So, as most everyone was probably expecting, I did not manage to finish my second development draft of Tantalus Depths within one week, as I had hoped. BUT fortunately it didn’t take anywhere near as long as the first draft did. I have just finished my second development draft of Tantalus Depths and turned it into my editor. Only took two and a half weeks!
So once again, we’re all going to have to wait a little while before he’s able to read through it and give me feedback on this latest draft. Unless there are any significant problems left over after two thorough rounds of development edits, though, we should be able to move right from here to the copy editing stage. We’re really making headway!
Once we do officially enter the copy editing stage, the ball’s really going to start rolling. Shortly after that is when the interior page design and the new cover art will be approved (which I can’t wait for). We’ll also get an official release date around that time too, hopefully. We are well on our way to reaping the benefits of all this hard work and finally holding a real-life, fully-published print copy of Tantalus Depths!
One thing at a time, though. As you’ve undoubtedly noticed by now, no stage in this process moves quickly. I’d say we’re closer to the end than the beginning, but any number of things could happen to set us back, so I’m not going to jinx it. For now, we’re back to the waiting game, as my editor pours over this new draft. That means I’m going to be shifting my attention back to campaigning Proteus once again, and boy, I gotta tell you, missing that extra week and a half of campaign time really did not do my campaign any favors.
Proteus hasn’t had any new pre-orders in two weeks, so we have to make a lot of headway in not a lot of time. We can absolutely do it, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work. As always, please tell all your friends about Proteus and try and get as many of them to pre-order copies as you can. We still need to sell more than 400 copies to get that publishing deal, and we only have until the end of next month to get there. If you have it in your heart to order multiple copies and can afford to do so, that would be absolutely invaluable to the success of the campaign. I already owe you all a tremendous debt for the help you’ve offered in getting Tantalus Depths a publication deal, and for getting Proteus almost halfway to one of its own. I can never express my gratitude to you all for what you’ve done to get us this far.
As soon as I have news about this second draft, you’ll all be the first to know. Meanwhile, back to Proteus I go, and I hope to see you all there!
Friends, we have an update!
Two days ago, I received my editor’s notes for my second draft of Tantalus Depths. He was impressed! The story is making serious progress toward genuine greatness. He said it will likely only take one more round of development edits before it’s ready to go to the copy-editing stage.
The last round of development edits I made took way too long. It took me months to get things just the way I felt they needed to be, and by the end of it I kind of just wanted to swan dive into a woodchipper. Fortunately, though, this next round of development edits won’t take long at all. I’ve gone through all of Matt’s notes a couple times now. There are way fewer of them than last time, and most of them are very simple fixes. With this last draft I had to fully rewrite four or five chapters from the ground up and ended up adding about 20k words to the manuscript as a whole. This next round of edits should be little more than tweaking sentences here and there, trimming a few out or adding a few in. I anticipate no significant multi-page rewrites for this one, so it should go a whole lot faster.
In fact *knocks on wood with all the might of Mjolnir* my goal is to finish this round of edits by the end of this week. I’m hesitant to put definitive timers on things these days, since every single step of this editing process has taken me WAY longer to do than I thought it would, but now that I have a better handle on how long it takes me to do this kind of work and knowing that the overall workload for this draft is way lighter than the last, I think one week is quite attainable.
Of course, there’s another reason to try and get this done that fast. As most all of you should know by now, I’m still trying to get Proteus funded. We’ve made slow but steady progress with that campaign, and as of right now it’s hovering at just a bit over 340 orders. We’ve almost reached the halfway mark with two more months to fund it.
Tantalus Depths comes first, though. That’s the book I started first, that’s the book that the most people have supported, and it’s the book people have already waited altogether too long for. So I’m taking a break from campaigning Proteus until I finish this draft of Tantalus Depths and send it in. Obviously I don’t want to lose more campaign time than necessary for Proteus, so hopefully that deadline helps keep me focused on getting this draft done quickly.
It’s going to be a busy week! I’m honestly looking forward to working on this draft, since I’ve already got some interesting new ideas to implement. I’ll send another update as soon as I’ve finished this draft and sent it in, so hopefully you’ll hear from me again really soon!
By the way…since I’m not going to be actively campaigning Proteus much this week, I’d be extra-extra grateful if a few more of you could support that book by giving it a pre-order or two while I edit Tantalus Depths. We can double our productivity that way and I’ll be at least a little less stressed out!
But not that much less stressed out. My body consumes stress for nourishment at this point.
