Progress Reports

This section of the blog was started to answer the question, "How's the book coming along?"

However, as of January, 2015, it's also going to be a day-by-day journal of what exactly I accomplished. Hopefully, having to publish a document with days of straight "Nothing got done" will help motivate me to work.

If you don't want to slog through the day-by-day account, simply read the highlights for the month. If you do want to see what exactly I get up to everyday, well, here it is...

Progress Report, March 30

This week I haven’t been working on what I should have – according to my plan anyway.

I worked a little on the cover for The Grey Heir a little and am writing the character descriptions for my artist.

I also wrote about 2,500 words in a new novella called, “A Study in Cutlets.” For any Sherlock Holmes fans out there, the reference to “A Study in Scarlet,” should be fairly obvious.

In my version, however, Watson is an English Mastiff, Sherlock is a female cheetah named “Sherry,” and it all takes place at the Milwaukee Zoo! I’d been struggling with writing The Exile (I just wasn’t enjoying myself), so I decided to take a break and write something short and fun. If anyone is interested in being a beta reader for this when it’s done let me know!

 

The Devil’s Word Count; or, March 23rd Progress Report

According to my calculations, to meet my word count goal for the first draft of The Exile I need to write 6,666.66 words per week for the next seven and a half weeks. Clearly this is a sign. It could mean that all the powers of hell are arrayed against me, or it could mean that I’m the devil…it’s too soon to tell. 

What I can tell you is that this past week I wrote 2,925 words. Still, I wrote almost everyday and I hadn’t yet made a specific weekly word count goal, so we’re calling this one a warm up round 😉

Favorite passage I wrote this week:

Zuriel laughed. “Magic,” he scoffed. “You must be joking. Magic is heresy. The idea of The Order using magic is absurd!”

“That’s literally true,” Oresk smirked, “if you mean absurdity in the way that philosopher’s do: namely, that their position is self-contradictory or illogical.” All eyes turned to Oresk and Rayne’s eyebrows weren’t the only ones raised in astonishment. “What?” he asked, shrugging. “With the amount of time I’ve spent with Adaira, something was bound to rub off.”

Check back next week to see if the devil has his due.

(Meaning his word count, in case that was unclear).

A Declaration of Intent: The Edge Walker Release Date Schedule for 2014

In the not too distant past I found myself sitting on a comfortable leather sofa in California discussing my budding writing career with my mother.

“That’s what’s always worked for you before, right? Writing a little bit everyday – slow but steady progress?” she said, then laughed a little. “At least that’s what got your first book finished. Your second book was done in the frantic dash of NaNoWriMo.”

I laughed and agreed.

Both strategies (writing a little every day and writing like a crazy person for an extended, but limited, amount of time) have worked for me in the past. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, yet it’s hard to commit fully to either. Writing a little everyday, as I have been, is too slow and uncertain. It’s too easy to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Writing like I’m competing in NaNoWriMo is a little too intense for me to realistically sustain while still earning a living.

So, I thought, why not try to combine the best qualities of each?

One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is that it holds you accountable. There’s a word counter on their Website that you can (and should) update every day. When you do, it shows you how much progress you’ve made, how much you still have to go, and how many words per day you need to write to meet your goal.

The best things about writing every day are: it’s habit forming, soul nourishing, and I can make visible progress while still living a full life.

Therefore, I’ve decided to create (and publish) a timeline for my current writing projects – both so you, my readers, know what to expect, and to hold myself accountable.

Here are the schedules for:

The Grey Heir (Second Edition)

I’ve decided to have new character portraits commissioned for the second edition of The Grey Heir. I will have the character descriptions to my artist by March 31st, so she can have the sketches done by May 31st.

I am also thinking about having The Grey Heir professionally proofread (rather than read by friends, family, and myself over and over and over). I will decide on a proofreader and have the manuscript to them by April 15th so he or she can have it finished by May 15th.

I will have the cover done by May 15th.

If I decide to get (or make) a book release trailer, it will be done by May 21st.

The Grey Heir Second Edition will be available on June 1st.

The Exile

The second book in The Edge Walker Chronicles is called The Exile.

I will have the first draft of this book done by May 15th.

I will then do a very quick clean-up rewrite myself and give it to beta readers by June 15th. The beta readers will have one month to read the book and give me feedback.

I will make large revisions to The Exile and clean up the prose as much as I can by August 31st.

The Exile will then go to a professional editor. Most editors have a two to three week turn around time, but I’ll allot the entire month of September for the editing process.

On October 1st the cover art will be done completed and I will start working on the editor’s comments.

On November 15th the cover and manuscript will be complete.

On December 1st the book release trailer will be released.

The Exile will be available as an ebook and in print on December 15th.

 

These are my goals. One of the lessons I’ve learned in the last year is that quality is key. If I feel I’ll be releasing a substandard product on either of these released dates, I will push them back. However, I feel that I can meet these dates and look forward to sharing my work with all of you.