Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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.”

Read Full Post »

Decision Time

I have enough feedback from my critique partners now to know that there are problems with the first five chapters of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Now, that’s to be expected in a first draft. But not this many problems. I have twelve markup notes in the first chapter. Eleven in the second. Three or four would be more normal. This likely also accounts for my difficulty in making real headway on this one. Some part of me recognized that things just weren’t coming together right.

My usual rule with first drafts is that they only go in one direction–forward. But those first few chapters are the foundation upon which the story has to be built. And if I ignore these problems, they’re only going to multiply the further I go.

Some of that has to do with the history of this project. The first version was (unintentionally) a middle grade story and I’m trying to grow it up to a more general epic fantasy. The story can be that. But probably not the way I’ve been approaching it. Many–not all–of the problems have to do with the characters ages, which are supposed to be a couple of years older than in that first version. In some parts, though, they act younger. The only solution may be to scrape back down to bare ground and really rewrite it, not just try add new parts and revise the rest.

Probably, I’ll go ahead and finish the chapter I’m currently working on. It’s a brand new one so doesn’t suffer from the problems of the rewritten portions. And then I’m going to have to think hard about just how I’m going to proceed.

And to think, I thought this project would be easy because I’d already written it once.

I may skip over and do a little work on MEADOWSWEET while I think. It’s good to have another project on deck for times like this.

Read Full Post »

In Other News

Because progress reports about how much or how little I’ve written on MAGE STORM are boring,

Mage Storm

maybe I should post about something else.

First choice would be what I’m learning. I bought a number of books about the business–especially the marketing–side of this writing business. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t had any epiphanies. Well, except that everyone seems to agree that I need to just bite the bullet and start a mailing list. Something I’ve been resisting. Maybe I’ll give it another go. Maybe. I can be a pretty good procrastinator when I want to. Not in the same class as my Dad,

Dad in Uniform

My father.

but . . . the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree.

What else is going on?

Well, since I lost both my dogs. Aliza in May 2016 and Micah just this last August,

Micah and Aliza

I’ve been wanting to get another dog. I’ve looked a couple of places, but I what I really want is another Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I’d gotten on a waiting list for a litter that was planned for this coming summer, but now it looks like that won’t happen. So, I’m going to get more serious and really start looking. Talking to Cardi breeders, for a start.

That could get interesting. Both Aliza and Micah came to me as adults while I was taking care of my mother,

Mom, Young

and needed dogs of known temperament and some level of maturity.  Aliza was fifteen months old, a failed show prospect but a champion companion, when I got her. Micah was three and a half years old, a retired breed champion, when he came to me. Both came from their breeders. But . .  . I haven’t had a puppy since I was in the sixth grade. It’d be a whole new experience. I’m going to look into Cardigan rescue, too. But that’s probably a long shot. Not too many Cardis end up in rescue.

So . . . that’s most of what else is occupying my time right now–aside from the day job, of course.

Read Full Post »

So, I seem to have mostly gotten over my New Years’ cold. And I’ve started to get back to work on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm I haven’t gotten much further on it, yet. But at least I am working on it.

I’ve also gotten some feedback on the early chapters that gives me some good ideas about what I need to do to make it even better. That’s energizing in its own way. It’s the new ideas that make this writing thing fun and, since MAGE STORM isn’t new, that may have been responsible for some of my lack of enthusiasm. An infusion of new ideas may be exactly what I needed.

Read Full Post »

BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM published this morning.

StormCover2

It’s still only 99 cents for a few days more. The price goes up on January 5th.

Book 1 of the series, BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING is also only 99 cents for the same period.

BecomeCover2

Otherwise, well . . . between holiday clean up and trying to fight off a cold, I haven’t gotten any writing done the last few days. Have to get back to work soon.

Read Full Post »

2019 Writing Goals

First Goal: Complete the rewrite of MAGE STORM and publish it.

Mage Storm

In this case, I’m going to state a backup goal, in case I continue to have trouble just moving this along. Write the first draft of MEADOWSWEET.

Second Goal: Begin work on the second book, tentatively titled ROGUE MAGE. (But see above backup goal.)

Third Goal: Housekeeping-type things:

  • Do some work on this website and on my Facebook Author Page to make them more appealing and more professional.
  • Establish some kind of regular promotions.

Fourth Goal: Continue learning and improving:

  • Continue reading and learning about other aspects of the craft, chiefly marketing/promotion and better launch strategies for new books.

And, finally, the back-burner list. Things I am not, at this moment, ready to write, but need that final inspiration or two that pulls them out of the pile and makes them irresistible.

  • One or more sequels to DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The main characters have completed their character arcs, but more needs to be done–probably by other characters–to save their corner of the world.
  • Fairy tale retellings, including Meadowsweet.
  • My much-neglected weird Oz story.
  • Prequels to the DUAL MAGICS series, Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Settelling how the world got into that state: how the Fasallon came to be rulers in Caere and all along the coast and why they try so hard to maintain that position, why the Dardani have such a fear of magic, how the Fasallon and Valson came to be separated, and more.
  • The final book in the CHIMERIA series.ChimeriaBox
  • And that Arthurian-legend, secret-history idea I’ve been playing with off and on.
  • I’m sure others will raise their heads as I go along. In my experience, there’s nothing like writing one idea to cause others to spring up along my path like bunny rabbits.

Happy New Year

Read Full Post »

2018 Goals Results

Well, technically, it’s still 2018. But it’s that time of the year to look back and see how I did against the goals I set up for this year.

First Goal: Publish BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

BecomeCover2

Achieved.

Second Goal: Finish and publish BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

StormCover2

Even though this technically releases on January 2nd, that was a choice I made based on other factors. It could just as easily have been published this week and it is available for pre-order. Therefore, I’m counting this one as achieved, too.

Third Goal: Start the rewrite of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Since the goal was only to start, I get to count this one as achieved, too.

Fourth Goal: All the annoying housekeeping-type things:

  • Complete the migration off of Pronoun and either back to Kindle Select (the four or five books mentioned in my last post) or onto Draft 2 Digital for wide distribution. Achieved.
  • Finish setting up the x-ray option for selected books. Not Achieved.
  • Some semi-regular promotions. Achieved, but still needs improvement.
  • And whatever else comes up of this general type. Too vague to rate.

Fifth Goal: Keep on Learning

  • Figure out how to do a better job of marketing. Including how to market audiobooks.
  • Keep growing as a writer. Try things that scare me or are difficult (like BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.)

Achieved, but this will always be an ongoing process. It’s a journey, not a destination.

Back-burner: The things I wasn’t likely to get to this year, but still needed to remember that they’re out there, waiting their turn:

  • A secret-history-type story based, in part, on the Arthurian legend.
  • There are several others that are, so far, just a line or two–the beginnings of an idea, but not there yet.

Not surprisingly, all of those are still on the back-burner. However, one of the fairytale retellings, working title MEADOWSWEET, did take major steps towards being ready to actually write. It came so close, it nearly knocked MAGE STORM back a rung on the list. It’s still going to hang there as a fall back in case I get stuck on MAGE STORM. (Sometimes, it’s good to be able to make progress on something.

All in all, I’d call it a successful year. Next yea’s goals in my next post.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »