It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been so very caught up in other activities and to be honest I’ve been resting on my self-created laurels since I released Craobh.
Well, I have good news. Stoc is now being written and I’ve thrown together about 15,000 words. The prologue and first two chapters are complete in the first draft. It is consuming me and the story needs to get out! I can tell it will be a long novel (~135,000 words) and I am starting to think that perhaps I need to push some into the fourth novel, Freamhaigh. This happened to me with Duilleog. With Craobh not so much. Anyway, this is a series after all. I’m pretty excited about Stoc. It gets much more worldly. Up until now, I’ve left the storyline with Will and few others. I’ve hinted at a larger underlying theme but Stoc exposes it. I am so excited to finally be able to write about it and nervous as heck to reveal it. Gaea will guide me, I hope!
Changing tack: A curious thing happened over at Amazon.com to me. All my five-star reviews for Duilleog disappeared. I have a new one (thanks, R. Sailor!), but find it strange the others disappeared. I’ll have to ask Amazon what happened.
Speaking of reviews. If you’ve read my novels please be kind and leave a review on Amazon. Reviews are what pushes my novels into more mainstream. Good or bad, please take the time. Being a self-published author (or Indie Author if you prefer that) is hard work. Writing the novels is so much easier (and fun) than the marketing piece. I spend hours and hours every week on social media trying to get the word out. So help a dude out and spread the word and leave a review!
A third volume will now be added to the New Druids Series. It seems that it is growing in size in my head. I had epiphany flying back to DC Friday night while I was working on what I thought was the second volume, Stoc, when I realised that I had enough storyline in my head to push half of what I had forward into a third volume.
This has the added benefit of making the book progression more in line with the journey that the protagonist, Will Arbor, is undertaking.
It should make for a better tale in the end. Otherwise, the story would be too rushed. You see I have an outline of where I want the story to finish up with Will Arbor. As I was writing Stoc I realised that I was flying through his discovery of his powers and I needed to spend more time exploring that aspect before I rushed willy-nilly to the conclusion of this part of the tale.
So now I get to introduce the “new” second novel, Craobh, and the “new” third novel, Stoc.
As an aside: If anyone is wondering where I came up with these titles well wonder no longer. In old Irish, the parts of a tree are named duilleog for the leaf, craobh for the branch, stoc for the trunk (think stalk), and freamhaigh for the root.
It is so easy to write a story, surprisingly. It takes time. Yes, it does, but, it is a labour of love. Imagine you have a hobby you love to do, like trains, or reading or video games. You crave doing that hobby. It makes you happy. So it is with writing. But, it is hard to get it right if I want to let others see what I have done. To make sure that what you set up a hundred pages ago still makes sense to a reader. When you write you are supposed to create an outline and work from that but like any confrontation with the enemy your original, well-reasoned, outline will not stand up. You need to adjust and manipulate. And adjust and manipulate. Go back time and again and rip out what you thought was brilliant writing and throw it away. Those moments hurt. But, the good news is that it is YOUR story and YOUR imagination. There are no limits to what you can achieve. Then find a good editor to file away the rough edges. Then publish and get your armour on.
The New Druid Series has new covers for Volumes One and Two. Minor changes to Duilleog and a sneak peak at the cover for Stoc! For those still interested in the process, I have learned some new things about Scrivener specific to supporting multiple eBook formats and paperback formats. In case you didn’t realise each company has their own unique requirements for eBooks. Amazon requires specific formats for their eBooks’ (Mobi format), Kobo and Nook require specific formats for their eBooks (ePub format). And CreateSpace on Amazon requires some very specific formatting to ensure that the printed novel looks professional. It is all very, very time consuming for a noobie author like me to wade through. All perfectly fun for an anal retentive, OCD-ish, Navy officer who likes everything prim, proper and shipshape. What a fun hobby this is!
Today I also waded into the realm of royalties and the rules and trying to intentionally lower my expectations. It is further complicated by my living in the US, but not being a US citizen who pays US taxes, and trying to register my novels as a Canadian without a Canadian address. Bleah. Thank you, mom and dad for unknowingly letting me use your address as a temporary Canadian one until I move back this August!
Duilleog is still with the editor and I hope to get it back in a week or so. Luckily I discovered that I had unintentionally deleted Chapter Ten and so my editors didn’t have it in their hands. That was quickly fixed after a moment of panic when I saw it truly was gone from the Scrivener binder. But no worries! Have I told you how wonderful Scrivener is? Well, there was my chapter, sitting in the trash bin. Scrivener never truly deletes anything. I am obviously not the first author who has done something equally stupid and Scrivener is ready for that.
I am getting through my first revision much faster than I expected it would take. And, surprisingly, it is actually fun. I thought I would be slicing and dicing but in reality I am adding content more than I am taking away. I also found a small plot problem so that works.
Duilleog (Volume One) looks like it will be around 100,000 words – or about 250 paperback pages. That seems reasonable for a first novel. I have decided, today, to include an excerpt from the second volume in it at the end: As an incentive to buy the second one, don’t you know. All-in-all its positive progress!
What I wish is that a free editor-person would fall out the sky and say “I’ll professionally edited your book for freeeeeeee!” That would be something!