Writing Update: June 2014 Finale Edition

With June about to come to an end, the year will soon be half over. Today’s update is going to be a quick one as I’m about to resume work on Memory Blood at full-speed after receiving the results of the QA and I’ve been planning things that I can’t yet talk about this week so there’s not much to talk about as of now. For this week, I’ll also return to the % format.

Memory Blood

Book One – QA Phase ending, ~50% finalized.
Book Two – Currently being designed.

The Academy Series and The Orin Chronicles

Development paused. Next volume for The Academy Series and the next volume for The Orin Chronicles are about 50% written.

Future Works

Potential 2016 Project – About 10,000 words written. Concept in flux.
Mystery Series – Currently being designed.
After the Mystery Series – ???

Writing Update: June W3 Edition

In 10 days, the QA period for Memory Blood will be over and I’ll resume working on the book. Even before receiving any feedback, there are a couple of things that I’m going to begin working on soon.

The major addition is an additional story. Right now, I’d like for there to be more content in the book and so a new adventure will be added in the middle of the book which will bring the total number of stories to 5. I don’t want to upset the balance of the book so I’ll be thinking carefully about what sort of a story it will be and how it will fit into the character arcs of Mara and Dustin.

The addition of a new story at this stage might make it seem like I’m rushing to add new content, but I can assure you this is not the case. The first half of the book already feels very good, but this new story will have a ripple effect on the second half where there are many things I’d like to clean up and get into a state ready for presentation to everyone which is why the month of July will be vital to the development process for this book.

The planning for the second book will also continue into July and once Memory Blood is released I’ll start working on Memory Blood 2 right away. I already have some ideas for some new characters and the vague settings and direction of the story but I’d like to work on that a little more while finishing the first book. The tone of the second book is already distinct from the first and I’m looking forward to writing it and seeing what kind of adventures will be had in the next installment.

As an additional note, I’ve been thinking about writing beyond Memory Blood a lot lately and I’ve been thinking about pushing my mystery series back to 2017 and doing something else in 2016. Plans are always subject to change, but I wanted to stress this point as I accidentally made a soft announcement for my mystery series when I’m not yet ready to commit to anything. It won’t be until around this time next year that I’ll know for sure what I’m doing immediately after Memory Blood and you can expect a formal announcement when we do reach 2016.

 

Writing Update: June W1 Edition

This time it’s another Q&A format!

Q: How has Memory Blood progressed in the past week?

For this month, the book is in the QA phase so I’m not looking at it actively. Instead I’m doing things like creating the cover, writing the release information, and deciding what will happen in Memory Blood 2. I’ll return to actively working on Memory Blood in July as I adjust it according to feedback and prepare it for release.

Q: When will the release date and other information be published?

This information will be available during the first week of July. At that time you’ll know the release date, price, cover, and summary.

Q: Any progress on The Orin Chronicles or The Academy Series?

Not just yet. Some new content might still appear at the end of the year, but I wouldn’t expect any of these two series to end before 2015.

Q: Will Memory Blood be exclusive to Kindle?

A: Yes. The current plan is for Memory Blood to be enrolled in KDP Select and made exclusive for 3 months. As a result of this, there will be a free promotion to celebrate the launch of the book. More details will be announced at a later date.

Q: When will all of your books become available on Nook and Kobo?

A: Right now there isn’t much interest in these platforms, but the first books in The Orin Chronicles and The Library Series are available. If interest in these books, and any others currently available, increases then I’ll upload the remaining books. Or, if anyone specifically requests a book to become available by contacting me, I’ll be happy to oblige.

Q: Any secret projects being developed?

Not right now. I’d like to do something extra for Winter in addition to releasing Memory Blood 2, but nothing is in development currently.

Memory Blood QA Imminent

Over the next few days I’ll be editing Memory Blood and then sending it off for Quality Assurance testing with a friend of mine. With previous books, I often had a QA period of about 2 weeks that ended three days or so before launch. There was an awful lot of pressure with a tight schedule like that so this time the QA period will last for the entirety of June and, based upon the type of feedback received, the release date will be decided and announced soon after.

