2. The stakes are raised; ‘Vengeance of Angels’ is underway.
What follows is a chronology that’s best read from the bottom up…
Use the images as markers – they separate the months from each other.
Tara’s Initial Edit has returned and has been applied. A week later, the MS has been despatched to half a dozen beta readers. Sam H. has returned hers first, then Sonya L. By week 3, the suggestions are being applied.
Late August 2014
The Third Draft has been completed and sent off to Tara for her first editing run next week. The writer’s nerves are alive once more…
The Second Draft of VoA has been completed. At this point I began to discuss the merits of Beta-reading with Tara, my editor. Her suggestions to retain beta-reading for in between her two editing runs made sense and I shall be going with this idea. She also suggested a timetable of work for me, something I’ve never used before. This is probably why I am still ‘tweaking’ CoA two years after I self-published and five years after I began writing it. I would like to make a better and cleaner job of VoA, completing it within a more sensible timeframe. Five years per book is slow progress by any standards, in my humble opinion.
As I near the half-way point in the editing, I realise the MS is going to fall well short of the 164k achieved by CoA.
Whilst this is not a bad thing in itself, the current 50k of VoA is looking a bit lost. The additional material I mentioned back in April didn’t add as much as I’d hoped.
I’ve since debated several ways to correct this problem, including weaving in a new sub-plot to boost the words count or continuing the story straight into FoA (A Fury of Angels) territory.
However, neither of these appeal because A) An additional sub-plot can only detract from the main storyline, plus B) VoA ends with a definite cliffhanger. This would not work if the story was to continue immediately. A third option, that of ‘padding out’ the existing MS doesn’t appeal either. It would dilute the story.
My other sneaky plan, that of hoping for an inspirational bolt of lightning from my Muse as I typed this, also fell flat. :(
Completed the read-through of my First Draft and have added at least a dozen pages in notes, paragraphs and entire sheets of A4. Now to write it all up on Scrivener.
The first Draft of VoA has been completed.
VoA word count has passed 45k and I’m approaching the final battle of the story. *Cracks virtual knuckles* Here we go…
I should add that the story won’t be completed after this – not by any means. 50k (ish) is way too short for a novel, especially as CoA was 168k long. I have several related threads to weave into the narrative. But reaching ‘The End’ will be a huge relief.
VoA is finally rolling again – six months later – word count now 36k and my characters have taken refuge in the church (see Sept 2013 below).
Html completed. The big relaunch of CoA is near (Feb 28th). Once CoA is settled, I hope to resume working on VoA.
Tara has returned CoA. Still editing, but now formatting it into html as time allows.
Still editing CoA. Managed to send off the completed MS to Tara mid-month.
Still editing CoA.
The fourth Angels week was hijacked by CoA. My editor, Tara, has returned her comments on the first two chapters and I need to extend any changes to the entire MS. Sorry, VoA.
The third Angels week was spent in York, researching a new location for events that take place in the second half of the book. I’d reached a point where I could no longer justify limiting the characters to the same old locations – they needed to move on. More accurately, they needed to hide from the current antagonist. A lot of time was spent on Google looking into the York Ley, a mysterious geomagnetic line that runs straight through the city. Two major architectural features – Clifford’s Tower and York Minster – lie along this line. So, too, does the new location I researched, then visited. In fact, it’s a geomagnetic hotspot! With this in mind, I elected to have my characters take advantage of this phenomenon and shelter here for the night.
The second Angels week has seen the word count rise from 21,000 to 29,500 and a lot of the blank spots of the plot have been filled in. Since this book ‘meshes’ with CoA and takes place over four days, it proved tricky to fill in the character’s calendar so that all the events of the first book flowed seamlessly into the events of the sequel. I’ve also been researching the York Ley line as a way to connect VoA with CoA – and possibly FoA, the third story.
Other projects have caused VoA to take a back seat for a while. I’ve now reorganised my schedule so that every fourth week is ‘Angels week’ where I focus exclusively on VoA and all work concerning it – including research.
March – June 2013
Big gap in my progress (to my eternal shame).
Only one more chapter completed. I have reached the end of the material that naturally followed on from the first book and now need to plan out the remaining days for my characters.
January began with 20,500 words completed. CoA is still taking some of my time. 4 Chapters completed.
I begin December with 17,200 words under my belt. The weekend giveaway of ‘CoA’ has taken up a lot of my time. Well worth it though – 826 copies were downloaded. Hopefully some of those readers will leave me some feedback.
Well, ‘A Construct of Angels’ is pretty much put to bed. Aside from promoting it as much as I can and the possibility of making a live-action video, ‘Vengeance of Angels’ will now be my main project. At the time of typing this, I am 15,500 words into VoA and counting.
‘A Construct of Angels ‘ has once again demanded all my spare time. No point, I thought, in pressing on with the sequel if no-one is interested in buying the first story. So it’s back to tweaking and polishing Book One before I can justify continuing with VoA.
16th May 2012
Not managed to write anything at all this week as work (112 mile daily commute), home (post-conflagration efforts) and family (recently-discovered antipodeans) have all taken up every spare minute of my time.
Will make up for it next week though – definitely.
7th May 2012
Finally began my sequel in earnest, adding to the framework that I’d previously constructed. Small snatches of dialogue are already forming like moisture on a cold window pane.
I know it’s been a long time since my last entry, but I have been trying to give CoA the best send-off possible.
29th September 2011
Over the past few weeks I have had more than one heart-stopping epiphany concerning the very nature of my Angels. I don’t want to give away too much, but it has consequences for not only the entire universe, but every universe that has ever existed.
That’s why it was heart-stopping.
16th June 2011
A productive couple of days. The framework for the story is going up nicely and has (I think) a natural follow-on feel to it. Now filling in some small holes that join the already-established events thoughout the story. 6,500 words written (ncluding footnotes).
14th June 2011
Now that I’m at the stage of sending out query letters and sample chapters for A Construct of Angels, I started work on the First Draft of Venegance of Angels. This one looks as if it will take place over four days, two of them without Sara and two of them with (she’s still…’indisposed’…at this point). I managed to frame up a lot of what happens in the first two days. The second two days are in my head, with the conclusion firmly established. As with aCoA, I found it very useful to have a concrete ending to work towards. No more ‘never-ending’ stories!
This means that the main characters will now able to get from place to place without having to steal / borrow / acquire an abandoned car every time they want to meet up or get back to the city. A small, but significant change that will make framing and writing VoA less fraught!
2nd April 2011
The concept of VoA is still growing. I now have a good idea as to how VoA and its sequel will end. The plan is to step each book up a level, introducing actual angels and demons in stages and demonstrating their real power. The trilogy sequel will conclude with a nice (Clever? Maybe…) twist that will turn the whole trilogy into a self-concluding loop.
22nd March 2011
‘Vengeance of Angels’, the proposed sequel to ‘Angels Instead’ (now ‘Construct of Angels’), begins to take shape. I’m using my ‘hour-by-hour’ spreadsheet to frame it up before I begin writing. However, my Muse has already given me the opening paragraph.
23rd March 2011
The chronology of ‘VoA’ continues to grow. My Muse constructed two scenes for me yesterday evening – unfortunately this occurred as I was driving 46 miles southwards on the A1 through rush-hour traffic. However, I did my best to record the scenes before they faded in the evening sunlight… (sigh) I need to dig out my old Dictaphone again – if I can find it. Or maybe I can use my 512Mb player…it’s now too small for my music collection after all.
25th February 2011