Posts Tagged ‘The Wasteland Chronicles’

I haven’t had much in the way of news lately, as I’ve been busy writing and working. But now, I’ve just finished my third book in The Wasteland Chronicles. This one is titled Evolution.

Some fun facts about writing this book:

1. This book wasn’t supposed to exist to begin with. Now, it kind of does.

2. Originally, the Wasteland Chronicles was only supposed to be a series of four novellas that could all be considered to be a large novel. Now, it’s going to be a series of seven novellas that can be seen as an absolutely colossal novel.

3. I originally tried to plan this whole thing out from the beginning using a super detailed outline. I got word 30,000 of said outline, only to scrap ten thousand words of it and throw my outline out the window. I guess I truly learned what type of writer I am. I am a pantser all the way!

4. From beginning to end, Evolution took the least amount of time to write. It might mean I’m getting better at this, I’m not sure. I’m certainly learning that I can write a lot faster than I used to.

5. The word count of the first draft is almost, almost, 50,000 words. I was actually expecting it to be much higher than that, and it will probably come out to be more in the end, especially if I decided to add any scenes.

6. As it stands now, the entire word count for the series is about 142,000 words. The series is about halfway done.

Hopefully, I can get this bad boy edited, smack it on the bottom, and publish it as soon as possible. It would be amazing if I could have the whole series done before the year is out. I think I can manage it, but I’ll have to write like a madman to finish three books in the intervening time.

My next project will probably be a prequel, entitled Darkness, and then it’s on to the last two books of the series, Extinction and Xenofall.

Finishing the first draft of a book is always a good feeling! Now to celebrate with…something, perhaps.

Well, I have not posted in a while, so here it is. A post.

Writing wise, I’m starting book 3, Extinction, and so far I’m really liking it. Just the way the book is set up, I can jump into the action immediately. I’m about 4,000 words in, and if the stars align, I’ll be setting pretty at 10,000 by the end of Sunday. I’m hoping to get into a good flow.

I’m pretty excited about this one. It’s going to be long, I can feel it. The characters have a lot of things to do, and they are not easy things. I would not be surprised at all if this one clocks in at 70,000 words or more.

This book will be very different from either Apocalypse or Origins. One, there will not be as many monsters. Or at least, I don’t think there will be. Actually…yes. There will be monsters, because monsters are cool. Scratch the entire beginning of this paragraph.

In this one, all the world building that’s been alluded to in previous books will come out in full force. The characters will be traveling to all the places mentioned, like the Empire, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. I’m very excited to explore not just these areas, but also the people that inhabit them. From Book 1 to Book 2, the world of the Wasteland expanded. Book 3 will be the same, and in fact the characters will spend the majority of their time outside the Wasteland. The pace will be a bit slower. Slower might not be the right word. Maybe thicker? I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Kind of like Book 2, Book 3 will very much be a Point A to Point B to Point C quest-type of book. Quest books are fun (think Lord of the Rings), but they can suffer predictability, because you know exactly where the characters will end up on the different legs of their journey. Hopefully I can find some way to mix it up…and just now writing this, it’s jogged my brain into thinking of the solution that creates more problems. Problems=good, as far as storytelling goes.

There will still be plenty of action – that’s sort of what Books 1 and 2 are about. But I’m not going to allow myself to rush too much. I think Book 3 is where The Wasteland Chronicles will finally find its heart, somehow. I’m not outlining anything, but am just going along with what’s in my head currently, hoping that I can surprise myself along the way.

In fact, outside of what I’ve written down just now, I don’t know much about Book 3. I have a feeling it could be the best one yet, and it is possible the scope of it might force a splitting into two books. Hopefully, I don’t have to do that, as it would mean my five book series would now be a six books series. But there’s something about the number six that does seem right for how long a series is…and that would give me a chance to use my alternate title for Book 4, and in that case Book 5 would take Book 4’s current title. Sorry if that was confusing.

Actually maybe I should do six books now…or not? I don’t know. We’ll see how long this one is, and if there is a logical place to split up the two. Definitely if it creeps up to 80,000 words, I’ll want to split it in half, which means the next time I release a book, I would probably be releasing two at the same time.

