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Status Update - October 2021

Well, things are finally moving along.

The Revenant and the Tomb

The first rounds of edits were sent off, and returned back in a week - I was expecting 3 weeks. It's probably the first thing that's been finished early since I started this trek.

The next steps are:

1) Go through the edits - this is actually done.

2) Do a re-read of the book to make sure everything is kosher.

3) Send the manuscript out for a proofread.

4) Apply the proofreading edits.

5) Send the manuscript off to be copyrighted.

6) Get the cover done.

7) Format the book and generate the distributable eBook files.

I've already talked to the artist and gave him my ideas. That's way down on the list, however.

Scanning the edits, I've obviously improved as a writer on the technical side of things. The vast majority of issues were small details. My initial assumption is that I'd be removing roughly 20% of the book (roughly 7,000 words). However, after applying all of the edits, the book is sitting north of 39,000 words. Were I to add 1000 words, which is less than half of my standard chapter, I could literally call it a novel. I won't do that. It is tempting, though.

I've come to conclude, however, that I have developed a serious comma dyslexia. I can't tell you how many times I've had to remove commas from places I thought they were supposed to go, only to add them in places where I didn't think they applied. That and a serious confusion over the double-dash / emdash thing. Whatever...

I want to have this out before the end of the year, God willing. Looks like I'm on track for that.

The Next Book

Progress continues. I just recently polished off Chapter 17, and started in on 18. Initially, I thought I'd have Chapter 18 play out, and have the climax start at Chapter 19 or 20. However, after some consideration, I've decided to have Chapter 18 fill the role of Chapter 19.

I'm in a bit of a writing slump as of late. My creativity is running out of gas or - as I've described it in earlier blog posts - the beast is beginning to nap. This is partly due to external pressures, but some of it comes from the waning enthusiasm for this new book. This is despite some break-throughs with the character and the narrative. That being said, I have the book all plotted in my head, despite the sudden change in direction from the initial plan. I'll just push through my slump, and hopefully stumble my way to completion. The revision process will resolve any flagging story elements that the first draft will contain.

The story I'm working is good at its core. The most recent chapters (13 - 15) have really sort of kickstarted the main character's depth and personality. Chapter 18, and the direction I'm headed, has forced me to seriously reconsider the trajectory of the main character, the mentor character (if you could call him that), and the villain. The pinnacle of the story's climax was conceived to be far more dramatic than where I'm going to take it. The new direction, however, feels more natural and better suited for where the character is on his personal journey. It fits better with my philosophy that the best main characters are weak in one or more areas. Or, to put it more succinctly: Bad-a**es are boring. Unless you're into Mary Sue Power Fantasy, strong and able characters are as boring to read as they are to write. There's no room for development. There's no room for mistakes. There is no sweet savor when things finally go the character's way.

Short Stories

I've mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again: I've got several short stories in development at present. The one I've been focusing on, at present, has the working title "The Hunter." It's about a solitary huntsman / trapper on a personal mission to stalk and kill a beast that has ravaged many homesteads and villages. He tracks the beast to a cave and goes in after him. That's when things take a serious left-turn.

Another in progress is called "The Wizard's Assistant." This story is a prequel to the Frankie Falawell series, currently under development. It details the events surrounding a wizard's helper who goes searching for something in a all-but-forgotten storeroom in the wizard's tower. Instead of what he was looking for, he finds something else, much to the dismay of all.

My intention is to release these as narrated videos on my Locals page, which is sitting idle at present.

Wrapping Up

That's the long and short of it at present. The novella has given me an idea for a different story with Halsedric in the lead role. Likewise, "The Hunter" has also given me a few ideas that I am playing around with in my head. So that may become a future project as well.

I know it's a little late in the month to provide a status. It is what it is.

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