Fall Update 2022: What are your Works in Progress?

It’s been quiet on the Board over the Summer, just wondering what everyone is working on?

I’ll go first as I fell the need to measure progress (or lack of).

Book One of my fantasy series is complete and the author edits were absolute hell. It’s out with some Beta readers (anyone wants to take a look, ping me proactivitypress [at] gmail), before I do any more. It was supposed to be on sale by now. C’est la vie.

Fortunately Book Two when I picked up again is in much better shape. It’s not high literature but it is coherent. Book Three is about 3/4 done waiting for it’s turn to come around. Books 4 & 5 are percolating in the brain for some time next year. I have characters and outlines.

I diverted over the Summer onto a prequel novella that I aim to use as a reader magnet if I go self published. 17k of 25k target and it’s my prose that’s killing me again. Clearly I need the practice for the main projects.

I posted some short fiction here under Deanna’s writing prompts which cheered me up no end and convinced me I can write fast and well with the right triggers. I’d like to do more, it’s just the time issue.

How’s everyone else?

Daniel’s next summit is coming up. Looking forward to it.


Hey Robin,

Great to hear from you and find out what you’ve been up to. Sounds like you’ve gotten a lot done. I’ll drop you an e-mail about book one of your fantasy set. :smiley:

I always hesitate to write multiple volumes in the same set at once simply because the events of any scene can abruptly change during editing, and if I had volumes of material based on something that changed… Well… it just isn’t pretty.

My rough draft prose is always garbage, but over the years, it’s gotten much better. Now, I only rewrite 95% of my rough draft instead of 100%. :sweat_smile: But the practice really is well worth the effort. I’ve seen drastic improvement in my prose-level writing over the past two years especially.

When it comes to the writing process, it’s all about finding what works for you. I’ve spent the last nine years writing fanfiction, and the last four working on original content. When I added original work to my daily routine, I succumbed to social pressure for a while and tried to limit my time in fanfic. It burned me out. Multiple times. About a month and a half ago, I finally decided to ditch social expectations and started including fanfic writing sprints into my everyday routine. Since starting that, I’ve seen about a 300% productivity increase, and when I reach the end of my writing day, I’m energized instead of worn out. It’s been amazing so far, and I’m confident it will continue to be. :stars:

On to specifics: Since May I’ve gotten work done on my website, sent out another newsletter, posted my short story Strings on my site, and forged through most of the last half of my YA fantasy WIP, Children of the Storm. I’m also partway through my e-mail-subscriber-exclusive short story These Eternal Tides, and have published about 33k words of fanfic content. So, it’s been a good five months.

Excited to see what everyone else has been up to. :cowboy_hat_face:


I love reading what everyone else is up to! I have finally finished writing the novel I began in the PPN+ course. 80k words in 100 days. Now, I’m working on the second draft of it. Blood Farm is still the working title because my brain doesn’t function when it comes to titles.

Beyond that, I’m trying to decide my next steps. Beta readers, editors, etc. The cost is stopping me in my tracks. I know they are worth it, but… reality intrudes.

How does the author know if what they’ve written is worth the added costs?


In my writing circle, at least, I’ve encountered a few authors with ideas and unfinished drafts that are certainly very creative, but may not be able to support an entire novel.

Do you have a few (unbiased) people you can ask to read your draft? They may be able to tell you what your draft’s weak points are without charging you a fee. I’ve found that my writing circle is more reliable for beta reading than friends or family.

You’ll still want to hire a professional developmental editor and/or a professional copyeditor before publication, but with the right guidance it’s definitely possible to do at least some of the work yourself.

Some years ago, I discovered and acquired a copy of the excellent book Self-Editing For Fiction Writers: How to Edit Your Book Into Print. I posted about it in a book recommendation thread here, I think, but I’ll happily talk about it again!

I’m nowhere near finishing even a first draft of anything I’ve written in the past two years (mostly due to a lack of self-confidence), but the book has sharpened my editing skills such that I can at least help the other writers in my circle with their drafts. Its lessons are supplemented with examples from famous/well-known books and isn’t afraid to take the excerpts apart to demonstrate what strong writing is and is not.

To answer the OP’s question, I’m working on a new project so I can take a breather from mashing my face against the brick walls that are my novel concept and a failed short story draft. I’m not sure yet, but it looks like it’ll be turning into another novel. But before I worry about that, I should get a chapter or two done first. :sweat:


I finished my third novel and pretended to start on my 4th. I procrastinated by recording the audiobook for my first novel, and I’m probably going to continue procrastinating by re-recording it because it’s terrible (due to technical and non-technical issues).


Well, good question. I don’t know.
I also look at the costs trembling.
But I read somewhere, that one knows in advance they will have to pay, so if it is a true wish to puplish, why not save up?
That made sense to me, but since I am a housewife, I do not feel good to take the family money for my hobby.
So I started a cleaning job once a week and will save this earnings to pay for the editor, when I finally finish my novel.
I know that this is not a path for everyone, but it really gives me confidence in my writing, going this extra mile.

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Well, I worked with my coach on a short story for a German series the whole summer and I am still not finished.
I was very dissapointed in my progress and almost lost heart, even when I saw that my craft was getting better.
Now that I finally finished my first draft, my mood is better. And I am proud that I did not give up.


Never give up.

I stopped fiction for almost 25 years. Admittedly, I wrote non-fiction online, training manuals, a sitcom, three years of a podcast, and shambled around the film industry, but I’m back at it now.

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Polishing the second book in a series for a December release through KDP. Book Three, drafted, will be ready for March 2023.


What recording equipment did you use and how did you set up your studio? I need to do that at my house, not only for audiobooks but also for podcasting. I work with a company that produces two international “soap” dramatic podcasts, one a true soap and the other a noir detective series. I’m wondering if your setup and equipment might be the culprit in preventing good quality recording.

Anyone struggling with audio recording should try to catch one of Derek Doepker’s ‘Audiobooks for Authors’ webinars. He seems to repeat them a lot through the year. Just the first 40mins, the rest is all sales pitch.

My top ten for good home audio recording:

  1. A good condenser microphone (Yeti Blue always popular; I’ve got a Behringer and a baby Samsung Go! mic but the quality not so good on that one). Dynamic mics for singing also work but you need a powered, full size one. Some podcasters can and do record on iphones, but caveat that with a good recording space (following).
  2. A pop-filter in front of the mic to deaden the plosive P and hissy S.
  3. A sprung mic stand to isolate it from vibration and desk noise.
  4. Audio software with plenty of options for adjustment and filters for post-production. I use Audacity.
  5. A sound-deadened space to record in. Kill all bounce back and echo. You don’t need fancy studio foam panels. Doepker throws a blanket over a patio umbrella to make a recording booth. I string a couple of throws either side my heavy curtains. Don’t forget to deaden the floor with a rug and your desk with a towel. Bounce back off ceilings can be a problem, so Doepker’s solution has merit. My laptop is a noisy beast to that goes outside the booth. Fan noise and line noise spoil audio. So do my cats. In a good space, you can get away with recording on an iPhone for podcasts.
  6. Practice at reading aloud. Getting to one-and-done recording is a professional level skill, the rest of us have to dummy run and (painful as it is) listen back to the first take(s).
  7. Breathe evenly from the diaphram
  8. Try not to fidget
  9. Don’t rush.
  10. Audio editing through headphones. Post production may need to include noise reduction limiting, equalisation and normalisation (Audacity has filters for those).

You can podcast with this setup easily. Commercial audio books require a higher standard of finished audio and gets a bit more technical, but still achievable at home if you can’t afford someone else to do it.

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