The Storyletter: A Substack Presenting Fiction

From Substack front page

Hey there WordPress readers, I’ve been MIA but I haven’t disappeared completely. I’ve been trying out a new format for posting my stories but it doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned WordPress. There’s a new site on the block called Substack (new to me) and it specializes in newsletter serialization of content which is delivered directly into your subscribers’ email inboxes. Now, I think WordPress has some form of this with the Weekly Digest emails, but Substack is designed specifically for it.

The newsletter format is great for a lot of reasons. I’ve been seeing very prominent influencers start using it to get their message out there, as well as journalists, politicians, and artists. I even saw that Substack is teaming up with a ton of comic artists for some exclusive content. But the most exciting for me is the emergence of fiction writers on the platform. Serialization of fiction has a long history in the publishing world, to include some of the most famous writers of the past. Unfortunately it has tapered off in the last half century or so…. until now!

There is a prominent Substack writer named Elle Griffin that introduced me to the idea of Substack during one of her podcast interviews on the current state of the publishing industry (found here). I was immediately enamored by the idea of sharing stories directly with the people who showed interest with my writing. Instead of trying to appeal to a mass audience who barely feels connected with me or the work that I’m doing, why not simply have a more connected reader/writer relationship with a small audience that cares? Obviously there are still the major benefits of having a publisher blast out your book to as many people as possible, but there are also the Cons that come with it (but I won’t get into that). She also started a prominent Discord that is open to other writers who would like to network on Substack called Substack Writers Unite (I don’t know how to share invite link, sorry!)

So I’m doing just that, I’m posting my stories on Substack directly to the people who want to read it. So far I’ve built up an audience of 30 wonderful readers in less than 30 days. I mainly post short fiction, like flash fiction and poetry, but I’m getting more into short stories which will be released in serial installments over time. I’m still learning the best method of releasing said stories, like at what intervals and length of posts. Since it’s serialized and people might not have a ton of time, I try to keep each post pretty short and sweet. I’ll adjust as feedback starts to come in.

Here’s my front page below:

I just finished posting the first complete short story from my collection Tales of Havek called Savior of Aemysa Isle. It has been published elsewhere prior, and will be coming to my WordPress page soon (when I get the time to port it over), but if you’d like to read it now head over to my Substack! I’ll be posting more exclusive content to Substack soon, so now is the best time to sign up for free and get fiction right in your inbox.

Have you started using Substack? What are your thoughts on the platform and will it be disrupting any industries any time soon? Will serialization of stories make a comeback?!

Come on over and join me on Substack if you’d like to give it a try, or just want to chat. Thanks! Hope your day, your week, your month, your year goes well!

Until next time! ~ WM

2020 Writing Update #1

It’s been 5 years since I started this website. Wow!

In one sense, I’m disappointed in myself for not writing more. For not posting more on this site and not working harder on publishable projects.

But on the other hand, I’m proud of how much I’ve grown over the past 5 years as a person and as a writer. I know it’s about the journey and not the destination (The Way of Kings reference, wink wink 😉 ), so in that regard I’m happy with what I’m working on right now.

It’s cheesy to think that everything happens for a reason, but I subscribe to that mentality quite often. For example, for years I focused on creating vast worlds to interlink them in some marvel-universe style shared setting, however, I would become overwhelmed with each new project and think, “I’m not ready to tell this story because of X.”

All this did was get me in the habit of starting a story and never finishing it. So as I practiced world-building and character creation, I never got to get better at story structure, pacing, style and “endings”. I would also listen to a ton of writing podcasts and youtube videos which helps in its own way, but without implementing what you learn from such things, it doesn’t ever stick in any meaningful way.

The best way to learn is by doing.

So I decided in late 2019 that I would focus on finishing projects that had been on my mind for years. The main goal: complete a story. So that’s what I did. In the span of 3 months, I wrote over 20,000 words and roughed out 3 short story first drafts, and plotted out 3 others. Granted, they needed a lot of work, but I felt accomplished either way.

These stories are all set on one planet called Havek and will be included in one compilation called History of Havek: Volume One. I’m currently posting the drafts on Wattpad for feedback and small dopamine hits in the form of “votes”. The shared universe thing helps with these short stories in particular because otherwise the setting is almost non-existent. I’m trying to focus more on character and theme right now, with less time spent on coming up with an expansive universe. So this way I can slip in a few world-building things and peel back the mystery setting with each story.

