The Writing Process of R.J. Batla

I’m starting a new blog series on my writing process. This series will give you some insight on how I go about writing and publishing all my books, for anyone that is curious or wanting to write and publish a book of their own.

It will also help me with my writing process, as I will actually put the process down on paper.

Right now it’s about 15 blog posts long, with quite a bit of detail that I want to add to each one.

Starting Off

The first thing I decide is what I’m going to be writing: is this in a current series, or a completely new one? The process will be different, as there is a lot more set up with a new series. Is this the first book in a series? Is it the second book? Is it a short story? Full-length novel? All these factors will affect how the entire writing process goes, so before I set down to really work on something, I want to have an idea on what story/type of book I want to write.

Genre: typically I write in fantasy, but I’ve also been working on urban fantasy. These two are similar but different. Genre will determine the type of book and everything that goes with it – meaning an epic fantasy book may be longer because you need more world building vs. a book set in the ‘real’ world.

Timeline

This will be partially a function of the length of the book/story I’m writing. In general it takes around six months to get a book out and fully published, give or take a month or two. For me anyway. Knowing that, I try to set out my timeline on getting all my steps in the right order and at the right time to make the book a success. Since this is a part-time thing for me, all these timelines are adjustable, but it helps to have everything on paper so I know what I need to do when, or at least what I need to do next.

When To Write

The best time to write is different for everyone. The main goal is to set aside some time, be it in the morning, at lunch, or at night, and testing need to see what time works best for you and your schedule.

For me, I do a combination of all depending on the day, but mostly it’s at night after the rest of the family has gone to sleep.

Another tool I found is dictation – it really speeds up my writing and I have found that I like to take a walk and dictate a story. It really helps my thinking and I can keep ideas flowing while also getting exercise.

How To Write

This kinda goes with when to write, as when you write my determine how you have to write. Most people nowadays will type on the computer, but it can be just as valuable to write with a pen and paper to get your ideas out, especially the brainstorming or outline phase. You can always transfer it to the computer later.

As I just said, dictation is also another avenue the people can use. I found a valuable, but it does take some getting used to.

Computer Programs For Writing

There are a lot of different articles out there that talk about which writing program is the best, but there are really three that stick out: Google Docs, Word, and Scrivener.

Lots of different people use each of these programs, and there are advantages and disadvantages to all three.

For me, I just stick with good old Microsoft Word. I haven’t played much with Google Docs, but I did purchase Scrivener and try to use it. It is a GREAT tool for writers, as is software that is built specifically for writers. That being said, and everyone who use the programs as is, there is a definite learning curve associated with the program. For me, that was a big stickler, and I did not have patience to learn the new program, so I stuck with word and have been “making it work” for me.

 

That’s all for today!

Next In Series:

Idea generation and Outlining

Keep it real, but keep it fun!

R.J. Batla

Review of Dragon’s Fire by Tiger Hebert

10/10 Stars

 

Epic story, great world, amazing book!

What a great book!

I particularly like that the orcs are good guys for a change.

The cast of characters, different peoples, and the way they interact are all intricately woven together in a masterful story arc that combines action, adventure, and of course a world in peril.

The evil creatures are nasty, and the bad men are equally evil, yet relatable and the reason they are bad makes sense.

How the author weaves the Redemptive story through a fantasy world is very well done.

Each of the characters and peoples grow or change through the coarse of the book, and it is brought to a great ending while getting you excited to for the next installment.

I highly recommend this book for anyone!

This is a Christian Fantasy book.

Illusion: Book One Eomix Galaxy by Christa Yelich-Koth

Illusion: Book One Eomix Galaxy by Christa Yelich-Koth

10/10 Stars

Great read! Intriguing characters and great storyline!

I couldn’t put this book down!

The storyline moves smoothly and effortlessly, while conveying a ton of information and getting you involved with the characters all at the same time!

You can’t help but root for Daith, and wonder where the twisting path before her will be taken by those who are in control.

Illusion is a great space opera book with some amazing powers mixed in!

Highly recommended, but fair warning, you’ll want to read the next one!

A week after launch and THANK YOU. Back to “normal”

Wow! What a week! The launch of Fire Eyes Awakened has been a lot of work, a lot of worry, and a WHOPPING SUCCESS! Thanks to you, the readers! (This is my tipping my hat to you) So:

THANK YOU!

That being said, I’m getting out of launch mode and back into a regular writing schedule, marketing of my now 3 books (still surreal), and writing reviews (check out my review of Into Exile by Derek Alan Siddoway here).

I’ve got about 20k written for Tempus, the next book in the Terraunum Origins Series, and I’m hoping for it to be around 40k words and release in November (don’t hold me to it though – lots can happen between now and then).

So I hope and pray that everyone is doing well, and I’m so thankful for the success so far.

Thanks,

RJ

Review of Into Exile: Teutevar Saga Book 0 by Derek Alan Siddoway

 Get it here!

 

10/10 Stars

What an amazing book!
The author does a great job introducing us to the characters in the world he’s created.
You can’t help but be sucked in you the adventure and emotions of the Lady Guinevere!

The story line had loyalty, family, community, friendship and villains. The women showed their strength, leadership, bravery, skills as a warrior and the willingness to keep going when it seems hopeless. The villains are bad, but realistic. You really feel for all the characters, their motivations, and their pain.

