Month: December 2018

State of the Crom 2018

The year has come to a close, and I definitely think it’s one for me to remember. I learned a lot during the course of this journey so far. So much related to the craft of writing, as well as the publishing and marketing aspects. The good news is that I love learning new things and I love to research. The bad news is well, the same. As long as there is an upper limit on what can be learned about this art/business, I’ll be able to actually be productive eventually.

The three short books that I worked on this year were challenging and fun. I also managed to write just a couple of short stories. That is probably going to be a larger focus in 2019, because while I managed to finish these projects, I’ve gotten fresh ideas for 30 more. A lack of ideas is not something I have to worry about. Additionally, in 2019 I intend to spend more energy in the publishing side of things. A fellow author and I are putting together a publishing company to promote discover of other independent authors like ourselves. We certainly have enough of whatever the big publishing houses are putting out so there’s an opportunity to do something different.

One thing that I definitely think we’ll be doing is hosting a competition, likely for flash fiction, to give writers additional avenues for publication and exposure. We’re considering how the business model will grown and expand over time, but this particular idea seems like a no-brainer. I myself have submitted a few short pieces and found the experience to quite interesting, being forced to think outside the box and play with tropes that I otherwise wouldn’t.

Throughout 2018, I also put together some short summaries of various aspects of the fiction world for the Supers & Sorcery series, and posted them to blog. It’s partly an exercise in putting parts of the premise on display for free public consumption, and partly just a format from which I will eventually collect the bits into a separate publication to be use as reference material for role-playing games.

One of the other projects on the horizon is to write a role-playing game complete with the Cromkhar setting, including a number of short fiction vignettes to help flesh out the flavor of the world. And then package it all up and distribute as a novel-like experience, so that’s a self contained fiction/non-fiction/game-reference book that anyone can pick up and bring back to their gaming group, regardless of whether they’ve read any of the series. I’ve seen this done before with another property and thought it was rather clever. It never went anywhere that I’m aware of, but that isn’t going to deter me. I’ll be doing it for the love of doing it. Whether it becomes the next big thing is not a concern for me.

Another secondary project will be something of a novelty, I believe. A series of short stories that are all independent but also related in some way. I feel it’s been done here and there with some television stuff like Black Mirror, but in this case I want to span multiple genres and time periods so that the reader is unlikely to predict a connection until it’s fully revealed. Anyway, one year down, another fifty to go!

Cromkhar Codex – Warped

In the recent decades on Cromkhar, the concept of warped beings has grown increasingly more prominent. Among the civilized species, the humans are the most commonly known for being warped, though it exists everywhere to some extent. These warped features can manifest in many ways, sometimes just superficial or cosmetic, but other times they are life changing and dangerous.

The manifestation of the feature happens at seemingly points in a persons life but often it is very young, or even at birth. The person may not realize or discover it for some time and commonly they just hide it, from everyone including closest friends and family. The distrust of such people has spread far and wide, not because anyone expects they are evil, but they are a potential risk of danger.

For the debatably lucky ones, they are able to join a Tempest and get some measure of respect and a place to belong without having to hide. There are others that have no meaningful talent and cannot contribute to a Tempest and are forced to live in secret, or they decide that their ability can be used for whatever they deem fit. These eventually become the target of a Tempest, once they draw enough attention to themselves.

The nature of individual warped abilities are rather varied. There are passive traits such as immense strength or toughness, or incredible levels of intelligence. There are other that require effort or focus to manifest, like changing their own appearance, shape or density – these are self controlling abilities and less common. Then the abilities which are used on others seem more rare – mind control, fire or ice blasts, remote force, etc. One of the more prominent Tempests is the Silver Tempest, which has an odd array of team members:

  • Proteus (leader) – complete self-body manipulation
  • Zetta – control over nature/plants
  • Shann – manipulation of darkness as an energy or other dimension
  • Soren – permanently transmuted into a walking/talking boulder with earth powers
  • Mideon – a gifted inventor with otherworldly luck and empathic abilities
  • Alain – a mentalist of unparalleled potential
  • Murik – an undead human capable of spreading radiation and disease