An end of year update – Merry Christmas!

Sorry I've been quiet since my mid-NaNoWriMo update. I'd like to say that I've been super busy getting stuff done and finishing up my project from November, but the truth is that I've been super-lazy. Granted, I have been doing some work on Edge of December, but I've mostly been screwing around catching and trianing my Pokemons. Delphox will totally kick your ass, so back off.

That being said, I'm back in the game. I've got a nice long break for the rest of the year and a little into next that I'm going to (hopefully) use to get some serious work done. December was supposed to be to finish up my NaNo project and kick WordKeeper V 2.0 out, so I'm hoping that I can still get at least one of those done. I also have the added goal of figuring out how to end out the current Arc of Edge of December. Granted, a lot of work for the few days I have, and not everything is going to get done, but I'm sure I can make some serious headway.

Most of my design work is done for the new version of WKA. All that's left is a few smaller pages and finishing the design of the social aspect. That, I don't know what I'm going to do with it. It might be a little bit of trial and error until I find something that works. Version 2.0 will be significantly more fully featured than the current generation, with a bit of social built in, some Twitter and Facebook integration, a nifty little tool that counts the words you've written and a much more advanced graphing utility to track your progress. Also, I'm integrating projects so that you'll be able to set goals per project and track them independently. Once I have it done, it will be a pretty awesome way to keep track of your writing trends and hopefully inspire you to write more.

Once December is over, I'm starting work back up on Impervious, with the goal of pushing right through the second draft, at which point I'll be looking for some Beta readers. While the beta reading is in progress, I'll finish out book 2, and maybe get a start on book 3.

Though I did spend a fair amount of time screwing around this year, I've actually written more than I ever have previously. According to WordKeeper I've written some 85,000 words since I started it at the start of the year, and had a few really good months before I got it up and running. I'm guessing that I wrote at least 100,000 words this year, which isn't bad at all! I finished up Impervious, split off Unstoppable from the vast expance that was the original draft, got started on the second draft of Impervious, got WordKeeperAlpha up and running, started on the second version of WKA, got a new blog up and running (though I need to keep it better updated), made several new writer friends online and finished NaNoWriMo again with a brand new story! None of this takes into account the awesome stuff that Glenn and I have been doing over at Edge of December where we Kickstarted our first book, and put out several eBooks. We're getting really close to finishing out the current Arc of the story, which is going to be HUGE!

Granted, that's not quite the goals I had set at the beginning of the year last year. I wanted to get a few more short stories written and submitted to various venues, and have closer to 125,000 words written, but I'm still really happy with everything I've gotten done! If I can keep up this pace, I'll have my first book done and available in 2014 with a second and third following close on its heels! That's super exciting and will serve to motivate me! There's going to be a lot of awesome stuff happening next year, so make sure to stay tuned. Hopefully I'll be a lot better at maintaining the blog and putting up some more articles that are more than just status updates between my long absences.

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, however you celebrate them. I should be putting out one more update before the new year with some updates on WKA, but if that doesn't happen then everyone have a good rest of the year!


I’ve been quiet lately … too quiet

I know, I've been bad about updating for the last few weeks. I have this awesome week where I do three whole posts, and then I disappear for the better part of a month. I'm a bad bad man. What was I doing? Who are you, my mom? Oh… well, sorry mom.

Long story short, I've been working on version 2.0 of WordKeeperAlpha. No, this won't be WordKeeperBeta. I have no intention of securing a new domain name just to keep things straight. Also, I won't ever be able to get the wordkeeper.com domain. Yeah, I have all of three users, including myself, but there are several things that needed to be fixed, and a few I wanted to add.

On top of the bug fixes and feature additions, I'm completely redesigning the UI using Twitter Bootstrap. I think I might just be in love with that framework. Seriously, go and check out WordKeeperAlpha.com/NewHome.aspx and see the difference. Its going to be a few months yet before I role out the new site (probobly not until the New Year, since I've got a job now and can only work on it a couple hours a night) but progress continues.

What does this mean for my writing and Impervious? Eh, its slowing down a little, but not too much since I've been so bad about writing recently. I am still going to take November off from all my other hobbies and pursuits and do National Novel Writing Month. I'll be doing my best to keep my blog, Twitter and Facebook updated with my progress there. I'll most likely be working on the third Book in the Iron Principles series, which will be a lot of fun. I'm going to be doing plotting in October, along with enough writing on Edge of December to carry me into December (shut up). Speaking of which, I should get back to that. I've a chapter to finish cleaning up. I hope you're reading! Enjoy!


Impervious: Book 1 of The Iron Principles

Happy Saturday, everybody! I managed to drag myself out of my warm and supremely comfortable bed so that I could make it to Panera Bread and do some writing today. Unfortunately, I forgot my headphones, which means the buzz of conversation that I normally find comforting and focussing is more of a dull roar. Still, I will persist and do my best to transform thought into words. As always, caffeine doesn't help so much as keep my shambling shell moving.

Still, its Saturday and I promised a few details on the book I'm working on, Impervious. I've been working on it for about a year now and a half now, and managed to actually finish the first draft a few months ago. I was a little distracted for a bit, but have managed to start getting some real work done on the second draft. Some of you may know that I entered it in a contest for winners of National Novel Writing Month (when I wrote the majority of the first draft, some 50,000 words last November) held by the awesome Ravven and Rabia Gale.

That resulted in not only a fantastic cover for Impervious (thanks Ravven!) but also some terrific feedback on the first draft. Because of that feedback, I've done some major reworking of the plot, characters and world. What this means is that the second draft is likely to be a bigger undertaking than the first draft was since I not only need to rewrite almost everything, but also add another 40k – 60k words. Which, isn't as bad as it sounds, since doing that will make Impervious an awesome story.

