Saturday, January 11, 2020

Switching gears temporarily

I'm at about the 64% mark in the mobi file, so I'm nearly two-thirds of the way finished with the line edit of book 4 of Wheel of Fire.

I decided I needed a small break, though, so I didn't do any line editing today.  Instead, I worked on chapter breaks.

I've already got all the scene breaks.  When writing, I end a scene with an asterisk break and then move on to the next scene, repeating this process until the book is finished.  Later, I go back and change some of those asterisk breaks to chapter breaks.

I've got three basic criteria for chapter breaks:

1.)  A chapter should be neither too long or too short, so preferably somewhere between five and twelve OpenOffice pages.  Sometimes I cheat, but only sometimes.  What I consider "too long" or "too short" may vary from book to book.

2.)  A chapter's name should be interesting, but vague, and not a spoiler.  Or, if a spoiler is unavoidable, then it should only spoil material from the beginning of the chapter, not anything from the end of it.

3.)  I try to avoid using chapter names that I've already used in previous books in the series.

I usually have multiple scenes in a chapter, but there are occasions where I'll have an unusually long scene that merits its own chapter.

Anyway, once the chapters are as good as I can get them, I'll go back to line editing.  Then comes the proofreading and whatever final adjustments need to be made.

It's coming together, folks.  :D

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Tough questions

I've been watching the Jeopardy GOAT shows this week.  It's a sort of tournament between Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer.

As expected, all three champions have an impressive array of knowledge.  Also as expected, the questions are tougher than usual.  I don't know the answers to most of them, and I usually know most of the answers on the regular show.

One of tonight's Final Jeopardy questions asked for two movie producers.  I got Ang Lee correct, but I couldn't name the other.  I was in good company, though, because all three guys also came up with Lee but failed to name the other one.  (It was Alfonso Cuaron.)

Right now, Ken leads with two match wins to James's one, but I wouldn't count anyone out yet.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

New year, new plans, new hopes

Well, it's 2020 now.  The year we all get renewed focus.  (Ha!)

First of all, let's all remember that it's not actually the first year of a new decade.  It's the last year of the old one.  Counting starts at one, folks, not zero.

We can still call it the first year of "the twenties," of course, because it does end in twenty.

In any event, I hope to make this year better than the last.  I've increased my gross income over the prior year's income for three years now, and I want that trend to continue.  I've got a few other goals, too.

I intend to start using click ads, starting with AMS/Amazon Ads.  I considered this a long time ago for the trilogy, actually, but once I started crunching the numbers, I concluded that the math didn't make sense.  It might make sense for Wheel of Fire, though.  I aim to give it a try.

I intend to make greater use of Story Origin's group promos.

I will probably get some audio production rolling, though that's still up in the air.

I'll publish book 4 of Wheel of Fire soon and I'd like to publish book 5 this year, too.  We'll see how fast I can crank it out.

I really want to get a handle on my digestive system so I can stop having headaches all the time.  I started taking Metamucil a couple of weeks ago, and I think it's helping.  Jury's still out, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

I need to exercise more.  I'm in terrible shape, particularly my legs.

I lost my traction on Apple, probably due to them changing their storefront and screwing up my algo momentum, and now I need to figure out how to get it back.  If I can figure out AMS, then maybe I can do some Bookbub CPC ads, too, and target the non-Amazon stores.

I intend to sketch out the next trilogy.  I want to have detailed outlines ready to go so I can hit the ground running when I finish Wheel of Fire.

That's all for now.  Good luck to everyone, and I hope all of our self-improvement hopes for this year come to fruition.  :)

Monday, December 30, 2019

I survived Christmas

Christmas is over, and that includes the get-togethers.  It was actually pretty painless this year.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy the things I got them.

I haven't done much writing-related stuff lately.  I've been busy doing family things, and now I've got some other projects I'm working on, so progress will be slower than I'd like for the next couple of weeks.

The good news is that I've made a dietary change, and I think my digestion has improved a little as a result.  I'd love to stop having headaches all the time, and the key to that--for me--is digestion, so maybe I'm on to something here.  *fingers crossed*

The work-in-progress stands at about 103,000 words.  I'm right in the sweet spot where I aimed to be.  Still planning on publishing in January or February.  Probably February at this point.

My goal for 2020 is to publish book 5 of Wheel of Fire.  I don't want to have it take all year.  If I can truly get a handle on my headaches, then maybe I won't be incapacitated so often.  Maybe I can get more done.

I'm hoping for a pullback in the stock market over the next couple of weeks.  It's overbought, so it needs to retrace a little.  It's currently down in today's session, so maybe the pullback has started.  I've got my eye on a couple of things, but I don't want to pay a premium, so I've held off on pulling the trigger.  Hopefully I'll get the opportunity I'm looking for before this month is out.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a Happy New Year.  Let's make 2020 a great one.  :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Progress report

I'm currently working on the mobi edit of book 4 of Wheel of Fire.  I'm at the 30% mark in the file on my Kindle.  I'm satisfied with that rate of progress, though I didn't get anything done this past weekend due to family obligations.  Word count is now over 101k.

I've added a new addon to my Firefox browser.  It's called "Multi-Account Containers."  It lets you open a new tab in a container, which means any site you log in to in that tab will be "contained."  You can open another tab and go to the same site, but you won't be logged in.  The login cookie is sequestered to the container tab.  This is a great little tool if you have multiple people using the same computer and you don't want their various site accounts getting mixed up.  It's also great if you want to keep your own multiple logins separate.

I've been trying to get more fiber in my diet recently.  I think a lack thereof is why I suffer from headaches so frequently.  The change seems to be working.  I'm cautiously optimistic.

It's cold today.  45 degrees right now in the middle of a sunny afternoon.  It's actually warmer in London, and it's after 8 P.M. there.

I'm still on track to publish in January or February, so fans of Wheel of Fire can get the next installment before too much longer. It's the fourth book of a planned seven, so it will feel good to get past the halfway point.  It's all downhill from there.  Well, not really.  The series climax comes later, so I guess it's uphill until then.  But y'all know what I mean.  ;)

Friday, December 13, 2019

Thanks again, Kobo

Just wanted to praise Kobo yet again.  Their in-house promotions don't cost anything up front--well, some of them don't; others do--and they almost always result in a non-zero number of sales, and that makes me happy.

In other news, I've started the mobi edit of book 4 of Wheel of Fire.  The manuscript is currently at 101,000 words even.  That will fluctuate as I go, of course, but not terribly much.

I've only got twelve days left to get in the Christmas spirit.  I still haven't watched my slate of favorite Christmas movies: Die Hard, Trading Places, and Death Race.  I need to get on that.  It's not Christmas until Hans falls off Nakatomi Tower!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Second draft is done

Finished it last night.  Word count is just over 100k.

Third--and final--draft is up to bat.