Tag Archives: dean wesley smith

Enough with the Apple stuff, where’s book 3??

I imagine millions of you, perhaps trillions, are wondering, “Where-oh-where is book 3 of the Jenkins Cycle?!”

Short Answer: it should be out this summer, hopefully by July.

Long Answer (see below):

Though I finished the draft in January, it was a banged-up mess. I’d followed a different tactic in writing this one than I had for book 1, and which I’d started to implement in book 2: I plotted as best I could (loosely) and wrote without revising as I went along.

I’ve always plotted loosely, but one thing I did in book 1 was write a thousand or so words, then went back and tweaked it to pieces (then farther back tweaking anything that needed to match up (and so on (and so on))) and after that, started writing new chapters.  I did that a little in book 2 as well, and that helped keep it sort of solid for when I finished the draft. Revisions weren’t that hard (though I’d re-read the book like 10 times, which was mind-numbing). But in book 3, I did NO revisions as I shot forward. I followed a bunch of advice from top-selling folks who said, “Just keep writing, knock it out, leave the mistakes in, fix it later.” It seemed like brilliant advice.

But when I finished the draft, as I said: it was a banged-up mess.  It was about 65k words, the reason being I’d left out portions of the story that would slow me down. “Read about organized crime law later” my internal timekeeper/drill sergeant yelled, and so I left notes in brackets: [ put the legal stuff here ] or [ big fight scene on top of a jetliner here ] or [ put words here ] or whatever.

So that’s what I’ve been doing since January: going through and adding the things I missed, revising lots of plot holes, making sure people’s names don’t change from chapter to chapter, eradicating unneeded sections, and doing all the thinking I would have done in book 1 as I crept along. All those missing sections, incidentally, have the book sitting at 84k words (without any “fluffing,” in case you’re wondering).

Dean Wesley Smith says the way I did book 1, more or less, is called “Writing into the dark.” He even wrote a book about it titled: “Writing into the dark.” It’s a method of writing where you venture forward with no outline, and you finish the book after you write the last word.  Even with “Kick” I wasn’t that efficient, but I did basically do this. I did it a little with Fool’s Ride (various chapters would get this treatment). And not at all with Book Three.

This wasn’t supposed to be a book endorsement, but it sort of is. Highly recommend picking up Smith’s book and seeing if maybe it’s something that would appeal to you. He makes a lot of great arguments.



Filed under Word Counts, Writing in general