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Posts Tagged ‘e-publishing’

So, no sooner did I post that I was going to work on the rewrite of MAGE STORM while writing the first draft of BECOME

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than BECOME started flowing. I’m sure that’s likely to prove temporary. Still, I’m looking forward to a long weekend of writing.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Progress on BECOME continues to be slow.

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Part of the reason for the is just real-life stuff. But part of it is the pauses while I work out exactly what has to happen in the next chapter or two. For some reason, on this story, those pauses are more frequent than usual. Maybe I’m still just trying to refocus that part of my brain from DUAL MAGICS (which is complete now) to this story.

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But . . . my creativity has this odd quirk. I only really get this kind of inspiration when I’m writing. So, I’m considering pulling out something else to work on during these pauses.

MAGE STORM (probably needs a new title) is a rewrite. The story’s all there, it just needs to be rewritten. Therefore, it shouldn’t usurp that creative energy while still letting me prime the pump for the first draft of BECOME.

Worth a try, anyway. Doesn’t always work.

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Brothers

Not mine. 😉

If you’ve read this blog recently, you know the story I’m currently writing, BECOME, is based, loosely, on the Hercules myth/legend.

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Now, in Greek mythology (not what Disney did with it), Hercules had a half-brother, Iphicles.  Hercules was the son of Zeus, King of the Gods, but Iphicles was the son of a mortal king, Amphitrion. The legend doesn’t say much about Iphicles except that he was the father of Herc’s charioteer.

But there’s a lot of story material to be mined in that relationship. Imagine being Hercules’s brother. He could be a great athlete or warrior or whatever–hero material in his own right–but he’d never get out of Herc’s shadow. It’s just not possible. He could try to be a rival to Herc, but that’s doomed to fail and if he’s at all intelligent he’s bound to figure that out eventually. So, he’s pretty much relegated to the role of sidekick. Unless . . . .

So I’ve given my main character a brother, too. Actually, more than one, but one in particular who is almost the same age. It’s not that brother’s story, but he’s an important character. His actions and reactions as various opportunities open up, only to fall to his brother–again–will play a pretty major role in the story.

Only, as I’m going along with this story, I’ve decided that I don’t want him to be the instigator of trouble. He’s got a younger full brother (also half-brother to the main character) who was always part of the story. And now I think that kid brother needs to be amped up to play a larger role in stoking his older brothers half-buried resentments.

Eventually, that’ll mean making some revisions in the part of the story I’ve already written to give that third brother a larger role. But that’s for the revisions. For now, I’ll just make a note and keep on writing.

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This topic is brought up by a reader’s comment/question about DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The reader wanted to know when the next book was coming out because they wanted to know what was coming next.

The problem is: there is no next book. This is not a series–at least not in the conventional sense. I might have other stories to tell in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING, but they won’t be centered around the same characters. (Though the main characters might very well turn up as side characters or possibly mentors to the new central characters.)

Anyway, those other stories, if they ever happen, are presently on hold for BECOME.

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(Unless one of them jumps up and refuses to let me go until I write it. It has happened before.)

But the comment led me to think about why I feel this story is finished. The main characters are just starting out, after all, even at the end of the novel. There are certainly more adventures in store for them. But those adventures aren’t–quite–stories. Or, more precisely, not compelling stories. So what do they lack that a story should have?

Character arcs. In overcoming the external story problem, these characters have already also grown beyond the internal issues that were holding them back, the things that made them feel inadequate to really follow their dreams. Their arcs are complete.

Unless, of course, another story occurs to me in which they have another internal conflict to overcome. Always possible, but there’s nothing on the horizon right now.

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Very late getting this post up today. In my defense, I’m also seriously sleep deprived and I had to muster my full attention for other things earlier in the day. (And that’s all I’m going to say about what happened yesterday, 11/8/16–at least here.)

Except to add that yesterday and today I wasn’t able to concentrate on writing BECOME. At all.

