Tag: The Plainsrunner

Sunward – Halftime Report

We’re at the halftime intermission in the writing of Sunward, the final novel in The Plainsrunner trilogy. Time to assess progress and make plans for the second half. It’s what people do, right?

As usual, I’m enjoying writing this book. I always wonder before starting whether it will come easily, and whether I will get swept up in it. As always, the answers are yes. Whenever I sit down in the morning and pick up a pen, the words come. As soon as I get a good opening sentence, I’m good for the day. Also as always, I’m having a lot of fun seeing where the characters want to take me. It’s a case of telling them where we have to be, and then following them around as they take us there. Not that they have completely free rein. Sometimes I have to be firm with them.

I’m glad that I enjoy writing these novels. If I was relying on sales and reviews and other feedback, then I might have lost interest long ago. I got really good responses to the Green Comet trilogy, probably because I actively shared it with a Creative Commons license. With books two and three, I shared them as I wrote them, maintaining the interest of a good body of readers. This second trilogy is another experiment where I’m trying to sell it on commercial sites under a more restrictive copyright. That makes it harder to share, particularly as it is written, and that makes it harder to engage readers. Fortunately, I still enjoy writing, so I’ll keep plugging away. The books might sit on the shelf, possibly for a long time, but it’s not as if they’re going to go bad, is it?

Time to pick up a pen and start writing the second half. Another three or four months to completion.


Working Title – Sunward

My 2019 novel had the working title – The Prime. I ended up publishing it with that title unchanged. Last Fall I formatted it, recorded it and made it available for purchase. Then I took a break and had a nice rest. Now I’ve picked up my pen again and begun writing my 2020 novel with the working title – Sunward. It’s a sequel to The Prime and will be the completion of The Plainsrunner trilogy.

Back on my exercise ball as I write first thing in the morning, it feels pretty good. It’s always a concern when I get back to it. Will it still be there? Will the words still come? I’m happy to report, so far, so good. I gave myself a break, easing into it with 500 words a day. I’ll push it up to 750 next week. That seems to be my natural level.

The sun is shining this morning. We’ve had an unusually warm winter so far. Also, the weather has been bypassing us, dumping snow on areas north of us while leaving us bare and brown. The forecast calls for a cold snap next week. I don’t feel prepared for that.


The Prime – Proofreading Done

I’ve just done my last pass of the proofreading and editing of The Prime. The corrections were getting pretty trivial, so I decided it was time to move on. Now I’m going to try something new with this book. With my previous books I went on from final proofing to formatting the final presentation version of the ebook. Only after that did I record it for the audiobook. My reasoning was that it was a lot easier to make corrections to text than to audio, so don’t do the recording until you have the final text version complete. That is changing this time. I’m going to use the reading and recording as the final proofing. Reading it out loud can sometimes expose errors or awkwardness, so it will give me one last chance to improve it before releasing it into the wild. On the downside, it means a longer wait for publication. On the upside, it means a shorter wait for the audiobook after publication.

There’s something else I have to sort out. The Prime has been my working title, and I’ve begun to think of it as the real title, but I’m not sure about that. I’ve been trying to think of something to replace it with, but nothing is coming to me yet.

No problem, right? Lotsa time.


The Prime — Fulltime Report

I have written the last chapter of The Prime. The novel comes in at about three or four thousand words over the sixty thousand I was aiming for, so that’s not bad. This time, though, I might end up with a net addition of words after the final proofing and editing, rather than the net subtraction I normally have. Restricting myself to so few words might have resulted in leaving some areas a little sparse. That increases my respect for authors like Robert B. Parker and Elmore Leonard who seem to be able to do it with ease.

Next up is proofreading and polishing this last part of the book, then I’ll be doing the same to the whole novel. I think I’ll be taking some time away from it before that, though, to see if I can come to it with fresh eyes. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like as a whole. Like an artist stepping back from the canvas after doing the close work.

Heads up, Tallgrass, here I come.


The Prime – Three-Quarter Report

Credit B4bees – CC-BY

I have been writing my current novel, The Prime, for four and a half months, and I’m three-quarters finished. Time for another report.

Unlike my last book, The Plainsrunner, this one isn’t being shared in a serialization as I write it. Serialization was good and I enjoyed it, but it was a lot of work, and the effort didn’t result in much return. Not many sales, no reviews, and I was left feeling, “What’s the point?”

I’m enjoying writing The Prime, but it still feels strange to not be sharing it as we go. The first one, Green Comet, was released whole and complete, but the second one, Parasite Puppeteers, was released as eight extensions, and the third one, The Francesians, as four. I discovered as I went that there’s a lot of work involved in proofing and formatting and releasing and announcing several different versions of a story, and four is easier than eight. Now, with The Prime, it looks as if I’ve brought it down to zero. Right back to the first one.

So, what am I enjoying about writing The Prime? What I always enjoy about writing. Thinking every day about the growing story and watching it develop as I write it, seeing what happens next. Learning more about my characters as I get to know them better. Showing them where we’re going, and following along as they take us there. And sometimes reining them in as they head off in directions of their own. It’s a bit lonelier this time, writing the whole thing without sharing it as we go, but a writer’s life is supposed to be a lonely one, isn’t it?

Three-quarters done. So far, so good. Another couple of months of writing, then the proofing, preparing it for publication and recording it. Oh yeah, and deciding if this image is right for it.


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