Archive for October, 2011

I got so busy writing I forgot to blog.

So, here’s an update on my progress:

  1. I finished this round of revisions to SEVEN STARS and closed the file. I intend to leave it closed for about six months. Then I’ll come back, read it through, hopefully do only a polishing edit (but who knows what I’ll find after six months) and then get ready to start sending it out. I may start the query and synopsis during those six months. It’s not too early.
  2. I got through Chapter 5 of MAGIC’S FOOL. A tricky chapter because one of the characters dies. And getting to that point made it clear to me at least part of why I wasn’t happy with the first 4 chapters. It’s a first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect or anywhere close at this point, but it is comforting to know what I need to fix in the second draft. I think (well, I hope, anyway) that I’ll be able to move along faster, now.
  3. I’m hard at work on Chapter 6 of BLOOD IS THICKER. The central problem has been set up, but the characters aren’t yet agreed on a course of action. In fact, there’s a certain amount of conflict over Rolf’s choice. Conflict is good.
  4. I’ve just started looking over the early chapters of MAGE STORM. So far, it’s just tinkering. There are more significant problems in Chapters 2 and 3 that I have to resolve. Chapter 2 is not giving the reader a good enough sense of Rell as the main character. Chapter 3 isn’t setting up Rell’s decision to go off and seek an answer “out there” nearly well enough. I’m anxious to get this back out there.
  5. I’ve just about made a decision on BLOOD WILL TELL. I think its time is now or very soon. I haven’t heard back from the agent who has a full manuscript, yet. (It’s still really early for that.) But, if this one falls through, I think I will go ahead and e-publish this one. I even started a mock-up of the cover art. I am not nor will I ever be a graphic artist.
  6. I’ve started research for THE BARD’S GIFT, my YA alternate history. This story will ake place far enough (physically) from the main events of its time that I’m not too concerned about historic events or people beyond what I already know. But I do need to have a feel for what daily life would have been like for these characters.

Whew! I guess that’s why I was too busy to remember to blog.

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Reading List

Time to report on what I’ve been reading recently.

I dipped into the world of mainstream (non-YA) fantasy for a while. Patricia Brigg’s CRY WOLF and THE HOB’S BARGAIN (both purchased at Borders Going-Out-Of-Business Sale).

CRY WOLF is good, but Anna just isn’t and will never be Mercy Thompson. And Charles isn’t Adam, either. I love a story with a broken main character who has to overcome their past (witness my love of just about anything by Lois McMaster Bujold). But I need more of a sense of the character’s struggle. I didn’t get that much from CRY WOLF. If you do read it, be sure to get a copy of the novella “Alpha and Omega” to read first. It’s available cheap as an e-book. CRY WOLF starts up directly after “Alpha and Omega” and the reader really would be lost without that.

THE HOB’S BARGAIN was also good. A little tough for me to get into. The cataclysm right at the beginning before I’d had a chance to get a feeling for the main character was actually a little off-putting. Then the story took a little while to really get started. Once it did, I really liked Aren as a main character. Much more than Anna.

I picked up SUPERNATURALLY, the sequel to PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White at the brand new Mysterious Galaxy bookstore just a few miles from me. I loved PARANORMALCY.  SUPERNATURALLY has the feeling of being the middle, though. It didn’t have enough of a central conflict of its very own to real drive the story forward for me. I had more the feeling that this was setting up the third book in the trilogy.

Now, I’m finishing up GOLIATH by Scott Westerfeld. I cannot say enough about this steampunk trilogy (LEVIATHAN, BEHEMOTH, and GOLIATH). I wish there was going to be a fourth book just so I don’t have to say goodbye to these characters. Deryn Sharp who pretends to be a boy so she can join His Majesty’s Air Service (flying around in a helium-filled bio-engineered whale) and Alek, secret heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the run from relatives who would kill him to make sure he never takes the throne. Great fun.

I’m also reading Lois McMaster Bujold’s MIRROR DANCE. I stalled out on this one because part of me really did not want to read the part where Miles gets (temporarily) killed. Now I’ve past that, I expect to speed up and finish the story more quickly. Even more than BROTHERS IN ARMS, in addition to being a roaring good tale, it’s an interesting study in Miles and his clone, genetically identical, yet raised very differently. Mark is not Miles and fails utterly at trying to do something Miles would do well. But Miles is also not Mark.

Next, I expect I’ll read Maggie Stiefvater’s LINGER. I enjoyed SHIVER, despite the blue ink. LINGER is printed in dark green ink. Just whose brilliant idea was that?

More about what I’m writing on Wednesday.

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