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: Edits have begun

Welcome to the land of no names. I started my edits on Third Life this morning. It isn’t long, only 20k words so more or less 80 pages. It is fun though. Only two characters have names, the protagonist, and his brother. The rest are nameless, and eventually faceless, except the two leaders of warring tribes. They don’t have names but titles.

I am really excited about this story because it’s the first time in a while that I really let my imagination run free. It’s not that the audience wasn’t on my mind; it’s more that I care about them in the edits and not so much in the rough draft. Part of the issue I had with the Absolute, and part of the reason I lost the excitement of it is it just sorta lost its way. When I originally wrote it, it was more the kind of content my mind goes to on its own. A story with a big question that could never actually happen.

It became something bland. Something that reads like I was overly concerned with pleasing everybody that it just became boring.

Thid Life is definitely not for everybody. I’m not even sure if it’s any good, but I know I’m excited about it. I built a world of rigid discipline. A world where life is cheap, people get more than one, and its sole purpose is to serve a higher purpose. The two tribes fighting believe in opposing purposes, one to the world and the other to the longevity of those who are living.

What I am most concerned about is my info dumping. I was so excited to create this brand new world that I think I got carried away, particularly in the first chapter, with explaining every detail. It’s also difficult to edit because I want those details there, and part of the reason I think the info dump might work is that it occurs during moments of “blank stare,” which is a side effect of adults in the Formation (the tribe the main character is a part of).

I hope to finish my first round of edits this weekend and send it off to some beta readers. I’m always looking for more so if that’s something that interests you please shoot me an email on my contact page.

I was forcing the Absolute because I really felt like I needed a full-length novel out, but I think it would be best if I give it a brief pause and work on some of my novella ideas. I also think that would be best for the people who actually read my work because it means more content!