Update #44 - November 28, 2014 (previous updates listed below)
Usually by this time of the year, my writing batteries are nearly worn out and
I put my literary projects on hold until January so I can recharge. But I'm in
the middle (nearly three quarters of the way through, to be precise) of the
third edit of my epic fantasy novel, so I shall soldier on during this busy time
of year and finish what chapters my schedule allows.

After completing the first draft of this
Lord of the Rings inspired novel in May
2013, I completed two full edits of the book beginning in June 2013 to early
September 2014. I took to the sentences and paragraphs as if on a trek
through a jungle, hacking away at clunky constructions, overwriting and
redundancies. I had eliminated a little over 200 typed, double spaced pages
worth of material to make the story flow better and read faster. That still left
about 2300 pages, making it quite a hefty tome.

So, after formatting the book into three volumes, I began a third edit in mid
September of this year, wanting just to read through each one quickly and
take a scalpel-like approach to the editing. I am doing so, having finished the
first two books a few days ago. I am now ready to begin Chapter 86 (of 117),
which is the start of volume three. But even in this round of editing, I have
eliminated nearly forty more pages so far, mainly in tightening up the prose
and deleting a few unnecessary sentences (or parts of) here and there. I am
hoping to have it finished sometime in January, then I will begin adding
other sections to the books--table of contents, maps and other items. Work on
the cover is also progressing nicely.

So until next month, it's back to work. Despite the Thanksgiving Eve snow
storm here in the northeast, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day. I
hope the Christmas weather will be a bit kinder to us next month. Take care!  

Update #43 - October 21, 2014
I started the read through of my book in mid September and have just
finished Chapter 47, making a few minor edits along the way. I'm not moving
as fast as I had hoped, but am nearly halfway done. This is essentially the third
edit since I finished the first draft in May of 2013. At the same time, I've been
working on my cover, trying to nail down an idea that I like. I'm very close.

Also taking up some of my editing time in September was getting my novella,
A Christmas Castle, published in paperback. I released it last year as a Kindle
eBook and am happy to have it available in traditional form. So until next
month, I'll keep plugging away at my epic fantasy and let you know where I
stand in my next post. Happy Halloween!

Update #42 - September 12, 2014
Hi again. I'm happy to report that I completed the second edit of my epic
fantasy novel last week, and am currently putting the finals touches on the
four accompanying maps. I eliminated another 92 pages of text throughout
the book, though the majority was from the second half of the story. But the
novel stills weighs in at over 2,300 typed pages.

I've mentioned in earlier posts that the novel is composed of a short prologue
and 103 chapters, all divided into eleven parts. Now after this latest edit,
which included the splitting of some additional chapters for a better story
presentation, the book now contains a prologue and 117 chapters, all divided
into twelve parts. Here is the breakdown.

PROLOGUE
PART ONE - Chapters 1 - 10
PART TWO - Chapters 11 - 20
PART THREE - Chapters 21 - 27
PART FOUR - Chapters 28 - 39
PART FIVE - Chapters 40 - 47
PART SIX - Chapters 48 - 63
PART SEVEN - Chapters 64 - 77
PART EIGHT - Chapters 78 - 85
PART NINE - Chapters 86 - 93
PART TEN - Chapters 94 - 101
PART ELEVEN - Chapters 102 - 110
PART TWELVE - Chapters 111 - 117

My next task is to format the book into three parts as I will publish it in three
volumes, God willing, sometime next year. After that, I will quickly read
through the book as if it were already published, something I have yet to do,
in order to get a feel for the pacing and the story as a whole. If I find
anything that needs tweaking, I'll just jot down a note and continue reading,
fixing any last minutes items after I reach THE END. It will be fun to read
the story as a story. Even though I have read it many times through, it's
always stop and go to rewrite or replot, and the like. I look forward to this
phase which I suspect will take only a few weeks instead of months.

I'll report on my progress in October. Until then, enjoy these last few days of
summer. Take care!

