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Newsletters & Social Media

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!

Secondly, did you know there is a Facebook page?  It’s true.  It’s at https://www.facebook.com/taowongauthor/

 

The anatomy of a book

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.

Action Timeline Notes
Plot Outline 1 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.
First Draft 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.
Break 1 week 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.
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.
Beta Readers 2 weeks 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
Professional Editing 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
Third Draft 3-5 days 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.

 

Again, remember, this is my own process.  It also is evolving constantly.  When I first started writing, there was no plot outline, no professional editing.  It was just write for the fun of it.

Questions? Comments?

An Adventurer’s Heart on Sale and Pre-Orders

Adventurer’s Heart Coverstly,

An Adventurer’s Heart is now on Sale on Amazon and should show up for sale on iBooks, Google Books, Kobo Readers and more very soon.

Read about the continuing adventures of Daniel & Asin as they travel t he lands of Brad as they work to complete a Quest.

 

 

 

 

 

Redeemer of the DeadPre-orders for Redeemer of the Dead is now available on Amazon.

The books is slated to release on November 1, 2017 and will be available for reading on Kindle Unlimited as well.

Adventurer’s Gift Update

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.

Redeemer of the Dead Update

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.

Hi there;

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.
Regards,
Tao
 
(Have now gotten all the Beta Readers I need for this round.  Thanks everybody!)

The System Apocalypse Book 2 Update

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.

Current working title is Redeemer of the Dead.

Cover for Adventurer’s Gift

Adventurer's Heart Cover
Adventurer’s Heart Cover

I am scheduled to receive the proofread copy of Adventurer’s Heart for Adventures on Brad this week.  I actually received some great feedback from a beta reader so I actually will be editing it after I fix the errors the editor has found which isn’t great but I’d rather do that than leave the errors there.  So release date for the book should be in mid-September.

Book 2 of the System Apocalypse is nearly finished first draft.  I still have to add a bunch of scenes that I realised I needed so it’s nowhere done but we should be good for November release.

 

Heaven & Hell Part 2

“Right then Lenny,” Bel purrs, waving a hand.  The white walls, floors and ceilings all disappear, replaced by a literal scene from Hell.  Except, while the bubbling lava pools and rivers flowed everywhere and demons and humans cavorted through the streets, no one was doing much screaming.  At least, none that wasn’t consensual.  Everything was shaded red and black with occasional beanbags shaped like skulls situated for easy resting through the streets.   There didn’t seem to be any houses, at least not in the view that Lenny had, instead numerous flats and apartments joined together and marched ever upwards and he presumed, downwards.

Surprisingly, instead of a stifling heat, the temperature was a warm and dry 27 Celsius, warm enough that men and women strode through the streets wearing very little.  Tank tops, short-shorts and miniskirts were the derigeur dress code for women and for men, bold Hawaiian shirts and shorts dominated.  It reminded Lenny of pictures of Hawaii – a place he always wanted to visit and never did. Adding to the impression of the tropical paradise was the non-stop smell of barbecues and fruity drinks with only the barest hint of sulphur.

“Sorry about the smell – you’ve got to give up a little whem you get ambient mood lighting like we do,” Bel grins, already swaying to the jazz that emanates from the various buildings around them.  “I took you to the Jazz quarter – way I read your file, you’re a big fan.”

Lenny nods, smiling slightly.  A pair of holidays in the French Quarter of New Orleans was one of his favorite memories, days and evenings spent lounging in tourist trap bars listening to musicians play their hearts out. He even got a deal since he never went during Madri Gras – frat boys could die in, well… Hell?

“Really?” Sariel rolls his eyes.  “Jazz music, BBQ’s and half-dressed women is the best you can do?  The heat’s nice but then you start getting busy and it’s all dripping and staining…”

“Lalalalala,” Bel sticks fingers in her ears, drowning out Sariel.

“Sariel, this isn’t your turn yet.  Please refrain from interrupting,” Colum replies tiredly.

“So you have questions Lenny?” Bel says after pulling her fingers out of her ears and sticking her tongue out at Sariel.

“Uhhh… so… how does this work?  If I say yes, I just… you know, stay in Hell and party forever?”  Lenny asks.

“Well, not exactly,” Bel replies and shoots a glare at Colum.  “Aren’t you supposed to have explained this?”

Colum looks guilty for a moment before he mutters, “Most people don’t care.  And I’ve got a backlog…”

Sariel sighs, “You have got to stop doing this Colum.  You’ve already got two demerits on our report.”

“I know,” straightening himself, Colum meets Lenny’s eyes.  “You have a certain number of Karmic points, points you have gained through your actions.  These Karmic points are spent as payment for your stay in Heaven or Hell or, well, any other secondary realm you live in.  Once your Karmic points are depleted, or at your discretion, you will be reincarnated.”

“What if I had a negative balance?” frowns Lenny.  “I thought you said you there was no such thing as torture.”

“I said we didn’t torture people,” Bel points to herself and then Sariel.  “If you want suffering, you go back to Earth.  Or you know, if your points are used up or negative.”

“Oh….” Lenny pauses, his eyes widening.  “Are you saying that the reason the Earth is such a shithole is because everyone else good is enjoying the Heavens?”

“Pretty much,” Sariel nods.

“Oh. My. God,” Lenny says, mouth moving.

“Yeah… about him…”

Quick Update

Tales on Brad Book 2 – Adventurer’s Gift is with the proofreader currently. Once that is complete, I am just waiting on the cover (which hopefully will be complete end of this week) and it should be ready for posting.

The System Apocalypse Book 2 is nearly done first draft.  I’ve got the last major scene and sort of epilogue to finish and then draft 1 is done.  However, I have large notes of things to improve / add including entire chapters and scenes so I expect the editing process will take longer than normal.  I’ve been struggling with finishing the book since I’ve been plagued with doubts.  And illness.

Overall, timeline for November release should be good.

I’m going on holiday for a few weeks though so no real writing is going to be done.