Weekly Writing Update May 30, 2018

Last Weeks Writing Goals:
The Next Oracle: Work on showing character through dialog in Chapter 2. (If time permits look at chapter formatting in part 2) Not completed
The Talking Stone: Meet my daily word count goals. Introduce Loma, the real protagonist of the story. Completed!
The Ronos Trilogy: Figure out what to do for the cover of the ebook compilation. Write CTA’s. Write or edit a King Wakefield short story. Half Completed.

This Week:
The Next Oracle

I got some more feedback that requires some rewrites. The reader asked some important questions that I didn’t really have the answer to so I need to rewrite for clarity. For me, that usually means I delete a chunk and try again but with less words. This is good for my overall goal for the story because I was looking for a smaller word count, as well as more wiggle room to flesh out one of the characters.

Honest feedback, especially negative feedback and criticisms, is the best thing for me to hear while I am in rewrite mode. Especially since if I get frustrated I can just switch to my other manuscript.

The Talking Stone

I’m over 70,00 words! Huzzah. I’m getting into part two, which involves a lot of world building and introducing the most important characters. This means more words than I had planned. My goal for the first draft had been 100,000 initially but I have since upped it to 120,000 and hope to be done this draft by the end of summer. Sounds daunting but I have it broken down by what needs to be done each day and it’s not that bad at all. The hard part will be just trying to get everything I want in the story.

I read over parts of my Grandpa’s original manuscript again this week. It is so inspiring and took me in new directions on my rewrite. I see him in the words. It’s exciting to spend time with him again even if it is just through his work.

Last week I didn’t give an update. I’m sure you noticed. I was on vacation and didn’t make time for a writing update. My vacation time also interfered with me meeting my goals. I’m going to try and get back on track this week.

This Weeks Writing Goals:
The Next Oracle: Get in there and do something about Ava (she is the character causing me the most grief).
The Talking Stone: Meet Daily word count.
The Ronos Trilogy: Write CTA’s. Prepare short stories for email distribution.

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Weekly Writing Update: May 16, 2018

Last Weeks Goals
The Next Oracle: Work on showing character through dialog in Chapter 1. Completed!
The Talking Stone: Get to 61,000 words by next Wednesday. Completed!
The Ronos Trilogy: Work on compiling The Ronos Trilogy into an ebook box set. Completed!

This Week
The Next Oracle

Rewriting always takes me the longest. It’s hard for me to measure my progress and it’s hard for me to just sit down and do it.

My strategy was to write all the characteristics of the main characters that I needed to remember while writing and that I needed the audience to see while reading. For Anthony, the protagonist, I have things like “doesn’t want to be abandoned or abandon anyone else,” “eager to please,” “likes attention but is afraid it will drive people away.”

So when I go over the dialog I try and put myself in his shoes. Would a person who feels these things on the inside say this line? A lot of the time the answer is no, I was just trying to move the plot along, or be funny or clever. So I rewrite it or add a scene to show Anthony’s real character.

This will be a fun exercise once I get all the other characters involved.

The Talking Stone

I met my word count.

Huzzah!

I’m also almost at the end of the first part of the book. When I set my goal a few months ago to finish this book by the end of the summer, I figured it would be a 100K story just because of how much is going on and all the world building that needs to happen.

Well, I’m at 61K, and the story is definitely not half over.

To be fair, 20k of that is stuff I wrote for way later in the book so part 1 is only 40ish K. However, if I look over my rough outline and what my grandpa had planned out, there are 6 parts to this book, If each part is 40k then this is going to be a monster 240k book. That’s pretty much the same size as the entire Ronos Trilogy.

But I’m not going to fight it.

Especially not on the first draft.

This story can be as long as it needs to be. If it ends up being that long then you guys will just have an awesome giant book to read. I also reserve the right to publish it as a two-volume epic, a trilogy, or a series if needed.

This Weeks Writing Goals
The Next Oracle: Work on showing character through dialog in Chapter 2. (If time permits look at chapter formatting in part 2)
The Talking Stone: Meet my daily word count goals. Introduce Loma, the real protagonist of the story.
The Ronos Trilogy: Figure out what to do for the cover of the ebook compilation. Write CTA’s. Write or edit a King Wakefield short story.

See you next week!

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20130114-124742.jpg   Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.15.05 AM

The complete Ronos Trilogy is now available on Amazon!

Fast paced, edge of your seat excitement that has been called “by far the best self-published book I have read.”

Also, the more books I sell, the more books I am able to write.

Click to start the adventure with, Catalyst.

