30K Words on Imminent!

Friends,

It’s a new week, which means it’s a new chance to achieve greatness! I have some things to talk about today, so let’s get started…

Thoughts on Blog Posts

So I’ve been thinking over the past few weeks and months about what I can do to improve my blog posts so that you, my readers, can get more out of the content I put out to you. One thought, at least to start, was to add a little spice to my posts, because a little change here and there can be refreshing! That being said, I’d like to start including a section where I can more formally give tips and advice on writing from my experience. As for this blog post, you’ll find it at the end.

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ll be getting the first mock-up covers from my cover designer sometime today. I work until 5pm today, so I’ll have all day to anticipate it! Like I’ve said in the past, it should be only a few weeks at most for me to get the final version of the cover worked out, if not sooner. And at that point, I’ll be sure to let you all know when to look for the official reveal. It’ll be closer to the book’s release. That leads me to my next point…

I just surpassed the 30K word count mark for Imminent yesterday afternoon! It’s a great feeling to be two-thirds of the way done with my manuscript, and that much closer to perfecting this story. In just one night in the past week, I knocked out about 2,500 words, and close to 3,000 on another night. If I can have about 6-7 days more of this kind of writing, I’ll have my manuscript complete in its rough form. That is also a great feeling to have!

I mentioned in my most recent YouTube vlog that the tentative release for this book would be Christmas, and in the vlog I said that I may have already said too much regarding that. I only said this because I wanted to be 100% sure (as sure as 100% can be for someone writing with a schedule like mine) before announcing the release date, but oh well! I am slating the release of Imminent to be in time for Christmas of this year! Stay tuned in on all that will be going on with this book, as well as with my other projects by following this blog, following my social media profiles, and subscribing to my newsletter! The next newsletter comes out on or around Wednesday, August 26, so subscribe now to receive it in your email (be sure to check folders other than your Inbox in case it finds its way somewhere else).

Inkitt Short Story

I recently submitted a short story to a site called Inkitt for a contest they’re holding until the end of September. The contest is titled “Reclaim Time” and is geared toward historical fiction stories. I refined a short story I had on my to-publish shelf and submitted it, soon being notified that it had been accepted. Since it is a contest, that means there is a winner. So what I’d like for you to do is this: go to this link and read my story (entitled “The Last Man”), and after you’re done simply nominate it by clicking the heart icon in the footer of the screen. I’d greatly appreciate it! Even if I don’t win the contest, it was great to get more content out to the public and to create something out of nothing one more time!

Indie Writing Advice

Something I have noticed through my writing experience thus far is this: there is a difference between planning a story and planning the publication of a story. It seems like such a “duh” concept, but it didn’t really hit me until this summer. Brainstorming, planning, and developing ideas for a story are thing you can do that don’t have a direct relationship to time in the real world. However, trying to plan how you’ll actually go about writing and publishing that story is something that should only be planned in small chunks and in the short term.

If you’re like me, you write semi-regularly with some days here and there seeing more productivity than usual. A “usual” writing day for me is anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending, and I can normally crank out anywhere from 500-1,000 words. On those days that my productivity soars, I can produce from 1,000-3,000 words (like the two days this past week). I hold the notion in mind that I’ll take what I can get, when I can get it, and for me that seems to help me justify my writing style well enough. But if I tried to convince myself that I want to have 4-5 days a week where I produce between 750-2,000 words consistently, I’m only cheating myself, my story, and my readers. Why? Because an indie who doesn’t write full time can never be sure when they’ll be able to sit down at their computer and write that consistently to produce what they consider to be on time.

So if you’re asking yourself, “What can I do to improve my productivity but also stay within the realm of a realistic writing schedule?” Here’s what I say to you: set small goals and work from there. Start with saying, “I’ll write for 15-30 minutes three days/nights a week. See what kind of productivity you make at that pace, then use it to gauge further work. If you can increase the time in those three days, or keep it at 15-30 minutes but for 5-6 days, that’s great! Do whatever works for you, because that’s what it boils down to. Don’t cheat yourself, your story, or your readers. If nothing else, remember that when and where you write.

That’s basically it for this week, but don’t worry – there will be more as the coming weeks approach, so don’t miss out on anything! I look forward to seeing you subscribe to my mailing list if you haven’t already done so, and I look forward to interacting with anyone, new or old, on social media!

Until next time,

-Eli

“This Is Sparta!”

Friends,

Welcome to yet another week – another opportunity – to achieve greatness. In the words of Leonidas, “Prepare for glory!” Let’s get into today’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

Toward the end of last week, I came across some things I had jotted down while doing the skeleton planning for Book Three, and it got me thinking. After some careful consideration of historical facts and other things I had discovered in my research, I decided that it was best to revamp some of the planning I had done and change up the story outline just a bit. Now that that is done, I can move forward with more confidence that what I’ll be writing will be more realistic in appeal and closer along the lines of what actually could’ve happened.

That’s part of the trick with writing historical fiction: everything little event that occurred in the past doesn’t have a personal account to go with it. That’s just a fact historical writers must deal with. So when writing, the gaps in what could have happened are filled with the writer’s creativity fueled by contextual knowledge. In other words, the writer creates an event in the story that contains people, actions, and so on that could have existed at the time.

