Archive for March, 2016

Celebration time! The first draft of WAR OF MAGIC is finally complete!


Now to get a little work in on BECOME, so that one story can drive the other out of my head and I can come back to the first round of revisions with fresher eyes.


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Only two and a half chapters to go to “The End” of WAR OF MAGIC.


Actually, one and a half chapters and an epilogue.

Then, of course, it’s on to the rest of the cycle:

  • Let the first draft rest. (Which will give me a chance to work on BECOME.)
  • Probably two or three rounds of revisions to whip it into shape. First drafts are allowed to be bad. Final drafts aren’t.
  • Then to my critique partners to find out what I missed (because I know the story) or didn’t make clear. Or what just doesn’t work.
  • Then final revisions and a polishing edit.
  • And then formatting.

So, yeah. The end of the first draft is in sight. Still cause for celebration.

Happy Easter

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I’ve always planned to put out a boxed set of the DUAL MAGICS series some time after I publish WAR OF MAGIC.


A few days ago, I had another thought. I could put out a boxed set of the first three books for a limited time as a lead up to the release of the fourth and final book, WAR OF MAGIC. And, tempting as it is to jump on this, the best time to do that is when I can include a buy link (or pre-order link) at the end of the set. So, this can’t happen until I’m withing three months of publishing WAR OF MAGIC (because that’s how long Amazon currently allows pre-orders to run).

And, as you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I’m still working on the first draft of WAR OF MAGIC. I expect I’ll finish that within the next two weeks, but that’s not even close to being within three months of publication. One of those months is just to let the first draft cool, so I can look at it with fresher eyes. Then I have to do a couple of rounds of revisions before it goes out to critique partners (who usually need about a month to read and critique a full novel). Then another round of revisions and a polishing edit. So, yeah, longer than three months.

Nevertheless, I’ve started to work on cover art for the boxed set.


This will, of course, eventually be replaced by the full boxed set.

And then, someday, I plan on putting out a boxed set of the first books in different series. Of course, that has to wait until I have another series or two under my belt.

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Whole books have been written on writing battle and fight scenes. They can be really tricky to write.


And this battle at the climax of WAR OF MAGIC is probably going to need three chapters–mostly short chapters–but still. Some of that is because I want to show the battle from more than one perspective.

I’ve written the first of those three chapters–at least in first draft. Moving forward.

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Yesterday, I updated my running outline for WAR OF MAGIC.


I’ve been doing this, more or less, for much of the first draft–outlining just the next handful of chapters. As a discovery writer, that works much better for me than trying to outline the whole novel.

This time, that took me right to the end of the story. Seven more chapters. Of course, that may change a little, but not by too much.

The end is in sight. At least, the end of the first draft.

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I’m currently writing the chapter (or possibly two) that will lead up to the climactic battle of WAR OF MAGIC–and the whole DUAL MAGICS series.


There’s a reason why the cover for this book has fire as a background image, where the earlier books had lightning or smoke backgrounds–all in blue and red to symbolize the two kinds of magic.

I’ve got one character who may be dead already in the first attack. He’s never been a POV character and the other characters don’t know, so I’ve got a little time to decide if I’m going to save him or not. (Probably not.) I already killed off another character awhile back. Not my favorite thing to write, even off-stage.

Nevertheless, a few more are going to have to die or be seriously injured. I can believably get them through a few skirmishes mostly unharmed. But not this battle.

Makes me a little sad. I’ve spent quite a lot of time with these characters by now. I’d like to send them all off to live happily ever after, but that just won’t work for this story.

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I’ve said this a couple of times before, but I’m going to go out on a limb one more time and say that my goal is to finish the first draft of WAR OF MAGIC by the end of the month.


Now, I’d better get back to work on it.

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My last post was about part of the world I’m creating from BECOME.


This area of the story’s world will be very important, so it needs description.

My first drafts tend to be pretty spare on description, generally. But this is one of those places that requires a full description. I have to make this part of the world real to the reader. I don’t think I’ve done that yet. I’ve got the bones, maybe, but not the flesh. I’ll need to engage more of the five senses–the ones that are harder for me, like smell and touch. (I’m really not sure how a forest tastes, so I think I may have to leave that one out.) So I know I’m going to have to revisit this in the revisions.

And I have to describe it not just as I saw it (twenty years ago), but as my character would experience it. Some things that I recall might not be important to him. And some things I barely noticed might well draw his attention. So that’s going to take some thought and digging a little–or a lot–deeper.

Meanwhile, it’s time to build to the climax in WAR OF MAGIC.


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I posted a while back about having to go back and clarify some of my world building for BECOME. But that was the world building relating to the cultures and religion of this world. There’s another kind.


I’ve now reached the part of the story where my main character will first encounter a new part of this world–one that will be very important to most of the rest of this story. And so I need to describe it.

Now, the physical aspect of this part of the world is based heavily on the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. In particular, on Princess Louisa Inlet. So, I thought it would be a good idea to refresh my memory. Since a trip there is, unfortunately, impractical at the moment, that meant getting out the photo album from that trip. I thought I’d share a few.

This is the entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet. It’s actually called Malibu Rapids, and it’s very narrow and only about 30 feet deep–at high tide.

Entrance to Princess Louisa Inlet

That little spot, black below and red or yellow above, you can see off the point? That’s the zodiac going ahead to make sure of the channel.

The forest is the very definition of a temperate rain forest.

Princess Louisa Inlet

Princess Louisa Inlet Forest

Princess Louisa Inlet Forest 4

Princess Louisa Inlet Forest 3

It was September when I was there, and the Fall colors were just starting.

Princess Louisa Inlet Forest 2

And, at the head of the inlet, there’s Chatterbox Falls.

Chatterbox Falls Close Up

Chatterbox Falls 2

This is the valley above Chattebox Falls.

The Valley Above Chatterbox Falls

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