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.
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.
Eventually, work on a project comes to an end. Today was one of those days.
Arose early because school day, morning routine, the usual. Spent the quiet hours writing new material, though not as quickly as I need to. Picked up the little girl, dinner, bath, stories. In the evening, I worked on getting Angel of Death out the door. It took much longer than I planned, but in the end, I won.
Vampires Versus Comicon
This book is information-dense, and again today I struggled to make sure I was relaying everything in the narrative that the reader needs to know for later. Ultimately, though I got good results, I didn’t make anywhere near the forward progress I need to every day.
Pulp speed level one is about three thousand words per day. That isn’t unreasonable, and it’s the minimum pulp speed level. If I can hit just that level, I can get the things I want to do done.
Must do it starting tomorrow. No excuses.
Angel of Death
Late at night I worked to tie off all the loose ends needed to get Angel of Death published and into the world. It took a lot longer than I expected, but doesn’t everything?
For a long time, I’ve been planning to upgrade all my copywriting and marketing materials: author bio, calls to action, free book offer, book descriptions, and more. I found interesting guidance on these upgrades in a variety of sources, and I decided that I wanted these upgrades finished before releasing Angel of Death. Tonight I finalized the general upgrades, as well as the project upgrades for Winter Kills and Angel of Death. The changes are live for Angel of Death now. Winter Kills will go live probably tomorrow.
At last, with this done, I finalized the epub for Angel of Death and uploaded it to Amazon, Barnes and Noble’s NookPress, and Kobo. These take some time to go live, but they should be live by Tuesday afternoon, at which time I’ll also add Smashwords to the mix and announce the publication.
It was a ton of late-night work, but I’m so happy that it’s done and Angel of Death is on its way to the world. It’s been a long journey.
Up early-ish, still working toward morning-person status. Tried to migrate my website to a new host, a process which took much longer than necessary and ultimately still did not work. Finally got some good work done to launch Angel of Death. Went to play in a poker tournament. Came back energized, so I worked again on the Angel of Death launch for way too late. Gotta stop doing that.
Angel of Death
In the past, it has been my practice to just publish my books without much of a launch process. Most of the time, I’ve been in such a hurry to get the books out that I’ve only dashed off the descriptions and metadata, figuring I’d come back and upgrade things later. That hasn’t worked well for me. I want to upgrade my launch process.
So, today I worked on the copywriting for Angel of Death, as well as new copywriting for Winter Kills. I’m starting with the Victor Storm books so I can launch Angel of Death by Thursday or Friday, but before I’m done within a week or so, I will have revamped the copywriting for all my books and other material . I believe this will be a good boost to my business of writing books for a living.
Up early to get the little girl off to catch the bus. Got on a roll doing the work to finish Angel of Death. I didn’t get it done before my ladies were back from school and work, but as always, progress is addictive, and I found ways to get back to it in the evening. All in all, it was a great day.
Angel of Death
For the writing, the opening of this book is like the opening of others in that it takes a lot of mental energy to devise, write, and check because, apart from the events taking place, all of the context of the story has to be described. This makes the beginning of a story feel heavy to me in the writing. From about the midpoint on, however, the context is established, and less and less has to be described to keep the reader grounded, and the story feels lighter and better all the way to the end. I don’t perceive this when I read other people’s books, though they have the same tasks in storytelling that I do, and I never have the experience of reading my own books without knowing everything going on in the telling. The net result is that I’m not really sure if this perception means I’m doing something wrong. Weird.
Anyway, this story really gets rolling as it goes. Finally, late at night, I completed the proofreading and final editing phases. That leaves only publishing, and the only thing holding that up is writing the synopsis. That will be done first thing in the morning, and I will be turning my attention back to the vampires. I’m very happy that I will finally be sharing it with people. It’s been a long time. If you’ve been waiting for the sequel to Winter Kills, your wait is almost over.
Another day of progress toward the goal. Maybe I’ll get there.
Up early-ish again. Morning routine, some good work, visited my parents, some more good work, ran a poker tournament, tired, to bed early-ish. I’d say that I’m getting closer to my early rising goal, except that I had a conversation with a friend wherein we talked about being life-long, irredeemable, night people. We’ll see.
