Monthly Archives: July 2014

Book 3 Manuscript Progressing

As I think I’ve mentioned before, while I am writing I like to go back every now and then to read over what I’ve written so far. Every five chapters of progress seems like a good number for me. I actually went to chapter sixteen this time, though, as I was on a roll, so to speak, and didn’t want to stop at that point. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that after finishing chapter sixteen, I did a read-through, which I just completed. I found some clunky sentences, a few places where I’d changed the name of something later in the book and hadn’t gone back to correct earlier instances, added or rearranged a sentence or two in various places to get the flow at those points to feel better, adjusted word choice and description in certain earlier scenes so they are better in-line with how I describe the atmosphere later in the book, and so on. Little things that one doesn’t think too much about in the heat (or in the slogging) of getting the words on the page.

It’s looking pretty good so far. As it was a bit in book 2, now that the guild exists, what dragonlinked must deal with keeps piling up. And as they are new, there are no ideas as of yet on what exactly it is that dragonlinked do beyond ‘protecting people’ (which includes dragons!). That also means there are no limitations. It’s fun playing with that.

One of the difficulties with the series at this point is the number of characters. What I tried to do in book 2, and am still doing now, is to pick a few ‘main’ characters for the book and mostly use them as the driving/point-of-view characters. The other characters are still there, obviously, and they do get things to do and say, but the ‘mains’ carry most of the book. Another thing I’m trying to do is to give the different characters a little bit of style. By that I mean, their own quirks—phrases, actions, nervous tics, etc. I don’t want it to be anything in-your-face, though, and it doesn’t have to be. Something as simple as the nicknames used for bond-mates has an impact of how characters ‘feel.’ For many this may seem beyond obvious, and I suppose it is. But the more you get a handle on certain aspects of your craft, the more time you can devote to other aspects not quite perfected. That’s where I am now, still learning and (hopefully) still improving.

Now, back to work on chapter seventeen!


Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Lethera, Update, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Another Crucial Tool for Your Writer’s Utilitybelt

I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with my brain. On the one hand, it’s my brain. It is what makes me, well, me. But on the other hand, do I really have to think about three-quadrillion different things at three in the morning? Really? I’m trying to get to sleep here!

Still. Sometimes, one or more of those three-quadrillion things I think of while staring at the ceiling and listening to all the strange sounds that my house makes at night (I fully expect The Doctor to come racing through the room one night, screaming at me to look out for the what’s-it chasing after him) are actually good ideas. They could be completely new ways to go with a sub-plot, or better ways to proceed with a scene, or perhaps an ‘ah-ha!’ moment of seeing how a few things already in-place can be tied together in sheer awesomeness. Sure, most of the things that occur at that hour of the night (morning?) are horrible. But some are little nuggets of gold caught in the panning dish of your late-night brain. Whether you are writing music, short stories, poetry, novels, or blogs, do not lose those ideas!

Yes, yes, yes. You already keep a notebook by your bed for just that reason. Well, at least for me, the dim light that seeps in the bedroom window doesn’t provide enough illumination for me to write anything in a notebook. And even if I flipped on the lamp on the nightstand, it would blind me, wasting precious time where the idea could wash away, leaving the pan empty. No, I say, and again I say, no. Instead, use something you probably already have. Most smartphones (don’t panic if you don’t have one, see a bit later) have a voice memo app or some kind of recorder app. Yes. That’s right. Like Lewis in the USA show Suits, you, sir or madam, are going to make recordings of your brilliant ideas. You don’t have a smartphone? No problem. A quick Google search (Google-smack it!) shows that you can get an electronic voice recorder for as little as 18 dollars. In the gloom of night, it is MUCH easier to launch an app from a glowing screen, or press a record button, than it is to try to scribble down an idea in the dark.

Voice memos have saved my bacon many a time (What does that even mean? Saving it from falling into a camp fire? Did bacon used to be cooked on sticks or something?). The next day, it can be difficult to recall that little nugget that occurred to you in the wee hours of night. I have forgotten a few potentially great ideas in the days before I started recording everything that seemed like a good idea. Yep, I said seemed. Because not everything that sounds fantastic at four in the morning will sound so amazing the next day. But at least you won’t forget anything.

Just recently, I had FOUR great ideas occur to me in one night. Four! And even the next day, those ideas were still great. I would have likely forgotten two of them, maybe all of them, if I hadn’t made a quick voice memo. So do yourself and your readers a favor and use a voice memo app—the under-appreciated little tool that can keep your pork product out of the fire.


P.S. I have put the tag ‘tools’ on the various posts I’ve made in which I have talked about different, well, tools. At this time there are three posts tagged this way, but in the future? Who can say.

Categories: Blogging, Tips, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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