February: Into the Manuscript I go

It begins. May will be here before I know it! #amwriting #writersofinstagram #editing #sciencefiction #spaceopera #forgottenstars #thesaviorworlds

 

Greetings, Programs!

I haven’t posted in a couple weeks–sorry!–but the reasons, as ever, are good (I hope). Having received feedback on the manuscript of The Savior Worlds (The Song of Forgotten Stars, book 4) from several trusted voices, it’s time for another heavy dose of revision work before I send the thing out for proofreading in March. I’ve got kind of a hard deadline going here: I need to have this draft (Draft 3.0) ready to go by the end of this month. The ultimate goal is to release Book 4 at Nickel City Con in May, and that’s a lot closer than it feels!

As I write this post, I’m about a third of the way through the book, and I’m a little more than a third of the way through the month (and The Wife and I have a weekend getaway coming up at the end of next week that will not be a great time for writing), so I’ve really got my work cut out. I do want to keep this space alive a lot more than I have in the past, so…as always, here’s hoping!

Until next time, see you around the Galaxy!

Write write write #amwriting #writersofinstagram #writerinoveralls #editing #sciencefiction #spaceopera #forgottenstars #thesaviorworlds #overalls #dungarees #biboveralls #vintage #gap #gapoveralls #bluedenim #denimoveralls #overallsarelife #vintageoveral

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Plannie McPlannerson

Now that I've written four books of a nine-book series, I should probably nail down the backstory! #amwriting #writersofinstagram

 

So last week I wrote about the various issues that arise when writing not just one novel but a series of novels, and wouldn’t you know it! I am running up against those issues right now.

In just a couple of weeks I start doing my next round of revisions for The Savior Worlds (The Song of Forgotten Stars, book 4), which is the volume in the series that kicks the larger story into real motion. That being the case, it’s suddenly clear to me that I need to really codify, if only for my own use right now, the backstory of this saga.

If you’ve read the three currently-published Forgotten Stars books (and why on Earth would you not have read them! They’re terrific, even in my biased opinion!), you know that I drop a lot of small and not-so-small hints and tidbits about the nature and history of the long-lost, long-fallen Arrilori Star Empire. I did this because the main planet of the first three books, Xonareth, was once a member of that empire but was banished and forbidden to travel to the stars until the Arrilori returned to set them free…and there they waited, and waited, and waited, while the Arrilori fell completely and utterly into ruin. Xonareth is, as I’ve mentioned before, the planetary society equivalent of those fabled Japanese soldiers who spent decades on deserted islands in the Pacific, never knowing that World War II ended.

But as the second act of The Song of Forgotten Stars dawns and is now taking shape, it’s starting to become important to hand out more and more information about the Arrilori Star Empire. It’s time to flesh out the backstory.

And all I have of that backstory right now is…hints and tidbits. I have a very “big picture” version of what I know befell the Arrilori and their galactic empire, but I need more than that. This is what I meant in the post about series writing, in that you need to do more ground work when you’re doing a series that tells a single, large story.

You may now be asking, “Hey dummy, shouldn’t you have already done all that work?” Well…maybe, maybe not. That’s where the whole “plotter versus pantser” thing comes into play, after all. But also in this case I knew that I could get away with the first three books in the series without a complete picture of who the Arrilori were and how everything they built came to ruin. I had the luxury of being able to throw in some cool stuff here, a few hints there, a couple of juicy tidbits sprinkled throughout. I was leaving puzzle pieces for myself as a storyteller, and now it’s time to put the pieces together for myself before I go on to do it for the readers.

At least, that’s the plan. Plans can go awry, of course….

See you ’round the Galaxy,

-K.

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Progress: I has it!

Hey all! Time for a long-overdue check-in as to what’s been going on.

1. First, and most importantly, I’ve finished the first draft of The Song of Forgotten Stars, book iv: The Savior Worlds. Huzzah!!!

THE DRAFT IS DONE!!! #amwriting #writersofinstagram #sciencefiction #spaceopera #forgottenstars #ahhh #huzzah #woot

If you’re wondering, the manuscript wound up just shy of 194,000 words. I aim for cutting at least ten percent of the book’s length at each round of edits, which means that I’ll be striving for a ballpark figure of around 160,000 words for the final draft. But that’s getting ahead of things, as my practice is to set aside drafts for at least several months upon completion before I start the first round of edits.

As to when we might expect a release of The Savior Worlds, I’m guessing sometime in 2020.

2. I had planned to have The Chilling Killing Wind out in the world by now, but I was postponed by my focus on finishing the Forgotten Stars IV draft, and by Amazon’s decision to finally make CreateSpace a part of Kindle Direct Publishing. This is now complete, so I plan to resume work on that front.

3. I continue to write for The Geekiverse, although I haven’t had anything up in a few weeks because of, again, my focus on the Savior Worlds draft. I’m hoping to return there next week, though. See what you’ve missed by me, here!

4. Finally, check it out: I got FAN ART! Wil Meade, who is the son of a fine fellow named Sean Meade who provides highly valuable editing and proofreading services (seriously, my books would be freakishly messy if not for his eyes), actually sketched my trio of Forgotten Stars heroines: Princess Tariana, Princess Margeth, and Lieutenant Rasharri. What I love most about this is how he captures Tariana’s cheerful “Gosh whiz!” optimism and Margeth’s “Oh, would you stop already!” practicality. Check it out!

That’s about all I have going on right now. More updates to come, though! Onward and upward! Zap! Pow!!

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Of NaNoWriMo, and other delights

Goodness, I’ve really let this site go fallow, haven’t I? Over three months of radio silence here. That’s not because of any bad developments or anything like that; just that I’ve been plugging along with writing and not really saying much here. I should change that, I think.