Angel of Death
This was a good day of steady progress, with work fit into the spaces of the day. I did slip from making proofreading changes to making some editorial changes, and, frustratingly, I found toward the end of the day why I had been done things the other way the first time. It isn’t a terribly big deal, but it bothers me, so I may go back and change most of that back.
The new Saturday looks like the old Saturday. So far, anyway.
Up earlier, so that was good. Morning routine, some work, ran a poker tournament, tired, some more work. The goal is to get up early enough that I have time to get good work done and spend some time with my daughter before the poker tournament. Closer today, next week, I hope.
Angel of Death
Since I finished this book, I have worried about my decision to modify my original plan and change Spring Rains into Angel of Death (and others). When I consider how far the work was from my original vision, when I put the work into the context of the series, when I look at the plots and subplots in the content I produced, and when I consider what fits best into my concept for the series, I know that creating Angel of Death out of that was the right thing to do. It isn’t even close.
However, since I did that, I have had the nagging feeling that the book isn’t good enough, that its quirks make it ugly, that I made it stupid. More than once I’ve had the feeling that I should shelve the project until I can rewrite it.
Today, however, I realized that this is what Dean Wesley Smith calls my “critical brain” doing what it does: trying to stop the creation of a piece of work. Recognizing the source of those urges helps me to ignore them and to finish the task. All the usual reasons apply.
As always, I recognize that, no matter what, some people will like the book, and many more will not. That’s just the way it goes. Ultimately, what matters most is whether I like how it turned out. As long as I’m happy with it, that’s literally all that matters.
And as I make this last pass through it, I’m liking it a lot.
Got a little extra rest today, so at least I didn’t feel exhausted all day. I went to my regular meeting in the afternoon, which ran long because we couldn’t stop rehashing the Trump meltdown and I couldn’t stop raving about Hamilton.
By today, I had made the decision (again) that, in order to maximize my production in this critical time until the end of the year, I would 1) keep my website on WordPress (and stop evaluating static alternatives), and 2) not get into the complexities of selling books or anything else from my own website. Further, I decided to use DreamHost’s DreamPress for my website, to maximize the presentation to visitors and readers and to minimize the maintenance involved.
And what happens when a protagonist decides to do something worthwhile? Immediately the universe throws up an obstacle, of course. It’s the “gut check” phenomenon I wrote about a few days ago. Migrating my website should have taken an hour, two at most. However, first my domain name was “stuck” or something in their system and I had to contact their support to get things to work. Then the installer got stuck, and support had left for the day, and it took me a while to be sure that I did not have the necessary access to fix the problem myself.
Angel of Death
Once again, I did not make the progress I hoped for. I made some, though. This book feels like it gets into a good flow. My number one goal when I write a book is to make sure that I’m happy with it, and I’m happy with this one.
My number two goal, however, is to get it done quickly, with massive daily effort.
It feels like I have abundant room for improvement on that goal.
If I understand it correctly, days like this is why my hero recommends not doing writing in public posts. He may have a point.
Another day of getting up on schedule, but feeling dead tired all day because I’m not acclimated yet. I’ll get it under control. Unfortunately, there is no part of writing books that goes well when you try to do it feeling dead tired.
Angel of Death
I did get some good work done on Angel of Death today, and I’m happy to report that it really is a good book. Though my sense is that it starts a little rough, it definitely gets into a good groove that runs to the end. However, I’m appalled at how many continuity errors, which stemmed from when I rearranged the pieces into this book, remained in the text. I think they broke one of my proofreaders. That stinks. Hopefully I can get this done by tomorrow. Again.
This is what I’ve been waiting for. Time for pulp speed.
Up early again, but not well rested because I stayed up late like an idiot. The little girl wanted to ride the bus to school, so I walked her to the stop and got her on the bus and waved goodbye, first time ever. Makes me a little crazy.
Worked my plan during the day, with too much distraction by the awesomeness of Hamilton. Side note: to be sure of getting tickets to the show when it comes to Gammage next year, you have to buy season tickets this year, and then next year as well. Today we did the first half of that: three season tickets. We’re absolutely taking the little girl, though by then she’ll be in first grade. :-/
Angel of Death
I want to change how I measure and report my work, because I want to build up to pulp speed quickly, and reporting progress here creates accountability. I continued the proofreading process today, but did not complete it. Tomorrow, I hope.