Cheeseburger Gothic

First Draft done

Posted August 25 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just put the last full stop in place and compiled the Scrivener file of Paris. 48 250 words. I'll give the Word doc a read thru this arvo and tomorrow, and send it out to Beta.

Publication in late September, I reckon, depending on the pro-edit.

33 Responses to ‘First Draft done’

jl would have you know...

Posted August 25
Always gives a feeling of accomplishment when you get to that stage. Well done, sir, take a micro break. Looking forward to reading your latest effort, revisited all of the AoT books recently so that I'm up to par.

Alister mumbles...

Posted September 6
Just like JL, I've trawled AoT over the last few days, and am back doing Stalin's Hammer. It's bloody awesome, and better than moping over having put my beloved on a plane yesterday and not seeing her until Dec.

BRING ON PARIS, JB! Watchu got?

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted August 25
Boom! Mic-drop.

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Peter Bradley reckons...

Posted August 25
Just a tad excited by this....just a tad.

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Marzuk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 26
So excited, this can't come soon enough. Will make the wait till the new AoT stuff next year a but more bearable

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien would have you know...

Posted August 26
This just made my day! I will make myself one of those website countdowns that calculate it down to a second until arrival...

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted August 26
Choice bro!

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted August 26
I can feel an epic *squeeee* coming on

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 27
I'm going to need an infographic and some reading time to catch up before spoilopalooza

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted August 28
Finished first read through on the beach.

All I have to say is, dammmmnnnnnnnnnn, dude.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted August 28
No beta read this time?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 28
Yeah. I'll just sending out the main round of invites now. Wanting to test the new platform with a smaller group first.

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 29
I hate to taunt, (read that as "sorry, not sorry") ... But this is some awesome stuff. Since AoT is what brought a lot of us to the table to begin with, there is great joy in seeing these characters again ... And so many surprises.

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted August 29
I just read up to chapter 4 on my lunch break.

I'm just waiting for the shocking JB Universes cross-over reveal: Slim Jim to The Dave "I am your father". Kinda both think with the same brain.

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 29
crap, posted in wrong thread, Soz

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 29
Paris is fkn awesome! Highly recommend it to AoT junkies (like me).

DaveC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 30
I concur with Jason. Paris be God damned righteous!

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted August 30
I just finished it at lunchthine. Awesome.

I now needto go back again, since I found the last 4-5 chapters so compelling I forgot to read for edits, you know, like he's paying us big bucks to do...

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Ron Schaffer ducks in to say...

Posted August 31
where do i find the beta - I cant wait

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 2
Ron. Send me your email and I'll send you a link.

Rhino ducks in to say...

Posted September 2

NO! He doesn't get a link just by ASKING! Flinging betas out willy hilly and higgedly piggedly.That just isn't done. It has to be bestowed, after years of toil and meritorious Burger service.



Oh, who am I kidding? Come on in, the water is fine. If mostly beer and piss counts as fine.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 2
um...did you tell him about the INITIATION FKN CEREMONY! or fkn what! cos I need advance notice to buy all those fkn leftovers!

Rhino would have you know...

Posted September 3
This really needs to be on the agenda for the next meeting.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 5
I concur. Where is Man Clumsy, always banging on about an agenda, well here's something for his agenda.
Ahem " This house agrees that Beta Readers be no longer referred to as "exclusive" "discerning" nor "select.'

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 5
I think we say yes kinda and the CAP THE FKR!

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Sparty ducks in to say...

Posted September 1
still doing proofing - but story wise - bang on perfect! kind of all the good things of the Force Awakens...

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Nathan ducks in to say...

Posted September 1
I'd love to give it a read

Rhino reckons...

Posted September 3

Nathan, quick question, How the hell am I supposed to be able to gloat about being a member of an exclusive club if everyone can be a member just by asking nicely?



Do you not give one whit of caring about my privelege?



What kind of monster are you?

DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted September 6
He's history's greatest monster. That's what kind.

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ShushKebab is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5
Wouldn't mind reading the beta too. And before anyone asks - I've been bere for ages. Long time lurker. And before you ask, I still have my copy of WW2.3 paperback copy - a tad worn out yes, but only because I read it whilst sitting on the loo.

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted September 6
YOU should be SHOT for that , fk me man, Its a Coulda been Nobel Prize winning fkn book if ol kb wasn't shafted. And you read it whilst on the shitter.

Adiry whips and Books, AoT dont go together in my opinion.