But anyway, here’s what’s going on:

  1. I’ve been prepping a lot for NaNoWriMo 2017. For the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month, set for November when writers the world over, amateurs and professionals and folks in the middle like me alike, all commit to attempting to produce 50,000 words of something in a single month. This will be my sixth year of participation, and I am greatly hoping to post a “win” this year. There’s no shame in not hitting the 50K mark, but I made it both of my first two years and then missed the mark three years in a row. 2015 was a special case, as my writing time for the month was greatly impacted by our six-day trip to New York City for Thanksgiving that year, and 2016…well, let’s just say that certain events in the world that began unfolding in November last year sent me into a massive slump.
  2. Oh, and my project for NaNoWriMo? I’m starting Book IV of The Song of Forgotten Stars, titled The Savior Worlds. I haven’t done any new work in that series in a long time and I’m itching to move onto the next phase of the story. To that end I’ve been planning and…outlining. Yes, outlining. Me, the pantser-to-rule-them-all. Well, if Forgotten Stars is one big story, then the first three books have told the first act. Now I’m entering Act II of the BIG STORY, and as such, I need to have a better idea of what the BIG STORY entails. Hence, planning.
  3. That being the case, I’ve temporarily shelved the project I was working on, Orion’s Huntress, the all-female Firefly-meets-James Bond-in-space thing that I’ve been working on. I have a lot of notes and material put together on that book, so when I return to it, I shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting back into its swing.
  4. Also, I’ve started preparing The Chilling Killing Wind for publication, hopefully to come in December (but, more likely, January). I’ll keep you all posted…including when I put up some sample chapters!
  5. On the subject of NaNoWriMo itself, my usual advice stands, which you can read here. I wouldn’t add much at all to this, except to reiterate: Have fun! NaNoWriMo shouldn’t feel like pressure.

See you around the galaxy, and I promise to check in more frequently!

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FINALLY!!!

At long, long last, the ebooks of AMONGST THE STARS are available!

Kindle
Nook

I do apologize for how long this took. This book’s formatting was quite the hassle in terms of getting it all to render correctly in e-book form. Scrivener is a fantastic piece of software, but the “compiling” part of the job is ZERO fun. In fairness, I’m not really sure how they could make it any better than it is, and there is always some aspect to ANY job that is the pits.

(If you MUST know, this book eschews numbered chapters in favor of “viewpoint” chapters, with each chapter headed by the name of the character whose viewpoint we are now in. If you’ve read George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books, you know how this works. Getting all that to compile correctly, without Scrivener adding chapter numbers, and generating a proper table of contents, was a HUGE pain. But I got it figured out in the end! And I wonder about people who compile even more complex works, in terms of structure within Scrivener where you can have entirely separate scenes to compile into chapters and then into parts and then into novels…yikes!)

But there we have it. The ebooks are here! Huzzah!!

And there will be another announcement toward the end of next week, so hold on to your hats!

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AMONGST THE STARS COVER REVEAL!!!

It’s here! At long, long last, it’s here: the cover for Amongst the Stars, otherwise known as The Song of Forgotten Stars, book III.

IT'S MY FRONT COVER YOU GUYS!!! #amwriting #ForgottenStars #AmongstTheStars #sciencefiction #spaceopera #soon

Here is the back cover copy:

ANNNNNND, the back-cover copy! I wrote the HELL out of this book, folks. I can't wait for it to be out there! #amwriting #ForgottenStars #AmongstTheStars #sciencefiction #spaceopera #soon

If that’s hard to read, never fear:

Penda Rasharri has heard the call of the stars ever since she first gazed upon the night sky. She hears them still, even after her home world’s tragic destruction and her search in a thousand different skies for a place to call her own. Even now, after being stranded for two years on the planet Xonareth with her young companions, Princesses Tariana and Margeth Osono of Gavinar Five, the stars still call to her.

Now, as the Xonarethi rebuild their cities and look themselves to the stars, Penda and the Princesses wonder if it’s time to renew their search for a way home. But partisans of Xonareth’s former King are driving the planet toward civil war, and unbeknownst to all, a mysterious spaceship — only the second in ten thousand years — is approaching the planet.

Continuing the tale begun in STARDANCER and THE WISDOMFOLD PATH, AMONGST THE STARS is a story of belonging and finding one’s way, of the promise of the future and the persistence of the past, of homecomings and departures…and of one starpilot’s search for the place she truly belongs.

What’s next? Well, I just got my proof copy of the book in the mail the other day, so I still have to make one last pass through the physical copy to correct any lingering errors that I can find. THEN, I’ll announce an actual release date, which will be in May. As has been my usual approach, I’ll be publishing the paperback first, with the e-book to come two or three weeks later.

But between now and then, I won’t be leaving you hanging: the traditional sample chapters will be on the way! Tune in next Tuesday for Chapter One! I will also soon be finalizing plans for offering signed copies of my books through this site (a much-overdue thing) and a policy for offering free copies to reviewers.

It’s almost here, folks! I’m excited!

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Yikes!!!

I can’t believe I’ve gone close to four months without posting here. The time has not been wasted, folks — but I have really fallen behind on some things.

BUT, I am indeed making progress! The long-promised Amongst the Stars is in the pipeline, and I hope to have it out sometime quite soon. I’m not promising a date, but…soon. As in, no later than Memorial Day, and likely before that, once I iron out the last bits of design and get my proof copies.

For now, here’s a little teaser of the cover!

Rasharri's Eyes

More details as they come! I’m picking up the pace now! Onward and upward! Zap! Pow!!

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