Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cover Art and other news for CotL

A few quick pieces of news about City of the Lords:

- I talked to Jeremy Gregory ( about doing the cover art. He did the (excellent) cover art for Lord of the City, and I look forward to keeping the same style on this one.

- I've done another editing pass over Part 1 and am ready to start passing it around for initial comments from one or two people. I need to do the same thing for Part 2 and finish Part 3, then print the whole thing out and do an out-loud reading for myself to mark up.

- Last but far from least, I did a full read through of Lord of the City and matched up some details and timelines from that book to this one. For example, I'd messed up the number of continents claimed to be ruled by the Bladesmen on their home world - in the first book it was stated to be four, while I'd initially written in only one for the sequel. Glad I checked back and got that one right!

Beyond that, I'm still aiming for a release by the end of March. I think everything's on track to make that happen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I've been making great progress lately on City of the Lords. Having it ready by the end of March is looking more and more likely as the days go by. It's just over 120,000 words (365 pages) right now, and I'm right before the big climactic scene at the end. I'm looking forward to writing it - hopefully it ends up well :)

One thing I needed to do tonight was go back and make sure my timelines are correct. As I've noted before, the last two sections of this book take place simultaneously from different points of view, and that makes things a little tricky. There's some points of crossover where I had to make sure I had everything right, and I ended up plotting out day by day where the important characters were in the story. It was entirely worth it here at the end, though, as now I can be sure that I've been consistent and that everything makes sense. Now that I'm right at the end of the book I had to be ready for certain events to have happened with the right amounts of delay between them.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy 2013!

I hope everyone had excellent holidays of whatever type they choose to celebrate! 2012 was a great year and I'm looking forward even more to 2013. I'm making good progress towards finishing my first draft of City of the Lords later this month, and that puts me still on track to have a finished product ready by spring.

I'm close enough to the end that I know pretty firmly what's going to happen from here on out. The book will probably end up between 120,000 to 130,000 words (compared to Lord of the City at about 96,000). It's exciting to be this close, though I'm not looking forward to the editorial slog afterwards where I get to find out just how many mistakes I made in the first draft!

Here's my plan for that process, based on what worked (and what didn't work) for Lord of the City:

1. Read through each section on the computer and make corrections as I go. Assuming there's no major rewrites, I'd like to do each part in one sitting.
2. Run an automated spell check over the entire document, which takes a lot of manual intervention (one of the problems with any fantasy novel, I imagine).
3. Print the entire book out on paper and read through it aloud. This is a piece of advice I picked up a while ago and it definitely makes you spot problems with the writing that you wouldn't otherwise notice. Corrections are made on paper and then entered back into the software version.
4. Ask friends and family (F&F) to review this near-final draft.
5. Make one final quick skim and possible corrections or minor rewrites based on feedback from F&F.
6. Format the book three times - once for CreateSpace (hard copies), once for Kindle, once for the more general ePub format. At this point, the ebooks are ready for publishing. I need a cover by this point!
7. Order a proof from CreateSpace and check it out. Last time it took me 3 proofs to get the cover correct, though hopefully I won't need so many iterations with what I learned from the first book.

So there's a lot of work left after the first draft is done, but it's very different from the initial writing. I'm ready to start on these steps, just need to finish those last few chapters!