Cheeseburger Gothic

Alphas, your beta is good to go

Posted November 9, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

Just loaded ACT 3.

I'm writing the epilogue today, and maybe tomorrow, but there's a complete story arc ready to go now.

Enjoy.

You can search the document for ACT 3 or for Chapter 26 to take you to the start.

7 Responses to ‘Alphas, your beta is good to go’

Surtac would have you know...

Posted November 9, 2016
Sir! Yes sir!

Will get to it this evening after work.

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted November 9, 2016
Do we have a time limit?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted November 9, 2016
Early next week it goes to the production edit.

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Yank across the sea puts forth...

Posted November 9, 2016
Are you going to make any adjustments to AoT if Trump gets elected since in the novels Clinton was president in their future timeline?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted November 9, 2016
Well, it is an alternate history.

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Dave C puts forth...

Posted November 9, 2016
Clinton hadn't quite been confirmed in the book though, had she? It was just assumed that Clinton would win. Sound familiar? Kinda liked it better as fiction.

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DaveC ducks in to say...

Posted November 9, 2016
AoT... D'Oh! Lost in the quantum foam.

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The end is nigh

Posted November 3, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

I'm about to delete a chapter that I spent most of yesterday writing. A chapter I was pretty pleased with too. It's unavoidable. Having intricately plotted out the final act of A Girl in Time, I was walking my dog this morning when I realised there was a simpler, more elegant way of bringing all of the story threads together. I hate that.
It's taken me an hour this morning, of muttering under my breath, stalking around the house, cursing myself, but I finally got to a point where I can do what needs to be done.
Delete the chapter, and rewrite it to set up the simpler, more elegant finale.
As much as it will hurt cutting out those 3000 words, it'll save me somewhere between eight and ten thousand words by the time I'm done. I originally planned for this book to top out at 90K. It was heading towards 100,000 as of yesterday.
Hopefully, this means I'll have Act 3 ready for beta late on Friday.

12 Responses to ‘The end is nigh’

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted November 3, 2016
Save the material. Might be useful for recycle later.

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 3, 2016
Serendipity is a wonderful thing

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Dave W asserts...

Posted November 3, 2016
Could be a good deleted-scenes or alternative ending easter egg on the DVD extras.

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted November 3, 2016
There is a lot of that laying around, Dave.

Dave W reckons...

Posted November 3, 2016
The Director's Cut, double dvd special edition?

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted November 3, 2016
On a purely selfish note: Friday is perfect for me. Driving the fam up your way(ish) to Southport to see in laws for a couple of days. Never has there been better timing :)

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BostonJoe mutters...

Posted November 3, 2016
I second the deleted scenes idea.

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted November 3, 2016
Once again, the 'in the moment' zen of a canine brings clarity. Don't forget to mention your dog on the acknowledgements page.

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WarDog reckons...

Posted November 3, 2016
I often have the same experience when coding.

A good step away from the project (or a night of sleep/alcohol) and the fresh perspective turns mountains into gold plated molehills.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted November 4, 2016
Elegant Ending = Introduction of The Rhino. I figured as much.

Can't wait to see this ... very curious as to where this is going.

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DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted November 4, 2016
Put it up, put it up, PUT. IT. UUUUUUUUPPPPP!!!!

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Gutz reckons...

Posted November 12, 2016
I just hope that walking your sometime disappearing dog has not given you pause on how you treat your disappearing characters. lest a large portion of the narrative given to never to be seen again instruments of assistance. Bruce from unit 38 ' i am sure he was here with my Fifi.!, wont our children be gorgeous!! ' all that superfluous rubbish can become cannon fodder Wendy!!

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Girl in Time, Act 2 beta is available

Posted October 26, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

I planned to hit Act 3 around the 60,000 word mark, but in the way of these things, it took me until 70,000 to get there.
Worth it, though.
Anybody who's reading the beta will see the change in perspective immediately. I shifted Point of View from Cady to Smith, partly to hide some of the narrative scaffolding away where nobody could see it, and partly because I wanted to spend a bit of time inside the head of my other protagonist.
Smith has a very different perspective, and a pleasingly arcane way of expressing himself.
It's now going to take me a day or or to get out of the habit of thinking like him.
Thanks to everybody who's been reading along and offering edits and suggestions. The manuscript is really tightening up. I found myself having to take a break from checking the edits yesterday because I was starting to enjoy reading the text too much.
Always a good sign.
I have the last Act sketched out, not blocked out scene by scene. The next couple of days will go towards that. I hope to have the final Act ready for beta by November 4.

10 Responses to ‘Girl in Time, Act 2 beta is available’

Steve would have you know...

Posted October 26, 2016
Not related to AGiT, but thought you would be interested in the following

I was watching a new NBC series called "Timeless", as a result of some WWII time travel, the heroes get back to their present and find out about an Ian Fleming book that was not in the original timeline.

The name of the book is "Weapons of Choice", clearly one of the writers is a fan.

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 26, 2016
Hah, that is pretty cool.


John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted October 26, 2016
I am officially chuffed.

