A friend once told me, "Be careful what you write because publishing is forever." For better or worse, WoTC agreed to publish the webstory written by the authors featured in Realms of the Dragons II ...

...which means a big Deathy prize to whoever can pick out my hundred words, give or take. We'll let you know when the story shows up on the Wizards website.


At 2:50 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Harley, you're the belle of the ball, baby. Nice work in RoDII

And Kameron, I have to apologize. You story was good, neck and neck with Harley's, but the title earned my coveted "burning constipation" expression. I know it's not your fault.

Was it just me or did RoDII seem a little... short? Cutting into excerps from upcoming novels and such.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Thanks for the kind words, Mike.

Any new word on FFP yet? Have named that step-child of yours yet?

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

Heh, the title made more sense with the original ending I had written. On it's own, it does seem a bit quaint. Glad you liked the story, though.

RotD2 was short. In fact, I was contacted by Phil with a request to try and lengthen my story. I'm not sure if anyone else was. I'm also not sure how much of the decision behind including the excerpts was motivated by the lack of length, or by marketing.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Mother1219 said...

Well, speaking for myself, Phil did not specifically ask me to lengthen mine. However, when I sent him an 8500+ word version with my apologies and assurances that I could trim it down, he said that I needn't do so and that he was pleased it was lengthy because the antho was running a bit short in page count.


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

I was cursing the 5k word limit and cutting scenes to get my story in under the mark. At the time I was convinced that going over equaled rejection, but I guess I shouldn't have been so worried.

5k: that's barely room to breath, but better too short than too long, neh? The Bosstones put it like this: every song should end just as it begins to get good. :)

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Hmmm, well spoken on all parts.

I just ordered the Realms of Dragons II and can't wait to see what all of you have to offer in your first Realms anthology.

I really am jealous and must congradulate all of you. Nice work, guys.

Hey Kameron, how you been? It's been a while.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Grim sez:
"Any new word on FFP yet? Have named that step-child of yours yet?"

Well, we're working with a new title, but there's no guarantee that it'll stick come 2006.

But, so far we're looking at a hardcover core book, the exact size has yet to be confirmed.

And having read through the recent Sandstorm supplement, I'm going to have to do some editing. They got to some of my ideas first. Nothing big, mostly spells and such...

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Rock! Hardcover is classy. Keep us updated, will ya?

At 8:20 PM, Blogger ec said...

Grimbones, the time you put into trimming your story to adhere to the word count was well spent. Hitting the word count is a good habit to cultivate. Next to meeting deadlines, it's probably the trait editors most appreciate.

What happened with RofDII is this: Phil Athans was flooded by a lot of unsolicited but really good stories by MoP finalists. At first he intended to squeeze as many as possible into the original anthology. (And he asked participating writers to cut their stories to the bone to allow room. I sliced almost 1000 words from the Gorlist tale...) The 5000-word directive probably came from that time. But once it became clear that Phil simply had too much of a good thing, WotC decided to publish a second anthology. After that decision was made, story length was less of an issue, as the book excerpts could be tailored to meet the desired word count.

At 2:51 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Still, the book was slim. And if I have to pay full price for a decent-sized novel, I feel a little jipped when I pay the same price for something smaller, and stuffed with filler. I'm glad to have a teaser, but what does Maiden of Pain have to do with Realms of the Dragons?

At 6:36 AM, Blogger ec said...

I understand the reader's POV, and the current bias of fantasy readers toward "buying in bulk." Readers expect sequels, trilogies, epics, tomes that can be used as doorstops. Short books tend to tick fantasy readers off, regardless of the quality between the covers.

RoDII was intended to introduce the "new generation" of FR authors with short stories and books excepts. It's a good marketing concept. Keep in mind, however, that the bigger the book, the higher the production costs. Publisher employ people who consider such things. They study the market (don't ask me about method--for all I know, they examine chicken entrails...) and make arcane decisions about page count, cover price, and print run.

Back to the readers' POV: Avid FR readers should consider this book a bargain, because it presents in one quick, convenient stop an overview of future characters, books, and writing styles. It enables readers to make informed purchases decisions, AND it may well introduce them to their next favorite FR authors. All for the price of two or three Hallmark greeting cards, or two Starbucks lattes. From where I stand, that looks like a pretty good deal.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Ian Kappos said...

Yeah, sounds like WotC came up with a good marketing plan in the long run. And the thing is: nobody's upset. Everyone got what they wanted. Well, except Mike... :p

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Mother1219 said...

"What happened with RofDII is this: Phil Athans was flooded by a lot of unsolicited but really good stories by MoP finalists."

I don't know if that's the case for other folks in the anthology, but I can say that wasn't the case for Harley or myself and at least one other person.

In the same envelope as the letter for MoP stating that I would be put into the pool to be contacted in the future, I also received a closed-call invite to submit an idea for RotD. I did so and was then asked to write the story. That's when I was told that it would go into the part 2 of the anthology.


At 12:51 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

"Hey Kameron, how you been? It's been a while."

What do you mean, it's been a while? I was over on your blog just the other day blasting holes in your position on the source of anti-gay sentiment in society. I know you saw me, cuz you deleted all the comments. ;)

I'm doing well. Trying to finish up a character profile from Maiden for WotC to put up on their website in June.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger ec said...

Ed, I really should haved prefaced my post with a recap of the old tale about the six blind men and the elephant, as that's a fairly good description of a freelance writer contemplating the mystery that is WotC.

