Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Thus Went the Edits

Today I'm hard at work editing my book. I'm currently on chapter 13 (there are 21 chapters total). The corrections from my proofreader look pretty reasonable. There are some I'm rejecting though, and I think that's important moment of growth for me.

I'm becoming more confident in my writing, and while I realize I still have a massive amount of room for growth, I am finding my own voice. So if you're working on a manuscript, let that strengthen you: you don't have to accept every suggestion you and when you start rejecting them, that's when you know you're getting close to the end.

I'm really going to work hard the rest of the day and evening. I set out with the goal to have all edits done by the end of October. There's still a chance I make it!

I've ignored social media completely today, except for this moment to take time to check in with everybody and let you know that I appreciate the well-wishes I've gotten lately. Thanks to all those who've contacted me privately with encouragement. Know, that you have made a difference! Love ya :)



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Great News!

Great news, everybody! My proofreader got the last chapters to me!!! Haha, so now I can finish up the (**takes in a deep breath**) FINAL DRAFT! Yes, in just a week or two I will have completed, finished, and concluded writing my very first fantasy novella.

Man, I am excited. I wasn't expecting them. I thought it would take her another couple weeks. So yay! I've still got a million obstacles still between me and publication, but at the very least, the writing is done. So, next steps after that:

1) Get the ISBN's for my physical copies. This will be the next financial outlay I have to make, and probably the third most necessary one right after securing professionals to do my cover and my layouts.

2) Get a map done. I have to have a map of the setting for the readers' sake. I think it will really help their comprehension of the events in the story.

3) I need to brainstorm cover ideas. At the moment, I'm still at a loss. My book gets submitted to the cover company ( in January, so I do have a little time.

4) I need to complete the questionnaire the cover company gave me.

5) I need to move on with my supplemental projects and marketing (more on that soon).

So that's what's coming up. Anyway, please rejoice with me that the end of the dark tunnel that is writing and revising is within sight. I'm wishing you all the best on your projects as well. Good luck out there! :)



Monday, October 29, 2018

A Successful Weekend

I had a great and productive weekend. I hope you did too. I was able to accomplish all my goals, which were quite a few, thanks to not having any real outside commitments or catastrophes for the last three days. Woohoo!

So as the leaves finally change, it's time to change my own outlook and start gazing forward: November. By the end of November, I really want to get all the final editing of my fantasy novella done. I'd like to get the map of my setting finished. I need to secure the ISBN's for my physical books, and I need to begin the next phase of my marketing.

I think I can do all that. Well, I guess it doesn't matter if I think I can, I BETTER do all that! I'm still on track for a Feb publication. I'd appreciate all thoughts, well-wishes, and prayers in meeting that goal. I'll be rooting for you too!



Friday, October 26, 2018

Goals for the Weekend 2018-10-26

Okay, so this weekend, I want to do the following:

  • Visit ailing grandparents
  • Complete corrects to chapters 8-12 in book 1
  • Complete rough drafts for Secret Project #1
  • Compile marketing plan
That's an awful lot for a single weekend, but I'm starting to feel the pressure of running out of time. I really have to knuckle down and get the big projects out of the way, so my launch is as stress free as possible.

Anyway, you have a great weekend. I'll be rooting for ya! :)



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Breakthrough Last Night

Last night I had a terrific breakthrough. I know I've talked lately about this creative dry spell I've been going through. There's no one single thing that caused the dry spell, so there was no single or easy solution. But last night, the writer's block broke.

I felt inspired again, and I'm not the type of person who just waits for inspiration. I've written thousands and thousands of words without the muse whispering in my ear. But last night was the first time since September 8th that I've been able to write any new, original material.

I've done some chapter rewrites and a whole lotta editing in that span, but no new material. You see, I'm already working on the sequel to my novella, and I was making good progress until September 9th. That's when something died a little inside of me, and I couldn't figure out what.

Honestly, I still don't know what it was. I was beginning to panic. "What if I can't write again?" I asked myself. Would my planned series never get finished? After last night, I feel more confident. I didn't get 3,000 words or anything. But I finished a chapter, and it was fun and it was great. I can't wait to do it again.

So this goes out to all those #amwrting and #aspiringwriters out there. You may experience writer's block, but if you stay strong and keep the faith, you will come through it. Don't give up. I believe in you!



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My Novella is a Genre Hybrid

Earlier today, I read this article by Paul Goat Allen. In it, he discusses how up until the 1990's, books were strictly written in and limited to a single genre. Publishers, editors, and booksellers were not at all interested in what we might today call a Genre-Mashup. You might be able to go back to the pulp era of science fiction and find a few examples, but those examples are limited and never attracted widespread popularity or recognition. The 1800's might have had a few examples as well. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and Journey to the Center of the Earth come to mind. But other than that, it really wasn't until Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series that genre-blending hit the mainstream.

One of the concerns I've had about my novella is that it's a genre hybrid. I take some of the classic horror tropes from Halloween monsters such as werewolves, vampires, zombies, witches, ghouls, etc. and match them against what are essentially the Dunedain rangers from Middle-earth. It has the plot elements of horror you'd expect: strange disappearances, duality of mankind, transformation, deformities, descents into dark places, animal familiars, and so on. It also has classic fantasy motifs such as ancestral swords, magic metal, strange religion, ruins from a bygone era, magic spells, and more.

I was concerned because I've read in several places that genre-bending is discouraged. Several editor and author blogs go so far as to advise writers to keep the hybrid nature of their novels a secret: just let the audience figure it out and whatever you do don't tell a publisher. They also said that genre-bending is gimmicky and amateurish. Well, I am an amateur, so I suppose appearing amateurish was inevitable.

