Plans for the Fall
August 27, 2021
Good Friday, readers.
Ongoing at Rahaman Writing:
Still editing Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind (Page 100/240 of the final draft)
I hope you've all had an awesome August. Mine has been full of progress and planning. I expect to be finished editing Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind in its entirety around the end of the month, however, I want to make sure it gets as successful a release as possible, so I currently plan on releasing it at the beginning of December 2021.
The reason for the big gap between the completion and release of the book is because I want to promote Inner Expanses throughout October, as it is a better "Halloween" book, though, I plan on including an ad for Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind in the backmatter with a link to preorder the collection. From my marketing research, preorder sales basically count as day-1 sales, as readers actually get the product on the release date (digitally, at least). The plan is to get more readers for Inner Expanses and to essentially guide those who enjoy it toward my next book.
So, that's October accounted for, but what about September and November?
(sorry if going out of chronological order triggers you).
September will be about me formatting Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind and double-checking everything while setting up preorder stuff on Amazon. I doubt that I'll need a full month for this, so I'll likely use the downtime to do some reading and major website updates.
November will be when I transition from promoting Inner Expanses to promoting Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind. I will also be dropping a 40~ second-long trailer that is unlike anything you, or anyone else, has ever seen. I'm talking about original, studio-grade animation with a voiceover by yours truly. Here's a little screenshot to whet your appetite.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #40:
I dislike hearing when people admit their failure before even trying something. An example I notice a lot is when people insist that they cannot write beyond a certain amount. While quality is INFINITELY more important than quantity when it comes to writing (and most other things as well), being able to get out more words will allow one to not only get closer to their goals, but will also grant a certain degree of satisfaction due to having a very easy-to-gauge amount of progress in the form of a single number: one's word count.
To get this number to grow, you need to push yourself. There's no tip-toeing around with this one, you're just going to need to sit your ass down and type/pen out one bloody word at a time until you have more of a story. However, there's no need to start with a beloved idea or treasured tale.
A great exercise is to just write a bunch of nonsense. I don't mean random words, mind you, I mean, using proper grammar and spelling, write about whatever.
Leg feeling itchy? Describe how and why!
Hear a dog barking? Write about what breed you think they may be!
Had a nice breakfast? Ramble about how awesome it was!
Keep doing this until you reach whatever word count goal you want. Then, do this every day. Not every week, or whenever you damn-well feel like it, do it EVERY DAY.
If you can keep the pace up, you'll find it easier to write greater volumes after a few weeks. All that would be left to do is to apply this when working on stories you care about and things may go smoother in terms of getting more words down per writing session. Remember, you can always (and definitely should) go back and edit what you write in the future.
Another change! Usually, this is where I have the description for the next part for Of the Sky, Of the Sea, and Of the Stones, however, I'm going to be putting this worldbuilding tale on hold while I power through the last part of editing Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind.
And, after that, I plan on writing the rest of SSS in big chunks, as if it was a novel. When done, I'll segment it and begin inserting parts into issues of The Rahaman Reader once more.
However, until then, be prepared for a lot of exclusive poetry that I will not be sharing anywhere else! Here's the first of such works.
This poem, titled "Road of Water", was written when enjoying the lovely photo that the words are resting upon below. This serene sight is a photo taken by Essi Valo, a close friend who enjoys being immersed in nature as much as myself, if not more! She sent me a bunch of photographs that are all inspirational, so you can look forward to stunning nature photography in addition to my poems in the coming months.
It is Done
September 24, 2021
Good news, everyone!
New at Rahaman Writing:
Completed Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind
Shifting things around
As you can see, I've finally completed my short story collection! Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind has been written, edited, and (mostly) published! It's technically ready for pre-order on Amazon right now (which you can do from the sales page, located here), however, I still need to do a lot of lead-up marketing before the big public reveal, which I why I'm only sharing details with my newsletter subscribers for now.
Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind is a tome of bold and bizarre speculative fiction (fantasy, horror, and science fiction) stories. If that sounds like your kind of thing, be sure to check out the sales page for the full description!
