May 18

Editing Done. Maybe.

Today, I sent my edited manuscript back to the editor. She was surprised that it was so fast.

And there’s another source of anxiety. I know that I have fast turnaround. When I was doing my query on absolutewrite, there were comments made about how fast I was turning around the versions. And I don’t mean in a good way.

I don’t really have any metric with which to measure my turnover. No prior experience in the industry, no other writers that I’ve worked with. I don’t think that I’m doing a slap-dash edit. I think the issue may be that a lifetime of software development and unreasonable deadlines have taught me to do heads-down cramming.

I hope that’s what it is.

I guess I’ll find out soon enough. If the editor sends it back with some variation of “scrap and redo”, then I’ll have to re-evaluate. If she’s good with my changes, then, well, I’m just fast.

Stay tuned.

May 14

I Have an Edit!

I received the completed edit yesterday, a week early. And it’s not bad. There were the expected spelling and syntax corrections, and some suggestions for wording changes, of course. She indicated where things were vague or confusing and needed further explanation. There were a couple of suggestions for putting in more backstory–those were a little aggravating because I took that out at the suggestion of critters (grrr!).

But nothing Earth-shattering. No wholesale ripping out of subplots or savaging of characters; no indications of systemic writing flaws; no suggestions to redo whole chapters. My expected ass-whuppin’ has turned out to be nothing more than a light thwapping. Huh. Go figger.

There was one change, where she suggested I remove VEHEMENT entirely, that I simply can’t follow. VEHEMENT is a minor ‘character’ in book 1, but in book 2 they cause some pretty significant damage, so they have to stay. But, hey, minor stuff, right?

So, yeah. I’m feeling validated. 🙂

 

May 07

I Have an Editor!

I found an email in my inbox yesterday, from the editor that Audible has acquired for Legion.

You know how, when you come home after a few days away, your dog runs around in circles and jumps all over you? Well, that’s how I felt. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long time. I am about to have my darlings savaged by a professional.

Yes, you might say, but it’s not as exciting as when you actually publish. Sure, okay, but this is still way up there. I expect to come out of the experience with a black eye, arm in a sling, and little cartoon cross-shaped bandaids all over my body. But I’ll learn. I’ll learn what a professional wants to see in a marketable work.

I’ve recently come to realize that you can only really get so far with free crit sites and volunteer beta readers. I spent some time on critiquecircle, and did private beta swaps with a couple of people. I’ve done public and group-based chapter submissions on scribophile, and participated in a couple of beta swaps. I’ve sent my first chapter into a couple of editors to get a sample edit done.

What has amazed me is the lack of consistency. Understand, I’m completely convinced that every single person I’ve interacted with has worked entirely in good faith– as have I, when critting other’s work. But it’s very hard to get a clear indication of what needs to be fixed. What one person likes, another might hate. I’ve gotten complaints both that I have too much description and too little. Some want more scene-setting, some want less. I went through several crits and beta-swaps before the Uber group crits on scribophile finally convinced me that my scenes often lack tension. Once I received that message, I was happy to go back and correct it. But before you can correct it, you have to see it. And before you can see it, you have to have it pointed out.

And this brings us to the root of my incoherent ramble (I blame the incoherence on lack of coffee. It’s early on a Saturday A.M.). When you’re starting out in writing, the learning curve is huge. As you get better, your rate of education slows down. Eventually, I think you reach a point where the informal educational tactics become ineffective for the amount of time they require. At that point, it starts to become a slog. I am very, very lucky that I’ve found myself in a situation where the next level of learnin’ is being handed to me. Along with, I expect, a thorough ass-whupping.

 

Feb 26

Contract Signed

Yeah, I’m still a little boggled. I have just finished signing a publishing contract with Audible.com for We are Legion. Wait, is it a publishing contract if it’s audio? Hmm, is there money involved? Yep. Then, yes.

Excuse me, must take time to happy-dance.

And, I’m back.

The agreement with Audible includes access to a professional editor, which I believe will be invaluable. For all that people say they like my writing style, I don’t kid myself that I’m a pro, yet. Some substantive pointers and perhaps a beating or two from someone who knows whereof they speak should help kick me in the right direction. Plus, it might just put the manuscript over the hump in terms of getting a print publisher– something that, so far, eludes me.

