the System Apocalypse Book 2

Writing the System Apocalypse Book 2 now and I’m technically on Chapter 7 or so.  I started with an outline of what I wanted int he book and that’s going okay, but what I found / have found is that as I write it, more ideas on how to specifically fit in the themes / characters keep coming to me.

It’s why I haven’t posted anything in Royal Road at all since I started writing since I keep jumping back and going – oh yeah, I should add this scene.  Or, wait – this character here would make more sense.

Partly I think I’ve got a much better ‘feel’ for the book now that I had when I first started writing for fun.  The problem of course is that each time I bounce backwards, it takes longer to finish the book.

Which becomes the question – do I write fast and get a book out or write slower and ake a better book? I’m leaning towards Option 2 since I’d rather have a good book than a not as good book.  I’ve seen too many series get worst and since my only is myself, I’d rather make sure this is written well than just dump it out.

My Writing Process

I’m a ‘dirty’ writer with very (very) little ‘official’ training in writing.  I started writing for fun and while I’ve read occasional posts about how to write, I’ve never really taken a class or studied writing.

When I write, I mostly have a rough idea of where the plot is going.  It generally is written in a list format, with a rough guide of plot points that need to be covered before the ‘book’ is finished.  I might (or might not!) have a theme when I start writing, often if I don’t, I figure it out as I write.

Most of my writing happens in stages.

Stage 1 – the rought draft.  This is often VERY rough.  I don’t proof-read, I don’t edit, I just write and (often) post on Royal Road.

Stage 2 – I go back, reviewing what I’ve written and looking at comments, thinking about what I want to do.  At this point, I think from now on I’ll take a short break between Stage 1 and Stage 2 to basically clear my mind so that I can look at the information again.

Stage 3 – beta readers.  When I can find good beta readers, I throw the book at them to get feedback.  Around thisttime, if I haven’t done it, I start getting a cover done.

Stage 4 – I fix whatever the beta readers have come back on and then publish.

Realistically, I probably should be doing stage 2 and stage 3 multiple times.  Thus far, i haven’t done that but later on I think I should…

Anyway, for those curious, Stage 1 is often the roughest stage by far.  Like Life in the North, the book can change SIGNIFICANTLY between each stage because, well, better things happen.

One interestingthing is that between plotting and stage 1, what comes out can be quite different.  So I guess plotting is stage 0? Heee

Tales of Brad Book 2

Tales of Brad Book 2 first draft is done.  I’m going to set it aside for a few weeks while I write up Book 1 so that my brain clears.  I’ve already thought of a few things that need editing / adding for the book so that’s part of the reason for setting it aside.

Writing for Life inthe North is going alright.  Sort of have 3 chapters done.  I’m considering not doing a full post of the story on Royal Road.  I do like getting Alpha readers involved, but not sure it’s necessary.

Waiting to get paid from Amazon / etc.  As it stands, I probably won’t get any money till end August the way Amazon pays out. *sighs* Not that the money I make is life-changing or anything, but you know, I’m considering using part of the payout to pay for professional proof-reading.  On one hand, that might fix isues with the books.  On the other… well, maybe it won’t do much?

Amusing fact – some of the complaints about bad spelling is because I’m using British (Canadian) spelling rather than US.  Ugh.  I have now decided to let Microsoft Word check documents for US Spelling.

Life in the North Released!

Life in the north   A few days late but Life in the North, my first person narratted Apocalyptic LitRPG has been released.

I have just about finished writing the first draft for Book 2 for Tales of Brad.  I will set that aside for a few weeks before I return to it and do the edit and add new chapters / clean up language / etc before publishing.

During that time I’ll work on Life in the North and hopefully get a significant way into the story.  I have plans for the next 2 books (basically there’s a 3 book arc planned with the idea to write it as three book trilogies) so writing should be pretty easy.

 

 

So close!

Life in the North cover art
Life in the North cover art

Finally got a mostly done proof of the cover for Life in the North.  So close… once that’s posted I’ll be able to work on

I do nneed to run everything through Grammarly to check for issues since I’ve decided against getting a proofreader.  The cost of getting a proofreader for this book would cross a $1000 all in and while I love the book, I just can’t afford that right now.

Work on Book 2 of Tales of Brad is slow-going.  Spent half-a-day writing and only got about 5k words down (unedited).  I’ve been struggling with illness for a while and the lack of a tight outline for this book is impacting writing speed.  I’m also plagued with doubts if the book is interesting enough – the last few chapters have been very ‘conflictless’ with more focus on the characters and the world and less grinding.  I’ll definitely want some beta readers on this to get an idea.

Writing Update

So, right now, I’m waiting for my beta readers and the cover artist to get back to me on Life in the North, the first book of my System Apocalypse series.  Frustrating since other than that, I’m all good to go to publish the works.

A Healer’s Gift is selling okay I guess.  It’s interesting since I threw the book up on a whole series of different sites and thus far, Amazon is the only site where I’ve seen any decent sales.  I literally have sold 1 copy in all other sites other than Amazon.

