Goals with Ambition . . . or was it Ambien?

I’m fighting a really bad cold, so we’ll see how coherent this is.  Then again, I’m tackling the next editing project after I schedule this, so I might be in better shape than . . . what’s for breakfast?

Seriously, this is when I strive to get Book 8 edited before my son gets a 2 week break for Christmas and New Years.  I have 3 weeks to get this done and I might even start writing Book 9 to take some of next year’s edge off.  I’ll have the night and weekends to write when the little guy is home all day, but that might get undone by biking and handling the social media stuff.  It could be even more chaotic if I have a book debut to do, which might be closer than I think.  So this push to get the editing off my plate is ambitious, but there is that wrinkle when it comes to Book 8.

For those who have paid attention, you might remember that Book 8 is coming in a lot shorter than the others.  I’ve been told not to worry and people have pointed to Discworld as an example of a series with multiple lengths of books.  That got my paranoia settled until I made an idiotic mistake.  Two actually.  I went to look at the outline to get a refresher and grabbed the original one instead of the one I used.  Oops.  It reminded me that I cut out 4 chapters of traveling and pointless conversations.  That stirred some curiosity that should have remained locked away and I spent some time counting out how many pages were in each chapter.  I typically average 13-15 ever since the big introduction of world and character ended.  Chapter 6 of this book had 8 PAGES:



So I’m rather paranoid and scared that I created plot holes or a flimsy story.  The greedy merchant doesn’t have a greedy bone in her body.  The journey through the mountains is only mentioned because it was only to get them to a specific location.  Other journeys were removed because it was getting ridiculous for monsters to jump them at every turn without the villains behind it.  I might be able to add more to the existing scenes, but Chapter 6 has me skittish.  The previous edits have always added 10-15 pages, which is something I’m trying to take solace in.  It’s just that I’m not sure why this one came out so small when it has a plot line for EVERY character.  I did put most of the ‘adventures’ into a separate chapter with a few spanning the book.  I really can’t say much here with spoilers.  All I’ll say is that the heroes are split up and have to find their way to each other.  Some have an easier path than others.

That’s really the big event here.  The son has been fighting a cold and his asthma, which has led to him not wanting to eat.  I did a lot of cooking and I’m exhausted.  Sales are bad and I’m not sure what to do to change that.  I did a few interviews that will appear in mid-December and January.  Read Tuesday is really all I have as far as ‘marketing’ in December unless Book 6 makes it out in time.  All of the blog posts for the grand finale here are ready.  All I have is the editing and a few note-based projects.  I did get things settled for Project Phoenix and ran it by someone . . . my ‘Yes Person’ who was distracted, but I have to work with what I have.

Goals of the week:

  1. Edit Book 8 and not cry or go berserk and ruin it.
  2. Initial notes for a story when my laptop is being used to catch up on ‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 4.
  3. Parent/teacher conference.
  4. Get back to biking since I missed most of this week.  Hopefully that happens today.
  5. Add edits to ‘Curse of the Dark Wind’ as editor sends them.  Thank her and apologize for silly mistakes.
  6. Cook dinners including first attempt at Chicken Marsala.
  7. Set up ‘Allure of the Gypsies’ for Read Tuesday Kindle Countdown.
  8. Get file ready for possible cover reveal.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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22 Responses to Goals with Ambition . . . or was it Ambien?

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Feel better soon, Charles!


  2. I share your pain over book length Charles. My current WIP is just over 51,000 words now – and that’s a few thousand more than when I started the editing. Basically it’s come in way too short and it needs a whole lot changed, I don’t want ANYONE to see it until I’ve gone through the whole of it and edited it to hopefully make it better!

    Having said that it’s too short, at the same time I don’t want to overstretch it when the plot doesn’t cover that – it would just read wrong, if that makes sense! So much to think of…


    • I hate going by word count because it can hide quality. A shorter work can be better than a longer work and vice versa due to quality of words. Hopefully you get your WIP where you want it. I’m crossing my fingers that I find enough to add for a 280-290 page book. Seems I skimped on some descriptions and I still have a few mystery spots. Those last 3 chapters might prove to be more rushed than I realized.


  3. tjtherien says:

    don’t worry about chapter length… quality content always trumps quantity content… my Romance has really short chapters, averaging just under 1000 words… my Scrolls series averages 1500-2000 words per chapter… everything balances in the wash… the important thing is reader experience and you have a knack for achieving a good reader experience… as for sales, don’t feel so bad, my downloads have dipped significantly in November and I’m giving mine away for free… I think there is just a lot going on around this season… don’t worry… it will pick up… have faith and keep positive


    • I agree for the most part, but it’s more that it feels so different. Kind of like if you cook the same thing for years and then you unwittingly make a spice change that makes it taste good, but different. There’s that moment of uncertainty because you’re the only one who has knowledge of the change and has experienced it. Not sure if that made any sense. That 8 page chapter is a real anomaly for me, which is why I wonder what happened. I do fear that it was a rush job and the quality is what suffered.

      November is always a terrible sales month. People are saving up for their yearly TV buy or whatever. 😉


  4. Those are important points to keep in your mind during the editing stage. Good luck. 🙂


  5. Hope you feel better soon! I had two thoughts about your post:

    1. I was hearing the other day how many films are terrible to begin with, then are turned into masterpieces by careful polishing. Apparently, Up was one of them, which surprised me.

    2. There’s a Chinese saying, “it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, as long as it’s in the right direction.” Sale slumps are natural. You just need to hang in there. 🙂


    • 1. Interesting. I can see that since initial ideas tend to be very raw and you go in nearly every direction. That might be the issue here, so polishing would certainly help. Though I’ve already added 3 pages by improving some descriptive sections. They were rather flimsy.

      2. Anything in that saying about keeping the turn signal on? 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like you’re going to be busy. I set multiple goals all the time, then freak out when I struggle to achieve all of them. I’m getting better about the deadline pressure.


    • I hate deadlines. That’s why I’m not announcing release days for my books until I know for sure I have everything ready. Hopefully I get some of the big things out of the way this week, but I lose Wednesday to my son being off from school.


  7. Jack Flacco says:

    That Chicken Marsala sounds pretty incredible. Care to share the recipe? I make a mean curry chicken. I’m willing to swap–well, actually, it’s already on my site.


  8. Like the rest of the books, I’m sure you will straighten out any holes etc. The chicken looks great. I’ll wait for your review. Nice snow by the way.


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