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Friday, December 24, 2021

Writing Colonies XLIII: SITREP - "Paper Edit" of Volume One is complete

 


The "Paper Edit" is complete.  As before, seeing the words on pages is a different experience than having them on a screen, so I see things I missed before.  Once those changes are made, I'll proceed to the next edit, likely the "Kindle Edit" wherein I read it on a handheld device.  Again, the different medium helps me see things I've previously missed.  Since I've pegged the release of Volume One for February 7, the next few edits/passes will focus only on those books.  

This is probably the last update for 2021, so let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays.  2022 promises to be a big one for me, so I hope I can count on your help to spread the word.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Colonies of Kobol RELEASE DATES

Well, it's been nearly five years in the making, and I appreciate your patience, but the time has nearly arrived.

Colonies of Kobol - Volume One: Foundation ...


That's ten days shy of five years from when I first created the Word document and got the ball rolling.  

That's the first Monday of the month, so I continued that into the next books, too.

Colonies of Kobol - Volume Two: Evolution ...


Colonies of Kobol - Volume Three: Revolution ...


The cool thing is, Volume Two is out on 4/4/22 and Volume Three is out on 6/6/22.  Not important.  Just neat.

The dates are subject to change due to calamity or what have you, but I'm pretty determined to get them finished and published as I've listed here.

For Lords of Kobol, I released them one month apart.  Then again, those books are only about two hundred pages each.  With Volume One being more than four hundred, Two nearly eight hundred, and Three pushing a thousand, I figured two months in between releases would be better for the readers.

(Speaking of Lords of Kobol, now would probably be a good time for you to go ahead and re-read those four great books.  If you haven't already, you can download them for free HERE.)

More news and info to come.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Writing Colonies XLII: SITREP - Phase II editing done, release date announcement soon, and an IMPORTANT request

Graphic:


So I've finished two read-throughs, editing as I went.  Largely for spelling, word choices, clarity, tone, etc.  Next, I'll be printing out the books and reading them, marking errors and such with a red ink pen.  Good ol' fashioned editing, that is.  (With about 2,100 pages, I fear for how much that'll cost me in toner.  If you'd like to make a donation, here's my tipjar.)

In other news, I think I've settled on a release date for Volume One and a schedule for the remainder.  Assuming my editing continues at the same rate, it should work out, but I'm not going to reveal it just yet.  Maybe I'll post it next week as a Christmas present, of sorts.

Lastly, over the last couple of years, I've sent out PDFs of various parts of Colonies to winners of contests and so on.  If you were a recipient, PLEASE email me at ety3rd@ety3rd.com to let me know what you think, any detailed criticism you might have, suggestions for clarity, whatever.  I'd like to incorporate any good suggestions into the books before publishing.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Writing Colonies XLI: Maps of Caprica and Battle

Phase two of editing continues apace, however, I realized I had not shared a couple of maps with you.  The first is Caprica:

Click to embiggen

It's based on the limited landmasses seen in BSG and Caprica, plus the image from the QMX map.  Some places were seen first in Book Eight: Picon as a revolution ended the era of imperial puppet nations on the planet (the Virgan-aligned nation of Rhodia was in northern Andros with its capital of Rhodes; the Leonan-aligned nation of Dordogne was in southern Andros with its capital of Lato).  

The second map is specific to a single, long chapter in Book Thirteen: Caprica which focuses on a siege:

Click to embiggen

I'm sure that's fairly impenetrable without the context of the story itself, but, hey, it's another map you can look forward to.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Writing Colonies XL: All About Editing

Here's the graphic:


The green Roman numerals mean I've completed the first of my planned edit phases.  Here they are:

  1. "Run-and-Gun Edit."  Basically, I read the book and fix misspellings, word choices, etc., as I go.  Pretty quick.
  2. "Tone Edit."  I read everything a bit more slowly and make sure the "feel" of each chapter/book works.  Sometimes I find that I can get flowery in some places and not flowery enough in others.  Maybe the difference comes down to the mood I was in the day I wrote it.  I'm not sure.  Regardless, this edit will be about evening things up a bit and making sure the tone fits with that portion of the story and ones adjacent to it.
  3. "Chronological Edit."  This one's unique to Colonies of Kobol.  Because I've separated the story into sixteen separate books covering each of the Colonies of Kobol, I've had to jump around in the timeline a bit.  I could have written everything in order, but that would have been one massive book and not sixteen more manageable ones.  (For those interested in a chronological read, I intend to include a chronological table of contents so, once you've read it through once, you can read it again in a more linear fashion.)  With this one, I'll start at Book One: Earth, then go to the first part of Book Two: Gemenon, then the first chapter of Book Four: Virgon, then all of Book Three: Leonis, then the first part of Book Eight: Picon, then the first part of Book Five: Sagittaron, ... you get the idea.  All to make sure the continuity holds up and everything makes sense across the different worlds  (mentions of events in one book frequently appear in dialogue in others).  I may even throw in a re-read of Lords of Kobol and a re-watch of Caprica and BSG in the appropriate spots to make sure it fits the universe.  Depending on time, we'll see.
  4. "Paper Edit."  Basically, I print the whole thing out and read it, red pen in hand, so I may make the pages run red with the blood of its errors.  Reading the book in different media helps me find mistakes I've missed in other read-throughs, I've found.
  5. "Device Edit."  Similar to the "Paper Edit," I read this on a handheld device of some sort, again, so I might catch mistakes that slipped through previous edits.