That’s what I do with my stories when there isn’t much substance to certain things I want to put into my story. With Resistant and Unguarded, my first two books, this method of writing was executed fairly well I think. In my third book, I am currently expanding and experimenting with this method in the second half of the manuscript, and I must say that it’s a fun thing to do. And I think that’s part of what writing should be about – experimenting and trying new things to see how far you can take yourself in your work. I should add that the developments in the story with which I’m experimenting are rather bold, mostly because the events that are taking place very well could have happened and it’s very hard to tell either way.

The word count is approaching 25K in Book Three and I’m about to send the word to my cover designer to get things rolling. As of now, I’m resetting the tentative release date for mid- to late-September. I’ll be writing as much as I can throughout the rest of the summer, and hopefully I’ll be able to produce a quality book to add to the first two.

YouTube

If you haven’t seen my videos on my writing process, you can easily find them on my channel. Since finishing my writing process videos, I’ve switched gears and am now doing weekly vlogs by recording footage throughout the week and posting a video on Friday.

Please subscribe to my channel and join me on my journey through both my personal and writing lives. And if you have family or friends who might be interested in me and my work, please pass the word along. I enjoy getting to meet new people!

And if you want to go a step further and get more out of the content I produce, you can join my mailing list by clicking this link and filling in the information. I send out a newsletter vie email every couple of weeks, and it includes details about my projects, fun facts, Q&A posts, and much more. It’s easy to do and fun to be a part of!

Other News

I have hinted before that there are other projects on my plate behind the scenes, but I haven’t really elaborated on that point. I’m not going to right now, either (sorry), but I will tell you that a pretty cool thing is in the works and in the coming weeks I’ll share with you about it.

That’s just about all I have for right now in terms of news. Thank you for your interest in my work and for following my blog. I truly appreciate it!

Until next time,

-Eli

New Release Date

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready for a new week ahead! I have some news for you, so let’s jump right into the blog…

The Faces of the War Collection

As you may know, I have been dealing with a publishing timeline dilemma over the past couple of weeks. The main issue is that I want to be sure to give Unguarded, my current project, the attention it needs and deserves without sacrificing it to meet a release date. I don’t think that is fair to me and the vision I have for this book and the collection, but it’s especially not fair to my readers. And so, I have decided that I will push the release date back to January, which actually was the initial date I had tentatively set when I began writing. So all in all, there’s no loss in timeline terms.

To elaborate a bit more on the publishing process, here’s how it will go:

1) From now until December 12, I will tend to my manuscript to polish up the dialogue (the main concern based on beta reading feedback) and fix any minor things that I feel should be fixed.

2) On December 12, I will send my completed manuscript to my editor in Colorado, who will then take up to three weeks to do a substantive edit of the roughly 47K words I have written since beginning in June.

3) During those three weeks, I will relax and let my brain recharge. The crisp air of the Alps should do me well!

4) Sometime during the first week of January, I should receive the completed proof from my editor, and will then take to fixing or changing the manuscript based on her suggestions and comments. My hope is that it will take me no longer than a week, but we shall see.

5) Once the manuscript is amended and I believe it to be fit for publication, I will submit the appropriate files to Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, the Amazon subsidiaries used by self-publishers. After a few days of processing, and barring any formatting issues that need my attention, the book will go live and be available in both ebook and print form. As the time nears, I will release more information about a release date and other juicy details.

The entire process for this book has been different for the most part in comparison to my first book, but I welcome the change with an open mind and a happy heart. I am doing something I love and bringing it to you for your entertainment.

As always, I encourage you to join my mailing list if you haven’t done so already, mostly because that’s where I reveal the really juicy details about my work, and it’s also revealed there before the general public sees it. You can think of it like a VIP club. And if you already are subscribed, then tell a friend. Word of mouth is a powerful tool!

I hope that you can appreciate and understand my decision to push the release date back for Unguarded, and that you are as excited as I am for its release. Like I said, I want to be sure to bring you a good quality book, and this is the best way to do that as far as I can see.

Until next time,

-Eli

First Book Jitters

Friends,

I am pleased to tell you that I just received the second of three portions that compose my story from a friend who is helping out with the editing. As I go through the text and revise, I can’t help but feel somewhat nervous but still very excited about the whole process. The excitement aspect springs from the fact that this is all a fun and new experience for me, and because I’m doing something that I truly enjoy. The nervous aspect still lurches in the background. What should my cover look like? How should I write my main character? Does something there need tweaking? Where is the balance between emotion and action? So many questions fill my thoughts as I revise the story. I just hope I can calm myself down and do this thing right.

However, I know that this is a learning process, as are many things when done for the first time. I find calm and inspiration when I watch YouTube videos or read others blogs and posts by authors addressing these issues. If you are reading this and you are in my novice shoes, I strongly advise that you look to those who have come before you for strength and inspiration as well. If you are reading this and you are an experienced author, I implore you for any guiding advice on these issues I am facing.

As for the story itself, here is a tiny bit of information…a teaser, if you will: the main character’s name is…actually, I don’t think I want to divulge that information just yet. Being a rookie author, I want to utilize the element of surprise and anticipation as much as I can. I will tell you this, however: my hope and aim is to get this book released through Amazon by May. I am working diligently on the project so I can get a good story into your hands.

If you have friends or know of anyone who would be interested in a historical fiction story, refer this blog to them, as well as the Facebook and Twitter pages, so they can follow along and keep informed on things.

-Eli