Weekly Writing Update: 5/10

Last week, I finished reading “Outcast” aloud to myself and started transferring the notes from the proof copy to the computer. I was trying to decide if I want to do line edits with the proof copy, which means working around the marks I made, or if I should use the updated computer file. I’d rather use the proof copy, because I’ve discovered that when I read my writing in actual book format, I notice things I otherwise wouldn’t. However, I decided that to be safest, I need to use the updated file, because otherwise, I could miss a typo or mistake in the corrected sections of the file. So that is my next step.

I have plenty of time, because I checked in with my two advance readers, and they’re both still a ways from being done. I still have two months until my hopeful publish date, though, so I’ll do what I can, and then most likely dive into revision of book #3 in the meantime.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: 4/26

We’ve just ended another week of Camp NaNoWriMo. It was a little lighter for me, as I only averaged just over a half hour of work done per day (my goal was 1 hour per day). What I really did was small amounts of either busy work or work on book #3 without diving too deeply, because I was just killing time, so to speak, until my first proof copy of “Outcast,” arrived. It finally came on Thursday, so I’ve now had 3 days of reading through it and marking some changes for the next draft, which may not be the last one, but should be the next to last, at least.

The great news is that, unlike when I got my first proof copy of Pithea (book #1), the cover on this one looked great already! I keep looking at it and thinking surely I’ll need to make some tweaks, but other than needing to finalize the synopsis and author bio on the back (the bio was copied & pasted from Pithea, so still says it’s my first novel), I think the rest will end up left alone.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: 4/19

We’ve just ended another week of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am again very pleased with my progress. I kept with my goal of 1 hour work per day, minimum, working a bit more than that on average. I spent the first couple of days working toward being able to order a proof copy of “Outcast,” both to see how the cover looks printed and to use for the next draft. I don’t know how long it will take to get the proof, though, or if it will be on extended hold until the COVID-19 situation is further along (up until today, the site maintained that it would be arriving today, even though I could clearly see it hadn’t been shipped yet, and I’m not even sure it’s been printed yet). I’m aware this one thing may delay my preferred release date by quite a while, and if that happens, then it happens.

While I wait for the proof copy, I am doing light work on book #3. I don’t want to get too heavily into the revision for that book, so that I don’t have a difficult time switching gears back to “Outcast” when the proof copy comes. However, if I finish the preliminary work I’m doing and still don’t have the proof copy, I’ll dive into a new draft. Gotta be doing something!

Below is the cover for “Outcast,” which I revealed yesterday!

Outcast cover, Kindle

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: 4/12

Camp NaNoWriMo continues, and boy have I been productive thanks to it. I worked an average of just under 1 1/2 hours per day over the last 7 days. But even more importantly, I finished the draft of “Outcast” (book #2) that I was working on! This puts me one very large step closer to being ready to publish. Other than the cover & tedious layout work, the main things I have left to do are line edits and get some more feedback after making hefty changes to it since the first readers responded.

I’m hoping to have a cover design nailed down soon too. I don’t plan to release this book for a few more months, but there’s still plenty to do. Plus I’d really like to have a good start into the next draft of book #3 before this one releases.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: February Week 2

It was not the best week I’ve had, in regards to writing work. I took a few too many nights off, telling myself that I have plenty of time to do the work. And I got some critiques that concerned me a little. I haven’t built up that thick skin I’ve been told I need yet. I’m working on it, though, and I pushed past the negative feelings faster this time. My first reaction was to decide that this area of weakness that I already knew I had made my writing bad. And that it was going to take even more work than I expected to get book #2 (“Outcast”) ready to go.

But with a little bit of time and thinking, I remembered my decision to fully trust God with this whole endeavor. That doesn’t mean I’m not still going to try to strengthen this area of my writing, but it means I don’t have to let it cause a lot of stress or, most importantly, depression that would lead me to not want to work on my writing.

So last week, while waiting for a couple of people to read “Outcast,” I worked enough on book #3 (Pursuit of Power) to reaffirm that it’s a huge mess. I’ve done some preliminary work on it, and will get back to it later.

For now, I have had enough early feedback on “Outcast” to go back to it and start outlining new scenes to add to the existing story, after which I’ll be spending some time writing (which I enjoy way more than revising, so it should be fun).

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: February Week 1

Two months ago I laid out 3 short-term goals to be working on after NaNoWriMo ended. I finished the first two fairly quickly, and then it took about a month to get to the third one, due to needing a break after NaNoWriMo and the holidays eating my time. When I go back to it, it took me about 3 weeks averaging just over an hour a day on the days I did actual work (which was most of them) to finish goal #3.

1. Remove NaNo fodder from 2019 NaNoNovel

2. Update Kindle version of Pithea, upload it to KDP, add Kindle version to Goodreads

3. Finish first revision of “Outcast” (book #2) – It turned out to be a bit more complicated than I expected, because instead of simple revision, I decided to write out a minor character. And then I had to figure out the structure of the scenes. This book is far from done, most likely, as I’m still hoping to hit on a way to add approximately 10k more words to the book. But now it’s ready for me to pass it on to some of my most-trusted first readers and get their insight into that, as well as general feedback.

