Lon Varnadore's Author Blog

Sci-Fi and Fantasy with a noir edge

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 8)

Day 31

I know I haven’t updated in awhile.  But, it is the first of the next thirty days and I thought you all deserved a chance to know what is up.

Well, first off, I am still doing the challenge.  Obviously, since I have the title as Day 31.  The second book is a bit more skeletal, only weighing in at 40 pages.  So, it is more like forty pages of beats, with massive holes in it.  Which can be fixed on the next pass.  I also have gotten back Blood from the editor and alpha reader and things are good to go for an edit.  But, today, I also happened to be on the Marketing Science Fiction and Fantasy podcast.  I was the guest who asked them all a bunch of questions.  It was fun and a little strange to be asking them the questions.  It was fun and I was able to plug the one novel I do have out and talk a touch about the Twelve Week Challenge.  Glad I was on and I am looking forward to the time, if ever when I come back as a guest.

Also, I am going to be part of a big sci-fi freebie giveaway, the link is here.  I will be blasting it to those who are on my newsletter soon.  Yes, it has Mostly Human on there.  But there are 25 other stories for you all to get your hands on.  All of them free, just need to sign up for the author’s newsletter.

And finally, what have I been doing?  Well, as I said I did the podcast today.  But I also was able to get some writing done.  Which book you might ask.  Why, Tears of the Empress.  Yes, I have done more work on book three.  One of the things from the podcast was to just keep going with the plan.  You can go back and edit later.  I also realized that I was following the Chris Fox model a little too closely.  I thought that the best way is to write one book, get it all done, then go onto the next and so on.  But, as many people have said about writing advice, it doesn’t always work for them.  I have the rest of May and all of July to get these things beaten into shape before I need them ready.  I have the time, I’m going to do things my way.  So, I will be working on book three for now.  When I have gotten as far as I can, I’ll go back and maybe work on book one more.  Or expand book two.

I shall keep you all updated on words, pages or whatever metric I am using at the moment.  Currently, I have 720 words for Tears of the Empress.  I will have more as the days and weeks progress.

I hope you all have a great week and I will attempt to write more blogs than once a week.  Not sure if I can do every day.  But that is the goal.  To keep you all up to date on how my day to day grind goes.

Night all.


Day 22

Well, I have returned.  The weekend wasn’t very productive, even though I did officially start the second book, Wrath of the Empress.  Yesterday I didn’t get much done.  However tonight I got…a little over 600 words.  So, not the greatest.  Yet, I know that this tends to happen after I come off one project and go into another.  This is the first time I have done this challenge, so I knew there was a possibility of this happening.

I am not dropping the challenge.  Just need to push on through it.  Still, I have plenty of time to get this zero draft and hopefully the first draft out before I run out of time.  I am going to wait until I am done with my draft zero before I go back to Blood and start to do my own edits plus those of the alpha and editor.  Then, going into the re-write of Wrath I’ll have more info to work with that I can push the plot forward.

Feel like I am rambling a little here, so I am going to update the words done and then I am going to knock out.


Day 21

So, the other day I realized I wrote about Day 20 but not Day 19.  Long story short, I wrote, it was draining, moving on.

Today I didn’t get much writing done on the next novel in the trilogy.  Yes, I have 4,295 words.  Yet that was mostly from when I finished the zero draft of Blood for the Empress and wanted to move on to Wrath of the Empress instead of starting over immediately.   If that confused anyone, I am sorry.

Here is how it went.  Wrote the “zero draft” of Blood.  I finished it in about two weeks I think.  I still had some time to write in the day, so I went on to Wrath.  Wrote for another day with Wrath and then back to edit Blood.  I just finished the first draft of  Blood.  Gone to the editor and alpha reader so I am going to focus on Wrath for awhile.  I will make a zero draft, about 80 pages, then write a bit in Tears of the Empress, before going to edit Wrath and then work on the first draft of Wrath.  Then, on to Tears for the process to start all over again.

Also, I will soon be doing a giveaway with a bunch of other sci-fi writers.  I am giving away Mostly Human.  Link is here.

End of the third week, how does it feel?  Tiring, yet I will keep on keeping on…


Day 20…

Well, I finished my first draft of Blood for the Empress.  It is being printed up right now for some alpha readers.  And going to send it to my editor and see what she has to say.  In three weeks, I banged out the first draft of this in a day under three weeks.  Pretty nice if I do say myself.

Is it all there?  No.  It is a little light at only 120 pages.  But, most of the scenes are there and the thing that really killed me is that soggy middle.  That place in the story where the meat of your story is, but it feels like hacking through a jungle of words with no end in sight.  I still have nine weeks to go.   I still have two more novels to get out and have some kind of edit for.

