Telekinesis makes your job more headachey. If you can live without it, I recommend. He drinks the wine and he simply "jumps" and mov on with story.

Example problem: If Connor can generate enough force to lift himself, why can't he apply that same thrust to a needle or a bullet. That much force on a bullet is more than a gun can impart because ultimately a gun is attached to a hand and Newton's 3rd law etc. He's effectively now armed at all times.

A: The telekinesis is only up/down

Q: Can he toss ball bearings under his opponent's feet then shoot one up with his mass behind it?

A: Oh, well it only works on him

Q: Can he lift himself while carrying something like a book?

A: Certainly. Anything he could lift manually.

Q: Such as a large paving stone...

A: But he couldn't drop it on an opponent's head.

Q: But he could generate thrust using a simple can of hair spray


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

The ship's axe-murderer is 10x better now too.

I've added hints of him in two spots (ex: mysterious hulking shadow from odd direction when all characters are accounted for) and given MC plenty of time to wonder who that is.

Going to do one more sighting, this one a blurry / grainy camera snap as he runs past behind her... enough for her to see it's a crew uniform. Then can have her go the captain but he'll be like "No one matching that description on duty" or something. When he finally shows up for the first chase scene, it's going to be such an ah-ha moment.

I feel so evil


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

As for feeling like padding, that's the interesting challenge. The stuff with Alice (culminating in the elevator crash) so far doesn't feel like it from my admittedly biased position. I've allowed Alice to grow naturally, driving her own agenda. Will be sorry to splatter her, but of course, the show must go on. Her disappearance was certainly the original version's reason that Laurie starts to investigate discrepancies, the act of which which unravels everything. So adding the person behind the disappearance feels natural.

Stealing the central villain from the second half and placing him on the ship allows Laurie's character arc to proceed.


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

I wouldn't call it normal, but a few of them need it, evidently.

My romance stuff has largely been accepted on some other site with reviews suggesting minor tweaks etc. But the angel stuff has been hit by every review as not having enough padding. So I'm carving it up, pruning out some of the curve-balls and replacing it with filler.

Not filler per se, but more points for the protag to breathe and point at the horizon.

Reapplying that to VQF, I can predict what they would say: Make the most memorable moment the climax. That means finding a way to make the explosion part of the ending.

Note also in the current form, I didn't really have room to fully explore the second half, vis-à-vis what it means to have become effectively immortal. What it means to now be prone to a mundane computer virus. I never had time to circle back to Speeder's cryptic comment "You won't know the difference until you try to have sex"

So splitting it in two means the new-body part has room to fully develop. It's just a bit pf pain for the first half.


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

OK so far,
Starting-point: 36k
Alice and her capers are trending to 12 chapters ~ 15k
Added main villain from second half ~3k
Added the hidden villain who was auctioning the MC ~3k
Added a fifth woman, an android pretending to be a robot ~2k
Preacher (for the New Revised Enduring Bible? lol) ~1k

I'm at 60k not counting all the new interactions provoked by the new faces. Could hit 70 on just the miscellany.

Quite happy with this


(36 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

I fear E. Free's message bounced back. It had kind of vanished into the cosmos for a few days and I thought it actually was delivered. But it showed back up last night. Troll Email had me fooled. I thought njc's wasn't working but it turns out I simply cannot spell.

So far most votes are for the 2nd option for the sidebar.


(36 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

I've managed to mail a bunch of you about the re-birth of the backup site.

This one is gonna have automation. The old, I had to log in and click "backup" which made it kind of poor at backing things up. The old one is also quietly dead. I will at one point go in there and export the forum stuff into the new... but ya, it was pretty ancient.

Golden Arches*
Collective Soul**
Soul Bank
Blessings of Shylock
Reluctant Jonases

* or gates or roads or anything conveying transition
**Well this one is trademarked, but nice to brainstorm on. Collective Gold. Silver Soul. Loaded With Blessings.

Darn, still have a stripping. Think... Think... Think

I wouldn't over worry about the existence of too many -ing's.
Excessive removal can cause unnatural formations in the prose.

I wouldn't over worry about having too many -ing's.
Stripping them with military favour can really stilt the phrasing.

Opps! I mean
I wouldn't over worry about the existence of too many -ing's.
Stripping them with military favour can cause unnatural formations in the elucidation.


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

I take the 10-chapter arcs and bind them into full stories. So each release is 40 or 50 chapters (usually 50).

So VQF (all 4 books) would be released as one volume. Each volume with segregated parts and very few characters allowed to move from one book to the other. eg telling Ship story... done? Ok, blow up the ship, reset all the NPCs and move to the next tale.

