Crossroads / Man vs Nature / Quest for Home

How I’m Doing on The Quest for Home — 1

Over the past 25 years, I drafted five books but never published. When my kids moved to adulthood and my job moved home, I had time to finish them. This one–The Quest for Home–is the final of those five:

A treacherous journey across two continents, a ruthless traitor, and unexpected salvation.

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion. This is a Hero’s Journey as early man spreads across Eurasia, and survival — or extinction — is the prize. My hero–as befits a thriller–is bigger-than-life and regularly does the impossible. Which is good because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

With a planned publication of Fall 2019, here’s how I’m doing.

  • I finished the final rough draft (not even close to the final draft) and am now wordsmithing, which should take a few months. Wordsmithing is where I look at words and phrases and decide if they’re the best to communicate what I want to say. It’s like looking at a landscape through a straw, seeing only a tiny bit of the entire picture. For me, it is a massively effective approach to editing my stories. I often come out of this phase thinking I may actually have written something wonderful. I use a lot of word lists for this ( that, this, was, still, so, began–words like these) and found great ones over at Ronel’s writer’s blog, Ronel the Mythmaker, and Kate Johnston’s writing blog.
  • I’m putting together preliminary marketing materials–just enough to get things started. I’m a few months away from ordering the cover.
  • I’m also thinking about changes I’ll need for this book, as the second in a series. Deborah Jay has a wonderful list of 10 things to pay attention to.
  • Unlike one-and-done novels (books not part of a trilogy), I don’t have to tie up all the loose ends in this book. I have Book 3 for that. As I write, I’m taking note of those dangling unfinished pieces so I can wrap them up in the final book, In the Footsteps of Giants.
  • I set up Book 1 in the Crossroads trilogy, Survival of the Fittest, for print book sales as well as Book 1 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Born in a Treacherous Time. Using Amazon’s print-on-demand service was easier than I expected, though tedious. Anyone have feedback on this?

Question: I’ve seen many digital books start paragraphs with only 3 spaces rather than 5. Any thoughts on this?

Another question: Which tagline do you like better:

Five tribes. A dream. An unexpected friend and a deadly traitor.

A treacherous journey across two continents, a ruthless traitor, and salvation from someone unexpected.

I appreciate your help!

Click to be notified when The Quest for Home is available.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

68 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on The Quest for Home — 1

  1. Thanks for the shout-out 🙂 I like the first tagline better. As for Amazon print: their expanded distribution is worth looking into (I can get print copies from my local online stores, so I’m happy) — and less of a financial investment than IngramSpark if you’re trying out new things.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s hard for me to get used to the three-space indentation. It looks so odd. But I prefer reading print books anyway! I like the first of the two taglines–I can sense the conflict better in that one. Thank you so much for mentioning my post–I’m glad you found it useful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Jacqui. I really like Sarah’s idea (comment above) of mixing the two taglines. Next, as for paragraph idents, the three spaces (or the space taken by an em dash) is the professional format. Never us a tab; rather set your paragraph style. Here’s a link that may be helpful 🙂 Sounds like another awesome prehistoric fiction work is moving right along. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think I’d like to mix these two taglines as follows:
    A treacherous journey across two continents, a ruthless traitor and an unexpected friend.
    Just a thought. 😉
    As always, I’m so impressed by how fast you’re working. I feel always a bit like a snail compared to you! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Both your taglines are good but I prefer the second one because of two continents and salvation from someone unexpected. I like the idea of having 2 continents as setting – a promise of vicarious travels and someone unexpected adds a lot of suspense.
    Good luck in your preparation. I admire your work ethic. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hmm. I don’t think I’ve read enough ebooks lately, but I think three spaces is common now. And I have to say I like Sharon’s combo of the two taglines; I like the second better, but then again the first is good, too, so a mashup seems logical. So much to consider, but at least you’re in the revision stage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the input on the tagline. The five spaces–I almost never see them anymore (though I’m reading an Indie right now that has them). That’s what caught my attention. I’ve also seen 1 which was annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m along with Mae Clair in going against the grain – I prefer the second. To me it flows more smoothly, suggesting the sweeping saga, although I’m also not enamoured of the ending – quite. How about ‘salvation from a unexpected source.’?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the first tagline better.
    As to three spaces instead of five… I’m wondering if that might not be a flowing text thing. There’s so much about e-books that’s customizable (from the font to the print size) that it seems like that might be an option in a stylesheet somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like the flow of the second tag. I’ve noticed the 3 and 5 space indent. I think I’ve grown used the 3 now. I’m always relieved when I get the first draft done:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m the weird one out on the tagline. I like the second, as it conveys a sweeping saga, although I think the ending perhaps could be made punchier. The first is good, too.

    You are doing amazing things! As for the ident, the three spaces threw me for the longest while, but it seems to be the manner of production now!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The smaller indent is a convention now. I prefer it. It’s easier on my eyes than huge chunks of white space dotting down the left margin. (And the paragraphs are still easy to see. The indent isn’t so small that it gets lost.)

    As for your taglines, I like the first. It’s shorter and punchier.

    Most importantly, congratulations! Finishing a draft is always exciting. Kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui, have you seen the herbalist ad on your page? Please remove it. We are trying to get rid of these abusers of naive and uneducated people who can do so much harm. They may amuse others, but the people who respond to them are swindled.

    Why do you make it so difficult to contact you? I typed in a reply and got a response “Please insert URL” after I had put one in.

    Anne Taylor

    Liked by 1 person

    • Darn (about the ad). I don’t control the ads so I’m stuck. And about the URL–that might be protocol for WordPress blogs. I see your name isn’t linked to a site so that could be why you had trouble. Apologies for that!


  13. You are busy. What a fine role model you are. I’ve been thinking about composting my unfinished novel, but perhaps there are recyclable elements I should use.

    I like your first tagline best. Good luck with all your projects.

    Liked by 1 person

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