dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Wow. It was back on 12 September 2015 -- 56 days ago -- that I posted my last big writing update (DW) (LJ) on the YA series. So much for weekly reports.

It's a week into November, which means a number of people I know are getting into NaNoWriMo -- National Novel Writing in a Month -- which sets a 50,000 word "novel" goal. That's low, but it does inspire some writers, even pros, to put in the Sit In Chair time and churn out some kinds of words. As I say every year, I don't participate in NaNoWriMo because November is a tough academic month, even though last year I actually managed 53,035 words (DW) in the month of November. It wasn't NaNoWriMo, because I don't do NaNoWriMo -- I was just trying to create my YA Lost Kingdom series.

After being off from Christmas to Labor Day, it's been a little rough this semester. Three weeks of a lingering cold also sapped time and energy. Writing has slowed, but that's pretty reasonable. I'm working on editing Book 1 and finishing Book 2 here and there. A typical writing day is 500-1000 words, but that's not every day. Still... forward progress is progress!

Today's little detour involved a simple set of observations in the beginning of A Princess of a Lost Kingdom. Walking along a dirt road near sunset on Thursday 15 September 2016, just above the Arctic Circle, I had to actually calculate two things.

First, I needed to figure out when the sun would drop behind the mountains in the west. The mountains of Eisbergen aren't very tall -- 600 to 900 feet -- though as is typical for Norway, they are quite steep. If you're standing in Summer Home at the roots of the mountains, they look plenty big. But what's the angle for a 900 foot mountain seven miles away? It's arctan (y/x), of course, but damn... the calculator next to me is a business calculator. No trig functions. And the HP-48G in the drawer I haven't used in years? It came on, sort of, but needs new batteries. So I used the Windows 7 Calculator in Scientific mode:


There's a very nice website I've been using at timeanddate.com which has calculators for sunrise, sunset, twilight and moonrise, moonset for places all around the world and years into the future. Obviously, Summer Home or Nunuuvit aren't in their database -- it's a secret kingdom, after all -- so I chose Bodø, Norway, which is a bit north of the kingdom. Click on an individual day and you can slide the moon or sun along and find its position and elevation in the sky:

When does the sun disappear behind the mountains along the walk from Old Fields Halt?
15 September 2016 for Bodø – 6pm 8° , 6:50pm 3°, 7pm 1-2° . Sunset 7:32pm 279°W. (All times in CEST -- Central European Summer Time.)

Second, I originally wrote that the farm road headed "due west". But due to the coastline trends along Norway, I tilted my map of Eisbergen, so that "due left" isn't "due west". And then the farm road itself, isn't horizontal on the map:


So I pulled a compass rosette off of Wikipedia and superimposed the North reference from my map, along with a line that follows the farm road. Yeah, the sun is NOT going to be straight in your eyes at sunset. (edit-edit-edit...)


Version 1.16, the latest published Map of Eisbergen, is here.

All very cool. And I haven't even commented on the Syrian refugees spreading across Europe in this post, but I've incorporated that, too.

New Researches: The Armenian Genocide. Armenians -- The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest national church. Liturgically speaking, the Church has much in common both with the Latin Rite in its externals, especially as it was at the time of separation, as well as with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Mo i Rana, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden, 1000 km via the E4. Hotel Kungsträdgården - The King´s Garden Hotel, Stockholm. Brasserie Makalös (Peerless) is a French brasserie located in the Hotel Royal Garden in the heart of Stockholm. "We are a cashless restaurant." The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesdepartementet). A soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day to commemorate the dead in the Christian tradition. A precursor to Trick-or-Treat, children and adults would go "souling" and sing for cakes. In 1963, the American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary recorded this as "A' Soalin", including all the verses as well as parts of "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home" and "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" (which are traditionally associated with Christmas).

The Shiny Counters for the first two books stand at:
Book 1 (103,663 words)


Book 2 (83,015 words)


A Princess of a Lost Kingdom is still top heavy, but amazingly I am still under 105,000 words, so there is still hope. (grin) I am in the Edit Pass 6 complete read through, en route to producing the Book 1 Beta 2 reader books, as well as Beta 1 Service Pack 1, which incorporates the main chapter changes from Beta 1, so Beta 1 readers don't have to wade through a whole book if they don't want to. Need to watch out for version fatigue. (you're-welcome)

The Loneliness of a Lost Kingdom is in Edit Pass 2, with two chapters added recently. As soon as I have those finished or roughed in sufficiently, I'll start reading Book 2 all the way through for names, continuity, story flow -- then tackle the niggling issues of overused words, etc. Book 2 Beta 1 is coming!

Onward!

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
Book 1 Edit Pass 6 (typos) page 380 [Beta 1 pp. 1-320] -- completed ‎09/‎12/‎2015 16:31:50 EDT

Mrs. Dr. Phil finished her read of the Beta 1 version of A Princess of a Lost Kingdom about a week ago. And she had a pen, as she worked her way through the first of the Lulu trade paperback books. I've been almost dreading the work of going through the typo list of a whole novel -- but it didn't turn out to be too bad. Unlike the short stories and novellas I've been writing and having her proofread for over ten years, Beta 1 was read and re-read and heavily edited. Doesn't mean I caught all the typos and poorly worded or confusing passages. No, not by any means! Just means there were fewer of them on a percentage basis of the total word count.

So Mrs. Dr. Phil went off to Holland to do some errands this afternoon and I opened the book. With the book opened in my left hand and scrolling through with the mouse in my right... it actually only took me about two hours.

I am so relieved.

There was one typo which had disappeared in the rewriting/editing on the way towards the Beta 2 version.

It was just over a month ago that I completed Edit Pass 4 and declared Version 1.15 as the Beta 1 version (DW) (LJ). What, you sharp-eyed readers might want to know, happened to Edit Pass 5? Still working on it. Just wanted to make the typo fix run a separate Edit Pass.

Early comments are rolling in, and whether the Beta 1 readers liked the book or not, overall I have to say that the comments are not too brutal. Half the things mentioned are things I'd missed because I'm too close to the story -- well it's obvious to me that so-and-so and such-and-such happened. (evil-grin) Relatively easy to fix. The other half have to do with making Book 1 coherent. Yes, it really did start out as a series of episodes/chapters along a particular trajectory in mind. And Yes, the opening chapters are some of the oldest writing and I didn't get in there with ball peen hammers and wrenches hard enough to go from what I was envisioning back a year ago and where I am taking the series now. Also fixable.

The first set of comments, from a reader who is quite widely read, identified some of the issues -- which only meant I had problems in the beginning, the middle and the end. (double-evil-grin) Actually, that's not unreasonable, especially as these are caused by different problems.

The beginning of the book actually is multiple beginnings -- and I didn't do the transition between them very well. Just bolting on another beginning to a beginning isn't enough. I knew that, of course, but again -- too close to the story to see the flaws. Of course, having some unease about it should have been a clue.

The middle I was concerned about even before I shipped it. That smack in the middle Chapter 13. I debated about pulling it out a month ago. Instead, I left it in. Now I've done a big rewrite of it, which not only helps the continuity and story flow better, but answers a few questions that needed to be answered.

Then there's Chapter 8, which I realized was a missed opportunity. Not only was it too short, but by cutting it off where I did, I avoided having some good heart-to-heart talks between the sisters early enough in the book to answer some important questions. Fixing that now. Much better. IMHO. (snicker)

And the end? The division between Books 1 and 2 happens where it needs to happen, but it needs to be stronger. Especially if you want to sell Book 2. The division between Books 2 and 3 is killer, by the way. Very proud of it. Two people are "ready" to read Book 2 now. When they get a Beta copy of Book 2, they will want Book 3 the next day. (triple-evil-grin) So we're working on the ending to make it "more better".

What I haven't been able to do, is hack Book 1 back very much. In fact, just like the Andromeda strain, it just seems to keep growing. Sigh. Yes, the current state has breached the 100,000 word level. Again. This just wants to be a 100,000 word novel, that's all there is to it.

Lots of people are reading the Beta 1 book:

I sent my mother a copy of the Beta 1 book and Spring Arbor sent back pictures of her looking at it. (Click on photo for larger.)

The two relevant shiny counters this week are both full up:

Book 1 (100,610 words)


A Princess Of A Lost Kingdom Page Edits (Pass 6)


Version 1.16, the latest Map of Eisbergen, is here.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
As a few reviews/comments start trickling in on the Beta 1 book AND I am getting ready for school on Tuesday, I am flitting about working on this and that which needs working on.

Besides continuing to start on Query letters (a very painful process), doing some tweaks of Book 1 and starting up the Book 2 Edit Pass 2 phase, I am also looking at maps. Need to make town maps for Sommerhus and Nunuuvit. But it occurred to me that here we have a Lost Kingdom that doesn't appear on any maps, perhaps I had better MAKE a map which shows where the damned thing is.

I searched through my IMAGES directory, because I remember finding a nice map of Scandinavia -- Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. This one is particularly nice because a lot of maps DON'T bother to show the Arctic Circle. When you have a secret kingdom located just north of the Arctic Circle, this is particularly useful. Also, all the action in Book 1 runs from the north of Norway to Copenhagen -- basically the whole left side of the map.

And lo and behold, when I checked out the source, it is possible to use it as a stock image -- and modify it (I think they're looking at some of the tourist pages using 502.gif, not necessarily a novel) -- as long as you give it credit. Should be possible to license the map as well for publication, when I have a publisher who wants to worry about that.

So, without further ado, I give you:

The Locator map for the Kingdom of Eisbergen (est. 460 A.D.)

Base Map: Copyright World Sites Atlas (sitesatlas.com).

Full size files: Color or Grayscale for cheaper printing.

