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Posts Tagged ‘revisions’

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

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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.

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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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I’m trying to resist the temptation of the bright, shiny new idea that finally came together last night, so let’s not talk about that. Not yet anyway.

Let’s talk about magical creatures, instead. Specifically those in the BECOME series.

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There’s a nod to the Greek legend of Hercules that inspired this story in the BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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There’s the dragon, though it’s neither nine-headed nor a water dragon like Hercules’s hydra. And a very large lion-like creature that’s meant to be a reference to the Nemean lion.

But throughout the series there’s another kind of magical creature. Cats. Now, a lot of people who’ve had cats as pets will tell you that the ordinary house cat is a magical creature. Some will claim that they must be able to disappear into other dimensions. And sometimes it certainly seems like it. And trying to get a cat into a carrier to go to the vet is likely to leave you swearing that they’re able to double their size at will.

But the cats in the BECOME series have a different kind of magic. In this series, every descendant of the Goddess has a guardian cat–a small grey cat, to be specific. Well, actually a succession of cats, since even magical cats don’t live as long as humans. These cats have healing powers, so their charges (the Goddess’s descendants) are healed of almost every scrape, scratch, and fever immediately. (Even the cats can’t cure death, though, so anything that happens too suddenly can still be fatal.) The cats are also opinionated and prone to letting their charges know when they’ve done–or are thinking about doing–something wrong or merely stupid.

Later, in BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM, these cats are still grey, but, for some descendants, not necessarily small.

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And then there are the ravens. More on the ravens in the next post.

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Changes

The second round of final revisions to BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM have gone well, so far.

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Just two more.

The first of those I thought was going to be more extensive. But, on reflection, I’m thinking maybe not. I don’t know that that particular meeting needs more emotion. Not that it can’t be refined a little, but I don’t know that it should be deeper. Although these two characters are half-brothers, they’ve never met before, so I don’t think their emotions need to run really deep–yet. I’m going to give that section another read through and then decide.

The second is a place where another character (not a POV character) really should have an emotional reaction to something and currently doesn’t. But since he doesn’t have the POV, it will only the obvious, external reaction. Well, and the effect that has on the POV character.

So, it’s looking really good to complete these revisions soon. Then I think I’ll let it rest just a little before I start the final polishing edit. I think I’ll spend the time doing some research into launch strategies and see if I can’t give this one off to a better start than the last one. There’s always something new that can be learned and a chance to do things a little better with each book.

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I’ve finished the first round of final revisions on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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That included a partial rewrite of a couple of chapters toward the end.

This morning I started going through the comments I still have marked up in the manuscript. At least a couple of them I added myself during the read through. Some of them will be relatively easy once I’ve decided how to handle them. I’ve knocked off a couple of those already. Some will take a lot more thought and a lot more work. At least I don’t need to do another complete read-through for these.

No definitive estimate at this time of how long this phase will take. Most likely before Thanksgiving. Getting closer and closer to the point where I can at least put it up for pre-order, though.

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Moving Right Along

I’m now past the 80% mark in the revisions on BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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Of course that’s only the first round. I’ll have to circle back and work on some of the revisions I couldn’t–or chose not to–complete in this round. Still, with a holiday weekend coming up, I think this round will be done this weekend.

I’ve added a few complexities for my characters to work through and there’s at least one more I may add. And I’ve addressed some things my beta readers found unclear. I won’t know how it all meshes together, of course, until I do the final read-through/polishing edit.

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Midpoint

I’ve reached the midpoint of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM in this first pass of the final revisions.

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Happily for the pacing, it falls at just about the half-way point of the manuscript, too. As a discovery writer, I like to check things like that as I go through the manuscript. The midpoint is usually where some revelation changes the direction of the story. Most commonly it’s where the characters learn something that allows them to move from reaction to action, from defense to offense.

This is also the place one of my beta readers flagged as needing a bigger emotional reaction to that revelation. Since that character is also being hit with a different emotional upheaval at the same time, that’s going to need a good bit of planning. (He’s young enough to think he can hide it from the girl, because he doesn’t want to appear weak to her. Too bad she won’t be fooled. Or, maybe not bad at all, in the long run. 🙂 )

Therefore, I won’t be making that change–or at least not completing it–in this pass. I will be looking for the places where I can bring it out and possibly laying the framework for it. If I want this to really bring this character to his knees–temporarily–and all while he’s trying not to let it show, I’ll need to weave it in seamlessly. If I can make that work, though . . . .

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Revisions, Revisions

I’ve gotten all the comments from my beta readers marked up in the manuscript of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

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I’m now in the process of a read-through, since I haven’t looked at this story for about a month and a half. I’ll make the easier revisions as I go through and then circle back to make the revisions that take more thought or require more extensive changes. After that, it’ll be time for another read-through, this one for the polishing edit. And then it should be ready to publish.

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