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Posts Tagged ‘first drafts’

It’s been a little while since I posted, hasn’t it?

Well, some of that is because I’ve been writing. Not making any speed records, here. But I actually am writing. I’m also still doing research for this one.

Part of the goal is to get as reasonably close to history as practical–at least the history of the times, since there is no historical documentation of Arthur at all. That’s important because I mean to carry the story and at least Merlin forward beyond Arthur’s time. But Arthur’s time, to the extent that any part of the legend has a real basis, is the fifth century–the Dark Ages. And the reason it’s called the Dark Ages (beyond the fact that daily life almost certainly did get grimmer than it had been during Roman times) is that there just isn’t a lot of historical documentation. Archaeology to the rescue. Except that mostly what archaeology has turned up complicates the legend.

Before the Romans, the native Celtic Britons had been organized into dozens of small, tribal territories more likely to fight each other than the invading Romans. Which, of course, the Romans exploited. And the Romans had mostly left that ground-level organization in place, and just put a layer of Roman administration on top of it. So, when the Romans left, the Britons naturally fell right back into their tribal territories–and their inter-tribal warfare. And it’s most likely that several of those small tribal “kingdoms” hired Saxon or other Germanic warriors to help them out against their neighbors. Who then also hired Saxons to fight on their side. So the image of Arthur uniting the Britons to expel the Saxons is just not realistic.

And, at the same time, I want to keep enough of the legend that it is recognizable, but without all the flourishes that later writers, like Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chretien de Troyes, and Thomas Mallory added. Though, I am keeping Merlin even if Geoffrey of Monmouth mostly made him up. Just, well, my Merlin will be very different than Geoffrey’s.

I will not, for example, be using the story of Merlin disguising Uther so Uther can get into Tintagel and spend the night with Igraine. Sorry, but I’ve never liked that story and I like it less now. Frankly, it’s rape, since no one asked Igraine what she thought about it. And that’s not the kind of story I write. Anyway, having just written a couple of books inspired by the legend of Hercules it’s impossible not to notice that it’s basically a direct copy of the Greek myth of Hercules’s birth. Which I also didn’t use.

Right now, I’m writing the part where Merlin discovers there’s a dragon under Dinas Emrys, where Vortigern is trying to build a fort on top of the hill.

Oh, yes, there will be dragons.

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Wow! Looks like I haven’t been back here in almost two months. Sorry to say, nothing much happened writing-wise during that time. And now, I’m pushing the restart button.

Truth to tell, I’d love push restart on this whole year. I imagine most everyone would. But that’s beyond my power.

What I can do is push restart on my writing. Literally.

It’s weird the way one thing will prompt another. I was attending to some mundane tasks–getting my books up on GooglePlay–when something just clicked. The reason I was not making any progress on my current writing project–well, apart from the general background stress and feeling of being overwhelmed–was that I’d started in the wrong place. Way too early. Again. That background might make it into a prequel novella some day, because it is important, but it’s way to far back from when interesting things actually start to happen.

So, restart, quite literally. I wrote the new first chapter yesterday. And it was fun! And at least a partial antidote to being overwhelmed.

The story has a new title, too. Merlin’s Gambit.

Onward.

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Well, I forgot to post on Sunday, didn’t I? All I can say is that time is beginning to feel a little surreal right now. Really weird to see no one on the streets and almost no cars. Trying to maintain something like a regular schedule, but . . . .

In any case, five of my books are now free for others who are also spending way more time at home than usual. We are all Safer at Home, right now.

The Shaman’s Curse is perma-free and has been for a while:

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The next four are free now thru April 12th. (Amazon has price-matched in the US, so far.)

Become: To Catch the Lightning:

BecomeCover2

Fire and Earth (with its shiny new cover):

3D computer graphics of a female warrior with fantasy dress and sword

The Bard’s Gift:

TBG New

and Daughter of the Disgraced King:

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Meanwhile, I have mostly been doing a little more research for my work-in-progress, so not much direct progress. But, if you don’t get the foundation right, it’s a lot harder to get the whole book to hang together, so not time wasted.

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I confess to having been knocked a bit off balance last week. A lot of things happened in a short space of time. I know I’m not alone in that. It’s a new reality we’re all trying to cope with.

But this week I am committed to getting myself back up out of that slump and doing things. At least those things I can do. Some work in the yard (I did a little this morning.), some house cleaning, something creative. And figuring out how to manage or work around those that I can’t or shouldn’t do right now. (I fall into the vulnerable group as far as this virus goes.) I’m seriously tempted to restart my vegetable garden (in some other place until I can clean up the old one), even though I know nothing would be ready for harvest for at least two months.

