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Posts Tagged ‘first drafts’

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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Getting Traction

I’m finally moving forward into new territory on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Well, newish. This is a rewrite and some of what I’m adding is basically just lifted from earlier versions. This is, essentially, a first draft, so as long as it fits the new framework, I can just slide in what was already written for the previous version and then revise it as necessary. Of course, there are entirely new chapters, too. And I read through the parts I just copy in. Sometimes, I revise a bit as I go. Sometimes I put in notes of things that will need to be changed or that I question. But basically, the framework, the structure is going up. That’s the main thing with a first draft.

And I’m about to have two weeks off to work on it. That’ll help.

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Well, almost. The first thing in getting back into the rewrite/first draft of MAGE STORM is to reread what I already have written.

Mage Storm

I’m almost done with that. And then it will be time to start adding to this draft. Of course, in the read-through I’ve found a few things that need to be fixed or clarified. But that’s okay. It’s essentially a first draft, so I just make a note and pass on, for now.

I was very pleased to find that the brand new chapter I was having so much difficulty with last August was actually much better than I thought it would be. Somehow, when something is just harder to write–who knows why?–I expect it to be terrible. And that isn’t always the case.

I still don’t expect to make a lot of progress in the next week or so. But I will make progress.

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Last year at about this time I was just coming to the end of the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

BecomeCover2

I didn’t finish the first draft until after Christmas and then I spent the next month (while the first manuscript cooled so I could look at it more critically) starting the first draft of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

StormCover2

That worked out pretty well. Revisions, critiques, and more revisions were finished on the first book by May and it was published by the end of that month. The first draft of the second was finished in July and now it’s available for pre-order and will be published on January 2nd. (At the limited-time pre-order price of only 99 cents until January 5th. And, by the way, the first book is also only 99 cents until then.)

But, it turns out, finishing up before Christmas just isn’t working out as well, especially when I’m trying to start not just a new book, but a new series. Too many distractions this time of year.

But I’m not going to let that stop me. I’m going to get at least some work done on MAGE STORM in the next couple of weeks. Maybe just not as much as I’d hoped.

Mage Storm

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Yes. I finally finished that chapter of MAGE STORM that has been dogging me for so long.

Mage Storm

And now I can turn my attention back to the final revisions and the polishing edit for BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

StormCover2

I expect to have this one up for pre-order possibly sometime in November. I’ll know better after I really assess the revisions. Most are minor, but there are one or two that will need deeper thought–and maybe more work. And publish it either the last week in December or the first week in January.

That timing isn’t random. First, a new book just won’t get a lot of attention between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People are busy with other things. But at least some readers will probably get gift cards or new e-readers for Christmas. Also, I’ll have those two weeks off, so I can spend more time than I’m usually able to managing the new release.

And, as soon as the polishing edit is done, it’ll be back to work on MAGE STORM. Hopefully, with a better idea of why I was feeling so stuck before, so I can make better progress. After all, it’s a rewrite. I know how the story goes.

That is, unless one of those characters who didn’t have a point of view before but do now was trying to pull me off in a different direction and that’s why I was so stuck. Hmm. Pesky characters.

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I’m a day late in posting. (I try for Wednesdays and Sundays.) But that’s because yesterday I was actually writing that chapter in MAGE STORM that’s had me stuck for so long.

Mage Storm

It’s not quite finished, but it’s very close. I expect to have it done soon–by the end of the weekend at the latest–and then I can set it aside for a while and turn back to the final revisions on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

StormCover2

(Huh! Just now noticed that I’ve got ‘storm’ in both titles.)

I don’t really know–yet–what’s held me up on this chapter. Usually when I face this much resistance it’s because something in the back of my brain knows there’s something wrong, that I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. Hopefully, I’ll figure it out by the time I’m ready to come back to it.

At least I know I’ll be more productive on the revisions to BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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Well, I did have good intentions when I made my last post, but I still haven’t made much progress on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Mostly, that because the plumbing broke again and it’s really hard for me to concentrate when I’m worrying about getting running water again. I’ve still got a couple of old house issues to work out.

The faucet in the kitchen sink is basically held together with tape right now, which is a situation that can’t last long. And clearing out under the sink revealed some other problems I’m going to have to figure out how to deal with. And there’s still that tree branch that has to be taken off before it comes down on its own–and does some damage. (Actually, the whole tree probably needs to come out, but . . . one thing at a time.) And that doesn’t include the normal maintenance. Old houses . . . .

Anyway, now I have running water again, I can start prioritizing and strategizing and figure out how to deal with these one by one. And make time to get back to finishing this chapter and moving on.

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