Version 1.15, the latest Map of Eisbergen, is here. It will soon be updated as well.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
It's been a while since I've posted a straight writing report. I had been busy with getting Book 1 Beta 1 out to the Beta readers -- eBooks, trade paperbacks mocked up by Lulu, etc. Also went ahead and mocked up covers for all nine books and created PDF mockups for myself and read the whole extant 440,000 or so words. (whew)

I have one full report on reading through Book 1 Beta 1. I have two comments from people some halfway through saying they're enjoying it. Still on pins and needles, waiting. I've ended up with a lot of people reading the Beta 1 version. That could be a mistake. Certainly at Clarion in 2004, getting 18 or more crits from fellow Clarionites and the instructors was a conflicting mess. But... I've added pressure to myself in that I want this to be a YA series, so I had to include a number of teens of various types -- plus their parents. And it's not a short book. So after I rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic enough, I'm pressing on.

From my first Beta 1 reader, I decided I really needed to actually establish the story of the origins of the kingdom back in 460 A.D. So I wrote 6000 words for Book 0 and made a mockup PDF so I could read through it. I grabbed another Maria Amanda stock photo, but to make it "older", I ran it through Mosaic (Antique) in Corel PaintShop Pro X5. Again, these are just so I'm not staring at black-on-white lettering all the time. But it has also allowed me to update my map of Eisbergen, to include some of the old Roman sites. And I have a map of the sea voyages to get to the kingdom. Cool.

I'm not sure that I want to complete Book 0, "A Founding of a Lost Kingdom", besides research. I'm not totally sure it will appeal to the same readership. On the other hand, if I have a real series, it can't hurt. And if a mythical publisher doesn't want, I might stick it on my website. But that is putting a whole FLEET of carts before a herd of horses placidly grazing and not wishing to do any particular work right now.

Of course, according to the procedures manual, I should be working on Book 2 Edit Pass 2, whereupon I sequentially go through Book 2, filling in the all characters and places named Xxxx and fleshing out the story, resolving conflicts with Book 1. But when I did Book 1 Edit Pass 2, I had to start by flitting around and getting some things fixed up. Which, by the way, also filled in some character and place names. (grin) In particular, I had mentioned elsewhere that I found a chapter remnant which is out of place, after the disaster of discovering a missing year in the story. No problem. Fix it. Introduce something new, resolve it in Book 1, makes Chapter 27 work better.

For the record I am doing continuous chapter numbering right now, especially as Book 2 (Ch.26-46) picks up pretty much where Book 1 (Ch.1-25) leaves off -- and this format continues throughout the series. Book 0 is getting Roman numerals, so it doesn't mess up the chapters. (grin)

I also "think" I have the story I want to work on for the end of the month's submission to WOTF. My big push has been to make this "sabbatical" produce a book before going back to teaching -- and that has happened. I've made almost no subs so far this year, which is okay. One of the "problems" with subbing these days is that with electronic submissions, many markets get back to you almost instantly, which keeps it hard to have a lot of things out right now.

On the other hand, I haven't sold anything since I got sick. Which, given how long it was before I could spend any Time In Chair, is actually perfectly reasonable.

New Researches: US U-2C (56-6953) in the Norwegian Aviation Museum, Bodø. Roman towns: Coriallum (Cherbourg?), Gesoriacum/Bononia (Calais), Vesunna/Périgueux, Arbeia (South Shields), Ad Abum (Winteringham), Ravennan (capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476), Britannia, Londinium, Hispalis (Seville). Roman military units. Canaan. Anuket was the first ancient Egyptian goddess of the Nile. Lee (nautical). Distillation. Whisky. Goy/gentile. Note, it is very hard to find out if Shabbat candles were in use in 460 A.D. LEGO and LEGOLAND in Billund, Denmark -- on Jutland 3 hours from Copenhagen. NPR story on Danish musician Amalie Bruun, the woman behind the black metal project Myrkur.

And we have a new shiny counter:

Book 2 (78,789 words)


Since I am using the 60,000 to 80,000 word yardstick for a YA novel, I've currently set the goal at 80,000 words, but since we're almost there, I will almost surely raise it to 85,000 words Real Soon Now. I doubt, maybe, kindof, sortof, hope... that this will NOT exceed 95,000 words like Book 1. And I haven't yet started a counter for Book 2 Edit Pass 2, because right now I am just jumping around and fixing some things which have come up in Book 2 -- including a few edits to Book 1. (grin) Always something

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Oooh, Shiny!

Monday, 17 August 2015 22:04
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
And they are, too.

Today the mail truck drove up and dropped off a flat box. Turned out it was from Lulu.com -- my first four Beta 1 reader copies of A Princess of a Lost Kingdom.


All shrink wrapped and padded for your protection. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I'd have ripped the wrapping off, except I wanted a picture. Very pleased with the results. The gutters came out right, as did all the pages. Cover looks good. All that work I did setting up the prototype mockups has paid off.


Revealed! Four books. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

The first copy goes to Mrs. Dr. Phil. Can I write on it? Sure.

Oh, and one of the things I need to know is where you throw the book across the room in disgust. Please fold over the page first, because bookmarks tend to fall out of thrown books -- and I need the page number. (grin)

Even better, in case my head gets too swelled at seeing books I put together in the flesh, I got my first comment email from a Beta 1 reader. About halfway through. Some confusion about details, which points out where I need to better explain the history. To avoid a big info dump, I may have been too coy.

And Chapter 13, midway, which I'd been waffling about and finally just rewrote the other day. May still be problematic. Good to know.

Not to worry, I can fix this.

Progress!

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Onward

Saturday, 15 August 2015 03:03
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda-2)
I've invited a few people to read the Beta 1 version of A Princess of a Lost Kingdom. If you're interested, there may be more slots.

Now it's waiting. Oh sure, I've got prep work for classes after Labor Day. But waiting to find out if anyone even likes my book -- this is worse than childbirth at eleven months of work!

So after I started shipping invites out, I went ahead and created mockups for Books 2 and 3. I already had the covers designed, though like Book 1, I had to redo them with the final book numbering scheme:


Books 2 and 3 -- The Loneliness of a Lost Kingdom and The Royals of a Lost Kingdom -- have been through the Edit Pass 1 process. Next is Pass 2, where I fill in on the names of people and places, expanding a bit because I now have a longer cast list and a map. Then more serious editing. When I try to sell Book 1, I'd really like to have Books 2 and 3 fairly clean, if not Beta 1 tested as well.

But, I'm not sure I've ever read either 2 or 3 as a complete book before. And of course, I immediately discovered a major continuity error early in Book 2. It's left over from discovering I'd lost a year in what is now Books 4 and 5 (DW) (LJ), and a chapter got moved... to a place that's too early.

Okay, that's fixable. But surprising.

Still, despite not quite being finished, Book 2 moves along and has a real kicker of an ending. And Book 3 leads directly into the second trilogy. Rather pleased with the timing of it all. Because these were all written together, one of the things I am proud of is how the transition between books is seamless. The story picks up right where we left it. Cool.

But reading the PDFs in the Acrobat Reader on the Kindle Fire HD is fast. So I got through Books 2 and 3 each in a late night session. I had a doctor's appointment Thursday afternoon, and when I got home I didn't feel like doing real work. Now what?

Well, I might as well play with the covers. So here are all nine books of the three trilogies. You might notice that there's some height variation. I am working from stock photos and didn't bother compensate completely for different source sizes. Like I keep saying, I'm doing this part for fun -- I am not self-publishing the stories. I did six covers in about two hours. But I am rather pleased with my results:



And I've just done some necessary file updating in the two files which contain Books 4-6. So late night tonight I went ahead and made mockups for Books 4 and 5 --

By the way, the stock photo credits from Maria Amanda Schaub are:
The Private Trilogy
A Princess of a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/White-Fairy-Stock-458582312
Photographer: Helle Gry

The Loneliness of a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/Royal-Stock-432044020
Photographer: Martin Lindeblad Jørgensen

The Royals of a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/White-Fairy-Stock-455357803
Photographer: Helle Gry

The University Trilogy
The Heir to a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/Closeup-Right-Stock-312152604
Photographer: Maria Amanda Schaub

Sisters From a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/Closeup-Left-Stock-312152784
Photographer: Maria Amanda Schaub

A Queen of a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/Blue-Silk-Stock-Concept-by-Faestock-341209992
Photographer: Jan Holte Teller
Concept: Faestock

The Reign Trilogy
A Doctor of a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/On-Ice-Stock-355114334
Photographer: Helle Gry

The Norwegian War
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/Winter-Portraits-Stock-361742326
Photographer: Helle Gry

A Deposed Princess of a Lost Kingdom
http://mariaamanda.deviantart.com/art/Radiant-Darkness-Stock-323142621
Photographer: Helle Gry

And as usual, you can't tell too much from any of this as to what's going on. (big-grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Ugh. Egad. eBooks.

I must really like some of you a lot. Because I did this all for my Beta readers -- just as I am not self-publishing the hardcopies, I am not selling the eBooks either. But I'm cheap and some people have access to eReaders. Plus there's always the merry hunt of the chase of a challenge. I mean I was going to play with all this someday anyway -- I just had the time here in August 2015.

If you don't want geek adventure details, just scroll down to the pretty picture further down and start there. (practical-grin)

Early Monday morning, I posted that I had achieved generating the proper files and order four copies of the Beta 1 reading copy of Book 1 from Lulu(DW) (LJ). I've done some work with eReaders before, mostly for readings at cons. RTF files downloaded onto my Sony eReaders. More recently PDF files onto my Kindle Fire HD. Some earlier playing with files on an HP Jornada 548 PDA.

