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.
If you can believe it, I survived medical coding, and passed the CPC exam. It took more studying and effort than I have ever done before, but it was well worth it. That means that I will be able to apply for a position with the coding office, and grant me opportunities to advance in that career.
Some of you might wonder why I chose to do that. I am a writer afterall, so what gives with the classes, and exams? There was a time, long long ago, where a writer could have no other profession and support themselves with writing.
I am joking. There has never been such a time. Unless you're independently wealthy, or have all your expenses otherwise taken care of, you need to have a career. I work full time in the medical field. That grants very little extra time for other endeavors such as studying or writing a novel. It takes dedication for both.
These days you need to have a way to support yourself, and then work on your art. I say work, because art is every bit as much work as it is love. And, now that I am finished with classes, and exams, I can return to editing Supplicant.
Truthfully, my work needed the pause. They say you should wait a month or so before editing to your finished draft so that you will come back refreshed. Well, it has been nine months, and this baby is ready to pop. I have come up with more details, and fleshed out more of the books to follow in the series, which impacts this one in very real ways.
In addition to that, I have been blessed with the help of an extremely talented writer, who believes enough in Supplicant to assist me in editing it. She has been an outstanding wealth of knowledge in both the craft of writing and grammar. Often, she has reminded me of grammar rules that I had long forgotten. More than just a beta reader, Rebecca Church has chosen to take a hands-on approach to Supplicant to which I am in her debt. Rebecca has published numerous short stories on Amazon, ranging from horror to romance, and I highly encourage you to check them out.
That being said, the timetable I had previously set is out the window, for now. We have averaged editing a chapter a week, and barring any schedule conflicts, that would set us to be finished with the second draft by Fall 2017. My plan, from that point, will be to go over the draft a third time. After that, I hope to present the work to an agent. That is a long process just by itself.
I hope you enjoyed this update. If there is a subject you would like me to write about on my blog, or if you have questions you’d like me to answer, feel free to email me at email@example.com or contact me on Facebook at R.L.Daman.
Well, this is an update that has been a long time coming. I have not abandoned the site, or "Supplicant." The rigors in studying for medical coding have forced me to scale back editing for the novel, but that does not mean I have stopped completely. I am still just as enthusiastic about "Supplicant" as when I began it.
In several ways, school has allowed me time to step back from the story and look at it in a fresh light. I still update my Evernote account daily with new or changed ideas for the subsequent novels to follow this one. However, the actual editing of the story has come to a near standstill.
As anyone who has ever prepared to take the CPC exam knows, it is an ordeal to study for, and to pass. I have been putting all my effort into these fast-paced classes, which has left me little time for anything else.
Thankfully, my classes will be complete at the end of March. Then begins the long road to passing the exam itself. Hopefully, I will pass it within the first few tries, but if not I will continue to study until I do.
You might be wondering why I am putting so much time and effort into medical coding when what I've dreamed of doing since I was a child was writing. Opprotunities don't come by often, especially if they can improve your situation in life. I was offered this chance to take this class for virtually nothing other than books, and paying for the test. That was an offer I couldn't really refuse in good conscience.
Medical coding might seem bland, but it is really an exciting field. If you are at all interested in how procedures are performed or the newest advances in medicine, then it is a truly fascinating field. It provides room for growth, and education unlike where I am currently. So, the decision to take it up as my profession was made based on many criteria that directly affect my family.
This will set back my projected timeframe to complete the first edit for "Supplicant". Considering the variables involved, I might not be able to pick-up editing full-time until around or after Summer. I will post another update when I am able to return my focus back to editing.
In the meantime I apologize for my lack of availability and presence online. I still respond to email, so if you want to correspond, then that would be the best place to contact me. I hope everyone's New Year has been a good one so far, and if not, then you have plans in place to make it so. Thank you for coming to the site, and for your patience.
Last week my wife and I traveled to the DPAC in Durham, NC to see The Trailer Park Boys as a part of our anniversary. A follow-up to that event, and to ring in Halloween right, we went to see Phantogram at the Fillmore in Charlotte last night. If you ever get a chance to see either of them live, you should. They are some of the best shows I've been to.
So, before I get back to studying (we start the CPT portion this week), I want you to think about the myriad of life experiences that surround you each day - the ones you choose to take part in, and the ones you let slip by. Think about the kaleidoscope that swirls and dances around you each day. Every moment waiting for you to reach out, pluck it from the sky, and hold it in your hand. Stick it in your pocket, bring it home with you, and begin to type. You'll be surprised what you find and where it fits.
