WIP: What Comes Next

Any day with a new book out is freaking awesome.


Working late to get Angel of Death into the publishing queues caused my morning to be late. One of my missions this week is to begin getting up at 6:00 no matter what happens. I did my morning routine, then spent a lot of the day composing the release notice and making updates as Angel of Death went live in various places. I also spent a lot of time figuring out and committing to what comes next, as described below. In the afternoon I got my daughter and, because it was just the two of us again, did the homework, dinner, bath, reading, and whatnot evening routine. And late at night I took a long walk and had an adult beverage to celebrate the release of another book.

What Comes Next

Releasing Angel of Death is nice, but in truth I am far behind where I wanted to be by now. A long time ago, I crafted a plan and ordered my work for maximum effect. Time has slipped away, and the end of October is a very firm deadline. Ouch.

Just for fun, here are the projects that are coming next, along with why I need to do them at all and in this particular order.

 [Cover of Vampires Versus Comicon: A Novel by T.F. Torrey] Vampires Versus Comicon. I need to finish this book immediately because it should have been done months ago. Now, it has a big promotional push slated for December, and the next in the series for the spring, so it needs to be done pronto. Also, my secret projects will have big marketing pushes, and this book, together with Zombies, is part of the Comicon series, and you can’t have a series with only one book.

My Dad and Me and Jack Swilling. The characters in my secret project books refer to this book, so it needs to be written. Also, it was supposed to be written months or years ago, and putting it off until after the secret projects might ruin everything.

Secret Project #1. This book of political satire has a window of timeliness that is closing fast. It should have been done years ago, and it’s now or never. The second and third secret project books refer to this book, so it has to be done here.

Secret Project #2. Like the first secret project book, this one should have been done years ago, and it’s now or never. The third secret project book refers to this book, so this has to be done here.

Secret Project #3. While I don’t think it is absolutely critical for this book to be released before November, I do think that the three secret project books will feed into each other’s success and all will be bigger if they are released in close proximity. Incidentally, there are more books planned in the secret project series, but only these three need to be done by November. If all goes well, two more will be done by the end of the year.

Now, in my entire life, I have finished only nine book-length works of fiction. Is it really plausible to produce more than half that total again in the next nine weeks? Yes, it is. For one thing, for most of my entire life, I didn’t know exactly how to write a book. Not knowing how makes it take a lot longer. I do know now. Also, all these books have been development for months or years. I know what happens in them; I just need to write it down.

The process is rather straightforward. All my books have 24 chapters, because I think that’s the perfect number of chapters for a book, so I know how many chapters these books will have. I just need to write them. Writing a 24-chapter book in two weeks means two chapters a day (leaving two days for the proofreading afterward). That’s not so bad. I also know that the books will have a minimum of 48,000 words, though most will probably be nearer to 72,000 words, and 96,000 words is probably the maximum any might have. That means each chapter will average from 2,000 to 3,000 to 4,000 words. Thus, two chapters a day means between 4,000 and 8,000 words a day. That’s well into pulp speed, but it isn’t crazy. At a typing speed of 1,000 words per hour (which I usually get when I’m into it), that’s 4-8 hours a day of typing. Can I do that for 9 weeks? Of course I can.

When I put it like that, you might wonder why I haven’t done it already. The answer is that the time was not right. I had interruptions, and I thought that mattered. I had not yet developed my perfect story structure. I had not yet discovered how to create the perfect cast. Most of all, I thought it couldn’t be done. I believed in the myths that Dean Wesley Smith debunks on his blog. Now, not only do I know it can be done, I know how to do it, and thus, I know I can do it.

I’ve added the books with their due dates to my book progress plugin, which displays them on the sidebar. I want to make sure each has at least the first chapter done in the next few days, and it will be fun to watch the books progress as the days roll by.

The deadline is approaching fast. It’s now or never. I have to do it. Butt in chair, fingers typing. No excuses.

No sweat.