science fiction


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.


#NaNoWriMo2019

Latest design of the ElysianWell, I didn’t finish my planning before the beginning of November, but that’s okay – I’ll plough on into writing it anyway. I’ll just have to fill in the holes in my planning as I go along. It’s hard to predict how long the book will be but the original was 125,500 words but I expect this one to be a little shorter, maybe more like 90-100,000 words. The challenge will be hitting that during November! I’ll need to average over 3300 words per day, every day, without fail. That’s going to be tough!

I must also come up with a new cover to match the new Elysian design. I’ve built a 3D model of the new ship but with nowhere near enough detail to render up for a book cover. My 3D design skills are not good enough for that job, so I need to come up with an alternative plan for that. There won’t be a cover reveal until I’ve sort that one.

The new ship design is a coup for me. The original Elysian in the first edition of “The Beginning” was more akin to a miniature Battlestar Galactica than anything realistic. The new version (shown in the illustration here) is very nearly within our construction capabilities now. It’s over 20 years since I wrote the original novel and I expected our space technology to have moved on somewhat further than it has by now. Clearly, the original Elysian will not be possible in 2037 but this new design should be creatable within the next 18 years. Sadly, I see no intention by any country to populate other star systems. Everyone seems set to just continue in worsening pollution and poverty until we are strangled by our own uncontrolled overpopulation.

On a lighter note, there’s a new title for the book too. I’m keeping that secret for now as it might yet change. With the extra workload, I’m not going to be posting or tweeting much this month, but don’t worry, I haven’t given up. I’ll try to post occasional updates on my progress to compensate. If you’d like to support me on Patreon while I achieve this project, please click here for more information.


Planning for the Remains of the Year

Mobile Word ProcessorLike many, many authors out there, my writer income doesn’t cover the bills so I have to work a full-time job on the side. Between work, family, chores, school runs and more, it’s hard to muster any time for any actual writing. Mobile writing technology has proved invaluable, allowing me to write in those small windows when I’m waiting or travelling, but it’s still hard to make any significant progress.

To coin a phrase, I’m not getting any younger, and with time in short supply, I feel much better if I make maximum use of it. The best way to do that is to have a plan and to stick to it.

 

The Plan

I usually find the best way to plan is simply to create a To Do list, sorted by priority. What I’m going to show here isn’t the fully-detailed list, but I’ve tried to include everything that my readers (and other authors too) might find interesting:

  • Finish writing Deadline.
    As this is novel with my best chance of publication, seems wise to get this one completed first. The story came together well and I am very happy with the characters but finding a good ending has been troublesome.
  • Finish writing Sceptic.
    This novel is already complete but could use a final edit and proofread. In case you are wondering, it’s not part of the Astronomicon universe but, even though I could not make it fit, it was far too good a story idea to skip.
  • Rewrite Astronomicon: The Beginning.
    This one is LONG overdue and by far the biggest task. As it forms the introduction to the Astronomicon universe, it’s important that it’s up to my recent standard and representative of later novels. I’m expecting this to take 2-3 months, then I’ll publish it on Wattpad before relaunching it on Amazon.
  • If there’s any time left, I also hope to complete the ongoing project Behemoth too.

 

During all the above, I’ll be developing ideas for a range of other books I have in the planning stages. These include a historical fantasy, a magical contemporary fantasy and a psychological horror (I’m branching out from scifi!). I’m also looking to find a literary agent this year and encourage a few readers to support me on Patreon. If I can earn a little money from writing, I may be able to cut my working hours a little and get more writing done.

Seven months left to get ALL of this done. Wish me luck!


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.