Dawn of Humanity / Laws of Nature / Man vs Nature

How I’m Doing on Laws of Nature 6

My novel writing took a bit of a hit these past few months. My education website blew up–had to be completely redone. Andrew, my tech guru, did the heavy lifting but there was a ton of grunt work that fell to me.

Then, my education blog broke. I had to change the theme and then fit everything back where it belongs in the new theme. For you-all who have done this on your blog, you know what I went through. What made things worse was that a ton of links have to be changed because my education website blew up (see above). Sigh.

Now, back to the business of writing!

Here’s what I did the past month:

  • worked on the logline and the summary for Laws of Nature:

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

Early Woman Lucy, the Canis Ump, the Tree-man Boah, and Lucy’s pairmate and child are the only tribemembers who escape capture by the violent Man-who-preys. To save the rest of her tribe will require not only skills unique to each of her unusual tribemembers but help from others she didn’t expect.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail.

If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

  • Cover reveal!

You may have seen this over at Janet’s last month:

I am very happy with this cover. The artist captured the balance between the humanity of my ancient people and their hope.

  • The first part of the month, I wordsmithed–searched-and-replaced words like began, while, is, was, were, there, has, saw, look, women, woman, man, men, would, could, had, that, -ing, but, the fact that, just, began to, started to, a bit, little, fairly, highly, kind of, mostly, rather, really, slightly, sort of, appeared to, seemed to, n’t, not, watched, saw, observed, felt, smelled, tasted, heard, knew, thought, suspected, remembered, believed, understood, imagined, doubted, supposed, realized. Why only the early weeks? Read on…
  • My education resource website decided to break. First, it wasn’t a responsive website so didn’t show well on mobile devices. I’ve known that a long time, ignored it, even though over 50% of shopping is done on mobile devices. Then, it got worse. The template was so old, it isn’t supported anymore. So when it breaks, it’s not an easy fix. My tech guru (Andrew over at We Build Your Blog) has done his best to keep it running but really, we reached the limit. Well, it broke. Andrew and I worked on the change-over most of the month (he’s the brains; I’m the grunt) including weekly Skype chats and TODO lists. It is now gorgeous. Go ahead–visit! You will be wowed!
  • My education blog had a similar meltdown. Changing the theme helped but now I have a ton of broken links I have to fix. These are from the changes in the education website. This will take a long time. Google offers a free tool I’m hoping will make these easy to find if not fix.
  • I  finally moved the last of about a dozen of my nonfiction print books to KDP POD. That became critical with the new website (so I could seamlessly offer print and digital). Selling print books is much simpler on KDP than on my website. I am able to drop my price 20%.
  • I did manage to finish the wordsmithing for Laws of Nature and am now running my book through Autocrit. Here, they find repeated words and phrases, pacing issues, start-of-sentence issues, dialogue issues, grammar/spelling, and more. Here’s the menu:

…and here’s an example of a page I have to fix:

Words that are repeated in close proximity are highlighted so I can fix it. Otherwise, it’ll be boring to readers.

The book is 300+ pages so I’ll be at this a while. I want the book as clean as possible when I turn it over to my editor, Anneli Purchase.

  • I am still looking at a publication date of June. A lot has to go right to make that date but I figure I’ve had my quota of drama so I should be alright!
  • I might publish Laws of Nature to Amazon as a pre-order soon. Stay tuned!
  • I am participating in a beta for Amazon, to make some of my books available in hardcover as well as print and digital. So far, I set one up and have had no sales of it. Are you surprised? Do you like hardcovers?
You can find all of my books through my Amazon page. I’m on KU so if you are, they’re free!

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

More on How I’m Doing

How I’m Doing on The Quest for Home– 4

How I’m Doing on Survival of the Fittest — 4

Book Launch–Born in a Treacherous Time


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.

