Episode 12 Banner

Episode 12 – A Fool’s Errand is published


In All Jest,
A FOOL'S ERRAND IS PUBLISHED, episode 12, broadcast on
at 24th of novemeber 2020

Intro

[00:00:00]

Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Episode 12, November the 20th, 2020. I published the book. I made it to the finish line. It is all done.

Since Last Time

[00:00:36]

Well, hello there. I know it's been a little bit long since I was last talking to you about my writing progress. In fact, I believe it's around eight weeks, which was double the amount of time I intended to take off. Truth be told I did record an episode four weeks ago. I didn't feel comfortable with it.

I wasn't happy with it, but mainly because of the work that needed to happen next. I had nothing else to say and got a bit bogged down in editing the Wiki. So I ended up just letting things slip, which I apologize for, but I am back now and intending to get this podcast rolling along again with regular updates on what will now be book two.

So what has happened since last time? Well, clearly I published A Fool's Errand. My debut novel after nearly five years has been published and I am absolutely stoked about it. Everything went well with the publication. I've been getting fantastic reviews from people reading the book -  fantasy lovers, non fantasy people and people I do not know have all given me fantastic feedback on the story, which makes me very encouraged.  My ultimate goal as expressed in earlier episodes is for people to be able to pick up the book and enjoy the story in the way that I enjoy other stories. For them to feel entertained by a story that has some depth and some interesting characters. And I feel like I succeeded in that. That's the feedback I've received. That's the way I feel about the finished product that I put out there. And I'm happy to move forward now, continuing the story and continuing to evolve as an author. And I think that's probably the most significant thing that's come. While I've published two non-fiction books and I know I'm a published author, my life goal has been to publish fiction novels. And I have now started that journey. I've reached that destination and I love where I'm at with it. I really enjoy how it feels. I do feel like I am now actually an author, albeit I've spent five years being an author and doing the work than an author needs to do, the real success is in publishing the story and getting it out into the world.

Don't be fooled though. It isn't that I feel like it's a perfect work. I don't, there are many things, on reflection, I would like to change in the prose or in the scenes that I feel I could do better today than when they were finalized, whether it be several months ago or a year ago. But there is a point when you need to ship the end product.

There is a point when the story needs to be read.

When it needs to be finished, being told. And my job now is to get on with the next part of the story. And I'm lucky because it is a series I'm not having to come up with a completely new story as if it was a standalone book on its own right.

Fool Me Twice, which is the working title for book two, is already, 45% written. I just need to continue that now and get it through to publication next year, which I will be doing. That's where my mind is at. I'll talk through now. what the steps were that got me there. how we got to the publication date from the last episode and what I've been doing since then and what I intend to be doing moving forward.

So, if you recall, had been through a whole editing sequence, including using my developmental editor Fleetwood, who worked with me to get the story structure great. And I then had to finish my edits, package it up and then send it to the proofreader. I believe the proofreader had it for around three weeks and setd it back to me, as an edited word document, which I needed to go through. So I worked through that, I'd envisaged it was going to be a very long, 10 to 12 days of me working through lots of edits that needed doing. What was really great was it took me less than three days. It was a much quicker process than I envisaged.

It was much easier to work through. And I was able to just sit and be ready for the actual publication, without some of the stress that I thought I would have. And I'm really, really happy that happened the way it did. It was such a relief. Once I'd been through that, and what I did was basically accept, or not accept, changes that were highlighted within the document.

There was lots of things in there typos, clearly some grammar problems. My proofreader is very good in that she not only just does it, but explains why. I guess that makes her life easier in the future, the better her authors, get an understanding what needs to be corrected in their writing, the less work she really has to do.

And the less likelihood that she might make some mistakes along the way as well. And for those of you that might've picked up the first editions and found a few typos or errors, understand that this is a human process. It's not machine driven, it's not absolute. And particularly when you're writing a large novel in a complex world with lots of new names and things that can be very tricky to get it 100% perfect.

And that, that is something that I had to come to terms with. It's very easy to get a feeling of failure. Albeit over something minor, like finding a handful of errors once you'd got to publication, but in the bigger picture I wrote, well, I published, 202,000 words. I wrote four to 500,000. I would think in getting there.

