http://www.critiquecircle.com/wordmeterbuilder.asp This is a handy site, at least the meter builder; I should probably check it out some more one of these days. For those who saw it, I used their bar for Nanowrimo as they have a choice where you can link the progress bar to your Nanowrimo.org account.
Especially with my desire to fix a few things in "Out of the Night: Book One" of the "Vala's Story" series, I decided I wanted to share my progress with my readers. I have a series/serial of 9 planned books; while at one time books 2 and 3 were one book and a beta reader suggested the splitting into 2 books, I don't see that happening. As well, the main of Vala's story is told as I want through the 9 serialized pieces. Read here if you'd like to know more about my thoughts on serials versus series, the former of which is what I feel I have in "Vala's Story"- of course in the post, I wasn't able to avoid talking about one of my favorite serials: Patricia Logan's "Master's Boys." I'm sure my main beta reader might have some arguments on my estimated percentages for these bars :D- thankfully I'm open to her critique. Before I started working with my current BR, I already had all 9 books written at least in a rough draft. Now I'm going to share a little bit about each book and where I see its progress.
Out of the Night: Book One
Yes, I'm fixing up "Night" in a few little ways. Adding things like "All characters having sex are 18 years or older" so it can go up on Smashwords and maybe even go through their premium catalog. Importantly to me, I figured out that the uniform harness as I've written it is impossible; such an X harness made of leather with no buckles, going on over the head like a t-shirt, simply doesn't exist. Maybe most people wouldn't notice it, but I would and so that needs fixed. I hope to get that fixing done soon, get the book off to JeffAdkins who does great work with book formatting, book swag, graphics etc. Take a look at his website here.
Gates of the Garden: Book Two
"Gates" is also very close to done. It's been to the editor/proofreader, beta reader. Of course, having thought on those harnesses, I want to go fix that. There's also making sure that all the beginning stuff (copyright, age notice etc) are all there. However, it should be ready to go to Jeff within a week or two.
Skipping Down the Primrose Path: Book Three
At one time I would have said that "Skipping" was 80% done. However as I've worked on various spin-offs, web-only short stories, worked with my main BR, I've found things I wanted to fix, change, beyond even just the harness question in the first 2 books. I have a file, maybe a page or two in length, that's going to mean some semi-serious re-writing. Once I get "Night" and "Gates" ready and to Jeff, I'll get to the "Skipping" re-write while I wait for the promotion fun to start :D.
Beginning of Knowledge: Book Four
This is where my 50/50 percentages become a guess. After I finish rewriting in "Skipping," I'll need to see how much "Beginning" needs to be re-written. I hope not too much; I want to start getting these books out quicker so you all can enjoy them.
A Dance of Cultures: Book Five
So yes, I can imagine you see the working title for book 8, "So Many Changes," but there's quite a bit of them in this book too. I made a major change in it, from its first draft, and I'm still working with the ramifications of that. Remember that The Queen, the Master over the whole stable and the focus of Vala's life, is polyamorous and this book will force you to consider what that means.
Poor "Book 6" doesn't even have a working title beyond that. I still have a line or two of words summarizing the book saved in a file; nope, those words didn't help me think up a title. I'm really hoping my BR has some brilliant suggestion (another BR helped with the suggested titles for books 2 and 3, in addition to making them into 2 books) for "book 6." I think this book needs less work, mostly going to my editor, but neither of my current BRs have read it yet and it's been awhile, at least a few months, since I've even read it.
Oh, Sklavimuth: Book Seven
I'm hoping this book mostly needs to be fixed in light of my serious change in book 5; I had so much fun writing this book. I remember writing this in rough draft, with my initial BR, before she rage-quit on me. Heh, I keep thinking this would be a good one for a holiday season release.
So Many Changes: Book Eight
I remember writing the first draft of this one; there was such a sense of building excitement in this one. While I'm unsure that I had a sense of it as "the climax" as I collected these few weeks of Vala's training into one book, it sure felt like a climax as I read it the first time. Hilarious to be talking about "climax" in an erotic romance that often enough is graphic enough that I've questioned "is this truly erotic romance or is it erotica?" Thinking of one reviewer (of "Out of the Night: Book One") and my main BR's comments, yes it is definitely erotic romance, just I'm not willing to count sex scenes or such. As with "Sklavimuth," I'm hoping to find a mostly ready book that just needs the touch of a BR and an editor to make it shine.
Into the Wholeness of Her: Vala's Ascendency: Book Nine
Yes, this is the planned ending. Outside of this book, there may be spin-offs etc; I've actually started several already and one of them that I have planned for shortly after this book comes out ("The Book of Meeting" where The Queen and his slaves tell the stories of how they came to be together, which I excerpted in my "Joelle's ChaoticCollection of Screwing"- a free ebook). As is meant of a denouement, whether it be of a novel, a serial, what-have-you, lots of plot pieces are tied up in it. And yes, Vala definitely gets a lovely "happily ever after" in this book, although it's not as simple and straightforward maybe as what you'll find in more mainstream erotic romance novels.