Tag Archive: The Bridge


2nd Drafts, How I Handle Them…


As of today I’m already a third of the way through the 2nd draft of “The Ship”.  Progress has been good and I’ve been pleased with how things are going.  There will probably be a 3rd draft as well.  What happens after that?  Well, that’s a tale for another entry.

Today I wish to discuss how I deal with a 2nd drafts.  I handle 3rd and 4th drafts the same way, so don’t expect any blog entries on those.  It’s the same process all over again to try catch whatever I missed on the previous draft.

Like many authors, I’ve been learning a lot of things on my own.  There’s no exact set of rules for how to do  write and create a book, though many people have tried to explain it.  Every author is going to handle things differently, whether its how they create a story (with an outline, flying by the seat of your pants, etc.) to editing, proofreading, whatever.  Different things work for different people.

In my case how I handle dealing with 2nd drafts is pretty straightforward.  After I complete the first draft on my computer and save it.  I will then save it again using the “Save As” function and labeling it differently.  In this case “The Ship 2nd Draft”.  From there I will begin going over the entire story, page by page.  I already know what the current word count is (139,806 in this case).  I know this is one of the things I want to change about the book.  I also want to keep track of the pacing of the story, as well as watch out for ideas or concepts being repeated unnecessarily.

I proceed to go over the story line by line.  As I go along I try to keep an eye out for excess verbage such as “he/she said” because it’s usually pretty easy to tell who was speaking.  Another thing I watch out for are sentences beginning with “now” or “but”.  Sometimes I’ll use them unnecessarily, and also, if used too often they can be a little jarring to the eyes of the reader.

Another thing I’ll be looking for as I go along is how well I phrased certain ideas.  Does it read smoothly or is there something not quite right.  I may rewrite a paragraph or line and make it more easy to understand and pleasing to the eye.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll also be keeping an eye out for plot points or ideas being repeated in two or more areas of the novel.  I don’t know about you, but I spend weeks or even months writing a novel.  So I sometimes I forget what I wrote a few weeks back and wind up repeating myself later in the story.  This happened a lot in my first novel “The Bridge”.  However, I seem to have gotten better about it, because I haven’t been finding that happening as often in “The Ship”.

Finally, one other thing I’ll do as I go along is see if every scene, or even characters, are really relevant to the story.  I have removed characters, or even entire scenes, more than once from my stories.  I’ll do this because either the character or subplot is not really needed, or they feel really out of place and don’t belong in this particular story.

I’ve also removed lengthy scenes and simplified them because I plan on using the much longer version as the basis for a follow up short story, or another novel entirely.  Certain references that appear in “The Ship” will be expanded upon in a collection of short stories I’m planning on doing down the road.

So that’s an overview of how I handle 2nd, 3rd and 4th drafts.  All of these things help to cut down the word count as well as allow me to tighten the story up and improve the overall piece.  Mind you, I still plan on getting the book edited by others.  I’m just particular about getting the entire story down and told in a certain way before I let anyone else even get a glimpse of it.

As I said at the beginning, how I handle drafts and rewrites may not be the same as other people.  What’s your way of dealing with 2nd drafts and rewrites?  Enquiring writing minds would like to know, so please share your thoughts in the comments section below, this way we can all benefit and learn from each other.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.


     Yesterday I finished the 1st draft of my second novel “The Ship”.  The word count came in at 139, 345.  A bit high I admit, but a damn sight better than what my first novel “The Bridge” came in at.  That sucker wound up in 195,000 words.  Man did that puppy need some serious editing and rewriting.  I finally got it down to 102,000 words before I finally released it.  Yeah, I practically took a chainsaw to that sucker.

      So what’s my next step?
      First up is PROOFREADING!  I’ve been lucky enough to have a trusted beta-reader who has been checking my spelling, punctuation, etc. the entire time that I’ve been writing “The Ship”.  I kept all the corrected pages she sent back and am going through them and making the corrections already.   So far, 166 of the 525 pages have been fixed on that front.  It’s been going pretty fast, but she told me a while back that she was finding a lot fewer mistakes in my writing this time around and that my style had matured.  I was very glad to hear this.  I have been trying very hard to do a better job this time around, so it’s good to hear my efforts are showing.
 After the proofreading, I intend to start a second draft.  How will this be different than the proofreading? Simple, once the grammatical errors are fixed I can re-read the story myself and start looking for unnecessary repetition of ideas/concepts, simplifying concepts, expanding on thoughts where it might help the reader, eliminating scenes or characters who do not really make a serious impact on the plot, etc.
      When I write a first draft, it’s simply to get the entire story told.  Only then can I go back and look at it from a reader’s perspective and see if it’s all making sense.  I’ll also study the pacing, the details, are the characters actions logical and  if not is there a reason, etc.  Automatically, a lot of the repairs and adjustments I make will start cutting down the word count.
      After I’ve completed the 2nd draft, I may unleash it on a few ‘trustworthy’ beta-readers to get their impressions.and feedback.  From there a 3rd draft will be made incorporating some, but not necessarily all, their ideas. Why won’t I use all of it, because I’m already plotting the next story in the series.  Some of what they talk about, might be things needed to help set the stage for the next book.  They will have no idea of this, but I do and I’m not sharing that info just yet.  I don’t want to spoil the next book in the series for them.
     As you can see, finishing a first draft is a huge accomplishment, but the work is just beginning.  There’s so much more to be done, before I release the book in its final form to the public.  There is a lot to think about in creating your novel.  NEVER publish your first draft and say “It’s perfect as it is!”  You will regret it.  Take the time to go over it and have others add their input.  But choose those editors, beta-readers, and proofreaders carefully.  You could wind up with a bunch of “Yes-Men” who offer only praise and no solid advice.
     Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more proofreading to do.  Until next time… keep writing.

