Rift in the Races: Draft Progress and Cover Update for April

by | Apr 30, 2012 | Blog | 2 comments

I took a little five day vacation break, and now that I’m back, I feel refreshed. After three months writing pretty much every day, it was nice to step away from the keyboard for a few days and go see what the sun looks like. I had no idea that thing was so bright. It turns out, it even has this strange warming effect when its rays strike your skin. These are the things we forget when we dwell constantly in the dark cave of our writing dens. (Which I love and am very glad to get back into… that sun is a hot thing and turns our pale flesh pink with its cosmic violence!). (Uh… why am I talking like Golem now?) So, anyway, now I’m back, and wanted to let everyone know where the draft is and where the cover art is as of the end of April.

I came back to find that we’ve already got some amazing concept art for the cover (as you can see, at least in part, in the image I put up). There’s still stuff to do, so I’m not going to share more than just that bit of it, but, I am soooo freaking stoked at how this has come out so far. Cris Ortega is just awesome! Period.

To serve as a brief description of what you’re seeing is a base-colors sketch from the front cover—again this cover art will be a full wrap around the book, just like the first one (as seen in my website background, and smaller in the gallery). Altin is in the process of casting a fireball, and, if you saw the sketch I sent Cris Ortega in the last blog entry(a portion of which I have provided for your amusement or nausea), you’ll see her version is roughly 785,383,188,482,301 times better than mine. The whole scene depicts Orli, Kettle, Altin and Pernie ( and the stuff I’m leaving out telling you for now) in a fierce battle with attacking orcs. Fun stuff!

A few people have remarked that they wanted a poster or a print from The Galactic Mage (and I imagine some might for book two as well—I want one too). So, for people curious about that sort of thing, I plan to make posters and prints available, but it costs a bit to set that stuff up, so I have to do things in order of priority. Right now, getting Rift in the Races up and out comes first (and paying my mortgage and light bill, etc., obviously), so all financial resources are going into that. However, once we get Rift in the Races going, hopefully I can get the t-shirts and other stuff going as well. Having those would be fun, and might even help with that whole light-bill and mortgage thing.

As of right now, the first draft of Rift in the Races is 161,474 words long. To give you some perspective, The Galactic Mage is 158,532 words long. I estimate I have five to seven chapters to go on RITR, which in “rough draft” word counts means ten to fifteen thousand more words. So, I will guess this draft will finish at around 175,000 words. I’ll start on those chapters tomorrow (and yes, the goal of being done by April was possible, but I didn’t know I was taking that trip when I set the goal, so, I’m going to be off by a week).

When I’m done with the last chapters, I’ll go back through the whole thing for the first round of revisions. I expect that to take a month at the soonest, two months on the long side. Basically, I’m shooting for mid-June. I have stuff that I will have to cut, and places where I will have written too fast and left out all the fun details. I imagine the end word count will go up, but I honestly won’t know until I go back and look. I haven’t re-read any of it yet, other than going back a few pages at the start of each day to catch up on the energy of where I left off.

When I’m done with that, I’ll send it to some trusted readers who will give me feedback on the story as a whole: concept, character development, plot, pacing, and anything else they can think of. I digest all that and will then go into the next wave of revisions. This includes making changes based on that input, but also another look at tightening up the prose. After those revisions are done, I give it to my second wave of  readers. They will comment on the story, but also let me know about weird grammatical issues, glaring typos, etc.

When I get it back again, I’ll clean up those mistakes, make changes as necessary, tighten up the prose and get them as pretty as I can possibly make them, and then give the manuscript to my editor. She’ll probably have it for several weeks.

When she’s done, I make all her changes then give it back to her so she can make sure I didn’t miss anything she marked (it’s easy to do with all those red marks everywhere!). Then I will upload it to Amazon (Createspace) and get a bunch of paperback “proof” copies in paperback form that I’ll give to my last group of readers, who simply read it for any typos that may have slipped through. Plus they check for margin problems, formatting problems, that sort of thing that I might have missed.

Then it will be done. Hopefully a million people will buy it, and I will be free to work on book three in perfect financial harmony.

(Oh, speaking of that, if you would like to get an email when Rift in the Races comes out, let me know via the “Contact Us” option on the left, or just email me at John@Daultonbooks.com and I’ll add you to the list. And no, I won’t spam you. Just an email when the book comes out.)


  1. Michele Benner

    Good golly, you’re like a damn writing MACHINE!! It’s beautiful (and encouraging) to watch.

    • John

      Thanks. I’m having fun. Hopefully will finish by Friday, so I’ll have an excuse to really party it up on Cinco de Mayo. I love that holiday!