However, if you don't want to wait until December to read it, I'll send you a digital copy if you show me proof of purchase after pre-ordering it on Amazon (take a screenshot after buying it). Though, this would be exclusively in exchange for reviews, as in those wishing to see my short story collection early must leave a review within a certain time after they read it. If you're interested, please shoot me an email at
and state that you would like to get an advance review copy of Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind. After which, you'll be sent a digital ARC copy of my book in any electronic format you wish!
There are some other things that I want to share with you, but first, please check out this animated GIF I made of the process that led me to create the cover for my short story collection. Below, you can see some of the different steps I took to design the art and text.
As the time between these newsletters has increased, so have a lot of the goals I have planned and am meeting. I've once again been able to increase my overall writing output for my freelance work, thanks to Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind being completed, and have also been able to write more poetry.
This increased output means that I'll be able to dedicate a fair bit of time to marketing without sacrificing writing time. Though, this would potentially stuff issues of The Rahaman Reader with too much content. So, in this regard, I've decided to make the format of this newsletter a bit more flexible, adding more bodies of text like this in places as well as maybe a couple more images here and there.
Furthermore, since I have lots of extra Wix newsletter slots free (I can only send 5 a month, but that's not really a concern anymore), I've decided that once in a while, I'll send a surprise update or bit of content! Whenever important things come up, like new book releases, I'll try to do one of these. In addition, I'll also send out poems or maybe bits of flash fiction or excerpts on occasion.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #41
One thing that I've noticed while reading and leaving reviews on books is that some people have no idea how to write a review or even seem to be aware of the purpose of leaving a review.
Let me start by saying that there's no specific format for a good review, but there are definitely things that make a review bad, and I don't just mean the rating given.
Firstly, people should only be leaving a review and rating if they have read the entire book. It is impossible to review or rate any bit of media objectively without completing it. Not completing a book would mean an incomplete review, which is useless to literally everyone: the 'reviewer', the author, as well as potential readers, as it gives a skewed and inaccurate perspective of the book in question. If you don't finish a book, don't leave a review! Doing so would be akin to spreading misinformation about a product, and misinformation is the enemy of us all.
Secondly, reviews must be objective. Of course, one's feelings about a book and its author will influence the review in some way, but leaning too hard toward either "good" or "bad" can also give potential readers the wrong impression.
Thirdly, structure helps! Don't be too long, or too short, and use separate paragraphs for more easily digestible reviews. A good rule of thumb for Amazon review length is that you want most of your review to be visible without potential readers having to click "more" to see the full review.
I typically use 3 short paragraphs: 1 general good thing in the first, 1 criticism in the second, and 1 specific good thing in the third. This balance will give potential readers a more objective idea of what the product is like. You don't have to give a serious criticism either, just state anything minor that annoyed you; you don't even need to decrease your rating! 5-star books can still have small flaws and be worthy of every star.
To end, I'm not saying you need to review books as I do, just understand that reviews are meant for you to share your objective compliments and criticisms on media that you have completely experienced and that they are about marketing.
For this issue's bit of content, I bring to you another poem written while enjoying more beautiful nature photography from my close friend, Essi Valo. This one is titled "Creek".
October 22, 2021
Good Friday, readers.
List of Updates from Rahaman Writing:
I've been busy with a lot of overdue updates this month. Since I finished Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind, I've had a lot more time after work to do updates for Rahaman Writing that I just couldn't spare the time for before. Most were pretty minor but some were things I should have done months ago.
Firstly, as you can see from the above image, I changed up the Polls & Quizzes section. Instead of having both of the existing quizzes on the same page, I gave them their own pages. This is so that I can link one of them at a time in tweets and whatnot. It's a small change, but a handy one for sharing these little time killers.
Next of the bigger changes, I removed someone from the Friends page, but not because I have any problem with their site, content, or personality. I decided that I only want others who are into speculative fiction to be connected with my website for marketing reasons. This is so that I and my website friends can potentially cross-pollinate readers who are interested in similar genres and styles of content. I'm not going to name who was removed because I don't want it to seem like I'm shaming them, because I'm not--just making a marketing change.