Actually, now that I mention that, I really, really like that idea. Hopefully it works out, or maybe that’s just the coffee talking.

I know for sure that I will not be releasing a 90,000 word novel. I want to keep each installment short, between 40 to 60 thousand words, because I like the episodic nature of the books. I think novellas work really well on Kindle.

A couple days earlier than expected, I’ve released Origins.

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In this book, the team continues on their mission to discover the origins of the xenovirus, and it has some very surprising twists, especially toward the end.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, and am ready to start Book 3 as soon as I know how to proceed.

You can find the book here.

Now that I’ve finished the fourth draft of Origins, I am somewhat twiddling my thumbs. The break is good and well-earned, but I find myself wondering about my next thing. There’s a fantasy novella I halfway wrote about a year ago that I’d like to revisit. Some ideas have been developing in my head on that front. It would be a good break from the Wasteland, as writing Origins was more work than I expected. In the end, I think that was a good thing. It taught me to not underestimate the amount of work necessary to do a good job…or at least what I hope is a good job.

One of my beta readers has already read it. She got back to me within two days and let me know she really liked it and it was better than the first. This is really encouraging because I had no idea whether it was good or bad. Her feedback is having me rethink one of the characters and I already have some ideas churning in my head that I’ll need to sleep on. It would maybe add 5,000 words to the story and a reworking of the ending. Not that the current ending is bad, per se, but this would make it much better. Whenever there’s a trilogy, or in my case a four book series, there needs to be a dark moment where all seems lost. I’ve thought of a way to raise the stakes way higher than I had them before in terms of the characters and their relationships. Only thing is, I don’t know if I can pull it off, yet.  It could be the case that I write that scene in my next book, but I think it could work here as well.

I don’t know, my thoughts are kind of skewed on it, so we’ll see.

In the meantime I’ll be thinking of what to do next. Eventually I’d like to do a map and a glossary, and possibly appendices, that would go more in depth into the world of the Wasteland, its critters, and the science of how it all works. Not real science, this is fiction after all, but I’d like there to be more of a basis for how it all works. I’d have to sci-ency research stuff so I don’t sound like a complete imbecile, but I’m fine by that. This extra stuff would be about twenty thousand words or so, maybe longer.

I’ve also been thinking about doing a prequel to Apocalypse. I have title called Darkness in my mind, and it would follow the story of Alex’s grandfather and father during the Dark Decade, ending with them being holed up in Bunker 108.

I think a prequel could be very cool. It would add a lot of depth to a time period only alluded to in the series: what would it be like for the whole world to watch its demise approach in the form of a meteor over ten years? If nothing else, it would make interesting speculative fiction. A prequel would give me the opportunity to explore that.

I don’t know if I would write that one next, or after all is said and done. It would make the series five books total, and probably 200,000 words (or more). Appendices included, more than that.

I think adding a bestiary (nerd alert!) for all the different kind of monsters found in the Wasteland would be really cool. And there a lot of critters, and more are being added as I think of them. Apocalypse contained some infected wolves and ,of course infected, people, not counting plants, but the virus does some pretty crazy things to Earth life in book 2.

I think having all that done by the end of this year would be very, very cool. And granted I do get it all done, I will be a much better writer at the end of it. I can go on to something else that’s even better than this. Hopefully.

The perfect end to this year would be to have all (prospectively) five books in one volume, available in both e-format and physical format, with maps, appendices, and a glossary, as well as having them available as separate titles, with some slick formatting, a table of contents., and NO typos…typos shall always and forevermore be my bane, Achilles tendon, and kryptonite, pick your cliche. However, the prospect of doing all that is exciting. I’d like to hold a book thicker than War & Peace in my hand and say, “Yeah. This book thing. I wrote it. BAZINGA!”

Although, War & Peace is about 550k words, or so I hear, so it would still be twice as long as anything I wrote. It’s the principle that matters, folks!

And, there is always my romance novel I want to write. I have more ideas than I know what to do with. I guess an overabundance of ideas is a good thing for a writerly fellow like me.

Well, I did it. I completed my fifth book (it’s fifth I think?), and soon-to-be published third book.