Update #41 - August 31, 2014
This will be a brief update. I finished editing another twelve chapters of my
sprawling epic fantasy since my last post, with one chapter left to go. I had
hoped to finish all by the end of August, but came close anyway. As soon as
the last chapter is complete, I will post an early update in September with the
final numbers and what to expect next on this novel's long path to
publication. Talk to you again soon!  

Update #40 - July 26, 2014
The second edit of my epic fantasy novel continues. I completed Chapter 90
yesterday, chipping away nearly four more pages from that one chapter alone.
I finished editing another twelve chapters since my last post, with thirteen
more to go. I began this second edit in mid March and am working at a much
faster pace than on the first round. I hope to finish before the end of August.

I'm editing out more from the later chapters in the book (Chapter 60 and up)
than from the earlier ones, which I've edited far more often. As I have had
about an eight month break since I've last looked at those later chapters, my
sense of objectivity has been restored and I'm seeing some more of the flab
that needs to be cut. It's hard work, but fun to do as well. When I read a
paragraph and then take my literary scalpel to it--cutting away words and
phrases, and sometimes whole sentences--and the resulting paragraph reads
faster while providing the same information, then I feel I'm being a better
storyteller. Now some might find the eventual finished project way too long
despite my editing, but I could go on and on for years more, editing and
tweaking and never getting this story out to the public.

But that won't happen. The book is almost in publishable shape after nearly
thirty-six years since I first began thinking about it. So if all goes according to
plan, I expect 2015 will be the year that it finally takes flight. Fingers are
crossed. See you in August!

Update #39 - June 26, 2014
Summer has finally arrived in Central New York. I hope it is an ideal one to
make up for the horrible winter we experienced only a few short months ago.
As I continue my second round of editing on my epic fantasy novel, my
characters are heading into the winter months on their various journeys. I
will begin editing Chapter 79 either later today or tomorrow, having
completed another twenty chapters since I last posted. Only twenty-five
chapters remain to edit before I begin a quick reading of the entire novel to
get an overall feel for the pacing.

I also have to do a bit more editing on my four maps, though only minor
things. They are essentially completed. And while I have played around with
various cover ideas, I still have to settle on a final version and then rework it
to my liking. However, I'm nearly sure which version I'll be using.

So until next month, enjoy your summer reading! Take care.

Update #38 - May 22, 2014
Hi. I'm still on the second round of editing my epic fantasy novel. I have
reached Chapter 59 since I last posted here. As I read through a few of the
longer chapters again, I see there are some that I might divide into two
separate chapters as there are natural breaking points in the action. Other
than that, not much to post about this month about the book.

One quick note on some of my other books. In late April I republished my
Endora Trilogy novels (
The Timedoor, The Sword and the Crown and The
Saving Light
) as a single Kindle eBook that is now available here on Amazon.
In the meantime, it's back to my editing. Talk to you in June.

Update #37 - April 23, 2014
Here's the latest about my current book in progress, an epic fantasy I have
been working on for many years. After completing the first draft in May 2013,
and finishing the initial round of editing at the end of January 2014, I am
now re-editing the entire novel a second time while taking into consideration
the notes from my two readers. I have already reached Chapter 35 since mid
March (the book contains a prologue and 103 chapters), and am working at a
brisk pace compared to the first round edit. Here's hoping that sometime in
July I'll have made it to the end--
again.

The next step will be to format the novel into three volumes for eventual
publication as a trio of Kindle eBooks on Amazon since it is such a huge
novel at about 2,400 pages in length. After that, I want to quickly read
through the entire book as a reader, not an editor or writer, so I can get a feel
for the book as a whole regarding plot and pacing. I've been promising myself
to do this for quite some time but keep getting sidetracked.

I have also been playing around with some cover ideas again, creating a few
samples on the computer. I think I found an idea that I like and will create
some test versions with different colors and see if I can come up with the right
look. Hopefully by next spring, this book will actually be published. In the
meantime, on to Chapter thirty-six. Back next month. Take care!