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w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted October 26, 2016
I guess your family worked out you were deep into character POV when you said tea was going to be ribeye, soda biscuits and grits.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 26, 2016
Amazing effort.

I was listing to the 'No such thing as a fish' podcast and did you know at a gala held in Agatha Christie's honor when asked how she was able to churn out so many books, Christie once called herself “a sausage machine, a perfect sausage machine.”

For many years she was on a tight schedule of two books per year, including one that was always released right before the holiday season, which was marketed as “Christie for Christmas.” Except one particularly prodigious year when she wrote four novels, a collection of short stories and two plays.

Don't know what made me think of that.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted October 27, 2016
the school boy in me sniggers at her comparison

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 27, 2016
It's a thing of beauty. I'm finding it really hard to stop reading it for pleasure and fulfilling my beta function.

Also a good sign.

Can't wait for the "who will play Them in the movie version?" Thread.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted October 27, 2016
I'm having great fun writing it.

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Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted October 29, 2016
LOL, I went to correct a typo in your post, before remembering that I'm not reading the beta ;-)

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted October 29, 2016
This made me chuckle.

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AGIT Beta update

Posted October 21, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

Decided to split the upload into three. There's little reason not to let everyone have at the 1st Act later today. I have a chapter to finish writing first, but then I'll post the copy so it's avialble over the weekend.

12 Responses to ‘AGIT Beta update’

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 21, 2016
Will the master alphas still get 2 weeks for each?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted October 21, 2016
I send it to edit on Nov 11.

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted October 21, 2016
I meant to respond in earlier thread. Personally i think the drop feed works best for me as a beta reader. Lets me focus on the task assigned and not get swept up/distracted by the story!

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Don Bagert ducks in to say...

Posted October 24, 2016
I'm still available :)

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted October 25, 2016
Invite sent.

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted October 24, 2016
Just finished my first full sweep through.

Hats off my friend. Hats off.

jl reckons...

Posted October 25, 2016
Agreed. JB has done something completely different with this work but the effect is the same as his other books- riveting reading.

DaveC mumbles...

Posted October 25, 2016
Majorly kicks arse.

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Robertkocsis mumbles...

Posted October 27, 2016
Well, I'd love to peruse this if still possible :)

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 27, 2016
Your invite should be in your email.

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Vallon Davis is gonna tell you...

Posted November 4, 2016
Where can I access the AGIT beta post??

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A Girl in Time Beta is coming

Posted October 20, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

I'm still trying to decide whether to push hard and get this out before Christmas, or take a couple of extra weeks and release in mid Jan when things are very quiet with the trade publishers.

To give myself the former option, I'd have to do the beta in two parts. Releasing parts 1 and 2 (which luckily are quite self contained) and finishing Act 3 while the betas read them.

If I wait until January to publish, it's less of an issue.

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who'd like to see the early version, and particularly what they think of a two part process.

The first part of about 60-65K words will be ready in a couple of days. The second of approx 30K words, maybe a fortnight later.

Also, I'm thinking of calling the betas my alphas because they're that awesome.

15 Responses to ‘A Girl in Time Beta is coming’

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted October 20, 2016
if you want to add an extra beta/alpha, my timeline has freed up with the aligning of the planets. I'm trying out Damon Young's #nowhitedudes . . but . . . well there are always exceptions and i'm currently inbetween lovers . . . i mean books at the moment. A two part process shouldn't be a problem? The beta's would have the first 60k to get through anyway. I can only offer you my services as a reader of pure enjoyment not encumbered by the fine details of the laws of physics and credibility, although there is a point where that wears thin (i have done maths at uni) : )

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Leftarc reckons...

Posted October 20, 2016
I was going to say take the time. This is not an agile project, throwing out iterations like nameless drugs to mad monday footballers at Surfers.
But I have re-read the question, and you have to ask yourself, do you want to be writing part three, knowing that there maybe some changes required based on the feedback you will receive in parts one and two.

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted October 20, 2016
Send it. I should have some time soon to read it.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien mumbles...

Posted October 20, 2016
If you wish to entrust me to be a beta, I will gladly take it on. I will submit my CV and references if necessary ;-)


As far as the two-part process, I think it will work. We read 1, then 2, then you finish 3 and tie it all back together with the feedback.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted October 20, 2016
Yeah, on further consideration, a little consultation with industry insiders, I'm leaning towards pulling a few late nights and getting this sucker into play before Christmas.
Anybody who'd like to be in on the beta, let me know via email.
My initials at jbismymasternow dotcom.

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted October 20, 2016
I have some time in my reading schedule, while I wait for Dave Hutchinson's 'Europe in Winter' to drop in a few weeks time. And I'm saving the new Peter Hamilton for my Christmas break.

So I might put my hand up this time.

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insomniac mutters...

Posted October 20, 2016
Personally I will have more time in December but if you command I shall deliver, even though 65K words in two weeks will be a stretch, especially while still being giddy at the thrilling, world record beating, largest ever margin victory by the mighty All Blacks over the hapless Wallabies.

