I said I was going to get better at providing progress updates and I managed for like 2 weeks. Since I haven’t done one in a while, here’s one to help you figure out where I’m at on things and when you can hope for a new release.
Anonymous Dreams – Written! Final pre-editing word count is 78, 304 words. Making it the second longest D&R novel in the series (Fortified is the longest). It needs to be edited and it needs a book cover. However, I’ve realized that I need to “slow down” on this part of my publishing, which sounds weird, but… I put myself and my editors in a stress loop when I finish writing a book. As soon as it ends, I’m ready to publish it, so I give my editors unrealistic deadlines to get it edited in so I can get it published and off my brain. All it really does is stress me and my editors out. And I’m trying to reduce my stress and not overwork myself as often. So, I will be allowing some time between finishing, editing, and publishing a book.
Avenging Reality – Written! Final pre-editing word count is 70,799 words. Like Anonymous it needs editing and a cover.
The Dysfunctional Expansion – This has been sent to my “make it funny” person. I couldn’t find the ending for some reason and I’m hoping once she looks through it, it will come together. Final word count was 22,441 words before it went to the “make it funny” editor. This series goes through the most post-writing work, as I’m sort of funny by myself, but with my best friend, I am hysterically funny. So Dysfunctional requires her to read and review and make comments before I can finish it and prepare it for editing… So, it needs first edits to make it funny, and then copy and content editing and then it needs a book cover and it will be ready to go.
The Demon’s in the Details – As soon as I finished Oh My Wizard I discovered the plot for this book and the title. I sat down one Monday to plot it and ended up putting 39,518 words on it in a week. Since I aim for 75,000 words per novel, this means it is over half written.
Poisoned Dreams – I was putting an ending on one of the short stories in Avenging Reality when the plot for this book leaped out at me and I had just put the final 20,000 words on Anonymous Dreams as well… So, I set down to plot it and looked up 9 hours and 12,501 words later and realized I had the plot down. It now sits at 36,290 words, making it halfway done as well.
Copycat Reality – I was researching my October blog posts when the plot for Copycat Reality came to me. I started plotting out the short stories I’d put into it and ended up writing the first story one day later. It currently has 19,342 words on it and an entire story is finished.
Innocent Dreams – This book has been my nemesis for three years now. The first plot idea showed up while I was working on Fortified Dreams in 2015/2016. However, the first plot idea included murdered children and with my niece pregnant it didn’t go anywhere very fast. And it slowed down even more after Jude the Great Nephew was born in July 2016. Since then, I have started it with other plots multiple times and Anonymous Dreams actually started as my fourth attempt at a plot for Innocent Dreams. But in September I finally found a plot for it that I could write. I started it in late September after all the editing on Oh My Wizard was completed. After plotting it out, I dedicated a day to writing the start of it and didn’t look up until it had 14,993 words on it. Which is where it still sits as of this update. But it is incredibly rare for me to give up on a plot idea after I’ve written 10,000 words, so I think it’s safe this time.
Aruba Murder Mystery Trilogy – I admit I’m the hold up on these books. I get really into it for a few days and then I lose interest in it again. I think my personal reading choices play a role in that interest, which sounds weird, but isn’t if you know me. For the first several weeks I worked on the first book, my personal reading time was spent with Stephanie Plum books (I hadn’t read 17-25). And the writing was coming along, then I decided to revisit some of my favorite horror novels and the writing dropped off. I’m currently trying to find a series of books that are not as intense as my usual reading (and preferably available as audiobooks) to listen to while writing on these. I’ve tried the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth books, but I couldn’t stay interested in either series. I also tried Evanovich’s other series, but didn’t enjoy them as much as Stephanie Plum (although I wish she’d just make a freaking decision on her future man and get on with it). My portion of book 1 is 20,000 words long as of now. I need murder mysteries with a strong female lead, not heavy in sexual content, and the lead female is not a moron, who also isn’t ripping people’s hearts out of their chests for fun on a Friday night because she’s bored – and I’ve decided any book that actually ticks all the boxes on a cozy mystery will drive me nuts, so probably not a true cozy mystery either.
Buried Dreams – Again, my research for my October blog post series triggered the inspiration for a D&R book. I have plotted it out and that’s as far as it’s gotten.
Harvested Dreams – Ditto inspiration came from same place as Buried Dreams. This one has been plotted out and a serial killer has started to form, which means it is a little further along than Buried Dreams. I do not have “word counts” for either of these books yet as I’m determined to finish some of my to-be-written list before I start putting words on these. I figure this will last another month or so for this specific book since the killer’s character has begun to come together even when I’m not trying to work on it.
Untitled Dreams Novel – So, this book actually came from reading an article about a modern surveillance database that really exists. It is a private database and as I learned about it (it is mostly used by Repo men and Private investigators), I inherently saw how it could be abused. Not only will it feature in a D&R plot, it will feature in a Dysfunctional Chronicle plot as Alex gains access to it. I have a plot for both this Dreams book and The Dysfunctional Crisis plotted out. Neither has words and the Dreams book doesn’t have a killer yet, but that’s kind of par for the course when I plot these (first comes plot, then comes killer, then comes the words for the story).
I am forcing myself to plot out my books (some). Having said that, I’m still a pantser, I can say “Oh we’re going to have Aislinn and the team run into the killer in chapter 12” but the truth is this may or may not actually happen when chapter 12 arrives. My pre-plotting is mostly “how many victims, who will die in the killer chapters,” how will Ace and the team get on the track, what cool thing is going to happen to reveal the “mystery” part of it and so on… I don’t know if this will make me a better writer or not, we’ll see. Anonymous Dreams wasn’t pre-plotted but The Demon’s in the Details was – Poisoned Dreams and Innocent Dreams are the first Aislinn Cain novels pre-plotted to some degree and not just written as actions come to my brain.