News and Announcements
- Call for Beta Readers New Years 2019
- Celebration Announcement Coming Soon.
- Projected 2nd draft completion in Winter of 2018.
- Beta Reader review complete on first draft.
- First edit of Supplicant finished as of October 2016.
I was tearing myself apart. I felt burnt out, and stressed beyond the point of having the ability to derive enjoyment from anything. I didn't give myself time to breathe. I exhausted all my mental fortitude and drained myself of emotion. I did this to myself because I believed that if I stopped I would fall over and I would never achieve my goals. And so, I forced myself onward, always in crisis mode, always one more mountain to climb.
I had to slow down. I had been in a marathon where I had kept running even though I crossed the finish line many times over. If that's not insane, I don't know what is, but that has been me for over a year now. I am accustomed to pushing myself to the limit at all times, but I am getting older now, and myocardial infarction is a thing at my age. Funny. My body didn't get the memo that I'm supposed to live forever.
Well, I came to a stop when I began having palpitations. It was then that I forced myself to look back to see how I had arrived here. What I realized was that I had conquered more mountains than I gave myself credit for, and if I had not stopped, I would've fallen off the precipice of the one I was on. I took a deep breath and allowed myself to celebrate my victories.
Everyone reading this post, I implore you to stop and recognize how far you've actually come in life. Take out a pen and paper. List your accomplishments. I guarantee they are more than you realize. Don't be humble. Own your successes, no matter how small you think they are. If you had a goal that you reached , or surpassed, allow yourself to celebrate it. Once you've written it, keep it with you. When you feel like you've lost focus, take it out and read it. The self-affirmation will center and calm you. Trust me, it will.
Every goal we make is a mountain top we climb. We might slip or backslide, but if we are serious about success, we keep climbing. Not defeated like Sisyphus, but triumphant like the Mountain King. Each summit we reach should be reflected upon and celebrated. Being ungrateful to self can have disastrous repercussions.
Most people who set out to write a novel never complete it. Many never get halfway. Some study their craft like its their major. Fewer have rewritten their novel two-and-a-half times, and taken it to second draft. And, only a handful might have done that while learning a new career in medical coding with a leg injury. That's now where I am at with Supplicant. I had to breathe that in and really take in what all I have accomplished.
In the spirit of celebration, I want to announce that I will be officially accepting beta readers for Supplicant. I am on track to have the second draft completed before the end of the year, ahead of schedule. If you are interested in beta reading, or have questions about the process, please email me at email@example.com. If email feels too archaic, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @royldaman. There are only ten slots available and I will be making a separate post about what beta reading entails within the next week, for those who are curious.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and the holidays to come. Until next time, enjoy your summit.
I know. Its been seven months. I suck. Like you've been glued to your inbox just waiting for me to post again. Listen, I admit that both of us could work better at this relationship. At least I'm not cluttering up your inbox with oppressively boring updates every week or harassing you for your attention like some kind of grammar obsessed stalker. If this relationship is going to work, then we each need our space. I mean, really, what would you prefer? A writer who updates every day or one who actually writes? I think we both know the answer to that.
Now that's out of the way, I've got some good news. No, its not that the second draft will be finished in Fall, like I projected. During editing, I decided that the last half of the book needed to be rewritten. Oh yeah, it was discouraging when I first admitted it to myself. Didn't have a dry eye for days. But, then I put on my big boy underoos and got to work. Oh well, no first draft survives the second. Or the third. Most authors will tell you that. I got to live it though. Fun for me. And, it will be fun for you once its complete. For now, that means pushing the second draft completion back to Winter of this year.
I need five committed beta readers to read through the book and give feedback on plot structure, character development, and other insights you may have along the way. Was something confusing? Something didn't work for you in the story? Pacing a tad off? Feel free to be brutally honest. However, I am looking for science-fiction beta readers only. Its not that I don't love the rest of you, but lets face it, unless you enjoy reading it you can't really grade it.
Line edits are not needed, so don't worry about grammar or spelling errors. I will announce on my blog when I have closed the offer for beta readers.
Once selected, I will contact you via email. That email will grant you access to a google document which you can add comments to. I will give you access to a new chapter after you have finished the previous. This is to encourage beta readers to continue reading and commenting.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at any time.
