Twice a week updates

Hey all,

 

For the next novella, I’m going to try out twice weekly updates. They will be on Sunday and Wednesday night at 8EST. I’ll revisit if we can keep up the pace moving forward, but as for now, look forward to an update tomorrow night!

 

Kirk

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I made it!

Well, Hurricane Nicole  was a powerful storm, but God blessed us with very little damage. By the Cat 4 rating, I honestly wasn’t expecting to be able to post anything tonight, hence the reason for the early post on Wednesday.

Seeing as all systems are green now, I’m actually going to keep the posting on schedule and release the next update early. If I can keep the speed going, I’m also considering maybe keeping to a twice a week release schedule. So look forward to a release of the next issue in the series tonight!

Hope you all enjoy it.

Kirk

What exactly ‘is’ this stuff??

This may seem an odd question coming from the creator of a piece of fiction, but in all honesty, I do have a hard time classifying exactly what genre Once Giants falls into. It certainly has its root in science fiction with shades of cyberpunk, in terms of the world and technology, but as for the premise and the kinds of stories, well, they range from action, to romance, to adventure, to crime drama.

And while this was all intentional, as Garan and I were looking for a project that could tell these kinds of stories, I suppose it’s origins was somewhat organic in nature and why pinning it down to one thing has become somewhat of a struggle.

For all of our stories, character comes first, and that was no different for the original premise. It began as an assignment during a Science Fiction writing clinic featuring Tobias Buckell. It’s not often such things occur in our neck of the woods, so for Garan and I, it was a  must attend event.

For me especially, it was a boost I needed to get back into writing. Since the publishing of my second book in 2010, I had been struggling with a third novel in the series and was stuck on the second act. Then life happened and it lost all priority. Or rather, I devalued it’s priority. Especially as it seemed to be going nowhere. I still wanted to write, but completing that novel seems like a mountain not worth overcoming. To me, the thrill in the story was dead and I was just going through the motions.

So the writing clinic was a true shot in the arm for me. The first thing I did was research the presenter, Tobias Buckell. What struck me immediately was his blending of Caribbean culture and Sci-fi, something I had always viewed in a negative connotation. But when I read his novels (I think I read two of them before the class) it resonated so deeply with my own cultural roots, that it reignited that passion for writing within me. And I knew what made it interesting for me now: culture.

I won’t go into the details of the clinic, but it taught me a tremendous amount about pacing and the craft of writing a good action story–lessons I still endeavor to apply today.

In the clinic, we each had to produce a short story and needed to come up with three ideas. I had two that were far more, Sci-fi-ish. One was set in a future china, about a synthetic eel farmer who switches his infant son with the emperor’s child after a road accident. (The story was perhaps a bit too noir for me, but I loved the concept of the eels. You may see it appear in Once Giants at some point. *wink*wink*). The other idea was about a commissioning engineer who ignites the blackhole engines  of starships. The plot involved political intrigue and still might make a good book to write one day, but again, it was perhaps too complex of a story to write.

My final idea, I almost never put down on paper. It had been something I’d been kicking around in my brain for a few years, but the idea seemed too absurd to admit out loud. It originally came from an online game (I’m a huge mmorpg fan, or was, i.e. recovering addict) which featured superhero characters. One of the power options they had for characters included giant growth, which was done pretty well in the game.

On a whim, I decided to make a joke character, called Size Queen, who grew huge when she got mad. I eventually came up with a backstory for her as a reformed villain, who was once a bodybuilder that used bio-enhancements to stay competitive. The idea really stuck with me and I found myself recreating Size Queen on nearly every mmorpg I played.

For a time, I wondered if I could actually turn the idea into an actual story, but it seemed too weird and too far removed from my earlier Christian based sci-fi novels. It was a sort of guilty pleasure for me. Thus, when the thought rolled around for my third short story idea, Size Queen naturally popped up, but I was reluctant to commit to it at first.

Finally I said, why not, it’s just one idea in three. It was by far my least detailed outline, but I set to recreating Size Queen as a believable sci-fi character with the exotic cultural influence inspired by Tobias Buckell’s novels as a cyberpunk backdrop.

When I shared these ideas with Garan and asked which he liked the best, he immediately said something akin to, “The one with the giant ex-wrestler chick. I wish I’d come up with an idea like that. Sounds really cool.”

And thus I had the inspiration to write the short story, The Size Queen. It was well received by the other writers at the clinic and it felt like something that needed to be continued. I toyed with the idea of expanded the short story into a novel, but it was again Garan who gave the inspiration: “Nah man. This story is done. Start a new one, with the same character. Like a comic book series.”

That led to me writing Warrior Boyz. By this time, Garan was chomping at the bit to get in on the action. Garan loved the idea of the characters and wanted to create one for himself, but had no affinity for world building, which I love.We had for years been considering collaborating on a writing project and our enthusiasm for the premise seemed like a fit. Thus the idea was born to have two different sorts a tales told through two main characters who shared the same world, and a history.

From there the stories grew organically with small vignettes and shorts serving as backstories and fillers between the main novellas. So while we ourselves love the idea and the world, we had a problem. How the heck do you explain what this is to someone who has never read it before?

