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
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