The world building was fleshed out well and character development enough for the reader to care about the characters.

Into Exile was very interesting and enjoyable read. It definitely leaves you wanting to read more.

The only thing it was missing was a map! Its a relatively short book, and I didn’t want to quit reading.

Pick this up-you will love it!

Fire Eyes Awakened to be released on July 20th!

I know, it’s been a month since I put out a blog post, but I’ve been busy trying to get this book launch going, writing the next novella, getting involved in a 30-author promotion group, and having fun with my wife and kids.

So the BIG NEWS, I’m ready to release the FULL LENGTH (we’re talking 110k+ words here) novel into the world! It will be up for preorder soon, so get it while its hot.

Or cold.

Or whatever, just get it!

I’ve enjoyed the process and loved the writing, thanks to all my author buddies who’ve been helping me (you know who you are, but I’ll still be mentioning you at some point).

Big thanks for the love and support from my wife – couldn’t have done this without her.

Get ready, more to come!

Review of Wielder of the Gauntlets by Jason A. Dimmick

 

9/10 Stars

Wielder of the Gauntlets delivers on a page turning action packed adventure!

I was hooked from the beginning – the author draws you into the story quickly and you’re invested in the main character instantly. The characters are developed enough, and the story moves along smoothly.

The book is an easy to read page turning adventure throughout. The fight scenes are well written, well thought out, and accurate. The author really did his homework on how people move in a fight and what would happen during various situations in the action (no spoilers, or would give more detail).

The mix of the Christian worldview into the action, with God providing humans a way to defend themselves against foes they would normally not be able to face is well thought out and adds an air of mystery, suspense, and fighting for a greater cause than yourself.

I’d highly recommend Wielder of the Gauntlets to anyone wanting a good sci/fi-fantasy read. Even more so if you like the Christian element and elements of superheroes thrown in.

Updates, Updates, Updates

I need to get better at posting these more often, but alas, life gets in the way.

What I’ve got going on:

THE RANGER’S FIELD MANUAL, the free book you get when you sign up for my email list, is getting an update, expansion, and all around upgrade! It should be out in the next couple of weeks, and anyone currently on my list will receive a new copy. I’m also going to put it up for sale, but still leave it for free for an email signup. Here’s a cover shot:

FIRE EYES AWAKENED is currently in edit mode (still, I know), but for good news, I’m 68% through with the round one edits! This means the line edits. Then I have to go back and do a little heavier lifting, but it shouldn’t take long. I’m looking to get it out in July, hopefully sooner, but the process is working.

AGAINST THE BEAST is doing ok, selling a couple of copies per week and just providing me a great learning experience through the whole process.

 

If anyone has any questions on the writing, editing, or business process, please let me know – I’m more than willing to share anything I know.

 

If you see something I can do better, let me know! Especially if you can help! J

 

That said, I’ve found a little time to read, and here are my reviews of a couple of books by a couple of authors I know. Both are great reads.

 

Epic Fantasy with a dash of superheroism:

http://www.rjbatla.com/review-of-the-troven-kingdom-of-denall-book-1-by-eric-buffington/

 

Zombie apocalypse:

http://www.rjbatla.com/outbreak-by-joshua-c-chadd-review/

 

I pray you’re doing well, and that God blesses you!

R.J. Batla

Review of The Troven (Kingdom of Denall Book 1) by Eric Buffington

Awesome Fantasy & Coming of Age Story with a little superpowers thrown in! 

 

9/10 Stars
 Buy The Troven
Great read, great first book to the series, and it really sets the whole world up for a nice adventure. By the time I was in the middle I couldn’t put it down. The whole book is well written, and the magic/powers system is both unique and well thought out. Plenty of action, very memorable characters, and an amazing world the author put together.

Great character development throughout. All of the characters are interesting, have their own quirks, and have good reasons behind why they are doing what they are doing. There were quite a few of them, but Eric does a good job of weaving them in

There are a few lulls in the pace/action, but you get through them quickly and back to the more exciting bits. It makes sense with a first book in the series, and it really doesn’t detract from the overall experience.

I like that it is a series, but at the same time has a definite close/ending to this book. Eric put together a self-contained book that sets up the series perfectly. Plus, all three books are out, so you can keep going right now!

For an awesome adventure that will keep you reading and wanting to see the next installment, you have found your book! Pick it up to read and you won’t be disappointed. I’m on to Secrets at the Keep (Kingdom of Denall Book 2)!

Outbreak by Joshua C. Chadd Review

Zombie Apocalypse well done!

10/10 Stars

Great take on the genre, with two families trying to survive and protect themselves and their loved ones. Lots of action and it keeps you on your toes, wondering what will happen or how they will get out of it.

Humor is mixed in there as well, and the characters are relatable to what might actually happen if Zombies suddenly appeared. It’s also refreshing to see the attention to detail, especially in the weapons and gear the characters use.

The buildup and payoff is good, with enough mystery to continue on to the next installment.

The book doesn’t glamorize the gore, but doesn’t shy away from the reality of the situation. We are talking about the Zombie Apocalypse, so there is death and monsters, both the undead and human variety that will happen when civilization collapses.

Fans of “The Walking Dead” or zombie fans in general will love the book, as well as anyone looking for an entertaining read.

Looking forward to reading the next one!