An ending

One of the things I love about writing is the feeling I get from time to time after having created something and looking at it as objectively as I can possibly manage, and think “That’s pretty damn good there.”

I just had that happen with my ending. In the last version I sent out to my alpha readers, I thought the ending was a little weak. I wanted two things, one, I wanted a more dramatic end to the final battle, and two, I wanted something that could be used as a hook into additional stories.

I think it works in both cases.

I’ve got some POV overlap still to hack out, but I’ve hacked about half of it out already, and things still look good, so I am pretty confident that my final edit will get what’s left.

I also want to spend some time just fine-tuning and polishing the character development and dialogue. I have pretty much concluded that all the advice writers get about everything boiling down to your characters is pretty good advice. I want my characters to be memorable.

Getting real close. While this will be the fourth novel I will have written and taken to completion (excepting final professional editing), in some ways it’s really just the second. I had the entire story line for The War Chronicles pretty well laid out, and had always intended for it to be one story, broken into three books, so this is only the second story I’ve taken this far.

And sci-fi is really my preferred genre too, although I do love good fantasy. It sort of surprised me that my first published fiction works would be the parts of an epic fantasy.

I think I will plan on getting pitch advice and other advice from the Superstars conference on this book. I didn’t take much advice on The War Chronicles. I just bulled my way forward. This time I think I’m going to be more measured. I can always start on my fifth novel while working on the sale and/or marketing of this one.

Feeling better and better about Mountain Home. And this ending just rocks.

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Version 1.0.1 compiled

OK,

So I am once again incredibly appreciative of the feedback from my alpha readers. I’ve still got some feedback to come, so there will be at least one more version, I’ll call it “beta” for lack of a better way to express the concept. But for now I have an alpha 1.01 version with lots of fixes and changes. So I’m a little closer to something that I would actually send to a publisher.

Still hovering in the 88,000 word mark. I really don’t know if it will end up near that number.

But, it feels like another milestone, and things like that keep me writing. 🙂

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Editing underway

Well, it has been for a while really.  But now I’m starting to get feedback from my alpha readers.

Some of it is structural (for example, somehow I managed to get a scene out of sequence) some of it is editorial (more description of the main city) and some of it grammatical (sigh, I really, really hate typos and grammos. (A grammo is like a typo, but in a grammar sort of way).

I’ve already done one pass based on the initial input and corrected the big things (I hope), and created a new file, which I just finished reading, and am now editing that.

There are a couple rough spots to smooth over, and at least one glaring POV problem (this is the first time I’ve written a novel with a shifting POV, and it’s a skill to learn like anything else). But a lot of the story feels solid to me. Good meat on the bones. Don’t feel anything like I did with Warlord where I read the first draft and thought “That ending is not going to work,” which basically led to three months more to correct that. Not feeling like that’s the case here with Mountain Home. Feels like making something solid already a bit more solid.

It’s getting there. Getting very close to submission quality anyway, whether it’s a story anyone likes or not.

I do intend to submit this to a traditional publisher first, instead of self-publishing. But if I can’t find interest fast, this might also be self-published. I do intend to try to find some way to do some actual marketing this time.

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First draft done.

Related image

I am ready to call this first draft finished. I’ve gone through the entire story, beginning to end, and it reads like a story. I still will have to do some edits, and I’m only now starting to get some feedback from beta readers, but it’s a complete book now.

88,500 words more or less. My target was 90,000 words. I’m sure I’ll add some more in edits.

Having read it, I find it fairly satisfying. There’s a lot going on, though, and with the shifts of POV, I do have to go through and make absolutely sure I did not slip out of POV in a scene.

Right now it’s structured more or less as switching point of view with each chapter. In some cases there is some timeline overlap, so the same scene is given from both points of view. I hope that works.

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First chunk out to beta readers

Well, I’ve sent a few scenes out sort of randomly over the past several months, but in some cases those scenes have been revised or even deleted.

This is the first time I’ve sent out what I expect to be essentially the final story. I expect lots of edits, there always are, but I hope I don’t have to rip this thing apart and put it together again like I had to do with Warlock.

The first chunk was 20,000 words or so. So not quite a quarter of the story. I’m working on the next chunk of edits now.

This thing is no longer about if, but all about when. 🙂

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Mopping up

Hit the keyboard pretty hard this weekend. Wrapped up the major final battle scene. I’ve got some “aftermath” stuff to complete, and a LOT of edits, but the story is basically done.

Now it’s time to whip it into shape and get something out to my beta readers.

I have a decent shot to get this thing done by Christmas. 🙂

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Getting close to the end

I just wish I could manage to spend more time writing. Things at work took a very difficult twist a month ago, and my time, effort and spirit has been focused primarily on dealing with that difficulty, not on my writing.

Still, I have managed to cross the 80,000 word threshold. I’m at 81,904 now, and 90,000 no longer looks intimidating. It looks inevitable.

More importantly, I have story momentum going, and I think the reader is going to find this book twists and turns more than most. I hope people like that. It feels very entertaining to me anyway.

I just finished yet another scene that takes the story into a totally unexpected direction. Lots of action, some hopefully deft character work, and some burning questions the reader should hopefully want to get answered.

Don’t worry. Answers are coming. But I don’t think they are what the reader will be expecting. 🙂

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