Alien Outcomes – Book 6 of the The Galactic Mage Series.
Book 6 is now technically going to be two books (probably): Book 6-part 1 and Book 6-part 2, because it’s 1250 pages at this point and will grow in the round 2 edits. And yes, it’s grotesquely overdue. But it has to be right, or I won’t put it out, insert lots of excuses and personal stuff … blah blah. So, updates will continue to happen as I have something of note to add.
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2/21/2021 – Coulda swore I posted an update in January, but apparently not. So obviously I’m done rereading through the series. I had to focus on Pernie’s character on a subsequent re-reread of only chapters pertaining to her because there were a few chapters for her that I left as outline in the original draft as I was busting through the initial write. I left them as outline in the last 2 editing passes, too, because I wanted to make sure I was happy with the story, and to figure out what to do with the parts that were still bugging me (which contributed to the excuse making and procrastination that has followed). But, totally worked out and I have written two of those chapters (2 of 3, possibly 4 since I am longwinded) this weekend. So, now it’s moving along really well and the biggest cockblocks are gone. Stay tuned.
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12/01/2020 – Website transfer is over (yes, same look, but maybe I’ll update at some point if it matters. For now, it ain’t broke, so I ain’t fixing it). Lots of distractions since then. A friend put out a new book which I read in addition to picking up Obama’s book (not because I love or hate him, but because I find it interesting to see what people who have held that position have to say), plus procrastinating on my own for all my usual reasons. But, been nibbling away at Alien Outcomes still (technically reading through the series again… I still love these characters so much!). With COVID as it is, I am not in a rush. I don’t want it to come out when everyone is all dark an Stayd gloomy anyway. I feel like, with as close as I am to done, there’s almost no way I don’t get it out in 2021 though. I won’t commit to that, as doing so will curse me, but I really just have maybe 100 hours work left on it. Question is, will I do it all in 3 weeks, or stretch it out. I keep telling my wife to get a few more raises so I can just stop my day job and finally focus on books. I only got so much energy in this old, fat, booze-saturated carcass of mine.
Anyway, buy my newest book, Something After All, it’s really good—it’s even better this far into COVID-19 and post election to boot, plus it’s funny and fun. If you want to hurry this process along, please tell your friends to buy my stuff, and if you leave lots of nice reviews it helps with selling more stories too. But whether you do any of that or not, just thanks for your interest in and support of my work. It’s getting there, I swear.
08/23/2020 – I’m finished with this second round of edits. I fixed some of the klunky stuff I thought was too slow, and I’m MUCH happier with pacing. I’m going to go back now and re-read book 4 and 5 to inform my next pass of edits for finer details, make sure I’m not missing anything or didn’t contradict myself, etc. I’ll post again when I have something to say. (If the website gets wonky in the next week or two… I’m migrating to a new host, as the company I’ve been using since the beginning has just fallen too far behind the times. It will be working shortly … assuming it has any issues at all.) As always, buy my newest book, it’s really good. Tell your friends to buy all my stuff. Leave lots of nice reviews. And, in general, just thanks for your interest in and support of my work.
08/11/2020 – I’m on page 717 of 751. A lot of rewrites and cutting and rewriting still (this is only the second wave of editing, so it’s to be expected), some wordiness, some I wanted to say it differently. I am at Chapter 62, and am thinking about trying Chapter 61 from the perspective of another character. I had it that way in my original outline, and then went the way I went. But I’ve decided, since I’ve taken this long anyway, I might as well write it both ways and then decide which I like better. I think the version I have now is amazing, and I just want to make sure there isn’t an even more amazing possibility.
08/04/2020 – I’m on page 698 of 752. Been slow going last two chapters because… if I’m being honest … (as if you don’t already know) … I’m a wordy bastard, and a few of these chapters are just tooooo dense. So, I’m hacking and hacking, Which is then causing me to clean up and reconnect, which then provides opportunities to make better prose (at least that’s what I tell myself). Etc. So, yes, in a month, I’ve only technically gotten 160 pages done, but about 30 of those pages are completely rewritten, then edited, then edited again, then edited again so they are caught up to where the rest of my editing is. Nonetheless, progress is happening steadily still.