Since I'd just set up the files for Lulu and Lulu also does eBooks, I thought I'd check there. Surely they have a Convert Print Files To eBook option. Nope. There was, however, an eBook Creator Guide -- a free EPUB format download. Great. "Buy" it for $0.00 and download it to ZEPPELIN... and I can't open it. Nothing on the machine can eat an EPUB.

(Okay, I can sort of see it Lulu's way -- if you're going to make eBooks, you probably have a way to read them. But still...)

I know I've read EPUB eBooks on WINTER and SUMMER, but those are both Windows XP Pro machines and they have the full version of Adobe Acrobat Professional installed -- I think EPUBs were read by Acrobat. Alas, the Acrobat Reader DC on ZEPPELIN under Windows 7 Home Premium can't and it looks like maybe the EPUB functionality of Acrobat has been spawned into Adobe InDesign, maybe?

So, next thing is to look at reviews on CNET and PC Mag for free Windows 7 eBook readers. I finally settled on Calibre (64-bit). (An Aside: Really guys, both CNET and PC Mag have their download pages littered with big green DOWNLOAD buttons -- most of them are for installing other Windows utilities crapware. This is how you get infected machines. And frankly, given that people come to CNET and PC Mag for good info, this doesn't reflect well on them.) Download the 68.2MB installer and end up with some 196MB of application. Gee, I hope it isn't just an eReader -- that seems excessive.

Good news. Calibre is perfectly happy to read Lulu's eBook Creator Guide in EPUB format. Alas, as I expected, Lulu is doing due diligence in making sure you're creating valid eBooks for fun and profit. Like their Word style templates for print, it's overkill and not what I want to do. Again, I'm not self-publishing here. Still, there was a lot of useful information -- including the admission that:
Do I Have to Use Styles?
We know many of you are groaning right now at the thought of using the Styles menu to format every paragraph in your book. We hear you, and have provided tips for quickly applying styles in subsequent chapters. The good news is, you only need to use a few styles and most are available out-of-the-box in popular word processing programs. The most important thing to remember is that every chapter or section needs to use a Heading style, so we can ensure it shows up in the EPUB TOC.
The Table of Contents thing is understandable -- all the rest of the Style shit has to do with making sure your eBook dots all the T's and crosses all the I's to be commercially published. Not an issue here.

For laughs and giggles, I fed my PDF into Calibre -- and it barfed all over the screen when I looked at the default MOBI version. Not unexpected, since the PDF represents page images, so depending on window width, individual lines don't wrap.

Second attempt. Feed it the .DOC file. Despite Calibre saying it takes .DOC, my Word 97/2003 DOC file wasn't a readable format. Okay... on to creating an RTF file, which it will also take. And I might as well address a few other issues.

For Lulu, eBook default fonts are Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond. My PDF version has embedded fonts, since it is in Book Antiqua, Courier New, Modern No. 20 and Copperplate Gothic Bold. Time for Ctrl-H Search-and-Destroy:

change Modern No. 20 to Times New Roman Bold
change Courier New to Arial
change Book Antiqua 12 to Garamond 14
change Copperplate Gothic Gold to Garamond Bold
delete indents (5 spaces)
change Garamond 14 to Paragraph | 1st Line Indent 0.3"
remove Gutter
delete old manual Table of Contents
remember to rename Title on Summary Sheet ***

Note the Book Antiqua 12 to Garamond 14 font change. I've always found Garamond to be a small font, and so on the screen, where I normally write in 12 points -- Garamond 14 looks better. And in fact, using the same 6x9 paper size, the 336 page printing version of the book ended up as 337 pages in the eBook version -- so I'd say I've got the size question right. (grin)

I also changed my Chapter Title lines: Starting from the end of the book, I used Shift-F11 to go backwards through the AutoNum fields from 25 to 1. "25." was highlighted, so I type a hard "25.", click on the whole line and apply Heading 3, then do the next. Make a new Table of Contents using the Header 3 info. Boom... That was WAY too easy. It made a TOC in half a second. Okay, that's ONE use I have for Styles in Word. One. Only.

New attempt and Calibre did in fact make a MOBI eBook, which Calibre could read. Next try to make an EPUB. This could be read by both Calibre and Kindle for PC. Now we're getting somewhere. But I really couldn't get them to run on the Kindle Fire HD -- which was the whole point of the exercise. (double-trouble-grin)

So I went to Der Google and asked it what is the file format for a Kindle reader. Turns out, it's currently AWZ3, though MOBI also works. And Calibre makes an AWZ3 file, which not only can be read by Kindle for PC, but also gains a Kindle icon. But...

Here's where Big Brother and closed ecologies comes into play. You cannot download an AWZ3 file to a Kindle. Amazon.com acts as a gatekeeper for downloading books. So it's their way (or sideloading). Some more Googling reveals that you CAN Send-email-to-Kindle a MOBI file. Each Kindle has an email address-- which you can find under Account | Settings | Managing Your Kindle at Amazon.com -- and you email the file as an attachment. Then Whispernet takes over and downloads it to your Kindle.

Damn. It worked. There is my Cover sitting in the Carousel on my Kindle Fire HD. Each Kindle has its own email address, but once something is in Amazon's cloud, you can Whispernet it to another Kindle -- so my 2nd Kindle Fire HD got the file, too.

Now, the Kindle doesn't consider it a Book -- it's a Document -- so the only place it shows up on the Kindle is on the Carousel. But, it does all the usual things about finding your last place and synchronizing between readers.

All in all, a pretty respectable day's work. It's not perfect. The Table of Contents worked perfectly in the .DOC and .RTF files, but is screwed up on the eBooks. This is not a priority for me. Maybe the Bug Fix Committee here at Princess Central will get to it Real Soon Now. (yeah-right-grin)


Now I have PDF/Lulu Trade Paperback, EPUB, MOBI, and AZW3 versions.

Negating, as always, that my several days of time don't count in this experiment (grin), the printed books from Lulu cost me money. The PDF (L) is exactly the same as the printed copy (LL), including page numbers and I think the map is more readable, so it is useful to me and I recommend it if possible. The AZW3 can be downloaded and run in the Kindle for PC program. The MOBI can be Send-to-Kindle and show up in the Carousel on my Kindle Fire HD -- though it is not a "book" but a "document" -- but it does my have book cover mockup. Yay.

Presumably owners of other devices, such as Nook and Kobo, could tell me what format they want and figure out how to get it onto their machine. Sigh. Standardization -- not for computer users, alas.

The files:
08/10/15  02:01 2,486,772 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13L-pdf.pdf
08/10/15  02:05 2,132,527 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13LL-pdf.pdf
08/11/15  01:57 4,947,471 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E.rtf
08/11/15  02:02   986,967 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E - Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.mobi
08/11/15  02:03   475,660 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E - Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.epub
08/11/15  03:11   851,762 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E - Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.azw3
Voila! Like the process for creating the Lulu book, once one had enumerated a Procedure, it will all go smoother The Next Time. We hope. Maybe. (sly-grin)

Dr. Phil

*** NOTE that the Book Title comes from the Summary Info Title and NOT from the filename or the title line of the book.

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
So... last week I announced that I had finally achieved the first draft of Book 1 of my series (DW) (LJ). And I had a PDF formatted for use on the Acrobat reader on my Kindle Fire HD. But I've also said that I wanted to print some hardcopies -- not printouts -- for Beta readers who don't want to read a book on a device.

There are two things to remember here: (1) I am not self-publishing this book. This is strictly about getting some Beta reading copies. (2) I tend to roll my own files, rather than depend on wizards or templates. It's both a control thing and a personal preference. Depending on someone else's wizard or template means you get to choose their choices. Uh-uh.

Oh, and a third thing. I knew from reading people's self-publishing blogs that creating Print-On-Demand real books or eBooks can be an annoying process. More than one person I knew sent in what they thought was a proper file, only to get a box of copies of gibberish. So I knew that it would take a while to get things set up right.

John Scalzi had once mentioned on his blog that he'd used Lulu.com to print up one copy of a book for editing purposes. That sounded pretty clever, especially when I was checking around. There very well may be others, but I know Lulu does not charge a setup fee. I could take my PDF down to Schuler Books and use their Espresso book printing machine, but their rate schedule includes a $150 setup plus $6.00 per copy and $0.03 per page production costs. For my 332 pages, that would be $15.96 per book in production costs, and for the initial four-book order I would end up paying $53.46 per book. (But I wouldn't have to wait for shipment -- I'd have the books in minutes, so it is something to consider when I'm a rich author on a deadline.) (grin)

Lulu is charging me $5.70 for each trade paperback -- but there's a coupon code to get the 4th book free. So with shipping, I paid $24.84 or $6.21 a book. I can live with that. Hopefully they'll look nice in a couple of days when they get here. (double-grin)

I know enough about books and publishing to be dangerous. And I did try to use Lulu's template file, but hated some of their defaults. And when I tried to make an amalgam of their template file and my pre-PDF copy, I ended up with a horrible problem with the gutters coming out wrong and page headers which misbehaved. Lulu requires your printing file to end on a blank page. Hard to do that when it keeps on giving you a page header -- or if do a perfectly normal section break and try to disconnect Same As Previous, it ends up deleting the headers through the whole file. I suspect this is a weird interaction between all the styles that Lulu uses -- and I don't -- and changing the .docx file to a Word 97/2003 .doc file.

That wasted a day.

Of course I am still having to fight Word 2010. Most of the books have been written with that, because ZEPPELIN -- Wendy's old Windows 7 Toshiba laptop -- has a nice big display. My other XP/7 laptops have Word 95 and Word 2003. It used to be easy to access page size and margins, but that damned Ribbon in Word...

Eventually I just scrapped trying to use Lulu's template at all, found the nuts and bolts settings in Word 2007 and rolled my own files. I'd set up the Lulu account in March, so time to go back and check things out. And get ready to upload some files.