Loved a term I heard last night online.

" FECAL EXPLOSION" fkn wicked

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted September 6
no..sorry it was that he did a FECAL JACKSON POLLACK

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Marzuk reckons...

Posted September 7
Haha fecal explosion, i will somehow have to work that term into a conversation today.

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Paris progress

Posted August 22 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just passed 40K of a planned 45K final word count. Unless I am suddenly siezed of a madness that demands I add a couple of last minute chapters, I should have this bad boy ready for beta in a couple of days. I'll probably send it out at the end of the week. I'll need a day or so to go through the compiled manuscript and do a light edit.

I could push on today. I got plenty left in the tank. But I've adopted the practice of finishing up when I hit my word goal for the day, even if I finish early. It's one of a couple of tweaks I've made to my work flow and it's helped a lot. I'm writing more consistently over the course of the week by not thashing myself every day.

12 Responses to ‘Paris progress’

Surtac reckons...

Posted August 22
Huzzah!

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted August 22
Out of interest, how many words are in one of the original trilogy books? ebooks make it hard to get a sense of the relative heft you get with a dead tree book.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted August 22
They ran to 160K. When I do the long form AoT booklet in 1942 and 1955 next year, I'll shoot for 110K, which was the length of the Dave novels.

jason would have you know...

Posted August 23
I adopted the idea of a word budget from "how to be a writer" and I love it. I hit the word budget before lunch last Friday and was floating on air for the rest of the day, ended up almost doubling it which made up for only just making it in the previous week.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted August 23
There is no finer feeling than being in surplus by lunch time.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted August 22
That'l do bunnies. That'l do.

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted August 22
Looking forward to seeing it.

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DaveC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 22
I'm preparing my steepled fingers, and well loved catch-cry.

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Dave W would have you know...

Posted August 22
Saw your Digital Preservation talk thingy on the Nat Library website today. Very interesting.

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jl asserts...

Posted August 22
Sweet, beta reading! If I'm not on the list, pretty please put me in there, sir.

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Chirurgean swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 23
Good news. Will you be using an iPad friendly collaboration app so I can lie on the couch and type in comments to my heart's content?
Dropbox Papers (in Beta)?
An article on your worflow in writing books would make interesting reading

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Dirk mutters...

Posted August 25
the sacred words "So, bring it on!" spring to mind :)

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Writing update.

Posted August 17 into Writing by John Birmingham

Yes, it's been very quiet around here hasn't it. That's because I am a deep in a massive structural re-engineering of Paris. The e-book, not the city. It was something I kept putting off and putting off, trying to convince myself I didn't have to do.
But I did.
So please forgive my tardiness in not keeping things regularly updated here. There is a reason. I want this book to be really good. With this last episode of the Stalin's Hammer sequence, I want to restart the entire series, both the original 1940s-based narrative arc, and the new one I'm setting up for the 1950s.
I feel a little bit like I did that time I had to shut down the Burger in its original form at journalspace. I just needed to concentrate on AoT and nothing else. I haven't done that this time, and I will resist doing it, but I will also maintain my focus on the manuscript alone for at least another two weeks.

31 Responses to ‘Writing update. ’

dweeze puts forth...

Posted August 17
I, for one, say "GO FOR IT, SON". Do what ya gotta do to make the bestest book. We all got lives we can get on with while you are massaging the beast.

GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted August 19

He said 'massaging the beast' !!!

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Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
All good - the finished product will be the confirmation of the correctness of this decision

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Surtac mutters...

Posted August 17
Do what you need to. I'm happy to wait.

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Gutz would have you know...

Posted August 17
No worries Guvnor, wot them other blokes said. I think i heard this from somewhere? "with great power comes great responsibility"...

So get to scribbling your words down and we shall amuse ourselves around here. Anyone got a bag of marbles? I seem to have lost mine.

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted August 17
I come for the blog. But I stay for the books.

Or some shit like that

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KreepyKrawly asserts...

Posted August 17
Don't worry about us, we'll just sit in the corner waiting for the jewels of your intellect to arrive... ß-Þ (Cracks whip)

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted August 17
FK Me I nearly bought a ticket north for SAR for you ya muppet!


JUST gibe me the fkn keys will ya and ALL WILL BE SPANKY FKN OKAY DOKAY!.....HONEST!

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DaveC has opinions thus...

Posted August 17
The question isn't why you had a pause from the blog to write a book on this occasion - but rather - how the fk do you you maintain the blog while writing all those other books, the rest of the time? My multi-tasking abilities are so poor I need to pause Netflix while I scratch my nuts.

