This year is FLYING by!

I can’t believe that it’s the end of July already. 

What’s more, it’s been over two weeks since my last update. So much for my bi-weekly schedule! But it’s been a VERY busy couple of weeks for me on all fronts. Work has been keeping me busy busy, and then my evenings have been spent in a flurry of activity writing. 

So, since my last news update there was a guest Blog Post by my wonderful Wifey on what it’s like to live with an obsessive writer. Then I was compelled to write an entry about the furore in the Twitter #WritingCommunity regarding someone using a pen name for nefarious purposes. Oh, and then I found out that Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games) had a new book out with a very similar title to mine!  Well of course I had to blog about it.  🙂

Which brings you up to date! 

So let’s check in and see how everything else it progressing…

Editing IS ALMOST FINISHED on Hunters.

There are 82 chapters in Hunters (including the Epilogue) and Nikki has helped me get to chapter 75…which is where we ran aground.

She pointed out a pretty big issue in that chapter, which was a bit of a bummer, because that’s one of my FAVOURITE chapters. The set up is that Gayle and her two sisters are shooting the breeze in a bar, and catching up on the big things in each others lives.

The issue was that Gayle has news to tell them, Allyson has bigger news to tell them and Carrie has BIGGER news to tell them. Problem was I did the reveals backwards, meaning that the reveals got progressively less important as the chapter went on. Had to admit, Nikki was right on that score.

So, I’ve been back to the drawing board on that chapter and have been re-ordering the narrative. So far, so good.

There are now just 7 chapters left to run through and then…it’s done!

Or mostly done! LOL

The plan is to have a final read through myself, and also give it to Wifey and a few of my friends to read through and see if they can find anything wrong that we didn’t spot.

If you fancy being a psuedo Beta-Reader for me, just let me know!

Book 2, B2E is getting written at a cracking pace!

I’ve really enjoyed buckling down to it these last couple of weeks and have made huge headway!

There are now 50 chapters which have a complete first draft. There are a further 8 chapters which are almost done – or at least started!.

The leaves just 34 chapters which are in a ‘yet to be started‘ state.

The bigger news, in some respects, is that I breezed through the 100k words barrier. In fact, as of last night I’m at 101,907 words in the document. This feels big. Crossing that threshold feels like a watershed. I think that when all is said and done, the first draft of B2E is going to end up at around the 160k mark. The final edit may come down a little from there, but I don’t think by too much.

Where Hunters was a huge learning curve for me, B2E has been smoother sailing. The lessons I learned in writing Book 1 have been pressed into service, and the first draft of B2E is going to be a much tighter affair.

I have to say though…I love some of the stuff in this book. It really moves the story on in what I believe is a number of really interesting directions, which I’m hoping will engage the reader, keep them hooked and eager to find out where it’s all going as I head into Book 3.

Speaking of which…

Book 3, Tooth & Claw (henceforth to be referred to as T&C) is on the horizon now.

Which that in mind, I got stuck into the old ‘Spreadsheet of Doom™’ and started sorting out the minutae of the plot. I already had the broad outline, and the key plot points, but now I’ve started the work of filling in the gaps and making sure it all hangs together and heads us towards Book 4.

Lots of exciting things are afoot in Book 3, the end of which will be GAME CHANGER for the characters status quo. So I’m itching to get into writing it!

In other News…

Not much to report actually. Nothing to see here…move along please.

On a Personal Note…

There’s been a lot of turmoil in my life recently, and I decided to write a Blog Post about it. I was going to put it out this week, but it’s not ready yet due to me getting diverted into writing about the similar book titles malarky. Look out for it next week, along with (possibly) a little post I’ve been doing that is a chucklesome look at online gaming!

I’ve also been reading up a storm lately. I finished the Marissa Meyer ‘Renegades‘ trilogy, and *spoilers* LOVED IT! Now I’m working my way through Jim Bernheimer’s ‘D-List Supervillain‘ series and very much enjoying them. I’m on book 3 of 5. I’ll probably put up a little review on my blog when I’m done.

Then I’m on to a trio of books from people I’ve met on the Twitter #WritingCommunity.

There’s links to them (and more!) on my ‘Links to Friends‘ page. Check them ALL out!

I’m REALLY looking forward to reading these, as they’re some of the nicest people I’ve met on Twitter and the premises really intrigue me! Plus, I love supporting my fellow creatives!

I will put up little mini-reviews of them after I’ve read them. 

