May 2022 Update

It’s been… a month.

I was sick for three weeks of April with allergies turned sinus infection with a dash of migraines and weather-induced joint pain, so I didn’t really get much done in those three weeks (or this first week of May for that matter). However, I did work pretty diligently in the first half of the month, so it’s not all bad. I managed to finish up edits up through Chapter 10 on my rewrite, which then became Chapter 9 once I condensed another two chapters into one earlier in the book. I started working on my next section of chapters, summarizing each scene so the writing part would be less difficult. Of course, that’s about the time when I got really sick, and my productivity tanked. Still, not all bad.

Word Counts:

Blog/Newsletter: 1,128

Total Words Written Last Month: 19,615
Total Words Written in 2022: 65,446

Plans for This Month:

I’m finally starting to feel better, and after a bit of illness-induced frustration and malaise that made me want to quit writing altogether, I’m feeling better about going back to work on rewrites next week. However, moving forward, I’m going to revise my rewrite plan.

I figured out how to fix my weaker scenes and characterization in one of the early chapters of the book, so I think that’s going to be my first order of business this month. It’s just a matter of rewriting one scene (using some existing material from later in the book) and expanding another scene to include some of the original elements from the first draft that should help flesh out a minor subplot that becomes more important later in the book.

I also decided to rearrange my draft back into four parts at the natural act breaks and midpoint, instead of just lumps of five chapters. I think it will help me focus on the storytelling within each act as a whole, so that each act is cohesive in itself. At the moment, I have Act I: Chapters 1-6; Act IIa: Chapters 7-11; Act IIb: Chapters 12-17; Act III: Chapters 18-23, plus an epilogue. With the edits I plan on making to the current Chapter 3, that may expand into an extra chapter in the first act, but it really depends how much I actually need to add in there. (It’s already pushing toward 6,000 words, and I’m trying to keep my chapters less than 6,500 if at all possible.)

Once I’ve fixed those early scenes though, I’ll get back to work on the current Chapter 10, the next to last chapter in Act IIa. I’m hopeful that I can be pretty productive for the rest of the month (assuming I don’t get sick again), and I can wrap up Act IIa before June rolls around.

I’m definitely behind where I would like to be progress-wise, but such is life.

April 2022 Update

Writing: March was a very productive month for me! If you remember last month, at the end of February, I decided to buckle down on my book by pulling back on social media and my non-writing streams, and it has certainly started to pay off! I had some up weeks and some down weeks, but overall, I made excellent progress on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL. I’m a little behind where I would like to be...

March 2022 Update

I’m really pleased with how February went. Last week was, by far, my best week, but I made really steady progress on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL, and managed to finish one of my most difficult chapters to edit so far (which was my primary goal for the month, so, woohoo!). I’m about halfway through Part 2 now. I also rewrote my query and synopsis for the book, which, I think, helped me...

February 2022 Update

(Belated update, as it seems I forgot to post this last month!) January was a bit of a roller-coaster, with several good writing days and a lot of bad ones. I also caught COVID, which wasn’t horrible. I actually wrote the most on my WIP the week I was sick. Go figure. I wrapped up rewrites on Chapter 6 in BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL and then ground to a screeching halt on Chapter 7 when I...

January 2022 Update

Writing: I took last month off from writing, which was a much-needed break after wrapping up rewrites on Part 1 of BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL in November. I did write up a monthly post and yearly wrap up, but that’s it. Having a full month off from writing gave me time to catch up on my reading and let my brain rest for a bit, though I still didn’t read as much as I would have liked!  ...


May 2022 Update

It’s been… a month. I was sick for three weeks of April with allergies turned sinus infection with a dash of migraines and weather-induced joint pain, so I didn’t really get much done in those three weeks (or this first week of May for that matter). However, I did...

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The Brass Giant

Chroniker City #1

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. But when Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for…

The Mechanical Theater

Chroniker City #1.5

Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork city’s boiler rooms to help support his large adopted family. When Le Theatre Mecanique holds an open call for their upcoming performance, he decides to audition, but the only role he is suitable to fill is that of the theater’s custodian…

The Guild Conspiracy

Chroniker City #2

It has been six months since clockwork engineer Petra Wade destroyed an automaton designed for battle, narrowly escaping with her life. But her troubles are far from over. Her partner on the project, Emmerich Goss, has been sent away to France, and his father, Julian, is still determined that a war machine will be built. Forced to create a new device, Petra subtly sabotages the design in the hopes of delaying the war, but sabotage like this isn’t just risky: it’s treason. And with a soldier, Braith, assigned to watch her every move, it may not be long before Julian finds out what she’s done…


Brooke Johnson is an avid gamer, home baker, dabbling artist, tabletop roleplayer, amateur meadmaker, and published author. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely bearded paladin of a husband, their rogue daughter, and four animal companions in the suburbs of Northwest Arkansas.

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