30 little issues that I had to correct out of 202,000 words is a minute percentage. It's so minute I'm wasting more breath talking about it. It really doesn't matter. But it's a really interesting example of me learning to be better at the craft of being not only an author, but a publisher and understanding the practical reality of it.

Do I wish nothing was wrong with my stories? Absolutely. Is that realistic? I'm not sure. There's a sacrifice that would have to come and doing that. There's a sacrifice in time and timeliness to get things done. And there's also the need to complete the publication and put it out in the world. Certainly for me.

Some people are happy to write stories and put them on the shelf or in the drawer. My aspirations as a storyteller has been to publish the stories, to get them out in the world and to get better as I go. To continually tell better, more interesting stories. It would be problematic to have written your best work first and have nothing better to add to it.

I think that would be a nightmare. I feel like I got a great story out. So once the edit, of the proofreading changes was done, I then had a word document, which I was able to import back into my software Scrivener. I then exported from Scrivener into a piece of software called vellum. And because I self-publish, I use vellum as my publishing software of choice. Within that you check the formatting, add pages at the beginning of the manuscript and the back of the novel.

Thank you pages, copyright pages, cover pages, make sure the cover image is up there. All of those things. I had to make sure all of that front and back matter was correct. I had to bring in the final version of the map and we had a couple of issues in the printed versions, getting that a hundred percent correct.

Once I'd finished all that, I sent that off and got an urgent print proof back from the printers. I had to do a couple of those, to be honest, to get it exactly right. I only did the paperback at that point with the ebook, I had to do a couple of different copies.

I ended up having to do a couple of different versions for Amazon print versus IngramSpark, who's the primary printer that we use. Just the way things are handled.   I now have four vellum source files with slight differences. One of the reasons is for the ebook versions, if you're going to distribute to Apple for iBooks, you can't have links to, for example, Facebook or Amazon or things within the back matter of the book. That just can't exist, they won't accept it.

So I have a version that's fine to put up on Kindle that might have links to my website and Facebook and Twitter accounts. But within the Apple version, I can't have those URLs in there. So I have different versions, which makes it a little bit fiddly when you have to go back and do little updates that you find because you need to do it in multiple versions.

Once I was happy with the print proof and everything else. I was busy setting up pre-orders on my site and, or on other sites, doing all the mathematical calculations, what the actual costs were going to be for physical copies. And I started working on the hardback version and I had to learn a few things about the jacket because the hardback, has a jacket as most people would realize, and the jacket is laid out differently. And I hadn't thought about that. For now I went with a fairly similar process to the paperback, but I will be updating it now that I have some feedback and I have, some reviews and other materials so that I can get the hardback jacket to be more in line with what a traditional hardback might be.

I had then, surprisingly got a heap of purchases on my own website for hand signed copies by myself. I sign it and personalize it on the inside. We then wrap it in Brown paper. And the, In All Jest logo, which is the jester's face on the cover of the book, I have a wax seal of that.

And so we would then wax seal the seam of the Brown Paper on the outside of the wrapping. And then I would, using calligraphy and a black pen address it. And I tried to give everyone a title or a name that might relate to the world and a location, I know we did more than 80 of those. And I still have some sitting in my studio here at the moment that need to go out. I keep getting orders for them, which is great. That's not available to everyone, around the world because we can't do the wrapping and sealing and send it overseas. The cost of shipping is $40 per book to go international.

So it wasn't practical. So we set up a digital signed method, a personalized page for everyone else and got a number of those internationally, which was great. Got that all done, got everything sorted and waited until publication day. Publication Day came and went. Was very exciting to have it officially out there in the world to be able to talk about it, but it was a fairly low key day.

It was actually my wife's birthday as well, which will help me remember it, probably unfortunately it will help her remember it as well.   We didn't do a large launch party or anything like that. It's my debut novel. There was a lot of stress about knowing I would get it done on time or whether I'd have to delay it.

So I didn't want to work in an area that I was very uncertain about and try to have some form of launch party.

Might have heard the background friend I have a little ghecko. As it worked out, I feel really comfortable about not making too big, a deal of it when it went live. Let everyone know virtually of course, on social media, put it out there and let it effectively do its work out in the world. So in summary, I'm really, really happy with the way it's gone. Not only the support of friends and families and buying copies, but other people that have bought out of all sorts of interesting occurrences or methods, people finding it through online channels. I've been able to get it stocked in a couple of book shops in Brisbane here, which is really exciting.

