Okay, so this is kind of a big deal. Last night I sat down and made an outline. Crazy, I know.
What you’re looking at is the remainder of Book Three. Each line represents a separate story beat. Each color represents a separate POV character.
That’s all of it folks. Six chapters of mad-dash bedlam. From where I stand now, all the way to the end. I can’t tell you how empowering it feels to know for certain what’s about to go down. This preparatory step—which is highly unusual for me but quite necessary in this case, as you can see from the structural complexity—will ensure I waste as little time as possible in the trenches.
I just finished this year’s editorial pass of everything I’ve written in books One, Two, and Three. That’s roughly 305,000 words: just over the cumulative total of The Two Towers and The Return of the King—which means the entire tetralogy will probably end up roughly equal in length to The Lord of the Rings (or a single Brandon Sanderson novel, lol). In terms of technical errors—typos, comma splices, etc.—what I caught can be numbered on one hand. What I was doing with my revisions was refining the clarity and power of my language, making sure it flowed naturally and effortlessly, sanding out any syntactical rough spots. I’m very pleased with where it’s at.
Now, as the sander falls silent and I wait for word from six publishers whom I’ve queried, it’s time to forge ahead into the ridiculously epic conclusion of Book Three. The board is set, its pieces arrayed. The proverbial fan is huge, and revved up, and deafening, and I’m just standing here holding a bucket of poo.
Won’t somebody warn my poor protagonists to duck and cover?
Having subjected A Sea Sought in Song to one last editorial pass, and having submitted it to five indie publishers, I’m now churning through Book Two—Wrath and Crimson Rime—to give it a once-over as well. I really do think this will be the final edit on my part. The sequel was always in relatively better shape, since I already had 116K words’ worth of voice-development under my belt before I started it. So by the end of the weekend, I’ll have two full novels fit and trim and ready to face the world. Again. Theoretically.
In the meantime, I thought I’d re-up my heretofore greatest claim to fame: the chapter from Book Two which won an Honorable Mention at the prestigious Writers of the Future contest in the 1st quarter of 2019. As a flashback to Hugh Conrad’s past, it’s a rip-roarin’ noir adventure set in 1947 Iceland. It’s fun, exciting, tragic, and intriguing. It’s worth a read. After all, just look how it begins:
Anyway, if you want to give it a gander just click here.
[Language and violence advisory notice: these are adult novels I’m writing, after all.]
In the interest of self-promotion (which I’m bad at), or of screaming into the void (which I’m all-too-good at), I’d like to take this opportunity to display part of one of the more flattering full-manuscript rejections I’ve yet received from a publisher (a major one, whose name you’d know).
And for the record, I’d like to state that ALL the songs in A Sea Sought in Song (which def lives up to its name) are both pertinent (tho not necessarily “penitent”) and relevant.
Last week my literary agent literally went out of business. After three years of minimal-to-no effort on his part, I probably wouldn’t have even known the difference, except that he takes with him the peace of mind attendant on a process of elimination occurring in the background. He wasn’t a particularly good representative, but at least he was able to get in the door with publishers who don’t interface directly with the hoi polloi. Now, it’s up to me to put in the submissions legwork once again.
So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.
Over the weekend I gave A Sea Sought in Song its umpteenth editorial pass. I tweaked a few sentences here and there and caught a single typo in 116,600 words: I’d written “bad” when I meant “bag.” Now my debut novel is advancing once more into the breach, dear friends. I’m not through with this story—not by a long shot. I’m ready to forget the bad and get that bag.
Coincidentally, last month I finally made the incision and sunk my teeth into the second half of Book Three. Things are happening.
This story’s gonna make it outta my computer alive, whether by hook or by crook.