Again, no way was I going to use their cover creator wizard -- I opted to make a one-page PDF upload. For that I need the spine width. Farbled with that and got it done.

Now, remember, I'm not expecting this to work on the first attempt.

It didn't. Fortunately Lulu had advanced to where they do some good error checking. And it turned out that when I first starting creating PDFs to read on my Kindle, I'd selected A5 paper size, because it was one of the presets. I thought I had changed it to 6x9, but must've lost that setting when I changed file versions. Okay, that requires redoing everything -- including getting a new spine width for the one-page cover. And my PDF wasn't ISO 19005-1 Compliant (PDF/A). A while back, I had wondered loudly online about that ISO 19005-1 checkbox on Word 2007's Save As PDF option, but Microsoft Word UnHelpful Help didn't tell me what it was for. Now I know.

That wasted a second day.

Finally, I made a second attempt. And one of the errors was using a font smaller than 6pt. Hmm. Finally figured out that I had used an old spacing trick on one page where I had two blank lines set in Times New Roman 5pt. Deleted those. Still a problem. Also, my map wasn't 300dpi.

That wasted the afternoon.

Tonight I built everything up anew. I even did a Ctrl-h Search-and-Destroy to change anything 5pt into 6pt. It found one instance, probably a font size change command with nothing in it leftover. And between 2am and 3am, I got it all to work:



And I've ordered my initial four copies. No, it's set for Private, so you can't buy one off of Lulu. I am not self-publishing.

Ultimately it sort of all went better than I'd expected, after hearing some of the horror stories from 3-4 years ago. But still, three days to get things sorted out... the first time that is. Any more Beta copies for this or any other books will go much easier. Until, of course, Lulu changes things. As everybody does. (evil-update-grin)

I'll talk more in details on my procedure which works. But in these wee hours, I'll just be pleased that I think I got it.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Done

Friday, 7 August 2015 00:31
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
Book 1 Pass 4 Page 366 -- completed ‎08/‎06/‎2015 14:53:49

It's never really done, is it? I mean, I've read and re-read and re-re-read this a lot of times. I've gotten rid of the ambiguities, made sure everything has a name that needs to. I've got the first of several maps made and made sure things happen in the right directions and distances, now that I have a map. I've set a number of Chechov Brand Traps™ which are designed to go off in Books 2-9.

And by Grabthar's Hammer I have a story.

Is it perfect? Pfft! What a stupid question. Of course not. But it's good enough to read, I think. Oh, there's a chapter which might be a little hinky. I thought about pulling it, but then did some counting and realized that it filled a category under the Rule Of Threes. Not only that, but a couple of things I thought I had flogged too much -- some of that shows up in later books. And so it turns out those things also fall under the Rule of Threes for Book 1.

Oh, and while editing Version 1.15, I made the decision to ditch my odd numbering schema. A Princess of a Lost Kingdom is now Book 1. Not Book 1 Part I. Not Book 1 Part A. Just Book 1. The next volume is Book 2. The next is Book 3. I still have the first trilogy, Books 1-3, all in one file. For now it makes continuity sense, I think. But I'm sure when I am deep in the edits for Book 2, that I'll rethink and revisit this, but there you go.

I haven't decided if I feel like digging through the calendars for 2016-17 and establishing all the dates in this version. I feel it's okay. I have to stop somewhere and package this up ready to ship to Beta readers.

I also realized that I had some conflicts in the titles. So I rethought that and now 8 of the 9 books have titles which end in "of a Lost Kingdom" -- and the series goes "Book N Of The Lost Kingdom Chronicles". Lame, I'm sure. But consistency now and consistency later when someone buys the series and gets to change the titles. (optimistic-grin)

The first mention of this project was here on 15 October 2014 (DW), when I had 32,527 words written on what would become the first triology:
So back on 9 September, just over a month ago, I started in on a novel. It's a story I've worked on before, including the last year, but I changed things.

But after I'd written some 6000 words, I realized that this was the "nice" version of the story. I needed to be meaner to my characters if this was going to work. Because otherwise, it was just... schlock.

So I set the A novel aside and started the B novel on the 12th. After about 15,000 words, I decided that I was putting back in too many "nice" features. That things weren't hard enough. Also the characters needed to be edgier.

So I set the B novel aside and started the C novel on the 24th. After about... oh yeah, you can see this coming... after about 3000 words, I felt that while the characters were edgier -- and to some extent fun -- they were TOO cocky. These people needed to have suffered. And still living with it. No fairy tale endings. No Prince in shining armor or worsted wool.

So... since I hadn't gotten too far, I set the C novel aside and started the D novel on 27 September 2014. I think maybe I've got the mix right. Still haven't decided if this is YA or not. Technically it is neither SF or Fantasy -- call it alternative history -- and quite unlike anything I've ever written before, yet parallel to some of the stuff in my 29th century SF. Go figure.

I'm just about one-third of the way to my initial target length, so I might as well pull out the word meters and officially put this super-secret novel project on notice to the world.
That 'A Novel', "A Princess of Light and Letters", was started on 9 September 2014 -- 331 days ago.

The 'D Novel', "A Princess of a Lost Kingdom", was started on 27 September 2014 -- 313 days ago. It now stands at 96,821 words.

I have written, so far, 437,749 words in the current nine-book series -- mostly in the first two trilogies. The A-B-C Novels totaled some 24,000 words, but they are not all unique across versions including the current one. Still, I am comfortable in saying I have written over 440,000 words in 331 days. It sounds like a tremendous amount -- and it is -- but divide raw numbers by raw days, and it is only 1329 words a day. At an average 250 words/page in Standard Manuscript Format, that works out to about 5 pages a day.

I mention this not to brag, but to shout out encouragement to young writers who figure they can't write a novel or work on anything "that long". Remember, much of the work was written before Christmas, when I was still commuting 3 hours a day and teaching two classes.

The shiny counters stand at:

The First Trilogy Page Edits (Pass 4)


A Princess Of A Lost Kingdom Page Edits (Pass 4)


The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.15 (08-06-15 Th, 1601 pages)


Book 1 Part I (96,821 words)


Yes, I am over even the super-stretch goal of 95,000 words, rather than the usual YA range of 60,000-80,000 words -- but amazingly I am only 1821 words over and did not break the 100,000 word sonic barrier.

Go me.

Dr. Phil

PS--Twice I offered the great opportunity for someone to read the almost-ready version. Got no takers. So I __STILL__ don't know if what works in my mind works for ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Writer's insecurities and panic -- we all do it. Thanks for helping me. (/sarcasm) (evil-grin)

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Almost Done

Sunday, 2 August 2015 17:25
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
Book 1 Part I Pass 3 Page 363 -- completed‎ ‎08/‎01/‎2015 12:32:45

So... Version 1.14 of Book 1 Part I of the YA series clocks in at 95,537 words. That's only about 1400 words more than Version 1.13 (DW) (LJ). During that time I went through all 422 Standard Manuscript Format pages of the novel with a red pen. And then did some Find and Find-and-Replace searches for a number of common overused words of mine -- especially "that". Lord, going through "that" took me a couple of days. Ugh.

Now I'm going to do One More Read-through for readability, Pass 4, and then... THEN I shall fearfully let some people read the Beta version. Yikes!

The PLK-114-1.pdf printout I did my hardcopy edits from was printed in 2-ups, so 422 pages ended up as 212 sheets of paper, with a cover sheet. I gathered those into reasonable sized chunks -- equivalent to some of the short stories I've edited in the same way -- fourteen in all.

I totally recommend that you do an editing pass in a different font, in my case going from Book Antiqua 12 to Courier New 12, and single spaced to double spaced. Errors that have persisted through many generations of the novel suddenly spring out at you, because you're not letting your mind skip over the same things again when you have to actually pay attention to what you're reading.

Alas, I know that there are still evils lurking in the manuscript 'cause I find more every day. But... the Beta reading versions will be SO much cleaner than they were. Whew!

New Researches: Nothing formerly to speak of. Printed out the 2016 and 2017 calendars. And was reading through the weather history of Bodø, Norway, in a little detail.

The shiny counters stand at:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 3)


For just the first real book in my obsolete numbering system:
A Princess Of The Lost Kingdom Page Edits (Pass 3)


The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.14 (08-02-15 Su, 1601 pages)


Book 1 Part I (95,537 words)


Huh. Amazingly I broke my latest upgraded word goal for the first novel, but only by 537 words. And I have kept it under 100,000 words. Barely.

Book 1 Part I (95,537 words, starts page 44) / Part II (77,475 words, starts page 364) /
Part III (74,348 words, starts page 638)


I am really very excited about all this.

Dr. Phil

PS -- if any one person wants to read the novel Right Now. Contact me.

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
I could read a map practically before I could read.

At age 3, it was around 1961, I became the official family navigator when, on a regular family trip from Medina NY to Aliquippa and Cheswick PA, my father got lost. It wasn't really his fault. In those days, I-79 from Eire to Pittsburgh was still under construction, so we kept on having to get off the interstate and onto US-19 and then back on. We had similar issues with our annual ventures to the Thousand Islands on I-81 and US-11. Yes, the federal highway system we're letting fall apart today was still being built. Yes, I am that old. (grin)

Anyway, so we had an inkling that we were on the wrong road. The road got narrower and narrower, dustier -- and there was no traffic. It had been raining heavily and we were running late. The rain finally stopped and just a few minutes before midnight, so did the road. On a bluff overlooking the sweeping vista of I-79 heading south... My father swore and my mother was trying to read the map, which of course was out of date with the construction, when this little voice peeped up out of the back seat.