I'm very grateful to those bookstore owners for stocking it. I am working on how to grow and promote to a wider audience. And I know that the long game for the series will kick in when book two and book three, and later books come out and are published. And each of those I think will roughly take one year to complete.

Book two will be done sooner because it's already almost 50% written. But my goal is over the next five years to publish one book per year, which is a big ask, but that's what I want to do. And I want to give my readers a story that they can not wait too long for that they can see the next one. coming, know they want it and, and stay connected to the characters in the series.

What comes next or what did come next? What really held me up afterwards was I needed to edit my world wiki. I have a private Wiki. running on WordPress, where I store all of the information about the world and the book and plot threads and characters and everything else. Because of all the changes in A Fool's Errand that I made, I didn't edit the Wiki as I was writing the stories too much involved in that.

So what I did do though, was sit down once the book was published and just, hard graft, worked through the Wiki and brought it in line with what the finished novel was about and any of the history adaptions or changes, modifications that we made that needed to be adjusted to make everything line up. It was not much fun.

I was not in the mood for it. Any of the days I did it I had to chip away at it bit by bit, but I got that done just over a week ago. And it's done. I'm happy it's done. I committed to doing that before I touched book two. So I did not have to waste time in the editing process of book two, making sure I had everything lining up.

I needed to make sure I could just get on with it. I am now recapping where, Fool Me Twice as at and outlining, which is new to me as far as at the start of a project. I used an outlining process during the editing cycle to clarify what was going on. I'm effectively doing that right now to say what needs to carry over, what needs to happen?

What have I got happening and summarize all of that. I need to go through all the existing chapters and really just understand the detail of what I've written and make sure that that's going to stay where it is. And I need to understand the timeline of the whole manuscript. And does it now fit with what's supposed to be happening and what happened in A Fool's Errand?

The timeline for it is fairly aggressive. I want to try and have the finished first draft at the end of January, 2021. Move straight into editing and get it to my editor by April and with an earlier publication date than October. So I'd be hoping for August or September, if that's possible. That's what I'm looking to do.

It will come down a lot to whether I have progressed a lot more in my writing and experience and the way I craft the story or not. If I haven't made as much progress as I thought I have that I can just write it and then go back and edit through it. That will slow me down, but based on the late work I did on A Fool's Errand, I really feel now that I can do the first draft, sit down, evaluate it, edit right through it, and be much more comfortable about where the story's at and have a much better grip on, on the story and, and have produced a better story than I did in the first draft originally, of A Fool's Errand. So that's what comes next. I had a few reflections on, the whole process and particularly my first novel that I wanted to share, at publication letting go is really hard. I did want perfection, but it's unrealistic. setting the deadline was much more important than I realized at the time.

I understand the importance of deadlines, and I understand the importance of shipping, but the deadline, I said, as aggressive as it was in some ways allowed me to get it done. And those of you that may listen to this in the future that are writing novels for the first time or others that are trying to achieve things by giving yourself a deadline.

That's the ultimate way to hold yourself accountable and not making excuses to get around it. I always had soft deadlines, but once I put a hard deadline in that I could see was capable of being met, but will require a large stretch. It helped me get there. So I'm glad I did that.

I have said that I now feel like I'm an author and the truth is if I want to be an author. I now have to get to book two and get writing and I have, and I've started on it and there's no more excuses. It's time to do it. I'm no longer learning the same way I learned book one. I have more things to learn, but not the same things.

And I know I can do it and I need to get on and do it. And I want to, so I will, but that's, I have to get onto the next page, the next story, the next scene, all of the next ideas and get it done. One thing that my performance coach taught me was that I need to be able to recognize the achievement and, and acknowledge it to myself and just enjoy it.

And I have done that and I keep a copy of the printed book on my desk. All day, every day. So that even when I'm working on other matters, I remember that I wrote the story and I published that story and I'm doing that, but I also need to realize it's time to move on. The book is written and published.

It's no longer my story so much as it is the people that will read it's story. And I have a publisher's duty to get out there and market it. And I have an author's duty to get out there and write book two and book three and four and five and six. So the there's work to be done. There's a lot more work to be done.