Peter in the Bleachers is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
I'm with Dave C. keep at it JB, we the minions will wait.

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David S. is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
Damn, I was so hoping you meant the city. It could use a good restructure you know, what with all those silly arrondissements, and the bridges; don't get me started about those darn bridges!

Anyway your book, if it needs a good restructure then that's what you must do, so good luck with that.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17
Paris (the city) is fine, except for all those fucking French people of course. They bring the tone down.

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SZF asserts...

Posted August 17
I just figured you wuz watching the 'Lympics. My bad.

Sudragon mutters...

Posted August 21
At least it's not Pokemon Go, like some other famous authors lately.

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she_jedi would have you know...

Posted August 17
I figured if you go quiet for a bit it's for a good writing related reason, so keep on with the "some of you will die, but that's a risk I'm willing to take" discussions you're no doubt having with your characters. We can wait.

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Dirk would have you know...

Posted August 17
What they said ...
Looking forward to it though :D

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jl ducks in to say...

Posted August 18
All good things are worth the wait. I know when I'm writing I go into a semi-fugue state and it's hard to take a shower or walk the dog, let alone maintain a blog, etc. I am amazed by what you do. BTW, picked up "How to be a Writer" while re-reading "Designated Targets" for the millionth time. I am learning from a master, JB.

jl ducks in to say...

Posted August 18
Finished "How to Be a Writer". Brilliant.

Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted August 19
Ditto.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien ducks in to say...

Posted August 18
JB, looks like you are close to solving the Riddle of Steel....can't wait to read it.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18
Spent an hour and a half on a time line issue this morning. No writing. Just thinking and moving shit around in my head.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted August 18
thats a fkn lot of free space within which to lose shit i reckon!

Dirk mumbles...

Posted August 18
We tend to be good at problem solving ...

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted August 21
Confucius say: empty attic attract possums.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18
If you get busy you can throw us a Burger-Lite confession hour.
I've found a new source of Portuguese Custard Tarts & a new low in self-control.
Not the best combo, but one our resident Scribe will understand.

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Sparty asserts...

Posted August 18
looking forward and intrigued by the thought of new 40's (and 50's) AoT.

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Joe has opinions thus...

Posted August 19
Any AoT is worth the wait!

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted August 19
The best part of the new series will be the introduction of a younger, more virile (if that is even possible) Rhino.

Sorry, Birmo, if I stirred-up a hornet's nest and distracted you. Not my intent. Just wanted to stimulate some JB love as the comments were going dormant.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted August 19
A capital idea. But I wonder, will his metaphorical gonads the size of basketballs be any substitute for the elder Rhino's nuanced grasp of strategy and geo-politics?

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted August 19
more HMAS HAVOC...who fkn wouldn't love that shit!- and WHITE FKN DWARFS on skanky arses. well 70's versions or so

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Aaron would have you know...

Posted August 19
I could imagine Stalin contemplating the 'restructuring' of paris via the hammer and leaving it as a warning a la reynes of castamere.

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Scrivener on the iPad. Finally

Posted July 21 into Writing by John Birmingham

It's here on iOS. At last. The crack cocaine of writer apps. It's US$20. Thirty down here in vegemiteland. And cheap at twice the price. As soon as it dropped yesterday, I started hitting refresh on the app store, waiting for the file to propagate. Bought it the very second it appeared.

If you're searching the app store, beware. There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. And if you click this link you go right there.

I spent a few hours playing with it last night. It seems to be a rock solid 1.0 build. Not as full featured as the dektop app, natch, but still massively overpowered compared to a word processor. I'll do a full write up later this week but for now I am impressed. It's not just shovelware. The developer has spent a long time reimagining the user experience for mobile. It has that most desirable of all traits in the world of engineering: elegance.

I am excite.

9 Responses to ‘Scrivener on the iPad. Finally’

DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted July 21
I read this on wired.


http://www.wired.com/2016/07/scrivener-ios-means-can-write-zombie-novel-anywhere/


Is it possible there's more of a quid in making tools for writers than there is in writing?


John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 21
I know a space lizard who thinks so.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted July 21
does that mean if I want to be a writer I can just buy it and not a copy of 'how to be a writer'?

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 21
hmmm. Barnes. NOPE. I'm fkn living proof of that!

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Veruca Babydoll would have you know...

Posted July 21
Do you not like Ulysses App, John?

