Oh, wow. November seems so long ago already! I was on a roll. Had incredible momentum writing "Echoes of Dragons." I knocked out the first 50k words for a completely new draft of my Mythnium novel, and then sat down to proof, edit, flesh it out, and the momentum slowed to a crawl.
Sure, I could blame the holidays. In reality, I just did not commit the same amount of time in December as I did in November, and I got caught up in details ((and life)).
Also, I got caught up in trying to market "Short Stories from Mythnium," which did really well (IMO) until Christmas, and now ... Well, I guess all the friends I have who are going to buy it have done so. So, now I am taking on reviewing books in an effort to get reviews, as well as simply gain traffic that might bring new readers to Mythnium. ((I am not and never was a sales person, so I do not have the greatest experiences or success with trying to sell anything, even things I truly believe in. This marketing thing is a hugely daunting task for me.))
There I go chasing rabbits again.
After November, I scheduled out rough deadlines.
•Finish draft two.
•Get it to my Beta Readers.
•Take Beta Readers' input and add to draft three.
•Get draft three to my Editors.
•Take edited draft (draft four) and format for publication, review, and send to Advanced Readers. •Take their reviews and revise one last time.
•Then send for publication.
I had it all laid out for a March 2021 release date.
Then I got my first suggestions and criticism from one of my Beta Readers.
Just a suggestion right?
Oh, man. I read over the papers from that Beta Reader multiple times over the past week. Then got his overall summary yesterday. I gotta admit - the overall impression left me a bit shell shocked.
Today, I sat down with those suggestions and observations and started reworking my book from the beginning. This is now draft three. Draft three started with 57,509 words. Today, I added another 1,795 words. I felt a great sense of accomplishment until I reviewed the four pages worth of suggestions in my hand. Granted, every suggestion will not affect the manuscript, but most of them are valid concerns and observations from a reader who has been part of my fan base from nearly the beginning. I value his opinion and his thoughtful criticism so very, very much. So harsh criticism hurts, but I respect the value in it. In many ways, this reader has as much invested in the stories I write as I do.
Isn't that neat?
I can think of a couple books, series actually, that I feel invested in even though I didn't write them. Those books, the series they are part of, influenced how I think about a great many things. They aren't necessarily these incredible allegories or anything. They don't focus on philosophy or psychology or social statements, but in the very fibers of the stories, they cause readers to take pause and think about parallels, and in those ways readers learn and either dig deeper or walk away.
I don't know that anything I write will ever be profound or life changing to anyone. I would count myself honored if someone ever said that something in one of my books actually affected how they viewed real life. Still, as my own critic, I don't think my writing is overly deep or philosophical, and I am okay with that.
Still, I want you, my readers, and future readers to enjoy the books I write. I hope that my blown deadlines will result in this book being one where you can really get to know the characters and can really join them on the journeys they are taking through Mythnium. I hope that you can relate to the struggles they face, and can share the wonder they experience as they discover more about themselves, each other, and their world.
So - deadlines, schmedlines...
Tomorrow, I will have to sit down and consider a new time table, and pray that everyone involved in this process can stick with me a little longer.