Friday, May 22, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies, Update 10

Draft 2 of Aliens Versus Zombies is complete. I'm now looking for 10-12 beta readers for it. If interested, let me know. (https://www.facebook.com/MarkTerenceChapman). Be the first of your friends to read this new novel.

Here's what I'm looking for in a beta reader: constructive criticism. By that, I mean tell me anything that you like or dislike about the book (perhaps with a suggestion for how to fix problems). Comments like "I liked it" or "It sucks" aren't really all that helpful. Comments like, "In Ch. 3 where you said Daniels did [fill in the blank], I found the description confusing." or "I thought the scene in Ch.9 where the aliens did [fill in] didn't have as much tension as it should have" are much more helpful.

Feel free to comment on anything you want: pace, dialog, action sequences, the flow of the story, etc. I'm not expecting pointers to typos, punctuation, grammar, etc., (although you're welcome to point those out, too, if you feel like it). I'm mainly concerned about the big stuff. Is it interesting? Did you like the characters? Do I need more backstory for some of them? Should I include more information about the alien homeworld, or other details about them? Is the technology and military stuff convincing and interesting, and so on.

I don't want to make the process onerous for anyone. But the more info you give me, the better the book will turn out. Hey, If you're really helpful I'll even acknowledge you in the "front matter" of the book. How 'bout that?

To all beta readers, I hope you enjoy the story!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies, Update 9

I didn't have as much time for editing Draft 2 of Aliens Versus Zombies as I did on Saturday, but between Sunday and Monday, I managed to edit another 13 chapters. That leaves 11 chapters and the short epilogue to go.

The editing has been pretty light so far. Mostly typos and changing a few details to match the direction I ended up going in the later chapters. I added a few sentences here and there, and deleted a few others. The net difference in word count so far is only about +100. So far, I haven't come across anything I feel is missing. At this rate, I may be done with Draft 2 before the weekend. And then I'll be ready for beta readers. So, if you're interested in being the first on your block to read it, Let me know. :) All I ask for is honest feedback about what you think works and what needs work.

I'm really pleased with the 26 chapters I've edited so far. In my earlier novels, the first few chapters never felt quite right until after several drafts. But this time everything worked out just right from the beginning.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies, Update 8

Draft 2 of Aliens Versus Zombies is well under way. I edited the first 13 chapters today. They required very little editing, IMO. Of course, I had already edited them once earlier, when I took a two-week hiatus from writing. Unless I find problems later on, this draft won't take as long as I expected. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies, Update 7

Well, I finished Aliens Versus Zombies with a bang, writing almost 5,000 words last night to "The End" of Draft 1. It topped out at just under 100,000 words. That was the hard part. The easy part is the editing for draft 2. Fix typos and anything confusing, add a scene or a paragraph or a bit of dialog here and there where needed, look for continuity errors (changing hair color, etc.), and polish the prose. Then I'll offer it to some beta readers for feedback, and then address them all in Draft 3.

The book is still on schedule for a July release, maybe even late June, if the feedback is good and I don't have too many problems to address.

Also, I expect to have a finished book cover any day now. I'll be sure to post it here for everyone to see. I think you'll like it.

Stay tuned for more news, same Bat time, same Bat channel....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies!, Update 6

I had a great night of writing yesterday, adding 5,200 words and two chapters to Aliens Versus Zombies!. That brings the total word count to over 92,000. Only a few chapters to go. :) I really like how the past few chapters have turned out. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies!, Update 5

I had a good night of writing Aliens Versus Zombies!, adding 2,800 words and finishing Ch. 31 and half of Ch.32. I got right to the brink of when the final battle will start, but then had to stop. (Hey, it's past midnight.) AVZ! is up to 84,200 words now, within spitting distance of being finished. Only a few more chapters to go. :)

More good news. My cover artist (the talented Adam Pizurny) is busy working on the cover for the book. I hope to have a finished cover to unveil shortly.

#AliensVersusZombies #AVZ #MarkTerenceChapman

Monday, May 11, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies!, Update 4

Status update on Aliens Versus Zombies!. Between a family outing on Saturday and Mother's Day on Sunday, I didn't have as much time for writing as I would have liked. But I did manage to write another 4,400 words on Friday and Sunday nights, bringing the total up to 81,400. I'm working on Ch. 31 now, and it's entering the end game, the final battle for the planet. :) There's still a ways to go yet, but it's getting close. I might have it finished in another week or less. (We'll see.)

My personal record for finishing a first draft was 69 days, but that was only 77,000 words long. It didn't reach 100,000 words for over a year. That was my first novel. I'm much better with first drafts now. If I want to match that number of days, I'd have to finish in the next 6 days. Of course, this draft is a lot longer than the first one, so it's really not a fair comparison. Anyway, it's getting there. :)

I'm still looking toward a July release date.

Now I just need a cover for it.

#MarkTerenceChapman #AliensVersusZombies

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies! Update 3

Okay, I'm back on track with "Aliens Versus Zombies!". After two weeks of hardly having a minute to work on it, and then only to rewrite two chapters and actually go backwards on the word count, I was finally able to move forward today. I finished off Ch. 27 and added about 2,600 words, bringing the total up to almost 71.5K words. Only another 20-30K to go to finish the first draft.

With Ch. 28 I start building toward the (hopefully) exciting climax of the story. Stay tuned to this Bat-channel for further developments.

#AliensVersusZombies #MarkTerenceChapman

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies! Update 2

There I was, making great progress on AVZ, when life happened. I had just hit 70,000 words, then my younger daughter came home from college. That pretty much killed my writing time, what with catching up and spending time together. Then I decided that I didn't like where the story was going, so I decided to rewrite the latest two chapters. I was able to reuse much of the content, but after several days of editing I ended up with just under 69,000 words.

So, on one hand I took a step backwards on the word count. On the other, I'm much happier with the direction the story is taking. Overall, it's a win. It just greatly slowed my progress towards the end of the story. Oh well. Better to fix the problem now than to wait until I've finished the story and then have to go back and fix a lot of chapters.

#AliensVersusZombies #MarkTerenceChapman

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Aliens Versus Zombies!" Update 1

I just realized that it's been three weeks since I posted anything here. I've been busy writing Aliens Versus Zombies!, my sci-fi/zombie thriller about what happens when aliens invade during the zombie apocalypse. Despite the cheesy title, it's serious sci-fi that just happens to have some flesh-eating zombies eating everything in sight. Apparently they have a taste for aliens, too....

Anyway, I'm now 65,000 words into the book, or roughly 2/3 done with the first draft. With any luck, it'll be completed, through editing, with a finished cover, and ready to sell by July (give or take).

I haven't decided for sure yet, but I'm considering offering it for free on release day, then for $0.99 the next day, before posting a higher price. So it would be a good idea to place a pre-order for your copy (once it's up on Amazon). (I might go for $0.99 for the first two days. We'll see. Either way it would be a steal.)

I'll post an excerpt here once I have the first draft done, and the cover, if it's done by then.

So keep your eyes open for further updates! Go zombies! No. Go aliens! No. Go humans! Who's going to win this three-way battle? Tune in to find out....

#AliensVersusZombies #MarkTerenceChapman