All posts by Barry Solway

Editing sucks!!!!

Sorry, had to get that out. My editor’s schedule is pretty full, so it’s actually going to be November before we are done. By the way, my editor is Marie Campbell in Boulder. She’s a freelance editor and has done a tremendous job.

Bummed a bit, but I think now I was being naive about the timing. Beta readers have already started to send feedback and I’m making changes based on that and Marie’s feedback. Nothing major yet, but lots of minorfixes that lead to a polished manuscript.

So now it’s looking like early November. Cross your fingers.

Why writing is so hard

I literally spent six hours over the weekend trying to come up with a name for the world in the Book of Dreams. I had a name from years ago, but the story has evolved and outgrow the original name.

The new name of the world is Kuria. It actually isn’t that important to the story line and isn’t used much. I felt I was making too much out of it. But names are important for the tone they set and the impact it has on the reader. You know something about Severus Snape even before you’ve met the character.

I’m okay with Kuria.  There is a plot reason for the name that makes sense, which was important to me.  And I’m going to have some fun with the name in the second book.

But it’s definitely a challenge when it takes six hours to come up with one word.

Book of Dreams has escaped

Just sent off copies to a handful of early beta readers. Still waiting for the editor to get edits back, that’s an ongoing process. Launch is still possible at the end of September. I’m getting excited so it must be close.

Heads up that I’m going to give away the first half of the book as an EPUB.  The entire book will be up on Amazon to buy.

But if you are on my newsletter, I will be sending you a link where you can download the entire ebook for free.

If you’re not on the newsletter, you can sign-up at the top of the page. People already on the newsletter can tell you that you won’t get spammed. It’s more likely you won’t get anything. Embarrassing, but I’ve been a bit lax about sending out newsletters.  Something to improve as the journey continues.

Very strange

I finished chapter 21 last night and with that…

I appear to be done.

Sure, I’m still waiting to hear back from the editor. I will likely make some minor additions, clarifications, etc.. But this is the first time I’ve ever hit a real milestone and said that I’m finished.

It’s very weird.


Editors, beta readers and the final chapter

I sent a first draft (or ninth, depending on how your counting) off to an editor last week.  I still had a few chapters to finish, but didn’t want to delay anymore.  In the meantime, I’ve finished my own editing of every chapter but one.  Just finished chapters 28 through 31 tonight, but need to go back and fix up chapter 21.

I’m super stoked. One more chapter to go and the book is pretty much finished except for whatever my editor comes back with. As soon as shes given it a pass I’ll be sending out to a handful of beta readers.

I’m not planning to make major revisions unless I get some very clear feedback that somethings wrong.  However, I do plan to use any feedback for the second book, which is already about 2/3 done.

I’m targeting Sept 15th to release, but that might shift depending on how the editing and beta reading goes.  But I’m definitely close and very excited.

More to come soon, promise!

The Goblin God

So, yeah, goblins play a pretty important role in the book.  Chapter 23 is about a goblin who tries to turn himself into a god using the Book of Dreams.  I won’t spoil the outcome.

Just finished editing it (that’s chapter 23). It’s a short chapter at only six pages.  Knocked it down from 1942 to 1800 words.

I’ve edited 60,000 words with 28,000 to go.  With the 60,000 words I removed about 5800, so I am very close to my 10% target.  But then I added 3900 for Gifts from the Dead chapter, so my total actual savings is around 3%.

None of these word counts really mean anything in and of themselves. It’s more a statement on tightening the writing up, polishing it and making it shine.  Nine times out of ten that means getting rid of unnecessary text.  But sometimes it means surgically adding and I’m happy with where I’m at.

Chapter Titles

Thought this would be fun to share…

Chapter 1. Invitation to a Picnic
Chapter 2. But Not Today
Chapter 3. The A Maze Inn
Chapter 4. In Search of Adventure
Chapter 5. Not the Alice
Chapter 6. Of Moose and Men
Chapter 7. Prisoner
Chapter 8. Bear Arms
Chapter 9. Bring in the Scum
Chapter 10. Lady Catherine
Chapter 11. Invasion
Chapter 12. The Book of Dreams
Chapter 13. A Horse Called Bug
Chapter 14. A Way With Dragons
Chapter 15. The Lost City
Chapter 16. Stairs and Servants
Chapter 17. Gifts from the Dead
Chapter 18. Trivial Pursuit
Chapter 19. The Price of Treasure
Chapter 20. Goblin Interlude
Chapter 21. Along the River
Chapter 22. Maleen and Maline
Chapter 23. The Goblin God
Chapter 24. The Queen of Flames
Chapter 25. Techan
Chapter 26. Field Trip
Chapter 27. Night at the Museum
Chapter 28. The Scroll of Amnameneus
Chapter 29. The Valley of the Sword
Chapter 30. Pilots and Pencils
Chapter 31. The Blue Caryatid

Chapter updates

The chapter Gifts from the Dead looks like a keeper.  Adding those 3000 words pretty much blew out all the other savings I had made, but I still have nine chapters to edit and still finding things to cut.  Here are the results of chapters 19 and 20.   Not counting Gifts from the Dead, I’ve cut about 6% of the original word count, which I’m very pleased with.

Chap Original Count Final Count Cut
19 3744 3588 156
20 1524 1291 233


What is the Book of Dreams anyway?

I realized I’ve never revealed the plot to the Book of Dreams.

Here’s the elevator pitch: “David and his five year old sister enter a world where reality is defined by will and imagination.  A prophecy says that David is the one who will find the Book of Dreams and defeat the evil Queen of Flames. All in a days work, until David discovers the Queen of Flames is his sister.”

Sibling rivalry anyone?

More on the plot later and I’ll be posting chapters and some short stories to the newsletter in the upcoming weeks. Sign-up at the top of the website if you’d like to receive the newsletter.