Joseph F. Benedetto's Blog

May 3, 2021


I have been trying to write the Steampunk story I described in my last post, but it is not moving well. I cannot get it up and running for some reason, and that is beginning to bother me.

I do not think it is the story in question, but rather a reaction to having finished the novel and generally feeling like I do NOT want to write at this moment in time. That in itself is not a good feeling, and does not bode well.

Oddly enough, I have some exciting stuff for the story, natural built-in conflict, and all manner of interesting things. (A German baroness in an electric corset running into the wheelhouse and yelling "Das Schiff brennt! Das Schiff brennt!”, for example)

I just keep wondering what is keeping me from working on this damn thing.
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Published on May 03, 2021 18:18

April 26, 2021


I know what you're thinking.
But you are wrong.
I am NOT going to talk about maps.
For they are done.
And gone.

Which is to say, I submitted my novel AND the damned maps that go with it and have pretty much sat back and rubbed my neck and had a drink and wondered how I got to this point.

But my editor has the novel, and I shall in due time hear back from him and we will see what happens after that.

For the time being ... NO MORE MAPS! (For the record, I am currently starting a Steampunk story, which may or may not turn out--we shall see.)

So, until next time~
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Published on April 26, 2021 18:52

April 13, 2021



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Published on April 13, 2021 11:01

April 5, 2021


This is probably not the time to tell you all that I redid the maps.

Again. I sat at the computer for 13 straight hours working on them. I do not want to do that again.

But they look REALLY cool finally!

And on a side note--pipes under the sink broke. I have been pretending that I am a plumber today.

Please stay away from me. I am really quite irritated at the present time.
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Published on April 05, 2021 18:21

March 30, 2021

Come on. Seriously?!?

Remember all those maps I did? ANd re-did? And re-re-did?

Well, guess what! It turns out that I misspelled a city name on EVERY ONE of the maps, and now have to go back and fix them all.


I'd love to say I am done with the maps ... at least, the majority of them ... but we all know that's very probably not true.
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Published on March 30, 2021 17:38

March 22, 2021


I finished all of the maps, and then, as an afterthought, decided I should add a bar showing the scale in miles.

ALL of the maps involved are COMPLETELY out of scale, and thus cannot be used in the book.

I have thrown away the one dozen maps and started over with a blank slate, on which I first determined the true scale between two known, fixed points, and then crafted a scale divided into miles that fit the known distances involved.

The end result is, I hope, worth it, being drawn to scale and able to represent much more realistically the distances involved and the challenges facing the men who fought the actions recorded in the story.
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Published on March 22, 2021 19:30

The cuts are deep ... and done.

I have finished cutting the novel back. All I had to do was dump three entire subplots and make *nothing* happen on two separate trips when (previously) our hero was off doing hero stuff. I was asked by my SO what I was going to do and I almost seriously said "The hero hits his head. Everything goes black! NEXT CHAPTER: "He wakes up. It is nine days later..."

The fully-trimmed "novel" comes in at 91k by computer count; by typesetter count, it is just 66,000 words long. I have, in fact, cut the book entirely in half from what I had when I finished writing the first draft.

I am now working on maps. It looks like I will need a load of them, as there are at times six different trains running around North China during the story, and the editor wants to make sure the readers can picture which train is where.

The train maps do not bother me. The three "river" maps, now those are going to be a real pain.
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Published on March 22, 2021 12:51

March 16, 2021

*chainsaw noises*

I continue cutting, whittling, and reducing the novel to bring it under the maximum limit set by my editor.

Also, I am a home plumber, fixing the pipes under the bathroom sink, which were clogged beyond any human comprehension or understanding.
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Published on March 16, 2021 10:18

March 9, 2021


I really wish I could be working on a short story or three right now, rather than the novel. This monster is eating up my entire life at the moment.
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Published on March 09, 2021 00:03

March 2, 2021

Still working on AGCM

You know, I think that the title is the only thing that my editor has NOT changed in my novel. It is made worse by the fact that the Short Mystery Fiction Society just linked up an article on how to use cliffhanger endings to make your book a real page-turner.

My editor does not believe in this, Every chapter begins at dawn, and ends when the hero goes to sleep that night.

SIGH. And so I go on with the rewrites.
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Published on March 02, 2021 05:18