Books by Tom Reeve

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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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Deleted Scenes: Kira’s Original Intro

Not all of the parts that got edited out of Full Coverage were cut because they were bad. In this Deleted Scene, we will go over a scene that was cut to improve pacing and to change when a character introduction happened. There will be some mild spoilers involved in describing this scene, so if you haven’t read Full Coverage: An Action Comedy yet, please go and check it out on Kindle or paperback on Amazon first and then come back here.

The Scene

This scene is from the last third of Chapter 2 in Rev 07 of the book. This was the first full version I sent to my awesome editor for her to read over in May of 2016. The final version of the book is Rev 10 and the text for that was finished in March 2017. This scene would take place right after Chapter 5 in the final book, but as you are about to see, the timeline this scene existed in is very different from the final book.

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The Evolution of the Full Coverage Cover Art

One of the fun parts about self-publishing your own book is making your own cover art! I’ve dabbled in artsy stuff my whole life and my books are a fun way to go from amateur to semi-pro artist once in a while. The Full Coverage cover art changed pretty dramatically over the 6 months I was working on it. Below you can see a gallery of the evolution of the cover and if you click on each thumbnail you’ll see more info about each one. Enjoy!


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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

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The Main Difference Between Good and Bad Action Scenes

A while ago I posted a deleted scene that was my “Michael Bay” moment. It was a scene filled to the brim with action and sounded like it would have looked really cool, but it raised no stakes and had no lasting consequences on the characters or the story. One article I found a while ago that helped convince me to cut that scene and write better replacement ones is this article from iO9 called “Why You Should Never Write Action Scenes For Your Blockbuster Movie”. It goes into just enough detail and gives some good examples to help you tell if you are making a kick-ass plot driving Matrix style action scene, or a time wasting pointless Matrix: Reloaded action scene. This part in particular makes things very clear:

The second big action sequence: rescuing Morpheus. The choices Neo makes and abilites he shows actually evolve the story and his character. He’s learning about the nature of the world. Learning to sacrifice. Going from a watcher to a participant. The action is simply the lens through which we see this growth — the visually arresting, badass lens. This sequence is particularly noteworthy, as you can actually track its internal three-act progression of Neo quite clearly.

“I may not be the One, but I’m going to help my guy.”
“You moved like they do.”
“Holy shit, he is the One.”

I’m starting to plot out my next book and now that I know these things beforehand, I hopefully won’t waste as much time writing chapters that will just wind up getting cut out completely.