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Posts Tagged ‘characters’

After finishing that latest chapter in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, I was forced to pause for a few days to make a decision about point of view for the next one.

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Most of the story is told from the point of view of my Hercules-like character, Gaian. But there are a few other important POV characters, too. And, in this case, I finally decided that this chapter needs to be from the POV of one of those other characters–to wit, the love interest, Mariel.

See, they’re about to visit a neighboring country–a diplomatic visit, of sorts. This particular location isn’t especially important in this book, but it will be in the next. And, while Gaian will never go there again, Mariel will. So her impressions are more important to setting this up for the next book.

That seems obvious when I lay it out like that, but it wasn’t at first. Partly, I suppose, because Mariel had recently had a POV chapter. Doesn’t matter. This is what the story needs.

These are some of the problems of discovery writers. If I was an outliner, I’d have known that from the beginning. But outlines don’t work for me. I either abandon them when the story diverges from the outline at about Chapter Five, or I spend too much time updating them as the story continues to diverge.

Ah well, back to writing. This should be an interesting chapter since, after the experience with the very large lion, Gaian has decided that Mariel needs to learn to defend herself. Not that he’s not willing, able, and happy to defend her, but–in his opinion–everyone should feel confident that they can take care of themselves if necessary.

Poor Mariel. She thought it was hard getting over that mountain pass. She has no idea.

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The weather changed! Back closer to normal–quite pleasant, really. Nice breeze. And I’m making good progress again. Well, not today, but in general. (Other things going on today, like grocery shopping. That also has to happen, sometimes.)

Discovered that I needed to add another chapter. It’s not really adding anything extra to the story. Just, part of it needed to be told from the point of view of a different character–one who’s going to be even more important in the second book. So, a chapter break.

Still, the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING is taking a lot longer than I expected.

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I’ll get there in the end.

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It’s hot and humid here, which is not normal. So, a good day to let everything else go and just stay in front of the computer. And, unlike the last few days, the words are flowing pretty well.

So, I’m spending my writing time working on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and I’ve very nearly finished that chapter that I was briefly stuck on a few days ago.

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Because, sometimes you have to just grab a handle and stay on the roller coaster as long as it keeps moving.

I’m approaching the midpoint, which should be interesting, though there are a few chapters to get through before then. And, in one of them, my weasel of an antagonist is going to get taken down a peg or two–which will set him up to want a bit of revenge. That hasn’t been what he’s been playing for up until now. But . . . things change.

Don’t forget to enter the audiobook giveaway. Someone will win an audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. Or one of the other eight audiobooks. Some lucky someone will win all nine.

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Do it now, before you forget. 🙂

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My (mostly) unbreakable rule about first drafts is that they have to go in only one direction–forward. If I let my editor brain get involved in fixing things during the first draft–well, I just might never get to The End. Early on, I had to force myself into this by writing out the first draft long hand.

After all, first drafts aren’t supposed to be perfect.

Normally, I only permit myself to go backward to make a note of something I need to set up earlier or some other change that will be necessary–in the revisions. And, usually, those changes are relatively small. Often, it only requires a line or two to set something up. For instance, in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, I’m quite likely going to decide that one character needs to have a small scar from an earlier encounter.

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I’ll just make a note that I need to set that up in some way. (Not having him have a habit of rubbing that scar. I already have a character–in a different story–who has that particular tic, so I’ll have to come up with something else.)

But . . . some things need a little more set up than that. And I’ve recently realized that one of the reasons I was having a bit of difficulty getting into one scene is that it really needs some earlier set up that will increase the tension. Set up that will also help to show my antagonist at his weaselly worst. (This antagonist also featured in the small extract I shared a couple of weeks ago.)

So, I’ve gone back to add two scenes to an earlier chapter. Since they are entirely new scenes, not revisions, it doesn’t really quite break my rule. Just bends it.

 

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Plan B

Well, I was planning to share a sample of the audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, but apparently WordPress won’t let me do that. 😦

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So, Plan B. Back to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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Here’s a little glimpse at another brotherly relationship–not between Gaian and Benar (the subjects of BECOME: BROTHERS)–that will have a huge impact on the plot:

Benar left the nursery, shaking his head. Father and Gaian were still in there, watching the infant sleep. While Benar was honored to have been asked to act as foster father—Goddess forbid that the need should ever arise—he couldn’t grasp the fascination of watching a baby sleep. Frankly, the tiny, squirming little thing hadn’t been that interesting when it was awake. He had enough younger brothers—and wasn’t that far from his own childhood—to realize the baby would get more interesting as it grew. But, right now, watching grass grow held about as much interest. Then again, he had to admit, he might feel differently someday, when the child was his.

He turned toward the stairs, to find his full-brother, Cordan, apparently waiting for him. Benar slowed his pace to allow Cordan to keep up with his stiff right knee, the result of an early riding accident that had never fully mended despite all the healers could do.

Benar shook his head, chuckling softly. “Out of all of us, I would never have expected Gaian to be the first to become a father.”

“No,” Cordan agreed. “You realize that this changes everything?”

Benar stopped and turned to face his brother. “Everything? How so?”

“He’s going to need to provide for his son. A home, at the least. What other home does Gaian have? And where could he give his son better training? He even has a son to follow him as king someday.”

“No.” Benar shook his head. “You’re wrong. What Gaian wants is to spend his life with Kalindra. She’s practically all he talked about all summer. He can’t do that and be king.”

“And if Kalindra dies?” Cordan asked.

Benar made a warding gesture. He liked Kalindra. “Goddess forbid! But she won’t. Mother Thedra said that the healers expected her to recover fully.”

Cordan cocked his head to the side. “Perhaps. This time. What about the next one, though. Because you know Gaian isn’t going to stop doing what brought this one along. I wouldn’t. Neither would you, if you’re honest.”

“I expect they’ll be more careful in the future. Anyway, I don’t see the point in speculating about such things.”

“Only this, brother. Gaian’s willingness to step aside for you may not be quite as strong as it was last summer. Just a word in your ear. You should keep your eyes and ears open and be prepared. Just in case.” Cordan turned and limped off in the opposite direction.

Benar watched him go for a moment before shaking his head. Cordan just didn’t know Gaian as well as Benar did. Gaian was not a man to go back on his word. And Cordan didn’t know about Gaian’s real goal, either.

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

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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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