Tag Archives: success!

No Man’s Land: Alpha

It’s just occurred to me that you’re seeing a book all the way through creation here…I only thought up the concept back in May! I started planning immediately and I’ve been writing since then, so it’s taken shape quite fast.

I’ve just had feedback returned from Alpha Reader A, and I know Alpha Reader B is about halfway through. I warned both of them that they’d hate me, and I’ve had suitable screams from Alpha A… YOU KILLED [redacted]! HOW COULD YOU YOU COW! is possibly my favourite, closely followed by WHAT! NO WHY! WHAT! I! HOW COULD YOU! She’s currently not talking to me because of That Ending, which is making me chuckle an evil little author laugh. This is Not A Nice Book, and I love it.

I’ve also been amused to see what comments are the favourites – Alpha A’s favourite is “No one likes additional butter when they didn’t expect it”, whereas Alpha B is plumping for all the crude bits – mostly involving Luk. He has a certain turn of phrase, which seems to be amusing Alpha B greatly!

To give some overview, essentially this alpha read is for the major things; it’s plot holes and problems, it’s “they wouldn’t do that” and things that cause more trauma than necessary; I want to make my reader cry but I don’t want to do it needlessly! (Despite what Alpha A thinks). However, so far it sounds like I’m doing ok, which is really good – there aren’t any major plot holes and the pacing’s good, so I’ve got a few bits to shift around and add, but no major reworkings. I’m waiting on Alpha B’s feedback and then I’m going to do a rewrite, and then it’s off to Betas: two people have already volunteered, which is fantastic! NB. don’t accept too many readers when you ask for feedback, otherwise you end up with too much to follow. I tend to ask one or two people, use that feedback and then ask more. It’s much more manageable.

So there you go, No Man’s Land is progressing nicely! I’m going to finish my alpha rewrite and then probably start working on No Man’s Sky while I’m waiting on beta feedback, as that always takes long; it’s the nitpicky bits. But wheeee! *happy author dance*

No Man’s Land: finished!

Things I Have Learned While Writing This Book: there are an awful lot of words for “Fuck” in Polish.

polishSeriously. I made a list. (If I’ve got any wrong, please feel free to let me know…)

Anyway – I’ve finished the first draft of No Man’s Land! It’s sitting at 68k plus 2k is needed in two chapters, so it’s pretty much spot-on for length. It’s now gone to my alpha reader for her first thoughts, and then I’ve got the entire editing process – so it’s nowhere near finished as a thing, but it’s actually a story!

And I am ridiculously happy about this. *dances round house*

It’s the first book that I’ve actually had a laid-out plan for – not in much detail, but it’s more than I usually do! It’s the first book I’ve written as a linear story, and the first that has actually been easy to write (considering the length – my NaNo last year was very easy as well, but they were both novellas). And in addition, I absolutely love this book. It’s made me giggle, it’s made me cry – re-reading it while adding bits in has been a surprise as I’ve gone so fast that I can’t remember exactly what’s happened!

That said; it’s not a nice book. It’s swear-y and murderous and paranoid, and there’s at least three parts where people are likely to scream at me. I’m almost going to be disappointed if my alpha doesn’t come back with, “You did WHAT?!” at various points. I am mentally rubbing my hands together in glee and cackling slightly…

I may have listened to far to much Moog while writing, too. I’m going to have to steer clear of it for a few weeks!

My next steps are to leave the draft for a few weeks and wait for the alpha thoughts to come back. It might need radical changes or might not; either way, I know it’s still got some work to go. I’ve plotted No Man’s Sky, the second in the series, and I’m debating starting that – ideally I’d love for it to be my NaNo, but I also think that I might be better off using that enforced writing time for GreenSky, as Book 6 still needs rewriting and I haven’t finished Book 10 yet. I’m going to see how I feel, basically!

I’m still on an absolute high from finishing the story; this is what it’s all about. This is what all those “I can’t do it” and “I’m crap” moments are worth living through for  – I finished something! And I love it!

By the way, this is the blurb…

The supernatural community has been decimated by a poison that causes magic loss, paranoia and madness. After killing those worst infected, the survivors band together and try to pick up the pieces of their shattered world, all the while watching each other for the warning signs of the poison’s spread.

And now something’s coming through the gateway between worlds. Anyone with any ounce of talent has to pool their strength and hold the gate – and then deal with whatever comes through…

The apocalypse has already happened. This is what comes after.

The Discoverability Challenge: 6 months in

I did a post for Jo Hall over on how I’m getting on with the Discoverability Challenge. If you’ve been reading this blog at all over the past six months you might have spotted quite a few reviews with the “Discoverability Challenge” note on them…

My favourites are UprootedThe Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and The Stars Seem So Far Away. The series-I-couldn’t-stop-reading was a tie between Etiquette & Espionage (I went through the first three in a day) and 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf (it turns out that badgering the publisher on Twitter will get you a review copy of the second one, which was very nice!) My least favourite of this list has to be Beyond The Veil, as I just couldn’t get into it, but I didn’t really do very well with Who Killed September Falls either – apparently predictable crime isn’t my reading style.

Trundle over and see how I’ve gotten on!

Blog Birthday! Writing&Coe is three!

Writing & Coe is three!

I’ve been blogging for three years…seems like not long at all, but at the same time it’s amazing. I hadn’t even written most of the GreenSky series in 2013 (actually, I hadn’t even conceived of most of it); I wasn’t book reviewing, gaming or geeky crafting; and I’d only just met Grimbold Books. Now…I’ve published 352 posts over the three years; the GreenSky series has ten books, eight of them complete, and another three novels planned; I’m a GM, an editor, a submissions reader and a copywriter; and I have read waaaaaaay too many books!

So happy third birthday, Writing & Coe! And to celebrate, I’ve got some treats for you guys.

On Monday, I’ve got the first chapter of Salt Winds & Wandering (the fourth book in the series) to share with you. I would give you a chapter from High Flight & Flames (Book 3), but they’re all spoiler-y for Grey Stone & Steel

On Wednesday, there’s a book giveaway – two copies of Green Sky & Sparks are up for grabs!

And on Friday, I’ll release a short story…I haven’t yet decided which one, so there may be two!

And for today: CAKE!

Portal Cake