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.


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

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!

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:


Zombie apocalypse:


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

R.J. Batla

Book at the Editor, Novella Moving, and Easter!

Again, I’ve been lax in posting, and pretty busy during the meantime. AGAINST THE BEAST is doing well, for me anyway, selling a few copies every week, and people seem to be liking it! I’ve been trying to ramp up my social media presence, and have found a lot of interesting people out there just like me, writing books on the side and trying to get their stories out there.

It shows that there is a market for what I’m writing, and I’m glad that readers are out there and finding what we’re putting out.

FIRE EYES AWAKENED is at my wonderful editor! Woo-hoo! This puts me on track to release ASAP, which means like May or June (yeah, I know). But it’s crazy exciting, over 100,000 words that has been a long time coming. I’m so excited to share it with you… but not quite yet…

I’ve never done any kind of Facebook launch party, but I have an author friend who is doing one, so I figured I’d post it to see if someone would be interested in joining the release party! If not, maybe you’re interested in the books. Click/tap on the picture to go to the event:

As Easter is coming up, remember who you are and whose you are. Our Savior rose that day, and changed the world. Let the kids find the eggs, but remember what they represent.

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

 Till the next update!

R.J. Batla

Editing, Editing, Ideas, Short Story Contest, Outline/Plotting…

I’ve hit the 70% mark in editing FIRE EYES AWAKENED! It’s going great, excited to push it out, looking to get it done and out by June 1st. Still a lot of work to do, but it’s progressing.

I didn’t win the short story contest I entered, but i learned a ton, and I’ll use that moving forward. I like writing the short stories, so I’ll try to do a little more of that when I have time.

I’m using AMS to run ads. You pay per click, and while I’m not getting great results, it is increasing exposure so I’m going to let it go for a while, keep testing and see what happens.

I’m also thinking of doing a little freelance work in the space of helping people outline/plot their own works. I’ve really enjoyed the process, and have most of my books outlined already, so I think I’m going to try to start doing that. It would be on an ad hoc basis, so it wouldn’t take away from any of my other projects I have going.

Other than that, it’s Monday, time to get going and knock this week down. BOOM!

May God bless and keep you, and shine his face upon you!


A little late, but Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Updates!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! Ok, Ok, I’m a little late in getting a new blog post out. Sorry about that, it’s been a little busy.

I hope you had an amazing holidays.

So, as far as AGAINST THE BEAST is concerned, all the versions are out. Ebook, Print, and Audiobook. It was an interesting few months getting the whole thing out, and I’m glad I started with the novella before I tackle FIRE EYES AWAKENED – I learned a whole lot on what to do, what not to do, and what not to waste time on.

As far as FIRE EYES AWAKENED, I’m heavy into the editing still, probably about a third of the way done. It’s been a heavy edit, a little bit of a rewrite of some parts, so it’s taken me a long time. BUT… again, always learning, I now know what to do/what not to do and I have a system for moving forward on books, so I can hopefully get them out faster next time.

As far as productivity, I’ve had to go back to writing at night. I can get up in the morning and work on many things, but writing is not one of them. The proverbial juices do not flow.

That being said, I now know this. You have to figure out what works for you, and then roll with it. It has allowed me to progress much further in a shorter amount of time.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Seems pretty straightforward, but we have to remember that we do not understand the big picture. The whole picture. We have to trust that the Lord has everything under control, no matter what it may seem like, and keep our faith in him, and him alone.

Have a great day, and keep plugging along!

Hiring an Editor – Do I need one, how do you do it?


So now what?

Everything I’ve read says you need to hire an editor, especially for your first book. Starting with a content editor (does the story make sense, any plot holes, character development), then copy edit (the actual words, punctuation, etc.).

And I’ll tell you – they were right!

I’ve just hired the content editor, and sent them the first chapter. She found things there that I already missed/will make the story much better! And in the process, I asked several for a sample of their copy edits, and WOW is it easy to make mistakes in the writing process. Spellcheck is good, but no substitute for the human eye.

Conclusion: GET AN EDITOR.

I used, but no matter what you use as far as freelancers go, make sure you get samples to make sure their style matches yours. Also, the better you make your job description (i.e. what you want), and the clearer you make your expectations, the better the editing bid process will go.

Next steps, get everything else together!

Hope you have a blessed day!

RJ Batla