW’s online store, what have I been reading/listening to/watching of late?

What have I been reading? As well as lots of Lonely Planet guides, I’ve been on a bit of a Heresy kick, catching up on stories I hadn’t read, including Betrayer, Angel Exterminatus, Prince of Crows, and Chris Wraight’s awesome Brotherhood of the Storm. I also read Aaron’s impressive Void Stalker. Oh, and the stories from the forthcoming HH anthology, Mark of Calth (featuring a Word Bearers story I wrote). Right now, I’m also ploughing through George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, which I’m enjoying despite the lukewarm reviews I’d heard – perhaps I went into it with low expectations, and so am pleasantly surprised.

What have I been listening to? Not much, really – mostly car horns, the screech of tyres as we hurtle around mountain roads in the back of mini-vans driven by lunatics who think they are driving rally cars, drunken backpackers, etc.

What have I been watching? Again, not much. I’ve just got Beth up to speed on the two Iron Man films, Thor and The Avengers… she liked Iron Man, the others less so… not sure my attempts to turn her into a comic movie fan are working…

Right, our hotel room is almost ready now, so am gonna sign off – a lie-down is sorely needed (we were up at 4am to fly out of Hanoi this morning – urgh).

And we have a winner!

Posted in Competition, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Anthony Reynolds

There were some great entries into the competition I put up last week.

Matt’s suggestion of “A Pig” made me laugh the most, though Chris’s suggestion of Scout Sergeant Cyrus from Dawn of War II certainly made me chuckle (I played way too much of that game). I loved Boltorange’s idea of wanting to see Kharn take on the Skulltaker – I think there is definitely a story in that.

But there can be only one, and while I’ve deliberated back and forth, and loved all the entries… The winner is Gil Fuhr, with this suggestion:

“Lucius the Eternal! Not only because they make up 40K’s dichotomy of violence, but because they both have such personal tales of betrayal; so much in common & so different. And there is such backstory with Fabius Bile and Angron’s Legion wide implants. Then again, Fabius Bile would be a fun fight. What would his Rod of Torment feel like to Kharn?”

kev_walker_kharn_the_betrayer lucius

Kharn vs Lucius, huh. I like it. You sir, are the winner! I’ll be in contact with you shortly!

Thanks to everyone who entered!