Tag Archives: Corrosive Knights

Corrosive Knights, a 3/24/20 Update

If there’s one thing going through this current Coronavirus isolation has helped its my writing.

With no where to go and keeping our outdoor excursions (usually to get groceries or some such), there is plenty of free time for me to sit in front of the computer and bang away at my latest Corrosive Knights novel.

Of late -and I hope I’m not jinxing myself- I’ve been on a bit of a creative tear, over halfway through the second full draft of the book and feeling pretty positive about what I’ve written.

Like, really positive.

If you’ve read any of my previous Corrosive Knights novel updates, I often wrote about the painstaking effort it took to make each book, going over line after line, paragraph after paragraph, chapter after chapter, revising and re-revising, often going some 12 drafts before feeling the novel is good enough to be released.

But this book… I don’t know.

It feels like the elements are all there, coming into focus much better/quicker than ever before. While getting that first draft took a really long time -I’m roughly 1 year and three months into writing this book- it feels as I write this second draft that things are clicking much better.

What got me hung up was that I had a mis-start, thinking I’d be making the fabled Epilogue book. Welp, I worked on that for a while before I started to move into another direction and, eventually, I realized I wasn’t interested in doing that Epilogue and instead began writing a whole new novel.

And it was difficult to do so for a while but, as I was finishing up that first draft, it seemed things were essentially falling into place.

Once again and at the risk of jinxing myself, it sure feels like this book, when all is said and done, won’t take 12 drafts.

Not at all!

The question is: How many drafts will it take?

If it takes, say, half the usual 12 drafts, some 6 drafts, then this book might be done relatively quickly.

The early drafts of each of my novels are the hardest to do and take the longest time. Once I have the plot generally “set” we start moving toward fixing grammar and cleaning up the storytelling and that usually gets done relatively quickly.

So if I’m nearly past the harder part, ie setting up the plot, and might quickly move to the editing/grammar/cleaning up storytelling, then things might go pretty quickly.

Perhaps, after writing so much, maybe I’m finally learning how to do things a little more quickly?

We’ll see.

*******

I haven’t mentioned it before but I’m On Reddit nowadays and, if you’d like to follow my postings, you can do so… provided I don’t bore/infuriate you with my opinions!

Usually I’m talking about movies or music, two subjects I love to blab about.

So if you’re interested in following me, while on Reddit do a search and type in:

u/Corrosive-Knights

And there I am.

If you have an account on Reddit, hit the follow button and you can read my ramblings!

Corrosive Knights, a 3/11/20 Update…!

It’s been increasingly hard for me to find the time to write these entries of late.

Too much time spend working and, frankly, I’m really weary. Like trying-not-to-fall-asleep-as-I-type-this weary.

The daylights savings, of course, didn’t help, as each time this happens, whether we move forward or back, it seems my body has a harder and harder time adjusting to the changes and wonders just what the hell I’m up to out there.

Last week in particular was extremely grueling, though I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say someone went on vacation and I had to handle the slack… and it seemed like everything conspired against me to make every day they were gone absolute torture.

Despite this, we’re out of the fire now and most of the issues have been dealt with.

I’ve scratched away whatever time I can get to work on the latest Corrosive Knights novel, which will be book #8 in the series but will hopefully be good enough to stand on its own.

These last few days I’ve felt myself on fire, moving through what I feel will be one of the better, more suspenseful parts of the novel and moving into the second and last half… ish.

There are still plenty of things up in the air regarding that second half of the novel but at least for the first half I feel like I’ve accomplished mostly what I’ve wanted to. I’m cautiously optimistic many of these parts of the book will not require too terribly much in terms of revision and corrections but, once again, we’re still rather early in the process so who knows.

This is the second draft of the book I’m working on now and while there are still holes here and there that need to be filled, the bulk of the story and characters are figured out.

So its off to get myself a cup of coffee and off to work.

Let’s see how things work out today!

