Nala’s Story – Week One Review

Yesterday, in a rambly post, I talked briefly about the inspirations for Nala’s Story. There had been some interest in a sequel to Champion Standing while it was being edited. I even wrote a few chapters, I think two of them ended up on the blog.

Well, Champion Standing fell flat on its cover. All the interest that surfaced during the editing phase seemed to seep away. There was an initial surge in sales during the month it was released (thanks, guys and dolls.) But flatline most of the rest of the year. No worries, I know I’m pretty low on the lists. I’ve always strived for organic growth instead of an unreliable spike caused by BookBub or some other marketing campaign, so these times of famine are to be expected.

I decided I wanted to see if there may still be some interest in the Champion Standing universe. Now, I wouldn’t scrap a project just because I couldn’t see potential interest in it. I write what I want to write, but you already knew that. I still want to write Champion Rising. I also wanted to keep my two-releases-a-year schedule. This fall happens to be my last semester at Northern Arizona University. Hell’s yeah, am I right? I didn’t want an intensive writing project while I’m finishing up my degree, so that means I need to have everything done before classes start in August or September.

Last month I tried writing a romance novella during a long weekend. I like to push myself. I like putting square pegs in round holes. That one didn’t pan out, but I did manage to crank out 10k words in just two days. I needed a more attainable goal. I decided on writing the first draft of a novelette in six weeks – 500 words at a time with the weekends off. Chuck Wendig has a plan that involves writing the entire first draft of a novel in a year doing something similar.

I started a few days late last week, but I’m gonna count that as my first week. Because, hey, my project, my rules. I’m working in a prompt of some kind for each installment. I’ve already written many 350-word chapter skeletons, and I’m fleshing them out to the 500 words based on the prompt. Six weeks times five days of five hundred words equal 15,000 words. I should have the first draft done by the end of May. June and July for rewrites and editing. Maybe get some additional art for the cover from Joel Cotejar. Publish in August. I had fun narrating The Beginnings Project, chapter nine, so I’d like to do an audiobook of Nala’s Story as well.

So, join me on this journey. Read the installments from last week. Comment the heck out of each one. Spread the word. Eat your vegetables and brush your teeth.

For those of you who can’t remember what ‘future’ Nala looks like, here is some Joel Cotejar art posted with permission:


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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