Meanwhile, it’s Friday night, I’m feeling a post-sushi glow to go with my post-signed-the-contract glow, and I have an evening with no commitments.

G’night.

 

Nov 24

Housekeeping and Updates

Yeah, nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. 🙂

I’ve just been doing some rearranging of the web site. If you’re one of the three people who has ever visited, you may be momentarily confused.

I haven’t been posting much lately, so here are some updates.

As mentioned elsewhere, I have an agent: Ethan Ellenberg. He signed me for my current WIP, We are Legion. There’s a separate section on this site with details. He is currently subbing the novel to the major publishers. Meanwhile, I started on book two of the Legion series. It’s at about 52K words, and moving along. The series will be a trilogy.

The sequel to Outland is at about 25k words, and stalled, because of Legion. However, once I get Legion 2 wrapped up, I’ll get back to Outland 2. There’s a bit of a complication, though. Outland is self-published, but Outland 2 will be repped by my agent, at least in theory. I wonder how that works? I’ll probably want to do a partial re-work on Outland anyway, given that I’ve had a lot more practice with writing.

Anyway, Outland will probably be an open-ended series, as there’s no specific ‘ending’ to it. Think 1632. More stuff just keeps happening.

Meanwhile, my ideas file keeps growing. I’ll probably be writing for the rest of my life, and never catch up. Oh, well.

 

Oct 01

Progress Update

My agent and I have gone through several iterations of editing. I’m just finishing what I think is probably the final revision. I’ll be emailing it to him by the end of the weekend, then it’s fingers-crossed time.

I was feeling a little bummed about this process, but after reading some other peoples’ experiences on absolutewrite, I got over it. A couple of months is no big thing.

Anyway, Legion is now at 87K words or so. I’ve trimmed down some of the excess Bobs, spent more time giving original Bob a backstory, and beefed up the main subplots. Good to go, I think.

Aug 22

Progress Report

Things have been moving along, albeit not as quickly or in quite the direction that I’d have liked.

On the Legion front, my agent got back some constructive criticisms from an editor. Good points, and to be honest, not really surprises. I spent a good portion of the last couple of weeks editing and revising Legion to suit. The book is now in more chronological order, even if that makes some of the sub-plots a little clumpy. In addition, the Sol System war sub-plot now ends in book one with colonists settling in Omicron(2) Eridani. For the trek-nerds among us, that’s the home system of the Vulcans. One benefit of the extra work is that the book now tops out at 84K words, which is a little more reasonable than the former 75K.

So Ethan will resubmit, I guess, and we’ll see what happens. Funny, as hard as it is to get an agent, it seems that’s actually the easy part. Getting the publishers to pay attention is the toughie.

Meanwhile, I’ve started back up on my sequel to Outland. It was originally about 1/3 written. I’ve just been going through all my files, making sure everything is synchronized and that I’m working with the latest versions of everything. I don’t think I’ll have it done by the end of the summer, unless you count summer as lasting until Sept 22nd 🙂 .

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing any more work on my Blender space ship, at least for a while. Since I’m no longer in charge of producing my cover, it seems like a bit of a time hole. My focus will have to be getting the Outland sequel out, then getting the Legion sequel going.

Legion will be a trilogy, at least for the immediate story lines. The universe that I’ve created for it is good for many more standalone novels.

Well, back to work…

Jul 18

Continuing to work on my spaceship

I’m still hacking away at the render for the Heaven vessels. Here’s my latest:

 

HeavenRender

 

HeavenRender

 

Jul 07

I now haz agent

Yeah, little bit of a curve ball in the ol’ long-term plans. I still haven’t figured out how I managed it, but I now have an agent for We are Legion. Of course, this means the schedule’s gone all bust, but c’est la vie.

I am now signed with The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency.

 

S’cuze me, I feel the need to dance some more. (You don’t want to see this)

 

Jun 13

New video clip of Bob’s travels

I’ve created a new video clip from my Stellarium app, of the various Bobs’ travels through near space. This is for We are Legion. I changed Mario’s destination from GL 41, which was too far, to Beta Hydri. This works a little better with the overall timing of the novel.

I’ve also reworked the app significantly, and it’s a lot easier to work with now. I’ll be releasing the app on Codeproject as part of the promotional marketing for Legion.