Happy Boxing Day!


HAPPY BOXING DAY!!!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. If Santa left you a nice new Nook, Sony, Laptop, or other nice new toy that allows you to read e-books, here’s another gift you can give yourself.

My paranormal/mystery “THE BRIDGE” is still on .99 Cents on Smashwords. Grab a copy for yourself so you can be ready when the sequel “THE SHIP” comes out in Feb/Mar 2014.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613

However, if Santa left you a new Kindle, you can get the book at Amazon for .99 Cents as well using this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-Allan-Krummenacker-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1388090753&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=allan+krummenacker

Happy Holidays and enjoy yourselves.

The Bridge Book Cover Blurb (2)


****TIME IS RUNNING OUT****

You have until midnight tonight ot get your free copy of “THE BRIDGE” through Smashwords.

Remember: only at Smashwords can you get an e-copy for your Nook, Apple, and Sony E-readers. Also, if you don’t have an E-reader, you can also get a PDF copy for your laptop.

Just click on the link below and type in this coupon code: TR27S to get your free copy of book #1 in the Para-Earth series. Ghosts, psychics, a mystery that dates back to the Paleo Indians await you, along with surprise Sci-Fi twist reminiscent of the Twilight Zone.

And don’t forget to share this link with others so they can take advantage, they’ll thank you.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613

 

thebridge_allankrummenacker

Nanowrimo Is Coming….


Well, one third of October is gone already and Halloween is coming.  But so is something more terrifying, at least for those who brave the challenge.  November is Nanowrimo Month and I’ve signed up for it.  For anyone unfamiliar with Nanowrimo, it’s quite simple.  Starting on November 1st you have until the November 30th to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel.  That’s right.  You start a brand new novel from scratch at the beginning of the month and try to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days.  It doesn’t mean the novel has to be completed, you just have to have written that amount of words for your novel.

Now to some this sounds easy, to others it sounds daunting.  The object here is not to create finished product, but a first draft and have those 50,000 words of it done by the end of the month.  It has been calculated that a person would need to do 1666 words per day, without missing a single day to make this goal.  Easy right?  Wrong!  In my case, I will have to fight perfectionist tendencies and resist the temptation to go back and redo certain sections I’ve already written.  This happens to me all the time while writing.  So this will be one of the major challenges of the exercise.  I have to remind myself that fixing areas and rewriting scenes is what 2nd, 3rd and 4th drafts are for.  The purpose here is to get that 1st draft done period.

I’m hoping this experience will help me overcome that problem, which is one of the reasons why my 2nd novel has been taking so long.  I keep going back and fixing areas or changing things which affect the rest of the 1st draft so I wind up doing more fixes elsewhere instead of just getting the damn story finished so I can go back and make changes.  An unfinished story is an unfinished story, period.  We’re not meant to have a perfect 1st draft, just a full story.

Oddly enough, I didn’t have this problem with my 1st novel “The Bridge”.  It was more like a Nanowrimo story.  I got the 1st draft done and then spent weeks cleaning it up.  I need to get back to that mindset.  Why did I change my habits?  I think because I’m more aware of how rough the 1st draft of “The Bridge” was and I’m afraid of wincing over and over again at what I’ve done and trying to fix it.  Getting a cleaner 1st draft seems to be what I’m trying for with “The Ship”, but it’s hampering my attempt to get to the final big climactic scene.  I have to remind myself that those errors will be caught LATER!  I dont’ have to work on them now.

As for what I’ve got planned for Nanowrimo?  Well, it will involve vampires with the typical weaknesses of legend, yet there will be a twist that makes it fit in my Para-Earth Universe.    That’s all I’ll say.  I’m creating a bit of an outline and getting my characters lined up and getting to know who they are before I begin on November 1st.  All of this is permitted in the rules.  You just can’t start writing the actual story until November 1st.

