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Now that Become: Brothers is up for pre-order,

Brothers

it’s time to switch back to working on the bigger story, BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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It’s not really a complete switch, since this picks up the story of the same characters, just a few years later. But it always takes me a day or two to get my head into the new story, even in the same series.

Right now, I’m reading through what I had already written of this story (about 32,000 words). That will give me a chance to re-familiarize myself with it and to patch any gaps left by removing the problematic flashbacks that are now no longer necessary.

The changed–and changing–relationship between these brothers will continue to be a major part of the ongoing story.

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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).

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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.

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Still working on BECOME, of course.

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Just one more scene and then I get to work on one of the more exciting parts of this story. Hint: There’ll be a dragon involved.

This is the point where one of the brothers is going to come very close to betraying the other–only to realize that his assumptions were all wrong.

That’s going to be fun. Dare I hope that writing the story will start moving a little faster?

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A couple of weeks ago I posted about how one of the things my current work-in-process, BECOME

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would focus on was the relationship between brothers.

The story isn’t a direct retelling of the Hercules legend. There won’t be twelve labors, as just one example. And I’ve turned other things on their heads, making my hero the son of the earth goddes, not a sky god (like Zeus). But I have given him a mortal near-twin brother, just like Iphicles was to Hercules.

The Greek legend doesn’t really address this relationship, but a large part of my story–especially early on–revolves around the relationship between these two half-brothers and a bit of understandable fraternal jealousy.

But I don’t want to make the near-twin really the antagonist–or at least, not really the bad guy. And this has been a small part of what’s been inhibiting my writing lately. Well, inspiration struck this week. I’d already supplied the near-twin with a younger full brother, who is just perfect for the part. All it took was to see him that way. And the pieces for the next several chapters all just fell into place. He’ll be the whisperer that stirs things up. And . . . a little more.

 

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This topic is brought up by a reader’s comment/question about DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The reader wanted to know when the next book was coming out because they wanted to know what was coming next.

The problem is: there is no next book. This is not a series–at least not in the conventional sense. I might have other stories to tell in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING, but they won’t be centered around the same characters. (Though the main characters might very well turn up as side characters or possibly mentors to the new central characters.)

Anyway, those other stories, if they ever happen, are presently on hold for BECOME.

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(Unless one of them jumps up and refuses to let me go until I write it. It has happened before.)

But the comment led me to think about why I feel this story is finished. The main characters are just starting out, after all, even at the end of the novel. There are certainly more adventures in store for them. But those adventures aren’t–quite–stories. Or, more precisely, not compelling stories. So what do they lack that a story should have?

Character arcs. In overcoming the external story problem, these characters have already also grown beyond the internal issues that were holding them back, the things that made them feel inadequate to really follow their dreams. Their arcs are complete.

Unless, of course, another story occurs to me in which they have another internal conflict to overcome. Always possible, but there’s nothing on the horizon right now.

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At least for me.

I’ve finished the new scenes for this chapter of BECOME.

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Now, I just need to do a little revision/rewriting on what I already had to put the remainder in the other brother’s point of view and I can call this chapter done.

It also now includes what was the following chapter (always from the other brother’s POV) which makes it really long. I’ll probably end up cutting at least some of this during the revisions, but that’s a problem for after I complete the first draft.

More importantly, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is free for the next couple of days. Now’s your chance.

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