So far, I’m happy with my progress in this experiment. Having BLOOD IS THICKER to work on allowed me to let a particularly tricky scene for MAGIC’S FOOL sort of percolate in the back of my head until it was ready. BLOOD IS THICKER took the pressure to write something off and made that easier to do.
MAGIC’S FOOL continues to be slow going, although I’m starting Chapter 4 today. Spoiler alert: One character does not make it out of Chapter 4. After this, maybe I’ll pick up speed. Or maybe I’ll be called back into BLOOD IS THICKER. Sooner or later, I expect one of them to take over and push the other to the back burner, but for now it’s working for me.
In MAGIC’S FOOL, I needed to write an action scene involving a game played on horseback with three (not two) teams. That’s what needed some time to gel for me. It’s not like I’ve actually seen a lot of three-sided games (apart from board games, which don’t count) to draw on. Plus, I had to work the rules of this game into the action. (There’s no scene like the one where quidditch is explained to Harry to make that easier. All these kids have grown up with this game.) But I think I’ve got it. Readers will let me know if I’m right about that.
In BLOOD IS THICKER, I’m ready to start Chapter 5, in which the extent of the problem they discovered in Chapter 4 will become apparent. Something will have to be done, involving some sacrifice and a change of scene. That should be fun. I’m already seeing a couple of the scenes in my mind’s eye.
On top of that, I’ve started doing some research for THE BARD’S GIFT, my YA alternate history. I found a great reference book (kindle for pc edition so I’ll always have it right with me when I’m writing) for the basic daily life sort of information. This is the stuff I’d usually make up as part of my world building, sometimes using historical models. With alternate history, though, it needs to be as close to the real history as I can make it. Well, apart from the things I intend to change. It is alternate history.