Dawn of Humanity / Man vs Nature / Natural Selection

How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–7

Natural Selection is Book 3 of my trilogy, Dawn of Humanity:

A historical thriller in the spirit of Jean Auel, Dawn of Humanity follows a band of early humans as they struggle to survive in a world where Nature is King, where they are prey not predators. 

Lucy’s tribe includes an eclectic mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium (oops, spoiler), and different iterations of early man. More will join and some will die but that is the nature of prehistoric life, when survival depends on a combination of man’s developing intellect and inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to the task they must complete. Based on true events.

Tagline for Book 3:

New tribe members, intimidating changes, and an unexpected end

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Here’s what I did the past month:

  • Finally I had a good month writing. I found almost 1000 ‘ould’s’ in my story. That’s words like should, would, could that weaken a story and sap its energy. Once I started to clean those out, my entire story felt better.
  • I also cleaned out ‘she’, ‘was/were’, ‘look’, ‘-ly’, ‘-thing’, ‘then’, and more.
  • Working through these words–what did I really mean by ‘was’ and ‘then’–tightened up the scenes, made them more dramatic and interesting at the same time.
  • I changed my mind on the cover. Here are both:

I ordered the first and now–three months later–like the second better. Not sure how I change it because I’ve already taken possession of the original. I’ll be chatting with the cover folks.

  • I’m looking into Amazon Plus content. Anyone doing that yet? Is it complicated?
  • I have a long list of stuff to do once the book is with Anneli, for editing (the trailer, updating social media, writing articles for the launch, and more).

How are you doing?

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. 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, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Spring 2022


81 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Natural Selection–7

  1. Great progress Jacqui! I’m with the first cover bunch. I wouldn’t worry about Lucy’s stance, it makes her looks confident and defiant, which is how I think of her character. Cover two makes her look desparate and a bit crazy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the second cover, Jacqui! It’s a little more revealing. You’ve made wonderful progress in cleaning up. IProwritingAid doesn’t like too many glue words.
    Your launch date is around the corner. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done, Jacqui. Your edits sound like big improvements to the overall content and tightness of the book. If I’m honest, I like the first cover better. There’s something about that raised hand that looks a bit freaky…

    I’ve never done the Amazon Plus content for Plunge, but it is on a long and delayed list of things I still would like to do and improve regarding my book. I know a few who have done this and, apparently, it’s not too difficult. It just takes a couple of hours to compile some content and organize the layout. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you’re making great progress. I’m getting closer to publishing my Casey Holland novella, but even with a shorter book, the same steps need to be done. Granted, making changes from beta readers and my editors as been a much faster process!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear, I like both covers. I note most like the first one but the second one is especially eye-catching. Something about one hand being visible, while the other hand is on her staff. I don’t know – maybe the 2nd one looks a bit threatening … good luck Jacqui .. 🙂 have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Fight or Flight | parentingisfunny

  7. I loved the sound of the edits you are making! Tightening up what is already written to make it better is a real joy!

    For me, I like the pose of the figure in layout one over layout two, but the little blurb is better presented, with cleaner line breaks, in layout two . . . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do have a list. I’m working through it right now. Today, it was saw, observed, felt, smelled, tasted, heard, knew, and thought. I have many more! ‘That’ was a biggie. It fits so many places!


  8. I agree with Darlene. The first cover shows her warrior spirit. A+ has a bit of a learning curve, but I like the results. Especially if you can get a copy of your cover without the writing and split it into three segments, each with their own content.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I also wanted to add that in the cleanup you chose good elements to focus on. Many writers tend to slide into these habits of overusing lazy words that we often use in informal speech. When they show up in print, they look worse than when we speak. I find myself overusing words like “so,” “then,” “just,” and “meanwhile.” I suppose we all have some favourites we overuse. Good to clean them up. Also, many of your “ould” words are good to turf. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

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