06/28/2020 – I’m on page 536 of what is now 753 pages (in MS Word count, not actual book page count; that will be longer for sure), and it will grow as I expand two combat chapters. I kinda save that stuff for last; it’s like a dessert after dinner sort of thing. I was only going to work for an hour or so today, as I’ve been stuck for the last two days working on the same chapter over and over trying to get it right, but I finally did it, and I ended up going three hours straight to get there. It’s really important dialogue, sort of the heart of the reasoning, the fulfillment of so much of the entire series philosophically—the stuff that matters to me in my heart, and a big part of what provides the drive to write in the first place. Writing isn’t only fun and creative, it does have to matter. Even if only to me, in my head, and nobody ever notices what I tried to do. At least I know I tried, and in my way, hopefully even succeeded. At least it’s out there as a maybe for someone else to see with me.
06/08/2020 – I’m on page 400 now, so past the halfway point (it’s 745 pages in MS Word form, which will be much more in book form). Still probably going to be 2 books, but if I can cut it down enough to fit into one, I will). Main point of this update is, I’m working on it. My plan for it:
- Finish this second editing pass.
- Re-read book 4 and 5 one more time to make sure I am not forgetting something.
- Third editing pass (should be quicker since it’s a lot cleaner).
- Send to my editor.
- Fourth editing pass (going through her edits, too).
- Send to formatting to determine paperback length and if it’s going to have to be 2 books or can just be 1.
- Release either part 1, both part 1 and 2, or the whole thing as one book depending on what happened in previous 6 steps.
05/24/2020 – I’m on page 215 now, with another day left in the holiday weekend. I know some may say, “Well, that’s only 65 pages since the 9th,” but there was a bunch of stuff I had to do for binding in research. There’s a lot of space stuff going on, and I have scads of research for it. In the first draft, I would write placeholder pieces in the manuscript for technical stuff. Like, I have passages that go : “Roberto said, hey, there are HOW MANY MILES BETWEEN X AND Y” that depend on actual physics and astronomical units, etc. I know what I am basing the objects on (which I can’t explain here due to spoilers, etc.), but when I am writing scenes, I don’t bog myself down with details like that. The research is why I know I can do what I planned out the plot, but in the moment of the dream (which is what writing kind of is), I don’t worry about the deep details or the math, etc. I do them before in notes to figure out how stuff can work, then write the story, then write those details into the narrative later (like now). So, certain sections can take a long time to “edit” because I have to double check details, and re-do the math (or call my math editor lol) to make sure the story is doing what I wanted it to do.
Anyway, my point is, I’m at it pretty good, and hope to, now that I’m past that super mathy part, make another 40 to 70 pages tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes. I have a plan and a tracking chart to help me stay on task. Hopefully it works. Alcohol and laziness are in league with having a fucking “day job” to keep storytelling at bay.
05/09/2020 – I’m on page 150 of the next round of revisions for Alien Outcomes. It’s tidying up nicely at this point. I have some back fill still to do, and since I took so damn long, I am going to re-read book 5 to make sure I am not messing up anyone’s voice or anything stupid. But, bottom line, with Something After All out and finally off my mind, it’s a lot easier to work. I am so OCD when it comes to only working on one project at a time. Trying to do two basically means I do none. (Oh, and for what it’s worth, if you read Something After All, just remember that I put it out BEFORE the Coronavirus, so yes, I totally predicted all of this crap going on right now ten years ago when I started that project. It’s weird watching that book damn literally playing out page by page in our world right now. Not that the point of it wasn’t that this is just how everything works now in a world of narrative, spin, and modern media technologies, but still… nailed it, even if I do say so myself. Do me a favor and go buy it. It’s good. And leave a review, etc.)
