Clearing the Hurdle of Book Four, aka “Bonds is DONE!”

That’s right The Bonds of Osteria: Book Four of the Osteria Chronicles is DONE!! Okay, not “done” done, but done enough to celebrate with all kinds of happy dancing and hoppy libations because it was a major struggle getting to this point.

The Troubles

I wrote the bare bones of Bonds as I was reworking The Maze last year. I’d basically taken each story line in Bonds and wrote them out as individual stories just to figure out what needed to go into The Maze and what needed to wait until Bonds. While this gave me a really nice starting point when it came time to starting Bonds, it also spelled gobs of trouble.

The first major issue was plot gaps big enough to fit Trump’s “239”-pound behind into. I knew X needed to happen and I had it happening, but the logic of getting X to happen ended up with me just plunking something in that didn’t make fit smoothly or logically into the rest of the narrative. I’ve included one of these examples in a deleted scene below.

Nightmare number two was the timeline. Bonds has at least six story lines all weaving together and one story line (the one that involves Bellerophon) is very dependent on the one that involves Perseus. Unfortunately, Perseus’s storyline was taking far too long to wrap up which would have really left Bellerophon in the lurch. I also had people taking way too long to travel when the main guts of the story happens in a rather short time frame.

The other serious problem was having characters’ story lines just falling off. For example, Jason (who you’ll remember from The Voyage) has a task he needed to do. Well, I had him just doing the task and then you never heard from him again. That’s no way to write a story. Resolution, man! I need resolution!!!

Killing Off My Darlings

Not so much killing, but more like a horror-movie homicidal maniac was left with a fully gassed up chainsaw in a room of teens on a backwoods getaway.

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Dragons, Beasts, and Book Bargains

For those of you keeping up with the Bloggity Makeover, you’ll have noticed on your calendars that it’s the first Saturday of the month and time for an update on how the book is coming along. To sum it up: Not too shabbily.

Here Be Dragons

You may recall that after having plowed my way through the draft of Book Three of my fantasy series, I was on such a drafting high I decided to continue on with a draft of Book Four. Since the books are closely linked and a few plot points could go into either book, I wanted to have both of them written out so I would be able to drop a sorting hat onto each chapter to figure out where exactly they belong. (Sorry, this sorting hat only selects for Book 3 or Book 4, no Griffindor or Hufflepuff options.) Continue reading

trials of hercules, books,

Putting Myself On My Own To-Read List

Anyone who has known me for more than half a second will be aware that I love my lists. In addition to my monthly, weekly, and daily To-Do lists there’s my To-Paint list for new artwork and my To-Write/Edit list for new publications. But my favorite list of them all is my To-Read list to remind myself of all the terrific tomes whose words I want to cram into my head.

Words to live by!

Words to live by!

However, a strange moment occurred when I realized I might have to put two of my own books on my to-read list. After all, in their many, many revisions I’ve probably read these books at least seven times each. Did I really have to read them again?

Turns out, I did.

The Disorganized List Maker

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Novel Writing: Heading into the Third Inning

I have to say that the third draft is probably my favorite when hammering out a book. “Shouldn’t the final draft be your favorite?” I hear you ask. Well, no. The final draft is a bit anti-climatic. It’s thrilling to be done, but then I have to face the daunting tasks of marketing, publishing and turning a stack of blank pages into the next book.

threeFor me, the third draft is exciting. I’ve conquered the blank-page phobia of the first draft. I’ve sorted out most of the major plot problems in the second draft. By the third draft, I’ve thrown up a super sturdy framework for my building and now it’s time to do a little rearranging, decorating and shoring up of the structure. You know, the fun stuff! Continue reading

I’m a Reviser, Not a Writer

What have I been up to this week? Revising, revising, and a tad bit more revising. And all that has made me realize that I’m not a writer, I’m a reviser. Everything I write, whether it’s a query letter, an article, or a novel, has to be clarified, chopped up, rearranged, lengthened (or shortened), and copy edited. I haven’t made an actual tally, but I wouldn’t doubt for every minute I spend writing, I spend five minutes revising.

I’m not complaining–okay, maybe a little. I know first drafts are horrid things, something akin to how ugly a baby looks when it first pops out of mom’s womb. Seriously, those things are hideous, reptilian creatures. But no one tosses out their baby just because it doesn’t look right the minute it’s born (well, some people do, but there’s other issues at play, not just the ugly worm they’ve produced).

ugly babies

“Please DO NOT show me to the world!” says Baby First Draft
Image taken from

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