Writing More

I have learned a number of things over the last few months and I thought I would share some of them with you. First a little background, which may be a reminder for some of you. My dad had an accident in October, he was working with Mom in the yard, slipped on some slick leaves and fell over the hill and flat on his back on their asphalt driveway. He suffered two cracked vertebrae, four broken ribs, a bleed to his brain and a contusion to his lungs. He was in the hospital, rehab centers for a little over three months.

Before this happened I lived a pretty simple life. I make most of my money consulting for others. This is all done from a home office and all of the correspondence with my clients who are all over the world is done mostly through email and a few phone calls. I didn’t need a laptop really, but I had one for those rare times when I was away from my office for an extended period of time (like vacations).

I took the laptop to the hospital with me and soon discovered that while I could write with it, the battery lasted about ten minutes and it didn’t have the power to run some of the software that I needed to do my consulting work (mainly Adobe).

I was too busy to buy one until the end of December, I should have bought it much sooner. I have discovered that I can write anywhere…which has increased my productivity quite a bit. I’ve written in the car, library, doctor’s office, at my Mom and Dad’s kitchen table and other places too. It has helped me reach my daily goal of 2k words which I would not have been able to do without it, since I go to my Dad’s everyday to help him with his shower, get to Physical Therapy etc.

My suggestion for you if you love to write, try testing things out on a laptop, you just might be surprised how much you’re able to get done.

Book 5 Final Edits

Summer

Summer (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn) Dreaming of this…

Wow what a week. I guess it is winter, and this weekend it will be Spring, but it’s much better than -10 or -30 windchill. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Summer.

I am in the final (last) rounds of edits on Book 5. The tentative title will be Abraham: In the Beginning. It’s a story that takes place after the Nest, but it also includes the story of Abraham (Salome’s husband who died in book 1). I enjoyed writing the book, and I’m enjoying editing the book too. I’ll be sending the edits off to the editor tomorrow, should have it back over the weekend. Next week I’ll be working on the cover and getting it formatted. I’m going to get a proof copy of the paperback, edit it again and then put it up for sale. I have found that doing the final proof edit helps to ensure their aren’t any blatant errors. It also lets me put notes in the margin so I can refer back to it when I need to.

I know I said Feb., but if things go well it may be out by the end of January.

Thanks again for your continued support, we hope you have a wonderful day!

 

Summer is winding down

English: A picture of Lexington, Kentucky take...

English: A picture of Lexington, Kentucky taken by helicopter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I did, went with my wife and daughter on a road trip. We spent the weekend in Lexington and had a wonderful time. I can’t believe that summer is almost over and Haley will be starting her junior year in high school tomorrow, she’ll be trying for her drivers license in a little over a week. My how time flies. I didn’t get to see her as much as I wanted to this summer, since she was working at her ‘job’ for most of the summer.

Book 7 – work is coming along nicely. If I told you something about it, I think I would give too much of the plot away, so I’ll just say it’s progressing. I finished my first round (two) of edits for book 4 and I should have that to the editor tomorrow for her first round. The editing process is taking a little longer than I thought it would, so that’s why the next book will be out in October, although if you’ve been around me long, you will know if the edits are finished then I’ll be putting it out before then.

After I finish with my bit and send it off, I’ll be working on getting the paperback edition of Guardians 1,2,3 done. I hope to have that done in a week or so. I have been pleasantly surprised by people that have told me they would love to get it as a paper back. I’ll put some notes on my process, how it goes, how easy it was (or wasn’t). Then I think I’ll test the waters for an audio book, I think I might have to read it myself and I’m definitely not sure how that would go…. I don’t know how long my voice would hold out. I may try it anyway, just to test the waters.

One thing I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, with book 4 we’ll be also editing a short story (about 10k words) which we wrote in a day. We’ll be making that available free in a number of different ways.

Have a wonderful evening.

Free Days, Book status updates

Hope your week is going well. We had a couple of good free days, better than the first time and that was what we were looking for. If you’re interested let us know and we’ll give you some stats.

We have started our part of the edits on book 4 – The Nest. I got word from my editor she was almost done with the second part of her edits for book 3, so that should be out as scheduled in August.

I think I have about 40 thousand words left to go for book 6.

