Fortuitous Photo

I’m still chugging through revisions. It took long to get through part 1, but now I’m up to my three chapters a day goal, and am half a chapter away from finishing part 2. If I keep up the current pace, I'll be done in a week and a half.

My wife forwarded me some photos today of a volcano that erupted here in Ecuador a few weeks ago. Tungurahua is a few hours south of Quito and was dormant for a long time before it started erupting again ten years ago. Here’s a photo of the recent show.

Tracking Obsession

Hello. My name is Stuart and I am obsessed with tracking word counts.

Well, maybe not obsessed, but since my book is in the upper ranges of what’s publishable for a first time writer, I track all my writing efforts. At first, this was to show progress. It was fun to watch the book grow to 30k, then 90k, then 120k, and (gulp) 150k, etc. Once I reached the end, I was more interested in watching the book shrink.

Here is a screen capture of my tracking spreadsheet.

Draft Three in 18 Days

I finally finished my second draft yesterday. Well, it could be labeled draft three or four, but I’ve decided all drafts prior to 2005 were drafts .0x. This draft mostly dealt with plugging plot holes, backfilling character changes, and smoothing out the prose. I’m really happy with how the story and characters build and develop now.

I had intended to cut more words during this pass, but while I cut about 15k words, I also added 9k words in new material. So, the current draft is sitting firmly at 192k. Still way too long for a first timer.

Influences of Travel

It’s no secret that my stories are heavily influenced by my experiences traveling. I spent six months between high school and college backpacking around Europe and living in northern Italy. I also spent my junior year in Finland and am now living in Ecuador. All have helped shape elements in my books to one degree or another.

Nineteen Years

When I was nineteen years old, I slung a backpack over my shoulder and headed to Europe for six months. I spent the first eight weeks or so traveling around the UK. I started off in London, then headed south-west to the end of Cornwall, before veering back north all the way to the highlands of Scotland, before turning back south passing through York on my way to Dover and on to the continent.


Recent News

May, 24 2016

Please, hold the door!

I'm both stunned and slightly embarrassed by all the attention this week, but welcome new visitors! Make yourself at home.

My thoughts behind my 2008 joke/prediction/guess can be found on my Blog.

Thanks again for stopping by!

About the Author

While reading The Fellowship of the Ring at the age of twelve, Stuart A. Etter was told by his teacher that he should be reading shorter books. Undaunted, he finished the trilogy and promptly moved on to other novels ranging from fantasy/sci-fi to historical fiction to horror to thrillers.

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Prologue: Prisoner Bound

Damion rubbed the dull ache of age from his hands. Countless years wielding a sword had conditioned his tendons and muscles, but time had worn them down, replacing strength with chronic pain. Closing his eyes, Damion dreamed of his youth. Battle and victory marked most of his memories, but darker images tainted his successes, reminding him of his one...