Writing update - writing Book 3 of two series simultaneously

UPDATE: 9 OCT 2017
When the page views to the original post started rising, I thought that perhaps people might want to KNOW how I'm writing 2 series simultaneously. So I'll include a little bit about the steps I take, and you can read below for the extract and see the book covers.

How to write two series simultaneously?
1. Have the stories outlined and the chapter outlines at the start of each chapter on a new page.
2. Set deadlines. Set word count targets. Combine these two to know how many words per day you need to write to reach your target. If you want a 100K novel out in 8 months (as I do) then I need to break it down to 1K per day minimum within 3 months to leave me 4 months to edit and 1 month to proof and format.
3. Write until all of these points are turned into active scenes. I'll tie them in together during edits, or I'll pull them apart. That'll depend on what pacing I need in the final version.
4. Start exactly where you left off. I type the page number I'm up to at the very front of the manuscript so when I open it I know which page to go to. If I didn't do this, I'd spend forever playing catch up. I'll fill in transitions and remove inconsistencies during edits.
5. Write what comes into mind. I might open one ms and find I'm staring at a blank page and these characters don't want to play. So I'll do some work on the other ms.


For those of you interested in finding out more about my two current WIPs, read on...

Just thought I'd give a quick update on the writing schedule. I’m currently working on Book 3 of Welcome to the Apocalypse – Primal Scream.


The covers for Books 3 and Book 4 are ready to go. I've planned these out in advance for consistency across the series. This cover is dirtier than the first two, but then so is the environment. This is where the story starts to go from apocalyptic to possible dystopian.

Extract of first draft of first chapter:
The world seemed good in here. Here being a place inside a place and about as real as the snow-covered landscape screen-saver on his computer. Jack Minnow could, with enough newly-honed willpower, tame the world to his liking. Right now he liked the idea of sitting on a beach gazing into the Mediterranean horizon with the love of his life. How had he not mastered the art of this sooner?

Sasha Vaness turned to him with a smile that melted his heart more and more with each minute. It also chipped away at his resolve the way a bird taps at an egg until it breaks. None of this was real, least of all her.

"We should have done this a long time ago," she said, staring at the horizon.

"The beach?" Sasha had fair skin with enough freckles to trail kisses along but not too many to make her flesh look pixilated. This was the last place he expected her to want to visit.

She chuckled and swished her red hair off her shoulders. "No, silly. Create our own paradise."

With a wave of his hand, as if turning up the volume on an invisible dial, the gentle sound of seagulls and waves crashing against the shore picked up, and the heady scent of seaweed and salt tickled his nostrils. The sunlight bearing down on Jack's feet was hot enough to leave red a tan mark around his flip-flops. He could turn the dial in the opposite direction and change the landscape, the aromas, the sounds, the heat setting, anything. Yet the way Sasha tilted her head back to draw the sun down to her like a lover, caused Jack to leave the setting as it was. Perfect. Picture perfect.

"I always thought we could do this in here," he said, casting his gaze up and down the beach. They were the only people in existence and it suited him. Perhaps others might be able to enter this purpose-built virtual world, but for now he was successful in keeping them out. The tickling at the back of his neck suggested they were close to breaking in.

"Do what?" she asked.

"We were supposed to be able to imagine any outfit. Combat gear, superhero capes, whatever. So why not everything else? Why didn't we?"

Sasha leaned back on her elbows while she thought about it. Then she rolled over onto her stomach and reached for her glass of wine chilling in an ice bucket that never seemed to melt.

"Simple." She looked Jack in the eye. "We didn't want to. We liked killings things. It made us feel alive."

Did it? He had to admit she was right. Hunting and killing monsters inside the game had given Jack a taste of what it was like to be strong and powerful. In a world where he was master of clumsiness and well known for his bad luck with the women, the virtual game had been the happiest moments of his life. But life was not made up of eternal happiness. It was a series of moments, some good, some bad, and all of them moments to judge other moments by. A person could lay all of their life's moments out on a table and try to make sense of them. Had this happened for this reason? If this had not happened, what would his life be like now?

"What are you thinking about?" Sasha said.

You're dead and I should tell you but I don't have the courage, he thought. So much for being invincible inside this virtual world, and so much for his ability to shape the world to his liking. Nothing would bring Sasha back to life. Not out there, at least.

But in here, anything was possible.

I’m almost finished book 3 of the Shivers Novellas series titled “Danger In The Dirt”. I'm calling it "Wild West meets Supernatural".

Down on his luck, Elijah Brooks steals the sideshow gear from his late grandfather's wild west show to get himself out of debt. Unleashing a monster from the earth was an accident. He knew nothing of the curse. But failing to stop the show and put lives in danger was intentional. This show is the only thing stopping him from becoming homeless. Even if Elijah stops the show, he has no idea how to put the beast back into the ground?

The "Shivers" novellas are like "Goosebumps" but for adults. They're all standalone titles and can be read in any order. These are short reads that don't take up much time or space on the bookshelf. The first two books were popular with the Oz Comic-Con patrons.
I'm getting these two titles ready to take to SupaNova Sydney in June 2018.
Hope to see you there.



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