++++ Minor Spoiler Alert ++++

Isaac has his Reckoning in book 6. I enjoyed writing that thread of the novel quite a bit, more than I thought I would. We still have the Wine and the Wake portion of the book to go. I don’t want to make the book too long, I guess I’ll just write it and see where my characters take me, they always have a way of surprising me.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a great day.

Are you writing a story other people would like to read… and some updates

English: Map of Austin, Texas

English: Map of Austin, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Been a while since I posted, been super busy so I’m not complaining, much anyway.

The first round of edits came back from book 3, I still don’t know what I want the title to be. Either Reckoning or Saul. If you’ve read the first two books, hopefully you have, this story takes up with David and Miriam’s Reckoning and gives us the backstory on Saul. How he became a Guardian. I finished up my edits, I normally do two passes. The first pass agrees or disagrees with the edit suggestions and fill in any gaps I might have left out. Then pass 2 is another general edit. And last night it went back to the Editor.

Awesome day of writing this morning, I think I got my 3500 words done in an hour and a half. I read something somewhere that asked a good question. If you don’t like writing what you’re writing, do you think someone would like reading it. The answer to that of course is no. I enjoy writing. I have written every day (almost) since March 14th. I had a good weekend too. I joined a Iron Man writers contest, I didn’t enter, didn’t expect to win, but it gave me a good excuse. At the end of book 4 there is a hanging thread about an incident that happens or will happen (or maybe it won’t) happen in Austin Texas. Last Saturday I wrote that story, 10k + change in one day. I’m not so pleased about the word count, but the fact that I wrote a complete story in ten thousand words. I didn’t think I would be able to do it, but I did. I enjoyed it, I did skip writing on Sunday and then back in the saddle again on Monday.

In the summer reading camp I’m 68k words into book 6. I think I should have expanded my goal a bit (it’s 100k). Ton of different things happening. I don’t think I’m giving away too much when I say Isaac is doing his Reckoning and he is running into some problems.

A reminder – next week Books 1 and 2 will be free. Stay tuned to Facebook, G+, and the blog and we’ll remind you.

Enjoy your day!!

Write every day

English: Isaac, A Lover of Peace; as in Genesi...

English: Isaac, A Lover of Peace; as in Genesis 26:12-25; illustration from a Bible card published 1906 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think writing is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. When you write every day, you will always be thinking about your story. It has happened to me more than once. When I write I have an outline in my head. I know how the story¬† is going to begin, what’s going to be happening at the middle and (sometimes) how it is going to end. I write the first few chapters and then I start writing individual threads.

Currently I’m writing book number 6. I’m at almost 40k words. This novel, I think anyway is going to be segmenented into parts. I’m on my first thread in part 1.

[minor spoiler alert ]

I’m writing about Isaac. I was wondering exactly what I would do with him during this part. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to accomplish it. This morning, when I woke up, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. If I didn’t write everyday and was thinking about the story, even when I wasn’t writing it, I don’t think I would have had the idea.

I know it is hard to write everyday. I work too, have to work or I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills.

Enough preaching, I wish you much success!

So… how do I write

Apple I at the Smithsonian Museum

Apple I at the Smithsonian Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone asked me recently, how I write. I could have been a goober and told them, one word at a time, but I didn’t. They wanted to know the space I used, how I did it, etc.

I write at my desk. I have a laptop, I think one of these days I’ll get me an Apple, but for now I write at my desk. For our whole conversation we’ll be talking about my first draft. The edits, I’m sitting in the same place, but I do things quite a bit differently. I have a comfortable chair, I’ve had for years. My posture I know isn’t correct but it works for me. I have an L shaped desk, and a table that I can scoot around that holds my keyboard.

No distractions. Turn off facebook and email and if you can, the internet.
Decide how long you want to write. I usually write for two or three hours. If possible it needs to be one block of time.
The first hour will be your slowest, as you get in the grove your second hour will be much better, and if you write a third, then it will be even faster.
Normally I write about 1k words the first hour, then 2500 the second, which meets my goal of 3500 words a day. Some passages will be easier to write than others. Some days you will write better than others, that’s just the way it is, and has been for me.

The important thing to remember is no distractions and then just to sit down and do it. I write hard and fast, don’t worry too much about mistakes. If I need a bit of information I don’t have then I just put question marks and keep writing. I try my best to do the punctuation better, but I don’t really care, I just write.

