A new job, a new house. Where does the novel fit in? – Progress Report 29/7/13

This is how my head feels right about now. . .

Have you heard of the expression ‘Loaded to the gunwales’?

That’s me.

That’s me all over. I have a new job to prepare for. I have an old job with a million things to finish, as well as the big project that I’ll be going back to finish off (and taking leave from the new job to do this). I put an offer on a house in the weekend and it was accepted. Now I have to get my house ready for open homes and get it in a ‘sellable-not-obviously-lived-in-by-two-terror-children’ condition.

And I still have a novel to edit.


Mustn’t grumble though, right? It’s fortunate that my novel isn’t a chore. Writing at its base level is a pasttime for me, something I love to do and would be doing anyway regardless of whether I had an Elite novel to write or not. But having this project means I do need to prioritise it and keep forging ahead with it.

It’s a balancing act, like life always is. I haven’t figured it out yet. Unlike with my writing, where I like to plan as much as possible, with life I like to cross my bridges when I get to them.

So over the next few weeks my output will probably be lower than it has been, but I am still working toward finishing this edit and getting the story out to Alpha readers in early August.

It’s doable. I just need to develop some more hours in the day.


Editing Metrics:

Progress Meter


225/ 267 (84.3%)


Page Count For The Week: 35.

Updated Word Count: 127,649

Real Life Moment of the Week:

Well the big one is that we put a conditional offer on a house and it was accepted. Its a big step up and we had to go in quite a bit under what they asked for but with a bit of negotiation got a result that was good for us. Woop woop!

So now begins the mission to tidy up our current house to get it on the market. This means I’m going to be a pretty busy person for the next wee while. . .

Repaired Faux-Pas of the Week:

This one I can’t actually reveal any details on, its all somewhat hush hush as it involves some Elite Dangerous mechanics. I had written it as ‘A’ but in actual fact its looking like it is going to be ‘B’. And that’s a good thing. It’s definitely the way I’d prefer things and how I wrote the majority of the book, but the question was raised in the writers forum as I was writing the draft of this scene so I wrote it that way ‘just in case’.

Edititation of the Week

As I get to the pointy end of the novel its getting harder to find spoiler free examples of good editing in action. This week’s example is pretty tame in terms of the plot and there isn’t much in the editing, is more about the allocation of white space in the text than the text itself. When you read the the ‘before’ and ‘after’ below, don’t just look at the words. Look at how the words are presented. It should have a bit more punch to it, though it may not, given the paragraph has been taken out of context.


Robert wriggled down the air lock tube into AO’s Saker. He turned, pushed down and landed before her. He straightened up, a foot away from her, watching her. She had replaced her Brotherhood outfit with an Alliance navy one piece, a dressed up pressure suit with insignia and Velcro pockets and. It was a tight, form fitting number.
It looked good.
He wondered why he’d never seen her like that before. Maybe because she was always threatening to kill him


Robert wriggled down the air lock tube into Gunn’s Saker, pushed off, turned and landed before her. He straightened up, a foot away from her, watching her.

She stood with her arms folded across her chest. She had replaced her Brotherhood outfit with an Alliance navy one piece, a dressed up blue pressure suit with insignia and Velcro pockets and a utility belt. It was a tight, form fitting number.

It looked good.

Real good.

He wondered why he’d never seen her like that before, but figured it was because she had always kept threatening to kill him.

Commander's Log Cover art
Commander’s Log Podcast

Thanks to everyone who downloaded and listened to Episode 8. Did you catch the big announcement buried in there? Also a big thanks to Darren Grey and Psykokow for lending me their voices.

Episode 9 is right on target for later this week. Finished the final recording a few nights ago, though had to do it twice due to a technical glitch (i.e I was not recording myself as I recorded the pdocast). Never mind though.

Episode 9’s main guest is Dave Hughes, the man behind the Elite Encounters RPG with other guests ‘Alien’ and ‘CMDR Arbanax’ from the Elite forums helping out as well. (OneVigor had to pull out). Thanks a lot for all your help, team.

Once Episode 9 goes live I’ll be looking for another couple of voices to help with episode 10 as well, so if you’re interested get in contact via email (john_at_andherethewheel.co.nz) or visit this Elite forum thread.

Website Updates

Thanks for everyone’s feedback last week and a great big thanks to anyone who had to /delurk to get in touch. Much appreciated. Sounds like I was reading a bit too much into things and being over sensitive, not words normally attributed to me. We’ll just keep trucking along as we are. Another two weeks to complete this edit. What happens after that? Well I have a few things to do while I wait for the Alpha readers to get back to me. I have a short story to read over and send back out into the market. I have a few articles to pull together, I have a beat sheet to rebuild after the changes of this current edit. So I won’t be taking a break from ‘And Here the Wheel’ from a project perspective. There might be enough juicy gossip to continue the regular weekly updates. We’ll just have to wait and see.


Thanks everyoyne for stopping by. Remember to sign up for updates delivered straight to your inbox by entering your email address to the sign up box at the top right. Cheers, and see you next time.



3 responses to “A new job, a new house. Where does the novel fit in? – Progress Report 29/7/13

  1. Yeah, the spacing of sentences really makes a difference to the way it reads. When I get through my edit, my book will probably be half again as long… without having any more words in it. 🙂 Congrats on the house, BTW. Boo to the upcoming madness of inspections.

  2. Thanks Red. So far the house selling experience is quite different to last time. Previously we were in the Hutt and we tidied the house up and it took five month to sell. This time we are ‘house staging’ which means dressing the place up, alot of changes outside, rental furniture inside, our clutter removed and put out of the way. hopefully it is worth it!

  3. Hey John

    The spacing in the edit gives the section room to breathe, and puts more emphasis on Robert’s ‘realisation’, making the reader also pause as if in Robert’s shoes.

    I like it.

    I really like it!

    I hope I’ll get to the point where I can edit my text likewise, but first I need to structure my story, instead of writing random sections at a time.

    I’m currently reading Monkeys with Typewriters by Scarlett Thomas, and I’ve previously read Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland on your suggestion. Hopefully the great advice in these books, and the musings from yourself and Drew etc, will help me learn how to build a story and get writing.

    First of all though I know I need to make time for this, and put other hobbies on the back burner for a while to do it.

    Steve 😉

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