Jungle’s First Draft … is Done!!!

Yes, I used three exclamation marks there! I earned those!

Because the first draft of Jungle is DONE! After a writing day of 5,236 words. Bringing the final wordcount for the first draft too …

457,931 words.

Yes, you’re reading that number correctly. 458k. 2.1 MILLION characters.

That’s insane. Colony was only 334k. Which makes Jungle a third-again as long as Colony. So we’re looking at 2400+ pages, easy.

Editing should trim that down a bit, but still. What a beast.

And now, now, editing can begin on Shadow of an Empire. The work never ends, folks.

But I think I’ve earned a small celebration.

And by the way. This book? Prepare for ride.

Being a Better Writer: The Death Spiral

Real cheery title for the first post of 2017, isn’t it?

Seriously though, welcome to 2017! I hope it feels like as much of a breath of fresh air for the rest of you as it does from me. Though in my case, it’s mostly because I took the last two weeks off.

I know. I took an actual vacation. Cleared games out of my backlog, read a bunch of books, and everything. And you know what’s funniest about it?

I actually had to convince myself to stick with it. There was a period about three or four days into it where my mind was like “What are you doing!? You should be working!”

I’m glad I stuck with the vacation. I was so dedicated to clearing my backlog that it almost was work, but it was a lot of fun all the same. Finally knocking a few games off of that list was satisfying. As was all the reading I got to do.

Anyway, none of that really has anything to do with today’s topic, mind. I suppose if I had to tie together my ramblings, they would come together as “It was a nice break, but I’m glad to be back at work!”

So, about that topic. As I mentioned, it may seem like an odd title for the first post of 2017. After all, “death spiral” doesn’t exactly imbue much confidence, does it?

No. It doesn’t. Which is exactly why I think it makes a good topic for the first post of 2017. Because for many young writers, a death spiral is something they get trapped in with no idea of how to get out. And for the new year? Nothing could be better for some of those writers than realizing it and breaking free.

Right, enough pontificating. Let’s dive right in and answer the question on so many minds right about now: what is a death spiral?

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Colony’s Copy-Edit is DONE!

Yes, you read that right. Not an hour ago, I turned the last page of Colony‘s Copy-Edit.

It’s done. Finished. Right now I’m putting the final file together for upload. Tomorrow I get the cover and the description finished. And then … ?

Colony goes live for pre-order.

At long last, it’s almost here. Over one thousand pages of Epic Sci-Fi Adventure. Submarines, action, explosions, mystery … After so much time spent working on it and staying quiet … it’s finally going to be out!

Here’s a quick teaser for you all:

Five years ago, Carlos Rodriguez, one of the greatest computer programmers of the modern age, retired.

Now his old employer wants him back. Quietly. Which means enlisting the services of three unconnected individuals: A paranoid corporate investigator, a white-hat hacker, and a gun-for-hire with a penchant for violence.

There’s just one catch. Carlos didn’t just retire from work, he retired from Earth, vanishing out across the stars to one of mankind’s distant colony worlds.

It’s going to be a long trip.

Ehh, I’m working on it. Speaking of which … I’d best get back to it!

The Sound of Silence

Yes, I know I’ve been pretty quiet this week. Fear not, it’s been for a good cause! Colony is on the edge of being done with its second Alpha. How much of an edge?

I’m literally doing the final run-through to make sure that all of the Alpha readers concerns have been addressed, taken care of, and/or fixed.

In other words, I’ve been silent for you guys … but not for them! They’ve been fielding message after message. “Does this look right? What about this? I rearranged this sequence, does it flow better now?” Etc.

But the good news, which you may have picked up on above? I’m on the final run-through. Problems have been fixed, plot quibbles patched up, science worked out … and I’m doing the final checks. Which means that Beta calls will probably start … tomorrow? Or Monday at the latest. Planning for two Beta reads, as usual. This also means that next week I need to start work on the cover. And (because I’m juggling two projects here) this also means that the first wave of Alphas for Shadow of an Empire can really start getting out there. So that’ll also start next week. Gotta make a few adjustments to the initial draft first, but …

Yes, I’m quiet, I know, and in the business of running a site that relies on content, that’s not always the best option, but thankfully I’ve got a lot of content in the archives to keep readers occupied.

Though if you are looking for something new to glance at for a few minutes while enjoying … well, whatever it is you’re doing when you bounce through your morning collection of sites (Coffee? Donuts? Stakeouts?), then you can take a look at Publisher’s Weekly‘s 2016 summary of the industry. Just … ignore the click-bait title (the article itself offers a solid and actually logical explanation of the same thing they try and social-outrage with in the title).

Anyway, if you’re interested in looking at some numbers in the industry concerning who holds what jobs and whatnot, it’s fun to look at. Useful? Well … depends on what you’re doing, but it is interesting to look over even if you’re not directly involved with it. It also does raise some uncomfortable questions (such as why there’s such a firestorm over male authors being more prevalent than female authors as an example of male sexism when about 80% of the publishing industry is women. Is the male-centric sexism really there? Etc), but feel free to contemplate those or ignore them on your own time.

Anyway, I’m back to work. Watch this space for updates.

Colony is coming soon!

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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