So, re your question, J3nna was a volume of five... readers didn't have to buy a chain of sequels. In theory, one could read J and see Kimberly in there and migrate over, but cross-sales have been poor. Ever since covid hit, sales (and cross-sales) have been terrible and haven't recovered.

I'm unworried by this, in case you're wondering about the cold, hard facts. Im surfing to the next market-high with a nice back-catalogue ready to sell


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

She blows up the ship at the end of book 2. Every publication contains 4-5 books each with a 10-chapter arc. What I've done is expand the 10-chapter arc into 20 chapters and wondering how to get it to 30.

Mind you, this is early in the v6 rewrite (Oh, please let there not have to be a v7). Alice is shaping up pretty strong, and she's tying in the generic members of the ship's crew Laurie never had time to interact with. She may well be good for half of the needed 15k by herself. Will have to see.


(11 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

Although the Big Crash scrubbed Laurie off the face of the planet revisions are on-going.

A structural issue I face is how to end it where she blows up the ship.

The explosion occurs at the 36k mark. Slightly more than halfway. I've retooled the story to show the lift crash that "Kills" Alice, effectively adding a fourth woman to the cast. The ensuing antics are good for around 15k, netting me 51k. Another 15k would round it out nicely. That's ~ 10 chapters. Hard to pad that much.

One idea is to add an indoor rail. Due to poor maintenance it tips on the doors (bad design) trapping characters in.  I feel like that's a good 3k But it'd be a diversion at best.

Don't wanna pad the chase scenes or increase the #

Any suggestions?.

Oh, he lost potential money big time. But you don't have a deal with them, so it's loss-less for you. I'd say "laser-ish-swords" are yours, go ahead. You're not going out of your way to infringe on "Jedi".

Similarly, I've been asked multiple times if my characters who summon lightning are trending on Sith, but eh... they don't get laser-swords, they don't have mild prescience, and I haven't received a cease & desist yet. Should one arrive, I shall fight it. I have a concept of "electric charge" but let them try to trademark a Farad. Hope that works out for them.

Mickey Mouse can be defeated


(36 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

Dirk B. wrote:

Ever hear of a 24 page prologue?

There's a rare good prologue in 2001's Dawn of Man ( … nal-scene/).

I could go on long rants on this topic but I can sum it down to: I buy a lot of non-Big-5-work from the market and have learned to peek past the prologue before making a buying decision.


(36 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

hah, yes, I always auto-skip prologues. I'm one of the eeevil people (muahahahaha)


(36 replies, posted in Fantasy/Magic & Sci-Fi)

I wish I remembered where I heard this, but to paraphrase: introduce characters like their names are a new word. I’m 80% sure my source (I’ll update this if I find the video I got this from) worked with little kids learning to read once. She said that, as kids read, they would hold up a finger for each word they came across they didn’t know. If they got to five, they would stop and ask for help. This was to make sure kids were reasonably challenged by the stories but not overwhelmed.

She then goes on to say this same principle can be applied to character intros. Readers don’t know who these people are, so their names are “new” and lack meaning. Introducing one or two or even three on one page can be fine, but if you’re front loading all of the names/intros on one or two pages readers may feel more overwhelmed. Try to keep track of who’s introduced when and how frequently these introductions happen.

If I read correctly, you don't need a unique soul. You only need Campagna's DNA added to the existing batch. Why not kidnap her and make a few more Connors.

UNLESS the backup Connors won't have souls in which case abortion is okay because pregnancies don't create souls?

Sorry, I might have missed it but:

the mother's DNA as the source of why Connor is much more powerful, the geneticist could be the one who verifies that her DNA augments the DNA that Satan bred into the kids he used

Why stop at only one Connor? Why not make backups?

Neutral thoughts here. I feel it's a lot to pack into 3 books, but will have to wait to see the execution

Emails are actually quite hard. So many services are on the look-out for mass Emails with slightly similar bodies, you can land your server on RBLs within minutes. Same with SMS these days. My own phone company (Rogers) is on one which makes me laugh. Every time they try to text me their latest offer, my phone tosses it into junk without asking.

This will not be easy to solve, I fear

Sadly, I haven't found a way to circumvent that client-side on Chrome

Dirk B. wrote:

I typically get kicked out after about 15-20 minutes.

Mayhap you're on chrome? The secure=false would do that

I see the cookie issue has been scrubbed off the face of the planet by the Big Crash so in summary, three points
1) Some cookies have a rapid expiry. For example, I logged in today and 4 out of 8 cookies are set to expire a bit after midnight (~five hrs)
2) Five cookies have invalid domains (leading "dot"). Some are "secure"=false, which I believe causes Chrome to auto-discard (but not Firefox, oddly)
3) Some cookies have invalid expiry dates into 2026. This should not exceed 400 days or the browser is allowed to ignore it ( … pan/105916)