85 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Laws of Nature 6

  1. Congratulations on getting this one to the final stages – true, they always seem to take forever, but you know they are worth it for that final polish.
    I’m at 65K words on The Prince’s Heir. The previous three books in the series all weigh in at over 400 pages, but I think this one will be a little shorter. The action is pretty intense and the story doesn’t need to be padded out. I guess it helps that the character and world building are solid by now, so not (quite) as much space devoted to those aspects. Of course, that may change – I’m no good at estimating final word count!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am having the same mental wondering. This book is shorter than Book 1 but it’s the middle book so maybe that’s OK. And, books in general seem to be shorter than they used to. I think 400 pages probably puts that book of yours in the longer category don’t you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, but they are epic fantasy, so long is expected. I had so much material for the middle book I split it into two, which is why this ended up as a quartet, instead of the intended trilogy, otherwise book #2 would have been well over 200K words – still acceptable in the epic category, but it lent itself to two volumes after a bit of head-scratching.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you’ve had a crazy time there, Jacqui! How you managed to write and keep everything afloat is extraordinary, though I am not surprised that you have.
    Love the cover and looking forward to reading Lucy’s journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You’ve had a lot on your plate last month, Jacqui. The website and blog breaking are events that, in a way, had to happen. When you postpone something for a long time and don’t look forward to making changes, a drastic event like that, makes you focus on it. Not what we want to happen, of course, but in the end, you will be happy with all the positive changes despite the work involved. And, wow, you are very thorough with your books!! Almost there. I think you will make June! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life has been full of unexpected snags and complications this past year, Jacqui, and we just need to learn to be okay with that. For instance: At this time last year, I fully expected to be done with my WIP before 2021, yet I’m still working on it with a ways to go. Happy to hear Laws of Nature is nearing the finish line!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your new book cover is perfect! Sounds like you’ve had your share of mishaps, hopefully it’ll be clear sailing now.
    The website is great. I didn’t realize you had so many educational books!
    Can you tell me how you got in on the beta program for hardcovers?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing a part of your world!!.. like the cover and all the best on your new book!!… technology can be a wonderful thing until it goes wrong… I am not a writer so I keep technology simple, concentrating on the thoughts that I do share… let my fingers do the walking while my heart does the talking… I feel that if I were (or try to be) to become a writer, I would concentrate on the writing instead of the thoughts behind the writing…. 🙂

    Until we meet again… 🙂
    May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    The rains fall soft upon your fields
    May green be the grass you walk on
    May blue be the skies above you
    May pure be the joys that surround you
    May true be the hearts that love you.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. New website looks lovely. I hate it when tech breaks. It’s such a nightmare and time suck. At least you are coming out the other side with the worst behind you. I use autocrit as well and find it hugely useful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t have time for web problems, but they do happen. Sorry to hear you’re having troubles. I like the cover. It goes with the other one and there is something about the backlighting that hides the face that seems appropriate for someone blind.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The cover for Laws of Nature is beautiful, just the right amount of mystery and reveal, especially with the foreground in near silhouette and the background looking like a Da Vinci painting. I buy your books in print, they’re special to me. So sorry about the tech difficulties. When the expert has to ask an expert, the rest of us are in big trouble. BTW, I’ve sent you an email.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the cover, Jacqui. It’s beautiful, intriguing, and such a good fit with your prehistoric “brand.” Your list of search words made me laugh as I’ll finish that step today on my WIP. Lol. I’ll be loading the doc into prowriting aid, but will investigate autocrit as a resource. Hmmm. I’m glad you got your education site sorted out. What a pain having to change themes! Anyway, I’m excited for your release! Can’t wait to spend some time with Lucy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have compassion for your website dilemmas. Most people do not know how many details we authors invest in to create our books. Websites are our lifeline. Without them we would disappear into nothingness. I admire how with a smile, you keep all the plates. You are a heroine to me. Have an inspired day.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui you are so diligent! Fixing all those repeated words before sending me the ms is so considerate, and it will help me to concentrate on other issues. I know that you’ll have a powerful book when you’re all done. I can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Jacqui – all sounds like a nightmare … but wonderful you have Andrew to help you .. and you’ve got the ability to keep working at it – til it’s done. Good for you but such a nuisance.
    Love the new cover – as you say it looks right and fits the brand you’re creating.

    Good luck and all the best as things come together – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • That repeated words is my favorite part of Autocrit. It has lots more but I am amazed how often I miss those repetitions. It’s like I like the word once so used it five more times!

      Like

  14. Love the cover, logline and summary of Laws of Nature, Jacqui. It looks and sounds fantastic. I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had so many tech issues. What a pain. I’ve had some myself over the years, so I know. Time consuming, energy draining and expensive. Hopefully things are heading in the right direction now.

    Liked by 1 person

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