I’VE UPDATED THE PAGE WITH A NEW COVER AND TITLE!
THE MANUSCRIPT IS IN!!!
After two months of rewriting and revising, with the help of my friends Peter Ryan and Cari Dubiel, and. of course, my wife, I’ve turned in a fine tuned 76,900-word manuscript after the first round of developmental editing. That’s nearly 10,000 darlings killed. It was probably closer to 15,000 of the original words that suffered their terrible fate, but I changed a couple of scenes and added about 5,000 words back in. It was all for the better, and I’m proud of what this book has become.
I know I promised mid-January for turning in this manuscript, but I’m going to play the sympathy card, because I was hospitalized in January for acute abdominal pain and had my gallbladder removed and subsequently stolen. They wouldn’t bronze it and let me keep it, the jerks, they just took it God only knows where. But, I’m glad it’s out. The good news is that I got my author bio picture in the process:
That’ll sell a lot of books on its own. Might even make it the cover of the book. Not sure my publisher would go for that, though.
Speaking about the cover, design will start happening in a few months, but I already know one thing will be remarkably different when it’s done: the title.
Yup, I am almost sure I’m changing the title. The book is in two parts now, and I’ve named part one "The Madness of Mr. Butler," while part two is "The Courage of Mr. Butler." As much as I love the title as it has been, it doesn’t really sound like a science fiction book, which it mostly is. I’m changing the title of the book to "The Man Who Stole the World," which, for those of you who are in need of improving your musical tastes, is a play on the title of a David Bowie song. (And David Bowie might have a cameo in the story, but I’m not at liberty to say at this point).
So, what’s next?
Right now, we wait. Matt Harry, my editor, already got back to me that he’s currently working on a few manuscripts and plans on starting on mine in a few weeks. So, it’s probably going to be a while before I can report on further progress. But, this means that this year will begin the next levels of edits on a manuscript that is actively in production. I feel great about it all. I’ve had a wonderful experience with Inkshares.
Thank you all for your support. Your investment in me is something I think about and appreciate daily. I’m working my tail off to get you the best version of the book. Thank you for the opportunity. This is all because of you. I hug you.
Hang in there, it’s all coming together!
Thank you so much supporting my novel Maxine Starr: Last Vanguard of the Zodiac. I appreciate everyone that liked, shared, and especially those that preordered a copy - some even bought the expensive paperbacks. Really - it meant the world to me that you followed and read my work. Although we didn’t reach our goal of 250/750 preorders, and the campaign is now over, I’m actually very happy with the response. You’ve inspired me.
I believe life is all about taking hits, learning and getting back up. So this isn’t the end of the book but rather a minor detour. I still believe in Maxine Starr’s adventures, and your support means that I’ll work on the book even harder to make it even better.
And don’t worry - for anyone that knows me, I’m not easily discouraged :) I’m actually excited to get moving again on the novel, and more books in the Maxine Starr series (yes, I have 3 more planned)
Right now, I’m considering other traditional, e-book, and self-published formats. I also have some other plans in the works. Just wanted to let you know that once it’s done, I’ll be offering buyers a reduced price for your early support. THANK YOU! The book will be released - that’s my promise. For now, your money will be returned to you in a few days.
I’ll be keeping this site up for a while longer. Feel free to give me feedback, ask questions or even contribute ideas.
Do you have an idea for a book?
Would you like the read the whole of Maxine Starr and give feedback?
Want an insight into the process of the writing, story and character designs?
Is there any way I can help you achieve your dream too?
I’m all for creating communities, and although this one is small, I appreciate all of your input. So thank you! This is not the end of Maxine Starr, the Zodiac Universe, or even her dog, Woof. I believe our dreams, like the cosmos itself, has no visible boundaries. And more importantly, you can’t let a single failure distract you from a coming triumph. Because, as Maxine discovers in the book, the impossible is often just one move away.
Thank you for believing in Maxine Starr.
The Astronaut Instruction Manual is ON SALEGet it on Amazon for $6.50–limited time
Happy holidays, everybody!
Awakening washed over Maxine like water--no thoughts, no sensations, no words. A deep throbbing transformed into an errant flame. Familiar. It warmed her skull.
Maxine breathed. Sensation ebbed back and forth. Colour returned. Ghostly screeches painted her mind in flashes. Maxine watched the flesh of her closed eyelids--her hidden interior. No sudden movements. Not yet.
Welcome home, Maxine Starr.
Maxine opened her eyes. A silver shriek impinged her senses. She turned h. . .