I’d like to write a short story or two that’s exclusive for our newsletter readers. On that note, what would you like to see? Options that come to mind are:
An Asin (Tales on Brad) side story
A Lara (System Apocalypse) side story
A Roxley (System Apocalypse) side story
I considered and have actually decided against writing the background of what happened to the poor ambassador on Earth. There are a few reasons:
I want to keep a little mystery in the universe
I’m deathly afraid of a prequel mess-up. Literally anything I write will not be as good as what you had in mind. I know I was incredibly disappointed when the prequels came out because for me, the Clone Wars were this huge, amazing battle that happened hundreds of years ago. Then we got the prequels. And somehow, the magic was lost. While I’m not writing Star Wars, sometimes, the reader’s imaginations are better than anything we can write.
Leave a comment for what you’d like to see. I do not promise the stories would be written anytime soon… but they will be written.
If you haven’t seen it, look to the left and you’ll see a newsletter. At some point, I promise to release some exclusive short stories and content to newsletter subscribers. I’ve already written portions of some of my short-stories that need to be posted, so if you enjoyed any of those, do subscribe!
Let me start by pointing out that this is my process, not others. However, currently this is the way a book for me is created along with the timelines of development.
I generally put together a rough plot outline. This is actual writing time to put it on paper. By the time I’m ready to write a plot outline, I’ve got a shaky idea of what is going to happen already. However, writing it down often crystalizes my thoughts. I’m an exploratory writer though, so what is written in a plot outline and what ends up on paper can be quite different.
2,000 words a day
I write approximately 2,000 words a day if I’m focused. For the System Apocalypse books, each book is roughly 90,000 words. That works out to about 45 days of straight writing. At best, that’s a month and a half if I don’t hit any writing blocks.
Taking a small break lets me re-read the book fresh. Often, I’ll be editing or writing a new book during this period. This break lets my brain ‘reset’ and find gaps in the plot to fill in or to review the second draft.
Approx 5,000 words a day
For 90k words, that’s approximately 18 days. 5k words is actually a bit conservative here, I often end up getting obesses with fixing things and do more.
I give my Beta Readers 2 weeks to check out the book. The last time, they all came back to me within 4 days. Good beta readers are so important – they can tell me if I’m doing something really silly with the plot. Or they find plot holes for things I forgot about.
Revising 2nd Draft
2 – 3 days
Often, there’s a few scenes that need to be brushed up or new scenes to write. Redeemer of the Dead saw me writing 2 new scenes from comments and rewriting about another half-dozen
Variable. Often 2-3 weeks minimum
At this point, I’m ready to send it to my editor. I do NOT use a development editor at this time (who offers professional critique of the book’s plot / etc.). Mostly, they are doing line editing and proof-reading. I have to book editors weeks in advance, sometimes months. In Redeemer of the Dead’s case, it’ll take about a month from when they are booked to start
Again, this is variable. The editor comes back with fixes, I go through the document and fix issues. Depending on the level of editing (and who I’m using), I might get notes about scenes that need fixing which means I’ll be writing new scenes or fixing older scenes.
Now, there are a bunch of things that can happen in-between:
Alpha readers might be brought in. Sometimes, as a writer you have no idea if you’re on the right course. Alpha readers who end up reading a REALLY rough draft get to check that
Developmental Editing is an option that happens after the First Draft (or perhaps even during the course of the book). I don’t do that because I’m poor and paying $0.08 per word would make the book cost US$7,000 before it was even published.
Multiple readthroughs / edits for the 1st / 2nd draft might occur. I occasionally pull out the book before I send it to the editor for more fixing. Often this is to fix phrasing / clumsy sentence construction.
Writer’s block & burn-out. Yeah, writing at this pace can be a lot. So taking a few dysy off happens. Sometimes I run away and spend a weekend reading and with the family.
Work! I do have a day-job and if that eats up my time / energy, writing slows down.
You can see how writing really varies depending on length of book and inspiration.
Editor I was working with hasn’t gotten the book to me yet. They are late but have now promised to get it to me by Tuesday. Assuming that is true, I should have an update by Friday I hope. I know there are a few things that I need to update /add anyway.
On another note, for the first time in months, I have nothing to write! Well, nothing on a deadline unless I start on Book 3 for either series. I think I’ll just be chilling for this weekend.
Just sent the book out to a few beta readers. Actually, I think I need at least two or three more who will get me proper feedback. Here’s what I just sent to the beta readers I chose earlier.
Thank you for agreeing to Beta Read Book 2 of the System Apocaypse – Redeemer of the Dead.
Please find attached the book and the Beta Reading worksheet. Please read through the worksheet before you start reading. – it’ll help you understand the kind of questions I have. There’s no need to fill up all the questions but detailed feedback is extremely useful.
As always, the sooner the better on getting feedback to me. However, I need feedback by the 25th of September latest if I am to hit the Nov 1 release data as the end of the month is when I’m booked for my editor.
If you have any questions, please do contact me.
(Have now gotten all the Beta Readers I need for this round. Thanks everybody!)
Finished first draft, currently editing book 2. About half done with expected completion by end of next week at the rate I’m going. Though I haven’t hit the parts that I know where I have to add scenes (just put notes on it) so that might make it slower. Hopefully not.
After that, it’s out to beta readers and then the proofreader. Depending on feedback of course, there might be a ton of changes or very little.