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted July 22
Good reason to pick-up the keyboard for this iPad Pro this weekend. Been needing an excuse.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 22
I got my first big delivery of Bezos Bucks coming in a couple of days. Finding it really hard to imagine my immediate future without a fully tricked out iPad Pro in it.

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted July 22
It is sweet. I got the whole enchilada.

Need to pick-up the pen and keyboard now.

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Nocturnalist puts forth...

Posted July 22
+++There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. +++

Hee!

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He's baaaack

Posted July 20 into Writing by John Birmingham

15 Responses to ‘He's baaaack’

ntwinter would have you know...

Posted July 20
Ah Slim - welcome back in all your uncouth glory :)
Looking forward to this SO much.

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Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted July 20
He is so unlikable...yet I like his appearances in the story!

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HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted July 20
yeah, not to shabby, bout bloody time I might add.

Its funny, but Slim Jim is the only Character that I do not like and really cannot emotionally attach to in ANY FKN WAY. Really fkn crawls up my nose. I would have had the mthr fkr capped a long fkn time ago.

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jason has opinions thus...

Posted July 20
Slim Jim makes me feel ashamed and jealous at the same time. I assume this is a character flaw on my part.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted July 20
Jimbo provides a focus for character hate. He's such an arsehole you expect a rival or victim to slot him at any stage.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted July 20
lol..true, its FKN VISCERAL!

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted July 20
Love to see the darkness and cynicism of a character who expects the worst of anyone else, therefore is willing to do the worst first.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20
Rat cunning has its roguish appeal.

How else would one explain Greybeard.

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Don Bagert asserts...

Posted July 21
And that "fancy French restaurant" is in France - Paris to be exact, right? :)

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 21
It's like you're looking over my shoulder as I write.

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Springfield Fats asserts...

Posted July 21
I can't remember now whether Slim Jim was in with the quiet room gang or not now, but he's always struck me as the kind of person/character that, while he would cut his own throat to get a good deal going, he's going to be reliable when it comes to the 'good guys' winning and help where he can.

Just out of curiosity JB, how much harder do you find it to write characters who are meant to be unlikeable, but are good guys/heroes in the story? I'm thinking of Dave mostly as I read Protocol, but having just finished the latest season of Rake it's front of mind from that as well.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 21
It's not harder writing them, Fats. The danger is enjoying it too much.

Timbo reckons...

Posted July 21
As far as I recall, Davidson was an unwitting pawn of the QR. Maybe he and the Kohlhammer will have sex, since the Hammer made him famous.

Don Bagert mutters...

Posted July 23
JB, your comment reminds me of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, which was originally printed in the UK in the weekly periodical The Guardian. Lewis abruptly ended the very popular series abruptly in one final letter, later stating that it had become too hard to write the horrific demon Screwtape week after week (there were 31 letters in all).

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Sudragon mumbles...

Posted July 22
The trick, I've been told, is not to giggle maniacally as you write them, hunched over the keyboard at 3 in the morning.

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I may have nudged the Beast of Bezos into action

Posted June 10 into Writing by John Birmingham

A minion of the Beast emailed me a week or so back to gently point out that I appeared to be selling A Protocol for Monsters cheaper on iBooks (Australia) than I was on Amazon AU. The minion was hurt, confused, upset, and most desirous that what could only be a terrible mistake should be rectified as soon as possibe.

Long story short, drop the price to $2.99 or we pull the book. Everywhere.

I explained to said minion that I'd been trying to do just that since launch, but Amazon's content management system wouldn't let me. A complicated interplay between royalty rates and territories made it impossible to charge less in Australia unless I charged less and dropped my royalty rate everywhere, cutting the money to be made from each copy sold from $2.80 to $1.00.

The minion agreed this was a suboptimal outcome for both the Beast and myself. Surprisingly, he said he would escalate this issue to see if the feature set for KDP (Amazon's publishing system) could be changed to allow authors and publishers to set differing royalty rates in separate territories.

I have no idea whether this will happen, but I was a little bit impressed that the Beast was so willing to even consider such a change.

I will of course take full credit should it ever come to pass.

Dealing with this shit, by the way, is now a daily occurance for me. I have to quarantine it to a couple of hours late in day otherwise it chews up all of my writing time.

17 Responses to ‘I may have nudged the Beast of Bezos into action’

NBlob mutters...

Posted June 10
In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance rack, an old buckler, a lean hack and a Labrador for company.