I surfaced for air, and now I have to head back into the storm. I just thought I would share this with you before I do. See you next time.
It's hard to believe that we are close to November. Only a few days ago did we start to experience any real chill in the air. Halloween is right around the corner, and on its heels, are Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays are busy enough on their own, but when you are an author, your time comes in minute increments.
Couple that with a fast-paced class in coding, and you have got a full plate. However, it is not impossible. It is all about time management, organization, and prioritizing. I want to share my experience with you so that you can see that even with a full-time job, and full-time family life, you can still write your novel.
Four weeks ago, I began a medical coding class. It will run from October until around March of next year. We are finishing the ICD-10 portion of the course, and will beginning CPT coding next week. So far, the pace has kept me on my toes, but I like the challenge. This will not only supplement my job, but open up new avenues for my career.
Despite that, I am still editing "Supplicant", went to see The Trailer Park Boys in Durham this last weekend, seeing friends and family, playing D&D, and as a special Halloween treat we are going to see Phantogram at the Fillmore this weekend. All that, and I am still holding up an above average grade on all of my coding tests.
Right now, I am a third of the way through the first draft edit. There has been a lot of changes made that I am excited about - mostly to character development and plot. There have been drastic cuts as well. There were several areas that either didn't make much sense, droned on for too long, or just wasn't entertaining. I went through them like a slasher film and took out anything that didn't hold my attention. Which wasn't much, in contrast to the whole work, but still - Its a matter of what I believe my readers will find the most interesting.
After that, I will go through another edit for grammar, structure, and ease of reading. Once I am finished, which I project to be sometime next summer, I will begin sending "Supplicant" off to agents and publishing houses. If, for some unimaginable reason it isn't picked up, then I might consider self-publishing the work. I've taken on a lot, but I believe in myself, and I believe in my work.
If I can take away anything from the input I've received from those outstanding beta readers of mine, its that "Supplicant" will sell well. I am excited, as I am sure you are, to see the novel come alive. For those of you who may have missed my last update, I have also begun on the sequel, called "Discordant". In addition, I have drawn up outlines for three more. When I set out to write an epic, I won't be satisfied with anything less.
Come up with a plan. Get organized. Commit yourself to time for each task and assign it a priority. Sometimes, that priority is not going to be your novel, but it should be next on the list. For example, right now my coding class is top priority. When I am not studying, in class, working on homework, or completing a test; I am editing "Supplicant". Priorities may change depending on the circumstances, but I always make time each day to write and edit.
You can too. Time may be limited, but you have to make every minute count. That is not easy, I know. If you ever want an entertaining read on Neil Gaiman's explanation on how to write a novel, you should check it out. It may feel as impossible and mythical as he explains it, but it doesn't have to be. If you are committed, you can make it happen. If am able to do it, I know you can do it too, because I know you are wonderful and intelligent people.
As always, I will keep you updated with what is going on with "Supplicant" and everything surrounding it. Take care, and keep writing.
One of the most difficult items to pen down for an author is the dreaded Query Letter of Doom. This is a letter where we writers chop and dice up our work into a single bite-sized version of our novel for the agent to digest. Writing a novel is difficult. Condensing it down into a paragraph or two, while being concise and entertaining is damn near alchemy. Since none of us have a spare philosopher stone laying around or are personal friends of Nicolas Flamel , we must toil away trying to create our own formula that will woo agents and astound publishers. That is why I would like to invite you to take a look at the portion of my query letter where I attempt to do just that.
Below, I've provided what I have came up thus far. I would be honored to hear your responses to it. The big question being, if you were an agent reading through a slog-fest of other proposals - would this stand out, and does it grab your attention to find out more?
Supplicant: Age of Dissidence is a 125,000 word science-fiction novel that takes place at the end of the twenty-second century. Every aspect of a citizen’s life is monitored by a cybernetic spinal implant and AI module in an attempt to monitor, and contain the highly infectious dissident virus. Those suspected of infection are summarily sentenced by a Judicator and either sent to an internment facility, or are executed.
When Aurora Crown, a martial strategist prodigy studying at Rezmont Academy, discovers that her fraternal twin Nova, a rebellious rights activist, is defecting to the dissident organization named the FAE; Aurora must choose between a prestigious life as a Judicator or keeping Nova safe from facing execution at the hands of the UCA government.
Please leave your comments in the section below, and thank you for your responses.