Until next time

Love & Books

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  1. Mitch

    First off, where are you finding all of this free time (to read)? Are you still working from home?
    Kudos to learning so much with the first book, that the second book is coming along a lot easier and faster.
    I love that you have someone to really read and offer sound criticism. Sorry you had to rewrite a chapter though!

    • Jon Ford

      My place of work is roughly 40 miles from where I live. My daily commute there and back, used to take at least 2 hours on a good day. 3 hours on a bad one if the motorway was congested (which was often!).
      The Covid lockdown has given me back that time, so in a sense for me it’s been a blessing.
      I’ve also tried hard to put down the electronics late at night and read before sleeping. Even if it’s just a few pages. 😀
      As for the chapter rewrite…it was more of a re-ordering of the content, so it wasn’t too much of a chore. 🙂

      • Mitch

        That is a long time to be on the road each day (up to 3 hours). I literally drive 8 miles so 10 minutes each way. It makes sense that you have extra time now. I still wish my job would let me work from home.
        It’s a good catch from Nikki then if it helps make more sense.

  2. Suese

    Love reading your updates. It sure sounds like you’ve got a lot going on. Congrats on almost finishing book 1. Is this how most writers do this? Draft book 3 while working on finals for book 1 and writing book 2?

    • Jon Ford

      Honestly Suese, I have no idea! LOL
      From my point of view, I simply want to make sure that my readers don’t have to wait a long time between books, especially as it’s a 7 book series. I want to have book 2 ready to go, and book 3 almost done when I release book 1.
      After that I’ll just try to keep up! 😀

      • Nikki Anderson

        I’ll chime in here, Suese, and say that if you’re writing a series, it’s a good idea to get a book or two ahead like Jon is doing. I have a trilogy in the works and I’ve had to make several major changes to book one as I progressed with book two. And I know Jon can tell you that’s been the case for him with Hunters (book one) and B2E (book two).

        As you move ahead with the story, you learn about points in the prior book that need to be changed, removed, or added to. It can be frustrating when these things pop up, but it’s also exciting to know that we’re nailing the cohesiveness of the story line. It also seems worse than it is when you catch something like what Jon is referring to here with chapter 75. As usual, he did a great job reordering it and I’m still on track with my self-imposed editing deadline.

        • Marie

          I have not tried my hand at a trilogy yet. I’m still new to the writing world (well books that is). Thanks for explaining Nikki. It makes perfect sense now. I would never have thought that once you finished one you would tweak it when writing the second.

  3. Dave

    You have certainly kept yourself busy! I would describe myself as a lazy writer, which is the worst kind of writer to be. I am only 50 pages into my first book, even though I have a rough plan of what each chapter should contain. How do you get so much done? Do you set a certain time of day free to write, or have a set number of words to complete? I reckon if I can get a modest two pages a day finished, I could get the first draft done in twelve weeks.

    • Jon Ford

      As I said in the reply to Mitch’s comment above, the Covid crisis has given me time back into my life, which is becoming very useful in respect to writing. I’m also a bit obsessive when it comes to writing, and I can churn out words at quite a pace.
      Not good words…but words nonetheless!
      My method is to spill the story as fast as possible onto the page, and then to hone it afterwards. Trimming, changing, adding, amending, editing… Getting it out of my head is the first step.
      I also find that it helps, in my case, that my chapters are short. Usually between 1500 and 2000 words. The reason for this is because I have multiple characters and locations, and jumping between them seemed less jarring for the reader if I put each change under a new chapter heading, along with the Day and Place.
      For example:

      – 11 –
      – Alex Newman –
      – Monday – Mont Tremblant, Pack Nation –

      and then Chapter 12, changes perspective, day AND location…

      – 12 –
      – Gayle Knightley –
      – Tuesday – London, England –

      So, the hope being the reader can easily keep track of the who, when and where! 🙂

      • Evie

        As a reader, I appreciate it when author’s go out of their way to make the story easy to follow. I mostly read before bed, and that’s not the time to start hunting for information or I’ll be awake all night. I just want to enjoy the story.

        • Jon Ford

          I’m VERY aware that with so many characters and plotlines in my book, it might be very eay to get lost. I felt that way about GRRM’s ASOIAF books (A Game of Thrones to those who don’t get the abbreviation!)
          I wanted to try and make it really clear who, where and when you were in the book.

          • Evie

            I think it would be nifty to see a map of their world, diagram of their family, and other special illustrations added in. The story is intriguing enough on its on though without those extras.

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