writing


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.


Too much to do, too little time!

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover in 3D2019 hasn’t exactly gone to plan for me. I’m nowhere near where I should for the revamped (and rewritten) Astronomicon book 1. Everything has taken longer than I expected, mostly because I haven’t had as much time as I predicted but also because the new version of book 1 must fit in perfectly with all the other novels in the Astronomicon universe. That’s a complicated thing to achieve. 

I was hoping my many Patreon campaigns over the last year would have won over some patrons to help me in my quest to write novels as my full-time career. It’s been extremely slow going there so, for now at least, I must continue to dedicate most of my energy to my day job (boring!). 

I’m still working hard to improve my writing, produce the very best stories I possibly can and keep my many readers as happy as possible. All this would go faster if I could sell books on Amazon, gain some Patreon sponsors and acquire a literary agent, but I’m going to keep doing the best I can regardless.

If I can get the planning work completed before the start of November, I might use NaNoWriMo 2019 as a means to get it written. It’s hard to say if I’ll get 50,000 words done in a month, but it’s a good extra incentive to motivate me.

The tough part will be finishing Astronomicon: Behemoth, designing a new cover for Astronomicon Book 1, finding a literary agent, writing Astronomicon 4 and getting two novels I’ve already written published on Amazon before the end of this year!


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.