It won't do itself. So it's my job to do it. And that's. What I shall do a final thought something I learned. I did not realize. I've listened to a lot of people talk about their journeys as an author and how the stories live in their head. A lot and the characters come to them. And I experienced lots of that when I was writing the story, but only in those moments.

Once the book was out there and people had read it and people started talking to me about the story, they read, everything changed. Suddenly I had someone to share what had been in my heart and brain for so long. I could share it with people. And people were now living in the world.

People were immersed in the world that I created and the sad thing, but it's exciting is that there's a portion of my brain. Now that is always in Dharatan. That's always there. It's just something changed. And it's there now and it exists. Its Tangible. It's real. It's real to other people and it's become more real to me.

And I now have those characters in my head all the time. There are things I want them to achieve and do, that they want to achieve and do, there's parts of the story floating around. I was not ready for that. I did not know that was going to happen. And, if you were to meet anyone that personally knows me in a face-to-face environment, and we start talking about A Fool's Errand and the book, they will all say to you, my eyes light up, I get animated, I jiggle around. I have really enjoyed this, but I enjoy even more the ability to see how people are taking this story on and to have little discussions with them about it. But to hear what they liked about the story, how each person got something different, the characters they love and hate, and everyone I've spoken to has got differences, little things, strange little things that stood out to some people, but not to others.

People seeing potential plot threads that may or may not be there, but it was interesting to see that they picked up on something, which I may have an awareness of, or may have been constructing in the longer story. And wasn't necessarily aware that it was on page. So there's just been a whole heap of stuff there that I've really, really enjoyed.

As I said earlier, I wasn't ready for it. It's become a permanent fixture in my brain. At times I don't want to do anything else, but sit down and write and write and write, which I don't have the privilege right now of doing, but I am thankful and grateful to all of the feedback from everyone so far, I will try and answer questions that are given to me, on the podcast, as well as to the people that ask.

So if you do have any questions about the story that you've read, that you would like to know or the world, if it's not going to create a spoiler for anyone else, I'll be glad to answer it on future podcast episodes. Till next time.

Outro

[00:22:47]

Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.

 

Episode 11 – The book is finished


In All Jest,
THE BOOK IS FINISHED, episode 11, broadcast on
at 18th of September 20202

Intro

[00:00:00]

Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Episode 11, which just happens to be on September the 11th, 2020. I've made it all the chapters are done. I'm there.

Since Last Time

[00:00:44]

Yes, it's true. Last Sunday, I finally was able to finish all of the editing that I've done to date on the book. Post my editor, reviewing the whole novel, getting everything pushed through, and we got there. 105 chapters, 201,891 words. It's a big book. But I'm pretty happy with everything that's come out of it.

I struggled through the last few chapters over the weekend. I only had eight chapters to do last weekend if you recall. And, they took the whole weekend and that's because they were the finale of the book, the last few scenes and chapters to bring it all to a conclusion. Took a bit of time to work through, but I'm happy with the way that worked out.

I am happy that the bulk of that work was all done. On time, as I hoped for. This week is now just  about reviewing things. I'd made little notes as I was going through the edit, things to look for. Words that had changed, spellings that I was pretty sure had crept in incorrectly. So I've just been tweaking things, going through. Find, search and find, finding items, just looking at those, playing with those double checking, a few things were fully removed, um, by searching for single words that shouldn't be in the manuscript anymore.

And I will send it off to the proofreader this weekend, which is an exciting milestone to make. It's been a long time coming. And it's also been confronting. The resistance that Steven Pressfield talks about reared its head significantly this week. I had a couple of moments during the week, not just from the book, but everything that's been going on at the moment.

A lot of activity, my working life is very busy. I know during COVID-19 there's, , two extremes. There's some people that have had their businesses suffer a lot, and others that are doing  really well. . We've had plenty of work and that's been ongoing since probably March. So coupling and all of this work for the book and all these other things, I think I just hit the end in the road after the weekend. Got a little bit uptight about things, a little bit stressed about a few things. And one of those things I think ultimately is that fear and self doubt that comes before putting something out in the world. You are always confronted by that.

I've been confronted by it along the journey, but it definitely reared it's head this week.  Having to look at it, think about it and go at some point soon it's out of my hands. So there's a lack of control feeling in that, there's fear and concern and worry, about is it any good, all of those things that you play with?

