Against All Odds / Crossroads / Man vs Nature

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–6

Time for a monthly update on how I’m doing with my WIP, Against All Odds, Book 3 of the Crossroads trilogy. I settled on a tagline because I had to order the cover. I think it sums up what is the end of the trilogy:

Based on a true story, the extraordinary saga continues, filled with hardship, family, courage, truth, and survival.

Here’s a quick summary:

A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.

The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.

From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of the People’s long search for freedom, safety, and a new home.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

How’d I do last month

After fighting through distraction, lack of focus, and malaise, here’s what I did this past month:

  • finished a rough draft (the fourth) of the book. This was a deep dive into pacing, character development, consistency, and flow. I feel really good that’s done.
  • began another round of wordsmithing in AutoCrit–one I aborted over a month ago from boredom. I found a new tool: Crossword dictionaries. These address weak verbs that authors augment with an adverb when they instead should replace them with one strong verb. For example:

Moved cautiously

My brain quit on me and I could come up with nothing (remember I mentioned distraction and malaise?). Nada. Zilch. Zip. A fortuitous search of a crossword helper came up with:

I then decided which verb fit my story and moved on. This will be a big help until my brain turns back on!

  • I ordered my cover! I like my fake cover…

…but it needs the professional’s touch. I’m pretty excited about getting that started. Now I have to wait. I’ve become good at that this past month…

  • I did some work on marketing pieces for Against All Odds and the trilogy, Crossroads. I’m doing some work on the trailer (using the slideshow method Diana Peach recommended). I’m collecting ideas and will soon start arranging them sequentially.
  • All three of my books in the Man vs. Nature saga were on sale for three days this month. It went good but not great. I tried to market it but I’m definitely not aggressive enough in that area. Still, one of the days was the biggest sales I’ve ever had so that was fun…. I don’t do many sales and the next will probably be when Against All Odds is published. I’m thinking of putting Book 1 in the trilogy, Survival of the Fittest, on sale then, to encourage interest in the trilogy. Anyone with experience in that sort of promotion? Does it work?
  • I’ve begun thinking about the next book I’ll write in the Man vs. Nature saga. That will probably be in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy which started with Born in a Treacherous Time. I am curious what has happened to Lucy since she lost her tribe and was driven away by the band of Homo erectus who invaded their territory.

That’s it! How are you doing on your latest WIP? I’d love to hear!

More on How I’m Doing

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–5

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–4

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–4

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–3

How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–2

How I’m doing on Book 3 of my trilogy

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 NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020.


66 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–6

  1. Pingback: How I’m Doing on Against All Odds–7 | WordDreams...

  2. Hi Jacqui – sorry to be so behind the line – I’m sort of doing my own thing … taking my brain out for some space, clearing lots of things out – so all in all putting (new) stuff back into the brain.

    I do admire how much you’ve taken on here with your books … history is challenging, but history pre-time is really monumental. Presumably you have a great timeline of characters, ideas, notes etc … so it’s all held together for you to refer to – I imagine that’s well organised.

    Take care and all the best as the finishing line is appearing. I like the cover idea – and I’m sure will be totally appropriate once it’s been polished up a little … stay safe too – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, you are really powering along, Jacqui. Looking forward to reading the next book 🙂 Never thought of using Crossword helper as tool for phrases and words. Nice tip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is going better than I expected. I’m almost done with the wordsmithing, getting ready for the penultimate (or ultimate) final read. We’ll see if it stalls there! Glad you like the crossword helper. It’s pretty cool!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You got quite a bit done this month, Jacqui. It’s impressive.

    When you do your rewrites, do you base each one on the type of editing you want to accomplish? And do you write each rewrite in its entirety or do you copy and paste?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So good to hear you’ve made progress on your WIP. Jacqui. Really like how you did those screenshots – it’s like we’re there with you in the process. Sorry about the lukewarm sales. Marketing and publicity can be a tricky one, and there are so many other books out there. The good thing about fiction books and series is that you can always promote then again and again – timeless classics which anyone can pick up anything, and always be relevant. Good look on that front.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And mine are timeless–because they’re so far in the past, not much will change about their times! My thrillers were current and will become dated. Sigh. Thanks for visiting, Mabel. Nice to chat.


  6. Good for you Jacqui, lots of juggling keeps you busy. I love the word crosspuzzle. Is that an app? I’d never heard of it. Sure would come in handy for those ‘meno moments’ when we blank out looking for the perfect word. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’ve given me good ideas about future marketing, Jacqui! I think you’ve done quite well in spite of malaise and other distractions…I feel the same way. That cover is going to look great! Detail-oriented folks like us don’t do well with uncertainty and it wears me out. My fitness book is being edited now but I am thinking about setting up a blog tour this summer. In fact I was going to PM you about how yours went…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for the crossword dictionaries tool. I’m going to give it a try. 🙂 As usual, you’ve been busy! I’m looking forward to the book(s), the new cover, and the trailer. Keep up the good progress, Jacqui. You’re a marvel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good job, Jacqui. Keep following your vision. Crossword checker looks interesting. I am using Pro Writing Aid for writing and editing. I like it because there is a checker of ten items including a thesaurus.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are well ahead Jacqui. The crossword tip is not something I would have thought of for writing, but I have used it for crosswords. I have been doing a 0.99 promo, using my usual book promotion sites, but sales are down on previous promotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A mysterious and interesting cover, Jacqui. I am also editing and only managed three pages this morning in over an hour. Some bits need more attention and change than others. Yesterday I managed over twenty pages in 2.5 hours. I see no reason to rush as book sales are slow right now. I think there is so much free stuff available on Amazon, it is making marketing very tough for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is how I feel about Xhosa’s new home but it needs a professional’s touch. My folks at Damonza will fix things for me!

      A few people have commented on slow book sales. I guess it’s all over. That’s the opposite of what we’d expect but I guess people turned to binging videos rather than reading. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You seem to be doing great Jacqui – against all odds 🙂 And let’s face it, it’s been a pretty odd and strange past few months. Sorry that your generous marketing offer didn’t go that great (although having a day of greatest number of sales is surely the cherry on the cake). I wish I could offer tips but I know nothing. But your idea of putting the first on for sale at a special price as part of the marketing for the new book sounds like a great idea..

    All best, keep well and safe … and may you beat the odds and get your brains back into gear. Though it seems to be firing pretty well 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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