Posts Tagged ‘The Wasteland Chronicles’

Hey guys! Letting you all know that Evolution is now out! It can be found on Amazon at this link.

I had a lot of fun writing this one. It may be the best one yet. In the back of the book, it even has a glossary that defines many of the terms found within the Wasteland universe (fancy, huh?).

And just because it’s so awesome, I’m going to post the cover again.

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It’s about that time again, folks! Book 3 of The Wasteland Chronicles, Evolution, is pretty much done, barring a few minor details. Here is the very awesome cover done by the series artist, Luke Atkinson! And yes, those are dragons!

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Expect the book to drop on 8/8/2013, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo! I am getting PUMPED!

Just finished the first round of edits for Evolution. After the first draft, the book felt weaker than Book 2, but stronger than Book 1. Now, I think it has a chance of being the best of all.

The book had been expanded from 48,000 words to 55,000 words…making it the longest installment of The Wasteland Chronicles to date. The end had a huge makeover – there was more tying up, and more setting the the new stage of the adventure that will be Book 4. All in all, the plot was a bit more complicated than the other two books, which might be why it’s better.

I think I was able to experiment by adding several subplots that also enhanced the main plot. The first two books were pretty straightforward, road trip-like adventures. By the end of the book, though, everything starts to come full circle, and what felt disjointed at first now connects with the first two books, bringing it back to what makes the heart of the series.

The xenovirus continues to evolve and do crazy things, outpacing the abilities of the characters themselves (hence the name Evolution – and also, on another level, the characters and their relationships to each other also evolve). At the end of the book, the xenovirus takes something from them they hadn’t counted on losing, and the books ends on a cliffhanger that I feel readers will love to hate me for.

I plan on one more round of edits, though I feel the first 80 percent of the book will remain little changed. The ending will probably have to be tweaked a bit, but I’m fine with doing that. After that round of edits, which I will hopefully have done soon (at the earliest, next weekend), I can start all the publication steps…copyeditor, beta readers, and then publication.

I wish I had more time to work on it. If I could just have one week of time, then I could have it out by this weekend. At the latest, it will be out in August…but hopefully, I can have it out much sooner than that.

I haven’t had much in the way of news lately, as I’ve been busy writing and working. But now, I’ve just finished my third book in The Wasteland Chronicles. This one is titled Evolution.

Some fun facts about writing this book:

1. This book wasn’t supposed to exist to begin with. Now, it kind of does.

2. Originally, the Wasteland Chronicles was only supposed to be a series of four novellas that could all be considered to be a large novel. Now, it’s going to be a series of seven novellas that can be seen as an absolutely colossal novel.

3. I originally tried to plan this whole thing out from the beginning using a super detailed outline. I got word 30,000 of said outline, only to scrap ten thousand words of it and throw my outline out the window. I guess I truly learned what type of writer I am. I am a pantser all the way!

4. From beginning to end, Evolution took the least amount of time to write. It might mean I’m getting better at this, I’m not sure. I’m certainly learning that I can write a lot faster than I used to.

5. The word count of the first draft is almost, almost, 50,000 words. I was actually expecting it to be much higher than that, and it will probably come out to be more in the end, especially if I decided to add any scenes.

6. As it stands now, the entire word count for the series is about 142,000 words. The series is about halfway done.

Hopefully, I can get this bad boy edited, smack it on the bottom, and publish it as soon as possible. It would be amazing if I could have the whole series done before the year is out. I think I can manage it, but I’ll have to write like a madman to finish three books in the intervening time.

My next project will probably be a prequel, entitled Darkness, and then it’s on to the last two books of the series, Extinction and Xenofall.

Finishing the first draft of a book is always a good feeling! Now to celebrate with…something, perhaps.

Well, I have not posted in a while, so here it is. A post.

Writing wise, I’m starting book 3, Extinction, and so far I’m really liking it. Just the way the book is set up, I can jump into the action immediately. I’m about 4,000 words in, and if the stars align, I’ll be setting pretty at 10,000 by the end of Sunday. I’m hoping to get into a good flow.

I’m pretty excited about this one. It’s going to be long, I can feel it. The characters have a lot of things to do, and they are not easy things. I would not be surprised at all if this one clocks in at 70,000 words or more.

This book will be very different from either Apocalypse or Origins. One, there will not be as many monsters. Or at least, I don’t think there will be. Actually…yes. There will be monsters, because monsters are cool. Scratch the entire beginning of this paragraph.

In this one, all the world building that’s been alluded to in previous books will come out in full force. The characters will be traveling to all the places mentioned, like the Empire, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. I’m very excited to explore not just these areas, but also the people that inhabit them. From Book 1 to Book 2, the world of the Wasteland expanded. Book 3 will be the same, and in fact the characters will spend the majority of their time outside the Wasteland. The pace will be a bit slower. Slower might not be the right word. Maybe thicker? I don’t know. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Kind of like Book 2, Book 3 will very much be a Point A to Point B to Point C quest-type of book. Quest books are fun (think Lord of the Rings), but they can suffer predictability, because you know exactly where the characters will end up on the different legs of their journey. Hopefully I can find some way to mix it up…and just now writing this, it’s jogged my brain into thinking of the solution that creates more problems. Problems=good, as far as storytelling goes.