In the meantime, I will be working on book #3, which I currently hope to be able to release very close to the same time as book #2, because both books are important follow-ups to book #1 (Pithea) following different tracks.

While I work on continuing the series, if you’re interested in reading where it all starts, Pithea is available on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback (it’s also on Kindle Unlimited).

Weekly Writing Update: January Week 4

Last Sunday, I said I hoped to be done with the read-through of draft 2 of “Outcast” (book #2 in my series) by Tuesday of this last week. However, a combination of some early mornings (which means early nights, cutting into my prime writing time) and a change in the chapter structure slowed me down.

I will vaguely explain (to avoid spoilers) that this book has 2 main storylines that are being told in an alternating pattern through maybe 2/3 of the book. But where certain scenes and revelations from both of them coincide is crucial. In the first draft, which was a vastly different story, I had a good spot, but the story changed so much, I kept playing with where that spot should be. I thought I had chapters laid out–which scenes went in which chapters–and then I suddenly hit on what I think is going to be the final layout. But I realized that I needed to read it straight through and make sure it flows well.

I’m now 3/4 of the way through (plus I accidentally read at least 1 chapter out of order, so I don’t know if I’ll feel the need to re-read it when I get there). I should definitely be onto a new task by this time next week. I’ve already contacted the people that I think can give me some great early feedback, and I hope to have this draft to them soon. Though one of them still needs to read Pithea (book #1 in the series, which was released just over 2 weeks ago), because when she last read it, it was probably 7 drafts away from the completed version.

Then I’ll turn my focus to making sense of the mess I left book #3 in while I wait to hear back from those who have agreed to read “Outcast.”

Weekly Writing Update: January Week 3

After pushing myself to get back to working on “Outcast” (book #2 in my series) last week, I did not have any difficulty keeping that up throughout this last week. Most days I worked at least an hour on the revision of draft 2. I wish it could be more, but alas, I still have a day job to attend to, not to mention homeschooling to do.

I actually finished draft 2, then spent some time figuring out the order for the scenes. Now I’m going through and reading (sometimes scanning) to make sure that the order is good, transitions are there, and things generally make sense. Then I’ll cross my fingers that the small group of people who know Pithea (book #1 in the series that was released just over a week ago) well enough to help me figure out where to go next with this book have time to read it.

I’m about 1/4 of the way through this read-through, and hope to be able to finish it by Tuesday. Then I’ll turn my focus to making sense of the mess I left book #3 in while I wait to hear back from whoever is able to read it.

Weekly Writing Update: January Week 2

This is my first update in a little over a month, mostly due to holidays and family being in town for a few weeks past that. I did work on a few things here or there throughout that time, mostly minor changes to Pithea before publishing day.

With that done and out now, I need to focus on book #2 all the more. So 2 days ago I delved back into the 2nd draft. I’d left off in a spot that I was struggling with, which is never a good idea. Fortunately, I was able to tackle it and have some ideas for how to end the scene I’m on, add depth to a character that I’m only just starting to use more fully, and avoid having the MC seem like he’s the only one with any convictions.

I’m really looking forward to finishing this draft and getting some opinions on it. I know that this will be miles ahead of where Pithea was by this point, which is good, because I would like to be able to release it a lot faster than I did Pithea (which went through many drafts). I also need to work on book #3, because I’m considering releasing it very shortly after book #2 (I won’t explain why right now though, it’s just an idea so far).

Daily Writing Check-in: May 3, 2019

Words/Time:  3 hours, 42 minutes doing preliminary work for the new outline of “Vin” as well as some free writing with a prompt.

3 hours were spent reading through the first draft of “Vin,” which was written in November of 2017 for NaNoWriMo. I’m now on page 109 out of 137, deep in the climax scene. This time was spent throughout the day, coming back to reading whenever I could, because I just enjoyed it that much.

When I got to my normal writing time in the evening, I decided that with so much time already on the clock for the day, it was a good day to get some writing practice in, so I pulled a prompt. It ended up leading me to a scene that involves a story I have barely even thought about yet–book 3 of the “Pursuit of Power” trilogy*. It actually led to some small ideas for a story that intimidates me, because it’s been in such darkness for so long. It’s invigorating to have some light shed onto it out of nowhere like this.

I also had a crazy, out-of-nowhere idea for the story I’m currently outlining, “Vin,” that solves one big issue I had, and also adds some serious drama and intrigue. After the free writing, I took some time to write that idea down so I didn’t forget it, and then decided that I had plenty of time in for today.

I don’t know if any of these ideas today will make it anywhere, but I’m really enjoying the organic discovery that’s been happening, after weeks of coaxing ideas for “The Seeger Book.” I know both ways of arriving at a story are valid, and it doesn’t make the plot & outline for “The Seeger Book” any less good or worth writing, just because it took more work to shape it to what it is. But the random, out-of-nowhere ideas are just so much more fun and exhilarating. And considering how light on plot “Vin” is, it’s going to take a lot of new ideas to shape it into a story anyway.

*I’m still guessing it’s going to be a trilogy. I haven’t figured out what the 3rd book will entail yet, or if it will be too much for just 1 more book after the 2 I have planned.