Writing Update: March 11, 2011

My writing updates lately have been a victim of events in my life.  In my last update, I lamented how I was falling behind because my kids were sick and I had just had a bunch of dental work done.  Well a day later, I got the nasty bug, and that floored me for almost a week.  Of course, I had the MAN version of this bug, which isn’t to say that what the kids had wasn’t bad, because it was horrific, but you know, men just get these things worse.  It’s a law of nature.

It took me until the middle of last week to get through the major edit of Army of the Risen I was working on.  I ended up pulling out four complete chapters, and writing one new one.  I also moved a major reveal from the last chapters to earlier in the book, as my readers had a hard time understanding the book without it.  Overall, I think the edit was quite successful.  It’s amazing to me to see how much my writing style changed (and improved) between the first half of the book, written in spring 2010, and the second half, written in fall 2010 after working with Jason Black on The Forgotten Road.  Jason’s feedback taught me so much about writing, and I still highly recommend his services for any author who has plateaued in their writing.

I then spent a few days working on some writing career plans, laying our goals for when I plan on writing what, and working on marketing plans for both myself and my books.  It’s an exercise in futility to plan to far into the future, because I know the gods laugh at people who make plans.  But the process of setting out those goals helped me to work through some things, both practical aspects of writing and life in general, and doing it helped me to transition from someone who just writes for enjoyment with a hope of it maybe becoming something someday, to someone who now considers writing to be part of my professional career, where in the not too distant future there is the possibility of it turning into something that generates, dare I say it, income.  Whether that be writing short stories or magazine articles or more books, time will tell.  I just now know where I need to focus my energy and have some idea of what I need to do to turn my dreams into reality.

For the last few days, I’ve been doing one more read through of Army of the Risen.  I was going to shelve the whole book for a few months and come back to it with fresh eyes, but something in one of the chapters bothered me enough that I had to know how the book read as a whole.  This pass was much quicker than the last one, and I believe the book is much , much better than the original version.  I sent it to my wife’s Kindle last night, so at some point I imagine she’ll give me feedback.  Then, we’ll see.

As for what’s next, as I said, the gods have a way of laughing at those who make plans.  I was going to resume working on my next book, Labeled, but something tells me that may not be in the cards.  I’ll decide this weekend.  For now, I’m going to take a couple of days off, read a couple of books, and take care of some stuff around the house.  Because there is always more work to do there.

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