I had amazing feedback from my Early Readers and was eager to dig into the second edits for Weavers. Basically I had three things I needed to incorporate in my edit:
Things I had already decided to change after my own re-readings.
Common items in the feedback. If something was mentioned a few times it needed a critical look.
New ideas spurred by questions from the Early Readers.
So I started planning how to incorporate all of that. Much of it was as simple as a nip here and a tuck there. Some of it would need to be bigger. Perhaps much bigger. I have missing scenes and quite a few missed opportunities. The “magic” system needs better explanation.
And that got me to thinking about the magic system and how to explain it better, and how to introduce those explanations into the story. And how to tie the differences together over three different ages.
Which got me thinking about the physics behind the system. This is possibly unreasonably important to me. I can totally immerse in a story when the magic (whether it’s fantasy/sci-fi/horror/other) makes sense once you figure it out. If I can’t figure it out it absorbs me and defeats the storyline.
This was a problem. I had a logical hole. I had defined two basic systems but they didn’t actually cover everything I wanted to do in the full story. The first draft of the story had unintentionally deus-ex’d over a third system that needed to be there.
So that’s why I haven’t been very active lately here. I’m rolling new thoughts through the entirety of the series, and figuring out how I need to express them in the first book. Plus things that needed to be there to show continuity between the ages. And so many missed opportunities to tie the different ages together.
I found myself with 4.75 drafted novels that were pretty good. Readable, enjoyable, nice stuff, quite entertaining thank you.
Or I had 4.75 pre-drafts for something fucking amazing.
I’m going for fucking amazing.
TL;DR: I love my Early Readers!! Much rewrite happening!
So obs my current planned schedule is completely voided. I’m back rewriting Weavers now and will be reworking the rest of the Ages schedule with the remaining reworks in mind.
Some questions I was asked frequently during my recent trip to the Great Surprisinglygreen North:
When is it coming out?
I am not quite sure. Since this is my first time publishing there is a lot of new stuff I have to educate myself about as I go. The writersphere makes that much easier than it would be otherwise but it’s still a lot of learning. I am hoping to take as great advantage of y’all as I can in order to avoid mistakes.
All that said, here is my current loose launch plan for the first four books:
Weavers, March 2016
Ninja at Law, May 2016
Unseen, July 2016
Makers, November 2016
Can you just send it to me? Can I have it for free?
These were generally said jokingly, but yeesh it was distressingly frequent.
There will be opportunities for ERCs and ARCs for each book. Early Readers help after the first draft by giving basic feedback on the story, plots and characters. Advanced Readers give an honest review of the pre-published manuscript. Both groups receive a free digital copy of the manuscript as well as my thanks.
I will also be trying various marketing tools and promotions. It’s pretty likely that some of those will be free.
Will it be printed?
Maybe? This is a whole big ball of question for me at the moment. I know I will commission at least a limited run for myself and to promote the books but whether they will be generally available in print depends on things I am largely ignorant about now.
I caught up on NaNoWriMo goals last night and also realized I’ll be finished with the Unseen draft today. (Clemson won, happiness won, writing may continue.)
I’ll then return to Makers and I will finish that draft this month too.
November has been (/will be. it’s weird retrospecting on something that isn’t done yet) a hell of a month. It began with two books in process and will finish with four drafted and one illustrated. The first two manuscripts are out for early reader feedback and both are getting excellent marks for story and characters.
I’m actually looking at a series of books that are staging for sequential publication. It’s a very heady feeling.
Here’s where I should be at the end of the month, and it appears I need to get serious on researching editing/editors:
Prompt: Centenarian veteran of a famous battle dies.
“What was it like that day, Geepaw Davit? Really, what happened? We hear about it in school but it’s just a paragraph in a book. Mumma said you were there. Were you really there? Really? Were you at the Flatts?”
My teachers called me precocious, but I think that was just teacher code for “uncontrollable”. But great grandpa Davit always had a soft spot for me and indulged my every childish whim. When I heard that he had been at The Flatts I just had to hear it from the source. I mean, seriously! That was the battle that sparked the Five Powers War. How could our books tell us so little about it? As if the deaths of those first men and women could be reduced to five sentences? I had to know more!
But in this one thing Grampa refused me. He told me he would never speak of that battle again until the day he breathed his last.
He was true to his word.
He told me the story yesterday, and now he’s gone.
Why yes, I do have most of volume 4 drafted despite volume 1 going out for draft feedback only this week. Don’t you judge me.
This chapter introduces Cree Chiwa, who is not a very nice person. JS Malpas’ post this morning (Tip #26: Characters Who Do Bad Things) made me think of her. Chiwa does bad things. She’s not the only character in Makers who does bad things but she is the only otherwise rational character who does them because she enjoys them. That was difficult to get my brain behind while I wrote her.
I use a few sources for inspiration when writing her as I (hopefully obviously) have no personal experience with the things she does. In her normal state she is tightly controlled (Arthur Denker from Apt Pupil / S. King). When she loses control she loses it completely and animalistically* (the husband from Shadowfires / D.Koontz). She is also emotionally abusive and controlling in a very methodical fashion (Gregory Anton from Gaslight).
Scene/terminology – Makers is a fantasy setting. Chiwa is in the city state of Rosoph, famed for its trade goods. Weaving/Making/Harping are types of magic in this world.
There is some fairly violent content in this excerpt.
* Wordified – You know what it means, even if spellchecker doesn’t.