What I’m Working on Now

Before I start the new series, there’s been something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’m going back to rework Apocalypse a bit, and I don’t think it will take too long, and frankly, it’s been long overdue.

Apocalypse was my first novel (first published novel, anyway) and I think it really shows. Of all the Wasteland books, it’s probably the weakest, in terms of clunky dialogue, lack of description, plot holes, so on and so forth.

The original book totals about 40,000 words, but this is turning into a complete rewrite. From what I’ve added so far, the book is now 63,000 words and they haven’t even gotten out of the Bunker yet! I have no idea if I’ll actually publish the new version, but I’m going to dedicate another week or two to the rewrite and see where it leads. Part of me hesitant about posting an updated version, because what’s published now might be working really well. Then again, if I go back and make it better, it will give people a better reading experience. Unless, of course, I mess everything up with the rewrite. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

I wrote Apocalypse not really knowing what would happen later, including new characters that would be introduced. For that reason, Lauren and Ruth will be making appearances in the Bunker scenes. Alex will be a more fleshed-out character earlier on, along with Michael, Alex’s dad, CSO Chan, among several others. I think if they spend a little more time in the Bunker, the reader has a chance to miss it when it falls around word 30,000 (in the first version, it fell around word 10,000). 10,000 words is not a lot of time for the mighty Bunker 108 to fall.

So far, the extended scenes include a conversation with Lauren in the beginning, a changing of a major plot point earlier on, and a Citizens’ Council scene. Pretty much every scene has been expanded and fleshed out greatly.

I don’t think I’m merely treading old ground. This is more of making Apocalypse what it should have been, with the writing skills I have now. I expect the new version to be as long as the newest books in the series, and for that reason, I might go on to rework Origins, and possibly Evolution. I swear to stop when I reach Revelation, because I think that was when I finally hit my stride and the series finally found its tone.

Like I said, I don’t expect this to take all that long. As I said, it’s been long overdue, and I’ll be making the enhanced versions available as soon as I can. Of course, I will always have the old versions available as well, but I’ll probably only be able to send those by email, or perhaps publish them on Smashwords.

So, best case scenario, I can have reworked versions of the first three books in a month or so. A little ambitious, but I think I can do it if I buckle down. That’ll also give me a bit more time to figure things out about the new series. I don’t have to think of the story, but the entire world the story is set in. It’s going to be a world that’s completely different from the world of the Wasteland. It seems so big that I’m not even sure where to start with it.

Whatever the case, thanks for being patient with me.

Comment Section

  • Oh how cool. I’ve been thinking about reading the entire series again. I miss the characters. I’ll hold off now and wait for the new ones. Yeehaw!

    • Yep. Hoping it doesn’t take longer than a month. I’m probably going to finish all three then release them all at the same time, that way readers don’t wonder why book 1 is 75,000 words while book two is only 50,000…hoping to make them all the same length.

      • This is going to be awesome! How are the paperback versions going to be if you already bought them though? Will there be a release of the updated versions on paperbacks?

  • Kyle West, the other day I downloaded the free Apocalypse book on iTunes and I am about to buy the next book in the series. I am a huge fan of apocalyptic books but I’m quite picky. My favorite author is Octavia Butler, I enjoy most of Robert J. Sawyer, I loved Hunger Games and the Divergent Series (I read Apocalypse instead of Allegiant, which I’m halfway through but it’s not that interesting). I write this to say that this is a big compliment from me. I rarely spend money on books and opt to use the Chicago Public Library. I think the first book being free is a great way to get readers into your series and to know your work. I look forward to reading more!

  • Rewriting the first book is dangerous ground. Big payoff possibilities if successful…. Please get a beta group opinion before general publishing. Your promised improvements sound great. I would enjoy reading as part of a beta group if you wish. Otherwise I will wait to read if it gets published…..


    • Sure, I wouldn’t mind sending you a copy. I will be having a group of betas, and it would great to have you as part of the group. That’s still a few weeks down the road – I plan on reworking the first three all at once and releasing together, if everything goes according to plan.

      I’m a little worried about changing things, but there’s no question in my mind that it needs to be reworked a bit. Hopefully the changes I’m planning are the answer. Thanks for your input!

  • Hey Mr. West. I’m a big fan of your books. I’m still in high school and I am assigned many books to read, but I have to say I was more emotionally invested in The Wasteland Chronicles than I have ever been in any of my assigned books. I like your idea of revamping some of the earlier books and I think it will be interesting to see some of the characters before the fall of bunker 108. I cannot wait for the next series to come out and I know you will bot disappoint. Keep writing and I wish you success in your future.

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