The three stories that I’ve mostly completed (still need revisions, coming later) are Savior of Aemysa Isle, Betrayal at Dragon’s Bog, and The Angel of War. Here are the working covers and links to those stories:

Summary: A man trapped on a strange island surrounded by dense fog and only one exit – guarded endlessly by a shadowy presence – struggles to understand his past, present, and future as he attempts to escape by any means necessary.
Meanwhile, a woman and her children prepare to defend against an assault on their long-isolated refuge – Aemysa Isle – by a fleet of ships sailing toward their shores. The woman named Batyg must harness an ancient power long forgotten by her people in order to survive, a power made real by her late husband. The power of prayer.


Click here to read!

Summary: A pair of Cardinals hunt down a fugitive in the remote region of Dragon’s Bog, a charred and desolate wasteland ruled by the last remaining dragons. An aging soldier named Reginald has been recently inducted into the ranks of the Cardinals and is unfamiliar with the cutthroat nature of the Majestry’s council. Cardinal Elyza, however, was born into it and knows how to navigate the underbelly of the council’s schemes in order to keep on living. As they near their target, a dragon appears, however, it may be the least of their worries as a conspiracy unveils itself and betrayal takes root. Who will survive?

Click here to read!

Summary:

A second Empyrean War has emerged, this time due to the fall of the immortal Emperor.

Marten, a young man who’s father died in the first Empyrean War, has enlisted with the Unified Forces of Asyrema to maintain order in a disputed region near his village. His mother begged him not to go but he felt it was the only honorable choice. He must follow in his father’s footsteps, albeit to his mother’s dismay.

While fighting for his survival on the battlefield, Marten experiences a rapid sense of growth as he comes to terms with his own mortality and the world around him. Marten discovers that there is a lot he doesn’t know or understand, but must choose a side regardless of the truth when he comes face to face with the enemy.

Click here to read!

The other three stories are still being outlined but I have tentative titles and summaries:

The Dark Light (Novella – 25k word goal) – An inventor, attempting to create a new form of light that doesn’t attract the demonic entities known as Vanquishers, stumbles upon a hidden monastery belonging to the Keepers that has already perfected his invention. He must convince them that he would like to become one of them in order to gain access to their secrets. During his time in the monastery, he becomes enamored by their way of life. He struggles to come to terms with who he is and who he wants to be. He must ultimately decide what his legacy is to become and how the world’s future will be shaped, even if it means the destruction of the innocent in the process.

The Counseling of Yen (Novelette- 20k word goal) – A veteran soldier named Yen is convicted of treason and sentenced to death for allowing a surprise attack on his unit near the battlefield. He claims his innocence but only one mysterious counselor will listen to him. Over the last few days before his sentence is carried out, his counselor reveals a hidden conspiracy plotted by the immortal Emperor and the elusive Majestry, with the soldier at the center of it all.

Crocodilian (Long Short Story? – 10 to 15k word goal) – A cartographer team looking to gain fame travels to the swampy region along the southern coast of Empyrea in order to chart out the best location for a new town-to-be. They discover that the region is already inhabited by an avid hunter–who likes to challenge himself by hunting the biggest game in the region–and seek to gain his favor so that he will escort them further into the swamp. The hunter warns of a massive crocodile that lives in the region and he’s failed several times to conquer the beast. The cartographers are not worried as they claim that nothing shall halt the progress of civilization, but the hunter knows well enough that some parts of the wild will always remain wild.

Anyways, that is what I’m working on this year. I hope to have them all complete in 2020 so I can work on revising them and possibly sending them out to editors/agents. Once they are compiled together, it’ll be enough to be considered a full novel. And since they are snippets of characters and time periods of Havek, they can be expounded upon in follow up stories.

Even if it comes out to be nothing, this is a fun experiment that has kept me writing where I was slacking before. Happy writing!

The Spire is out now!

the spire 2

Just a short blurb announcing that I have temporarily posted my latest short story called The Spire up on Wattpad for free until December 1st.

The premise of the short story is of a memoryless man trapped atop a spire in the middle of the ocean who must cross a temporal bridge that appears every so often. The catch is that a beast awaits his arrival on the opposing side. The man must overcome his fear of the beast and discover the truth of his origin.

It’s a positive story with an empowering ending. If you like fantasy and main characters that triumph against all odds, then you’ll enjoy this quick 4-page read. Check it out now here: The Spire (Limited time only) on Wattpad.

Enjoy!

Tides of War Available Now!

