Monday, December 5, 2016

First round of proofreading complete

Welcome to December!

I've found proofreading to be an effective alternative to focusing on the crazy world of politics over the last few months, and last night finally concluded the first round on my latest novel. As expected, I ended up adding about 10,000 words and it's now right around 125,000 - or approximately 350 pages in your standard paperback format. Some of that was entirely new 'scenes', but most of it came from fleshing out existing passages, adding bits of color and detail, and a few additions for consistency's sake throughout. Because the novel flips between different points of view in alternating time periods, it's been very important to make sure certain topics line up properly throughout the entire story.

Next step is working through a printed copy and reading the whole thing out loud. Once that's done it's time to decide the best way to move forward with getting it published!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First draft complete!

After almost exactly 12 weeks of writing, I'm pleased to say that the first draft of the manuscript I'm currently calling The Punishments of Talon is complete. It clocks in at right around 115,000 words, which I expect to expand by a good 5,000 to 10,000 more by the time I've completed revisions and additions.

I'm quite happy with how the story turned out. It is the first book in a series tentatively titled Slaying the Overlord which I expect to be either 3 or 4 books when complete. The book is entirely disconnected from my prior works, but if you liked them I suspect you will like these as well.

Starting with City of the Lords I've started keeping track of how long it takes me to complete each step of a manuscript. Some interesting statistics about the first draft for those who enjoy such things: It was written in 56 separate writing sessions at a total time of about 47 hours and 40 minutes. I averaged almost exactly 2000 words per session at an average of about 51 minutes each.

Now it's on to a first pass of editing, then I'll print it out and make notes by hand. Plenty more work to do but it's enormously satisfying to look at the manuscript and know that the core of the story is entirely in place.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New projects and updates!

I got very little writing done in 2015. Real life intervenes in all sorts of ways, and it can be hard to make time when other things are jostling for attention.

The first half of 2016 had a few miscellaneous projects - everything from a book about 1960s China to a children's book - but nothing that stuck for more than a few chapters or the equivalent.

But inspiration is a funny thing. Right at the end of May I got a new idea that fleshed itself out pretty quickly in my mind. And out of nowhere things opened up so that I could make a little bit of time for writing again. After putting my first words on this project down on June 1st, I'm up to over 20,000 words in a week by taking an hour here and an hour there. With a full novel being somewhere north of 100,000 words, that's a damn good start.

Perhaps more importantly, the ideas for this one keep coming steadily. I know where I want to go with it - that's rarely an issue - but I also know a lot of parts in between. See, I rarely have problems coming up with the seeds of a story, and the ending is often easy to pick up, but I can have trouble getting lost somewhere in the middle. I have dozens of ideas that peter out after a few thousand words because I just can't figure out how to get from point A to point Z. What about all those spots in the middle? What are they up to? That's part of why I found it easier to break the Bladesmen Lords series up into multiple books within each novel. Take City of the Lords, for example. It's three different stories, with the latter two basically overlapping, from three different viewpoints. Instead of one 120,000 word book, I had a much easier time writing three separate 40,000 word books that twined together to make a single novel.

But this one's coming along easier. I've got plenty of material, what I think is a compelling story with interesting characters, and now I just need to keep finding time.