Yesterday afternoon, my editor got back in touch with copyedits for The Alien Element. Right on schedule!
I hustled to get them all entered today. This is a simple but slow process where I take the changes back in to Scrivener, which I’ll use to produce the ebook version.
It was after dinner, nearly 11pm before I was done. Then I went out for a long walk to stretch my stiff back and legs.
A solid day. Tiring, but productive. Good to know I can do copyedits (and some minor revisions) for a full length novel in a day.
Tomorrow I’ll format the ebook and get it out to ARC readers. If you’re on my ARC list, look for an email in the next day or so! If you want to read this book early in exchange for an honest review, get in touch with me by email or leave a comment here.
I’m at 87% complete on Tales of the Republic, which means I missed the Jan.15 deadline I set for myself. It’s two days past now and I still have about 11k words left to finish the book.
Now, considering where I was a month ago, and how impossible that deadline seemed, that’s still incredible progress. Leaps and bounds beyond what I was doing before. It’s important to keep that perspective in mind.
However, I readily admit that it bothers the hell out of me to miss deadlines, so I want to spend a second exploring why that happened.
I promised these blogs would be raw and uncut. I find it really difficult to talk about this, but I want to explore it because that directive means I owe you the bad along with the good. I also don’t want anyone reading these to get the completely mistaken impression that writing is all puppies and rainbows. I do a decent job celebrating the wins, but it’s just not like that all the time. Sometimes writing is messy and hard and full of little failures. The important thing is to not let them hold you back, to examine them and keep working at it and keep making progress.
So what happened?
There are 7 episodes in Tales, and I got bogged down in the middle of Episode 6. In hindsight, I should have known this would happen. Episode 6 and 7 were in rough shape compared to the first five episodes of the book. I rushed to the end when I wrote the draft, and didn’t cycle back to clean it up too much. These last two episodes simply needed more work, and I should have given them more time.
Add that to the complication of the climax, and it’s no wonder I bogged down.
Next time I will try to remember that.
I didn’t stop working. That’s also important to note. I kept pressing on. I banged my head against the keyboard and spent the same number of hours at my desk working.
I made progress, just slower progress. Moving the meter 14% in a week (about 12,000 words if you’re following along at home) counts for something, right?
So by that math, even at a slower pace,I should only need about another week to get to the end. My goal is to do one better and aim for the weekend, so another 4-5 days of work.
I’m glad I wrote this, actually, because when the book is done, I will be able to look back and see how what felt like a complete FAILURE at the time was transformed into a success.
A kind of alchemy.
Time to get back to it. See you on the other side.
In among the novel editing, I also managed to write a new short story of 1,000 words called “The Vault of Fallsbard.” I’m sending that one out to magazines right now.
Tales of the Republic … Status: Revising … Second draft, 87.8% complete (74,636 words revised / 85,000 estimated total words)
“Wendigo” … 12,000 words … Status: Queued for post-production
“A Body of Work” … 2,694 words written (6,000 estimated total words) … Status: Writing
“Centurion” … 3,000 words … Status: Out for submission
“Earworm” … 3,000 words … Status: Out for submission
Work-in-progress for writers … 500 words … Status: Planning
A free ebook called 7 Tools to Help You Write a Novel is now available at The Write Practice. It covers several techniques and methods for planning a novel-sized story like character sketches, setting sketches, and an intro to plotting the Scrivener way.