Well, here we are, on the other side of the holidays. But, things haven't slowed down. At least, not for me. I have been working hard to absorb everything I can about medical coding, our chapter held its first meeting since the new officers took their roles, started a newsletter for our members, and attended several educational presentations on coding.
But, Roy, aren't you a writer? Of course. And, I have been just as busy in completing the second draft of Supplicant. Every free minute, I have devoted to either editing or to reading books on the craft of writing. With the Amazon cards I received from work as awards for excellent performance, I bought three more books: one on dialogue, troubleshooting common writing problems, and writing in the twenty-first century.
The good news is that I have completed editing the first ten chapters. Considering that Supplicant is just a little over thirty chapters long, that means that I am a third of the way done through this draft. Several chapters were more intense than others. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, there were several story ideas that I changed halfway through the book. Many concepts had to be adapted while others cleanly cut out. In many such chapters, I had to rewrite. In some cases, I have rewritten the entire chapter, while cutting swaths of exposition in others. This is common for many authors. You didn't think that novels spring unbidden from the minds of their writers in pristine form, did you?
I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that every spare minute that is mine, I am busy editing. When I am at work, and on lunch, I use my Voice Dream app to listen to portions of my writing and make suggested edits to myself via Evernote. Driving to and from work, I use the dictation portion of Evernote to write down quick ideas for the series. When I get home, I sit down, crack open my laptop, and edit until I start to nod off. Rinse and repeat until the weekend, where I have more time at my disposal to edit.
But, I wanted to take some time away from that to update everyone on the progress that I've made. I'm averaging one and a half chapters per month, which isn't bad considering the rewrites. I expect the subsequent chapters to be easier to edit, as I had implemented the new concepts by that time. The higher the complexity of the chapter, the longer it will take to edit. Chapter Nine took a month unto itself due to the amount of intricate content in it. Chapter Ten was not so difficult as it dealt with pretty straightforward story concepts.
I am still here and alive. If you want to email me questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will continue to update the website blog as new developments arise and milestones are crossed. Thank you for being a part of this journey!
Its mid-November, and you know what that means! In a few days—Thanksgiving. And, a few days after that— Christmas and New Years. For those of you who have been around since the first days of this site, you know that the holidays are the busiest time of the year for me, just like I am sure it is for all of you.
This season won’t be any different. There will be days to shop, family to spend time with, places to go, and things to eat. This, unfortunately, is my least productive time as a writer throughout the year. Though, I will make the attempt, my time will be short. That being said, I won’t be able to produce weekly newsletters as I’ve been doing. And there is another change that will make that so for the foreseeable future.
This next year I have the honor of serving as our AAPC Chapter President. That comes with a lot of responsibility and reallocation of time to those duties. That being said, I am not quitting the Blueshift Effect news blog. It just means that my posts will not be once a week as they have been. At the very least, there should be a new blog post once each month.
I admit that I am not near where I would’ve liked editing Supplicant, but work and training take precedence. Also, some chapters are more difficult to edit than others. Some areas are largely unchanged, but there are others that either need a revamp or re-write altogether. Chapter Five has given me trouble for numerous reasons, but mostly due to changes I made to the storyline as I was writing it initially. I am almost finished with this section and will be happy to move on to, hopefully, less arduous editing.
So, where does that leave my timeline for finishing the second draft? Barring any other difficult patches like Chapter Five—I would estimate by Winter 2018. The good news is that the closer I get to editing the end of Supplicant the easier it should go as that was where most of the major changes to the story occurred while writing. So, there should be fewer rewrites and edits as I go along.
Do you find these posts entertaining? What do you like or dislike about them? What could I do to improve the articles? Are there areas you are interested in that I am not covering? Leave your suggestions and observations in the comment section below. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
There are phrases in our culture that compare emotions to colors: Mark was so mad that he saw red. Haley has looked so blue since she failed her chemistry exam. Paula was green with envy over Chloe’s new Michael Kors handbag.
Anybody remember mood rings? People still wear those, right? Or, how about Pixar's movie, "Inside Out" where each emotion is characterized with specific color schemes? There are many more examples out there, but why? Why do we associate colors with our feelings?