The last of the bigger updates I made this month was the significant alteration to my Biography page. I gutted it before making it far more simple and, in my opinion, elegant. Now, it's just my favourite photo of myself (the only good one I took in the past decade and use everywhere) along with a couple of paragraphs. The first bit is also what I've begun using on some other platforms (Good Reads and Amazon), but the second part is unique to Rahaman Writing.
In other yet related news, I wrote a pretty edgy poem that feels appropriate to follow up the alteration to my website's Biography page.
This one, a poem in the form of a curse, was inspired by a Twitter poll that I did a few weeks ago about how to complete said curse. I tweeted three lines of a stanza and asked people to choose the final line out of four potential options. However, during this engagement tactic, my friend Jordan, who you may know from Coffee, Book, & Candle, mentioned that she'd like to see all of the fourth line options with their own stanzas (this is the kind of similar-vibe marketing stuff I was mentioning before).
I really liked this idea, however, wanted to keep it for my newsletter readers as a special exclusive. So, here it is, a curse with which to afflict your scumbag neighbours (untitled).
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #42
Villains and monsters in books are sometimes painted with strokes so broad that no clear lines of logic are definable, and, as such, have their impacts lessened due to readers developing major questions.
"Why is this thing trying to kill the protagonist again?"
"What will the villain even gain from their convoluted plan?"
"Were they just waiting there the whole time?"
These are questions you want to avoid as a writer because they will dull the significance of a threat. Not giving an important antagonist a motive is just as bad as not giving protagonists or side characters motives for their actions.
A truly terrifying monster is one with real intentions to harm people. Whether it is for predation or due to some supernatural grudge, there needs to be a reason for readers to care, otherwise, your literary fiend will be forgotten about as another throwaway fictional beast that isn't as intimidating as it could be--regardless of how much time you spent designing their appearance and developing their lore.
The same is true for a more humanoid antagonist, as simply being evil and wishing to do more evil because evil is probably the most overused trope in literary history. You want your villain to stand out and be scary, so give readers a reason to feel a protagonist's fear. World domination and conquest are used a lot but are still better than being evil because of evil, though, a more specific reason, like revenge, power-hunger, or desire for riches can work a lot better. These, or one of many more unique motives, will make the scope of your villain's plans easier for readers to follow and worry about on the protagonist's behalf.
Overall, a killer motive results in a killer villain or monster.
Heralding Unusual Tales
November 26, 2021
New on Rahaman Writing:
This past month, I've been pretty busy with marketing Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind, though, I've also landed another freelance writing contract as well as got a new computer. This has kept me occupied enough to prevent me from doing any creative writing besides a bit of poetry here and there. And I plan to keep this going until the end of 2021, as I don't want to overwork myself.
However, when 2022 begins, I plan to get back to my worldbuilding project "Of the Sky, Of the Sea, and Of the Stones", or the "SSS series" for short. At first, this was going to be a pseudo-history book, though I ended up writing it more as an autobiography of a renowned scholar in this world. In the setting of this world, which is called Okeanós, the aging scholar Athos Angion tells readers of his greatest discoveries which helped humans understand their universe better. Through Athos' perspective, I'm developing the lore, fleshing out the world, and writing the history of Okeanós in what I hope is a unique and interesting way.
But more on that in the new year, for now, let there be unusual tales! I've updated all of the tales on Rahaman Writing's Short Stories section. These versions are now the same as those that appear in my upcoming collection. So, if you want a taste of what's to come, feel free to check them out. You can do so by clicking HERE or the image below.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #43
If you have one or more sapient species in your story, make sure to give them a few special occasions. By that, I mean give them days of the year when important ceremonies and events take place. Every culture in the real world has such days--some great examples are Christmas and Easter. Both of those days are significant for religious reasons, however, they have become more complex over time.
Give your fictional civilizations such days as well! You can keep them simple and religion-based, however, there are tons of other options as well. This can be a great way to tell readers about a notable natural event, like the annual eruption of a volcano, or to bring significance to some sort of deity and introduce a bit of world lore. The possibilities are endless, just make sure things make sense. For example, a group of people who live in a forest wouldn't shoot off fireworks due to fire hazards...probably.
