Friday, July 28, 2017

What's Next? / Happenings In The Outhouse 28-July-2017

I have finished the first round of edits for books two and three of the Shadowkill trilogy.

What's next?

Before I run through the final (I hope, crossing my fingers) edits, there are 2-3 smaller projects I want to tackle: a non-fiction book centered around travelling with type one diabetics, and a few fiction short stories.

I love the freedom of being an indie author.  I can write exactly what my heart desires.  If I want to write a romance or a cozy mystery or another thriller in my Central Division series, I can--and I will.  Those are tentatively scribbled in for 2018, at the very earliest.  For the romance, I'm going back and forth about a pseudonym.  I'm weighing the pros and cons carefully.

On the short story front, I have a few I had written before.  So with those, I want to do one pass-through to get a feeling about it being ready to go or not.  There is another short story I had written the bones of before--meaning, I have written about three pages, just to get the idea out of my head--and I have a strong feeling to write it.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Create A Character List Early On In The First Draft / Happenings In The Outhouse 21-July-2017

I'm in the middle of editing the last two novels in the Shadowkill trilogy, and I've come across something that may be helpful to fiction writers: as early as possible, create a character list as you write.

This may seem like a no-brainer to some and a "oh I don't need that; I'll remember all of my characters" to others, but trust me when I say that for most, you'll thank me later.

No matter how minor a character may seem, it's good to jot their name down and maybe add a note on how they're relevant.  About a third of the way through book 2, I discovered I had a different name for an extremely minor character.  I didn't have a note on this one.

This list doesn't have to be some Wikipedia page or anything.  Just a name and anything relevant to the story.

Friday, July 14, 2017

What Does A Break Look Like To You And Your Art / Happenings In The Outhouse 14-July-2017

Here's the scenario: you've worked on your manuscript for months and months, and have finally finished it.  You lean back, both exhausted and relieved.  You may even be a little apprehensive and scared.  It's your baby.  It's not quite ready for the world, in your mind.  How long do you wait before tackling any rewrites/edits?

Stephen King has advised to put your manuscript away for a minimum of six weeks before looking at it again.  Dean Wesley Smith doesn't rewrite at all (he has a circular writing technique that is very clever and I want to give a shot at on future projects).  In fact, Smith doesn't even look at the manuscript again unless his wife Kris tells him to fix a few things.

Where do you fit in?

Brandon Sanderson, between his enormous epic fantasy novels, writes shorter books.  I think I read once that Stephen King does the same thing with his novels, but don't quote me on that.

What does taking a break look like to you?  In the past, I've read much more than usual.  It's something I call "recharging my batteries," because I feel like I haven't read as much as I should (which is probably not the case) and I love reading new things.

I'm working on the edits for books 2 and 3 of the Shadowkill trilogy.  It's going well, much better than I anticipated.  And, of course, I'm looking to see what I should work on next.

Stay tuned . . . the future is very exciting . . .

Friday, July 7, 2017

Stats On Third Novel In Shadowkill Trilogy / Happenings In The Outhouse 07-July-2017

On July 4th, while many Americans were celebrating our country's Independence Day, I not only celebrated that, I also finished the third (and final?) novel in the Shadowkill trilogy, titled Storming The Hill.

I started it on 3/19/2017
I finished it on 7/4/2017
Total days is 108

The novel came out at 69,916 words, averaging 647 words per day.

Unfortunately, there were 30 zero word days.  Over half could be attributed to our son's graduation and the vacation to Tennessee, even though I still could've found a few minutes here and there to write.  That's something I'll have to revisit down the road.

When I take the actual writing days into account, which were 78, my average words per day rose to 896.

I'm budgeting the next two months to edit the final two books, prepare covers, write the blurbs and product descriptions, research keywords.  I haven't decided if I will do any pre-orders or not.  I also feel I will publish this on all platforms.  I won't make these Amazon exclusive.

So, what's next?

No worries, I'm already brainstorming what to do next.  I have at least three short stories I may publish in the meantime--while I work on books 2 and 3--so there will always be something I'm working on.