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35,000 Words into Astronomicon #1

Whilst I didn’t finish the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, it did get me 35,000 words on the way to completing the rewrite of the first Astronomicon novel. That’s not bad progress. It’s shown me that it’s entirely possible to squeeze in 500-1000 words per day most days of the week, so I can keep some momentum going until the book is finished.

Unlike the original, this new one will not be perma-free. There are SO many free books out there these days that most people equate free with poor quality. I’ll be pricing it at Amazon’s minimum of 99p (99c) but running a bunch of free days immediately after launch so people who already have the original version but want to see the new one, don’t have to pay.

I’m most pleased with the pacing of the new version. The original had some patches which were too slow and not particularly interesting. This one is structured very differently and makes it a drastically more exciting ride for the reader. This left me with some problems with character development. I have had to be someone covert with the character development, weaving it discretely into the action and brief conversations as the long, evening conversations of the original just don’t happen in this one.

With things getting busier the closer we get to Christmas, I’m most unlikely to finish it this year, but I’m hoping to be posting chapters on Wattpad before the end of January 2020. I’ll post updates here and do a big announcement as soon as the new version launches. The Amazon release will follow a few weeks later.


Back to the Beginning

Having finished Sceptic and Deadline (at last!), work on the completely rewrite of Astronomicon book 1 is now underway in earnest. I’ve set myself the ambitious target of finishing the first draft by the end of July. That’s particularly tough as it’s currently only part planned.

I will keep a few of the characters, obviously including those who make it into the later novels in the series, but most will be replaced or extensively changed. Apart from improving the depth of the characters, I’m also aiming to reduce the cast by at least a third. One of the biggest causes of change will be replacing the old Elysian design with the vastly improved design I used for it’s sister ship in Behemoth. This has led to a cascade of major changes throughout the novel, completely changed the orbital insertion, the crash and mission of the survivors on the surface of the planet.

It’s always hard to predict, but I expect to the new version of the book to be 10-25% shorter. After talking to many readers, it’s become clear that the title “The Beginning” was not widely liked so the rewrite will have a new title AND a new front cover too. The new name will be released when I do a cover-reveal in a few weeks time.

If you would like to help support me while I tackle this job, please consider supporting me on Patreon.

The finished new version (after proofreading and editing) will be released for FREE on Amazon, directly replacing the current version.


Astronomicon Book 1 news

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover 3DAs you are probably already aware, the first novel in the Astronomicon series has been unpublished and is no longer available to download from Amazon etc. This is a temporary measure as I have started work on the new version. It will be a complete rewrite from scratch and will even gain a new name. I plan to keep that new title secret until I am ready to do a cover reveal at a date later this year.

The first book of any series most definitely must be indicative of the quality of the rest of the novels in the series and the current version, written more than two decades ago, is simply not a good representation of my current writing ability and is, almost certainly, cost me book sales.

Planning is underway and will continue while I finish writing Behemoth. If all goes well, I hope to finish the planning stage before Behemoth is complete. That will allow me to plough straight into the plough directly into writing the first draft of Astronomicon 1.

You can expect the new version to feature a design for the Elysian spacecraft which accurately matches that used for the Arcadian (her sister ship) from Behemoth. There will be a few changes of characters, more accurate technologies, better pacing and a much better structure to the story.

In the meantime, sorry about the wait for this one but I want it to be the best entry into the Astronomicon story and a great advert for the whole series.

One more thing – as the story of the new book will still fit with the second novel in exactly the same way, you are under no obligation to read it if you have already read book 1. I’d recommend it (obviously!) but if you won’t be missing any critical story elements if you have only read the original.


Can I finally call myself an Award Winning Author?

A while back, I was nominated to enter a writing competition on Wattpad. I’m not big on entering competitions. Too many times I’ve entered and heard nothing back from then on. This time, as it had been recommended to me, I entered my novel Astronomicon: Icarus and assumed that I would most probably never hear any more.

For the first time ever, I did hear something afterwards. Better still, much better, I was informed that I had actually won the competition. Now it’s not a massive competition and there’s no cash prize, but I am still thrilled to be recognised in any writing competition.

If nothing else, I will feel much more inclined to enter more competitions in future.