Corrosive Knights, a 1/16/2010 Update

It’s been a hard couple of weeks, let me tell you.

As the expression goes, sometimes you need a vacation from/after your vacation to recover.

Our holiday vacation was great but boy did we move around. A lot. When it was over and we got back we did some more moving around before finally returning home. The next day it was back to work and its been crushing the amount of it to deal with.

On the writing front, it was only this week that I’ve finally been able to get back into Book #8 of the Corrosive Knights saga.

When I left it toward the end of 2019, I had the first draft done. Understand, the first draft of any work of mine doesn’t necessarily mean all the details are in place and all I have to do is tidy up some sentences here and there and release the book.

In this case, what I had was a very rough map of the book but an incomplete one. There were parts I wrote which I knew I would go back and change and/or eliminate. There were other parts that would require compression or expansion. I left the book in 2019 also knowing that there were more scenes I needed to come up with to add to the overall story.

As incomplete as that first draft of the book was, however, I had my road map and I now knew where/how the book began, played out, and ended. It may sound obvious but when I began this book I had no clear idea of any of those elements.

Truly, I entered the book blind, which can be kinda scary but also incredibly liberating.

As I worked on that first draft, I had a couple of introductory sequences written which I will likely eliminate entirely. It’s the price one pays for figuring out a book on the spot: Your first ideas may wind up being useless.

What they do is get your mind in gear, moving and thinking about possibilities and with that, ideas which might work out.

Slowly, at times very painfully, I’d realize certain things simply weren’t working despite my best efforts. Yet in that failure I often -though not always- found alternatives, ideas that did work and which were expanded upon. It seemed for every idea that failed, there would be another that didn’t, and slowly, ever so slowly, that first draft started to take shape over the course of roughly a year, until just before the vacation I had that one breakthrough that wrapped it all up and made me realize I had a book.

This week, as I stated, I started working on it again after my vacation. Beginning this second draft entails First reading Through my first draft and eliminating all that stuff I said didn’t work, tightening up the stuff that does, and expanding where the book needs it. Plenty of red marker notes, scratched sentences/paragraphs/pages, and much use of sticky notes. Once that’s done I get to the computer and put all those notes into the book while eliminating what needs to go.

In many, perhaps even most ways, the second draft of this book will very much be a part of the formal writing process and, when all is done, I expect the book to contain most, if not all, the elements I need in it.

Thus Draft #2 is like an extension of Draft #1. Perhaps to other writers it may well be that, and they view any draft which involves creative writing versus proofreading as part of the first draft process.

Regardless, for me this is crunch time and while there are moments of elation in going over this draft, there are certain to be plenty of moments of hard, hard, hard work.

Despite what it may seem like, writing ain’t easy. It takes -at least for me- total concentration and no distractions and easily chews up your time.

Yet the most beautiful thing in the world is holding your latest novel in your hand and thinking: I did that.

I can’t wait to feel that again…!

Corrosive Knights, a 12/9/19 Update…!

Big news, for those interested: I have finished up the first draft of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series.

I suppose I should once again -and for the last time- show this graphic:

Why for the last time? Because I’ve got to upgrade it. Book #8 is NOT going to be the Epilogue to the series.

But if you’ve been reading my updates, you know this already.

Still, I’ll point it out again: As things worked out and I created more and more Corrosive Knights novels, I came up with a way to conclude the main story line with book #7, Legacy of the Argus.

However, there was still one story I had tucked in my proverbial back pocket, a story that was essentially written out, which I felt would serve as a lovely “finale” -or epilogue- for the Corrosive Knights series.

However, redux, releasing that story meant I would wrap up the Corrosive Knights series and move on into other stories unrelated to it.

It seemed the right thing to do. While writing the final two books in the series, I was feeling the first twinges of what can only be described as fatigue. It’s not easy to juggle so many balls in the air, creatively, and come up with something you feel is worth releasing which adds to the series while never screwing with whatever came before.

