The Sequel

The home is quiet, and the coffee is strong.

The chores are done, and I have zero obligations to the outside world on this glorious Sunday morning. I purchased my coffee creamer yesterday, so all is well on that front.

Today, I sit in my lair, incense burning, lights dimmed, partaking in the sweet, sweet elixir. Space opera music playing softly in the background, and I’ll be working on the sequel to the Surrender Game with the allotted time.

Volume II, of the Guardian War Chronicles.

All artwork is now paid for, the details are defined and spelled out, and I wait until cover art completion on both books, before moving onto the next phase.

If I plan on being serious about this endeavor, sequel work is necessary at this point, and much of my focus will be on that for the foreseeable future.

It’s 11:15 am, and I’m guessing by the time I decide to throw in the towel it’ll be late afternoon, early evening, before I call it quits. I may take a few random breaks to stretch, and walk the dog around. Find time for lunch and snacks. But, in this chair, I shall remain.

Luckily, the sequel is already written. Not finished 100%, but close. I have some odds and ends to wrap up and a few random dots to connect. It’ll need an editor in the near future. It’s already been through the developmental edit wringer, and will need a copy/line edit when it’s time.

After everything kicks off, and book one and the companion are live, I’m hoping to have my editor plow through the sequel sometime early in 2021. Late January, early February, depending on her availability.

I love editors. Especially the ones who take their business seriously. One of my favorite editor conversations began with (paraphrased), “I can be a bit ‘terse’ when it comes to this.”

This could either make, or break you.

“Let’s do it!”

I love getting beat up by editors, especially the ones I trust. The good folks who have my best interests in mind. The ones who don’t mind engaging in questions and providing advice, long after the contract has been fulfilled.

I’ve developed thick skin over the years. I love being shown the errors of my ways, and why it was an error. I enjoy fixing my mistakes, learning from those mistakes, falling down, and scrambling back to my feet as fast as I’m able. With each and every mistake, every gut punch, I grow. I’m not a seasoned writer, or educated in the writing craft, so I must rely on other’s input, advice, expertise and “terseness” when it’s warranted. I will continue to lean on those I trust, until I get better.

However, I take pride in my level of comfort with regards to, “killing my darlings”.

But, but, but… it was such a great string of lines… You put so much time into these… an entire paragraph?

It had to go, and you know why. Deal with it.

Pre developmental edits, the Surrender Game sat at 145,000 words. I was slightly uncomfortable with a word count that large, for a first timer out of the gate, and questioned if it should be divided into two separate installments, but, that number has since been whittled down.

It had to happen. There was no way I was dividing the story in half.

By decreasing the word count, and obliterating a bunch of precious darlings, the story “feels” tighter, moves faster, and all the unnecessary “fluff” and crap I deleted from the manuscript is now tucked away in a separate folder. I named the folder “remnants”.

In order to tell my story (we all have one to tell), I had to first write the tale for myself, with no one else in mind. I had to tell me, myself, and I… my story. It didn’t matter how I told it, just as long as it was told, and made sense. Once I was able to finish my story, and read it a few times to myself, I could then say, “ok… it appears to be complete. It seems to make sense… to me as the observer.”

Now what??

Tuck it away? Work on something altogether different? Ignore it…?

“Nah, let’s go get our ass kicked.”

The Surrender Game has undergone multiple changes over the past year, including the title. Not too long ago I was instructed to change the title, because my original title was too close to Douglas Adams’ novel, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I had never thought of that issue, or potential complications, until it was almost too late.

I’m glad I listened.

When I submitted the first chapter to the anthology in 2018, it was a completely different chapter, than what it is today. A different tone. Different voice. All necessary changes, to make the story better for the readers.

Write the story for yourself, first. Write it unapologetically. Get it down on paper. Tell the story you desire to tell.

However, rely on the editors to help you tell the story, for the readers. The editors, are the gatekeepers. Readers want to read, just as much as writers want to write. But, once making the decision to tell the story to others, dropping the protective shield around ourselves, making ourselves vulnerable to scrutiny, one must develop thick skin, and quickly alter the mentality to, “How to make it worthy for the one who wants to read.”

I’m hoping I pulled that off.

I’m well aware my story isn’t for everyone. I fully understand I can’t please everybody, however, even if only a handful enjoy it… anticipate a sequel, a third, a fourth… share with others… recommend to friends, it will be worth every penny invested. Every individual minute committed to this, will have been time well spent.

That is the goal, the dream, and I’m sticking to it. Come Hell, or high water.

Enjoy the rest of your day. I have a busy one ahead.
Peace 🙂

Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or follow along at my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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