Update #36 - March 12, 2014
At the end of my previous post, I had asked if this winter will ever end?
Sadly, no. It hasn't. Still shoveling. But on the bright side, I'm still writing
too, so...

Last week I finished formatting my Endora Trilogy novels for Kindle, and
now all three are available to download from Amazon. That means I can get
back to working on my epic fantasy which I have been writing about in these
posts for the past three years. I finished editing the book in January and will
now begin to go through the notes from my two readers to get the book into
even better shape. So that's all to report for this month. Hopefully when I
post in April, I'll be deep into the editing, but not in the snow. Enough
already! See you soon.

Update #35 - February 19, 2014
Hello again. I'm back with a brief update about my current book in progress.
On January 31, I finally finished editing my epic fantasy, and in a few weeks
will begin another edit based on notes from two readers gracious enough to
read through the 2,400+ pages. In the meantime, I am readying my Endora
Trilogy novels for publishing as Kindle eBooks. I already completed a quick
reread/edit of Books I and II (
The Timedoor and The Sword and the Crown),
and will begin reviewing Book III (
The Saving Light) later today. Hopefully,
sometime in March they will all be available to download from the Amazon
Kindle store.

So in the meantime, it's more reading--and more shoveling! Will this winter
ever end? I'll be back in March. Take care!

Update #34 - January 17, 2014
Happy New Year! I hope your 2014 is off to a great start. As to my latest book
in progress, it is an epic fantasy I have been working on for many, many years
that I finally finished writing last May and have been editing since mid June.
It is a 103 chapter tome (plus a short prologue) which I've divided into eleven
parts. Yesterday I completed my edit of Part Ten, the longest section of the
book consisting of Chapters 86 - 98. Only five chapters left to go. But there is
still a lot of work ahead.

Two people are currently reading the portions I've already edited and I am
getting some insightful feedback from them. After I edit Part Eleven, I will
reread, digest and incorporate their comments and corrections where needed.
And though I'm enjoying the editing process, it's taking a bit longer than I
first anticipated, much like writing the book which I began in 1999. Planning
and outlining of this novel began way back in 1978. But it's nearly completed.

To date, I've eliminated just over 100 pages from my first draft as I edit away
unnecessary words, phrases and sometimes whole sentences at a time. When
first putting word to paper (or computer screen), my mind runs wild and
thoughts come pouring out, most of which I think are golden until I reread
them the next day or even weeks later. Then I begin to see where I repeat
certain thoughts or blather on about something in fifty words where
twenty-five or thirty will do the trick. But I suppose that's true for most
writers. The trick is to keep plugging away day after day--writing, shaping
scenes and characters, and then not being afraid to cut away what's not
working and changing a few things around to benefit the story as a whole.

Part Ten, which I just finished editing, took me a little over a year to write as
I made many changes along the way from what was in my original outline.
But all of that was for the better, though at times I thought I might never
finish. And during that long process, as well as while I edit now, I'll often
look up at a large plaque on the wall above my writing desk that my sister and
her family gave me for Christmas several years ago. It is a photograph of a
lighthouse on a rocky shore with the title DETERMINATION. Below it is
the following sentence:
What the mind of a person can conceive and believe, it
can achieve
. I take inspiration from that saying, knowing that along with it I
must demonstrate a daily (or nearly daily) stick-to-it-tiveness to complete the
journey through this long literary process. Or more simply put, butt in chair
and hands on the keyboard. Hey, whatever works to get the job done. And
with my next post, I hope to be that much closer. Until then, take care!











To read Updates #22 - 33 from 2013, CLICK HERE
THOMAS J. PRESTOPNIK
~ The Author's Official Website ~
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MY NEXT BOOK
A monthly update on my current work in progress.
On the left, a photograph of the plaque
above my writing desk, whose message
helps to keep the words flowing.