I told my father where we'd missed the sign in a very confusing set of barriers and then gave a series of directions and turns. My father looked at my mother and figured at that hour there was nothing to lose. Three minutes later, at midnight, we are on the ramp accelerating south on that section of I-79.

No one ever disbelieved me again when it came to directions.

Oh, I did have a navigation error -- but the mistake wasn't mine. In my teenage years we were driving through rural New Jersey -- and yes, the Garden State does have some really lovely rural farmland -- and I'd worked out a shortcut that was going to save us a lot of time over the AAA Triptik's route. Alas, as I was looking for the exit to the US highway from the Interstate, we drove over a road where from the back seat I could clearly see the US highway marker below. Dammit. I re-routed us.

Later I found out that there WAS going to be an exit there in three years, and AAA printed their maps to last for a number of years, so they put the damned exit in. Without a "Coming in 1974" note or something. I've never trusted a AAA map since. I'm a Rand McNally man, myself.

Naturally I'm a map snob. As a little kid it irked me when a map maker didn't display highway numbers in the correct shield. And Interstate highways need to be white numbers on a blue background with a red crown. A solid black shield with white numbers... or GOLD numbers? Shudder. The horror, the horror.

As a little kid I would get ahold of a pad of paper and make my own maps. I preferred east-west highways, because so many of them took you places. I-90, the New York State Thruway. The Pennsylvania Turnpike. Etc. Also, you could take your pad and put it in landscape view -- we called it "sideways" in those days -- and then all the sheets could connect. I remember one project where the last page came up, so I put a shoreline of a mythical Great Lake and then crammed three interchanges on top of each other to maximize the amount of mayhem as I could on one page. Not unlike Detroit, now that I think about it. But I'd not been to Michigan yet and so Detroit wasn't on my radar. This was like trying to cram in an extra few words at the end of a line. My penance for having several pages of highways running along with no exits. That map used a box of colored pencils, so I could color the highway symbols correctly -- and also the road themselves as they went from regular streets, to highways, to divided highways to freeways -- and the toll roads. Hey, I grew up with Thruways and Turnpikes -- you paid to drive.

I am no artist or graphic artist. But if you hum a few bars I do know some tricks on how to fake it. Sorry, the maps to my Lost Kingdom YA series are not going to be Bristol Board with pencil layouts, lovingly inked in with .1, .3 and .5 Pigma Micron archival ink pens, then scanned. I do have the pens and pencils. I do have the paper. But... No.

Years ago, my first completed novel was a military SF story The Devil's Coffin. It required two sets of illustrations. First, a simple star diagram of the constellation itself, along with stellar class and names. Second, I needed detailed layouts for the three main decks of a Unified Star Fleet FFL lightweight Callisto frigate. I used MS Paint, the Windows 95/98SE/Me/NT4 version -- mainly in NT4, because the Windows 9x versions had a bug when you did a black & white picture whereby dragging objects tended to leave little poop trails of pixels on the screen -- which Undo would NOT get rid of.

Primitive? Sure. But with the built-in scale and the one dot/pixel .BMP bitmaps, it was possible to do some decent enough drawings -- then copy them and erase whole chunks to get the next deck's floorplans. If I ever get around to doing the rewrite on The Devil's Coffin and submitting it, you can bet that those drawings will be included. Should I sell it, the publisher can decide if they want a better artist to redo them. (evil-grin)

So... with regards to The Long Kingdom, I have a few little sketches from various incarnations of the story, but the main arrangement has survived through all four versions of story, novels A through D (DW). These maps were on my usual notepaper, which is typically a discarded printout or unused quiz, folded twice to make a little booklet. Hardly big enough to want to scan or trace or use.

But I've had the whole thing in my head since September. Which isn't very useful for the dear reader. As I tell my students, you have to show your work, and if you do all the work in your head, you must staple your head to the paper and turn it in. (It's in the syllabus. Really.)

I've also written about the pitfalls of maps. From the fantasy maps lament in The Land of Clichéa (DW) (LJ), to solving the problem of how to have secret kingdoms which are, well, secret (DW) (LJ) and, of course, xkcd's take on maps for stories (DW) (LJ).

Last week I realized I needed to have an actual map. Let's face it, I hate elaborate stories which fail to have maps. Remember, I grew up on J.R.R. Tolkien!

An Aside: The other year I read through the extant boxed set of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, aka A Game of Thrones, et al. If you buy the paperback boxed set, I will tell you that the maps you need for volume N are sometimes in volume N+1, either in the front or back. I guess it has to do with some other artist doing maps as the series was being developed. Anyway, it sure would've helped to have a bloody map of King's Landing one book earlier!

Another problem I had to fess up to and face was this: Right in the beginning of the story our main character has to walk from the train station. It's seven miles from one side of the kingdom to the other, before the mountains. Also, it is described as twenty miles south and east to get to the other village. That roughly means that you have to go a little over twelve miles south before turning east. Simple math suggests that the kingdom is rectangular, and taller than wide.

Except... in my mind I'm still thinking landscape and have wanted it wider than tall. Too bad. Too late. I'm not rewriting the book. The early sketches are just wrong.

A few days ago I realized I had another problem. In that opening walk, there is another route which goes north and then west a distance of twelve miles. We got seven and... oops. Not enough room north. The northern route needs an extra bend around it. Which is no real problem, but one had to be consistent.

The island on the other side of the mountains is smaller than it once was. Little things.

With that preface, I give you:

Map of The Lost Kingdom Version 1.14 Nr. 1 Version 2


The Kingdom of Eisbergen (Click on map for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Oh, there's still some issues. First of all, it has a tendency to look a little gridlike. Geesh, do you think I'm plotting the novel like Battleship? Take the road from B2 to B6...

On the other hand, it is a lot of fields and hills and farms -- a lot of them abandoned because after 1500 years the soil is wiped out and the water sucks in some places -- all hemmed in by mountains on three sides and a railway line on the other.

From a logistic point of view, I solved this linearity by decided to tilt the compass point. Take a look at the coast of Norway, I'll wait, and you'll see that this actually makes sense.

Of course this version doesn't have the key yet -- it's in another file -- and there's some details not given. And you have to click on the map to be able to read any of it. But hey, I'm not divulging my storyline yet anyhow.

I'm just crowing that I have my first usable map for my kingdom.

Yay! Go me!

Oh, and the postscript offer from my last blog post STILL is available, as no one has yet come forward. I can even offer you a map now... (satisfied grin)

Dr. Phil

PS -- So far no one has read the whole novel. And I don't want to impose version fatigue on anyone. But... If there was ONE person who would like to read the current PDF version on your e-reader this weekend, I would appreciate a very rough response to what I've got here. (evil-grin) Comment here on Dreamwidth, or LiveJournal or on Facebook. Or email if you have my Gmail address.

If anyone ever actually READS these blog posts of mine...

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
Book 1 Part I Pass 2 Page 351 -- completed 07/‎24/‎2015 00:51:36

So... Version 1.13 of Book 1 Part I of the YA series clocks in at 94,109 words. The PDF mockup has 340 pages of story.

Time to make the first printout of the book. I'll do this one in Standard Manuscript Format, so that I can spot errors more easily. Edit Pass 3 is for readability, though of course I've been taking care of a lot of the corkers along the way. Still, there's some history and descriptive infodumps which might be annoying -- I have to balance information versus having the story come to a grinding halt.

And I've ended up with four chapters over 6000 words, including one at 8092. These may be split up, or redistributed and load balanced.

Tomorrow (later today) begins Version 1.14. Backups need to be made. Sleep needs to be had.

The Shiny Counters tonight stand at:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 2)


Edit Pass 2 for the whole first trilogy will be put on Pause, so I can continue to get Book 1 Part I ready for Beta readers. For just Book 1 Part I we are here:

A Princess Of The Lost Kingdom Page Edits (Pass 2)


Word counts:
The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.13 (07-24-15 Fr, 1588 pages)


Book 1 Part I (94,109 words)


The First Trilogy:
Book 1 Part I (94,109 words, starts page 44) / Part II (77,475 words, starts page 352) /
Part III (74,348 words, starts page 626)


Note I've upped the total target from 240,000 to 255,000, reflection the extra 15,000 words currently allowed to Book 1 Part I.

The thing. It is becoming a thing!

Dr. Phil

PS -- So far no one has read the whole novel. And I don't want to impose version fatigue on anyone. But... If there was ONE person who would like to read the current PDF version on your e-reader this weekend, I would appreciate a very rough response to what I've got here. (evil-grin) Comment here on Dreamwidth, or LiveJournal or on Facebook. Or email if you have my Gmail address.

If anyone ever actually READS these blog posts of mine...

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
With the Tour de France hitting the Alps tomorrow, we reach some of the toughest challenges and yet I am already mourning the loss of having the Tour on in a few days. Weird how we think.

I bring this up because I am beginning to feel that way about the first book of the YA trilogy. I still hope to have the first beta version by the end of the month.

How has the name change for my main character gone? Well, the last time I asked the question: How long will it take me to type the wrong name when I start writing again?

THERE HAVE BEEN __11_ DAYS
SINCE A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT

I guess the name change is going quite well, thank you very much. (grin)

While Book 1 Edit Pass 2 is really all about names of people and places, I can't help fixing other things, of course.

Out of control with the -ed endings (grin):
She sliced off half of her pickled, stabbed it and placed it on Anaulka’s plate.
And then there was the mistake where for a moment I thought I'd gotten rid of three days of file edits. The CMD DOS box command was supposed to be
xcopy . e: /d:7-14-2015
but I left it without the "." !!! Whatever Windows thought it was doing, I had continued the error across the main directory and two backups, dammit. However... it wasn't that bad, because I do save often, and actually only lost two short scene bits. Which I was able to recreate without incident.

