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Archive for April, 2018

I’m approaching the 90% mark on final revisions to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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Whether I’m done or not, tomorrow–or possibly tonight–I’ll get it up for pre-order with a release date probably near the end of May.

Then, as soon as I have a buy link, I need to start revising the back matter of the books already published before coming back to finish the revisions (if they’re not already done). I’m not going to worry about formatting this round, since I’ll have to upload a final version before it publishes anyway.

After the revisions are done, only the polishing edit remains. Although I’ve been doing some of that as I go on the revisions. And, really, once you’re down to moving the words around and changing out synonyms . . . well, the story’s pretty much complete at that point, anyway.

And then I can get back to finishing the first draft of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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Progress

I am about 40% done with the final revisions to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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So that’s going well. But getting it up for pre-order in less than a week also means having a blurb prepared. Eep!

Blurbs can be hard. This is what I’ve got so far. Very much still a work in progress.

Son of a mortal king and the Goddess of earth, life, and fertility, Gaian has the gift of more-than-human strength from his Mother. But She hasn’t told him what it’s for. To be a warrior, as his father currently needs him to be? Surely not. To follow his father as king? That doesn’t seem to require the same kind of strength.

There’s one goal he’s had since childhood, since he first learned of the prophecy. To Become a god, like his Mother. But he’s willing to put that one off indefinitely. Not only because he’ll have to burn to death to achieve that goal. There are also the mysteries of that prophecy to solve before the attempt or the burning would be wasted.

He’s certain that his strength has some purpose. But the only thing he knows to be true is what his father told him long ago: The only true purpose of strength is to protect those who are weaker. And everyone is weaker than Gaian.

With that certainty to guide him, Gaian sets out into a dangerous world to find purpose. Unless the destiny of that prophecy catches up to him first.

Inspired by the legend of Hercules.

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So, I have a new deadline. When I raised my head out of first draft mode and started working on revisions to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING,

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I realized something. I have five of my books–including the prequel novella to the BECOME series–scheduled for a group promotion over the first weekend in May–a May the Fourth promotion, as in “May the Fourth be with you.”

And that is a perfect time to start getting a little promotion for this next book, specifically by getting buy links for it into my other books–especially the ones in the promotion. Now, fortunately, that doesn’t mean that I have to have all the revisions done. I can get a buy link by putting it up for pre-order. And I always planned to have this book out around May or early June at the latest, anyway. That’s way sooner than the 90 days Amazon permits for a per-order.

What I do need to do is get a really good feel for how long I think these revisions will take and add a bit of cushion, plus the ten days Amazon insists the final version be uploaded before publication. The best way to do that is to get as far as I can in the next week or so. Because I will need a little time to revise my other books to include the new buy link. And I will have to set the release date when I set up the pre-order.

Just in case you’re interested, these are the books that will be free from May 4th thru May 6th:

Because of the complexities of making a book that’s published wide (rather than exclusive to Amazon) free, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is already free.

So, back into the revisions trenches for me.

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It’s time. I will now be pausing work on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM

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in order to start the revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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There’s still one critique outstanding, but I’m going to go ahead and start anyway.

I got BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM to the midpoint and it’s almost certainly a good idea to pause while I’ve got a good idea (and notes) on what’s going to happen in the next couple of chapters. That way, hopefully, I won’t lose very much momentum when I switch back again in a month or so.

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This is another on of those discovery writer issues–but a good one. I’m still writing out some of the consequences of that escape in my last post. For Kaleran. But also, as I consider it, this little contretemps is likely to set the antagonist off balance. Maybe make him do something . . . ill-considered, hasty. Which, actually, is just about what should happen at about the midpoint of the story, in this case BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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The trick will be to keep it from precipitating things too fast, because this is still only the midpoint. But, I think I’ve got that covered by what a couple of other characters are about to do next.

This is why I’m still a (mostly) discovery writer. I love discovering the story while I’m writing it. This is what keeps it fun for me.

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Kaleran is still surprising me. Turns out he’s sneaky, too. Well, with his past, he almost had to be, but I hadn’t planned on that. Well, no doubt it will prove useful elsewhere in the plot, too.

Here’s a snippet I just wrote from BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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Someone thought they could lock him in the same cellar they used to lock him in when he was a lot younger. Someone also forgot that he’d escaped from that cellar before, because they think the door wasn’t really locked that time.

“What are you doing?” Alander—Uncle Alander—asked.

“Getting us out of here.”

“I tried the door already. It’s too strong.” He stopped and eyed Kaleran for a moment, then shook his head. “There’s no way to get a good grip on it, so probably too strong for you, too.”

Kaleran smiled grimly. “I’ve been in this Tower for thirteen years. I spent a good deal of that time figuring out how to evade or escape from Uncle Cordan.” He grimaced. “Until he started sending troops of Tower guards after me, anyway.”

He reached up to shoulder height with only a slight wince and counted three bricks over from the door frame. He grasped the brick and tried to pull it out. Hmm. Maybe Uncle Cordan had discovered his secret after all. He ran a finger around the top of the brick. Nothing. Around the bottom. Oh, right. He hadn’t been quite as tall back then. He dropped his hand to the brick immediately below and tugged. It pulled out easily, revealing a shallow space just large enough for the small hammer hidden there. It was a little rusty, after all this time, but that wouldn’t matter.

“What’s that for?” Uncle Alander asked.

“Rel—” Kaleran cut himself off. He wasn’t ready to reveal Reldan’s existence just yet. “A friend once told me that it’s always wisest to attack at the weakest point. The weakest point of a door is the hinges. And this door has hinges on the inside.” Something Uncle Cordan never had realized, apparently.

The other man smiled. “Ah.”

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I introduced Kaleran in this post. He’s not behaving according to plan. And it started right there.

His character arc in BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM was supposed to be a redemption arc. The character who was deceived into the wrong path but changed sides in time.

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He’s not playing along with that plan at all. And I’m not really surprised after that start. This is what sometimes happens to a discovery writer. Characters go off script and, since the script itself–A.K.A. the outline–is very vague anyway, there’s less chance of reining them back around.

Very often, though, I find I prefer what flows over what I had planned, anyway. More often than not, it feels more authentic for the character. And this is still only a first draft. Anything can be changed in the revisions. (Some changes just involve more pain.) So, I’m going to see where this leads. Who knows, events may still lead him back to where I planned for him to go. Or to someplace better.

Fortunately, the other characters are so far sticking to the script.

 

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