12/30/2019 – Something After All is with my second edits editor, trying to bring my wordiness under control. She’s been busy, so it’s taking longer than expected (wow, shocker, me being behind schedule, what are the odds?). However, it’s close and I’m hoping for maybe a January release. THAT will spring me to get back on Book 6 finally. I just have to finish Something After All, because it matters so much to me that it won’t let me work on anything else.
08/03/2019 – Hey, finally an update here.
It will seem weird, but my update includes announcing the finish of a different book, Something After All. I’m done. Or so close to done it’s done. I have a few minor tweaks, then its all about my editor getting into it, and getting cover art and a marketing plan together. (If ya’ll want to make that easier, just grab a copy as soon as it comes out, even though it’s not a TGM series book. It’s still good. I don’t think you can start it and then stop. Maybe I’m delusional, but I feel it takes off that fast.)
Anyway, with Something After All finally done, I can get to the second round edits of Alien Outcomes. I’m not going to fabricate a finish date, as I mentioned before. But I will actually be working on it again. I lost a lot of time trying to pretend I could finish the story in one book, and I lost a lot of time because I have their stupid anal-retentive thing where I have to work on my books “in order.” So, I felt like I couldn’t work on Something After All (originally I was calling it Fish Story, some of you may recall). So, because my heart wanted to finish Something After All, but my OCD brain was like a mean parent telling me what I had to do, I ended up not working on either. Which is dumb, because I was caught in a box of my own making.
Anyway, I had the final epiphany I needed to finish SAA, and it’s done. And I am super stoked. So with Alien Outcomes now at 1250 pages, and sure to become longer than that, I will likely break it into two parts, AO – part 1, and AO – part 2. That is more for practical reasons involving print and paperback than for anything else. But, that’s where the project is. The good news is, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel, because I no longer have guilt about neglecting both of my babies, so to speak. One baby is done, now I can spend time on the other.
07/10/2018 – Okay, finally, finished the first complete edit. Still a long way to done, but I’m on the right track, which makes working easier. She’s still afloat, captain, and gaining steam again.
07/27/2017 – If it’s been a while since you checked in: reread the paragraphs above. Total update. I have finally acknowledged the reality that I was, for whatever stupid reason, unwilling to recognize. (Short version: this is just not a 6 book series … and no amount of trying to cram the vision into one last book is going to work. I am going back to my original 9 book plan. I was dumb to think otherwise. Sorry for the delay.)
03/24/2017 – <Insert shitty excuse here>, but I’m getting there.
02/05/2017 – The tortoise not the hare!
10/27/2016 – Still growing. Well over half way mark now, and moving along at a steady snail’s pace. Good news (for me and the story if not my wife) with the holidays coming, my wife has to work for most of them, so I’ll be able to take some big chunks of time that aren’t filled with activities. I dare not pronounce the sounds that make a deadline, but I do actually see the finish line of this round of edits drawing within sprinting distance!!!
8/30/2016 – Page 280 of 697 … still growing in huge chunks. It’s 20,000 or so words longer than it was a few months ago (1/3 the length of a short novel added). I got other issues slowing me up, but I hate excuses, so I’m just going to admit I suck and am taking forever. It will come out when it is done. 2017. Don’t know when. I am sorry. I’m not going to rush and not going to put out shit. So, it is what it is. (I’ll just add that if the U.S. healthcare system wasn’t what it is, things would go faster. End of comment.)
5/05/2016 – About 20% of the way done with first round edits. Progress is steady. Book is expanding, as anticipated. I’m wondering if it will get too long for a single volume in print. No limit on e-books, so that’s not an issue, but if it gets too big for paperback, I’m going to have to figure something out. Amazon pricing on paperbacks is so high, I really don’t want to do a “part 1” and “part 2.” I’ll definitely push margins and squeeze down font size like I did with Rift in the Races first. Should be good. Too early to worry, but I can’t help it. I’m a worrier.