Still, you can never be sure when a file disaster will come. Recheck the dates before you start dumping the latest files across your backups. (grin) This is real world stuff, folks.

I will suspend Book 1 Edit Pass 2 at the end of the first actual book and go on to the readability Edit Pass 3. And then we'll have something to show a few of you.

New Researches: Stonehaven/Stonehive, Scotland. The Jacobite rising of 1715 (also referred to as the Fifteen or Lord Mar's Revolt). The Scottish Crown Jewels. The Stone of Scone: An Lia Fàil. Dunsinane Hill. John Erskine, Earl of Mar. The Act of Grace and Free Pardon, 1717. The Catskills -- The old-timers in the Catskills describe our soil type as "two stones for every dirt" -- Shandaken and Phoenicia. Scandinavian migration to New York. Interestingly, the first ship of Norwegians in 1825 were bound for Orleans County. I was born in Medina NY in Orleans County, founded in 1817 and along the Erie Canal. I remember the founding date because I had to learn what the word sesquicentennial meant in 1967. (small-town-grin) The so-called 'Iron Ration' comprised an emergency ration of preserved meat, cheese, biscuit, tea, sugar and salt carried by all British soldiers in the field for use in the event of their being cut off from regular food supplies. The Iron Ration in the US Army in WW I led to the development of the A, B, C and D rations. Is overfarming one word or two? Well, it is used as one word in the New York Times... so good enough for me.

The shiny counters have crept up to:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 2)


Remember that in my odd accounting "Book 1" has ended up the whole first trilogy. So if you only look at the first book, ends on page 346 of the main work file, you get:

A Princess Of The Lost Kingdom Page Edits (Pass 2)


See? MUCH more progress! (moving-the-goal-posts-grin)

The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.13 (07-21-15 Tu, 1583 pages)


Book 1 Part I (91,347 words)


And... I've screamed through the 90,000 word mark in the first book, so I upped the target to 95,000 words. For the moment. This damned sucker is going to be a 100,000 YA novel no matter how hard I try to make it under 80,000 words. (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (maria-amanda)
After Friday night's writing report (DW) (LJ), there was no reason not to save all the files from Version X.12 to X.13, and then tackle the hard stuff.

In the wee hours of Saturday, I ran the name change for my main character. Since I was reversing the first two parts of the name, I couldn't just do one Ctrl-H Search-and-Destroy. Including nicknames, I had to do seven changes. And then I had to do an eighth change in the second trilogy, because her college roommate's mom keeps getting her name wrong. (silly-grin)

Whew.
Ctrl-H procedure:              FILE: 1.13   R.13   2.13   3.13   4.13   5.13
      Daniska to DNSK                  21      5     12     14      3      0      55
      Dani (whole word) to DNSS         0      0      2      3      0      0       5
      Elsinor to Daniska             2503     85   1527    284     65      0    4464
      Elsi (whole word) to Dani         2      0      4      5      7      0      18
      Eli (whole word) to Dani         45      3     23      6      2      0      79
      DNSS to Elsi                      0      0      2      3      0      0      --
      DNSK to Elsinor                  21      5     12     14      3      0      --
      Eleanor to Danishka               0      0      3      0      0      0       3
                                                                 Total Changes: 4624

NOTE: File R.13 is the current Research Notes file which includes story fragments 
      not yet included into the books and the full Cast List.
Because Word keeps track of the last several Ctrl-H changes, it's pretty easy to use the pull-down menus and run through the Search and Replace terms seven times. I've previously perfected this technique for turning Master documents into Printer documents in Standard Manuscript Format. So all those changes didn't take long. I think it took longer to make the notes and then type up the table of statistics, than nearly 5000 name changes. (grin)

The big question is -- How long will it take me to type the wrong name when I start writing again?

THERE HAVE BEEN __2__ DAYS
SINCE A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT

Then there were the file reconciliations. Chapter 12 -- Locked In For Christmas and Chapter 13 -- Seventeen, were the two holiday chapters I put on the blog back for Christmas (DW) (LJ) and New Year's (DW) (LJ). The good news was that there were no differences between Chapter 12 and "A Christmas in the Lost Kingdom", other than I think two places where I'd added descriptions to the stand-alone short story, which I didn't need in the novel. However, I'd done some editing on Chapter 13 and “New Year's in the Lost Kingdom” had a lot of changes, nearly all of which I accepted.

Now I will start from the beginning and get back into the Book 1 Edit Pass 2. This should go much easier this time.

Interestingly, this is the first time I've used the File Compare / Track Changes in Microsoft Word 2010. It's very different than in Word 95/97/2003. Of course it is -- Redmond can't leave anything fucking alone, can they? The new one I guess is easier to set up, and I ended up with four panes. Once I figured out what the hell was going on, it went smoothly. But this was straightforward stuff, for the most part. It may not be as pleasant with Track Changes from an editor. And there was a weirdness where the Original File A pane wouldn't scroll -- any movement of the mouse wheel shot all the panes down to the bottom. But they otherwise synchronized well.

One word was marked as changed, but it wasn't in either red or strike-through. I had to look at the original and revised files to figure out that the web version didn't have the word italicized. Why it couldn't have indicated that better, I'll have no idea. But I am thoroughly convinced that Microsoft doesn't ever test their software in real world problem environments. (evil-grin)

It wasn't that I didn't know how to do these things, rather I've been so busy writing and revising, that I've literally put these two tasks off for six months. Now we're in good enough shape they needed to be done, and I was able to accomplish these with relative ease.

BTW -- Sharp-eyed readers will note that I tweaked my DW/LJ referencing once again, moving "(DW)" inside the link label, so it matches the one for "(LJ)". Looks better, easier on the eyes. Always with the little revisions...

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
It's been 20 days since my last writing update report. There have been some good reasons for that. The big one, of course, is that we took 10 days to drive down to North Carolina and back to visit my mother. Managed to do the long drive without hurting my foot -- we took three days each way instead of the two days in past years.

Then I had to write a 5000 word story for WOTF Q3. I'd come up with Yet Another Story Idea while I was in Dearborn on a day trip a couple of weeks ago. The funny thing is that the Big Driving Idea that I'd come up with? Didn't make it into Version 1.01 of the story. (grin) It happens.

And this week I had two doctor's appointments, which pretty much ruined two afternoons of writing time, but obviously quite necessary.

So while I was away, I took a break from the trilogy. And when I got back, probably half of what I wrote was stuff I had to put into Book 2 Part A/B, which are actually the first two books of the second trilogy. Have I confused you guys yet? Yes, I'm still keeping an archaic book numbering system because it cuts down on the number of files I have. (evil-grin)

Yesterday I posted a couple of tantalizing little bits of Book 1 Part I from two writing memes (DW) (LJ). Very sharp eyed readers might note that the 7-7-7 meme posted yesterday is not quite the same as the one I posted in June (DW) (LJ). The reason is simple -- different versions of the PDF version of the book on the Kindle Fire HD. (grin)

Version 1.13 -- It's Time

Well, the book edits have reached the point where I really need to reconcile what's in the main book file with the two holiday chapters I put on the blog back for Christmas (DW) (LJ) and New Year's (DW) (LJ). What that means is something that I have been avoiding doing for a long time -- my main character is getting a name change. Of course Edit Pass 2 is all about replacing all the Xxx character and place names with actual names, so it makes sense that I have to do this.

It's not quite as simple as doing a single Search-and-Destroy replacement, especially when you consider nicknames as well. What I'm actually doing is switching first and second names -- so if I just did a simple replace, they'd all end up the same name. (triple-word-score-grin) So I have to do an intermediate safe word replacement as part of the procedure. Also, somewhere there's a joke which will no longer work, so I'll have to get rid of it during a later Edit pass.

But... by filling in the people names in the kingdom, I've been making family connections and also connecting multiple incidents with the same people. Huh. Who knew that filling in the blanks actually creates more story?

New Researches: Shieldmaidens (Old Norse: skjaldmær, Danish: skjoldmø, Norwegian: skjoldmøy, Swedish: sköldmö, German: Schildmaid). Certainly they show up in some stories and epic sagas -- the historical truth is a bit murkier. Not that I care -- this is a secret history anyway!

On the verge of a new file version, the shiny counters stand at:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 2)


With the conversion and merger going to the new volume, I expect the Edit Pass 2 counter to actually start moving again. But I've gotten a lot of work done elsewhere, so it's not like this counter is definitive.

The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.12 (07-10-15 Fr, 1517 pages)


Previously the "trilogy" counter had been bumped up to 400,000 words, so I would be over 100%. But since this is the sum from three files with 3 + 2 + 2 books, I've again bumped this up to a 7 book total of 560,000 words. The new counter looks about right.

Book 1 Part I (84,569 words)


The first book is still bumping up a little long, just shy of the revised 85,000 word total. I suspect that Edit Pass 2 of the first actual book will run about 90,000 words. Which I know is on the high side for YA. But we'll see.

Here's the first trilogy numbers:

Book 1 Part I (84,569 words, starts page 44) / Part II (77,420 words, starts page 326) /
Part III (74,348 words, starts page 600)


With pieces of five new chapters added, I also note:

Book 2 Part A (76,905 words, starts page 41) / Part B (50,650. words, starts page 317)


Now on to create new files and get back to work.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Three Chapters Meme

Thursday, 9 July 2015 22:04
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-1-bw)
via Nikki Kimberling on Facebook -- She was tagged to share the first line of the first three chapters of the current work in progress. I wasn't tagged, but I like to play some memes anyway.

I included the opening before Chapter 1 and two lines from Chapter 2 as a bonus.
0. The sixteen-year-old looked like some young blond Viking princess – which would have surprised all the passengers on the train to find out she was, of a sort.