You can even get kind of realism-crazy and have special days that used to be something else; like a day that was meant to honour a god of wine that turns into a time when people get insanely drunk. Drunk people in the middle of revelry can lead to a catalyzing event of some sort.
To make your world and its people feel real, be sure to create some holidays, events, and other significant days for your different cultures. Not only is this a great way to introduce concepts, but you can also use them to progress the plot via a significant occurrence and more.
As winter gets increasingly closer, I feel drawn to the fading warmth. One of the things that keeps me toasty is enjoying nature photography, as well as writing about it. A way that I can do so is with some wonderful shots by my close friend, Essi Valo. Here's another of her incredible photos alongside a haiku I wrote while viewing it.
The Year's End
December 24, 2021
Happy holidays, readers.
New on Rahaman Writing:
As you can see from the above image, (which you can click on to listen to a recording of the featured poem) I enjoy writing poetry in languages besides English. In fact, I like my non-English poems better than most of my older English ones.
However, my newer English poetry, I believe, has recently become more defined in multiple aspects. I have a clearer style and more consistent patterns, which I think allows me to convey the messages in my poems better.
With that said, I still wanted to go back and adjust a few things on Rahaman Writing so that all of my poetry gets seen as much as it should. I plan to update the English Poetry section with some of my more recent and well-liked work, though that will be a task for January. For the remainder of the year, I want to take it a bit easier.
Just a bit, though. There's no rest for the wicked.
*maniacal laughter intensifies*
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #44
Literacy is incredibly important for many reasons and it is becoming more so as time progresses.
As we head further and further into the digital age where the majority of human interactions are online, being able to communicate through text is vital. People who cannot read or write in any language will not have access to many core services in their communities either.
Furthermore, if you're a writer, literacy affects you in a different way. Put simply, the more readers there are in the world, the more potential readers your content will have. As such, it benefits you to help increase the reader population. You can think of this as indirect marketing.
You can increase the global number of potential readers by getting more people interested in reading. Usually, recommending a book to someone about a topic they enjoy can be the first step to them reading more.
For example, people who are into hockey may enjoy a book about one of their favourite players. Furthermore, talking to a new reader about what they've learned from a book can make reading—and learning—more fun. This could have a snowball effect and make someone want to read more and more.
If you want to think of this as some sort of plot to bolster your reader count, you can, but being able to read better always improves people's lives. The more people read, the better their brains will become with understanding and digesting text-based information. And, since this world is heading into a very digital direction full of text-based online interfaces, stronger readers will have an easier time surfing the web.
Winter can sometimes be a tough season for people. The coldness, cloudy skies, and more can affect people negatively. Winter can be a time for holiday happiness, but not always. Since it's the end of the year, a lot of people reflect on all that's transpired in the past few months. Though, sometimes this reflection can be clouded.
One way to combat this is by trying to look at what one has instead of what one doesn't. This itself can be hard, just as seeing anything in the dark can be. However, looking for things to feel grateful for can shed a bit of light on a person's life.
In my case, thinking about these things sometimes helps me during dark days:
I'm grateful to have a home with running water and electricity.
I'm grateful to have people in my life who care about me.
I'm grateful for being able to write for a living.
Here's an untitled poem about this sentiment. The photo that inspired it was taken by my close friend, Essi Valo. She is one of the people for who I am grateful to have in my life.
I'm also grateful to you, dear readers, for opening these newsletter issues, reading my work, and much more. I hope you have a warm end of the year.
January 28, 2022
Good Friday, readers.
New on Rahaman Writing:
Updated the copyright year on the website footer
Created the new English Poetry section
As promised, I got the English Poetry section finished. What you'll find on that page are some of the most popular English poems that I've shared publically, either through issues of The Rahaman Reader or on social media. However, some exclusive poems that I've only shared through my newsletter will not be posted publically to retain their exclusivity. For those, you'll have to take a look into the Archive of Rahaman Writing.