4/05/2016 – I’m 55 pages into the first wave of revisions. I am extremely happy with how it came together, despite some months here and there where I thought it was going to be impossible to get done in just one last book. But I held to my outline, trusted in the original idea, and let the muses guide my hand, as they say. So, I’m pleased and now getting it cleaned up. Not even going to try to guess how long it will take. I do numerous rounds of editing, and it’s huge: like 175,000 words now, and I’m adding about 1000 words per chapter as I edit. Since there are 65 or so chapters, you can do the math, and that doesn’t count four chapters that I already know will get way more than a thousand words, because I left them stark on purpose. So there you have it.
2/10/2016 – Likely will type “the end” on the first draft this weekend. I actually have three chapters in the middle to write that are outline still, needing the end to play out first. But that said, it’s so close I can taste it. Lots of editing and that to come, but, definitely right there. (I’ll be adding the cover to this page shortly, as that too is nearly done.)
12/12/2015 – Outline has 9 chapters left to the end, which means, I should be able to finish the first draft (finally) this month, yes, even with the holidays. I might even get done and be editing before New Year’s, which be super cool.
11/7/2015 – The muses have taken over. It’s very cool. Original deadlines are all shot to hell, and it’s going to be done when it is. All I know is that writing Altin at this point is really just about the most epic and nerdiest thing of all time. Love, love, love it.
10/1/2015 – I am very close to the end, but the scenes are so important that I am writing them very carefully, letting the action play out. I know that for some, the end of book one, the last few chapters, were too quickly done. But I did them in the pacing I felt the action warranted. It was a long span of time, but a short span of pages. The end of this book is the opposite, a short span of time, but a long span of pages. I also think I’m going to go back at the end of this and rewrite a few of the earlier chapters with Pernie’s character. So, suffice to say, I’m working. I no longer think December is reasonable, however, and think January is now even an ambitious estimate. I am going to try to make that work, but I have to finish before I can even begin the editing process. So, we’ll see.
08/4/2015 – Okay, I am having so much fun writing this part now. I got enough work into the ending scenes, that it backfilled what I was missing for the middle, and now I’m in love with my new aliens. Progress is fine. I still think I can get it out by December, or as I mentioned early, maybe January, since I seem to get a lot more traction on Amazon with January releases.
06/26/2015 – Jumped to the end. I’ve been dreaming of this ending for, like, a decade at least, and, being honest, actually this story dates back to me in high school. So, being antsy to get to it, I did.
05/27/2015 – Massive cuts just happened. Don’t even know the revised word count yet. I was in a transition section that was just not fun and had a huge missing element in it. Was causing me to slog through a few chapters, which is never a good sign. I have figured out what I was doing wrong (thanks to the muses hitting me up in a dream), and while it is painful in terms of work and effort lost, I will be dumping somewhere around 50 to 100 pages. The upside is, what I realized from the dream is sooooo freaking cool, I can hardly wait to write it. That’s always a good sign. (More detail in this blog post if you are interested: Here.
04/28/2015 – 93,000 words now, roughly 320 pages. A lot to hold together, so having to go back and double check notes, read through previous books, etc. to make sure I’m holding to the rules. My wife had an emergency surgery two weeks ago, and that has added further delays. But, the work is the work, fate is fate, and story will be told when it is told. I am looking forward to a fight scene that I have schedule to start on come Thursday. I super love writing those. Woot!
03/29/2015 – Hit the 75,000 word mark today, which is around 225 pages. My outline is holding up well, with the muse fleshing things out nicely. I’m about 10,000 words behind my target at this point, but life has a way of doing that sort of thing to me. It’s close enough that I’m still comfortable with my target release plans.
01/06/2015 – 9,000 words written. Going through outline and plotting and working through prophetic fine touches to make sure the religious underpinnings all tie the foundations together from book 1 through the series neatly. Lots of note checking and reading back through the series at this point, making writing slower, but, very cool and fun.