Hammer and Wails is completely written. It’s spiffy, polished, and ready for publishing. So, I’ll be working on getting all the formats complete. That being said, my voice may not be ready to narrate yet.
I got sick just after Christmas with a lovely cold that kicked my butt for about two weeks. Lots of coughing up phlegm and such. Yum. That kind of sickness has a tendency to change your voice for a while, but I didn’t think it would last this long. I’ll be doing a test run soon to see how my voice compares to normal. So cross your fingers I’m good to go and I can start on it.
There’s a chance that I’ll be releasing the audiobook first. I’d still love to release the text versions with some images, but those are at a stand still at the moment. So the ebook and paperback are in a “we’ll see” state (as to when they are released). I may release without images, or maybe get some simple images without the more complex ones… we’ll see.
I’m working on draft 2 of the book that follows Hammer and Wails. The first draft raised the bar a little higher than the book actually achieved, so I’m adding more meat to its bones. It’s funnier, the story is bigger, the characters are zanier, and it’s longer. Based on the feedback from my trusty Alpha reader, I’ve thought of an ending that packs a much larger punch. I’m also working on really developing all the characters, big or small, broadening backstories and digging deeper into motivations.
As for the larger story, I’m also digging deeper into that too. The first draft zooms through all the events, but I needed to slow down and really explain what’s happening, and to give it the weight that a rather serious tension should actually have. And pepper in the humor wisely.
Another thing my Alpha reader tasked me with was to better balance the serious moments with the funny ones. He mentioned that it felt too black and white sometimes, so that’s something I’m thinking about as I go through the second draft. I think the added chapters will help with this some, though. At the moment, the next book is 48,000 words with several chapters needing to be added. Hammer and Wails is around 46,000, so even the first draft is longer than the first book. I’m really excited about this one!
Today, in my writing group, one of the members said “I’m finally starting to understand your writing.” Which is great because he offered a suggestion to make a scene funnier that matched my style! I must remind you, my entire writing group is over the age of 60 except for me, being 30, so this story isn’t exactly something they’d all pick up if they had to choose. But they’ve enjoyed it nonetheless and have helped improve it a lot. Sometimes having someone read your story that’s not in your audience give opportunity to talk about things that may need more explanation. It’s easy to take advantage of things I assume people will know or understand, but that’s a dangerous place to be in. It’s always a good reminder that a little more description can help bring the gap for those readers who are on the edge. They often pick up little things I just plain ol’ missed.