Book Update: The Beginning Ends

As of 3:20 PM, Eastern Time, on May 30, 2017, two months from the official start of this process, the initial draft of what I hope to be my first published novel is complete.


I cried so hard, you guys. I guess this is the male equivalent to birthing babies. I can see now why rejection letters are taken so personally.

Now begins the next phase of the operation: Formatting, editing, and punch-up.

I feel like I just lost fifty pounds.

/sinks back in chair

PS: I spent the money and upgraded to Genuine Word. Much, much, much better.


Book Update: Upgraded

So, this happened:


Our duct-taped Chromebook has been replaced with a refurbished HP laptop. Thanks to the vagaries of technology, I think they ended up costing the same years apart. The HP is much more loaded, and HUGE.

According to the free word processing program that came bundled on the laptop, I already was over the 80,000 word count threshold, and am now in the 90,000s. I have no idea what to believe anymore. The formula of 150x(number of pages) says I’m at roughly 40,000. Who knows. Not me! (I really don’t how if you have to really crank up the margins for that formula to be relevant. I dare say a standard Word document holds far more than 150 words per page.)

I’m closer to the finish line. I have a clear stopping point, then it’s onward to polish the manuscript and prepare it for shopping around. I have every intention of continuing the story into at least one more book. Depending on what happens I may start making the Book Two draft while working on finalizing Book One. Much depends on much.

Anyway, the feedback from some additional readers has been encouraging, and I’m really hoping I’ve got something legit here. I’m starting to allow myself the luxury of imagining the book in print as a hardcover. This is a huge no-no, but as a thought exercise I am thinking about what the cover art would entail. That’s not for me to say, however. But it’s heady.

Off to dream of hardcover first editions…

Book Update: 80K

So, how’s the book coming along?

Well, it is said that novel-length writing starts in the area of 80,000 words.

/runs word counter


I set a stretch goal of May 31 to finish the bare-bones rough draft. I’m on pace to meet that goal. I’m looking forward to punching up/editing the copy and formatting it for publishing.

Video Notes: Our last visit to the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Hey, it’s the weekend, which must mean that we went to Disney World! And son of a gun, wouldn’t you know it, we did!

Click here for the video if it’s not showing up below.


More notes and bonus features after the jump:

Continue reading “Video Notes: Our last visit to the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival”

RFA Lesson 4 is Up: Proportions

I see how it is: I get wrapped up in writing a book, and Rapid Fire Art does 2 tutorials inside of a week. Today’s lesson: Proportions!

Before I get into that, I want it to be known that I finally made time to derp around with my sketchbook, and as per Lesson 3, I was in fact trying to do 3D.

/tosses that lesson over my shoulder

Continue reading “RFA Lesson 4 is Up: Proportions”

Book Update: PerNoWriMos

Book writing has continued apace. At last glance I am around 192 standard Word pages, not formatted for publishing.

My pace has been so blistering (around 5 pages a day on average, since starting, with breaks in the early going) that I was starting to worry that I’m cramming a huge undertaking into a really short time, which is either a) really amazing or b) a recipe for disaster.

I was thinking of an appropriate parallel to this experience, and remembered that there is such a thing: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Back in the days when blogging was young and idealistic (harp music), and always on the lookout for content, somebody came up with NaNoWriMo. The concept was to write a full length novel in 30 days, with minimal editing. I did not participate.

I was wondering, however, how long I’ve been at it, writing my initial draft. Thanks to the magic of bullet journaling, I have an answer: Since March 30.

Continue reading “Book Update: PerNoWriMos”

Book Note: The Featureless Plane

Yeah yeah, writing a book, going well, lots done, lots to come, you’re up to speed.

In related news:

I was thinking about the process of writing, which is to say, thinking about appropriate amounts of detail, specifically from the perspective as a fledgling author.

My rough draft is rough indeed, with the intent of getting to the end of the book (if not the story) and then going back over it and not only cleaning it up (editing) but fleshing out some of the bare bones details.

Let’s go to the board, and I’ll show *and* tell my thoughts on detail.

Continue reading “Book Note: The Featureless Plane”

Book Update: Taking Shape

I finished my nightly writing session a few minutes ago (as I type this – the blog posting is on a time delay) and wanted to take a moment to breathe before going back under on Thursday night.

I have been typing away, not at all following the ancient and accepted guidelines for formatting a fiction novel manuscript. That part will come much later. I am still focused on writing the bare bones of the story. As told time and time again, I write fluidly, which is to say, I make up the story as I go. I have a rough idea of the ending but due to the magic of characters coming to life (in print), it’s been thrilling to see where they go and what they do when they get there.

Now, being that focused (I’m insane, I tell ya), I have been uncharacteristically reticent to look ahead to the publishing phase. I know that there is no guarantee that this or any other book I write will hit the big time, but still, if I want to take a crack at it, I need to know how the game is played. Step One is, write the damn book.

After checking out the general formatting guidelines, I made a copy of my ongoing draft and formatted “quick and dirty”. Here’s how it looks in blur-o-vision:

Continue reading “Book Update: Taking Shape”

Sketchbook: RFA Lesson 3 is Up!

Hooray, the latest beginner tutorial is up at Rapid Fire Art! This time around, Darlene is explaining how to make the jump from 2D to 3D. Check it out!

While I was waiting (cue ominous foreshadowing music) I Googled around randomly one evening and found a site called Envato Tuts+. And it was there that I found a key piece of advice for the aspiring, or established artist:

Think with forms, not lines.


Once I read that, and the associated tutorial, I couldn’t switch it off for days. Everything I saw around me could be rotated around in my head, like Tony Stark in Iron Man designing his next suit. Thanks to the sheer volume of book writing I have been doing lately, I have managed to get out of that mode, and Darlene’s latest lesson switched it back on again.

So this entry is going to be a mash-up of RFA and Tuts+. Hopefully it all meshes together nicely.

Continue reading “Sketchbook: RFA Lesson 3 is Up!”

Book Update: When Gears Mesh

The book I have endeavored to write is coming along nicely. I am still not going to provide any excerpts because it’s too soon, but I may have something of a compromise.

I will say that my approach has been to write as I go, or more to the point, make stuff up. I keep waiting to get nailed by some massive plot hole, or continuity error, or some other massive screw-up. One thing I did catch was that a character’s employer is referenced in the early pages, and around page 100 I went to mention it again and had no clue what company name I had dreamt up. I went back and re-read the reference and the day was saved.

More often than that, though, I’ll have the opposite happen. I’ll toss off some reference, or introduce a character, and about 20 pages later a puzzle piece goes “click” and another part of the picture begins to take shape.

Continue reading “Book Update: When Gears Mesh”