 

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Weekly Writing Update

I realized this week that there may be some people out there who assume I haven’t done any writing since Eviscerate came out a few years ago.

That’s not true.

I’m still writing.

I have two projects on the go.

The Next Oracle (Formally The Untitled Unicorn Story)
I am super excited that this story is finally out of my brain and on the page. There was a while there when I didn’t think it was ever going to happen but I finally found a way to deal with the exposition without it being a slog to read. This story is a ton of fun and is pretty close to completion.

Huzzah!

You ready for the bad news? I’m not going to go indie on this one. Not initially at least. Once I’ve done a few more edits on this I’m going to try and go the traditional route and submit it around town, as they say.

Don’t worry when if it gets rejected I’ll throw it up on Amazon with a fancy cover and you guys can consume it there.

The Last Oracle is an awesome story that takes place in Edmonton Alberta Canada during the summer of 1987. It may or may not feature a tornado and people who can see the future. My best friend and I created it while we were working together years ago (sorry it took so long Matt!). It’s such a fun read and it’s going to open up a whole world of fun down the line.

The Talking Stone
This book is one of the coolest stories that I have ever worked on. Like The Next Oracle, this is also a collaboration. Except I’m working on this with my deceased Grandpa. (That was a weird sentence). My Grandpa Steed wrote three short books before he passed away. One of them is called The Talking Stone. It’s amazing.

Wanna hear the one line pitch for this book?

Using family history and time manipulation to fight off an alien occupation.

Dude! That is so cool. I didn’t come up with any of that. That all came from Grandpa Steed. It’s such a cool science fiction story. I love it so much.

The problem with Grandpa Steed’s version (other than it being incredibly short) is that it doesn’t have an ending. He never finished it. So I am filling in the blanks by expanding the characters, building on the themes he was already using, and crafting an ending that would make him proud.

it is so much fun to write this book.

I’m 57,000 words into the first draft and I’m already in love.

This Weeks Writing Goals
The Next Oracle: Work on showing character through dialog in Chapter 1.
The Talking Stone: Get to 61,000 words by next Wednesday.
The Ronos Trilogy: Work on compiling The Ronos Trilogy into an ebook box set.

 

See you next week!

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————————————————————————————————————

20130114-124742.jpg   Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.15.05 AM

The complete Ronos Trilogy is now available on Amazon!

Fast paced, edge of your seat excitement that has been called “by far the best self-published book I have read.”

Also, the more books I sell, the more books I am able to write.

Click to start the adventure with, Catalyst.

 

 

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30 Day Challenge: Workout Every Day—Conclusion

Don’t look at me with those judgmental eyes.

I didn’t do it.

I did awesome for two weeks and then did not as awesome for the next two weeks. I don’t really have a good excuse…but here comes a few.

I still strongly dislike working out. Even more, I also strongly dislike writing about working out. It combines one of the things I love the most with one of the things I never enjoy doing.

Why does it take so long to get something out of working out? What’s the return on investment? If I exercise for a half hour every day how long does it extend my life? If it’s only a half hour then I would rather simply use my time more wisely and get more out of life now.

Now to look on the bright side.

I did work out more in February than most of the last year—combined. At least I accomplished something.

I still pushed myself to do something that other people tell me is healthy.

I found something that I want to get into shape for. A friend of mine is going backpacking this summer and I want to go with him since I haven’t gone backpacking in years. I already booked the vacation time at work so I should make the most of it.

I’ll keep trying to make this a habit.

In the meantime you can check out my next 30 day challenge over on my Instagram. @tylerruddhall

Catch up on the rest of the 30 day Challenges

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20130114-124742.jpg   Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.15.05 AM

“.Skinz”
Available on Amazon.
Already Read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

“The Death of Jonas Wakefield”
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Catalyst: Book 1 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Eviscerate: Book 3 in the Ronos Trilogy
Coming soon!
Add it on Goodreads.

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Unsolicited Writing Tip: Delete Your First Chapter

It’s all in the title. Just go do it.

Find someone you trust who hasn’t read your book yet and give them a copy that does not include the first chapter and see what they say. There’s a strong possibility that they won’t even notice it’s gone.

This is advice I’ve heard before. I listened for Beacon. The first chapter was a long one. For those who read the book I’ll give you a taste. It’s all about Lynn running away from Raymond while they are both trapped on Ronos. It’s a lot of fighting and arguing and rock slides and almost dying and then getting healed and it goes on and on. I liked it. It was fun to write but it was so long. The first draft of Beacon was over 100,000 words and a lot of that was because of chapter one.

