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Posts Tagged ‘rewrites’

What with one thing and another, I’ve just started my reread of the original version of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

So far, I’m enjoying it. It’s too early to say if it will re-ignite my enthusiasm for this story, but I’m hopeful. It’s a good story.

Yes, it will need some rewrite/revision. But this time I’m going to focus more on just making the story what it really wants to be rather than trying to impose a whole new structure on it. And I’m not even going to start the rewrite until I’ve finished my read through.

It sounds strange to admit that I didn’t do this when I started the rewrite before. In retrospect, it really is the obvious first step. Yes, of course I know how the story goes. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to go back for some of the nuances.

And nothing says I can’t make a few notes about what needs to be changed when I do start the rewrite again.

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Okay, this writer’s block has lasted more than long enough. If taking a break was going to help, it would have by now. Time to, as my grandmother would have said, take the bull by the horns.

The first thing I’m going to do is read through the original version of MAGE STORM and try to remember what it was that excited me about that story in the first place.

Mage Storm

While I do that, I’m going to also rethink a couple of things.

Mage Storm needs a rewrite. What it doesn’t need, perhaps, is me trying to shoehorn it into a mold that worked before. It doesn’t have to grow into a 100,000-word epic–unless it wants to, of course. Maybe that’s the realization I needed to make.

I also needed to confront something else that may have been–all right, probably was and is–affecting my motivation generally.

I never really expected to make a lot of money writing–very few writers do. I don’t do this to pay the bills. (Some months, that’s a very, very good thing.) That’s not why I write.

Still, my Dual Magics series did pretty well.

TwitterHeader2016

 

And, the thing about that is: I don’t know why. I didn’t do any marketing at the beginning, not even on social media. And, really, whatever marketing I’ve attempted has pretty much fizzled. But that series did well, anyway. Who know why?

And I tried to replicate that with the Become Series, only this time a very, very tiny bit better at promotion. And fell flat.

BecomeHeader

I completed the series in January and so far I haven’t even made back what I spent on covers–and I do my own covers–and marketing around the release of the final book. What makes it harder is that I think this series is my best writing so far. I don’t even know what readers think because I’m still waiting for the first review on either of the full-length books.

That’s disappointing, though I know that publishing, especially indie publishing, moves on and what worked a couple of years ago–even if I knew what that was–probably wouldn’t work now. Like I said, I didn’t go into this expecting to make a lot of money, but nobody likes to think they’re just talking to themselves.

But, the thing is, if that’s going to bother me now, when it didn’t before, because my first few books before the Dual Magics series didn’t do any better, then I’d better start figuring out what does work.

And, if I’m not ever going to be a marketing wizard–I can get better at it than I am, but let’s not expect miracles–then I should look around at some of my fellow indie authors and see what’s working for them in their writing. Fortunate for me the indie authors, on the whole, like to lift each other up, not tear each other down.

One thing I’ve notices, contrary to what some “experts” say, sometimes shorter books with quicker turn around do better than longer ones published farther apart.

Worth a try.

 

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I’m late getting this posted. Another habit I need to work on. In my defense, now that things are finally drying out, there’s an awful lot of yard work to be done.

Bad habits may be hard to break, but good habits are just as hard to re-establish. Prioritizing my writing will be a process, but I am writing.

I know I’ve said before that I only really get ideas when I’m writing. Bit of a Catch-22, that. But I proved it again today, when I had an idea about what may be at the root of at least some of the writer’s block on MAGE STORM

Mage Storm

I’d been trying to just expand on the story I already had written, but I’m very much afraid that’s not going to work. I think part, at least, of what’s been bothering me is that my characters–Rell, who was the only POV character in the earlier versions of MAGE STORM and Katria, whose getting almost equal POV in this one–aren’t matching up the way they should, based on where the story is going to go.

Katria is way more mature than Rell. In part, that’s okay. She’s the oldest girl in her family and, when we first meet her, has the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings. And Rell is the youngest in his family. So some disparity at the beginning is all right. But . . . yeah, I think I’m going to have to really do a rewrite, not just a very heavy revision. Just, start with a clean page–allowing myself to go back and look at what I already wrote, of course, but doing it fresh.

Well, DAUGHTER OF THE REBEL MAGE is on deck, now. And I need to just keep working, rebuilding those writing habits.

 

 

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. . . try sideways. Thinking about WILD MAGE (formerly ROGUE MAGE), the second book in the series, just might get me started writing again. Not yet, but–hopefully–soon. It has shown me that MAGE STORM has to end in a different place than I’d originally thought. So that’s something.

Mage Storm

In other news, Sadie has vanquished the monster in the walls.

Sadie goes after the monster in the walls

Now I just have to finish patching the wall. I’ve got some left-over bead board paneling put up there so this won’t happen again. There’s almost certainly some left over molding out in the garage to finish the top as well. All I need to do is cut down the bead board to fit and tack it up.

Unfortunately, it seems I don’t have the tools I need anymore. A coping saw just isn’t cutting it (pun intended). Well, I’ll just have to improvise. Or go get a better tool. One or the other.

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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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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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