My plan, my feeling that I will have done this challenge and succeed is if I have book one done and ready to upload to Amazon, (I think I am going to go “all in” with Amazon for at least those first three months,) and book two and three eighty percent done, and of course get the reader magnet done and ready to fire off, I will have done it.  I will have nailed this challenge.  I think that Chris Fox is almost done and I think he said that he feels like he failed.  He has book one out, book two and three are in the wind.

However, I wasn’t trying to do better than Chris.  I was trying to do this for me.  And the goals that I have are reasonable.

And now I have to go get some sleep.  Night all.


Day 18

Well, this is yesterday’s update, got it up late since I knocked out rather early last night.  I only got 350 words for the day.  But, I am now at 41,000 words.  Short update today.  I will give you all a long one later.


Day 17

Alright, Day 17 and I am spent…I have hit 40.6k words for the project and I am so so so tired.  My editor and alpha reader might get a little mad at me if I turn in something that is half done.  Yet, I am struggling to get through the edits that I do have.  Hopefully, I can talk to the editor and ask if it is okay if there are some placeholders around.  I want to get out from under this and I think once I am done with the draft and I go onto Wrath I’ll be able to get away from Blood for the Empress and give myself a bit of time from that story.

Or it might blow up in my face.  Who knows.

The entire challenge is already starting to wear on me.  But, I am going to soldier through for a bit.  I might take a day at some point and do nothing for the day.  It could help with writing if I have a day to focus on myself.  Or not…

Anyway, the above image is what I am going to go with for my cover for Blood for the Empress.  I think it works well.  Plus, you might have seen I took out the E.W. from my name.  I think it is for the best.  I might experiment with the names later.  But for now, I am going with Lon Varnadore.

Night all.


Day 14…

I know that I have missed a few days.  The weekend was filled with stuff I needed to do.  But I did get to see Guardians of the Galacxy2, which was AWESOME by the way.  (Plus I see it as helping me with what I am writing.  It is a great example of space opera.)

So today is a heavy writing day, yet because of my other job I work as a part-time Uber driver, I won’t be able to really move forward with the re-write between 7-10.  I am going to try and bring my computer and try and do something.  Will tell you how it goes.

The main thrust of this blog entry is about how the whole process is going.

Been working on this challenge for two weeks.  It has been a bit daunting.  However, I am going at this hammer and tongs: writing, re-writing, and editing.  I am honing in on a cover for it.  My designer is great.  I might even show a few of them if you guys want to see them.  Ten more weeks of this is going to get me a bit frazzled, yet I will try and keep my sanity as best I can.


Day 12 and D&D

Alright, well I had a good long day of writing.  I hit 32k and I am ready for bed.  Also, all I did today was write and play D&D.  Kinda annoyed about the game, no it was fun.  It was my d20 that hated me today.  Oh well, maybe next time.

I have a possible cover for my reader magnet.  I will post it tomorrow when I have the finished version.  Looked really good.  Came from my cover designer who I go to for most of my covers.  Here is a link to her site.  She has some great work.

The first two weeks are almost in the bag and I am still up for this challenge.  It is not going to be easy, but I can see this will be something that either truly helps my writing.  Or at the very least, shows what I can and cannot do.


Catch up…Day 11!

Consulting the calendar, I realize I messed up along the way.  I am entering day twelve of this twelve weeks, so almost done with the second week.  I do have words to show for it.  27,000.  I think that is amazing.

I have also done an edit and rewrite of The Collector.  It isn’t there yet, but I should have a workable draft to go over in the next few days.  Also, I have set a goal of having Blood for the Empress done on Monday.  Not sure I will make that goal.  I will probably shift that back a week.  Two weeks to go from zero to at least a 200 page first draft is crazy.  I think extending it another week is good.  Then, I send it to the editor and I can work on Wrath of the Empress.

Heck, even if I have to push it another week, I still have two more months to write two more books.  The twelve-week challenge to have a complete trilogy was Chris Fox.  Me, I will have ninety percent of the trilogy done, if not more.

If you are wondering what my final word count that I am shooting for it, it is 75k per book.  So, a total of 225k for all three.  We will see how it goes.

I will do a full wrap-up of the first two weeks on Sunday.


Blood for the Empress Progress Update

I just completed the Editing phase of Blood for the Empress! Now onto Revision!

Blood for the Empress
Due:6 months ago

I know I usually write these late, but last night my legs were killing me from getting back into working out recently after the plague.  Onto the revision of the first draft, which I will send to an editor and I get to turn to the second book.  Which I realized I need to change the names around.  The second book was called Tears of the Empress and the third was Wrath of the Empress.  Since this trilogy has some grounding in the original Star Wars Trilogy–May the Fourth be with you–the two titles work better switching around.

Still don’t have a mock-up of the book titles yet.  Cover design lady is doing her work.  I will have something for the reader magnet soon though, I hope.

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