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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

When one creative outlet isn’t working for me, sometimes it’s helpful to play in a different sandbox for a while. It keeps the creative juices flowing–or gets them flowing again.

That’s why BECOME: BROTHERS now has a new cover, which will match the other covers in the series much better than the old one.

Male hand breaking with fist concrete wall. Mixed media

And why I’m currently working on bundling the series into a boxed set, complete with cover.

BecomeSeries2

I’m still working on the 3D boxed set version of this cover.

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Things got rather mixed around here.

First, Friday started out like this:

 

That’s my car, trapped behind the fallen tree.

Then Saturday, apart from nursing a few sore muscles from helping to deal with that mess at least enough for going on with, I tackled all of the weekend chores because I expected to be away today. However, due to the rain, it was decided to reschedule that trip until next weekend. And, possibly due to the real storms, I haven’t much felt like writing about a fictional one today.

So, not a lot of writing has taken place over the last few days.

I’ll get back to work on MAGE STORM possibly later today or Monday.

Mage Storm

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Momentum

It’s early to tell yet, but I may just be finally gaining momentum on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Not that I won’t still have to go back and fix the beginning, but I may have made enough notes about that in the manuscript to make it possible to move forward.

What turned the tide (if it has turned)? Well, it’s strange what will work. In this case, sharing a short excerpt on social media and garnering some interest in it.

At the flicker of green light, Rell blinked and lowered the clay jug to glance across the open plains. He shrugged. Maybe it was nothing, just a trick of the light or a reflection. Everything was some shade of green or yellow in that direction except the line of clouds on the horizon. “Looks like there’ll be a storm, later.”

Da didn’t even look up from his weeding. “All the more reason to get this done earlier. Quit your daydreaming, Rell. Back to work.”

Rell sighed and knelt next to the row of three-inch-high corn he was supposed to be weeding. From the corner of his eye he saw the lightning fork down from the distant clouds. He froze, half bent to his work. That bolt had been red! He would swear to it. There were a lot fewer things on the plains at this time of year that could be that color. He jumped to his feet, brushing the heavy clay soil from his hands and tossing his head to get the unruly brown hair out of his eyes.

A bolt of orange lightning forked down as Rell watched. No thunder followed the flash. No thunder had followed any of them. Silent lightning made Rell’s skin crawl as much as the weird colors. The towering clouds loomed a lot nearer, scudding across the sky with unnatural speed. The underside of the thunderheads flashed with shifting colors—white, red, green, blue, yellow. Rell silently cursed every one of the seven gods. He’d only seen this twice before that he remembered, but there was no mistaking it.

“Mage storm!” Rell shouted.

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Despite several distractions, I’ve started working on MEADOWSWEET.

I’ll probably continue working on MAGE STORM some, too,

Mage Storm

switching back and forth as inspiration moves me until one or the other gains momentum. At least it will keep me actually writing, which, experience tells me, is the only way I’m going to generate the ideas I need.

I’ll have to also start working out cover art for MEADOWSWEET. So far, that’s proved elusive.

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A day late again. And no good excuse this time. Ah well, I’ll get back on schedule Sunday.

Most of my writing time has been thinking, lately. I’ve made a little progress on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

But mainly I’ve been thinking about the right place to start MEADOWSWEET. Of course, the possibility exists that it still won’t be the right place in the final draft, but it’s nice to start as close to the right place as possible. I think I’ve got it sorted out, so I may be switching to that very soon. Or working on both, of course. I am crazy enough to do that, too.

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Very slowly.

I’m still wrestling with MAGE STORM. And this week has been harder than most in the day job.

Mage Storm

I’m probably going to switch over to MEADOWSWEET for a while to let my subconscious work on the problem. That always works better when I’m actively writing.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from the new portion of MAGE STORM:

Katria jerked upright from scrubbing the floor at the sound of the bell ringing the universal signal for a mage storm. By sixteen years of reflex she turned toward where the trap door to the stone-walled cellar shelter should be. Where it would be if this were the familiar house in Marketown where she’d lived until last month. But this wasn’t Marketown, it was Sawyer’s Oaks and this house had no cellar. She tried to control her breathing. Papa had shown them all where the shelter was, just a little way into the dead stumps of the Blighted Forest on the other side of the . . . you could barely call it a town.

She thought she could find the way. She was pretty sure she could, anyway. If she hurried, she wouldn’t have to worry about that; she could just follow everyone else. But Katria couldn’t just run off. Papa and the older boys had gone to survey the new growth that was beginning to take the place of the burned and blackened stumps of the Blighted Forest. Mama had gone to help Great Aunt Elzy with something and taken Grandfather with her to gossip with Great Uncle Hames. That left Katria in charge of getting her younger sister and brother to the shelter. Rosella would be just outside, hanging up the laundry. Where Natan would have gotten to . . . .

Rosella, ran into the room. “Katria! What do we do?”

Katria scrambled up so fast that she tipped over the pail of wash water. No matter. That could be dealt with later. She turned to her younger sister, trying hard to keep her voice normal. “We’re going to get Natan and go to the shelter Papa showed us on that first day.”

“Mama will come for us, won’t she?”

Katria suppressed a grimace at that thought. Mama was closer to the cave than they were and she’d have Grandfather to look after. And he didn’t hurry well at all any more. Coming back for them would only put Mama in more danger. But that’s exactly what Mama would do if Katria didn’t get Rosella and Natan on the way to the shelter first. “If we hurry, we’ll meet her on the way.” I hope. “Help me find Natan.”

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Decision Time

I have enough feedback from my critique partners now to know that there are problems with the first five chapters of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Now, that’s to be expected in a first draft. But not this many problems. I have twelve markup notes in the first chapter. Eleven in the second. Three or four would be more normal. This likely also accounts for my difficulty in making real headway on this one. Some part of me recognized that things just weren’t coming together right.

My usual rule with first drafts is that they only go in one direction–forward. But those first few chapters are the foundation upon which the story has to be built. And if I ignore these problems, they’re only going to multiply the further I go.

Some of that has to do with the history of this project. The first version was (unintentionally) a middle grade story and I’m trying to grow it up to a more general epic fantasy. The story can be that. But probably not the way I’ve been approaching it. Many–not all–of the problems have to do with the characters ages, which are supposed to be a couple of years older than in that first version. In some parts, though, they act younger. The only solution may be to scrape back down to bare ground and really rewrite it, not just try add new parts and revise the rest.

Probably, I’ll go ahead and finish the chapter I’m currently working on. It’s a brand new one so doesn’t suffer from the problems of the rewritten portions. And then I’m going to have to think hard about just how I’m going to proceed.

And to think, I thought this project would be easy because I’d already written it once.

I may skip over and do a little work on MEADOWSWEET while I think. It’s good to have another project on deck for times like this.

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