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This is another update.

I have finished drafting first drafts of the fifth and sixth stories in the first sequence since the previous update.

The most interesting thing about the revision process of breaking down the original version of the story into six smaller stories is that the word count increased nearly one hundred percent from 115,000 words to almost 198,000 words with less plot and less characters. Some of the stuff that was taken out in the revision process could be parts of additional stories.

Another aspect that I found very interesting in the revision process is that some of plot points that were casually mentioned and then dropped in the original version are now a little more developed. Characters that were mentioned in passing have been fleshed out and deepened.

The next step in the revising process is to ensure that each of the new six stories are internally consistent and consistent with the rest of the stories. Another issue that I have to still work out is to ensure that the timing works out and consistent among the stories. The first, second, and fifth stories take place in the same location but the amount of time that passes is indeterminate, and has to work among each of these three stories as well as the third, fourth, and sixth stories. The first and fifth stories are completely new stories that do not have excerpts from the original story.

Even though I enjoy writing these stories, I had do hear a little voice in the back of my head that readers may not find them as interesting as I do. I remember the second editor said that she found the story that she edited to be boring. When I read her comments, I thought that this fantasy story did not have as much action and magic as the type of fantasy stories that she enjoyed or expected.

My stories do have the typical fantasy tropes such as elves, gnomes, mages, dwarves, but I don’t think I use these tropes in the same way as other fantasy stories that do that have the elves, gnomes, dwarves, mages, and the like.

The primary concern is that my stories are original, but they still could be boring. Notwithstanding this primary concern, I will continue to write the type of stories that interest me.

Thank you for visiting.

Until next time,

R.D. Henderson


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Since my last post, I have revised three stories, completed the draft of the fourth story, and near the middle of writing the first draft of the fifth story. Two of the three stories that I have revised are from another story sequence that will be comprised of three stories. I have drafted an outline for the third story.

In the sequence of stories that includes the fifth story, I plan on having one or two more stories. So, the original source was a story of 115,000 words which will eventually be broken into six or seven stories. The completed drafts of the first four stories have a total word count of 136,000 words. The draft of the fifth story is a shade over 13,000 words, and I think the completed draft will be at least 25,000 words.

Once I revise the second, third, and fourth stories, I am certain the word count will increase because I may have added scenes or bits to existing scenes to flesh them out. The added scenes would be to deepen and develop the story.

The other sequence will be comprised of three or four stories. The revised first and second stories have a total word count of about 50,000 words, but I will add additional scenes to each of the first two stories. I think the word counts will increase.

I hope to finish writing all the additional stories for both sequences by the end of June. I feel with creating outlines, my writing is more focused and I more efficient. Since November of 2013, I have written over 200,000 words because of making outlines and revising of existing stories that I wrote from November 2009 through early 2013.

Beginning in July of this year, I will revise all the stories, and run them through an on-line editing software like Pro-Writing. I hope to find at least one beta-reader to read the stories, and I hope to find an editor for copy editing and proofreading.

I will also look for book covers as well as someone for formatting my stories for publication.

I think my stories are original and interesting, but I don’t know if they are marketable or if they will find an audience. I am also writing fantasy short stories, which may be a tough sell. I think one of the reasons fantasy novels are popular is that they are usually long or at least have high word counts.

I enjoy writing writing kind of stories, and I am excited everyday that I write. When I first started writing, I used to write about five hundred words a day, and for the last several weeks, have been writing an average of two thousand words a day.

After these stories are published, I hope they find an audience because I would like to keep writing these types of stories.

Thanks for visiting.

R.D. Henderson

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Experiences with Two Editors

During the summer and fall of last year, I had a development editor that worked in the niche of fantasy review my first two stories. She said that I had a lot of interesting ideas, potential plots, and characters. She mentioned there was a great deal of potential in these two stories, but there was too much happening and too many characters that the two stories were unfocused and muddled. Characters appear and disappear throughout the story leaving the possibility that the readers could be confused. The plots needed to be tightened, and have definite beginning and ending for each of them.

She suggested that each story should have one novel-length plot, and possibly one or two-sub-plots that branch from the main plot. The sub-plot(s) needed to be connected and tied into the main plot. She said if I focused on one main plot per story, then I would develop the plot as well as deepen the plot. The important factor would be that the story would have less characters, but each of the characters would be more fleshed out and deepened.

At first, I did not understand why she was suggesting to have only one main plot for each story until I understood that the reader would be more likely to engage and be interested in the story from beginning to end.

The first story that she read had a word count of 115,000 words. I thought it would be the ideal length of a fantasy novel written by a first-time author.

She mentioned that if I focus one plot and less characters, the story might have a smaller word count than the original story. She mentioned it would take some time and effort revise the story, but the revised story would be better for it.

It took me some time to break down the original story, and I think that I will eventually have four or five stories. I have written the first draft of the first of the four or five stories, and its word count is a shade over 24,000. The second story has a word count of 53,000. I am working on the third story, as of the date of this blog entry, and the word count is a shade over 25,000. I hope to complete the first draft of the third story within the next couple of weeks.

The development editor sent me an email at the end of last year that she decided to suspend her editor business to focus on her own writing. I could understand why did that, but I really enjoyed working with her.

I was able to find another editor. In her email exchange with me, she was positive and timely in her responses. Her rates were also very reasonable.

I sent her the first revised story to edit. I did myself a disservice because I did not edit the story before I sent it to her. I think because I was not clear on the difference between development editing, content editing, and copy editing. She told me she could not complete the editing because the story was boring, and she refunded the second part of her fee.

I guess I can understand why she refunded the money, but I did not like it. It was clear after the fact that I thought I would get the same or similar type of editing with the second editor that I was from the first editor.

I have used the experiences with the two editors, and thought it would be best to continue writing the stories I want to read, revise and self-edit, revise some more, and then consider hiring an editor.

It is clear that if I want to have my stories published, I have to use an editor. An editor is responsible for making a good story better. An editor cannot make a boring story interesting.

Thanks for reading.

R.D. Henderson

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Welcome to my blog

I am a writer of fantasy and sword & sorcery stories that feature elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, kobolds, goblins, mages, clerics, rangers, and other characters that are prevalent in fantasy stories. I, however, do not write stories in the same vein as LORD OF THE RINGS by Tolkien or fantasy writers that have followed him.

Besides reading fantasy, GODFATHER by Mario Puzo, NOBLE HOUSE by James Clavell, and the trilogy by John Gardner that features Professor James Moriarty as the gaslight godfather are among my favorite books.

Some of the my favorite television series are Chris Haddock’s DA VINCI’S INQUEST, his follow-up DA VINCI’S CITY HALL, Chris Haddock’s INTELLIGENCE, Steven Bochco’s HILL STREET BLUES, and David Chase’s SOPRANOS.

I have taken the above as the inspiration to create fantasy and sword & sorcery stories that I would like to read. I have created a world and characters that are featured in several stories, and I plan to publish them in the very near future.

Please continue to visit to check for updates.


R.D. Henderson

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