So I’m turning to you guys for help. What exactly is Once Giants? Is it Sci-fi? Is it cyberpunk? Is it action crime drama? Is it chicklit romance? It’s clearly all of these, but I suppose the question really is, which aspect appeals most to readers and if marketed to, will make them come away  saying, “Hey, that was good <blank> story.” and not, “Hey, that’s not what I thought this story was going to be about.”

So please, help us out! What kind of story is Once Giants to you? Who would love it? Who would not? Please leave you comments below! And as always, thanks for reading.

-Kirk

 

 

 

 

What’s next?

Hey guys,

Sorry for the long break in updates on this blog. I’ve been doing some pretty heavy research into marketing and ebook development. While it has been a steep learning curve, it’s also been rewarding to pick up new skills and ideas. I feel much better prepared now than I was a few months ago when I started Once Giants as a web serial.

Having said that, all this marketing stuff has had a downside. I became some immensely absorbed, that I began to lose focus of the main thing itself. Writing. It’s true, I’ve been pushing out updates, but the drive to produce a new story was overshadowed by the need to polish the next release or researching how to reach out to more readers.

I’m happy to report, however, that I’ve finally put pen to paper (or fingertip to key?) and started a new Size Queen short story. It might not be available to you guys for a while, as it’s pretty far down in the release line, but just know that new stuff is being produced. And that’s on top of what’s already in the pipeline.

Speaking of that, I’ve been releasing on a weekly schedule to ensure we always release on time. But the schedule is set for at least three weeks in advance. Would you all be interested in seeing what’s coming up that far down the road?

And also, give us some feed back on how the system for bonus stories is working out. These stories do enhance the universe but are not essential to the main plot, so we didn’t want them clogging up the blog segments if people wanted to skip them. Do you like them as they are now? Can it be improved? Let us know!

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, find the Bonus Stories here.

Thanks again for tuning in!

Kirk of Team Contract

 

 

New Mailing List

You guys may have noticed a somewhat annoying popup during you last visit to oncegiants.com. That’s on me. Or rather, my inability to figure out how to make a static sign up button for our new mailing list.

If anyone out there has experience to make a less intrusive sign up mechanis0,m please let me know. In the meantime, please do sign up for the newsletter. I’m still figuring out the mechanics, but I want this to be a means of communicating to fans and offering a little something extra.

This may range from early releases of chapters as well as background stories before they are posted on the main page, to new art work. So sign up to stay in tune! If you have any other ideas for rewards please let me know in the comments.

Have a great week guys!

 

 

She Wolf is here!

OnceGiants Blurb bkg2.pngWell, the time has finally come around for the first installment of the She Wolf storyline. I’m personally very excited about what people will think about this new main character.

It’s a rapid change of pace and even genre from Size Queen and I’m hoping people hang on for the ride.

Early in our collaboration, G. Mad and I discussed how we wanted to break up the world between the two characters and what ground we would cover. One thing we settled on was that we didn’t want the same kinds of stories being told from the two characters.

Garan’s forte is street level crime/action and romance and you’ll find tons of that in She Wolf. Size Queen stories focus on mercenary action and the geopolitical aspects of the universe. There is a third angle that will be brought in with the reveal of the 3rd main character that will expand the story scope even more, but I’ll keep that under wraps for now. 🙂

I’ve said before the She Wolf stories hit a more classic superhero storyline that I think people will love. As the story unfolds I’ll be eager to hear what you guys think. So please leave us some comments!

Stay tuned for more true believers!

 

 

 

XOXO

Just finished watching XOXO. For those who don’t know, XOXO is a Netflix original movie about a DJ debuting at a massive rave named XOXO. I’m a huge fan of trance and electronic music but I’ve never been to a rave. Probably should have gone in my younger years but, oh well. This movie provided a great and fun opportunity for me to live vicariously in that regard, so yes, I had an awesome time watching it.

I’m especially excited to share this experience with my writing partner, Garan. I think a setting like XOXO would make an excellent adventure for a She Wolf story. I also know he’s in the middle of brainstorming something new so maybe I can influence him.  >:)

Speaking of She Wolf, the chapter for this Sunday has been edited and we’re working on pushing out the rest to give us a bit of buffer. We’re thinking She wolf might end up being around 6 chapters, but we’ll see how it goes.

Again, brace yourselves for a change of pace! Size Queen and She Wolf do share the same world but it will seem night and day. Hang on to your seats, because more is yet to be revealed.

-Kirk

 

Welcome to Cyber Fiction Works

I’ve decided to start this blog as a means to both catalog my jouney, as well as create a place for me to interact with readers and fans. I tried doing a News and Announcements page on the main Once Giants site, but I had to do it manually and it didn’t have the ability for people to leave comments. Thus I’m hoping this secondary blog will do the job much better.

Once Giants has been up on it’s dedicated site for about a month now and the interest it has gotten has been great! (For me anyway) This is me comparing it to when I was posting chapters on various reading ponds on the internet like Wattpad and Writing.com. I still don’t know if the views and visitors I get is anything to write home about, as I don’t have much to compare it to, but I am grateful and excited nonetheless.

Once Giants is not your usual web-serial from what I’ve seen out there. I’m viewing this as a good and bad thing. Probably mostly bad for now, as even I have a hard time categorizing it, but I hope over time the full picture will come into focus.

For those of you who have read the first two volumes, what do you think? Is Once Giants similar to anything you’ve read before? If so, please let me know! If not, what makes it different for you?

Look forward to getting to know you guys and hearing what you think.

-Kirk