Garden Fantasy

I still need to come up with a good title for my reaper novella. The current working title is Big Boy. . . . . so yeah it needs some work. Especially now that the MC is thirteen and not eight, so calling him a big boy just feels kind of creepy.

I’ll start with the good news. I am ahead of schedule on the garden fantasy book. This is my fifth day of writing and I just hit the 18k word mark. It would be SO cool if I could hit the 20k word mark today, but I’m not gonna stress about it. I already hit my 3k minimum for the day so I’ll probably get in some much-deserved reading time. I’m currently beta reading the 2nd book in my friend Lauren Lee’s Demons of New York series.

The bad news is, not only do I need to come up with a title for my reaper tale (though I do have a cover and it looks pretty sick) but I’m running behind on my edit goals for it. As you can probably put together from the paragraph above, I’m running behind on edits because I’m running ahead on a rough draft. I’m doing my best not to stress about it, I don’t think the reaper tale requires any major changes, I just need to add a little more depth to each character so it’s more a tale of interesting characters than one of a pretty plot.

since I’ve proven I can’t effectively edit one project and write another at the same time, I’ll probably relieve the self-imposed stress I’m feeling and just focus on writing the rough draft first. It’s easier to take a break from editing than it is to take a break from a rough draft. One is all about objectivity and the other is all about momentum (at least for me).

At least I have a week before I move down to New Orleans for the summer and in that time I’ll probably crank out another 20k words, but ideally, I’d like to finish the rough draft by then.

Remember my summer goals: I want to publish two novellas and one full-length novel. I already published Third Life. My reaper tale will be my second novella (about 120-130 pages) and my full-length novel will either be my garden fantasy or Skipping Over Sundays.

All in all, I’m pretty optimistic about where I am right now.

As always thanks for reading.

Another Rough Draft Down

Well, it still needs a title but I just finished the rough draft of the project I started 10 days ago. It’s not long, in those 10 days I wrote close to 32,000 words, which translates to between 120-140 pages. It was a lot of fun to write though. I really love the story, I think the plot is pretty solid, the characters all have good motivations and overall I think it’s gonna be a fun read. I also have an idea in mind for a second book, which I think would be cool cause if it’s the same length I can package them together and have a full length 200-300 page book in two parts.

As for what I need to work on, well the ending is a little rushed. I know I can fix that in the edits but with the rough draft, I just wanted to get an ending on the page and worry about making it pretty later. It reached the point where it felt like the sooner I reach the end, the sooner I can start focusing on making it good instead of just prolonging it, cause no matter what it would need to go through multiple edits so might as well reach that stage a day earlier than planned.

I’m really excited to start editing it because I really feel like this story has a lot of opportunities. It’s a YA reaper tale. The main character and his best friend are 13 and his older sister is 15.

I think as far as characters are concerned his sister and best friend are the flattest. I need to give them more depth and development in the edits. I think their main guide is the richest character I wrote, the neighbor and the main villain are tied for second most in-depth and the MC is third most.

His parents probably should be improved in the edits too. At the moment they don’t even have names. At first, I did that purposefully cause I was thinking like Charlie Brown adults but I think it might just make the story weaker since they are a big part of the MC’s motivation to take the quest.

Anyway, I’m excited because my goals for the summer were to publish two novellas and one full-length novel. So far I’ve published one novella, I just finished the rough draft of my second novella, and the novel is written it just needs to go through severe edits. Since it’s only June 2nd I think I’m doing alright with my schedule.

Third Life is out!

Just wanted to let everyone know my latest novella Third Life is now available and it’s on sale for $0.99 until Sunday.

 

Synopsis below:

On his eighteenth cycle, Christopher has to join the ranks of the Formation. A society built on strict rules, where discipline is rewarded with immortality and inefficiency is punishable by death. Within the walls of the Formation, measurements control every aspect of a person’s life, but the resources outside the walls offer the only means of survival.

When Christopher is assigned to be a scout, his life is flipped upside down. Though it has the lowest causality rate in the Formation it is one of the most dangerous jobs because it puts him in danger of crossing paths with the Others.

While searching the forest for the river, the Formation’s final means of survival, Christopher is confronted by the truth of his world and his own existence. He learns the history of the war between his tribe and the Other’s and questions everything he’s been led to believe by the Formation.

This novella dives into questions about free will, faith, and duty.

Third Life is Done

Well, I finished all the edits on this 100 page novella and everything is going according to plan. 3 books published this summer is still a real possibility (yes I’m counting the end of May as summer cause it’s good enough for summer vacation). I just need to polish the blurb before I put it up for presale. Writing the blurb is SO ANNOYING my god. It feels like it took me less time to write my longest manuscript (apx 130k words) than to write this blurb. To those of you with blurb skills I respect you, I mean we’re supposed to honor short story writers but you’re the real champs.

I’m only letting my website and my newsletter know this, but Third Life will be on sale for $0.99 through presale and the three days it’s published but after that, it’s bumping up to full price.

Funny story about Third Life, I finally got the balls to write it because my author friend Lauren Lee needed a sprint buddy. She was working on her Charlotte’s Pact Series and needed a boost of momentum. My original thought for Third Life was a world where individuals had three hearts over their heads (like in video games) but they could lose lives for the most mundane tasks, like not cleaning their room, and the main character was going to search for a guru who found the key to eternity.