I did manage to get the books and stories I still had in Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited pulled out and up for wider distribution. So, that’s something. And now that they’re wide–or as soon as the distribution works through the systems of the various retailers, I’ll likely start setting some of them free for a limited time. Everybody needs some form of escape right now and books seem to be one of the only safe ways. And, in times that are just as unsettled financially as they are health-wise, well, it’s something I can do to help out.

Gold Flame Dragon

And I swear I am going to get some work done on the new story. Really. I may even start working on cover art.

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I haven’t really gotten any writing done recently. But, as I’m about to have two weeks off (I hope it’s only two weeks) while the schools are closed, hopefully I’ll be able to make the most of the time.

I’ll also use the time to prepare several books/stories that were in Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited. I’ll be taking all of them wide (Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.) by the end of this month.

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I have actually started writing again on DRAGON AGAINST DRAGON. (I have to think of a better title, but the working title is fine for now.) Unfortunately, I also managed to tweak my back. Not badly, but just enough that I can’t sit for very long without it stiffening up on me. Which is probably good for my weight loss goal. And for cleaning up the back “bedroom”, finally. (It’s probably been about 30 years since anyone actually slept in there, and about 20 since there was even a bed in that room. More of a storage room, now, but in desperate need of organization.) Not quite so good for getting a lot of writing done.

Also a little progress on FIRE AND EARTH–but not complete progress.

3D computer graphics of a female warrior with fantasy dress and sword

I’ve done my part and updated everything I plan to change, but somehow it didn’t all make it through Amazon’s process. The e-book has the new blurb, but not the new cover. On the other hand, the print version has the new cover, but not the new blurb. I guess I’ll have to contact Amazon tomorrow and see if I can get that straightened out. I want to run a promotion before it comes out of Kindle Unlimited later this month, but not with the old cover.

Good news is that THE BARD’S GIFT may not need anything but a little adjustment to the back matter for its “relaunch”.

TBG New

I want to add a sample chapter or two from BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, rather than the current chapters of DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. THE BARD’S GIFT has more than a touch of Norse mythology and the BECOME series is inspired by Greek mythology, so that might be a good match for readers.

Not sure yet what, if anything, I’m going to do about a relaunch of DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. It’s kind of an odd book out in my back list. I’ll probably go on to do some relaunch on the DUAL MAGICS series before worrying about that one.

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So, the compressed work schedule is over, thankfully, but I haven’t actually gotten any new writing done–yet. At least not on the new project.

I have done a bit of rework on the blurb for FIRE AND EARTH, but not finished that yet, either.

However, it does now have a new cover.

3D computer graphics of a female warrior with fantasy dress and sword

Isn’t it pretty? Much better than the old one. Part of a soft relaunch for that book.

Still to do:

  • Rewrite blurb.
  • Add credit for new cover art
  • Add sample of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE to back matter.
  • Adjust keywords.
  • Arrange some promotion for March, while it’s still in Kindle Unlimited.
  • Remove from Kindle Unlimited and distribute wide.

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I missed posting at all last week. Well, the week sort of got away from me, generally. That tends to happen when the work schedule is squeezed. Only three more days until it goes back to normal, though.

Fire Dragon 2

I didn’t get any new writing done last week, although I had finished the scene I’d started before the madness began. And I know what the next scene will be, so I’m ready to start again just as soon as things settle down.

I have also been working some on trying to refresh and reinvigorate my backlist. It’s pretty much been languishing for some time now and I need to give it a boost. Right now, working on a new cover for FIRE AND EARTH. Boy does it need it.

FireAndEarthNewest

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I have actually started writing! Okay, so it’s only a couple of paragraphs so far. It’s still a start.

I am still playing around with the . . . um, how to describe this? There’s the plot from the dragon’s perspective, which I think I have a pretty good feel for–as much as a discovery writer needs, anyway. And then there’s the plot from the perspective of the humans who get dragged into (whether they know it or not) the dragons’ purposes. That one is still subject to some change due to my continuing research. But, since the story begins with the dragons, I can take a little time yet.

Gold Flame Dragon

It feels good to be writing again!

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The last couple of weeks have been too busy with other things for me to get anywhere with MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

But, with most of that behind me–at least for the moment–it’s time to get back to building up momentum again.

And I am. I’ve started on the next chapter, writing a new beginning to that scene. And making a note for something I want to add to part of what I’d already written. (Not going back, though. First drafts go only forward. This is just a little detail–a paragraph or two–I can easily add in the revisions. So, just a couple of sentences to remind me when I–eventually–get to that.)

Forward, once again. Hopefully with better speed.

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