Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Progress Report #1

Couple of updates on other projects:
100 copies of Land Swap 4 Death are arriving this morning from my printer, then a few will be sent to Amazon to fulfill orders. This new printing order allowed me to correct a few typos in the manuscript and adjust the cover a bit. Try that with your big publishing house. Also changed the ebooks at Smashwords and Amazon – very simple process and I now feel much better about the product.

I am connected to other writer’s groups through LinkedIn. These are the Fiction Writers Guild and the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Group. There are always interesting and exciting conversations going on, join LinkedIn and give them a try – there are hundreds of groups. One individual commented on editing and the process of cleaning up your project. I connected with him, we discussed my new project Containers 4 Death and I hired Dennis De Rose to edit the book, I couldn’t be happier. Dennis is thorough, detailed, helpful, and affordable. What more could you want? He can be reached at His small shop is called Moneysaver Editing – he is more than that.

Next weekend is the San Francisco Writers Conference at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. Last year was my first; this year should be even more helpful. Everything from self-publishing, editing, book structure, poetry, and other lectures spread over four days. Looking forward to it - I'll report on it later.

Now onto the current project (WWIII 4 Death – working title):
I have been collecting research materials and forming a rough outline of the story. The current idea revolves around stolen art and their return to the rightful owners – at least this is where it’s starting. I am trying to structure the outline into three parts, like most plays. This will not be apparent by calling out Acts in the chapter headings, but will use sets of chapters to define the main parts. This should allow a better transition within periods of time and place. I’ll see how it works.

The difficulty with posting this blog will be how much to reveal and how much to hide. Should I lay it all out as I go along, or keep some in reserve? I mentioned this to some friends and they were mixed. Too much and you give the story away – too little, then what’s the purpose of the blog. Still working on this.Please comment if you like.

As a historian dealing with issues of the past and how it affects the future (city planning and development) I am keenly aware of the need to create a supportive history to the story and the characters. I have always just jumped in and started the story without defining the characters all that well. This is changing, these people (characters) are tough enough to deal with (they WILL take over the story if you don’t control them), so I'm now backtracking and setting up detailed character profiles for my main characters as well as speculative characters for the next project. There may be good programs out there, but I set up my own working EXCEL spreadsheet that will help define and bring these characters to life. If you’re interested in a copy drop me a line at – it’s free.

Now back to the three foot by five foot outline on butcher paper spread across my desk – still old school (paper and pencil) at this point.

More later . . .

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