Anyway, after reading this article, I feel much more confident about my work. I've never really been ashamed of what I've written, just nervous because it goes against convention. Actually, that's not 100% true. I follow genre conventions for fantasy pretty closely. I don't feel practiced enough yet to break them. Anyway, I enjoyed this article and hope it's encouraging for other authors out there as well. You don't have to conform to tradition to produce something you're proud of. Follow your own vision.



Monday, October 22, 2018

The Music of my Inspiration

Today I thought I would share some of the music I listen to in order to get into the world I'm creating for my fantasy novella. It's somewhat unconventional, I think, but it helps free my imagination to wander in the my setting.

First up is Garmarna (a Swedish folk-rock band):

Next is Lorena McKennitt:

Finally, is the soundtrack for Endless Legend by Fly-by-No:

These artists all have a particular droning sound that calms my senses and helps my brain focus on a singular image that I usually use as a gateway to my world. I should probably talk more about that gateway in the future. Anyhow, please enjoy the music! :)



Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Logo

Hello everyone! I'm pleased to finally present my book logos. These will be small and go on the spine and inside flap of the hardback. They're fairly simple, but fit with some of the aesthetic themes of my book. The letters are meant to look like they have thorns. I wonder if I succeeded at that.

The initials in the logo don't stand for Human Resources. I'm not sure I've publicly revealed the title of my book yet, so I'll keep it on the down-low for now. Anyway, I have a silver and gold version of the logo since I don't know what the lettering on my book will be yet. That'll be up to my cover artist.

Thanks for checking in with me. I'll be revealing more details soon!



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Soldiering On

The edits continue. I got a couple more chapters from my proofreader. I'm currently on chapter 8 and she's given me everything through chapter 12. So, that's some progress, I guess.

I really hope to have this finished by early or mid November. I've got other things I want to move on to, and being SO CLOSE to the end but not quite there is excruciating. It's like being a kid on December 20th. You know Christmas is close, but the actual day is still so far.

For the most part, I'm pretty happy with how my manuscript is doing in the proofing process. I'm not getting a whole lot of corrections, though a few of the things I do have to change are rather embarrassing. They're silly mistakes I shouldn't have made.

Anyway, today looks like a busy day. I have some extra meetings that will run late after work. I'm still going to make time for my book, though. It's so important to do it, not just try to do it every day. My timer is working well as far as forcing me to sit at my computer and at the very least stare at my work. The real test will come when I have to start writing new content again.



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Had a Busy Day

Wow, today was full. I had so much stuff coming at me, I could hardly handle it. I wanted to post something sooner, but life would just not give me a break until just now. Whew, glad this day's almost over.

I'm making good progress on the next stage of my marketing. I've got to find some time to do some more research. Maybe this weekend. But anyway, I'm exciting about the next thing I'm going to be doing. Stay tuned for more details soon.

Also, just a friendly reminder, I'll be revealing a new piece of art this Friday. It's nothing spectacular or particularly amazing -- at least, not as gorgeous as the roses I revealed earlier -- but it's still important to me. As I get nearer and nearer to publishing, I'm discovering so many little details about books that I never even knew existed. This piece of art will address one of them.

So anyway, I hope your day is going better than mine. Take care of yourselves out there and we'll speak again soon :)



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tried a New Habit Method Last Night

Yesterday, I talked about the importance of forming good habits. So I went home, pulled up the timer on my phone and set it for an hour. I had three things I needed to accomplish. I needed to work on some of my non-writing career stuff, spend time reading and hanging out with my daughter, and then get some writing done.

I hit the Start on the timer. For an hour, I worked on my non-writing stuff. That hour went so quickly, I could hardly believe it when the alarm went off. I didn't get everything done I needed to get done, but I cut it off after 60 minutes. I was determined to be disciplined.

I reset the timer for an hour and called my daughter into the room. We read a book together, built my new desk chair together, and then talked about her day at school. This hour also went by quickly, much to my regret.

I got a few things around for the next day, and set the timer on my phone for another hour. This was the hour I would use to work on my book and my marketing plan. THIS HOUR TOOK FOREVER!!!!

It was so hard to focus, to force myself to punch words on my keyboard. To form complete sentences was excruciating. My mind wanted to rebel. It wanted to watch videos, peek at the news, flirt with my wife, anything except write. But I made myself do it. For 60 minutes my eyes did not wander from my word documents except to double check some things on or wikipedia.

At the end of it, when the alarm went off, I was so relieved, like finishing a race. But I did it. I plan to repeat the exercise tonight. I imagine it will be just as hard, but hopefully, I will get to the point where I don't need the timer anymore. But for now, I need something to hold me accountable, and a machine is all I got.



Monday, October 15, 2018

Getting Back Into Things

Good to see everyone again. I'm back from vacation, and things are a little rough. Nothing kills your drive to work on a book than going on a long trip. I've heard it said that the most important thing an author can do to ensure publication is to form good habits, and that's the truth. And when your habits get broken, it's so hard to get back into the swing of things.

So here's where I stand. I've got a couple new pieces of art from the artists I'm working with. I'm not 100% happy with them. Probably more like 90%, which sometimes is all you can hope for. I'll share one piece of art with you this Friday, and the second next Friday.

I'm preparing my marketing strategy now. Honestly, I've been working on it for the last month, but now I'm increasing the scope of it.

Soon I'll be adding a new feature to my online presence. I've got all the skills I need to get it done, it just requires a lot of discipline. I've got to develop the habit of doing it consistently. That's where I'm going to struggle, but I look forward to sharing it with you.

Anyway, I'm back from my trip, and I'd appreciate any well-wishes on my efforts to get my book published. I'm gonna need them!