Archive for November, 2015

I had visions of hours of writing because . . . five-day weekend. I didn’t allow for reality. Reality won.

Yeah. Didn’t allow for the “holiday” part of holiday weekend. Still, writing is getting done. I’m at a very interesting part of the story, now. It’s just not as much writing as I’d hoped for.


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Or thereabouts. Since I don’t outline, halfway can be a somewhat nebulous concept until I get to “The End”. But I figure I’m close to about the middle of WAR OF MAGIC.


As usual, for a discovery writer, things in the remaining half are moving a bit from what I originally envisioned. I think it will actually be much better. More streamlined, too.

Real life permitting (and this season can be somewhat complicated for that), the pace should begin to pick up.

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I’ve started wrestling with the cover art for WAR OF MAGIC. I’ve had the image finalized for quite a while.


It’s very nearly perfect, but there’s just one problem with it. All the other books in the series use white text. And white just doesn’t show up well on this background.

So I’ve been experimenting with options.

I tried black text. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t show up real well, either.


(This one isn’t finished, of course. It still needs the “Dual Magics Book 4” somewhere. Most of these do.)

I tried to use solid bands.


This works, but it has the disadvantage that I’d probably have to change all the other covers to match–and I like them better as they are.

I tried a mix.


I tried clearing part of the background.


And I tried a drop shadow.


So far, most of the people I’ve asked like the bands best. But I don’t.

Well, we’ll see.

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This unofficial NaNoWriMo has been an interesting experience. Apart from this, I don’t normally track my word count from day to day.

One thing I’ve noticed by doing that is that changes in POV slow me down. WAR OF MAGIC, like all of the DUAL MAGICS series, has several POV characters (five so far). POV only changes at chapter breaks, generally. And every time the POV changes, it’s like I have to build up momentum all over again. Or get into the new POV character’s head.

I’m not sure there’s much I can do about that for this story. Most, if not all, of those POV changes are necessary. But it is an interesting thing to note for the future.


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It’s a good thing I’m not officially doing NaNoWriMo, because I’m pretty sure I don’t stand a chance of getting 50,000 words done in the month of November.

Sometimes that’s because I’ve got a difficult (for me) part to write, like that first sea battle I’ve ever attempted. Sometimes it’s because real life interferes, like the week, almost, when my energies went more into dealing with car issues stemming from recalls. (Don’t get me started on that one.) And then, of course, we’ve got Thanksgiving coming up, too.

But that doesn’t mean it’s been a total loss. So there’ve been relatively few days I’ve made the goal of 1667 words a day. I’ve been making slow, but steady progress. And I’m now more than a third through the first draft half-way through the month. It’s been well worth it and I’m going to make every attempt to keep it up, even into December. I’d really love to finish this first draft by or in January.


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Recharge Day

Every once in a while, it’s necessary to take a day just to let the creativity wells recharge. I hadn’t really planned to take one today.

Then again, I hadn’t planned to be woken–very rudely–at o’ dark something this morning–on my day off–by my cat.

Aliza and Widget Naptime

It seems to have disrupted the rest of the day. So, recharge.

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I’ll say this for doing NaNoWriMo–even unofficially: it’s helped me build momentum in WAR OF MAGIC.


Especially through some tricky parts. I’d never written a naval battle–well, a battle between attacking ships and a moderately fortified city, anyway. I’m sure that my competitive spirit and trying to keep up with something remotely like the NaNo pace helped me get through that faster.

Not that I’m remotely close to the pace necessary to complete 50,000 words in a month–yet. But I am definitely building momentum in spite of a few real life issues that might have derailed me otherwise.

I’ve also got a pretty good plan–as much as a discovery writer plans ahead, anyway–for the next ten or so chapters. That should help.

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It’s an interesting experience. I’ve had something like it when I started the rewrite of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.


But that was something I’d first written at the beginning of my writer’s journey. A story I still wanted to tell, but had told badly the first time I tried. That was an experience in realizing just how bad those first efforts were.

After publishing the boxed set of young adult fantasies, BY SWORD, TALE, OR MAGIC, I started reading them.

By Sword Boxed SetAt first, I thought it was an in-depth format check. But I’ve found I got sucked into my own stories–and I know how they’re going to end if anyone does. Not to say I haven’t found things I’d do differently if I wrote that story today.

Probably the biggest one is scenes I clearly remember, but didn’t remember cutting from the finished novel. Most were rightly cut. There’s always some of that in the editing of any story. Others I can’t recall why I cut. Probably trying to fit within some externally dictated length. A few, I wish I hadn’t cut. That’s an interesting perspective to carry with me into my next set of revisions.

A useful experience. And affirming. All writers need that from time to time.


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NaNoWriMo is an annual event in which thousands of writers commit to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. (Actually, why November is something of a mystery to me. That’s a fairly busy, distractable time of year, but I’m not in charge.)

I’ve never done NaNo–and I’m not officially doing it this year, either. Mostly, this is because I know I can write that many words in a month when everything is right. BLOOD WILL TELL was like that.

Blood Will Tell Cover

I think I wrote that entire first draft (probably about 80,000 words) in six weeks. What a roller-coaster ride that was. But I also know that, for me, trying to force the words when something’s not right or the story just needs me to take more time with it won’t lead to anything productive.

But I feel like I need to give myself some more specific–and frequent–goals to really push me on WAR OF MAGIC.


(I really need to go ahead and put the title on that cover.) NaNo breaks down to about 1667 words a day, which should be totally doable.

So, I’m unofficially doing NaNo this month. I’ve committed to posting daily check-ins for NaNo on one of the writers’ forums I belong to. That should help.

Of course, 50,000 words won’t finish the draft. I’m at about 30,000 words now and the previous books in the series have run over 100,000 words. But it’d sure take a big chunk out of it.

Wish me luck.

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