Okteveos Release Delayed

the 8 fates of okteveos

The 8 Fates of Okteveos is getting major rewrites at the suggestion of beta readers.

Parts of the anticipated book are going back to the second edit process which could delay the release by several weeks. J. Tordsen explains.

I am going to delay the release of The 8 Fates of Okteveos based on the feedback I received from beta readers. I use a self-edit process and to ignore the feedback from the beta readers is ultimately self-defeating. As this is my first foray into novel writing, it is worth taking the extra time to make the manuscript the best it can be.

What did the beta readers say? In a nutshell, the first half of the book was too much of a lift for the readers. So much so that one reader even began skimming and missed some important details that helped make sense of the story in later chapters.

In fairness, I have only been working on this book off and on since about January 2023. Ten months of work on a novel that might take years to write is better than I expected – especially considering how slow I type.

J. Tordsen

The original release was planned for October but with the delay, a new release date has yet to be determined. Gigabooks Press will announce the new date once it becomes available.

Use of “Artificial Intelligence” in Writing

This is an excerpt from The Gigabytes Guide to Writing available on this site in paperback and e-book.

Let’s start off by calling it what it is: a large language model chat bot. Not only is it not artificially intelligent, it is well known for making factual mistakes and outputting terrible writing. “AI” is effectively a marketing term.

The temptation to use chat bots to write some or all of a work is great for any writer – particularly if they are struggling. Without getting into how these systems actually work, my advice as a writer and as a technologist is: Don’t.

The reasons are, quite frankly, both numerous and serious. First off, copyright law is not settled when it comes to chat bots and writing. If you let a chat bot write any part of your work for you, it is entirely possible you could find yourself on the end of a lawsuit over the rights and royalties to your work by the company that developed the chat bot. As ridiculous as it sounds, these companies may legitimately have a case against you.

Second, there are many publishing houses that will ban you if you try to submit a work that was written by AI – even in part. This could limit your audience and publishing options.

Third, flooding the market with poorly-written, self-published dreck – even if human edited – hurts the entire writer / reader community. If readers spend their hard-earned money on a terrible book that isn’t up to standards, then there is the potential to lose that reader forever. One bad book can be dismissed as a fluke, but if book after book is terrible, a reader might wonder why they are wasting their time and money.

Finally, if you can’t write for yourself, put this book down now and find another hobby. For example, I hear this show, Ghosts, is pretty compelling.

J. Tordsen on The Author’s Voice

J. Tordsen will be on The Author’s Voice Podcast with Donnie Lansdale on September 14, 2023.

He will be discussing past projects like the recently released The Gigabooks Guide to $0 Publishing, The Gigabytes Guide to Writing, and the upcoming The 8 Fates of Okteveos.

To listen, you can search for The Author’s Voice with Donnie Lansdale anywhere you get your podcasts.

Editing The 8 Fates of Okteveos

The 8 Fates of Okteveos has completed its second edit and author J. Tordsen has been tracking word counts throughout the process.

The following table shows how the book’s word count has evolved through the writing process.

Section Draft Edit 1 Edit 2 Change Edit 1/2/Total
1 24,112 22,098 23,013 -2014/+915/-1099
2 4,392 5,286 6,453 +894/+1167/+2061
3 3,086 3,397 3,471 +311/+74/+385
4 – 5 5,243 5.457 5,884 +214/+427/+641
6 2,789 3,248 3,255 +459/+7/+466
7 11,730 12,602 14,483 +872/+1881/+2753
8 2,517 2,957 3,287 +440/+330/+770
Total 53,869 55,187 59,846 +1318/+4659/+5977
Okteveos Word Count Table

Section 1: The first section is consistently the largest part of the book, however, during the first edit, a massive 2000 word chunk was deleted to move the story along. In the second edit, some detail was added back in but the overall length is about 1000 words down from the original draft.

Section 2: This section grew by nearly 50%. Detail needed to be added consistently as the other sections took shape.

Section 3: It was the least developed story in the draft. After the first edit, very little needed to be added to it.

Section 4 – 5: Section 4-5 are combined for a very good reason in the book. While not a lot of detail needed to be added, it need to be added consistently like section 2.

Section 6: This section was probably the most developed part of the book. Edit 1 involved some corrections but by edit 2, the story was polished enough where it only needed a small edit.

Section 7: This is the second largest section of the book and where a lot happens. It also needed massive edits to tell the story properly.

Section 8: The rest of the book leads up to the events at the end so, any changes here almost require changes elsewhere in the book and vice-versa.

As you can see, the book started out smaller and grew as the story was refined. Most of the time we hear about authors “over-writing” a manuscript and the tug of war that happens between the editor that wants to cut it down and the author who wants to keep every word. This is not how J. Tordsen writes.

“For me, the story has always developed in editing. The rough draft is, well, rough. While I am not afraid to cut out entire sections out of a story to make it flow better, on the potter’s wheel of writing, I only start off with enough clay to make an ashtray before adding clay to build up the story into a vase. I have a short story I wrote decades ago and I have revisited that story many times over the years to re-edit it. With each edit, it got better and more detailed. If anything, I under-write a story.”

Beta readers wanted for Okteveos

the 8 fates of okteveos

A call has been put out for beta readers for the upcoming The 8 Fates of Okteveos.

Author J. Tordsen is looking for beta readers for his upcoming novel, The 8 Fates of Okteveos, a supernatural fiction novel written as a series of short stories with an overall story arch connecting them all.  Readers will be invited to read some or all of the sections and provide feedback to the author. Those who complete one section of the beta reader project will be given an ebook copy of the finished product. Those who beta read for the entire novel will be given a special paperback copy of the novel signed by the author. 

This announcement coincides with the new Beta reader program hosted by Gigabooks Press. As stated on the Beta reader application page:

Beta readers are an important part of the publishing process at Gigabooks Press. Beta readers get early access to some or all parts of an unpublished work to critique it and provide the author with useful feedback.

There are no prerequisites for being a beta reader apart from a willingness to read and provide the requested feedback. As long as you provide the appropriate details, acceptance into the program is a given.

How it works: An author will invite you to beta read their manuscript based on the information provided in your application. Beta readers can then accept or reject any assignments they are invited to. The author may provide incentives to complete their particular beta read. Gigabooks Press facilitates the program but does not have any bearing on who is invited for a particular beta reading assignment or what incentives are provided that is entirely up to the author.

Interested readers can signup for an invitation at the Beta Reader Application page.

Book Announcement: The 8 Fates of Okteveos

the 8 fates of okteveos

the 8 fates of okteveos

Who holds the gods to account when a comedy of errors turns into a life of tragedy?

Okteveos was a strange case. His ability to sense the emotions of others with almost telepathic insight left him unable to feel his own. As a result, a series of mishaps, accidents, and death surround him throughout his life. One day, the powers that be had enough and destroy him and the island he inhabited in a fiery volcanic explosion over 3600 years ago.

Now, he faces judgement and punishment from the very architects of his entire existence. Is Okteveos the master of his misdeeds and deserving of damnation or is he the victim of the fates that caused the tragedies that befell him? The answer to that question will take Okteveos on a journey through time he’s never known and lives he could never imagine.

Artwork by https://facebook.com/RoarTjorhomsArts

Source: https://www.facebook.com/j.tordsen

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