Something FANTASTIC is coming

FBP_Logo_Tag_CMYK_BANDW

Things are changing.

Or at least they will be. Soon.

But first I need to finish this edit of the novel. This is taking up approximately 117% of my time.

With such heavy focus on the edit this weeks update is going to zoom in on some of the editing progress.

First, lets start with the progress meter:

Progress Meter

 

Page 421/ 579 (72.7%)

 

Not much apparent progress since last week. But looks can be deceiving….

*Two chapters have been revised electronically based on edits done on paper
*Two scenes have been deleted. (hence the drop in page count)
*One new scene (to replace deleted two) has been plotted, planned and is currently being written
*Some work has gone into some side tasks around ‘Project And Here The Wheel’

Word Count

The edit started around 132,000 words is currently around 125,000 words. That includes some general trimming as well as focused ‘george forman knocks out the’ fat.

Page Count

This edit started at 601 pages and is down to 579. Heading in the right direction. I feel there is still plenty more trimming to go. Having completed the edit on paper its really hard to say what the effect will be on word count and page count. At the moment its just a bunch of red scribble over print. I know a lot of words have been cut out, I just don’t have a feel for the number. We’ll find out soon enough.

I know the first ten chapters will also get a good tightening on the next edit pass as well.

Beta Readers

Yes, I am behind. I pretty much blame the new scene for this. If I wasn’t changing this scene and writing it from scratch then I would have finished this edit by now. But its not about finishing, its about having the best final product. I believe the novel will be better with this revised scene. It won’t change the plot, because the scene hits all the same notes. It just hits them better, in a different and more concise way. It hammers the truth into the protagonist and forces him to look at himself and shows him who he really is.

Across the whole story there have been subtle changes, evolutions to relationships, new angles shown, one point of view character has lost his point of view completely, and his scenes now belong to someone else. Tweaks here, explanation moved or added there, etc. All and all I think the alpha readers will enjoy this new beta version and find it an even better read.

Those beta readers who haven’t read the alpha yet? Well they’ll just get a good old fashioned awesome read. Not bad ūüôā

So what is the new timetable? Give me two weeks. This new scene, when finished, will be a draft scene and will need a few coats of ‘looking at’. The last few chapters (which have split to create an extra two chapters) just need to have the edits transferred over to the computer, two to three days maybe.

We’ll get there team, we’ll get there, and I promise you it will be worth the wait!

Space Game Junkie
Commander's Log Cover art

Just a reminder that a few weeks back I had a chat with Brian from Space Game Junkie. We talked about Elite, my novel, space games in general and time zones. I tried to explain to Brian what was good about Elite:Dangerous (him being skeptical from the kickstarter) and he had to stop me half way through my passionate spiel. “John,” he said. “Frontier should hire you to do their publicity because on what you just told me I would have totally backed it.”

You can check out the podcast recording over at space game junkie

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Well a short update this week. Got to get back to the editing ūüôā Thanks for stopping by.

John

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Newsletter # 4 Out Now!

For everyone who supported my crowd funding campaign to the newsletter tier (or higher) you should have a copy of the newsletter in your inbox.

There have been a few new people join this group and you should have been added to the email list. ¬†If anyone thinks they should have received the newsletter but haven’t, please get in touch and I will send it through.

IMG_2617Table of Contents
In this newsletter I lay out the usual summary and story statistics, explore the history of a character, and attempt to answer the question: ¬†“How would you make a luxury cabin in zero gee?” ¬†This question in reference to the luxury yacht and passenger liner ships which will be available in the game.

I have also included an extract from the novel and a new and original drabble (a piece of fiction exactly 100 words) starring the hero of the novel, Robert Garry.  This drabble is set about twelve years before the start of the story.

Want In?

Thank you everyone for your support.  If you are interested in receiving the newsletter, I am still trying to raise funds to create an audiobook version of the novel.  Check out the Supporters page at the top right, choose a supporters tier and then click on the paypal link.  If you are already a supporter and would like to upgrade just pay the upgrade amount and make a note in the paypal form that you are upgrading.

Cheers

John

John Harper Versus the Internet

A quick update for you all.

Last week I had Even Bollinger over at http://www.andherethewheel.co.nz for a guest post. This week Evan has returned the favour by interviewing me. You can see the interview here.