1. It had been such a beautiful day, but now she was anxious to get home.

2. The dream again.  What might have been, had the Germans not come.

3. "So, I understand there were two incidents at Old Fields," their father, King Henrik VII of Eisbergen, said when Daniska came down for a late supper at the great table.
Bonus for me: I found a typo in the first line of Chapter 1. Doing this on the Kindle Fire HD, so the text I have is from the current PDF book mockup: A Princess of a Lost Kingdom (Prototype) – Version 1.12.2.0 — 23 June 2015.

Also going around is a 7-7-7 meme -- seven lines after the seventh line from the seventh page of the current work in progress.
He put on his helmet and would follow behind her at a discrete distance. No one in the kingdom of Eisbergen would think it odd to see Roman Centurions walking in the streets in either armor or a business suit.

The causeway was broad and mainly made of stone and sand. But planks made a suitable place for her to cross in her city shoes, without sinking into the ground – or getting them dirty or wet. She passed a dozen people, who all stopped and bowed before they hurried on. Several of the older men additionally doffed their hats at her passing. This didn‘t happen in Copenhagen, where no one knew who she was.
Again, this is from the PDF version, not the Word document. ***

I don't call out other writers by name, but anyone working on a novel for the Three Chapters meme or anything for the 7-7-7 meme who wants to play along, feel free. And you can feel free to link to my post either on DW, LJ or Facebook.

Enjoy.

Dr. Phil

*** - Very sharp eyed readers might note that the 7-7-7 meme posted here is not quite the same as the one I posted in June (DW) (LJ). The reason is simple -- different versions of the PDF version of the book on the Kindle Fire HD. (grin)

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Friday Mrs. Dr. Phil has a meeting in Dearborn MI across the state, so we drove over on a one-day trip. More later on that, but I did take a four hour business lunch and meeting with fellow 2004 Clarion and 2008 WOTF class member Al Bogdan. I tried to describe to him where I was with the YA project -- and without actually reading to see if it sucks or not, Al seemed to think I was doing all the right things to get this ready for Beta reading and then submission.

I am crazy stoked.

Also have been doing more prep work so that I can print a few trade paperbacks for some readers. Originally I had a very simple cover, done in Courier New so it clearly was a Not For Sale product. But... you know we really do judge books by their covers. And while most self-published covers I've seen have been poor -- and I am not a graphic designer by trade -- I do know enough to be dangerous. For real sales, that's where the art department of a publisher comes in. But for me? Well, I had run across the stock photos of an actual Danish model, Marie Amanda Staub, who does goth/fantasy/medieval photos and frankly, other than height, she strongly resembles my main character as I see her. (And apparently I am not the only one!)

So over last weekend I did some mockups in Corel PaintShop Pro X5 -- THIS IS NOT FOR SALE PUBLICATION -- and came up with the following:


Mocked up bookcover for A Princess of the Lost Kingdom
(Book 1 Part I of The Lost Kingdom Chronicles) by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.


The link to the Maria Amanda's Deviant Art page is here. (The embedded link from Deviant Art wasn't displaying correctly in the Preview.)

And here's the whole opening trilogy:

Mocked up bookcovers for The Lost Kingdom Chronicles trilogy by Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.

Word 2010 makes an acceptable PDF file, which if formatted for trade paperback use, displays quite nicely in Adobe Acrobat for the Kindle Fire. But... I suppose I might actually set up a proper e-book file to give to first readers who want that option. Was looking earlier at Sigil 0.8.7, which is free and open source, and also Jutoh 2 ebook editor, which I've heard of from elsewhere, but would cost $40-80. I'll probably try a mockup in Sigil and see how that goes.

My goal here is NOT to get into self-publishing, but only provide some booklike manuscripts to make it easier for my Beta readers to read. What I have in the PDF is clear, clean and usable -- and took almost zero time. I do not want to invest Time In Chair with persnickety page formatting. (evil-grin)

But what about writing, you ask? No problem, I've worked my way through several knotty problems. Solved a number of names issues, which makes me very happy, including place names as discussed last week. And the small handful of new story bits which I needed have now mostly been inserted and integrated.

Good golly, it's looking like a novel.

And of course I revised the opening point again. I'm sure that more than one first-reader will tell me to start 7-35 pages later. (grin)

Speaking of page 7, here's a tiny snippet from the Work In Progress, originally posted on Facebook:
There's a 7/7 meme going around. Post the next 7 lines starting from the 7th line of the 7th page of the work-in-progress... nobody tagged me, but I thought I'd play. I'm on the Kindle, so this is not from my writing file, but page 7 of the PDF version I downloaded last week (it's actually nine lines to finish the thought):

On the way up the aisle, the cute boy she‘d noticed getting aboard in Oslo glanced her way, their eyes meeting only for a moment before he turned away in embarrassment. Sorry, she wanted to apologize, out of your league. As heir to the throne of Eisbergen, her marriage would be an affair of state and Father would no doubt find some suitable minor royal somewhere in Europe for her.

But it didn‘t hurt to look.

She‘d seen him writing furiously in a small black notebook and as she passed she could see it was a series of numbers and letters. Someone else might have thought it was code. But with the open railway timetable next to him, Daniska could tell it was railway locomotive classifications, numbers, dates and times and locations of all the station stops. The boy was a trainspotter.

Perhaps they had more in common than she‘d thought.

-- Dr. Phil
Don't say that I completely keep you in the dark.

New Researches: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (May have had to look this up before -- doesn't matter, I needed it again.) Coconut cream pie --> led to Cream pie in general (the food -- DO NOT DO A GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH ON "Creampie") -- Pie shell, milk, cream, flour, eggs -- related to the French crème patissière which is a key component of various French cakes and tarts. Custard variations. Cooked (set) custard is a weak gel, viscous and thixotropic; while it does become easier to stir the more it is manipulated, it does not, unlike many other thixotropic liquids, recover its lost viscosity over time.

In terms of actual progress, the shiny counters now stand at:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 2)


I've been doing the Pass 2 edits everywhere BUT at the last progress counter, so it hasn't moved.

The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.12 (06-21-15 Su, 1517 pages)


Book 1 Part I (83,457 words)


Book 1 Part I (83,457 words, starts page 44) / Part II (76,908 words, starts page 320) /
Part III (74,348 words, starts page 590)


So Book 1 Part I has sailed through the 80,000 word limit. But I'm okay with that. The end, I think, is in some reasonable sight.

Onward!

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
I suppose I should've jumped into the Edit Pass 2 by starting at the beginning. I had worked my way up to page 69 early on. But... there were things I had to check and soon I was hopping around. This is not a bad thing at all, because the point of Edit Pass 2 is to fill in all the people and place names that are currently missing or labeled Xxx.

And sometimes that's not a linear process.

You can't just have a cafe -- it has a name. You don't just have a mountain or a hill -- they have names. The kingdom has been around for a long time. There are several languages around. There are older names and newer names -- things sometimes get more than one name. And some of the names are given as English translations, in order to facilitate reading by the target English language audience...


The Land of Clichéa (Click on photo for larger.) Source.

So far this week I have handled quite a number of the Big Names -- like the doctor and the name of the cafe in the village. I always have problems with names. This time it is exacerbated by needed to check vocabulary in Latin, Danish and Norwegian. Was very proud of myself last night, coming up with a name which turned out to be the correct two words compounded in Danish for what I wanted. I am nowhere even close to speaking or reading Danish, but it is far less unfamiliar than it was when I started on this back in September 2014.

Of course, more story keeps on leaking in. Well, maybe that's not true. Two story bits were ones which when originally written early on were disposed of in just a couple of sentences. Now that I have the whole story spread out in front of me, it is important that these become fully developed scenes. You don't just give your main character pneumonia, sedate them and then deal with them after their partway into their recovery. (evil-grin) No. As Jeffrey Ford kept telling us at Clarion -- things gotta cost. The earlier writing were markers as I raced to fill in all this story I had pouring out, rather than mere laziness. Now I can take my time.

And then there are new bits. Chekhov's gun kind of things that happen in Book 1 Part II and Part III, or even Book 2, have to be set up in Part I and Part II. Now that I am adding in the characters by name, some of their history and attributes get filled in, too. One thing affects everything else.

I still think I am on track to get Edit Pass 2 done Real Soon Now. But by doing these other bits, there should be even less to Edit Pass 3 where I really do a full read through looking for nits before locking in the Beta test read version.

This is not the first book I've written. I have three massive works I started over the past 20-30 years, with tons of writing, but never put together and made coherent. Two novels I've finished. One was sent out to a beta reader -- and it needs some work. The second has actually been shopped twice. Each of these has needed a slightly different procedure. I am trying to be as organized as I can, since this novel has sprawled way beyond what would be the first book I will try to market.

And so far, it really pleases me.

I have two possible Beta readers now who have daughters in the 5th to 7th grade range who read YA SF/F. This is potentially part of my target audience, so I should be able to get some comments from a range of people, not just writers.

New Researches: Off-label use of Fentanyl for pneumonia intubation IV sedation.

That may seem like an odd bit of research, but you know the odd adage -- write what you know? Well, this is what I think I was on two summers ago in the ICU. And I had the weirdest dreams/hallucinations. (grin)

This shiny counters stand at:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 2)


The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.12 (06-13-15 Sa, 1490 pages)


Book 1 Part I (81,442 words, starts page 43) / Part II (73,253 words, starts page 314) / Part III (72,097 words, starts page 573)


And... I'm right on track. Having exceeded the 80,000 word goal for Book 1 Part I with my recent, still in progress, writing binge. Love that consistency!