I’m curious, for those of you who write, how do you do it?

 

Final Edits in Progress Book 1

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The final edits are getting done. I am so happy about it, I am jumping up and down right now. It usually takes a week or so till I get them back, so I’m going to be a busy bee. When I get it back, I want to be able to do the final edits, format it and put it up. I’m not one to make sure everything is perfect. It will be the best I can make it, otherwise I think you get stuck in a continuous cycle of is it good or not. You will be the judged if it works or not. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have written it.

This coming week I want to get done the following:

Cover – I have some ideas. I think it will work. It’s different from other covers I’ve seen, but there is a purpose for them being different. Kind of obtuse I know.
Blurb – the bit you read before you decide to buy. This is a very important piece of the puzzle. I’ll be working on finding some good guidance and sharing it with you.
Website – I need to tweak a few things here. Get it ready for people who are reading the book to visit and hopefully sign up for a newsletter.
Social Media – setup accounts for Social Media. Still pondering on exactly what to do.

In other news – I am almost done with book 4 – will I hit 100k pages. Not sure. One of the reasons I recommend writing on your project every day, even if you only have time to write 500 words, subconsciously when you aren’t working on it, you’ll be thinking about it. I got a killer ending bit for my story the other day, one I would have never thought of doing. Anyway, I am please so far with it, I just dread editing it. But first we need to start and finish editing book 1 and book 2. So what happens when we get done with 4. Glad you asked. We start with book 5.

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial day weekend.

Weds – 3653
Thursday – 3665
Friday – 3621

Editing- not my favorite part of writing

"Quarters of the news editor", one a...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Hope your week is going well. Been a busy time around here.

 

Book 1 – has finished the second round of edits. I’m now working on it, getting ready to send it back to the editor for the final round. I’m starting to get a bit excited. I know I had mentioned it may be published in May, don’t think that is going to happen.

 

Book 2 – I finished my first round of edits – now it goes to the editor.

 

Book 4 – almost done. I’m at the climax / ending. It’s according to how much the characters play around at the end. They’ve already side tracked me a couple of times, so maybe done this week or not.¬† Right now it’s at 83k words. The goal I think is 90k. We’ll see how much I get to close to it or not. The good thing about having that many words is you can always remove stuff you don’t like.

 

Editing –

 

I need to come up with a better process. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it. I realize it’s an important part of getting the work out there but I do wish it could be sped up a bit. The goal of course is to have one of my books coming out every month. If it takes more than a month to edit each one, then it’s not going to happen. I need to streamline some things or something. I need to ponder on it some.

 

I think I have the getting the words down pretty good. Most of the time I can get 3500+ words in a couple of hours, unless I have a whole lot of distractions. Sometimes I’ve been able to do it in an hour and half, sometimes it will take me three hours. I’m also figuring out when my most productive writing time is.

 

Here’s the word counts from last time we talked.

Thursday –

Friday – 3553
Saturday- 3550
Sunday- 3562
Monday- 3601
Tuesday-3544

Starting Book 3

227: Book Writing Class

227: Book Writing Class (Photo credit: TheBracey)

I started book #3 today. I actually hate starting a new book, it is good that I’m familiar with most of the characters. I got 3125 words written today. I’m not much of a plotter – maybe I should be. I just start typing and go with the flow. I enjoy writing. I don’t think I could not write now. Do you do that? Do you dream about your characters? Maybe I’m just a little bit weird.

I mentioned to you earlier that I got a good book about writing. See that’s another thing, I want to learn all I can about my writing, so my stories will be the best they can be. I know I can write, I just can’t write well… yet. I read somewhere that it takes a million words before you get the hang of it. We’ll see if that is true or not, I think I should make it a goal to do a million words before the end of the year.

Takes out a sheet of paper.

So we have 259 days till the end of the year.
So far I’ve written 90,000 words.
That leaves 910,000 / 259 = 3514.
And so a new goal has been made. The good thing is, the longer I write the faster I write, hopefully that all remains true.

Sorry for the sidetrack bit there – so the book I’m in the process of reading is 2k to 10k – the process of writing more. Again I’ve just started it. I’ll give you an outline of it and how / if it helped my writing as well. You can find the book here – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NKXAWS/

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Boston.

 

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