I was elated as the end drew near, that countless re-writes and revisions were almost over. I would finish the series, in my mind, wonderfully with Legacy of the Argus then do a few revisions on and release the Epilogue before moving on to other things.

Only… when I actually finished Legacy of the Argus, I not only felt relief that I “stuck the landing” and created a great seven part book series, I also realized the fatigue I felt -perhaps something bordering on being burnt out- was lifted.

Gone.

Completely.

I was so proud and happy of my accomplishments. As I moved on to that Epilogue story, I was hit with waves of second thoughts.

Did I really have to end this series?

I wondered.

Another part of me asked, where do I go from here?

I pulled up the Epilogue and considered it. It was very short, only some 20,000 words long (my novels tend to be 100,000+ words). I worked on a new introduction to it, a way to expand the story and provide some exciting new material.

My mind wandered. New ideas worked their way into my head. Ideas for another story.

It was the first time in quite a while I started up a novel with no clear view of what I wanted to do with it. It was equally clear that I didn’t want to release that Epilogue story.

At least not yet.

So I worked and worked. If I were a sculptor, it would be like getting this massive slab of marble and chipping away at it here and there, not having a clear idea of the statue you were creating, but coming up with concepts that moved you closer to that end result.

Over the past week, and after writing a considerable amount of material, it all came together. I had my ending and it was solid.

More than that: I thought it was terrific.

I was busy these past few weeks, with family over and things to do for Thanksgiving. I likely won’t have too much time to work on the book between now and New Years, as there will be much family fare to do as well.

Nonetheless I printed the whole thing out yesterday and, as time allows, I’ll work on what is now the second draft of this book. I’ll be reading through this massive printout and cutting it down to size before adding stuff that isn’t there which should be.

There’s a lot of work yet to be done but it feels like I’m further ahead than usual. I’m certain this book will be ready sometime in the new year.

And you know what?

I can’t wait.

Corrosive Knights, a 11/25/19 Update…!

Been a while since I’ve offered any updates on Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series and figured it was time to do so.

This past weekend was something of a breakthrough weekend in the writing of the book and I believe I have a much stronger grasp on the ending I’ll be using within.

The process of writing is an interesting one and, for me anyway, it seems that no two books are written in quite the same way. Often, I have a strong idea for a start and ending and its the pesky middle sections that unite the two that wind up causing me the most mental work.

Usually, though, I do have a relatively strong idea of what I want to write about and often my imagination takes over as I’m physically sitting behind the computer typing.

New ideas flow, sometimes damn good ones, sometimes so-so ones, and sometimes ideas that eventually get discarded.

Over the weekend a damn good idea popped up in my head involving the story’s ending and… we’ll see. I like it a lot, but it may wind up causing me to change quite a bit of the novel written to date.

I’m fast approaching my novel’s usual word count, often just north of 100,000 words, and I do feel like I have the bones of a good novel set up. I’m hoping that perhaps in the next few weeks and certainly before Christmas/New Year’s I’ll have my first full draft done.

Unlike other novels, I feel much of what I’ve written is quite good and doesn’t require considerable revision, at least the stuff that doesn’t relate to this story ending I came up with over the weekend.

In previous books, I’ve had to work really hard on the revisions, making the descriptions sharper and cutting down on repetition. Thankfully, it seems like some of these old bad habits of early drafts are becoming less and less an issue.

Or, to put it another way, perhaps I’m becoming a better first draft writer and am not stumbling in the dark quite as much as before.

What that means, in the long run and hopefully, is that when I do finally finish this first solid draft of the novel, the amount of work needed to polish it up for release should be a little easier.

In pervious novels, I’ve noted its taken me up to 12 drafts before I feel a book is ready to be released. Perhaps this time around it won’t be quite that many.

Regardless, the book is proceeding along and, again hopefully, I’m farther ahead than I usually am in/around this time in writing a book.

I’m excited about it, always a good thing, and I can’t wait to present it sometime in the new year!