So here’s to Nanowrimo.  If you want to take a crack at it yourself, here’s the link to sign up:

http://nanowrimo.org/

I’ll be talking more about Nanowrimo in the coming weeks so stay tuned.  I’ll try not to bore you all with it, but just share some of what I’m going through as it happens.  I promise to still post about different parts of the writing process and giving tips.  So until next time, good luck and keep writing.

PS: Here’s a sneak peak at what the cover for my Nanowrimo project may be.  It’s not the final product, more of a work in progress.  I want to do some more tweaking to the image, but I think this is close to what the final image may wind up being.

Apple MacBook Pro laptop


Starting today (9/15/13) and ending midnight next Sunday (9/22/13), the e-book version of  my paranormal/mystery novel “The Bridge” is available for just 99 cents on Smashwords and Amazon.  

 

Smashwords covers Nook, Apple, Sony, and other e-readers as well as PDF copies of the book.

 

Amazon has the Kindle version.  So take advantage of this opportunity while you can.  Ghosts, police, psychics, shamans and a 300 year old bridge with a terrifying secret awaits you within the pages of this book.  This novel is also the first in the Para-Earth book series.  Book 2, “The Ship” will be coming this December and will follow two of the main characters in “The Bridge” as they journey to the west coast to bury one of their own.

 

Just click on the appropriate link below to get the e-book version that works best for you.  And if you already have a copy, please help spread the word of this one-week special deal.  Thank you.

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G

thebridge_allankrummenacker

My Thoughts On KDP Select…


Today I’m going to talk about my experiences with Kindle Direct Publishing, aka KDP Select.  This is a special program offered by Amazon to help authors promote Kindle versions of their e-books.  The program is worldwide which really helps make your work available to a huge market.  You sign a 3-month contract, which can be renewed automatically or ended when those three months are up.  During this period you have the opportunities to raise and lower the price of your work at your leisure.

 

This is where you will usually see the .99 Cent Weekend Specials coming from, or so I believe.  When I was not in the program I could only lower my Kindle price for “THE BRIDGE” down to about $2.99.  However, this might be so due to the size of the book (which came in at a little over 100,000 words) and/or the fact that I set my royalties at 70%.  When my current contract with KDP ends this month, I may experiment with lowering my royalties cut to 35% and see if I can lower the price that way.   I promise to do a follow-up after my contract is over and tell you what happens.

 

In the meantime, while under contract with KDP, you will also be given the option of having up to 5 days of free giveaways.  You schedule these days in advance on the system’s calendar.  This way the system knows when to change the price to FREE for only those days.  After your selected days are over, the system will then change the price back to normal automatically.

 

Now, in utilizing these special pricing features, you must have the right  mindset.  The purpose for lowering your price to .99 cents, or doing Free Weekend Giveaways is to simply INCREASE YOUR READERSHIP!  If you’re an little known author like me, your number one goal is to get your name out there and your product into the hands of readers.  If they love what you’ve written they will be leaving reviews, which will be read by others who come across your work on Amazon.  They will also be telling family and friends about your book.  Some may even do a review on their blogs, or on Goodreads.com.

 

This is free publicity folks.  It’s not costing you a cent.  No you’re not making money on those sales but you are building a following of readers who may be much more willing to put out money for your next work.  In the 3 months I’ve been on KDP Select the number of copies of my book in the hands of readers went from just under 100 to over 1400.   And I can tell you right now, even though there are only 15 reviews on Amazon, a number of these readers have told me flat out they can’t wait for the next book. I’ve also been seeing a slow increase in the number of paid sales, I’ve gone from low single digits to double digits for the past 2 months.  It seems the word is already spreading.  Some authors in the past have seen huge increases in their sales, but I’m still waiting to see if that really happens.  I’ll keep you posted.  But I’m very excited by the number of new readers who are eager to get my next book “THE SHIP” which is coming in December of this year.

 

Now, with all these good words about KDP Select, there is one downside I’ve found.   While under contract with KDP they have the exclusive rights to the e-book version of your work.  This means you cannot have your book available in any other electronic book form (i. e. Nook, Apple, Sony and other e-reader formats).  Now, when I first put “THE BRIDGE” out, I had it available through Smashwords so it was available in those other formats as well as in Kindle form through Amazon.  But lowering my price for the Kindle version on Amazon or doing free giveaways, was NOT an option for me on Amazon because was NOT part of the KDP Select program.  So I had to make the difficult decision of taking my book off Smashwords and the other e-reader formats for the duration of my 3 month KDP Select contract.  When the contract is finished at the end of this month, I will be making “THE BRIDGE” available on Smashwords once again.  I basically used my time on KDP Select as wisely as I could, to increase readership and get my name out there more.