Big news: Injection: Tides of War has just been released by my friends at Nanomyte! If you like post-apocalyptic worlds and heroes/villians with undoubtably cool super powers, check out their page for more stories.

Tides of War isn’t in comic form, however, it’s a novella detailing the events prior to the main Injection storyline. It follows DEITY Shan-Li as she is sent on a perilous mission into the Blackout Zone in order to investigate a trail of malicious genetic experimentation by MALMAL, a rival organization based in Indonesia. And as you might’ve guessed, things go horribly wrong. But by Shan’s side is a rookie spec ops soldier by the name of Rew Durryl, and he surprisingly comes to her aide on more than one occasion. But who is he really? There are many secrets surrounding the mission and Shan-Li will stop at nothing to find the answers.

Interested? The Nanomyte team is publishing chapters weekly. Here’s the link! https://www.wattpad.com/story/91527880-injection-tides-of-war

Nanomyte Studios: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Nanomyte

Tides of War is almost here!

Recently, I announced that I wrote a novella titled, Injection: Tides of War, and that its release date was coming soon. Well, now it is truly upon us. Nanomyte Studios will be publishing the novella – based on their well-received motion comic Injection – on Wattpad, Tuesday of this week.

If you’re unfamiliar with the comic, the story follows a young DEITY named Jinn on his journeys through a post-apocalyptic wasteland as he fulfills contracts for the mysterious organization of Syntech. A DEITY is a specially-trained soldier amplified by powers called Injections which allow the user to manipulate certain aspects of their molecular makeup by way of nanomites. An example of an Injection would be Forynge, which expedites the body’s healing process.

The novella started off as a fanfic, but as I began to work closely with Mike and the Nanomyte team, it was soon canonized as an official Injection story. Considered a prequel, Tides of War begins with Jinn’s mentor, Shan Li, receiving Syntech orders to invade the Blackout Zone. The mission involves infiltrating MALMAL territory – one of Syntech’s rivals. But even Shan isn’t told the real reason for the mission.

As the story unfolds, Shan forms unlikely alliances and questions the loyalty of her own comrades. She must fight against unbeatable odds and overcome a foe unlike anything she’s ever faced before. The mission soon fades into the background as her new and only priority becomes survival.

At 12 chapters, the novella rounds out at about 33k words. I had an amazing time writing it, and I hope those who read it enjoy it as much as I do. It’ll be available on Wattpad over on Nanomyte Studios’ page. Here’s the link: Read Tides of War here!.

Thanks for all the support and I’ll be eager to hear your feedback of the story. Side note, I’m working on editing The Decrepit Forest and outlining book 2. I’ll release more info on that soon enough. Have a great day!

Author Highlight by Duth Olec

Hello! A few weeks ago I had the honor of being featured in a blog post by Duth Olec, creator of the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos series, and was thrilled to read the kind words he’d written about Stormfallen. He had been commenting on Wattpad with critiques and helpful tips, but I hadn’t expected an entire blog post! It’s really wonderful. So thanks again, Mr. Olec. Nothing helps an author more than a shoutout and a review, whether it be a blog post or a retail site.

If you want to read what he had to say about Stormfallen: The Decrepit Forest, the link is below. Also, don’t forget to check out the fun and interesting stories of the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos. It’s a sweet blend of science fiction, fantasy, and comedy. Book 1 which is called Slubes is now available in paperback on Amazon and in ebook on Smashwords!

Below is an odd excerpt due to formatting laws which I’m unfamiliar with, but if you click the link below it will take you directly to his blog. Thanks!

Oh, hello! In less than a week the next Darmenzi chapter is up, but I’m not here to talk about me for once. I’ve recently been reading a lot (or at least several) authors and comics and such things I’ve come across on the internet. I’m still looking, too. I’ve decided that hey, just because […]

Read more: Author Highlight: Winston Malone — Duth Olec’s Cuckoo Cosmos

And don’t forget to check out the world of Injection on Wattpad by Nanomyte Studios!

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Injection: Tides of War Coming Soon!

It’s been several months since my last update and I’m sorry! I like to keep these few and far between but full of juicy details. So to get right into the thick of it, here we go:

Mystery Project: For the past few months I’ve been working on something really awesome. I didn’t want to reveal too much, too soon because I wasn’t sure how it would come out, but now that I’m finished (and because the fantastic individuals I worked with, love it), I can spill the beans!