By "most popular", I mean these are the poems that have had the most positive reception from readers. I tend to network with a lot of others who read and write poetry, so I have faith that my fellows will be honest with me in regards to the quality of my work.
I'll probably add to the English Poetry section in the future as well.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #45
If you're an independent author who owns or runs a website, be sure to update your copyright stuff. For example, the footer (the permanent bottom section of your website that appears on every page) usually contains a year next to the name of your site or company as well as a little copyright symbol. While this is not a legally significant factor, it looks bad if you don't update this within a month or two of a new year.
As someone who has had to do a ton of research in various fields (mostly in regards to writing, biology, and art), I know the importance of checking if a source is reliable or not. One of the quickest ways to see if the information on a website is up to date is to look at the copyright info on a website's footer. If the copyright year is not the current year, it can make me doubt the validity of the information presented.
While this is not an issue if you're a writer just sharing your work online, neglecting professional elements like this can potentially cause readers to doubt your seriousness as an author—even if you're incredibly passionate about your work.
More poetry! I've been in a very poetic mood recently, but don't worry, I'll have updates for you about my books in the near future.
Here's a new haiku I wrote recently while enjoying some more wonderful photography by my close friend, Essi Valo. The photo you see below is one they took.
For me, winter is mostly a time for sleep; for rest. Spring is when greater things can start.
February 25, 2022
Good weekend, everyone.
New developments on Rahaman Writing:
Fixed some links on the Cover Art page
Changed the order of the poems in the English Poetry section
Added audio for all poems in the English Poetry section
Plans to update the Future Works section
Above, you'll see another of the poems that I added to my website recently. If you would like to hear it being read aloud, click on the image and the audio file will start playing in another tab.
This poem, as you can probably glean, is about failing to capture certain ideal lines before they disappear from your mind.
This sensation of missed opportunities is elsewhere besides writing. Just think of a time when you felt hollow or empty in any capacity and you'll know what I mean.
Loss, loneliness, and similar feelings of lacking are universally understandable. Every single organism wants something, and, as a product of this, can feel a longing for it. A drive to get what's desired and erase the longing, the feelings of lacking, the loneliness, and the loss.
Such is the universal sadness we all feel, be we worm or whale or weary human. You can dwell on this sentiment and lament your existence, and, if you want, also use it in your writing.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #46
For stories where you want the reader to empathize with the characters (also known as good stories), a great tactic is to show the reader a character's vulnerabilities.
Readers subconsciously (and consciously) project their strengths and weaknesses onto various characters throughout all stories. It's just the way the human brain works when we picture scenes and establish relationships between characters, settings, and more. This is so that we can attribute importance to various characters, locations, and relationships—we draw parallels to our own lives.
People care more when a struggling protagonist overcomes trials because we see ourselves in the struggling protagonist and we see our daily challenges in their trials. When the protagonist overcomes the trials, so do we.
Connect your readers to your characters by allowing the former to see themselves in the latter.
I'm a pretty big fan of writing inhuman characters. And I don't mean characters that are humanoid in appearance, I mean like characters most people would describe as "creatures" or "monsters". While those terms would be accurate, I believe non-humanoid characters can be relatable. In stories where such beings are the only characters, it becomes essential to find a way to get readers to connect to them.
In my short story collection, there are a bunch of tales where this is done. One of them is Pine Valley Wyvern, which is about flying mythical reptiles living in a forest between two mountains. Check out an excerpt from this tale below. You can click the image for the Amazon link to my short story collection.
March 25, 2022
I'll level with you, I haven't written anything for my WIP in a while—and that's fine. I've been busy with a lot of work and personal life things, so the worldbuilding project-turned-novel is on a bit of a hiatus. I'm expecting that I'll be able to get back to it during either April or May.
While working on my Future Works page, I realized that it doesn't make sense to put a completion date on it just yet. It's only half-written, after all. Furthermore, I took down the graphic for the novel I plan on writing after the one I'm currently working on—for similar reasons.
If you're a new reader or have missed issues where I've talked about my worldbuilding project-turned-novel, check out the little graphic below.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #47
Don't make promises in your writing that you can't keep.