Is it possible, just possible, that the behemoth that you call The beast of Bezos is a harmless windmills?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 10
No. Not at all. It is a Beast, with beastly large teeth for the gnashing and chewing and rending of all things.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted June 10
Every time you mention the 'Beast' i always imagine the Bloodbeast from the cover of Deathtrap Dungeon. Coincidence?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deathtrap_Dungeon

A Bloodbeast is large, at least four metres long, and so bloated it can never leave the pool of foul slime that supports its bulk. Its hide is tough and leathery, protected by thin spines and coloured a disgusting grey-green. Its head appears to consist of a myriad all-seeing eyes spread in a wide sweep above an enormous toothy maw, that also contains a long slimy pink prehensile tongue.
The species does not appear to have any limbs which are able to provide or aid locomotion, which indicates that the beast is a sedentary lurker, not an active hunter or migrator, and never leaves its habitat unless it is forced to. Another hint to this is the fact that a Bloodbeast's pool is always filled with acidic slime, quite likely secreted by itself, to aid in digesting its prey

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted June 10
Oh dear. Are you sure this isn't the first step by the Bezoids to lure you into increasingly time consuming distraction, setting up for a killer play?
They might be playing a long game to use you as an example. Be wary of the first parries, Their lower tier flaks may seem genuinely supportive while in the penthouse their controller snorts white powder off Icelandic mermaid virgins then orders hot smoked baby platypus with truffles.
"Dat Boimingham fella. Sets himself up as some sort of self publishing wise guy. Hey Vinnnie, get the boys to play nice with him for a while. I have plans for him. And send up some more of them truffled platykittens."

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted June 10
Minion [on the phone]: Yes Jeff, it's about John Birmingham, he's a player down-under. We fix it for this guy and everyone else falls into line. [pause] I don't think you understand, Jeff, he's the whale. [pause] That's right, Angel of Vengeance, Weapons of Choice, yep, that Birmingham. [pause] Good, good, right, so he can set different royalty rates? Excellent.

[Later, now it's dark and Minion's ashtray is now full]

Minion [phone again]: It's fixed, Mr Birmingham, it took all day but we got there on the royalty rates. [pause] You won't be bothered again about this. [pause] No, no, that's right, no more arse-fuckery on a daily basis. Yep, you can go back to the bunnies and the writey-explodey stuff. Yep, you too, bye.

Minion hangs up, stubs out his last Malboro 25 and stretches back, contented that he has made the world a better place for another author in the Beast's stable.

Dave W asserts...

Posted June 10
FFS, what happened to the para breaks I put into this?

NBlob mumbles...

Posted June 10
Same thing so that happens to mine. Apparently One
Should use (br) but sustitute pointy brackets like these <

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jason mutters...

Posted June 10
I am a glass half full kind of guy. This on the surface appears to be a problem but it is an opportunity:
How to be a writer Part 2: Dealing with the Beast.

Bangar asserts...

Posted June 10
An optmist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says it's half empty, an engineer says they made the glass twice the size the needed to.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted June 10
ROFL.

No An engineer would be still be trying to determine if the risk is worth making a decision based on the risk!


Any engineers around here?

If memory serves me correct!

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted June 10
Its a slow fkn day when I write rhyming shit thats for fkn sure!!

This Beast you cry the modern behemoth, man’s Juggernaut of journalistic scripted endeavors, their devour er. The taker and maker of men, both mighty and meek, it’s sullen, fast but of bile it reeks.

The meek, minor partner whilst happy at times seeks solace in knowledge that time might provide. For the Beast, whilst Fast and of a reeking design, teeth gnashing, jaw crashing is slow to align, to any new construct or threat born of time.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted June 10
Hopefully the feature set in the KDP will be identified as the Birmingham Protocol.

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Dirk reckons...

Posted June 10
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

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Peter in the bleachers ducks in to say...

Posted June 10
Stay the course oh fearless one. The beast may not be slain, it may however be tamed, perhaps, maybe, we can but hope.

Nocturnalist would have you know...

Posted June 13
I have it on good authority that even stabbing it with one's steely knives will not be sufficient.

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w from brisbane asserts...

Posted June 10
Faced with the ravenous obduracy of the Beast, our hero JB cleverly suggested there might actually be money in it for you, you Monster. This irresistibly seductive statement immediately sent the Beast slithering back into his cavern, back onto his massive pile of gold, where he is frantically doing the numbers.

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted June 10
well a king slayer he certainly fkn aint!

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