Before I get in to the Summer Of Fiction Writing challenge: A N N O U N C E M E N T !
My first short story, The Hungry Unseen, has been published today, 1 June 2021 in Daily Science Fiction and is free to read.
My mentor, Holly Lisle, hosts a free writing event from June 1 to August 31 called Summer Of Fiction Writing. I didn’t join last year, I was doing some scatter brained writing and revising and trying to ge back in the swing of using a computer for the first time in a little over a year. To be accurate, I did start the work on my iPhone, but when I got some money I got my Mac Book Pro and my Moonlander mechanical ergonomic keyboard by ErgoDox EZ/ZSA.
So a year ago I began the first draft of The Seerstone Trilogy Book 2, the follow up to Spellbinder. Sometimes my brain gets stuck, though. I did all my plotting, was 69K words into the draft when I realized something about the scene I was writing–it should take place before the first scene in the book, but I had it slated in the story timeline months after the first scene took place. I mean, this wasn’t a scene where I could change it or move it. What happened in that scene was two problems: 1) The couple had to get together, it was definitely the moment and they were not together in the first scene, and 2) what caused the couple to talk and get together was an action of one of the characters which caused the first scene of the book in the first place.
On another front, I had intended to write Book 2 and 3 first drafts, then revise the whole thing like it was one long novel. But a dear friend had read a little of Book 1 and wanted more. What to do? I went back to my partially revised first draft (really more like 12th draft) and take it to the end and really finish it, have it beta tested.
I loved it. But now Book 2 looked meandering and, well, like it had no point. It wasn’t the story I wanted to tell.
I love my husband, you all have to know that. He unconsciously works with me as a developmental editor would and I bless all the Gods in the sky for him every day. Many times my novel has been made better by a suggestion he makes and doesn’t even remember doing later.
I went back in March and April 2021, re-tooled Book 2 and, taking my husband’s suggestions, found a massive change in the plot. It wasn’t what I envisioned. It was better and it was different. I had a lot to fill in, and there were parts of the story I had not been able to include before that were now in the book.
It was finished as a first draft April 30, but it resembles a Franeken-book.
So now that I’m revising, I have to take the Monster I created and bring it to readable life. Today is the day I print out a checklist and my manuscript and read it through, making notes as I go, sharpening characters, making sure my settings aren’t just a white room with little to no furnishings, making the world stronger, and the whole making sense.
Here I think I shall mention another author–Eden Bradley—has a great course for authors on how to write better sex scenes. I don’t see it solely as sex–the sensual details of any writing are what make romances “feel good” because we all want to experience that first blush of love over and over. I loved her lesson, it teaches far more than word play, but rather what’s real and not real about sex. Ultimately it was the in depth info on the psychology of sex that helped me see what I need to do better in Book 2.
Just in time, right?
One more addition--I’ve delayed the publishing of Spellbinder–I have some ideas for added features and I want to experiment with it before saying they are a go or a no go. Stay tuned.