By that, I mean you should always follow up on the hints you drop in some way as well as make sure your build-ups lead to something.
As an example, if you're talking about some terrifying eldritch monstrosity lurking in a lagoon, you damn well better have that hideous fiend leap out of the water and eat someone. Not only would it be disappointing to your readers to do otherwise, but the eldritch monstrosity would probably appreciate it as well.
Speaking of eldritch fiends, have you checked out the short stories on my website yet?
There's a fan favourite on there titled The Birth of Mancafar, which follows the evolution of a simple yet hungry creature that turns into a planet-swallowing conqueror. If you read it and enjoyed it, maybe consider grabbing my short story collection, as it's packed full of similarly wild tales.
Filling a World
April 22, 2022
Welcome to the weekend, readers.
What's occurring at Rahaman Writing:
Planning to take it easy this month
Like I mentioned last month, I'm taking it easy on the fiction front. As such, I don't have any developments to share in that area of my writing.
Furthermore, I haven't done any website updates this month either. However, this is due to Rahaman Writing finally reaching close to the point where I'm fully happy with it. There will always be things to update, however, in terms of structure and user navigation, it's pretty much where I want it.
I'll need to re-do the Reference Guide for the Sky, Sea, and Stone Lore at some point, as the SSS world has changed a bit in some significant regards. Additionally...the page layout could be improved. It's a bit chaotic and not very mobile-friendly. But that's an update for later.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #48
Write short side-stories in the world your book takes place. They don't even have to be completed or seen by anyone else. Doing so can serve as a way to flesh out your world and make it feel more real.
For example, if there's a part of your book where the protagonist learns about a legendary knight who slew a dragon...you could write that legend yourself!
You could write a little story about how the knight found and fought the dragon. Afterward, you'll have a clearer picture of this epic legend and will be able to better communicate its significance to your book's readers.
If you like tales of swords and battle, consider checking out the short stories on my website.
Learn the tragic story of an executed soldier who lingers after death. See their demise, hear their past, and behold their redemption in Burning Blood!
Quick Looks & Bad Books
May 27, 2022
Happy Friday, readers.
What's happening at Rahaman Writing:
Externally wondering why I keep this section here when I haven't done any updates since March, lol
All joking aside, I have actually done some fiction writing this month!
Recently, I've found myself having to do a fair bit of waiting while having my car serviced. Nothing's wrong with my car—thankfully—but I have had to get some things taken care of due to general maintenance needs.
While waiting around, I decided to start writing a bit of a sci-fi short story. I've had daydreams and ideas about this one for some time, so it was nice to get it down on some virtual paper (I wrote it in my phone's memo app).
When I write sci-fi, I tend to focus on alien life instead of human adventures or spaceships. This is pretty consistent with my style of depicting non-human characters as protagonists. I sometimes find people to be so damn boring (no offense).
In the image below, you'll see a little excerpt from this currently untitled short story.
The Baron of Beholders' Writing Tip #49
Reading good books is always pleasant—and can be educational as well! There's a lot you can learn about what to do right in literature from a well-written novel.
However, taking the opposite approach can also be helpful. By that, I mean, on occasion, you should read a terrible book or two!
When you read an awful book, it can hammer home things that you want to avoid in your own work. In addition, it can also boost your confidence by letting you see that there are successful writers out there who you can outperform in terms of storytelling. Plus, shitty books can also be a laugh in the same way that some bad movies can.
Full transparency here: I didn't come up with this tip. I got it from watching a video featuring Alan Moore, who is a legendary writer of comic books like V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and more. Click HERE (or on the image below) to watch the short video that gave me this unorthodox writing tip.
It was tempting to jokingly recommend one of my own novels as a terrible book for you to laugh at/learn from, but, honestly, I think they're both pretty good!
My most recent release is a short story collection featuring fantasy, horror, and a bit of sci-fi. It's called Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind and it aims to scratch the mental itches of all those who are bored with the generic crap that gets peddled by big publishers these days.
Equal parts unique and unrelenting, it's guaranteed to send your brain on a wild ride!
One that it may never fully return from...