, but they've created resistance -- I wanted to delay the date and go back through everything again and have another look at this and that. And really, that's just not what is going to happen. So worked through all that and got it to a point where it will go. It's definitely going to go.

 

So what comes next? What comes after that? Well, a proofreader will have it for several weeks. Then it'll come back to me. I need to implement her change file. There'll be markup in there I need to process. So I'll need to accelerate through that over one to two weeks and just push that all through. Make sure I'm happy with everything that's come back from there and do the final publishing phase. Which includes making sure that the elements of the cover or locked in final prints files are all organized.

I'll be getting a new print proof with everything in it. The current print proof I've got doesn't have any front matter, or any back matter in the book, there was no need at that point, but there will be. we have a graphic that's in the chapter headings, which is the logo of the Jester's head, which looks , really cool.

But I used a gray scale version effectively. It was the dark blue version of the logo. And I just put that in. It needs to be black and the gray doesn't quite work. So there's little things in there that we will be doing, or I'll be doing mostly. Then my team to help publish it will come into action and we will have it up and ready to go , on October the 16th.

I will be putting preorder up, hopefully this time next week, if not before. Getting that finalized and released this week and weekend and early next week . We'll make it available; be on Amazon and a couple of other places, probably on the Kingdarryl.com website as well.

We'll have a preorder up there which will be good. See what we get out of that. We'll need to set up a few little ads to keep that ticking along and we'll hit the publishing date and go from there.  There's really not a lot to talk about in the manuscript this week because we pretty much got to the end.

As I said, I had to play around with a little bit to get it right. I'm pretty happy now with how that all has worked out. I think it resolved better than it had originally. The first iteration through over the weekend still just didn't quite link everything together the way I'd liked. But I feel now that I've got that put together, the way that I want to, and that will lead in nicely to book two, which is known as Fool Me Twice. I'm not sure yet that i've publicly announced that I'll be putting that up that the title of book two is definitely going to be Fool Me Twice. As I stand here talking to you, I'm looking at the cover design that's printed, on my studio wall, and I really love that cover.

I love the cover of A Fool's Errand, which will be out publicly for everyone  whenever the prerelease goes up. I'll release the cover to my newsletter list the day before, and then the preorder will go up the day after. So we'll get that all out and then it'll be a matter of just watching everything, spin up and get ready to happen.

This part of the business side of me, which is keen to see the book sold.  It's not the key motivation for doing it, ultimately. The original reason to write this novel was to write the novel and to write the series. Clearly I'd like that to have some degree of success. That people enjoy the story, and buy the subsequent books. My job is to produce them and put it out in the world.  The rest of it will be what it will be, and it will be interesting to see how it's received and how it goes.

I know some of my friends don't read that style of book and they probably will never read it, which is great for them. They don't like that style of book. I don't expect them to read it. I know that others that are keen to read it, which is great too. But my primary goal would be for people I don't know that pick it up anonymously and read it and like it. That would be fantastic for me. No bias there from them at all. They just like the story.

I'll look forward to those people, enjoying the story. I'll look forward to reading it in its entirety, without editing it at some point and seeing how it pans out. I am going to have to read it once I've put it all to bed and had a week off or two weeks off. I'm going to have to go through it all again, to update the Wiki, which I mentioned last week's episode.

But it will be different at some point. I don't know when that might be. Maybe it'll be in the lead up to the final edits of book two. I might just sit down and read the book and get my head back into book one world.  that might be a useful way to do it. But I think having cleaned it up, once it's been through the  proofreader.

I think then that I will be more comfortably able to read it as a novel. The last time I tried to read it as a novel prior to this edit parts of it were really easy to read that way, but then I got hung up on things that needed to be fixed. Typos, sentences or paragraphs that didn't really work. I've had almost the last version of the map back.

We had to do a few little tweaks to it. It's about four or five little tweaks to go, and then that will be good to go. I'd like to get that out as well through my newsletter group , that might just change the preorder date. Just need to get a few of those things out to the people that have been on my little team there, supporting for awhile.

Next time around. I'll probably have much more structure to what I'm doing. This time a little bit by the seat of the pants, partly because I never really knew exactly how the timing would end up and setting the deadline was about me having a deadline and meeting it.

