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I’m still working on that new chapter for the prequel to BECOME.

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Partly, that’s because I’m still working on overcoming those bad habits regarding my writing time I blogged about last time. And last week turned out to be a very bad time to try to work on that due to several real life show stoppers.

Partly it’s because I backed up a little bit to fix the current scene. I realized that I’d set up my protagonist to be just a little too pure of heart to be truly believable. Now, I still need him to do the thing I was setting up. I just needed to provide a better motivation.

Now, instead of being just a little too good to be true, I’ve set him up instead to internalize a lesson from an earlier episode. This works much better.

Motivation has been the bugaboo through this whole part of the story. The first version set up the brother to be too nasty–a bully. Which is not what I want. The second version set up the protagonist to be a saint. Again, not what I need, here. This version will work better. But it’s probably not the last time I’m going to need to do a little work on the motivations of these two before I get to the final version of “BECOME: Brothers” (working title).

I usually post on Sundays and Wednesdays, but tomorrow is going to be . . . well, shall we say, tightly scheduled. Which actually ties in with the theme of this post pretty well.

I have not been making the kind of progress on BECOME

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or its prequel that I think I should be making. Not the kind of progress I’ve made on previous books–even WAR OF MAGIC

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which sometimes felt like I was trying to carve the text out of granite.

And, yes, part of that is due to my subconscious nudging me to realize that the brothers’ early story wasn’t the right place to start the main story. That part needs to be the prequel, which I am currently working on.

But, you know, that isn’t the only reason progress has been slow. Part of it is that I just haven’t been writing at all the same times that I used to since last September. In fact, right now, I’m mainly only writing on the weekends. And, sometimes, my time gets taken up for other things on the weekends.

My work location changed in September–which isn’t at all unusual. And, all right, the new post really kicked my *$$ the first couple of weeks. It’s also about twice as far from home–but, you know, the difference between two miles and four miles isn’t that big a deal. Except, that in this case, the route I was originally taking had some really rotten traffic at times. But, again, I solved that issue months ago by finding a better route.

So what is the problem now? I think it comes down to forming some bad habits during those first couple of months. And I’m definitely going to have to do something about that. Starting this week. Well, after tomorrow, which is going to be a hopeless case anyway.

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New Scenes

Well, remember that new scene I was going to write for the BECOME prequel. Yeah, turns out it’s going to be more like three–or maybe four–scenes.

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I’ve got the first one written, at least. And a pretty good handle on the second one. But it’s going to take a little longer than I hoped. At least I’ve got a three-day weekend coming up. Two, in fact–one right after the other.

New Scene

So, I’ve started that new scene that I need to write for the prequel to BECOME.

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It replaces a scene that just wasn’t right but it also has to do the work of leading to the turning point at the middle of the story so I’m not rushing it.

Once this scene is written, things should go pretty quickly. While this is the first draft of the novella, most, if not all, of the remaining scenes had already been written for earlier drafts of BECOME, so they’ll mostly need to be tweaked, not rewritten.

Tentatively, the title of the prequel is “Become: Brothers.” I have cover art roughed out, but I won’t finalize it–or purchase the images–until I get some feedback on whether the novella works on its own.

Figured it Out

Turns out that distractions weren’t the only thing keeping me from working on that next scene in the prequel novella to BECOME.

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It was wrong and somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it.

This is a scene that was cut from an earlier version of the novel and resurrected for the novella. The results of this scene are important.

This is the story of the early relationship between the two brothers, based (loosely) on the Hercules and his near-twin Iphicles.  Hercules was a demigod. Iphicles was not. Even though the Hercules figure is my main character, it had to be hard on the Iphicles character. And this is what the brothers had to initially overcome.

Now this scene is near the turning point (half-way through, just where it should be). The way the scene was originally written, the other brother came off as a bully. That’s wrong. Even though the main story is going to take these two down a sometimes difficult path, I don’t want him to be mean, just very, very frustrated.

So, now that I’ve figured out what was wrong, I can start drafting a new scene that will do a much better job.

Distractions

I planned to get a lot more writing done on the prequel to BECOME this weekend. I also planned to get a fair amount of work done outside. The yard really needs to be mowed. And I’m trying to gradually put in some xeriscape plants to replace the large . . . well, I can’t exactly call it a lawn . . . grassy/weedy area out front.

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(This is a very old picture, probably 1930’s or early 1940’s, and the house has been added onto since then, but you can see that the front “lawn” is pretty good-sized. That photo isn’t even taken from the far end of it. No, I have no idea what that big hole was.)

Plus, of course, all of the usual things I normally have to get done on the weekends, like laundry.

Yeah, I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew sometimes. Usually, it just ends with me feeling like a should have accomplished more, somehow.

I’m not sure quite what I did while planting that one-gallon pyracantha. It shouldn’t have been anything I haven’t done a hundred times before. But I must have moved wrong or something. And I’ve been hurting ever since. It’s not nearly as bad today, but enough to kill any ambition to get the mower out. Well, the grass/weeds are still probably too wet from last weekend’s storms anyway. I didn’t even get the two smaller lavender plants out. They’ll hold in their pots for a week or so.

Also, unfortunately, not very conducive to the kind of concentration needed for writing.