Jun 062016

Embers of Alour-Tan What a weekend. What a week. What a three and a half years.

Embers of Alour-Tan, the second volume in the Work of Alour-Tan, is live. Go buy it! (Print version should be available later this week.)

Both it and Ashes are now just $4.99 in their digital forms.

Check out chapter one and chapter two for free, right here on the blog!

What Happened To Mid-April?

Other than the sample chapters I released yesterday in tandem with the book going on sale, I’ve been silent here ever since my last update about delays. My mid-April projection at that point obviously didn’t happen, for various reasons that—most recently—included Cody needing an appendectomy1. This has been a strange year so far…

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  1. She’s fine! Everything went well, caught it before it got bad, and she’s recovering fast. []
Mar 312016

The short answer: almost done, but not quite.

As mentioned earlier, I was on-track to be done by the end of the month. Everything had started to align. Cody and I started churning through the polish pass; cleaning up wording, tossing unnecessary sentences, refining entire paragraphs to improve clarity and impact. After (once again) stressing over what I would do for the book’s cover, having a preconceived notion of what I wanted that cover to be, I stumbled across a stock photo1 that — though it didn’t fit the preconception — declared itself the perfect cover for this story, so I even had that part all set.

Then two things happened.

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  1. Ashes‘ cover is also a modified stock photo []
Mar 072016

I don’t know what happened yesterday, but I got up, went down to make coffee, started working on the book…and didn’t stop until I reached the end of the book.

The third draft is done!

What does that mean? The third draft is the final story- and character-revision pass. The next pass, generating the final draft, comes from an aloud read-through with Cody for phrasing, grammar gaffes, and general technical consistency. This will fill a few evenings and will also be Cody’s first actual exposure to the full text of the story, as opposed to just hearing me talk about it. Meanwhile, I’ll also be doing peripheral work: figuring out the cover, deciding what appendices to add, etc.

Most importantly, though, it means that the book is coming. Soon. Very soon.

As with Ashes, I’ll be releasing a few sample chapters here on the blog once they’re finalized. That could even be imminent, so stay tuned!

Jan 182016

Once again, I must thank you for your patience during the long update droughts this blog so often experiences. It’s not for lack of interest on my part, nor for lack of things to say, but rather due to feeling perpetually “behind” with everything and “Oh, hey, I should write a post about that” ideas succumbing to the maelstrom that manifests from being pulled in a million directions at once.

That said, I at least come bearing good news! The second draft of Ashes of Alour-Tan’s sequel is DONE, clocking in at just under 103,000 words. In point of fact, it’s been done for almost four weeks. The discerning and critical eyes of my Beta readers now prowl through it, assessing just how much work I’m in for when it comes time to hammer the second draft into the third (and final) draft. I’ve asked them to submit their feedback by the end of the month. My current goal is to publish the book by the end of Q1 2016 (i.e. sometime in March), a goal I very much aim to hit. Alour-Tan II1 has been with me for far too long; it needs to be out there with all of you.

In similar news, while Alour-Tan II is under review, I’ve started heavily preparing for Alour-Tan III‘s first draft. I’ve no desire to repeat the mistakes I seem to continue making by failing to properly and thoroughly outline before diving in. Every single time, thus far, starting the first any draft too early has ensnared me in some kind of mid-book plot conundrum that takes demoralizing quantities of writing time and work to resolve. I want to see those coming and fix them before they amass an umpty-thousand word juggernaut behind them. It’s also my hope and goal that this will streamline the writing process itself and, to that end, I’m presently aiming to outline, write, revise, and publish Alour-Tan III by the end of this year as well. We’ll see whether or not that actually happens.

As with the first draft, I thought it might be of interest to do something of a retrospective on the process of writing this one.

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  1. I don’t know if it’s smart or foolish to continue avoiding using the book’s actual name. Do I run any risks if I announce the name before the book’s up for sale? I don’t know. I also don’t know whether or not those risks are greater for a self-published author than they would be for a trad-pub author. []
Jan 202015

A fairly inconsistent close-out to the end of the year, followed by three consecutive 2000+ word days finally spell the completion of the first draft of Alour-Tan 2! I immediately set to outlining Alour-Tan 3 and sent off the draft to my First Reader, who has been providing me regular and fantastic feedback while progressing through the book. Once all the feedback is in, I’ll fire up a new round of Writing in Public to chronicle the second draft.

Date Written NaNo Total Overall WC Notes
Sun, Dec. 14 2187 65540 72396
Mon, Dec. 15 4399 69939 76795
Tue, Dec. 16 0 69939 76795 Went to see The Hobbit
Wed, Dec. 17 2081 72020 78876
Thu, Dec. 18 0 72020 78876 Wife’s company party
Fri, Dec. 19 826 72846 79702 Coworker’s retirement party
Sat, Dec. 20 738 73584 80440 Friend’s birthday party
Sun, Dec. 21 0 73584 80440
Mon, Dec. 22 0 73584 80440
Tue, Dec. 23 1295 74879 81735
Wed, Dec. 24 877 75756 82612
Thu, Dec. 25 0 75756 82612 End of year vacation. Didn’t quite hit the 80k I wanted to hit in the November+December timespan, but I needed to not think about any sort of work for the remainder of the year.
Fri, Dec. 26
Sat, Dec. 27
Sun, Dec. 28
Mon, Dec. 29
Tue, Dec. 30
Wed, Dec. 31
Thu, Jan. 1
Fri, Jan. 2
Sat, Jan. 3 2886 85498
Sun, Jan. 4 2109 87607
Mon, Jan. 5 2143 89750 DRAFT ONE COMPLETE

Previous Writing in Public post here.

Dec 152014

Per my tweet from a few days back, Act Two is done and now it’s time to run down the home stretch to the end of this draft of this book! Then begins the revision process to make it not abjectly terrible.

Date Written NaNo Total Overall WC Notes
Mon, Nov. 24 2054 40338 47194
Tue, Nov. 25 2807 43145 50001
Wed, Nov. 26 4252 47397 54253
Thu, Nov. 27 0 47397 54253 Thanksgiving
Fri, Nov. 28 2243 49640 56496
Sat, Nov. 29 994 50634 57490 Regular NaNo goal achieved. Also, a travel day, so not much time for writing.
Sun, Nov. 30 0 50634 57490 More traveling. Recovering.
Mon, Dec. 1 2513 53147 60003 Sixty thousand!
Tue, Dec. 2 0 53147 60003 Not sure what happened here.
Wed, Dec. 3 2243 55390 62246
Thu, Dec. 4 2105 57495 64351
Fri, Dec. 5 1726 59221 66077
Sat, Dec. 6 0 59221 66077 In general, I like to take one (deliberate) day off a week and that day is generally Saturday.
Sun, Dec. 7 2022 61243 68099
Mon, Dec. 8 0 61243 68099 Funky commuting plus staying out late.
Tue, Dec. 9 0 61243 68099 Movie night.
Wed, Dec. 10 0 61243 68099 Working late.
Thu, Dec. 11 0 61243 68099 More working late.
Fri, Dec. 12 2110 63353 70209 Seventy thousand!
Sat, Dec. 13 0 63353 70209 Party!
Sun, Dec. 14 2187 65540 72396

Previous Writing in Public post here.