Wednesday, 6 February 2019

New writing adventures, sequels, and getting busy writing

First off, I want to thank everyone who bought a copy, promoted, and reviewed Earth Quarantined which was released in November 2018. This book's release was a great success. It was my best seller in November, it sold great in December (only surpassed by Welcome to the Apocalypse because it went on sale) and Earth Quarantined sold well into January 2019. It's still ticking along nicely with sales. It seems that 10 books really is the charm.

I started out writing Earth Quarantined as a standalone novel about the problems two strangers face when they discover each other, but it ended up becoming a much bigger story than just these two characters. So while this book has a complete ending (their initial problems are resolved), but it also has an open ending (the entire world's problems still need to be fixed. I fear it might take an encyclopedia of books to solve that one!)

Just as I cranked out 25,000 words on the second book in Earth Arrested (Book 2), I stumbled across a new writing opportunity. 

One writing rule is to place your character/s in a situation where they are faced with a difficult choice. I gotta say, my characters don't like being faced with these situations, neither do I. But face it I did.

It was at this point where I wished I could clone myself so one of me could write the sequels to Earth Quarantined, and one of me could write books in this new venture. Suffice to say, I can't be split in two. So I made the call to plunge headfirst into this new venture. You can read about it in this post LINK. I'm giving myself 6 months (end of June 2019) to write and edit this new series. Then I will pick up where I left off and get the sequels to Earth Quarantined finished. I'm hoping to get them finished by the end of 2019.

I think I'll release these next 2 Earth books simultaneously. I've found this is one of the problems with writing books that have follow-up stories. Readers get swept up in the story and this it stops!!! and many readers don't want to buy book 1 in case there are no further books. I promise, there will be.

So I'm getting busy writing to get all 5 books finished in 2019. I know many of you enjoyed my coffee chats with authors, and my posts about writing and marketing tips, but these are also on hold for this year.

So that's it for now. Hope you are all doing well and life is being kind to you. Thanks again for buying, reading, and reviewing my books!

D L Richardson

Monday, 21 January 2019

Latest news! I've signed up to write a post-apoc series

When I started writing, I had one set goal: to become a prolific author. At the time I was into reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and I wanted to write books, lots of them. 

Now I have that chance. After writing, publishing, and promoting 10 books, I've signed up to to write a series of post-apocalyptic fiction books for Mission Critical Publishing. The reason I signed up was simple. They're innovative. The publishing industry today is fast and fluid. 

I've agreed to write 3 books in 6 months. Each book will be around 60,000 words when completed. I'll need to become a writing machine. To accomplish this I'll need to do 2 things:

#1 Write fast

The only way for me to write fast is to write an overview of the entire book (or series). This can be one page per book. Then I write dots points that become the chapters. Complications, conflicts, solutions, all fit into these chapters.

Then I set a daily word count. I'm now at the stage where, provided I know what I'm writing about, I can do about 1000 words per one to two hours. On the days I work, I'll aim for 2000 words. On the days i don't work and the weekends, I'll aim for 4,000 words. I might not make these but that's the aim.

One of the keys to writing fast is to break the word count down:

Eg: a 60,000 word novel at 2,500 words a day will take 24 days. Or a 60,000 word novel at 15,000 words per week will take 4 weeks.

Another key to writing fast is to make notes along the way. I don't edit as I write. i used to, I'd start at the beginning and read through so I could catch up, next thing I knew it was midnight and I hadn't written a word! So I only write the plan now and don't worry about how the first draft reads. It's meant to be junk.

Oh, and drink lots of coffee. That's part of the plan.

#2 Write well

Nobody wants to read a hastily written book. It takes time to add the layers of description, conflict, plot, dialogue. It takes time to craft a well-written novel. 

But after 10 books, I have come to know my habits. 

I've also devised my own system of editing. First I look at dialogue only, then I add in details and descriptions, then I'll add in the character arc, then I'll remove all the lazy words such as 'had' 'began' 'thought' that sort of thing. 

Replacing these words with stronger words and better sentence structure helps towards 'showing' not 'telling.

I will not go to the beginning of the book during any of these editing stages. Once they're complete, then I'll do a read through of the entire book, making notes along the way, I'll make the changes, do another read through, then when it's done I'll do 2 proof reads.

I find that if I break down the editing, I can get through it much quicker. And like I said above, most important is to not keep going back to the start of the novel. You'll never get it finished if you do.

I also read while I write. If I've been away from the computer for a few hours (for example I had visitors on the weekend so I've been squeezing in words where I can) I will pick up a book and read a few passages to get my brain into gear again.

Oh, and drink lots of coffee. That's on the plan.