And that's it.  Five different edit phases.  So, when that graphic is full of green "V"s, you'll know it's time to move toward publishing.  Wow.

And when will that be?  I have a plan, but much like the show, I'm not telling just yet.  Let's see how the next editing phases go.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

RIP Dean Stockwell: A Cavil Chapter from Colonies of Kobol

 


Known mostly for Quantum Leap, we know him best as Number One (aka John Cavil) from Battlestar Galactica.  



When writing Colonies of Kobol, some of my favorite parts come when writing scenes for established characters, and none were more fun to write than scenes with John Cavil in Books One, Fourteen, and Fifteen.  After the JUMP, I'll share a couple of moments and a nice long chapter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Writing Colonies XXXIX: Managing Expectations

I'll be honest: I don't know who I'm talking to with this post.  Me?  You?  Dunno.  Mostly me, I suspect.

I've long been worried that people would be disappointed with Colonies of Kobol.  That people have liked Lords of Kobol so much is a surprise in itself, so, naturally, I'm concerned about the follow-up.  I'm just going to type and hope it ends up being therapeutic for me and any release neuroses I happen to have.  Maybe it'll help you readers, too.

1. If you're hoping to read Colonies and get 2,000+ pages of hot Cylon action, you're going to be disappointed.  Cylons appear in ... checks memory ... Book One, and then not again until Book Thirteen - Sixteen.  (Not counting a brief "cameo" in Book Eleven.)  There's plenty of action throughout, however, and that leads me to the next point.

2. A great deal of Colonies reads like an "alternative history" of Earth.  This may or may not surprise you.  The vague backstory of the Twelve Colonies was laid out in Caprica's bible and various other associated sources (including the famed QMX map), including allusions that Virgon and Leonis were essentially England and France, respectively, and they carried out an on-and-off thousand-year war of colonization, imperialism, etc., utilizing their many proxy worlds and nations against each other.  Spoiler alert if you haven't studied Earth history: that's pretty much what happened here, too.  So there will be plenty of battles with each one steeped in a different era of the past reflecting different weapons, armor, ships, and so on.  There is some cross-pollination of the high tech among the low, but I'll talk about that more thoroughly in a different post, likely after release.  

Simply put, I took advantage of the time frame and settings in these books by writing wholly different genres of stories among the sci-fi.  You've got knights, castles, a western, a police story, "Age of Sail"-type warfare, politics, romance (kinda), mobsters (a little), and horror (a little), all mixed up with a huge continuation and conclusion of the Caprica TV show, more Cylon warfare, and an epilogue with some of the people from Battlestar Galactica set on Earth II (our Earth) about a decade after settlement.  And that leads to the next point.

3. I'm worried about the ending.  When I wrote Lords of Kobol, the ending of the story was one of the few things everyone knew about: there's a "Blaze," Athena died, there's an exodus, and Zeus said, "Don't come back."  The hard part was writing a compelling story that got us there, but I never really worried about the ending.  Same thing with Prelude.  Sure, it was a prequel, but again, I didn't have to worry about the ending.  The ending was the beginning of Lords of Kobol.  (Well, not really.  Book Two, sure, but ... you know what I mean.)

For Colonies, however, I'm out on a limb.  The closest guidance the series gave me was the epilogue of "Daybreak."  I've watched that scene many times and read its transcription often enough, too.  I took it to heart and crafted a story set in our own future that seeks to fulfill something "Head Six" said.  The problem is ... I worry that people may not like it.  It is, however, the ending that I feel must happen, so that overwhelms my concerns.  Mostly.

As for what's around that ending, there's flashbacks to the crew of the late Galactica.  I have no worries about that stuff; I think it turned out great.  However, there are some elements of the portions of the story in our future that bother me.  I'm writing about real nations now and not something pulled out of thin air for Sagittaron a thousand years before the Cylon War, for example.  Invariably, that means politics are injected into the story somewhat and that concerns me, too.  Though all dramatic sci-fi inevitably comments on the world around its creators when it was written and produced, this feels more on the nose since I'm typing words like "United States" instead of "the People's Revolution of Scorpia."  In the end, I don't think it can be helped.  I tried in my latest rewrite to tamp some elements down and shift others, but when I was finished, it felt as though I was left with a hole in the story that had to be replaced.  

Alright, alright.  Enough of the therapy session.  Now that I've gotten it off my chest, maybe I won't fret about it too much more.  Maybe.

Thanks for reading.

(PS: I'm starting to read/edit in a day or so ... it'll be a slow process of reading and immediately changing word choices if needed, fleshing out if needed, etc.  It's been a while since I've read Book One so I'm kinda looking forward to it.)