Corrosive Knight… A Big Thank You, Part Deux

A while back (you can read it here) I thanked everyone who, to that point, had taken the time to not only read my Corrosive Knights novels, but also taken the time to either write reviews or give the novels a “star” rating which pops up on Goodreads.com.

Since that first posting, I’m beyond honored that my novels seem to continue being both read (almost all the Corrosive Knights novels are available to be read through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program) and purchased and positive reviews of them keep coming in.

In the first posting, we had 77 ratings for a total score of 4.18 out of 5 stars. Since that point, we’ve moved to 93 ratings and our score remains remarkably consistent, now at 4.17 out of 5 stars.

Hopefully, I’ll soon get to see my books reach 100 ratings… and beyond!

This year has easily been the best I’ve had with regard to people reading and purchasing my novels. Since releasing the seventh book in the series, Legacy of the Argus, back in November of 2018 and redoing all the covers to the books, every day -save for maybe a handful since January- has movement on the books.

As a small time, independent writer, it pleases me to see so many people checking out my works and, of course, enjoying them enough to offer positive feedback. While I’m not so obnoxious to think that my books appeal to everyone, I’m pleased because the impression I’m getting is that those who have tried the books have plunged in deep, reading multiple novels and/or the full run.

To be clear: I can’t “see” who exactly reads the books or the amount of pages each individual reads, but I can, from day to day, see the number of pages of each novel that is read through Kindle Unlimited. And when I see one particular novel suddenly getting, say, 500+ pages read in a single day, I think its a safe assumption whomever is reading the particular novel is enjoying it enough to blow through it.

In my case, if I do so with a novel it means I’m really enjoying it and am eager to get to the end.

I hope the same applies to my works with other readers!

Regardless, once again a BIG thank you to everyone who’s given me their time and read my novels.

I hope to keep surprising and entertaining you guys with my future works!

Corrosive Knights Book #8… a little more

Funny how things go.

Friday I posted an entry and offered for the first time in quite some time an update on Book #8 of the Corrosive Knights series (you can read it here).

I noted the following:

I’d say I’m a little more than halfway -roughly- through writing it

I think its a little more than that!

Over the weekend, a major breakthrough: I finally figured out how to end the book.

I know, I know: Didn’t you already have some clear idea of the story you were presenting, including the ending?

Yes… and no.

Each book I write tends to follow certain paths but they are almost never identical. For many of my books, believe it or not, I have a relatively clear beginning and/or ending but have to figure out the middle and the hard work comes with this connective tissue.

Often it is the middle part of the book that gives me the biggest fits and, when I finally work my way through it, the biggest sense of triumph when the proverbial plan “comes together”.

Then there are cases like Book #8, which started one way and then went into a whole ‘nuther direction…

As I mentioned in that previous post, my original idea was to have Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series be an Epilogue. It was meant to be a finale that ends the series properly, and truth to tell, I’ve already written a strong first draft of that Epilogue.

Thing is, its really short and I realized it needed to be longer to be a proper book rather than a very thin novella. The previous Corrosive Knights books run roughly 90,000 to 110.000 or so words long. This book, as it stands now, runs something like 20,000 words long.

When I first tackled it, I figured what was needed was more “meat” and that’s what I started to work on. I wanted the Epilogue to be a finale that stands up with the rest of series and helped “close the book” on the series which began with Mechanic and concluded with Legacy of the Argus .

Here’s the thing, though: As I started working on doing this Epilogue Book #8, and I started to think about how I would expand this slight story, the proverbial wheels started to turn in my head and I realized there was another story, not an Epilogue, worth telling.

And with that realization came a second realization: There was no need to so hastily “end” the Corrosive Knights series. For the Epilogue would certainly do that and I realized I wasn’t quite ready to end the series yet.

Thing is, and as mentioned before, Legacy of the Argus sure does offer a very strong conclusion to the storylines written to this point, so if I create another novel that takes place in this Corrosive Knights universe, I felt the need to offer something that didn’t feel like “just” another story, but something which would add to the series in a meaningful way.

