What I'm working on today

When I tell people that I like to write the first thing I get asked is what about. to be honest, that is something of a tricky question to answer. For some authors, they tend to stick to one genre. Dan Brown is known for his thrillers like The Da Vinci Code. Stephen King is known for his suspense/horror books like Pet Sematary, Christine, and the like. Granted, these authors may put out works of other genres under different names, ahem Richard Bachman is really Stephen King, but when you think of a given author you can normally know what genre their books are going to fall into. This means that when I tell people about The Ascension Legacy series and how it is a high fantasy series involving elves, dwarves, and whatnot, people tend to think that everything I write must fall into that category but that's not really the case for me.

In fact, today I am spending a large portion of my time set aside for writing to edit a science fiction manuscript that I'm waiting to publish once I have released all of the books in my Ascension Legacy series. This book involves a distant future where humanity has spread across space and made contact with a variety of alien races. It doesn't focus on medieval style weapons and combat but spaceflight and advanced weapons. Magic has been replaced by science and I have tried to apply some basic level of physics and scientific accuracy to how things move in space, react to one another in a vacuum, and even the effects long-term weightlessness might have on the human body and its reproductive cycle. Granted, I'm not a scientist and science changes so what might have been true at one time when I was researching it might not be true today but I did try.

In the past I have talked about the tools that I found helpful in my writing and one of those tools was the Authors.ai online AI analysis service. I leveraged that service recently to get a detailed breakdown of my current revision and now, based on that service's report, I'm going through the manuscript to fine tune and tweak things identified as areas that could be improved. As a writer, it seems that editing is never complete. Even after something is printed it is always easy to find new errors or to think of things you could have done differently that might have made something better. The trick is knowing when enough is enough because over-editing can be just as dangerous and no editing at all.

And if I'm being completely open about the process and my writing, these reports from authors.ai have helped me to identify a trend in all of my writing where I have a tendency to use the same adjectives and adverbs repeatedly. There is not enough variety in my word selection that can lower my overall quality of writing. It doesn't matter how well I edit my work to catch spelling errors, punctuation errors, or anything else if I continuously lean on only a handful of words when the English language is full of synonyms that could be used in their place to create a better reading experience and a better overall story. I equate it to lazy writing, just me not taking the time to think about my word choices enough to know that I'm overusing certain words.

It can take months to write a single book, years for some, and most people think that is the hard part. It isn't. The hard part comes after the writing is done. As an author you are intimately familiar with not only what you wrote but also what was meant in that writing. It makes it easy as the author to miss things that other readers might not interpret or follow because they don't have the same insider knowledge as the author. This makes editing difficult because no matter how many times you read what you wrote it is insanely easy to miss things. The editing process can take just as long as the actual writing process in many cases, longer in other cases.

Shoot, I know people that have been working on a single book for over a decade. Not because they're struggling to finish the writing but because the editing process is seemingly never ending.

But today I am focused on cleaning up my excessive usage of key words and phrases. The bulk of the manuscript is as edited as I'm going to be able to make it without the help of professionals so instead of stressing over that, I'm going to focus on the other areas that my ai analysis has highlighted as potential problems. Sure, it is a slow process that requires methodical review and assessment for each instance to determine the best course of action but the ends justify the means and if this work means that the result is a better book than what I have now then so be it.

Happy writing and good luck to us all.

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