Colony Update! + News

60,000 words.

That’s how little I have left to edit on  this Alpha pass of Colony. 60,000 words. Considering the story itself is 333,000 words, that’s not much. A day or two worth of work, no more. Then I’ve got to run through and make some noted changes to air pressure in a few marked chapters, and then …

Then I move to Beta. Which means those of you that are former Beta Readers can expect to see a message from me soon, while those of you who aren’t may see a post looking for additional beta readers up here on the site, looking for those I know are good for it.

The point to all of this is, however, that Colony is getting close to being ready for release. Sometime in the next week or two I’ll probably start work on the cover, and once I’m officially in Beta I’ve got to figure out some other things to. Such as “Do I split this titan of a story into two ‘parts’ so that readers can buy a cheaper chunk rather than the whole thing at once and then sell a ‘combo’ book that’s both alongside it? Or do I just sell the book?”

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Being a Better Writer: Avoiding a Sagging Middle

All right! And we’re back with today’s follow-up to one of our more recent posts! Remember? The one about health?

Okay, I’m actually joking. This isn’t a post about that. But it was too good an opportunity a joke to pass up. Sagging middle … anyway …

No, today is another topic by request, but it’s not about that sagging gut. Well, it’s not about the sag you were just thinking of, but the one you probably thought of when you first saw the title to this BaBW post. You know, the one that you’re worried about finding in the middle of your story.

Yes, that middle.

So, let’s dive right in. We’ll do that by first asking this question for those who may not have heard the term: what is a sagging middle?

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Slow (And Sick) Week

So, hopefully this post doesn’t have too many typos in it. At the moment my mind is a little … bananas isn’t the best word, perhaps banana slurry fits it better.

Basically, there was supposed to have been a short post yesterday. Right now, I can’t even remember what it was going to be about, but there was. Then I woke up yesterday morning and rushed to the restroom with an urgency I hadn’t had in a while and spent the rest of the day curled around a metal bowl in my easy chair.

Yup, flu. In the last 24 hours, I’ve eaten nothing but a few crackers, had maybe a single cup’s worth of water. And some ginger ale. My intestines are an unhappy place.

So, other news really quick. My part time job continues to put me down for Monday morning, so unless I’m still sick then, there may be a delay to BaBW. Depends on whether or not I’ve recovered enough to do it tomorrow.

And last but not least, Labor Day Sale stuff. Obviously I’d be remiss to mention that everything I’ve published is currently on sale this week. You can get all the details of the sale here. Please consider buying something.

Anyway, I feel awful. I’ll be back later.

 

Reader Feedback: How’s the Ad Experience?

Right, so here’s a question that’s been on my mind for a while with regards to improving the site: How’s the ad experience? I ask because while WordPress informs me that ads appear, I don’t see them. Probably a combination of being the site creator and having adblock running 24/7.

But those who aren’t me, or perhaps do or don’t have adblock … how’s the ad experience? What kind of ads are you seeing? Are they loud? Distracting? Not applicable to the site and subject matter?

I ask because if I up the domain subscription, I can remove ads entirely (or have control over them), and it’s a step I’m considering taking.

So, I ask you, readers: What do you see? Is it annoying? Complimentary? Clashing?

Comment below.

Being a Better Writer: My Personal Editing Process

Welcome back! So, very quickly, first the news, nice and quick: There’s a Labor Day Sale. You should check it out. Boom, done, on to the next docket: The Dragon Award winners have been announced, and there are some who are very unhappy about it (guess who?). If curious, check that out here.

Now, onto today’s post! Today’s topic comes by way of surprisingly convenient request. Why the surprise and convenience? Well … because as it turns out, I actually received a request for a post of this nature a week or so after I’d written it … but as a reward for my Patreon Supporters, who usually get access to behind the scenes stuff and the like.

That said, it was a request for a Being a Better Writer topic, and aside from one caveat (that being that this is my approach, and other authors likely differ), it’s worth looking at. So often with BaBW we talk about writing in one form or another: How to improve, what to watch out for, even how to take care of yourself while writing. But aside from my own personal commentary on what I’m up to during the fact or some Q&A responses, we’ve not really talked in-depth about the process and steps from start to finish of a novel once the first draft is done. And there are a lot of steps!

