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Revision Plan

Revisions on THE VOICE OF PROPHECY are proceeding well.

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The first thing I did when I started this round of revisions was make a plan. It started with going through the various critiques I’d received (three and a half–one person didn’t finish) in detail. I marked up each comment in my master manuscript. (Well, except for the ones I addressed immediately, like the few typos.) I also put some thought into the more extensive comments made at the end of those critiques (partly in response to some questions I’d posed, partly volunteered) and marked those up either at specific places in the document or at the top. I asked one of my critique partners some clarifying questions.

Now, as I proceed through the revisions, I have three main goals.

  1. Clarifying. This is especially the case for those critique partners who had not read the first book, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. This involves mostly minor revisions, often just a sentence or two, to provide a little background to those readers who didn’t read THE SHAMAN’S CURSE first, or who might have forgotten certain aspects. This will mostly be in the first quarter or so of the book. One or two scenes that I’d deleted earlier may make it back into the book. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  2. Tightening. Especially in the first part of the book, I may need to just cut a bit more, move the plot along a little more briskly. In fact, I’ve just gotten to one chapter in particular that I need to look at seriously for this. This goal, of course, is slightly at odds with the one above. That’s the way it sometimes goes.
  3. Upping the Central Conflict. The first two will likely be completed in one pass. This one is more likely to require two passes. The heart of this book is essentially a mystery concerning the magic. Something (actually some things) happen that either aren’t supposed to be possible or are very disturbing to the main character. This is, in fact, where the issue of the Dual Magics comes out into the open. There are probably at least two things I’ll need to do to fix this. In some places, I’ll need to just make everything scarier. Others I’ll need to drag out for longer. (I allowed part of the mystery to be resolved too quickly. Need to fix that.)

That issue with the conflict is also the reason for the title change. I think some readers just had the wrong idea about what kind of conflict they’d be getting in this book. Of course, there are quite a few supporting conflicts that demand the use of magic–and sometimes spears–too.

When I feel like I’ve got a good handle on these revisions (possibly after I finish the first pass), I’ll put THE VOICE OF PROPHECY up for pre-order. This will be my first experiment with pre-order on Amazon, so I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing for the next month or so. I also need to do the same thing for the related short story “Modgud Gold”, which needs some work before I can publish it.

The Key

As I start on the revisions to THE VOICE OF PROPHECY,

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I stumbled on this series of posts about character arc and suddenly the whole thing becomes clear. It gave me the key to some issues I was wrestling with. I now know what needs to be emphasized.

The linked articles outline a version of the three-act structure which actually breaks the character arc into four parts. Coincidentally, DUAL MAGICS is a four-book series and fits this structure remarkably well.

I love serendipity. Moving forward with more confidence now.

Office Progress

I’m ready to really dive into the revisions on The Voice of Prophecy, now.

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I’ve got all of the comments from my critique partners marked up in the manuscript. The beginning needs to be tightened–a lot. Maybe a little more action added in. The world building needs to be filtered in much better.

Meanwhile, I’ve made some really good progress on my new office space.

Digital Camera Digital Camera Digital Camera

Not nearly done yet. But I predict much better productivity than in my previous cramped space.

Want a sneak peek at the cover of THE VOICE OF PROPHECY (which used to be called THE IGNORED PROPHECY)?
Here it is.

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Love that feeling of a wave about to crash (as opposed to the lightning strike on the first cover). Both are very apropos for the character’s experience in those books.

Look for a possible pre-order on Amazon as soon as I have a good handle on the needed revisions.

Meanwhile, I’m busy going through my beta readers’ comments in detail and planning the revisions to make the story even better.

Not surprisingly, some areas need to be tightened up. Some may need a little extra attention. The main thing is that I need to do a much better job of reintroducing the world, the cultures, the locations, and the people (just in case someone picks up this book first)–all while not bogging the story down for people who did read THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. Okay, that may not be as easy as I just made it sound.

Also, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE

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and FIRE AND EARTH

Fire And Earth Cover (Provisional)

are both on sale for only $0.99 thru the 11th.

CIR Fall Sale Banner

Two of my books:

THE SHAMAN’S CURSE

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And FIRE AND EARTH

Fire And Earth Cover (Provisional)

are part of Clean Indie Reads Fall sale. Both are only $0.99 for the week.

Also check out all the other flinch-free fiction in the sale. So many bargains.

 

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I’ve received (some time ago, actually) a three-star review for “Becoming Lioness”. The story is perma-free, so it’s not like this review has a major effect on sales. However, the reason “Becoming Lioness” is free is to provide an easy introduction into the world of the Dual Magics series. There will be more short stories (also, hopefully, free) in this series between releases of the novels. In fact, I’ve got one that will hopefully be ready in November and two more on deck.

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The review complains of inconsistencies between “Becoming Lioness” and THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. They tell you to never respond to a review–good or bad. And they’re right. So this isn’t a response. This reader’s experience is perfectly valid and right for them. It’s just not–from my point of view–complete. But, then, you see, there are things I know about this world that readers don’t–yet.

What this reader sees as inconsistencies come from two sources, I think.

The first is just that this is a short story. In order to make that work without bogging the story down, some things are simplified. Characters who would normally be present, aren’t there because each additional character adds approximately 1,000 words. In a short story that should be in the range of 7,500 words, that comes with quite a premium. (“Becoming Lioness” is technically a novelette and closer to 11,000 words.) So this plot is narrowed down to just the two characters who matter for this story. Some of the finer points of the magic system that don’t really matter for the plot are reduced, too, for the sake of brevity.

But the main “inconsistencies” I think come from the fact that the events of “Becoming Lioness” take place in the time frame of the fourth (as-yet untitled) book in the series. So, for example, Kiara is aged 7 – 10 in THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. She’ll be several years older–about 17–by the time we get to Book 4. That alone accounts for some significant differences.

So, I hope you do enjoy “Becoming Lioness”–and “Modgud Gold” when it becomes available. If you’ve read THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, “Modgud Gold” takes place in the same time frame and focuses on what Arcas was doing while Vatar was an apprentice blacksmith.

Fire And Earth Cover (Provisional)

Speaking of bargains, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE and FIRE AND EARTH will both be part of Clean Indie Reads Fall Sale from October 5th thru the 11th. They’ll both be $0.99.

Transitioning

Most of the critiques of the second book in the Dual Magics series (formerly titled THE IGNORED PROPHECY, now likely THE VOICE OF PROPHECY) have come back. I have some work to do to make it ready for publication in December. So, very soon, I will have to transition back to revision mode and start work on that.

I’m trying to finish up a couple of chapters of book three (BEYOND THE PROPHECY, probably) first. The ones I already have fairly clearly in my head. Best to get them out before they fade.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to come up with a new concept for the cover art. I thought I had that all wrapped up, but the title change to emphasize a different part of the story needs to be paired with appropriate cover art. I think I’ve got a fair idea now of what I’m going to do. Unfortunately, it’ll be a bit more work than the previous concept.

Lots to do.

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