I kept the three lives idea but created a world of warfare between two tribes, one outside the walls fighting to return the bodies they borrowed from the world to the ground so the earth could find balance, and the other inside the walls fighting to maintain a lifestyle of strict discipline.

So I would like to thank Lauren Lee for getting me started on this book.

The rest of the summer will go as followed: Writing and editing a novella currently titled Big Boy and revising my full-length manuscript formerly titled the Absolute but now titled Skipping Over Sunday.

I’ll probably do writing sprints for Big Boy (definitely want a new title for that one, too similar to Little Big Boy by Max Power). So if anyone wants to do some writing sprints with me while I work on the rough draft please let me know.

As for Skipping Over Sunday, the story is done I just need to find a way to make it compelling cause at the moment I’m worried it’s too boring.

If all this goes according to plan I may even try vlogging. I have this idea where I’d vlog a pantser novel from beginning to end just to show anyone interested in writing a manuscript how attainable that goal is. I’m not saying it’ll be very good but the words will be on the page and from there you can choose to polish it, revise it, play frisbee with it, or burn it.

As usual thanks for reading! I look forward to writing more blog posts this summer. There’s something incredibly satisfying about writing and publishing something in the same day.

Summer Goals

By Tuesday I will be done with all my exams and final essays. Summer will finally be here and I will have more time to focus on writing and editing. My two main goals for the summer are release two novellas. Nothing substantial, each over 100 pages. Third Life is in its final edits and I’m hoping to publish it either the end of May or the start of June.

The second project I hope to publish this summer is a bit more whimsical. It’s a world where reapers create balance by not only guiding souls from one world to the next but also returning life to our world in the form of gardens.

This story is completely outlined and ready to go, I’ve just been waiting for exams to finish before I actually get started. I know it’s silly. In the time it takes me to write this blog I could’ve probably knocked out the first chapter, but for some reason, I enter full freakout mode if I start working on anything creative during finals week (and weekend). My time is divided between studying and recharging so I can get back to studying.

While my publishing plans are set I do have plans to continue editing The Absolute, however, I have changed the name to Skipping Over Sundays. I don’t know how a book that has gone through so many edits is a complete mess. Not even a mess, it’s just boring and I don’t think I explain the cool aspects of it at all so people who read it will end up being bored and confused, which is never a good combination. I really wanted the weight of his wife’s death to haunt him, and it’s just such a shitty representation of it. Also the ending drives me crazy cause it just all wraps up nicely and I dont think I–yeah doesn’t matter. I’ll just let it be for now. Probably send it off to a couple readers who can tell me exactly where the problems start. A fresh set of eyes will probably help.

I also plan on editing The Pathetic Tycoon especially now that I restructured it and deleted all the unnecessary points of view. It has become a cool rivalry between an old criminal and a young businessman.

My final project in the making is a MG series I plan on writing starring my new niece and all the adventures she is going to go on. I’m excited to take a crack at MG. I know there are a lot of amazing writers in the genre who produce phenomenal stories, and I’ll have my work cut out for me to find a voice in it, but I’m really excited because it’s a genre that’s more welcoming of the whimsical, and it’s something I really enjoy including in my writing because I don’t know, it just feels like a mason jar of happiness. Sorry this is such a bad ramble, I’ll end this post here, I just wanted to keep you all up to date on my upcoming plans.

Editing is kinetic

So, I know I can’t shut up about Third Life but I find I give my best advice when I give anecdotes. Rather than boring you with a formula of how certain generic actions equal certain dynamic results, I put a face to the character performing tasks (me) and give actual results.

So, I’m editing Third Life, and as usual, I get discouraged when I edit. There is just so much to remember, so many small details I want to include early on to wink at the reader when they finish so I can say “see look what I did there?”

Anyway, what I’m discovering is the further into the story I get the fewer edits I have to make. Most of the edits are early on while I’m still building the world and figuring out the ending. Even though I went into this project with a pretty good idea of what I wanted my ending to be, I came up with a lot of ideas for the world while I was writing. That happens no matter how much I outline.

Anyway, by the end of the story I know all the rules and obviously, know what the ending is going to be so there are fewer errors as opposed to the beginning of the story there are tons of contradictions and things that just wouldn’t work because I added some new rules down the line.

So, I guess the point of this post is to say don’t be discouraged while editing. It gets easier.

Third Life: New Cover

Well, it finally happened. One of many nightmares indie authors have. The original stock photo I used for my Third Life cover was being used by another author with an upcoming release. This author private messaged me and after revealing she purchased hers as a premade I decided to just make a new cover so neither of us had to show up to the ball wearing the same dress. It was a fun experiment for me. I’m not the most artistic person but I know how to have a little fun on photoshop.

I went to unsplash.com and found a stock image that I thought looked pretty creepy. It also perfectly captured the gridded and high walled streets in the Formation (the main tribe in Third Life). From there I removed the person in the image and put the figure in a new layer so they stood out a little more, since they’re the only individual who steps out of line in the Formation. I really played up their individuality by upping the crap out of the contrast.

I added the three hearts over their head–you’ll find out why when you read the story. . . screw that you’ll find out now, everyone in the Formation gets three lives. (wait I might’ve mentioned that in my last post anyway lol).

I cropped the sky because it was too bright and distracting and added the text, messed around with the layers until I got a cool reflection under the title and bam! I have a new book cover.

What do you guys think of it?Third Life FX