Origins was a lot of fun to write. A lot of fun. Probably the most fun of any book I’ve written. I think the beginning is kind of slow…but once it hits word 20,000 it really picks up.

Then again, I don’t think I can tell until I go back and read it. I hope to have it finished and online by March 31. I hope. I know editing is a very, very long process. There might be problems with content or plot I wasn’t aware of while writing. All these things will reveal themselves, but I promised myself and my readers that it would be out in March, and I’m trying my best to meet that goal.

The good news is, the raw product is there and it just needs to be refined. It’s a lot longer than I originally planned it. It’s technically a novel now, and not a novella, at about 54,000 words. I needed that much to tell the story without rushing it – yet at the same time, some of it might be superfluous and can be cut. Like I said before, I need to read it first to see. I guess readers will get more bang for their buck, and it sort of addresses the semi-complaints that the first was too short (although, I meant it to actually be shorter).

I’m excited to go back and edit it. That might sound weird, but I’m really interested in seeing how the story actually reads. I’ll probably break from it for a couple of days…maybe more. I wish I could for at least two weeks, only I don’t really have the time for it. I really want to get started and have it done as quickly as possible.

For better or worse, Origins is here.

It’s 5:43 a.m. and 70 people are already requesting a copy of Apocalypse on Goodreads! That’s way more than I expected and I’m very thrilled. It also says 38 people marked it to read! And a got a good review on Amazon on both Night of the Necromancer and Apocalypse!

If you haven’t yet you should head on over to Goodreads, click on “recently listed giveaways” under the explore tab and enter to win an autographed copy of The Wasteland Chronicles!

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Link is here.

I got home yesterday at about 4:00 after a trip to Wally World. I got off work at the very early hour of 3, and was already trying to stifle some jaw-cracking yawns. When I got home, I ate dinner and started to read. By 5:30, I was out like a light.

Then, 4:30 came around. I had just slept eleven hours.

I have no idea how I slept that long. The last time I slept like that, I was probably a little kid. This isn’t the first time…on Monday or Tuesday, I was in bed by 7:30.

I now have a job where I move around a lot – lifting, walking probably five miles a day (maybe even more). I’ve definitely lost a bit of weight. It’s hard for me to decide whether I like it or not. If there is one positive, I’m getting plenty of exercise, and I don’t have problems sleeping anymore. I can always depend on my brain to mentally exhaust itself because I’m a nonstop thinker, but up until now that physical element was missing. Even when I was running a lot, I probably did not burn as much overall calories as I do now on a day to day basis.

Anyway to quote Mr. Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. In other news, my paperback edition for Apocalypse came in (version two), and so far everything looks great. I think this one will for real will be available for purchase very, very soon, and I’ll probably be hosting my first Goodreads giveaway next week – which is very exciting. I haven’t done anything promo-related for a while, being tired and working on finishing my sequel and such.

The sequel is coming along quite nicely. I hit 24,139 words this morning, and discovered a plot element that’s going to even make the stakes higher. I didn’t really plan on adding this in until today, but it hits all the marks. It expands the world I’m creating, it makes a new threat to the main character and his mission, and overall just provides a more compelling story.

I’ve been working on the book for two or three weeks, and hopefully I’m still on track to have it online in March, the time I set for myself.

Has it really been three days since I’ve posted? Yes, I guess it has.

I’ve been very tired lately – and busy too, I guess. I finally reached the point in my novella that I’ve been waiting for. The apocalypse team is on the road again, saying goodbye to raider town. It took near twenty thousand words for them to get there, about twice as many as I expected. How much of that stays remains to be seen when I go back over it.

Already they’re running into a lot of trouble on the road. They’ve already downed a giant, zombified, troll-like thing and there’s a lot worse waiting ahead of them.

If I stick to my 40,000 word goal, then I guess I would be halfway done with the first draft. Only…this one might go even longer. It’s always hard to tell. If it does end up being very long, I might decide to split it into two books – but it would have to go 25,000 to 30,000 words over my goal for me to decide to do that. The upside of that would be is you wouldn’t have to wait three months for the sequel to come out.

I’m just anxiously waiting for the paperback copy to be ready so I can start doing giveaways. I just can’t wait until book two is finally out and the cover art is done and all that jazz.