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Tomorrow will be a busy day. So there probably won’t be much progress then, either. But then I’ll have a three-day weekend and I plan to get back down to work. So, things will be moving forward again, at least in my little corner of the world and to the limits of my ability.

 

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I’m still working on the first draft of BECOME.

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But my time is being split right now as I’m also reviewing recordings (chapter by chapter) for the audio book of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.

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I love the narrator’s work on this, though it’s taking longer than either of us projected.

My process is to listen to each chapter first. And then to listen again while reading along with my copy. So it takes some time to listen to ten chapters. This is the second batch of ten chapters.

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As I’ve said many times before, I’m a modified discovery writer. This means that often there are things I don’t know about the story I’m actually writing. This is particularly true of BECOME.

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And it’s not just the unorthodox, non-linear story structure.

Right now, I don’t know how many books this series will be.

This isn’t completely unusual. When I started the DUAL MAGICS series

Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed SetI thought it would be a trilogy. It ended up as four books.

I’m 33,000 words into this book. I know it’ll take more than one book to finish this story. I just don’t see yet whether it’ll be two or three. I think that’s partly because I don’t yet see the right places where the story breaks into separate parts. But it’s definitely too much story to fit into one book.

Well, while I figure that out, all I can do is keep writing. That’s what discovery writers do, after all.

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For the last week or so, I’ve felt stuck. No obvious progress on BECOME–other than an improvement to the cover.

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However, sometimes I just have to allow myself those pauses. As often as not, it’s because my subconscious is busily working on the story behind my back.

Yesterday, the story just . . . came unstuck and started to flow again. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what happens next as much as I just didn’t have the emotional part worked out. Though it seems obvious to men, now.

So, forward.

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The governments of the five different realms of BECOME

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are not as diverse as the ones in my DUAL MAGICS series.

Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed SetThat would be a tall order. But they do have different ways of passing power from one ruler to the next.

Some use the familiar inheritance by the nearest male relative of the old king. Some use something more like the Holy Roman Empire–a council of prince-electors chose the successor, often from among themselves. In my story, the council is empowered to choose the new king from the old king’s extended family.

And, one kingdom uses a system somewhat related to Frazer’s (See, THE GOLDEN BOUGH) sacred king. In my case, a Great Combat is held at intervals in which two men must fight for the right to rule. The Combat is controlled by the Goddess’s priestesses and serves to reinforce that the right to rule comes from her–only. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always guarantee a good or even a competent king.

There are those who want to end this system, for that reason as well as for dynastic ones. And, of course, those who want to continue it. The conflict between those two groups is part of the background of this story.

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In the world of BECOME, magic and religion are inextricably linked–which probably makes sense. After all, BECOME is loosely based on the Greek myth of Hercules. So, in this story, all magic basically comes from the goddess. (Note: There are other gods in this world, but they aren’t important to the story. In fact, so far, only one other has even been referenced: a mountain god. And, for reasons that are made clear early in the story, none of them are likely to be the source of magic–at least not in the same way.)

In Greek mythology, Zeus had quite a few children with mortal women. Since I’m turning the story on its ear, in this world it’s the earth goddess who has a few children with mortal men. And, to each child and his or her descendants, she gives a magical gift. And that’s the source of all the magic in this world.

Since he’s the ‘Hercules’ in this story, Gaian’s gift, of course, is strength. Although, it will eventually become clear that there’s a purpose behind that particular gift, that will come to fruition in his descendants.

Meanwhile, as I try to work out exactly how the next couple of very important scenes need to go, I’ve been doing a little more work on the cover art for BECOME. When I’ve finished, I think I’ll like this version:

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Much better than the original image:

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I’d tried lightening this image up–and I may lighten the blue version, too . . .

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But it still felt a little too monotone for my tastes. Besides, it’s always best to modify the stock image in some way so that this book doesn’t end up somewhere right next to another one with the same exact cover image. (Yes, I’ve actually seen that happen.)

What do you think?

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