And that's what that was all about was making me get to this point. It does feel a little bit flat, I must say, having got here. Because there's still this gap. I have to take a break from it, which will be good. It'll be good for my mental health. Good for my physical health.

Good, just to take a week or two off as a breath, while I wait for the manuscript to come back. I definitely will not be touching book two during that time. I'll just be looking at the marketing angles and, you know, making sure the back blurb on the book is all written the way I want it, ready to go, but I won't be deep in the world.

I won't be immersed in it. Need to have a break. And so there's a little bit of a flatness, I was so involved for so long in it, eight weeks or so, where I just was on it every day. It kind of feels a little bit distant right at this moment. Like, I should feel super excited because I achieved that milestone I needed to achieve.

The reality is though that until it's published, that's the big moment. And that's the one that I'm primed to celebrate, to get excited about and take a huge deep breath over. There's no backstory in this episode today. And I will be taking a four week hiatus from the podcast because I won't be writing in any significant way over this next three to four weeks.

So I thought to not bore you to tears, talking about publishing, I'm just going to take a hiatus, focus on getting the book out the door and we'll get the podcast back on track as I launch into, Fool Me Twice, the writing of that, cleaning up the Wiki and getting that story moving along as well as  feedback about how the book is selling. Until then.

Outro

[00:12:37]

Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.

 

Episode 10 In the home straight


Intro

[00:00:00]

Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Episode 10 September the fourth, 2020. A big week of progress. I'm in the home straight sprinting towards the finish line.

Since Last Time

[00:00:43]

Well, before we get started, I'm going to try something a little bit different with my audio, today. Just positioning of my mic and sound. I do apologize for last week's audio.  listening back to it, because I was moving my head around, looking at books that were stacked all around my desk, I noticed that the voice quality went pretty poorly.

I also struggled to do a lot of the editing on the episode because of workload, due to all my editing, which you'll hear about soon. So wasn't my finest effort, but I hope my teeny audience will forgive me. So what has happened since last time?  I have done 50,212 words, or I've edited that much? 25 chapters, two to three were deleted.

The overall total is 103. There are eight chapters to go right now, as I record this. 1.14 chapters a day, eight per week. Ideally they will all be completely done this weekend, coming up. It all got set, by the work I did last weekend, I ended up doing 16 chapters that I got through, which set me up for the week fantastically.

I also took a little bit of time off some regular activities and managed to get nine done between Monday and today. So it was two every morning, apart from this morning where I only had  time to get one done, although it was a lengthy difficult chapter to process.

I'm really, really happy. Ecstatically happy with how that's all gone.

I can't believe that I'm here. Although I knew it would be like this. I knew I would get to this point where the momentum just seems to have built on itself.  All throughout this novel, as I've written it and edited it, I have had to handle the mental challenge of a hundred and something chapters. Each of the editing cycles I've been through, I start at one and I can see a hundred and something ahead of me. And it feels like I'll never get there. Much, like any difficult task whenever you're working towards something that takes a long time and a lot of steps, you struggle early on. You start with that initial burst of enthusiasm. It seems like a mountain to climb that will, you'll never reach the apex of. You make some progress with that early willpower, motivation, but then it becomes hard grind. And if you've listened to the early episodes, I think I've used hard work and grind probably too many times.

But it was. And then several weeks ago I seem to cross the halfway mark, and all of a sudden I'm here with eight chapters to go. And it does feel like a very short space of time. It feels a lot shorter than the early time that I put into it. It was a mistake or an issue, in the early weeks of starting this edit, I was only getting through five or six chapters.

And I think that's the other reason why it felt so much longer at the start. Whereas if I had done 10, then it was 10 weeks. You could clearly see it. At the beginning it felt like forever. But let's celebrate. I'm there right now. Ready to complete this. This weekend I will get through those eight chapters, everything going to plan.

And that gives me the rest of next week to do the reviews that I've marked for review. I flagged a few things through the edit as I went. There were a couple of chapters that were completely new and albeit I went over them two or three times while I was working on them or the next day,  I need to have another look at them in the fresh light of day with distance between when I did them and now, and how the rest of the story has panned out.

Did I say I was really happy and excited. Well, I am!

So, what happened with this story this week? Well, I clearly got through a fair chunk of it. Last week I was deep in act two. I think it was probably more than halfway through act two, but there was still a lot to play out in the story. We've got out of that middle build, we've moved into the ending payoff or act three. And I'm right at the climax. As of this morning, I'm working my way through the big events that are about to take place. I've been weaving in little climaxes or mini resolutions to a few other things that have been going on, but I'm bringing together a couple of the key points at this ending stage.

So it's important to get it right.  I'm not going to rush through them. I'm going to go through them like I have everything else, but I'm hoping that they will go well without too much rewriting or effort from what was discussed. Interestingly, there were limited notes from my editor at the end of the story, because  the ending, while impacted by the decisions made earlier, didn't really need in itself,  to have more thinking done around all of it. The key point to it was what led up to it that made sure it was a solid ending. I did have concerns about how all the earlier changes would affect the later parts of the story. And over this last week, I've been pleasantly surprised with the way that things fell into place.

Some of the things I was really concerned about how they would pan out and as they came up and as I had to address them, I just felt like they were meant to be, it really felt like the story now was clicking into place properly. And I'm eternally grateful for the professional input that Fleetwood, my editor, gave me.

I'm really happy with the amount of thought I did before I started editing, in mapping out solutions to the challenges that lay ahead of me. I do believe that was the most critical thing I did to help me reach this point with this story where I'm really happy. I've had some fun feedback this week. I've been able to share the first six chapters with different people and interesting different feedback that I've received.

One of them that I really enjoyed was about the opening sentence and I haven't looked at it properly in a while. And someone just said, great opening sentence and on reflection, it is quite good,I think. I think it's a good opening sentence. And the opening sentence is this:

The smell didn't bother her. In fact, she couldn't smell it anymore. It was only because others always mentioned it, that she was still aware of it.

Well, that's two sentences. So the first sentence was; the smell didn't bother her. Why do I like that? , I realized it does two things.

It raises two questions. What's the smell? And who's, her? In a very short space of time. And, that propels you to the next, sentence and the next sentence. So I quite like the way someone responded to that and looking back at it going, Oh, I wrote that.

As I said, everything's merging together for the final climax of the story.

I think there will be some little adjustments in it. I have an itch I need to scratch in my brain about, something that just wasn't quite right for me. And I believe that will be an exciting part of this writing to come. One observation of the week that's been, was spending so much time in the story world and doing so many chapters and basically, you know, reading, editing one, taking a mini break, doing the next, taking a mini break.

I spent all of the weekend deep in the world. Previous weekends, I've done a large number as well for whatever reason that, accumulated time over the last month, just built up so much in me. I was deep in the world. I was really enjoying it. And if you ask my wife, there were points where I was rabbiting on excited,  over the kitchen counter, as I was making another cup of tea or coffee. Where I was just really enjoying where I was in the story. Pretty sure she's over it, really doesn't want to have this elongated process happening any longer. She'll be very happy at the end of this weekend, I would think as well. But overall, fantastic week, looking forward to seeing this book out in the world.

Some Back Story

[00:10:47]

One of the hardest things with a fantasy novel of this size and particularly one that's part of a series is managing all of the information about this imaginary world.

The way I do that is by using a Wiki. I've set up a private website with Wiki software on it that I'm using to manage all of the information that I can.

Originally, when I started with the novel, I did it in Trello. I had a couple of Trello boards, lots of lists, lots of cards. Which was great, and I used that initially, but it became a little unworkable. I then progressed to using an app called Milanote, which I like for more freeform content.

It's really nicely laid out. Yout can really put some great things into it. And that was useful more, I think, for the plotting and some of the things I was doing that was less rigid, but ultimately I needed a place to store information that not only myself, but others, such as my editor or people helping me review the book, and for the future books, was easy to access and had a hierarchy to it.

That was clear and an intelligible for people, or should I say the logic was suitable? So I set up the Wiki. What sorts of things go in the Wiki? Pretty much everything. I have world notes,  so I outline the elements of information I have about the world as a whole. I then break that down into continents within continents it would be realms.

Some realms would be on different continents, but in the primary focus of book one, we're talking about one large continent with a number of realms. I then define into those realms. So there's a Wiki page for each of them. Within that, I have cities, towns, government, geography, military religions, while their economy made up from who their allies are, enemies, how trade and finance works across the realms. And anything like that that came up in my planning in my world building. It's really, really tough to keep up with it. And after the edits that I'm doing now, before I go back into book two, I'm actually going to have to reread the book again. Yes. That was me making a funny noise, but I need to go back through and really make sure that everything lines up before I leap back into book two.