The info I passed along came directly from Phil Athans, but the conversation occurred fairly early in the process. If memory serves, I completed and turned in my first draft early. Revision notes included a request to trim the story as much as I possibly could. Phil mentioned that he had received a number of unsolicited stories from MoP applicants, that he was pleased with the overall quality, and that he wanted to squeeze as many of them as he could into the anthology. In a later conversation, he said he had too many good stories, so they'd decided to split them into two anthologies, presenting the second as "the new generation of FR writers."

I had assumed, apparantly inaccurately, that all those stories came in the initial submission rush. It would appear that you, Harley, and at least one other person came in somewhere between those two conversations.

Note to self: There's a lot of elephant between the trunk and tail.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

"What do you mean, it's been a while? I was over on your blog just the other day blasting holes in your position on the source of anti-gay sentiment in society. I know you saw me, cuz you deleted all the comments. ;)"

Well, the whole debate would have just blown up into something fierce so I just deleted the comments on all to prevent another flame war brewing out in the internet.

Besides, arguing on the internet never solves anything does it?

And blasting holes...interesting choice of words but regardless...

Good to see you are keeping busy. Good luck with that.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Kameron and Grim's stories are the only things that made me buy RotDII. If I were to come upon 4/5th's of a book that only gave me 3/4th's of what its selling, then I'd have left it on the shelf where it belongs.

If they want to sell stories highlighting the new talent, fine, do that. Don't hide it behind misinformative title. None of the new blood deserves that kind of shoddy treatment.

And I'm not looking for excuses. The moment someone has the dignity to step forward and take responsibility, rather than elude blame and quote Republican Town Hall Meeting scripts, then the faster it is I forgive and forget the subject.

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Republican Town Hall Meeting scripts..."

Aren't you Canadian? Do they have Republicans up there?

But otherwise, truce. It ain't my blog but I like you both too much to choose sides. Mike's bummed and EC has good points ....... plus, she isn't the editor.

Me, I have no desire to write Realmsian fiction, so I'm going to write a polite letter to Phil. :)


At 11:12 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

I think I'll just go shot my friends with airsoft pistols.

And write in my own non-shared world. And envy those who actually make it into Realms fiction.

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Elaine for your candid thoughts and for expanding how some of the RotD II process came to be.

Like Ed, I recieved my invitation to submit to the Realms of the Dragons closed call with my Maiden of Pain rejection letter.

Regarding word count, I didn't submit my story long, but I did write Phil asking if he wanted to see my first draft - all 6600 words of it - or if I should trim.

He encouraged me to trim as much as I could, and Elaine's advice is very apt. I felt my story was leaner and meaner because of it. Then came Phil's e-mail letting some (all?) of us know we could expand our stories some more, to help round out the book.

Regardless, I think the inclusion of the novel excerpts doesn't take away from the excitement of sharing page space with such a talented group of new authors.

Hopefully enough Forgotten Realms fans will agree to encourage Wizards to do it all over again.

~ J.L. Collins ~

At 12:35 AM, Blogger ec said...

"Excuses?" "Elude blame?"


Harley, my apologies for the direction this has taken. It wasn't my intention. Writing is a tough gig, and since I know how difficult it can be to get answers and info, I try to give background info when I can. It wasn't meant to bust anyone's chops, or be in any way adversarial. To the contrary: I was hoping to move the discussion back toward the sunny side of the road. Your first story sale is a very big deal. This is your moment, you chose to share it with your online writing community, and it got sidetracked. I'm sorry about that.

At 2:38 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Whatever. Every time I choose to point out that someone has dropped the ball on something, dozens of people rush to shut me up. Particularly those who have something to lose whenever I open my mouth.

RotDII was full of great stories, but then they toss it together, like the printing department slept-in on the day of the big project and rushed to complete it. We don't have enough stories, so we'll toss these excerpts that were 99% likely to wind up on the website and call it a bonus. It's like getting a steak when you ask for a burger: sure it's great and there's more of it, but it's still NOT what I asked for.

But whatever. Step forward and bravely let me know with infinite patience and maximum politeness, the way you'd talk to a kid who just broke your favorite vase (or burst your happy bubble), that I am unequivocally but euphemistically the biggest idiot to walk the face of the earth for speaking my mind and challenging your perception of reality.

I've gotten used to it.

And I'm going to laugh all the way to the madhouse when any forthcoming response (if any) starts with some form of "your welcome to your opinion BUT YOUR WRONG."

At 10:32 AM, Blogger ec said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Lara said...

Let the apostrophe be your friend....

Apostrophe Protection Society of England

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quit fighting will you? Doesn't anybody have a decent decision anymore without taking things personally?

-Vice, a Fantasy Fan

At 4:52 PM, Blogger ec said...

Vice, no one's fighting. Offering a different POV is not the same thing as making an attack. When it was perceived as such, I apologized for inadvertently sidetracking the thread. There's no need to call for a truce. Trust me, I'm done.

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Erik Scott de Bie said...

Mike, you're not "unequivocally but euphemistically the biggest idiot to walk the face of the earth for speaking my mind and challenging your perception of reality", nor are you wrong.

We just happen to disagree. Nothing wrong with that. :-)

I myself liked the way RotDII was put together. Then you say, "Of course he'd say that," but no -- I appreciated the wide range of talent showcased, and I felt the excerpts were rather low impact. To me, it was just a little more advertising for those people who don't jump to Wizards.com every two hours. (*ahem*)

Congrats, all!


At 2:56 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

See? HE gets it.


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