Now, that said, the particular steps presented here? These are mine. Not in a possessive way, but they’re the steps that I use when taking my book from “finished draft” to “finished product.” They’re what I’ve settled on over years of writing and millions of words written. I bring this up because this is not the editing process that was used by any of my old teachers, from Sanderson to Kent (it’s actually much closer to Larry Corriea’s editing process). Each one of them, when answering a similar question, spoke of a different process than the one I use, with different steps, though—and I will stress this—we all still accomplish the same goal.

My point? This is the editing process I use. You can pick and select what steps from it you wish, but in the pursuit of making your work the best it can be, I would highly advise using it (and other’s processes) as a template, not a perfect guide. Know your weaknesses and build a system that is designed to ferret them out and fix them as you edit. Find steps that work. This post isn’t meant to be the way to do it, but a way.

So, that said, let’s get to it! My editing process, in several steps, with examples.

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The Dragon Awards

In case you missed it, yesterday the winners of the Dragon Awards were announced and awarded.

What are the Dragon Awards? They’re a set of awards given out by Dragon Con, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Gaming con with over 70,000+ attendees—a pretty significant number compared to other cons out there. Still not heard of them? That’s fair. After all, this was their first year.

Yes, up until now Dragon Con has never had an award. But seeing the absolute meltdown going on over at the Hugo Awards over the last few years (where a tiny, frankly dying con has entrenched itself into the SJW blogsphere in an effort to save itself, insulting a rejecting anyone who didn’t agree with their narrative and taking steps to make sure only the “proper” people were involved, voting, and nominated), and hearing the cry from that same group of “Don’t like it? Go find a different award!” Dragon Con stepped up.

The result? An award that can both take nominations for and be voted on by anyone—anyone—with an e-mail address and an interest in the subject matter. For a con that is attended by over 70,000 people annually. Compared to the Hugo’s paltry attendance (most years below 5,000, actually) and rules and regulations that restrict voters to those who can pay a fee (and now, with recent changes, follow more stringent requirements), Dragon Con seems like a breath of fresh air.

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The Labor Day Sale is Here!

At long last, it’s live! Everything I’ve published on Amazon.com is now either discounted or free! Just in time for anyone who wants to kick back and dig into a good book while waiting for burgers to be done, a bus to arrive, or really just any activity at all where you can think a good book or few might come in handy.One Drink Cover

One Drink? Free as a bird. You can grab Jacob Rocke’s original outing for absolutely no cost. 100 pages of ghostly wolves, smirking shamans, and philanthropic werewolves, with no DRM whatsoever. Click the image or the link, and get cracking.

Of course, why pick up just one adventure with Jacob Rocke in it when you can get two?

Dead Silver FinalDead Silver, starring Rocke’s shaman friend Hawke Decroux, is only $2.99 through next Monday. The bigger, grander, more fleshed-out sequel sees Hawke heading to the town of Silver Dreams, New Mexico to help Rocke catch a particularly troublesome chupacabra bothering the town’s livestock. When he arrives, however, Rocke is nowhere to be found, and the chupacabra attacks have taken a brazen, deadly turn. 451 pages of adventure and mystery in the New Mexican desert, completely—as usual—DRM free. Click the image or the link to face the desert.

And since you’ve got two already, why not complete your set?

Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection is just $5.99 through next Monday. Ten fantastic Unusual Eventstales are contained within its 515 pages, each one different from the last. In the Unusuals Universe, a young teen struggles with the pressures of high school and the sneaking suspicion that there may be more to the mysterious malady plaguing him lately than most would think, while a mother works to come to terms with her new “condition” courtesy of a trip to South America. In the far off wild of Alaska, two men end up stuck in a tree thanks to a curious bear with little to do but talk to pass the time. Elsewhere, a killer stalks the streets of the Indrim Empire, hunting her prey, and a young woman recounts her pursuit of her city’s own armored superhero in search of an interview. Ten stories, 515 pages, all DRM free. It’s nothing ordinary. It’s Unusual Events. Click the image or hit the link, then open the pages and begin your journey.

One Drink‘s sale extends through Friday, while Dead Silver and Unusual Events are available at their discounted prices until Monday, the 12th of September.