Books by Tom Reeve

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NaNoWriMo 2020 Results: The Gray Shift Outline is out for editing!

NaNoWriMo 2020 is over and I was very productive this past month. I completed the first draft and two edit passes of the new detailed outline for The Gray Shift and I sent it out to my amazing editor on Friday 12/4 for editing! I did take two days off from writing but the amount I got done on the other days made up for it. The totals are below:

  • Total Words Written from Scratch in November: 10,889
  • Total Words Edited in November: 82,210
  • Days Writing: 28/30 (93.3%)
  • Average Words Per Day: 3,325

Now, I edit a lot faster than I write. Looking at the whole outlining process, which started back on 9/13, here is how long everything took. You can see how my words per hour jumps up with every revision as the amount of changes gets smaller and smaller each time I go through it.

RevisionTime (Hours)Word CountAverage Words per Hour
6 (new revision from scratch)25.9234,7581,341
6.1 (editing pass 1)8.638,4334,469
6.2 (editing pass 2)4.0238,9789,696
My Nanowrimo 2020 Results

After editing pass 2 there were still 6 chapters that needed special attention so I just lumped in those final edits as part of the total since it wasn’t really a full pass. The revised outline wound up being 39,455 words and 48 chapters long. An average of 822 words per chapter, which is about what I was aiming for. It’s a bit long for an outline considering that I’m aiming for the final book to be around 80-90,000 words, but I added in a lot of detail and dialogue where I already had ideas for them. If anything, this should help me get better feedback from my editor and make writing the full book faster.

Next up, writing the outline for the sequel The Unsettled Compromise! I’m aiming to get that ready for editing by the end of the year.

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NaNoWriMo 2020: It doesn’t have to be good yet, you just have to do it so you can make it good.

It’s November so once again I’m doing my informal NaNoWriMo month. I started things off today with 1,063 words and I might do some more after writing this post. Right now I’m 69% done with the next revision of my detailed outline for my next book, with 32 out of 45 chapters and 24,932 words out of my target of 36,000 words done. I estimate it takes about 800 words per chapter to make my detailed outline and so far I’m holding pretty close to that with an average of 779 words per chapter. I’m aiming for about 80,000 words for the completed book so all major actions, discussions and actions scenes are covered by this outline.

I’ve got about 9 hours of writing time left to finish this revision so I should be able to finish that by the end of this week. Once the first pass is done I’ll revise it at least two times with a heavy emphasis on getting continuity and characters straightened out and choreographing all of the action scenes. Both of those should make for fun blog posts. Once that’s done, I’ll send it back to my awesome editor for her to read over.

While she’s reading it over, I’ll get to outlining the sequel. That’s right! This will be a two part series and my first time writing a sequel! I have a pretty good idea of what I want to have happen but I haven’t completely laid it all out yet.

And we’re off!

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Sometimes You Have to Burn it All Down, Again: My In Process Outlining Process

A lot of people view outlines as rigid, immovable objects that restrict their creative freedom or something to be afraid of. I take a much more fluid view of them. In my mind an outline is how things fit together, at the moment. They can and do change constantly whenever they need to, and that’s ok. Making changes to an existing outline has its limits though. Sometimes you need to just start a fresh outline from scratch so you can focus on picking out the good pieces from the previous version and adding in the new stuff without all the old stuff cluttering the space around it. That’s ok too. You know more now about your story now than you did when you started your previous outline. As you find out more about your story, your outline should change to reflect that new knowledge. This can be anything from adding or changing characters and events to a reordering of chapters. Each time you get closer to the final version.

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Another Year Another Book: The Gray Shift Plan v1

Well it’s new years resolution time and what better way to kick off the new year than to start on a new book. I haven’t really done much writing wise since I stopped running the Facebook Ads for Full Coverage. My goal this year is to self publish at least one more book. Sorry this won’t be a sequel to Full Coverage (though I am collecting ideas for that right now and if all goes to plan that will be the 4th book I self publish), but this will instead be something completely different. I haven’t quite nailed down the tone I want yet but it will be called The Gray Shift and will be a Dr. Strangelove meets 24 dark satirical thriller sort of thing. It’s always tricky explaining how the various bits of my books come together (Well, you see there’s assassins and bioprinting and health insurance and they all go together in a way that makes sense. Wait, where are you going?) especially when I haven’t even finished the outline yet. Continue reading