Currently I have a target for the release date that I’m confident will be hit, but if QA reveals a significant amount of work needs to be done then the book’s release will be delayed a few weeks but still be released this summer. And now that I’m on the topic of release dates, I apologize for cancelling the remaining character reveals. Originally, there were going to be eight stories in the first book but developing eight unique environments proved to be more challenging than anticipated and so four stories will be included in the first book. However, the amount of content will not change! The only thing changing is the number of stories and the amount of content in the book will be roughly the same as it was originally planned to be at a minimum of 50,000 words.

As the QA process begins, I’ll not only be reviewing the first book but planning the second as well so that it can be released before the year’s end as I originally planned. Unfortunately, it looks like The Orin Chronicles and The Academy Series may not continue this year so I’m glad I set those as bonus goals which shows that I was thinking realistically at the beginning of this year.

Writing Update: Approaching the End Edition

The Library Series, on May 31st, will end. Today I announced the title, description, pricing, availability, details, etc. on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The book has started to go into QA (quality assurance) and I’ll be in the process of finishing it this month as well as releasing the delayed Volume 6 of The Orin Chronicles. I announced the delay on Twitter, but I apologize for not announcing it here as well. Due to injury, I was not able to complete Volume 6 in time for an April 15th release, so all of The Orin Chronicles has been shifted back by one month and it will resume being a monthly series on May 15th.

The Library Series, however, is properly ending. Once this book is released, there will be no more proper books in the series. Perhaps there will be more Library Series material, but not books. The adventures throughout Books 1-4 will all come to a close and the plot will be concluded. As with all previous books, Book 4 tells its own story. It has to. You can have a series where each book is the same, but that’s not the type of series I wanted to write and so I didn’t. Book 4 will be a new adventure, but it will also be the final adventure. In my mind, Book 3 concluded most of the plot in its story so Book 4 will be focusing on what remains. The characters whose stories haven’t ended, the final unfinished battles, and because of that it has a unique tone and pacing that I find to be beautiful.

I’m working very hard to make sure the beauty I see is represented in the final product. Because it is the end. I want you to see the ending as I do, because if you do then you won’t be disappointed. There will surely be people who are unsatisfied, but those who truly enjoy the Library Series should find something special in this book and that’s what I’m excited about presenting.

Writing Update: Downtime Edition

While it hasn’t been much more than a week since I’ve looked at Book Two in the Library Series, it feels like it’s been a month. Today’s post is an examination of downtime, the period of time when a writer isn’t writing.

There was a large period of downtime between the completion of The Library Complex and its release. When I finally returned to the book, I had a great amount of fun reading it and improving it. I was inspired and knew that releasing the book for sale was the right thing to do because it was a product that I took pride in. Now, naturally, I want the same thing for Book Two. I want to be confident in the story that I am releasing to the world.

So this begs the question, how much downtime does an author need? I won’t claim to have the answer but I would like to explore several options. The first option is that an author doesn’t need any downtime at all. You can certainly write a story and edit it and release it without taking any breaks. I think there are some situations where this is appropriate, but it is very difficult to write a series without any breaks because you aren’t taking the time to examine what direction the series is headed in. You can edit and add hints for future plots, but you haven’t taken the time to step back and read your work as any other person would.

This is what happened after I finished The Library Complex in December 2011. I was happy with the story and the editing that I had done, but there was a chance to greatly improve it. I didn’t change any story content, but I edited the story so that it made sense to as many people as possible. It was already a complete story, but now it is a better story because of the cleaned up presentation. I think that for very talented writers, it is possible to do this type of work during the actual process. I know that I definitely kept that in mind while finishing the story, but without those long months I wouldn’t have seen where I could improve.

Continue reading

Writing Update: Rain Edition

There has been an unnecessary amount of rain this week.

