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Hobson & Choi #90: "Machete"

Hobson & Choi #90: "Machete"
Choi goes hunting for a big knife, as the landmark 100th episode begins to loom into our mutual eyeline!

Yeah, that's definitely happening. Although not quite as soon as you might think, because we're dropping back to one update a week as of now. Nothing drastically wrong, we've just burnt through the huge backlog I built up and I don't want to have to panic-write the end of the storyline. That'd be sad.

So there we go. I gotta work on the novel, but if anyone has any questions for this podcast Q&A I'm still planning on doing, feel free to comment below or stick them in my Ask box on Tumblr. Yes, you can ask anonymously for now. I'll turn it off if I feel it isn't being used responsibly.

Hobson & Choi #89: "Simon Says"

Hobson & Choi #89: "Simon Says"

What was Hobson up to while Choi was off on her deadly mission? At last, the truth can be revealed. Yes, it does involve Simon Ballart, how did you guess?

This takes us up to almost ninety episodes, which is loads. Gosh. There might be another, somewhat predictable, announcement about the future on Thursday, by the way. The future of the webserial, not Book Two.

Far more relevant for now, though: ask me questions about stuff! I am bringing the H&C Podcast back, for one episode only, and I thought I'd attempt an internet Q&A as part of that. However, this idea only works if I get some Qs to A, so fire away. You can ask in the comments below, tweet me at @NickMB or - if you really want question-specific software - you can use my Ask page on Tumblr.

For now, I have left anonymous Tumblr questioning turned on. This can and will be reversed at any time if people start being arseholes. Short of flat-out arseholing, though, I will take on any questions from all-comers. Writing/self-publishing/H&C queries may get priority, but nothing will be ignored. This is my vow.

So, there we go. Fire away with your interrogation.

Novels By Numbers - How I Killed My Precise Book Structure

My novel - the urban fantasy one I am currently editing after intensive beta reading - has a very strict structure. Three parts (because I love the three act structure), each containing seven chapters (because... I'm not actually sure). I laid it out like that when I started, and have stuck to it ever since.

In my last edit, a few conclusive plot developments got pushed off the end of the final chapter - Chapter Twenty-One, obviously - and I put them in an epilogue. Because this preserves my precious structure.

I've continued this game of sevens all the way to the fourth draft, and frankly I think I deserve a medal. Or at least a giant seven-shaped cake. You can probably find one in shops under Birthday Cakes For Seven Year Olds.

Still, all good things are determined to come to an end, and I don't think I can sustain this shape any longer. I've planned out my new final third and am adding some major new sections to the book, important new bits, cool stuff, all thanks to good suggestions from my excellent beta people. But I don't think I can do it within the seven/seven/seven framework - not without writing chapters that are also ten/twelve thousand word novellas, at least.

So, with a heavy heart and a grim smile, maybe ever a cinematic single tear, I am waving goodbye to the sevens. I will miss them, but anything that makes the book better is probably worth it. And I still have sevens in the first and second third.

And, ditching the faux-eulogy tone for a second, let's be honest: if an editor, agent, publisher or similar entity says I need to add extra chapters to the book anywhere, further messing up the sevens, I'll definitely  do it as long as I agree it'll improve the story. Hardly seems practical to get over-attached to these things. Not as if the chapter-counts are story relevant, it just worked out that way.

And it least it gave me something to work within while I got the book written. Let's not be ungrateful.

I'm glad I wrote this blog post, it was therapeutic.

Hobson & Choi #88 - "Victimhood"

Hobson & Choi #88 - "Victimhood"
Choi's deadly mission gets underway. Can she recover the special object? (I'm never sure how much detail to put here, as I don't want to spoil stuff for people waiting for the novels.)

Anyway, yes, hi! Hobson & Choi is getting dangerously close to #90 now - as in, it'll go up this time next week. We're really old now. Might have to stem that flow somehow.

In outside-the-serial H&C news, I did an interview on This Fleeting Dream about the first book, I linked it here the other week but am pretty pleased with it. And so I say again: give it a look, it is fun. And then buy my book, if you haven't already.

Otherwise, I'm off back to a cafe to work on my novel. Progress continues apace.

Interview with me about The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf!

My lovely book cover!
I have not written a blog post today, but it's okay, because Julianne Benford has interviewed me for her blog, so I can just link to that!

It's a fun interview, I talk a bit about my inspirations and process, throw in a few jokes. Give it a look and report back.

And yes, the interviewer is also my girlfriend so there is a nepotism element in there. But don't worry, it's definitely addressed in the post.

Should reading that inspire you to pick up a copy of the book, below is the array of buttons enabling you to do so. And if it reminds you you've read the book and still need to write a review on Amazon/Goodreads/your blog/somewhere else, that's cool too.

Oh, and I 100% finalised my design brief for Book Two last night, so that's looming in the distance, ready to bubble over at any moment. But for now, let's focus on The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf. Read interview, buy, enjoy.

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes & NobleBuy from NookBuy from Google Play
Buy from Apple iBooksBuy from SmashwordsBuy from Libiro

Buy from Amazon UKBuy from Amazon USBuy from Createspace

Hobson & Choi #87: "Drill"

Hobson & Choi #87: "Drill"
Choi gets thrown unwillingly into ACTION in the latest H&C webserial chapter!

And yeah, we're definitely heading into late numbers now. The nineties beckon! And not in a cheap nostalgia way.

Spent the weekend putting together a design brief for Book Two as well, so lots going on in the H&C arena. And to let you all know how far ahead I am, I finished a first draft of #96 yesterday.

Wow. Treble digits loom!

Hobson & Choi #86: "Who?"

Hobson & Choi #86: "Who?"
Who is behind the whole mess? Hobson and Choi do some serious mastermind-confronting in this latest chapter. Obviously, something is about to go wrong.

Yes, the chapter is out about an hour earlier than usual, due to it just being more convenient to get it done now. I won't be plugging it on social media until the usual 1-2PM type time, so those of you who happen to check the blog or RSS feed a bit early get a little treat. Well done, guys.

You can think of it as a reward for voting us to #1 on Jukepop if you like, or just a complete coincidence. Which it is.

Almost finished the bonus story for the second Hobson & Choi book, it's going to be another slightly grim noir tale, I think. Might attempt something cheerier for Book Three, I already have an idea in mind. Yes, it's scary how far in advance I plan this stuff.

Dealing With Beta Readers - An Early Report

It's been a few months since I last looked at my full-length fantasy novel about Faustian deals - I put it aside for a spell, both to let beta readers have a crack at it and to focus on getting the Hobson & Choi book launch in order.

But the first H&C book is all fired into the atmosphere, the Book Two work now with other people, and most of my beta readers reported, so time to start in that direction again. Yesterday afternoon, for the first time in a while, I opened up the novel Scrivener file, looked at various beta reader notes and thought about it.

So, how does it feel returning to a novel post-beta? Have I got any advice for other writers in similar situations? Let's find out!

Hobson & Choi #85: "Knifepoint"

Hobson & Choi #85: "Knifepoint"
Hobson & Choi have an edgy knifepoint chat with The Yellow Man, and stuff is revealed. All happening in #85.

But, much as I generally want people to care about my story - I will admit, the big news today is external as I was #1 on the Jukepop charts for August! Victory!

Thanks to all who responded to my social-media calls for votes, I'm pretty happy we finally made it there after nineteen months. Lots of other stuff happening in H&C-land too - this may call for a blog post, in fact. Might try and get that up in the next couple of days, but for now, just got time to notify you of the new chapter. Read it and think of victory.