I also had a chat with John Stabler last night about Frontier Development’s progress with Elite Dangerous and what we’ll do once we get our grubby mitts on the game. You’ll have to check out Lave radio or the Frontier Forums to see when John announces it.

Finally keep checking back this week (or sign up to have updates delivered straight to your inbox) because the Commander’s Log Podcast Ep 9 will be up in the next few days.

Newsletter # 3 Out Now!

For everyone who suported my crowd funding campaign to the newsletter tier (or higher) you should have a copy of the newsletter in your inbox.

There have been a few new people join this group and you should have been added to the email list. ¬†If anyone thinks they should have received the newsletter but haven’t, please get in touch and I will send it through.

Contents
In this newsletter I lay out the usual summary and story statistics, explore the history of one the locations in my novel  and I discuss heating and cooling of starships in space from an engineering point of view.

I have also included an extract from the novel and a new and original drabble (a piece of fiction exactly 100 words) starring the hero of the novel, Robert Garry.

Want In?

Thank you everyone for your support.  If you are interested in receiving the newsletter, I am still trying to raise funds to create an audiobook version of the novel.  Check out the Supporters page at the top right, choose a supporters tier and then click on the paypal link.  If you are already a supporter and would like to upgrade just pay the upgrade amount and make a note in the paypal form that you are upgrading.

The ‘Nothing to report’ Progress Report 6/5/13

Slow news week.

Prior to last week I had had Microsoft Office open on the computer all year.

This week, I didn’t. No manuscripts, no nothing. I have not touched the story. A clean break, cold turkey styles. I decided I needed a rest. First for myself, to let my brain concentrate on other things for awhile. But secondly for the story itself. Before I go and start ripping it to shreds I want to get a bit of space, a bit of perspective.

Basically I want to forget the story.

When writing you know all the details, you know both what is on the page and what is supposed to be on the page but you also know something else: You know what you think is on the page but may not actually necessarily positively be there. In your mind all the details are there but perhaps you didn’t write them down as well as you thought or your allusions were too paper thin or whatever.

So if I forget the story (as best I can in a couple of weeks) I should be able to get back to the manuscript with a fresh set of eyes. No, that’s too cliche. Let’s say I’ll get back to the manuscript with a head full of other crap instead. So with a brain thus distracted when I go to review the manuscript it will be quite clear what is and what is not written down. If something is missing I can add it in. If I’ve hit the nail on the head so many times that the nail has gone through the wood and out the other side, I can delete with impunity.

That’s the beauty of editing.

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Although I haven’t been writing the story, I’m never too far away from ‘And Here The Wheel’. I’ve been working on the podcast and episode # 5 should be out this week. Some of the characters will be making cameos in some other E:D stories so I’ve been helping with that. I’ve been keeping up with the forums, helping out Lave Radio and getting involved in other ventures such as Jagged Alliance:Flashback.

What you say? Another Kickstarter? Are you insane?

Well, yes, yes I am. I loved Jagged Alliance as a little teenager. I won’t ever have the time to play this game probably, but I want it made and I want to support it. (Sound familiar?) I even made a ‘teaser trailer’ video for it.

So it hasn’t been a week of rest, its merely been a week of ‘being busy with other stuff’.

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Something I have been thinking about is how do I approach the next step in my manuscript. If you have read my plan You’ll know that I’m behind schedule and that I planned to print out the manuscript to review it.

I am wondering if I’m just being a stubborn old-school editor here. I always like to read paperbooks versus ebooks and I like to do my line edits on paper. But for the first step, simply highlighting areas of weaknesses and suggesting fixes, do I need to print out?

Using appropriate headers to make chapters easy to find, notes, bookmarks and other whiz-bang things kids use these days, can I just toughen up and do it on the screen? A few advantages: it saves me the cost of printing and once complete it saves a step of transferring the notes from paper back to the electronic copy. That is quite appealing.

On the other side, working on paper just feels more comfortable, which is an important factor too.

What do you think? Am I being silly? Is there some tool I don’t know about which makes this alot easier? Any advice / thoughts / blatant attacks appreciated.

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So keep an eye out for the next episode of the ‘Commander’s Log’ and don’t stay away for too long because I should have a few interesting things to say when I start the editing process.