Updates

Today I have updates about a few different things including my website and my books. Also, if you have an opinion on what you want to see on my blog this year, please visit this blog post.

Website Updates

Progress bars

First of all, I want to make you aware of something fun I decided to try. On the sidebar of this blog and also on the books page of my website, I have progress bars. One is for Amazing Grace, one for Book #4, and the other for my short story, I Love Thee. The progress bars are going to progress differently. Amazing Grace is being edited and will fluctuate some from having less or more finished, but then, come about February (Lord willing), it will disappear until after it comes back from my beta-readers. Book 4 will slowly fill up as I work to finish the rough draft. I Love Thee is being edited and has been put on hold until after Amazing Grace is emailed to my beta-readers. I hope you enjoy seeing the progress I am making.

Book Updates

Editing with my trusty helper, Smokey

Editing with my trusty helper, Smokey

Thanks to my mom suggesting a “craft” day while it was just the two of us (and my four year old brother) at home on Friday, I was able to get a REALLY good start on editing Amazing Grace. For almost three horrible weeks, I was completely unmotivated and stuck. It was awful! I did manage to get unstuck in book four and I started editing I Love Thee: a Hymns of the West Short Story, so I was at least productive, though not for the entire two weeks.

Book Four

I had a goal to finish the rough draft of book four by December 13th. That didn’t happen, so I just kept writing while I went through the beta-reader comments for Amazing Grace. Then I got stuck. So I wrote a scene for later in the book and got stuck again. I went back, but still couldn’t figure out what to do. So I wrote a scene for even later in the book until I got stuck again. By this time, it was Christmas break and I decided to try to get through all the beta-readers comments, so I set book four aside.

When I got into a jam there (more on this in the next section), and then took a trip (without my laptop) to Tennessee for the Contend Conference, I had little to no motivation to continue writing or editing. When I got back from the conference, I was still a little unmotivated, but I had enough to at least get started. again. In the last two weeks or so, I got unstuck in the first spot and connected it to the first of the later scenes. Then I got unstuck at the end of that scene and connected it. I am super excited for how this story is turning out so far!

By the way, I hope you like longer books. Because this book is already over 55,000 words and still needs at least 10,000 more. Then when I start editing, it will probably grow by another 10-15,000 more words since I already have a subplot I want to add into the story. I won’t be surprised it it ends up being close to 90,000 words. As a reference point, A Mighty Fortress is my longest published book and is 65,000.

I can’t wait to share more of this book with you as I get closer to the editing process!

Amazing Grace

A Screen shot of chapter 20

A Screen shot of chapter 20

This book has been causing problems. It was going so well when I wrote it and even when I did the first edit. Then I ran into a snag. One of my beta-readers had a couple of fairly major comments. When I read them, I realized I needed to address them. Even though she was the only one out of the four beta-readers who mentioned it, I knew if I didn’t do something, other people who read the book would also have problems with it. And I could definitely see why she would have a problem with those particular places.

Unfortunately, this discouraged me to the point where I set it aside just after Christmas until Friday when I picked it up again to work on. While Mom scrapbooked on Friday, I skimmed through Amazing Grace to see where I could add scenes to make the book flow better and anything else that might need a little tweak. I found nine scenes that needed added in, one that needed to be longer, and another that needed a character viewpoint changed.

As of this writing, I only need to finish up one scene and write up another one. Then I’m going to read through the entire book again and send it to some of my beta-readers. If things go well, I should be able to publish the book in April.

I Love Thee

This short story is written and I started editing it. I hope to publish it shortly after Amazing Grace is out. It will most likely only be in e-book format simply because I don’t think it will be long enough to bother with a paperback version. I do have two more short stories planned to supplement the Hymns of the West series, so perhaps when all three are written and published, I can do a paperback omnibus version.

General Writing Updates

More help from Smokey

More help from Smokey

As things look at the moment, I am still on track to publish two novels and at least one short story this year. Lord willing, that is. I know it is only nineteen days into January, but considering how poorly my writing and editing was going at the end of last year, and into the begin of this year, I was concerned that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Praise the Lord, for His wondrous grace!

I would be more than willing to answer questions if you want to know anything about any of my projects.

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4 thoughts on “Updates

  1. Valerie Howard Books says:

    I bet I know who your pain in the neck beta reader was!

  2. Valerie Howard Books says:

    😉

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