Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Red Ice Final Check is done and future plans

Well, Red Ice's final check (from me) is done......

It was like crawling over broken glass. I went over the novel, word by word, making spelling and grammar corrections, cutting words here, adding words there. And I noted every change in another file (I don't have a full-function Word program to use --- I've used WordPerfect 8.0 for years, and I like it. Besides, I don't have the money to buy Word and even if I did, I wouldn't). Below is an example of the changes I made....

Page 3, 3rd Paragraph, 3rd line --- Changed "he'd hadn't" to "he hadn't"
Page 3, 6th Paragraph, 1st line --- Changed "begin" to "begun"
Page 5, 5th Paragraph, 2nd line --- Changed "sub as the" to "sub was the"

I had to note the changes because Rick needed to know what I changed when he makes his final check. So, the manuscript has changes in red, and the second file has entries like the ones above, telling Rick what changes I made, and in a few cases, why I made the changes.

Going over the manuscript word by word is tedious and slow. More than once I was asking myself, "Who the *#&@^ wrote this?" There were many, many changes that had to be made, all types , each one changed and documented like the example above. Sometimes, changes in one place cause a cascading effect down the page, leading to several more corrections that had to be made.

But it's done.

Now, what am I going to do? Well, three things:

  • Work on several Battletech short stories.
  • Continue plotting The Assassin Prince
  • Start plotting my own thriller for NaWriNoMo
So, Red Ice is done, onto the next project(s). I'll be expanding on two of these projects in future posts. (The Battletech stories will be handled in my other blog, The Battletech State)

If you want to read African Firestorm, it's on Amazon and is part of the Kindle Direct program. African Firestorm on Amazon! For those in the UK, click here! Red Ice should be be for sale early in November.

Take care,


Friday, October 9, 2015

Red Ice -- The Final Run-Through

Rich Chesler finished up his part of Red Ice and sent it back to me for my final go through. So, The Assassin Prince outlining has been put aside as I go through Red Ice. It should be simple and straightforward, right? Just read through it again, stamp my approval and send it back, done in a day, right?

Er....Not exactly.

One piece of advice I have always heard that once you finish a story, you set it aside for a period of time before you go back and edit it. This is so you can see the story with fresh eyes and find things you would otherwise miss. It's been a while since I read through Red Ice, and my read through now is. . . .humbling.

I have found so many minor and a couple of less minor mistakes in the first four chapters that it stunned me. Things like missing possessives, wrong tense, extra spaces, missing commas or dashes. In less minor mistakes, I wrote a scene about meeting of four people with five people speaking, and having people smile or scowl while wearing industrial-grade dust masks!

I doubt there are any major plot problems, or Rick would have pointed them out. But this isn't going to be done in a day or two. If the rest of the novel is as error-filled, it's going to take a few more days of reading every line, testing them, and noting changes. Making sure everything is as near perfect as I can make it.

One of the reviews for African Firestorm said the following:

 A fun easy beach read need to be more careful about misspellings, bad grammar. And duplicated words in same sentence. Tighter editing.

Mind you, the reviewer did give it four out of five stars, so the clearly liked it. And to be fair, I didn't do such an intense scrutiny of African Firestorm as I'm doing this time with Red Ice. And the reviews have been great for African Firestorm -- 4.7 Stars out of 5 --- but for some reason, that short, mildly critical review is the one that's stuck with me. So, maybe I'm a lot more critical with Red Ice than I would be otherwise. To the reviewer, if you ever read this, thank you for reminding me that an author's job isn't over when they write the last word of the story -- it is only half the job.

Now, I need to get back to Red Ice.....

If you haven't read African Firestorm, it's on Amazon, but NOT part of the Kindle Direct program (I was wrong about that....) but is part the Kindle Unlimited Program, and is free to Amazon Prime members -- African Firestorm on Amazon For those living in the UK, please click here

Take care,

(The last paragraph has been edited several times in the last ten minutes, due to my incompetence. Will try better next time....)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Outlining The Assassin Prince

For most of the time I've been writing, I've been winging it. Most of my short stories and my attempts at novels have involved me sitting down and banging away at the keyboard with only a few scenes and a vague idea of where the story is going. Fine for short stories (Though I have outlined a few when I pitch for an anthology), no so fine for novels.

One thing that writing both Outcast ops novels is that I need an outline of some sort for a novel. Now these outlines aren't hard and fast -- both African Firestorm and Red Ice have changes from the outline to the first draft, but for the most part, they follow the outline that Rick Chesler and I created.

So, I'm taking that same concept to The Assassin Prince. I am writing a chapter by chapter breakdown of the action in the chapter. I have a few names, some idea of the world-building I need to do, and how the action is going to happen. At this stage, if I come up with a subplot several chapters in, like I did the The Assassin Prince, I can go back in the outline, add a sentence or two in a previous chapter and continue on, adding the subplot when I need to.

I have the first eight-plus chapters plotted and it's going along pretty good. I haven't determined a lot of the background or the details, but right now, it's getting the plot down on paper. Once the plot is down, I can start looking at the details and decide on what to go with for the universe's flavor. I have no idea how long it's going to be -- it will depend on how the story unfolds.

If you want to read African Firestorm, it's on Amazon and is part of the Kindle Direct program. African Firestorm on Amazon! For those in the UK, click here!

Take care,


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Future Plans

Rich Chesler is still working his way through Red Ice, but he's busy juggling several other writing projects and it looks like he won't be able to commit to another Outcast Ops novel in the near future. I may go ahead and outline another OO novel, but it won't be a priority.

So, what does this mean? It means that I am free to work on my own projects and I've already started outlining a fantasy novel, The Assassin Prince, which I hope will be the start of a series I plan to call The Night Blades.

Why the change in genre? A change of pace. I love technothrillers, both reading and writing them, but I also love fantasy and decided was the time to try. It more worldbuilding then with technothrillers, because, it's literally a whole other world that has to be built from scratch. While I wait for Red Ice to be sent back for my look-over, I want to use this blog as a guild to how I build this world.

I won't bother with the African Firestorm updates anymore, but if you want to read it, it's on Amazon and is part of the Kindle Direct program. African Firestorm on Amazon! For those in the UK, click here!