So, there’s this multimedia company called Nanomyte Studios and they’re working really hard to bring an amazing piece of work to you all in the form of a comic called Injection. I first stumbled upon Injection while browsing new stories on Wattpad. Immediately, I was hooked. The visuals, the world, the animation. All of it simply took my breath away. So, me being super excited about the fun work these guys were creating, I messaged them to see if they’d respond. And they did!

Continue reading

JordanCon 2016 + Stormfallen Update

So I’ve arrived in Atlanta and booked a room at the Marriott Perimeter Center for this year’s JordanCon! This will be my third year attending the Con, but the first time I’ve come alone. It’s strange not really knowing anyone in a new place. The uncertainty of it all can seem kind of daunting. But, I’m steeling my nerves and moving forward with my head held high. Got to try new things to meet new people!

In an attempt to get more involved, I’ve decided to volunteer. I have 3 volunteer events that I’m excited about, one of which is setting up a writing lecture for the one and only Brandon Sanderson on Sunday. Needless to say, volunteering will be a good way to meet new people and learn new things.

On another note, as of yesterday, I’ve completed the first draft of Stormfallen: The Decrepit Forest. It came out to be 50 chapters and over 90k words. I still have a ton of revision and heavy editing in my near future, but maybe 2016 will be the year of completion. It’s been a long road to completing my first novel and it’s a surreal experience. If you’d like to read the first draft, check it out on Wattpad by clicking the link on the front page of this website. Character profiles and a bonus surprise coming soon!~WM

Character Profiles and Extras

Hey everyone! Malone here with the weekly update. This week has been a fun one, but mostly chill as usually. I got to watch Dragonball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ on Tuesday and it was glorious. It had almost everything I wanted from a Dragonball Z movie and more! I’m really excited for the new show to come to the US eventually. I was going to watch Fantastic Four last night at the premiere showing but then I saw those reviews (oh man were they harsh). Hopefully it’s not as bad as the critics say. We’ll see. I still have to get my butt out to see Ant-Man.

I published chapter 25 yesterday on Wattpad. It’s called ‘A Darkness Descends’ (OooOOo ominous, I know haha). But it’s not that dark. The chapter sees Jozz and Myalin making their way to the Lorrallen meeting point to set off on the Liberation. Nevesa meets someone once again in the Khraw dungeon, and some threats are issued. There are 4 or 5 more chapters left in Part 2, then the final act of the story will be underway!

Chapter 25: A Darkness Descends

Another thing, in regards to Stormfallen, I’m creating some detailed character profiles here on the website. They are a work in progress but I will add to them over time. I’m also developing a full Glossary of all the key terms brought up in the novel.

O2 Reviews applicants! I’m still looking for 3-5 people who are interested in writing reviews. If you like movies, games, television, books, or even music and would like to join the O2 team, message me! Looking forward to talking to you and helping you get your reviews read.

Thanks for tuning in this week and I hope to see you next Friday! Let me know what you think in the comments.~WM

New Chapter, New Group

Storm-Fallen is back in action! Sorry for the month-long hiatus from posting, but I’m here now and I’ll be posting once a week, most likely on Fridays. I have several things I would like to announce this week including: the latest chapter of Storm-Fallen on Wattpad, a new Facebook group for unpublished and newly-published authors, and upcoming O2 Reviews.

Chapter 24: Old Blood, New Weapon– This week’s chapter returns with Darlowe and Runa as they continue to wait for the other Liberators to show. Their current military leader, Commander Udgallus, makes an appearance as well, bringing with him a new weapon prototype for them to use against the Storm-Fallen. Here is the link to Wattpad: Chapter 24: Old Blood, New Weapon

The First Novel Group– Last week I started a closed group on Facebook called The First Novel Group. I created it for unpublished authors working on their first novel to be able to connect with others pursuing the publication of their first book. It’s also available to authors who have published their first novel and would like to promote it or give helpful information on how they went about the publication process. We currently have 23 members and gladly welcome any others interested in joining. The atmosphere is very supportive and the members actively provide answers to questions  others bring up. I look forward to seeing some new members so come join us on your journey to publication!

O2 Reviews– I’m currently working on a review for Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. I saw it Thursday night in IMAX and it was every bit the adventure the trailer teased it would be. The stunts blew my mind, but more on that in the review. I’m also looking for several people who are interested in writing reviews in order to get more O2 Reviews out there. It won’t be for money, but for the experience and networking. If you like video games, movies, tv shows, or books and would like to write reviews, send me a message. Thanks!

Well, that’s about it for this week. Talk to you all soon, or next Friday at the latest! Hope you like the newest chapter and let me know what you think in the comments.