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
After my last writing post on Monday 25 May (DW) (LJ) about finishing Book 1 Edit Pass 1, I've taken a little break. I had been thinking of making the TOR novella deadline on 4 June, but realized that the novella I had needed some significant rewriting since the last time I'd worked on it. Just because a sucker is more than dozen years old when you first wrote it, doesn't mean that the words have necessarily matured -- only the writer. (grin) So I passed on that. Worked on some writing exercises, things which were unlikely to see the light of day -- except I have two promising bits out of it, so who knows.

Mrs. Dr. Phil had a meeting in Bay City MI last week, which I'll post about later, and I broke out some of my Christmas reading that I'd didn't read at Christmas because I was so busy writing. So I read through my boxed set of the four-book Maze Runner series YA trilogy, a review of which will be coming Real Soon Now, too. But the Maze Runner books are short and read fast -- and they have short chapters.

Shortly after starting Book 1 Edit Pass 2, I realized I really needed to address the burgeoning length problem. I mean, lots of story is a good thing, but no one is going to publish a 215,426 word YA novel. What had started as one novel, had not only gone YA, but I'd turned it into a YA trilogy -- with five or six books in it. What I've been calling Book 1 was split up quite a while ago into Part A/B, but clearing up big blocks of story which hadn't been written bloated those over the 100,000 word mark each. Way over the 60,000 to 80,000 YA word length I was shooting for. And no mere 10% editing cut is going to fix this. Besides, as I've discussed before, when I do a 10% editing cut, most of the time I end up with a longer story...

I finally built a spreadsheet and went through chapter by chapter, recording their word lengths. That was interesting, especially as the chapter length varied from under 2000 words up to over 10,000 words over 30 pages of text in my current writing format, Not A Standard Manuscript Format™. Too long and too irregular. You want to keep the story moving, so the reader will keep going, and if the chapters are short enough, you can read Just One More Chapter...

So I started breaking up chapters into short chunks, eventually settling on all chapters being under 6000 words. And having been away from the book for almost ten days, it was really easy to do some writing to smooth out the new transitions, with the result, of course, that Book 1 was now longer.

But now I can do my data analysis. This is what I have now:
 Book 1 (2 books)
Part A     106,199     Ch.  1-32
Part B     109,206     Ch. 33-63
If I chopped these in half, the same words and chapters become:
 Book 1 (4 books)
Part 1.1    51,502     Ch.  1-15
Part 1.2    54,697     Ch. 16-32
Part 1.3    52,772     Ch. 33-46
Part 1.4    56,434     Ch. 47-63
This arrangement makes some sense, as it preserves the current break between Part A/B, and introduces two new ones. But it's not a trilogy and I'm not even at 60,000 words a novel. I add words because of the story, not just to add words. I hate padding. Roll the dice, try again...
 Book 1 (3 books)
Part I      74,516     Ch.  1-21
Part II     69,439     Ch. 22-42
Part III    71,450     Ch. 43-63
This one makes enough sense that I posted on Facebook this afternoon:
Book 1 of my YA trilogy is now a trilogy... each book 21 chapters and 69-75,000 words. For now. My writing never gets shorter. But the book chasms are cliffhangers... Dr. Phil
No doubt I'll still have trouble keeping these under 80,000 words apiece, but they're averaging 71,800 words all before brutal editing. AND, it craftily means that the book I am trying to get to my Beta readers this summer is suddenly 25% less.

Assuming something similar happens to the currently 127,629 word Book 2, I would end up with one trilogy of the princesses' teenage years and one trilogy of their college years. And at least a trilogy of "post-graduate" kingdom intrigues. With 394,000 words in total currently written and mapped out across the whole story, this could easily be a great career by itself. And then there's the military SF.

As long as it doesn't suck... (evil-grin)

New Researches: None.

Whoa. Maybe I am getting towards the "end" of this part of the story.

Okay, starting with the new Pass 2 shiny page counter:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 2)


Note that for searchability on my part, I now have Page Breaks at the end of each chapter, which drove the total page count from 755 pages to 784 without changing the number of words. It's looking more like a book all the time.

The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.11 (06-06-15 Sa, 1446 pages)


Book 1 Part A (106,199 words, starts page 43) / Part B (109,206 words, starts page 400)


As you can see -- already blown past even 100,000 words/novel. But here's the new/next configuration, allocating 80,000 words per novel or a 240,000 word total:

Book 1 Part I (74,516 words, starts page 43) / Part II (69,439 words, starts page 291) / Part III (71,450 words, starts page 537)


Room to grow. Room to revise. Room to trim.

I'm excited to create Version 1.12 now and get back to business. It has been a very instructive two days worth of data work AND writing.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Wow. I never expected Version 1.10 of the Great YA Trilogy project to last this long. It was started on 13 March 2015 and I'm closing it out and moving onto Version 1.11 on 25 May 2015. This ends Book 1 Edit Pass 1.
Book 1 Part A Pass 1 Page 368 -- completed ‎04/‎03/‎2015 16:28:59
‎Book 1 Part B Pass 1 Page 750 -- completed 05/‎25/‎2015 16:52:22

In 73 days, Book 1 Part A grew by 30% and Book 1 Part B a whopping 130%. Book 1 total went from 126,444 to 211,544 words or 1165 words/day, plus edits.

As I mentioned before, Book 1 Part B was in "worse" shape than I'd been thinking, with several large sections I had written in my mind, but little on the paper. That happens, not a problem. Until one is trying to finish, of course. (grin) Yes, some things may be cut back or even edited out. But I wanted all the pieces in. I kept on moving the day I was expecting to finish. I'd hoped by Friday, but there was a big scene I really felt I needed to include -- and it took some time. (It'll actually be revised in Edit Pass 2, but I chose not to do the research the other day.)

At this point, what I am calling Book 1 is clearly at least two books. At 70,000 words each, it could easily be three -- I am avoiding doing this because I really like where the break currently is. The bad news is 100,000+ words isn't really typical YA novel length.

I took a little time last night to write a little 540 word short story for Memorial Day (DW) (LJ) -- something I've done before. And then I'm going to take some time working on a novella for submission. Not so bad to take a couple of days away.

No Office Hours last week or this week.

Next up, though, is Book 1 Edit Pass 2, where I finish getting names and place names finalized. This could be painful, too. But I really want to get it done quickly. Pass 2 is NOT a general editing pass, so... maybe a week? For Edit Pass 3, though, I really only have to Book 1 Part A, the first half, in order to come up with something to sent to Lulu for coming up with preliminary books for Beta readers. Would REALLY like that to be the end of June.

We shall see.

New Researches: Forsvarsmuseet, The Armed Forces Museum of Norway, is located at Akershus Castle in Oslo. Oslo founded around 1000 A.D. Oslofjorden is an inlet (not a real fjord) in the south-east of Norway, part of the Skagerrak strait, connecting the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the Baltic Sea. Oslo (OSL) to Copenhagen (CPH) SAS 1469, Boeing 737-800. Seat 17A has extra legroom, since there is no Seat 16A. Copenhagen (CPH) to Chicago (ORD), SAS 943, Airbus A340. Seat 3H, rightside window (2+2+2 seating). Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was in service from 1976 to 2003. The Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim in Germany is the only museum which has both a Concorde and a Tupolev Tu-144 "Concordski" on display. Arnhem, Netherlands. Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden and the largest lake in the European Union. The Daim bar came out of Sweden and Norway as a sort of Heath chocolate bar. Heath wouldn't give them a license but did give them the list of ingredients to the Heath bar. Huh. Société Bic, maker of Bic pens and lighters, is based in Clichy, France. Sankt Olav domkirke is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oslo. Catholics, including 70% immigrants, make up about 5% of the population, making Norway the most Catholic country in Nordic Europe. The northern part of Norway is in the Prelature of Tromsø -- once part of the Apostolic Prefecture of the North Pole. Catholicism was illegal in Norway between 1537 and 1843 -- priests could be executed. Svinesundbrücke/ Svinesundbroen is the bridge on the E6 at the border between Sweden and Norway, spanning the Svinesund sound of the Iddefjord. The old bridge had an arch under the roadway, the new is suspended from an arch over the roadway and is quite lovely. The Svinesund tollkontor on the Norwegian side handles customs controls, since Norway, while a member of NATO, is not a member of the EU.

A surprising amount of research, until one realizes the new sections which had to be written in the past ten days.

All the shiny counters now advance to:

Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 1)


The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.10 (05-25-15 Mo, 1412 pages)


Book 1 Part A (103,792 words, starts page 47) / Part B (107,752 words, starts page 382)


Book 2 Part A (76,905 words, starts page 41) / Part B (50,650. words, starts page 317)


Book 3 (starts page 40)


The Lost Kingdom Fourth-Fifth Novels Version 4.10 (05-25-15 Mo, 68 pages)
Book 4 (4894 words) / Book 5 (11,737 words)


The Lost Kingdom Sixth Novel Version 5.10 (05-25-15 Mo, 16 pages)
Book 6 (1629 words)


I won't kick myself about the length of Book 1 Parts A/B until I get to the point where I can sit down and read it -- and have Beta readers give it a go. I am so pleased to not have to teach until September.

And for those of you who have seen the news that SF author John Scalzi announced a $3.4 million dollar, thirteen book, ten year deal with Tor -- No, this does not mean that my mammoth epic will automagically generate six or seven figure book deals. John is a proven, solid author with an excellent track record for completing things and is a full-time author. Good news for John, congratulations, but these sorts of deals in SF/F are outliers. Not the norms.

I am smarter and more realistic than thinking I'm working towards a deal like that. (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

Profile

dr_phil_physics: (Default)
dr_phil_physics

April 2016

S M T W T F S
     1 2
3 4567 89
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Links

Email: drphil at

dr-phil-physics.com

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Friday, 20 October 2017 05:09
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios