515 Saga Situation Report – Back From Beta 1

Returned late in 2016 by my mother

Back from Beta 1!

The very first beta read of my 3rd draft has returned which will now allow me to continue on the 4th draft. I was surprised at how long it actually took to go through this which is why I was led to write a huge amount of content for my alternative.

The beta read unwrapped

I’m going to be spending a fair bit of time developing the 4th draft alongside this initial review by my mother.

Deadline Set

Time to set a deadline for the new year. I want to have draft 4 finished by the end of February. This may be an ambitious target but I need to get this book moving on.


Breakers has moved on at quite a pace, shockingly the word count of this novel has skyrocketed to over 100,000 words making it considerably larger than The Lost World Saga. I have decided to park this novel in order to concentrate on the fine detail for the lost world saga. Getting back into Breakers was initially difficult because so much time had passed between where I had last left off and where I am now. Once I did get back into the swing I was surprised at how much value I churned back into this project.

Part of the re invigoration of this novel was also the realisation that I may end up scrapping some major elements from the start. There are certain characters that I’ll be removing as they don’t fit with the direction as well as I’d hoped.

515: Lost World Saga

Recently I’ve been paying attention to a specific cluster of characters that were introduced into the book around chapter 7. This group will be quite important in the second book so I have been working to ensure that the numbers are fully endowed with definitions to ensure that they work as a group. Crow Corps are a post Empire set of troops awoken from a deep slumber and left to discover that everything they knew is both long gone. Whatever vestiges of civilisation they once knew have been swallowed by the wasteland they now live in.

This corps, led by Karen Sekanada, will become integral to the 2nd installment of the saga.

Finer Details

First, Second and Third drafts of the saga have been short on the detail. I am mindful that I don’t want to dole out too much exposition but rather want the reader to satisfy some of the leaps and bounds themselves. However, as this novel does have some science to it I have to go deeper. As part of my initial beta reading cycle, my mother has picked out a number of areas that I need to work on.


Breakers Situation Report

Breakers is an alternate Science Fiction book that I had been writing prior to the 515 Saga. This is a working title as I'm pretty sure someone would have claimed the word by now. This novel features a post war future where Humanity have been split down the middle.

At over 100,000 words

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515 Lost World Saga Progress June July 2016

The observant of you will notice that I didn’t get an update out last month owing to a busy period post graduation. I’m happy to announce that I’m now a BA (Hons) graduate in Business Studies and it has been 8 years in the making. I’m looking forward to my graduation ceremony at the Brighton Dome on the 24th September.

515 Lost World Saga Progress June July 2016

Progress has entirely stalled on the first Lost World Saga book. I am in the process of getting the book ready to print. My ‘Beta’ Beta readers can work their way through the book and identify weaknesses.

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515 Lost World Saga Progress May 2016

Progress has been slow this month mostly because I’m reaching a certain key point.

After the initial elation at reaching 3rd Draft, my progress on the final touches has slowed.

515 Lost World Saga Progress May 2016

The initial book has been difficult to add to mostly owing to the final element of my degree. During May I had reduced all of my efforts beyond the degree module in order to do my best in the final project. As of the 27th May – 31st May, the window finally eased.

I enacted a new initiative in the form of the “Lore Catalogue“, a document designed to chart special dates, places, concepts and people, chapter by chapter throughout the book.

I have slightly tweaked the prologue as I feel that a prologue is essential in a book like this.

I have also created a landing log which goes through the important 515s and the details surrounding them.

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515 Lost World Saga Progress April 2016

All hail the 3rd Draft!!!

I have completed some rewrites towards the end of the novel in the 2nd Draft and will now move into making sure that the flow, established facts and consistency of lore and utility is maintained.

Chapter 26 was a target for rewriting. On the most part I have been able to avoid major rewrites by adding or subtracting. In this case the entire chapter was reworked to add more suspense.

I moved into the third draft on the 29th April and April overall has been a productive month for the 2nd Draft.

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515 Lost World Saga Progress March 2016

March passed by like a blur like Marches always do. Can you remember March? I always struggle in the year. A lot has bitten at my time apple this month so my novel progress was lower than expected. I managed to cram in a few days of good work towards the end of the month but there hasn’t been a mass of progress.

Now that I’m not recording word count, so much as repairing certain elements, I am continuing along the vein of tightening up the structure. I am still replacing as many “Thing” “Very” and “Like” words as I can. I am also trying to simplify and bolster areas that need it.

My novel is growing now in terms of chapters. First draft reached 11 and by means of spreading things out into better sections I have now reached 15 chapters (and growing). I’m more than half way through the novel and it is proceeding well.

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515 Lost World Saga Progress February 2016

February is traditionally the short month. Even with a leap day this year, it is still the shortest month of the year. It also passed by very quickly.

The Lost World Saga as noted in the last post, is happily into the 2nd Draft stage. Reporting will now change because my new target is not based on Word Count.

February Progress 2016

515 Lost World Saga Progress February 2016

Draft 2 for me is about architecture. I am breaking down the established chapters I’d created in 1st Draft and redistributing them into smaller bite-size chunks.

The first 3 chapters have been inflated to 9 smaller chapters ranging from 2,500 – 4,000 words.

I have also taken a further look at the language used in 2nd draft to remove a certain adverb and two other trouble words. In order to make the writing a deeper read, I’ve taken away words that I use regularly but don’t do much by the way of description.

  • VERY (Adverb)
  • LIKE (Preposition)
  • THING (Noun)

When I rewrite any of my sentences to exclude these three danger words, they are lifted from humdrum to hazzah in seconds. I fully expect that when I submit the final manuscript for editing, there will be a number of other bad habits that once higlighted, can be eliminated.

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515 Saga 2nd Draft

It’s official folks, as of the 2nd of February 2016 I declared 2nd draft territory on the 515 Lost World Saga.

515 Saga 2nd Draft!!

The book has taken me a considerable time to get to the 1st draft status complete. I tend to write a little differently than some writers in that I like to fully explore the ideas before getting to the end of the 1st draft. I expect that subsequent drafts will be considerably easier than the initial one. I felt it was time to dip my toe into getting this part done because it is fairly straightforward. I do have some adjustments to make and there are the odd few chapters that I’m not happy about.

My first architectural decision was to reduce the chapters (in most parts) to around 3,000 to 4,000 words so that they didn’t run on too long. Thinking about it tactically, a reader likes to have a pause, especially if they are reading before bed. Giving the reader a good place to get up to rewards them for the next time.

Because I’ve never been in 2nd Draft territory I decided to hit up my favourite Google+ group to find out about what their thoughts were.

What is a Second Draft?

That’s a contentious issue. I could say that it is the second stage in my production process but with a second draft you do things slightly differently than you did in the past.

I asked this question to a number of my fellow writers on the Google+ Writer’s Discussion Group to get a general opinion of what they do on a second draft and was interested with the results.

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515 Lost World Saga Progress – January 2016

I am coming close to the end of 1st draft and starting to button down the last parts of the chapters. Chapter 10 and Chapter 4 (listed in order of most work required) are the last two pieces of the puzzle and they need some attention to grow. In terms of schedule I am currently ahead but mindful that May 2016 will be a period when I will be downing tools for my final project for Open University (T317 Innovation). I am confident that I’ll have something by October 2016.

It has been a tougher month for writing, I am a fair bit down now on previous months because when focusing on a single chapter, it takes longer (whereas jumping between chapters allows me to quickly add more and be free).

I am a little concerned with the taper in Chapter 10 that I am repeating something that occurred earlier in the book but with a slightly different set of variables. As I move closer to the 2nd draft axe blade, I am conscious that I don’t want to be writing words that may stand a good chance of being chopped in the draft process.

I’m keeping this update short and sweet this time. February for definite is a shorter month but fortunately I don’t have that much left to do.

Word Count Summary – Comparison from 1st January to 31st January 2016

  • Chapter 1 – 10,184
  • Chapter 2 – 10,176
  • Chapter 3 – 8,317
  • Chapter 4 – 3,695
  • Chapter 5 – 7,782
  • Chapter 6 – 7,512
  • Chapter 7 – 4,387
  • Chapter 8 – 6,306
  • Chapter 9 – 6,475 (7,031)
  • Chapter 10 – 364 (4,956)
  • Chapter 11 – 4,595 (4,596)

Total: 69,793 (74,942)  + 5,149

Previous Update:

December 2015