Which is why the breakthrough I had this weekend, the conclusion of this story, was so important and why it took me so long to figure out.

I’ve been writing this story for a while now, since shortly after finishing/publishing Legacy of the Argus, and because of the initial nature of the book and its transformation into something else its taken me much longer to get a clear idea of where I’m going with all this.

I soldiered through, writing first an introduction to the Epilogue version, then a new introduction to what would wind up being the new non-Epilogue version of Book #8, then coming up with a whole new -and far better- introduction and scuttling the previous one.

Then, I moved along, on and on, building up scenarios but never quite getting a feel for the book being something worthy of standing on its own and adding to the series in that meaningful way. Mind you, the story was intriguing, even if it felt like it needed that extra something.

I worked hard on it, forcing myself to power through page after page despite worries by the end it might not come together. This is a fear authors have, that their hard work, when all is said and done, will amount to a wiff, a good, but perhaps not great story not worth all that spent effort.

On the other hand, and not to sound too obnoxious, I have confidence in my skills. It takes me a while, sometimes a very long while, to figure out what I’m doing, but with concentration and effort, I usually get to where I want to go.

This past weekend’s break through, my coming up with an ending that puts the novel into a good context within the series itself, did the trick.

Now we have an exciting, suspenseful/thrilling story that anyone coming into this book wondering “Where is he going after Legacy of the Argus?” will feel it adds to the overall story of the series.

Of course, I won’t get into any details as I’m sure the book will go through many permutations as I revise/revisit it and fix it up on its way to being published. I’m still not quite finished with the first full rough draft but getting this conclusion in place sure goes a long way.

Onward!

Ah… Friday… and Corrosive Knights #8 Update…!

It feels like I haven’t stopped moving these past few months… maybe years… and when the weekend is in view, as it is this Friday morning, I can’t help but feel relief and look forward to unwinding.

I suspect I’m not alone in this!

I haven’t offered much information of what I’m doing, writing-wise of late, but suffice to say I’m neck deep into what will be the 8th book in the Corrosive Knights series.

A while back I was offering the following image to give a hint as to what this 8th book was going to be…

Note the “Epilogue” statement.

Welp… it no longer applies.

There is indeed an 8th book in the works and I’d say I’m a little more than halfway -roughly- through writing it and it most certainly will not be the promised Epilogue to the series.

Why?

Because the Epilogue, which as I’ve stated before is pretty much written already (and has been for a while) kinda ends the whole Corrosive Knights series and I’m not feeling like the series should end just yet.

In fact, the ideas I’ve come up with in Book #8 are fascinating to me, a sure sign that the book is “working”. If I didn’t feel excited about what I was writing, I’d have given it up a while ago.

Yet the same things always rear their head when writing: I try my best to deliver a story that will zig when readers think it will zag. A story that will hopefully surprise them with the many turns and, likewise, give them compelling characters along with a compelling story with a strong beginning, middle, and end.

Any hints as to when the story takes place?

Here’s the thing: With the Corrosive Knights series, I have this broad timeline where I can fit in stories. The story could theoretically take place in pre-historic times. It could take place in the 20th Century and from there, five thousand plus years into the future.

So it could take place the very day after the final events of Legacy of the Argus or before the events of Chameleon (those who have read the books know what I’m talking about).

I’ll offer more updates soon enough…!

Suffice to say I’ve found a good subject/plot and am pushing forward as quickly as I can. Once that first good rough draft is done, things will start coming together more quickly, even if I do require considerable polishing before I feel a book of mine is ready to be released.

I’m working really hard on this one and I want it to be ready perhaps by the middle of next year, if I can manage this.

I’ll give it my all!

In the meantime, have a great weekend!

A writing update, of sorts…

This is a difficult one for me. I’ve faced incredible frustration with the time available for my writing, to the point where in the past month or so I’ve done very, very little.