 

 

I’m hoping there will be a good strong increase of sales on Smashwords when I get the book back up over there.  I’ve already had a number of people asking when will “THE BRIDGE” be available for Nook.  That will be happening in the beginning of September, so just hang in there a little longer folks. It’s coming.

 

So how do I plan on releasing my next book?  Will I do KDP Select first for 3 months and then add Smashwords?  Or shall I simply skip KDP Select and just put “THE SHIP” out for Kindle, Nook and ht other e-readers all at the same time?

 

I had planned on doing KDP Select first and then adding Smashwords (who distributes to Nook, Sony, Apple and the other e-readers).  But that when I had hoped to release “THE SHIP” in October.  By December I was going to add Smashwords in time for Christmas.  But due to a family crisis, where I wound up losing my father-in-law to cancer, all those plans got pushed back.

 

Currently, I am planning to put “THE SHIP” out in December.  As to whether I do just Kindle or Smashwords as well still remains a question.  I don’t want to leave my Nook and Apple readers hanging for 3 months AFTER Christmas.   It just doesn’t feel right.  So if any of you loyal fans who have a Nook, Sony or other e-reader are reading this, please tell me if you want “THE SHIP” in time for Christmas.  You’re wish will be my command.  After all, no author can survive without readers.  You are what make or break an author and their works.

 

I hope this lengthy entry was of help to all of you.  If any of you have had other experiences or things to do with KDP Select, please leave comments below.  We’d all love to hear and learn from you as well.  Until next time, keep writing!

 


I want to thank everyone who participated and took advantage of getting a free copy of my paranormal/mystery “THE BRIDGE”.  The first time I did a Free giveaway, less than 450 people took advantage of the opportunity.  This time I did wee bit better… 896!!!

And to all of you who helped spread the word to others about the giveaway…THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!  You gave me the opportunity to reach more people and hopefully turn them into fans.

I know a number of people will be saying, “Gee… too bad those weren’t actual money sales.”  And they would be right.  However, when you’re first-time author and trying to get your name out there, giveaways can be a powerful tool to get a fan-base started.  I’ve heard from a number of people who keep telling me they loved the first book and are looking forward to the next one.

To date: 1408 copies of “THE BRIDGE” are out there in the hands of readers.  Of those about 100 were actual paying sales.  Now most of those people had never heard of me before and took a chance and from what I’ve heard, they were glad they did.  Those new folks are eager to see what I come out with next and will quite likely be willing to not just wait for the free-versions.  Yes, free giveaways are a gamble, but they can pay you back down the road, you just have to be patient.

Remember you’re in this for the long haul.  JK Rowling, Stephen King and other greats did not make millions overnight.  They had to get their names and products out there.  But they had help in the form of publishing companies and agents.  They still had to do a lot of self-promoting as well, don’t get me wrong.  However, even with big name companies to help spread the word, but the authors had to get out there as well.  The same holds true for us Indie Authors.

I know I’ve mentioned all this before in previous posts, but it still holds true.  The greatest marketing tool is you the author.  Go to local bookstores and find out how they choose books to put on their shelves.  Especially local bookstores who may want to feature a new hometown author.  The same goes for radio and television stations.  Check your local ones and see if any want to interview you.  Talk to local libraries and book clubs to see if they want a speaker to talk about e-publishing.  Hold free giveaways on Amazon and Smashwords to increase your reader base.  Those who love your book WILL tell their friends and recommend your work to them.  It all takes time, have the patience and persevere.  That’s all I can tell you right now.

If any of you who read this blog have extra advice please leave those suggestions in the comments section below.  We’re all in this together and sharing our knowledge can help everyone.  Until next time, take care and keep writing.

PS: My next entry will be my thoughts about KDP Select so stay tuned…


As my KDP Select winds down at the end of this month, I’m making my debut paranormal/mystery “THE BRIDGE” available for Kindle absolutely FREE!  Just click on the Amazon link below this Saturday-Sunday-Monday (August 10-12) to get a free copy.  And if you’ve already gotten yours, tell your family and friends throughout your network: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, the works.  I’d love to see a whole new crop of readers get hooked on the first novel of my Para-Earth series.  Book number 2 will be out in time for Christmas, so I’m making sure as many people as possible get a chance to see where it all begins.

NOTE: For those who don’t have Kindle, fear not.  “THE BRIDGE” will be available for Nook, Apple, Sony and other e-readers starting September 1st.  Stay tuned for that announcement coming soon.

Here’s the link.  Remember this all starts Saturday August 10th and ends at midnight on August 12th:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B86DR9G

thebridge_allankrummenacker


The finished cover. I’m rather pleased with it. Comments are welcome…

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