Impervious was never going to be a stand alone novel though, and I needed to come up with a series name, and while I was at it, names for the next two books. So, here they are!

The Iron Principles: Impervious, Unstoppable, and Immovable

So, that's the scoop. Now, here's my plan.

In 2016, Worldcon, a global gathering for science fiction and fantasy writers, as well as agents and editors, is going to be in Kansas City. According to many other authors, this is THE place to go for making contacts, meeting people and potentially kickstarting a career. Its also going to be a ton of fun. Unfortunately, approaching editors and agents and telling them that you're “working” on a novel won't make them dance with glee and throw money at you. Being able to say that you've completed your first three book series, on the other hand, might be enough to garner some interest.

Therefore, my goal is to have Impervious, Unstoppable and Immovable finished by 2016. I'm sure that I've posted this somewhere or other a couple weeks ago when I learned about Worldcon. That's my goal. Which means I'm really going to have to buckle down and WORK. I'm just getting warmed up now, with at least a respectable word count in August. WordKeeperAlpha is going to help keep me honest and I'll probably get in some updates, but I'm going to be really buckling down on these books.

The 2nd draft of Impervious is underway, the 1st draft of Unstoppable is about 80% done, so I've got a good start. This November, I'm going to drop off the face of the earth for a month or so as I put some major effort into Immovable and after that, its back to the 2nd draft of Impervious. Then the 3rd, then 4th and so on. Its going to be exciting! So, back to work! There's a lot to do!

 


Getting ready for NaNoWriMo

I haven’t decided if I’m going to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year.  Well, I know a 50,000 word month would be really good for me, just like it was great for me last year.  I have a TON of work left on Impervious and getting 50,000 words of it done would be great, but I’d also like to get 50,000 words of Unstoppable (the third book of the series) done as well.  It is something of a conundrum right now.

Still, in November I want to try and kick out 50,000 words of something.  To that end, in the months leading up, I’m going to try getting used to writing at least 1000 words a day.  1000 words can actually happen pretty easy; an hour if I’m really on my game.  If I’m not on my game though, it can take up to two, even two and a half hours to actually finish.  My writing tends to go a lot smoother, though, if I write every night, or nearly every night, so that the story stays fresh in my head.  Getting going from a cold start like pushing a car up a steep hill.  In the winter.  And you just happen to be dead at the time.

Last week I did pretty well, writing most nights and getting at least something down.  I averaged about 500 words a night last week, which is alright for a start.  I got distracted from Impervious by  Edge of December by quite a while, but now I’m back in the groove and I think I can make some really solid progress before November.  Now, I don’t think I can have a second draft done by then, because, HO-LEE CRAP, there is a lot of work to do.  I’m hoping my third draft will be easier.  Then after that I’ll have to have an actual editor look it over before I ever even consider putting it out in the world for people to read.  You know what, I’m not even going to think about it for now.   For tonight, I’ve written my thousand words (and then some) and any night that I can do that I’m going to count as a solid win!  One more step to getting this book published!

Sometime this week, I’ll write up another blog post on my Big Plans for Impervious and its two sequels, including the first reveal of the series name, which Ravven made me come up with.  Until then, everyone enjoy the last of the weekend.


Writing a book is a lot of work.

I've never finished a whole book before. Its still a little thrilling that I wrote a book. Granted, its not a very big book at the moment, but it'll grow. Which is what I'm doing now. I got a lot of good feedback on Impervious and now I'm ready to take another crack at it. I'm starting to realize that writing the first draft was the easy part.

One of the problems that I'm facing is that, by in large, I wrote Impervious by the seat of my pants. Minimal outlining, big drastic changes to the story from one chapter to the next, characters who were on one side at one moment, and on another the next. Which is just about the only way that I was able to do National Novel Writing Month.

So, right now, I'm going through chapter by chapter and figuring out just what needs to be done. I've started a new story bible, free of errors and taking into account just what's going to be happening in the final version of the story. The good news, is that the next book is about 80% done, which helps a LOT in figuring out what has to happen in this one. By my estimates, I need to add another 50k to 60k words to Impervious before I'll have a viable second draft. Involved in that, I need to alter whole character arcs, add in plenty of setting, flesh out my magic system, create a couple new characters, kill a few darlings, and add in a bit more humor. No big, right?

One of the difficulties I'm having is that I have to figure out how to play with certain cliches without hurting the story. One of my main characters is the “Evil Emperor” who I have to fit into the role while still making him one of the “good guys”. While I'm doing that though, I have to avoid other cliches even more because I'm playing with others. Plus I've got more writing craft to learn. Did anyone else know that writing a book was a lot of work? I suppose that I knew it was going to be a lot of work, in my head, but now the reality is catching up with me. I mean, not only is there all this stuff I have to do, but once its all done, I've got a completely different set of things I'll have to do. (Formatting, marketing, messing with eBook stores) Am I even going to have time to spend my massive piles of money? I'll pause while you published authors manage to control your laughter.

So, that's what I've been up to. This month should see some considerable work done on Impervious since I'm doing a 25k month. I'm a little bit behind, but I've made some good progress today. If you're attempting something similar, might I suggest taking a look at WordKeeperAlpha? If you're being extra suggestible today, go take a look at the Edge Of December Kickstarter. We're in our last ten days and almost at our goal. Help us over the edge if you're feeling extra nice.

Have you heard of Van Canto? No? Have a little “Hero Metal”.

You're welcome.