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Posts Tagged ‘revisions’

Originally, the plan was to work on MAGE STORM through August and then switch back to the revisions on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM in September.

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But, I haven’t been getting any traction on MAGE STORM. Beyond the initial issues I had–deciding on a ground-up rewrite–I’ve discovered some other things that need to be considered.

See, the original version was conceived as a sort of open-ended series, with each book being a separate story–building on events in the previous books but not creating a greater world-saving arc. That’d work fine if I decided to make this sword and sorcery. But I don’t think that’s what I want. The idea of the rewrite was to make it epic fantasy.

Now, as I said before, this story has an epic problem. But the sort of open-ended series–that doesn’t have an arc building to the epic climax just doesn’t work very well for epic fantasy. That world-saving or world-changing conclusion is as expected in epic fantasy as a happily-ever-after is in romance. Favorite characters can get killed along the way. The quest can even fail. But there has to be that big bang at the end.

So, I’m going to have to rethink, not just the first story, but how all the others fit into a larger, more epic arc. I think I can see a glimmer of how that might work. Or, at least a little of it. But I need to have a better feel for that before I start the rewrite.

Therefore, I’m going to go ahead and start the revisions on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM. It’s been three weeks. And, as distracted as I’ve been lately, revision–using the critical side of my brain–is probably a better fit than trying to write from scratch–or nearly–anyway.

And, in the meantime, maybe I can figure out how all the pieces of MAGE STORM and it’s sequels fit together into an epic arc. Or what has to change to make them fit. Or, of course, whether it’s just better suited to being an episodic sword and sorcery after all. There’s actually nothing wrong with that. It’d just mean a change of perspective and expectations for this story.

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I’m well into the polishing edit on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING now.

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Although I did have the interesting experience of finding a place–after several revision passes and two beta readers–where I had a character who doesn’t wear shoes take of his boots. Well, this is why we do one last pass, I guess.

I’m hoping to finish by this weekend, though I’m a little behind right now to reach that goal.

Then I can:

  1. Upload the final version to Amazon.
  2. Upload to Draft2Digital for distribution to other retailers.
  3. Format the print version.
  4. And, finally, get back to work on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

 

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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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Today it’s Merlanan’s turn to be introduced. Well, reintroduced. He first appears, briefly, at the end of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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But, of course he was much younger, then.

Here’s his first scene in BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM:

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Margan patted Sunbeam’s shoulder as he finished up brushing the palomino warhorse down. The palomino had been a birthday gift, three years ago, brought all the way over the mountains from Versenna by Uncle Alander on one of his regular trips as private courier for secure messages between Mother and her family. The gift had only made Margan more restless.

As long as he could remember, Margan had known that he didn’t belong in Khatar. There was something he was meant to be doing and it wasn’t on this side of the mountains. That feeling had been growing stronger the last couple of years. Well, probably it would have grown stronger anyway, but having his own horse to make the journey with hadn’t done anything to lessen it, certainly. Probably neither Mother, Uncle Alander, nor Grandfather had really expected it to.

He desperately wanted to go visit the place where his father had died, too. Just to feel some connection with the man he’d never had a chance to meet. Not that he was expecting to find anything but the cairn, but . . . .

The spring equinox—and his birthday—was in three days. He’d be eighteen. Margan meant to leave soon after, but he still needed to persuade Mother and the others that he was old enough to undertake this journey. Finally. With the king on their side, they had the power—if not the right—to stop him.

He lifted his face briefly to the sky, feeling for the currents of weather, and smiled. Yes, he was certain the weather would remain good for at least that long.

He gave Sunbeam another pat. “Wish me luck, boy.” Margan’s cat, Mrow, followed, tail high.

As is hinted at the end, there, he does have an ability to sense changes in the weather that will play an important part later on.

In other news, the first of the critiques of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING has come back. I plan to get the next two chapters of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM done before going back to revisions. I can see those chapters in my head, so now’s the time to get them out.

Based on that critique, though, I’m also going to have some thinking to do about how to publish these two stories. They’re very closely tied together. And I hate cliff hangers. But it was unavoidable in this case. So, I need to figure out how I’m going to handle that.

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