Oh yeah, I turned 25 yesterday. I think in my high school/college days, my imagination pictured me already having six wildly successful books by now. I’m just now realizing the amount of work is required, and I’m just now starting to take to it. In the past two months and a half, I’ve definitely done more writing-wise than at any other time of my life. I have focus like I never have before, which is great. I’d like to think it’s something special I did, but we all know it’s probably just coffee. I just wished I had learned all these things two years ago, instead of now, when the e-book market was smaller and it was a bit easier to get established. But I still think there is plenty of room for someone who is talented and is willing to put in the work…and hopefully I am both of those things.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m still writing every day – which is far ahead of where I was a couple months ago.

I’m starting to realize more and more how hard it is to make it in this business. There is so much competition, yet at the same time, you can’t focus on the competition and you just have to concentrate on your own stories and make them the best they can possibly be. For someone like me, who’s in the learning stage, I’m going to make mistakes still. This might sound strange to say, but thankfully my ego is just big enough to still think I have a shot of being noticed. I still know I do, and I’m glad for that.

I think I’m getting better, little by little. KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is a good training ground. It’s also good because there’s a chance you can make money there. I say “chance” because writing is never a sure thing. There is a strange mix, in varying degrees, of skill, work, and luck. I can’t control how many people buy my books, but I can control how much I write. I can control my skill and my work by writing every day, and as they say, luck favors the prepared. I’m hoping to do be done with book two by March, and I think I can make that goal. I hope to take a hearty bite out of it this weekend, and for the most part it seems to be writing itself.

Writing is a slow game, and I think working a job inspires me to keep trying, even if I wish I had more time to do what I love. When someone tells me they like my book, or if someone I don’t know reviews it on Amazon and says it goods, it makes it all worth it, in a way.

I think Apocalypse might be the best thing I’ve written, not in the sense that it’s amazing, but it is decent. It is good enough. There are some mistakes in there that I would change in the future – the beginning is a bit slow, the ending a bit rushed, some people die off without getting due resolution (which happens in real life, but not often in fiction life). One reviewer said it was dark, but I guess that’s what you get when it’s an apocalypse. That’s kind of what I was going for, anyway. I wanted my main character, Alex, to be reduced to nothing but the clothes on his back, and I think I accomplished that.

All the same, Apocalypse is the best-plotted thing I’ve written, and it has an interesting world. The characters didn’t develop as much as I would have liked them to, but they were developed enough for the purposes of the story. Things are getting a little more tense in book two (I might post some text from it later).

I think Origins will be better than Apocalypse. It has a darker vibe to it, if that even makes sense. In it, the darkness and senseless pain of the world will be made all the more apparent, and Alex will have to deal with it. It will also foreshadow books three and four (yes, there will be four now), where the game will change completely. Everything is just going to get bigger and bigger, until the final showdown at the end.

This writing thing has its ups and downs, I’m gonna have to learn to live with it better. This morning was definitely an up, when I awoke to find a few sales and a new review, making 10 people who have now reviewed my book.

Generally, there’s standard on the Kindle forums that says for every 750 books you sell, you get one review, and every 1500 you give away, you get one review. I definitely have not sold that amount yet, so it’s encouraging to get so much feedback when it really hasn’t hit the world yet.

Most of these reviews tend to be four stars, although I did get my first three star that made a valid point I agree with (the three stars are the toughest ones). And I know if this thing grows, I’ll be getting some one and two stars (probably about grammar or the darker elements in the plot, or the slow beginning). I’ve never gotten a review that low before, but I have to be ready for them when they come.

I resubmitted a new file yesterday that fixed a lot typos that were sadly still hanging about (yes, I’ll mention it again – I’m getting a copyeditor next time around). It’s very important to me for me to have a quality story as error free as possible. I know that only exists in a perfect world, but hopefully it’s something that improves with time as I continue to learn.

And now, I’m going to jump back into Origins. It’s been really encouraging to read all of the reviews that say that Apocalypse is a very good, action-packed story – which is what I’m going for. I’m hoping Origins, book two in the series, will have that same action, but a little more room for character development as well.