I’d like to blame my lack of productivity on the rain, but that’s not really a good excuse. I’ve been working on all of my projects, but I think I got in no more than 3 hours of writing/editing this week. While the second book in the Library Series is in the QA phase, I’ve been working on material for the series as a whole. I need to plan for later books and make sure that everything fits together nicely and all of the major questions get answered. The length of the series as a whole probably won’t exceed 200,000 words so this isn’t all that difficult but it must be done in order to ensure a great experience for the reader.

After the announcement on August 31st, I will be able to give the second book another editing pass and begin preparations for release. I’ve already got a version of the cover that I really like so I am excited about releasing the second book as soon as I possibly can.

Writing Update: Library Series Book Two QA Edition

The second book in the Library Series is now in the QA (Quality Assurance) stage. I’d like to take some time to talk about this process and how it has changed from Book One to Book Two. For the very first book, The Library Complex, I was looking for “any and all feedback.” As my first work, as well as the first in a series, that was exactly what I needed. I had an idea of what kind of a style I was going for with the Library Series, but the second book had yet to be written so “The Library Series” didn’t really exist.

Now that I’ve written the second book, I know what I want a Library Series book to be like and so that is what this QA phase is focused on. Does Book Two feel like a book in the Library Series? How effective is the narrative based upon Book One? Is this enough of its own book and not just an extension of the first book? Naturally, I hope the answers to these questions are favorable. However, if the QA tells me otherwise, then I’ll continue to work on the book until my goals are met.

Book Two must be its own book, expand upon the elements presented in Book One, and overall feel like a book in the Library Series. If these things have already been accomplished, then I will be very happy. If not, then I will continue to work until I have a satisfying version of the second book. Either way, the official announcement is coming Friday, August 31st.

Writing Update: Various Updates Edition

While I’ve enjoyed writing weekly writing updates for a few months now, I must now retire these updates. While there is a lot going on as The Library Complex is being prepared for release next month, most of that must be kept a secret and so I cannot update this blog every week. Now that two weeks have passed since my last entry, I have enough information to share that is worthy of a Writing Update post.

The Library Complex is now at a point where the writing has been 99% finalized. While there may be edits to correct errors and slight changes in wording, nothing major is changing at this stage. QA feedback will be used for these changes as well as for the design of future books in the Library Series. While QA is going on, I’ve been working on the writing of Book Two and making decisions about plot, character, structure, etc. The experience with writing Book Two has been different from Book One in that I am not spending as much time creating a world, and more time writing the story itself. While there are still new elements, I already have a foundation in Book One and the series is headed in  a certain direction.

In addition to this, I have also been troubling myself over the cover art for Book One. Originally I was going to do my best to create an image of a library, but I simply don’t have the skills to make a good-looking image. I have a new idea, which is simpler, but I think will be more effective as Book One’s cover. Perhaps one day in the future I’ll have professional cover art, but right now I’m focusing on what I can do and I think it will turn out well.

When The Library Complex launches on Kindle and Nook (yes, it will also be available on Nook) there will be a free preview of the First Section of The Library Complex. I should be able to finish that preview before the release day, so it is likely that it will appear in PDF form on this blog before the book goes live. If all goes well, that will be available during the final week of June and if not, the first week of July.

And with all of that said, I will conclude this Writing Update and update the Library Series to reflect the new information revealed within.

Writing Update: May 2012 W4 Edition

The Library Complex (Library Series: Book One) has been officially announced on the Library Series page!

The book is now in the QA (Quality Assurance) phase where it will be read by other people. I am very excited to receive their feedback and adjust the book where it is necessary. Ideally, everything has been presented perfectly and I won’t have to adjust anything, but that might be a bit too optimistic. Once QA has progressed to a certain point, I will offer a free preview of Book One on the Libary Series page. I am hoping to have the preview ready some time during the month of June.

The title of ‘The Library Complex’ was something that I gave a lot of thought to. It made me question a lot of the book, but ultimately I realized that it cannot be anymore accurate than that. This book tells the story of The Library Complex. While the stories of the characters begin in this book, it is a series and therefore their journey is far from over. The one journey that is definitely completed by the end of the book is the one that makes the title appropriate.