The current plan is to throw up Life in the North on Amazon exclusively and make it Kindle Unlimited available too. Hopefully I don’t shoot myself in the foot by doing that though and I’ll see some decent sales, but we’ll have to see.

On another note, I’m working on Book 2 for Adventures on Brad.  It’s hard writing in third person and I have been dealing with depression and a cold along with real life so writing is slow.  I’m hoping I can focus on it more and chunk out the current storyline in the next couple of weeks.  If so, the moment I am mostly done I’ll get the next cover worked on so I don’t have to wait as long.  I expect that my current ‘idea’ for Book 2 is going to be split into two, making the entire Karlak section a mini-trilogy, especially if my writing continues to follow in the format that I’ve been working in.

LitRPG

Decided I should at least have a little author page of something so I resurrected this blog.  It’s been a while since I wrote anything here, but in short, I’ve been delving into the rabbit hole of LitRPGs.

I don’t know why, perhaps it’s just the easy progression or the way the story folds out, but I’m really enjoying reading and writing.

Yup, writing since I just published my first book in the genre.  Really a novella at 46k words.

Working on a 2nd book right now which is going to be a full novel at (right now!) over 110k words.  I expect it’ll sit around that range even with the extra few sections I expect to write.  I’m just in the editing process right now, but for this book I’m going to hire actual proofreaders.  Fun.

Buying a House

So, as you might know, we live in Canada in the Great White North.  That means purchasing a house is actually quite a reasonable and financially prudent option.  You see, the cost of renting here is very, very high – we are talking between $1,100 – $1,500 for a 1 to 3 bedroom suite (or duplex on the upper end).

On the other hand, houses are currently selling at between $200,000 (for a townhouse with 3 bedrooms and about 1,600 sq ft) to $400,000 for a 5 bedroom bungalow.

If you do the maths, a $350 – 400k house works out to be only $1,400 – $1,800 in mortgage payments. With property taxes and other insurance and other home-ownership costs, you are for the most part saving money when you do purchase a house.

Why? Well, the Bank of Canada’s extremely generous 2.95% or so Prime rate is the main cause of this.  It’s incredibly cheap to buy.

Of course, there are a few major dangers:

– Catching a falling knife

Housing prices dropped last year.  It dropped the year before too up here.  So there’s no reason why housing prices shouldn’t drop again this year, especially in light of the drop in the resource sector and gold prices.  Whatever you buy is likely to be cheaper to purchase in a year or two if you can wait that long (an equivalent place that is).

 

– Higher interest rates

The other major danger is that interest rates could rise, significantly.  The historic interest rate was significantly higher than what it was now.  Even if interest rates go up marginally, to say 5%, this could easily cause major problems in terms of the mortgage payment.

So why do we do it? Because for us, right now, it makes sense.

 

Sparring from a TMA background

So, most of my sparring experience (outside of swords) has been in a TMA background.  Not much ring experience via kickboxing / boxing / etc.

It’s itneresting and as Randy pointed out, causes a problem with the way I spar in that I generally don’t follow-up.  I set up a single, clean shot and take it but never do a follow-up – instead bouncing back to safety.  It’s great for point sparring – not so much for actual fights.

Went and sparred against a boxer on Monday.  He’s got a few years of boxing experience and some kickboxing experience, has done a lot of sparring recently for sure.  Me… well, first time I’ve put on gloves in months.

It wasn’t as one sided as you’d think. My understanding of measure kept me just out of range for a lot of his shots, my ability to fade before attacks meant that he only managed to land a few good shots.  I still don’t check as many kicks as I should, but I got a handle of that eventually.

He had trouble with my ability to pop-shots in to his centre and I got a few good kicks in.  No real combinations, though I managed to do a few nice spin kicks.  Towards the end I started to read his movements and checked quite a few kicks perfectly – both using Thai checks as well as savate shin kicks and straight kicks to his rising thighs.  That screwed with him for sure – he’s not used to that idea.

I got to work on making myself do combos more and work some of my TMA stuff into combos. Still, it’s fun and certainly not a rout.

Meatballs

Love meatballs.  Been having fun making Gordon Ramsey’s Meatballs for a while.  Up here, we’ve been making the meatballs from a mixture of beef and pork – boar when we have enough of it.

I much prefer the mixture of pork and beef because the pork adds more fat to the entire dish, making the meatballs a bit tastier rather than plain beef.  I also generally use paprika instead of black pepper – smoked paprika as far as I’m concerned is a much better product.

In addition, I’ve taken to using finely minced onions as well as garlic.  Other than that, I ignore parsley too because the yuck.  I don’t mind adding basil or summer savory depending on what I have on hand, but plain works quite well.

The major trick though is the milk and breadcrumbs – it keeps the meatballs pasted together nice and tight if you get the consistency right and gives a nice ‘springy’ texture to the meatballs.

 

 

 

Author page and Blog for Tao Wong