For those of you who have read Beacon, did you miss the real chapter one? Did you feel like there was something missing from Lynn’s part of the story? Probably not. If I would have kept it in there it only would have dragged it out more thus making it a weaker story. What used to be chapter one—what used to be thousands of words—is now one page of recap in Lynn’s first chapter, a couple of paragraphs.

Eviscerate wouldn’t work if I deleted the first chapter because it’s chapter 1 is more like Beacon‘s chapter 21. It just keeps going. No slowing down for a change in story or adding new characters. No change in location. It’s simply what happened next and everyone reacting to it. I used the advice of reading it without the first chapter to see if it would work and it didn’t so I put it back in.

Catalyst is something else. I never should have included the first chapter. There are several reviews for Catalyst that state, “Once it gets going it’s hard to put down.” That once-it-gets-going business means nothing really happens in chapter one. There is no conflict. It’s a family sitting around chatting after having been apart for a while.

What’s more exciting. A family gathering full of exposition and no real conflict or a massive (possibly) alien ship coming to  Earth and destroying an entire city.

I can’t believe I ever let the first chapter get published.

I’m working on putting out a second edition of both Catalyst and Beacon at the same time Eviscerate comes out and you better believe that the new edition of Catalyst has 19 chapters instead of 20. It is so much better now. It gets right to the point. The action and story start on the first page and don’t stop until the end of Eviscerate three books later.

Getting rid of the first chapter is something I wish I would have done years ago. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Try it out now. If nothing is missed then hit the delete key and never look back.

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20130114-124742.jpg   Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.15.05 AM

“.Skinz”
Available on Amazon.
Already Read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

“The Death of Jonas Wakefield”
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Catalyst: Book 1 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Eviscerate: Book 3 in the Ronos Trilogy
Coming soon!
Add it on Goodreads.

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30 Day Challenge: Workout Every Day—Week 3

This was not a good week for the challenge. I missed two days of not working out. On the plus side it wasn’t two consecutive days but still. I failed this week.

So what happened.

The first day I didn’t workout it was because we left it until the end of the day but then had a massive meal late in the day and couldn’t hardly move after let alone bound about and work up a sweat.

The second day was a fail simply because we didn’t make time for it. Time management is huge for these challenges, especially with everything we got going on in our life. Did I mention I’m about to publish a book? Been working on that a lot. Spent most of Saturday getting it ready but I still found time to workout.

In the grand scheme of things, missing two days out of thirty isn’t really that bad I guess. And this week shouldn’t be as busy as last so I won’t miss anymore. Looks like smooth sailing.

I haven’t settled on what I’m going to do next month. I have a couple ideas but I’m still open to more suggestions. Let me know what you want to see me do.

Catch up on the rest of the 30 day Challenges

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20130114-124742.jpg   Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.15.05 AM

“.Skinz”
Available on Amazon.
Already Read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

“The Death of Jonas Wakefield”
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Catalyst: Book 1 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Eviscerate: Book 3 in the Ronos Trilogy
Coming soon!
Add it on Goodreads.

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How To Self Publish: Read Your Book Out Loud

I wish I would have done this sooner.

No doubt this is advice you have heard before. I have heard it before but until very recently I never did anything about it. I scoffed at the thought. There is no difference to reading in your head and reading out loud so why look like a weirdo to your family or roommates and mumbled to yourself about your book. You should do it for one solid reason.

It works.

I have found that reading out loud makes it harder to skip over the mistakes. It’s easier to notice tense errors or repeated phrases when you are saying the words out loud. The formatting errors make it harder to say out loud and force you to stop and think about what went wrong. As I read through Catalyst I believe I found more to fix because I was reading it out loud.

Also, it felt really good to read my book out loud to my little boy. Even though he didn’t know what was going on and spent a fair amount of time trying to eat the book I still loved it.

Reading out loud is also good practise for if you end up having to make your own audio book. Which may be something I have to do. I’ve looked up a few companies that help out self published authors with this but so far the services are not available in Canada. I have had multiple people ask me when the book is coming out in audio format but now it seems the only way I can get it out there is to read it myself. Which means I have to practise reading out loud. Let me know if you know of a another company that works in Canada to help self published authors.

Now stop reading this and go read that book of your out loud.

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20130114-124742.jpg   Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy    Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.15.05 AM

“.Skinz”
Available on Amazon.
Already Read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

“The Death of Jonas Wakefield”
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Catalyst: Book 1 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Beacon: Book 2 in the Ronos Trilogy
Available on Amazon.
Already read it? Write a review on Goodreads.

Eviscerate: Book 3 in the Ronos Trilogy
Coming soon!
Add it on Goodreads.

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