So that the changes that have been made are recorded properly, adjustments are made, and the reference for book two is a hundred percent accurate. And it's a big task just maintaining it. I know it will get easier, partly because there's things I don't need to edit that I've already resolved and locked in.

I just need to go through them all and make sure that they've got all of that information. Other things that are listed, what resources do each of the realms have building the world. Everyone doesn't have access to everything. You know, you can't find gold everywhere, silver, everywhere, or lime, or those sorts of things.

So who has what type of resource? And I recall when I was doing the world building, you also have to think about what in theory climate and geography is of that area. You can't have a location, that's predominantly a rocky mass of mountains that grows wheat. You can't have a lot of salt mining in a desert.

That's not going to work. So you need to think about those things. I need to record them because let's be honest, I'm not going to remember that. I don't even remember it fully for the country I live in, in the real world. Of course there's Wiki pages about all of the characters. For all of the more focal characters, primary, secondary ones that we see a lot of, there is a lot of detail on their role, their profiles.

Basically, a full persona in history about them, but I also have limited pages for those minor role characters to just notate things. If I've described something about them, at a future time, I could come back through that location and brush up against that character again. The idea is I don't have to find which book that, that reference was in because I can go back to the Wiki, look them up and bingo.

The Wiki does tell me what books they're in, but if I've got their profile, that just answers all of that for me. There are 41 lesser characters in book one 11 primary, and about another dozen secondary characters or peripheral ones that are central to the biggest story, but may not have massive roles in book one, at this point. I have sections about the God/gods, magic, the different plot threads that weave through book one.  Not all of those are being resolved in book one. Otherwise it wouldn't fit into the series arc, but keeping track of them, I'm making sure I'm across them all, , I need to double check all of those again, in this next week, just make sure I've got them right. When I update the Wiki post publishing of A Fool's Errand on there to go back and look at. Were there any new ones that were adapted for the future books? I know there's one in my mind already that has changed a little bit in the way it will impact book two and book three.

I also have a whole section   on real world information, particularly research on things that I did. And I've talked about resources before. There was a lot of research in the early days on things like dyes, amber salt, guilds, types of minstrels, a whole raft of topics that I investigated.

And there was information that was really useful for me to help form the depth of the world that I have now. I talked about the dyes last week, , in my mention of the book, the English housewife, that was one resource. I also did a lot of online research in looking at how dyes are made, what goes into them, how they were made historically has that varied in modern times, but trying to get an understanding of it all.

And if you were to ask me questions about it, right, the second, I can't recall all of it, which is why I have them in the Wiki. For reference again, because I have used parts of it that in my storytelling, and there was a reason for that, that we'll come back again at a future point where I might need to access it.

I don't want to have to do all the research again, that doesn't make a lot of sense. I have some things bookmarked in my browser, but critical information that I want to reference again, and again, I put into the Wiki. Really the last section would be creatures. There aren't a lot of creatures in the early parts of the story.

I haven't filled it with that. There is a couple of creatures that reside in the back ground of the story in my head. I'll be interested to see how they come out in book too. If they do at that point. We'll just have to wait and see for those of you that are dragon lovers, I'm sorry to tell you. I don't have dragons in my story.

This is not a story about dragons. So that's what I mean by creatures. There are of course, the types of creatures you might expect such as a horse or those types of animals, but I'm talking more about the sorts of creatures that become an important part of the story. Maybe a mythical creature of some sort of, magical creature, those types of things that have an impact on the story. At the moment, they haven't had a big impact on A Fool's Errand, which is okay because I don't think it needs it.

I think the story is doing just fine without. That's some insight into the Wiki, what goes into it, how much goes into it. There's a lot of pages already. There's a lot of references to. Things that I've used to help gather the information. And I can imagine by the time the six books are done, it's going to be huge.

But at least I will know where to find all of the information about it. And a couple of people who've asked me, no the wiki isn't available to read for anyone else. It's not public information. It's not that type of wiki at this point. It's a Wiki for me. As my reference, my world Bible, of my world book, about the whole of my world.

Outro

[00:20:36]

Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.