If you’ve been reading these posts, you know that a large part of this is due to the catastrophes I’ve faced at my house. First, the plumbing problems which led to having to virtually change all the water exit lines on the east side of my house. This resulted in completely tearing up the yard on that side (they had to bring in a digger to create the trench for the new pipes), then, a grand total of two days after the pipes were laid in, my central AC went down and I had to spend even more money on getting that replaced.

Then, my daughter moved and I spent a week with the wife driving to her home, helping pack up her stuff, then spent two days on the road moving her stuff to her new home. Then, another two-three days unloading and unpacking then flying back home…

…and now I’m knee deep in fixing the bathroom that initiated the whole fiasco. See, that bathroom, our guest bathroom, had trouble getting the water out, whether when flushing the toilet or using the shower/bath. We brought in some people, they used a snake, but no result. Then they brought in cameras and determined that the old exit lines, which were metal (a popular choice when our house was built in 1959), had corroded and plugged themselves up to the point they had to be replaced.

Ah well.

Anyway, the original plumbers had to break the ground under the toilet and, since then, the bathroom was unusable. Realizing that simply fixing the floor would be, at best, a patch up job, we decided it was best to refresh the entire bathroom and that’s where we are now.

We’re on day three of this process and I anticipate we’ve got another three days -at least!- to go before being done.

At that point, I very much hope –and pray!– all these time sucking calamities will be done and I’ll be able to finally get back to writing my latest book, which I’ve found an intriguing work to this point.

What is it about?

Well, my intention is to create a good suspense/horror novel which is set in the Corrosive Knights “universe”.

While before I stated my next novel would be an “Epilogue” to the Corrosive Knights series, I’ve reconsidered that thought.

It boils down to this: There are more areas I want to explore in this universe and if I finish off the Epilogue book (the first draft is pretty much done), I fear that it may serve as closure to the Corrosive Knights series and I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

So stay tuned. I’m very, very eager to pounce on the current novel and finish it up as quickly as possible… provided all these other problems are finished up and my focus can return to my work.

Soon.

Hopefully!

Corrosive Knights, a 2/7/19 Update

Been a little while since I’ve written about my lil’ ol’ series.

So, what’s new?

First, its been a very good couple of months since the release of Legacy of the Argus, the seventh and concluding chapter in the Corrosive Knights series.

I’ve seen a big increase in people both reading the books (almost all of them are available to be read “free” if you have Kindle Unlimited) and purchasing them (to then, very hopefully, read as well!). I’m also incredibly honored to find the increase in positive reviews of the books in Goodreads.com as well. Please, keep it up and bring on more reviews in Amazon.com as well!

In the time since releasing that book, I’ve also been writing a new book set in the Corrosive Knights “universe”, though I have to admit I’m still kicking ideas around and I’m not entirely certain how things will shake up in the end.

Originally, I was intending to release an 8th Corrosive Knights novel which would serve as an “Epilogue” to the CK series. However, since releasing Legacy of the Argus and after giving it some thought, I decided to put that book on hold for now. The reason being is that the story, which is already pretty much done though it is much shorter than any of the books in the series, serves as a good conclusion to the series and I find I’m not willing to end it all quite yet.

BUT…

I feel I’ve set a very high bar for myself with the CK series. Without sounding incredibly obnoxious, I feel the series is pretty damn great as is and if I’m going to add to it with “new” novels, they better damn well not be lame add-ons but full-fledged great stories in their own right.

So I started writing this new CK book shortly after the New Year and, I’m not going to lie: It has been a bit of a struggle to figure out where I want to go here. I spent a few weeks working on one particular set of story ideas but found my mind moving in other directions and effectively re-started later in the month with another concept.

I’ll keep working at this. I’m nothing if not bullheaded and will eventually crack this nut, but in the meantime, THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH for giving my books a try and for the positive reviews you’ve given.

I truly, truly appreciate it!