There will still be plenty of action – that’s sort of what Books 1 and 2 are about. But I’m not going to allow myself to rush too much. I think Book 3 is where The Wasteland Chronicles will finally find its heart, somehow. I’m not outlining anything, but am just going along with what’s in my head currently, hoping that I can surprise myself along the way.

In fact, outside of what I’ve written down just now, I don’t know much about Book 3. I have a feeling it could be the best one yet, and it is possible the scope of it might force a splitting into two books. Hopefully, I don’t have to do that, as it would mean my five book series would now be a six books series. But there’s something about the number six that does seem right for how long a series is…and that would give me a chance to use my alternate title for Book 4, and in that case Book 5 would take Book 4’s current title. Sorry if that was confusing.

Actually maybe I should do six books now…or not? I don’t know. We’ll see how long this one is, and if there is a logical place to split up the two. Definitely if it creeps up to 80,000 words, I’ll want to split it in half, which means the next time I release a book, I would probably be releasing two at the same time.

Actually, now that I mention that, I really, really like that idea. Hopefully it works out, or maybe that’s just the coffee talking.

I know for sure that I will not be releasing a 90,000 word novel. I want to keep each installment short, between 40 to 60 thousand words, because I like the episodic nature of the books. I think novellas work really well on Kindle.

A couple days earlier than expected, I’ve released Origins.

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In this book, the team continues on their mission to discover the origins of the xenovirus, and it has some very surprising twists, especially toward the end.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, and am ready to start Book 3 as soon as I know how to proceed.

You can find the book here.

Now that I’ve finished the fourth draft of Origins, I am somewhat twiddling my thumbs. The break is good and well-earned, but I find myself wondering about my next thing. There’s a fantasy novella I halfway wrote about a year ago that I’d like to revisit. Some ideas have been developing in my head on that front. It would be a good break from the Wasteland, as writing Origins was more work than I expected. In the end, I think that was a good thing. It taught me to not underestimate the amount of work necessary to do a good job…or at least what I hope is a good job.

One of my beta readers has already read it. She got back to me within two days and let me know she really liked it and it was better than the first. This is really encouraging because I had no idea whether it was good or bad. Her feedback is having me rethink one of the characters and I already have some ideas churning in my head that I’ll need to sleep on. It would maybe add 5,000 words to the story and a reworking of the ending. Not that the current ending is bad, per se, but this would make it much better. Whenever there’s a trilogy, or in my case a four book series, there needs to be a dark moment where all seems lost. I’ve thought of a way to raise the stakes way higher than I had them before in terms of the characters and their relationships. Only thing is, I don’t know if I can pull it off, yet.  It could be the case that I write that scene in my next book, but I think it could work here as well.

I don’t know, my thoughts are kind of skewed on it, so we’ll see.

In the meantime I’ll be thinking of what to do next. Eventually I’d like to do a map and a glossary, and possibly appendices, that would go more in depth into the world of the Wasteland, its critters, and the science of how it all works. Not real science, this is fiction after all, but I’d like there to be more of a basis for how it all works. I’d have to sci-ency research stuff so I don’t sound like a complete imbecile, but I’m fine by that. This extra stuff would be about twenty thousand words or so, maybe longer.

I’ve also been thinking about doing a prequel to Apocalypse. I have title called Darkness in my mind, and it would follow the story of Alex’s grandfather and father during the Dark Decade, ending with them being holed up in Bunker 108.

I think a prequel could be very cool. It would add a lot of depth to a time period only alluded to in the series: what would it be like for the whole world to watch its demise approach in the form of a meteor over ten years? If nothing else, it would make interesting speculative fiction. A prequel would give me the opportunity to explore that.

I don’t know if I would write that one next, or after all is said and done. It would make the series five books total, and probably 200,000 words (or more). Appendices included, more than that.

I think adding a bestiary (nerd alert!) for all the different kind of monsters found in the Wasteland would be really cool. And there a lot of critters, and more are being added as I think of them. Apocalypse contained some infected wolves and ,of course infected, people, not counting plants, but the virus does some pretty crazy things to Earth life in book 2.

I think having all that done by the end of this year would be very, very cool. And granted I do get it all done, I will be a much better writer at the end of it. I can go on to something else that’s even better than this. Hopefully.

The perfect end to this year would be to have all (prospectively) five books in one volume, available in both e-format and physical format, with maps, appendices, and a glossary, as well as having them available as separate titles, with some slick formatting, a table of contents., and NO typos…typos shall always and forevermore be my bane, Achilles tendon, and kryptonite, pick your cliche. However, the prospect of doing all that is exciting. I’d like to hold a book thicker than War & Peace in my hand and say, “Yeah. This book thing. I wrote it. BAZINGA!”

Although, War & Peace is about 550k words, or so I hear, so it would still be twice as long as anything I wrote. It’s the principle that matters, folks!

And, there is always my romance novel I want to write. I have more ideas than I know what to do with. I guess an overabundance of ideas is a good thing for a writerly fellow like me.