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Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted October 20, 2016
I like the idea of pre-Xmas and I finally have some time I think. Beta away!!

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AuntyLou ducks in to say...

Posted October 20, 2016
Excitement! And of course you can call us anything you like...except master betas...

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted October 20, 2016
OH GOOD GRIEF!

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AuntyLou mumbles...

Posted October 20, 2016
What?! Grandma can be rude too you know! She ain't all milk and cookies...in fact this one is more wine and vodka!

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Rhino asserts...

Posted October 21, 2016
Get it done before Xmas. Every day that it is not online is a day that you don't get money.

Ship it.

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Don Bagert would have you know...

Posted October 21, 2016
JB, I'd like to see the early version, and would suggest waiting on publication until January, since it seems you have so much in the pipeline right now.

DaveC mumbles...

Posted October 21, 2016
Like Red Dead Redemption 2?

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she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 21, 2016
Ship it! I'm in project deadline hell at work at the moment (we're opening a new hotel AND re-lauching our loyalty program at the same time, so no pressure) but will commit to beta reading this one, as I failed so miserably on Cairo and Paris :(


And then I can buy myself the finished product for Christmas. Win win.

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STALIN'S HAMMER PARIS. Prelaunch sequence initiated

Posted October 4, 2016 into Writing by John Birmingham

The final version of Paris should be off to the formatting factory later today, after which I start pressing buttons and pulling levers to release it into the world.

Thanks are due to the beta team, who gave their usual best, and to everyone who's been contributing to the WW 3.1 threads below.

I finished Final Impact pretty much burned out with AoT, and the experience of traditionally publishing ROME didn't help. But walking the indie path with this story has reignited my enthusiasm for the whole narrative. I'm looking forward to closing out the year working on the first new full length novel in the series since the end of the main trilogy.

I do have plans to release the HAMMER as a complete set, and as an audio book. Probably as a print on demand title too. All that is for the New Year, however.

Before then, we have a date in Paris. I'll be dropping some freebies through the week, via the mailing list, here at the Burger and, God help me, over at the Book of Face. Tomorrow, there'll be a short story set in the Axis of Time, written by Mr Jason Lambright.

18 Responses to ‘STALIN'S HAMMER PARIS. Prelaunch sequence initiated’

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted October 4, 2016
*drums fingers*

I'm not sure I can forgive you for knocking off Viv, but I will give you hte benefit of the doubt.

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MarkatVAVS would have you know...

Posted October 4, 2016
SPOILERS!!!!

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2016
Sibeen wrote:

*drums fingers*

I'm not sure I can forgive you for knocking off ****, but I will give you hte benefit of the doubt.

(And I edited out the spoileriffic name) - JB

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KreepyKrawly is gonna tell you...

Posted October 4, 2016
Sweet, just finished Navigators of Dune . . . now something 'Splodey...

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Peter Bradley has opinions thus...

Posted October 4, 2016
You knocked off ****! How could you? Just when...... oh the hell with it I'll just wait 'til I read who it was.

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Bondiboy66 mutters...

Posted October 4, 2016
Oh jolly, straight to the top of my 'Read this' list!

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DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted October 4, 2016
Man I forget that some of us know more than others.

Well done JB - and thanks for the privilege of being on the beta team. I hope our usefulness outweighed our sheer bloodymindedness and frustration-inducing pedantry.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted October 4, 2016
How about actually being on the beta team and still not having any idea who **** is? I have a vague recollection of the death but cannot remember who. I know who it wasn't.

DaveC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 5, 2016
Indeed and agreed. Unless we're talking about the third goon from the left? The one with the Slavic features who practiced casual brutality? Yeah. The series will totes be the poorer for losing that goon.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted October 5, 2016
I loved that goon. He was my favourite.

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 4, 2016
Happy for the freebies, and also happy to contribute to the new wing of the bunny mansion.

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Dirk reckons...

Posted October 4, 2016
Huzzah: Let it rip!

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Al reckons...

Posted October 4, 2016
It's with my pyro and dets course on the reading list. Tough times ahead!

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Joe mutters...

Posted October 4, 2016
Excellent - let the freebies roll. Just need to finish these assignments first...

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Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 5, 2016
There should be a sound track. We should pull a John Ringo and come up with a playlist that goes along with Paris.

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Turlogh Dubh O'Brien mutters...

Posted October 6, 2016
Can't wait. Need something to hold me over between my birthday and Christmas - besides Halloween :)

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GUTZ puts forth...

Posted October 7, 2016
I full applaud going the Indie route and saving a plethora of migraines and the like..HOWEVER....i would like to address the elephant in the room (yes his name is Stampy). I do not see how being ensconced in casa del Birmo pumping out words faster than a room full of proverbial monkeys, gets you out and doing the ' Birmos, i have released a shit ton of new stuff buy me drinks world tour'.
This tour, which no doubt would be Beatlesque in its ...er...well everything apart from the singing and maybe Yoko has been sorely missed.
Any plans for getting about amongst the great unwashed? You can even use the t-shirt idea if you want!!
GUTZ out.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 7, 2016
You raise some interesting points.

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