Work in Progress 4/6/19

Too many ideas today. I couldn’t write/type them down fast enough. I’ve been working on a longer poem for a few days but still haven’t found its heart. I’m getting closer the more I work on it. If I drift from it by writing more, then it’s time to reexamine.

The plot and character arcs for TCoFR novella series progressed but I may have too many things going on for novellas. Need to look at trimming and using some of those ideas in another longer work. I managed to dive into the main character’s background and other details. I am pleased with the results. She’s an interesting character I can live with for three books. She’s also not what you’d expect and I think she’s got more surprises in store for me.

I need city and town names. Not a simple task. They need to fit linguistically, and historically, and be pronounceable. They should also evoke an image of the place.

Work in Progress #10

Work on TCoFR novella continued. Yes, that’s another new name, but that’s what planning is for and why I use initials until I’m committed. I now have 4,270 words of character and story arcs. But I can’t go much deeper until I detail more of the characters and who they are, where they came from, etc. Character motivation needs to drive the plot forward. Still, I have some heart wrenching twists and betrayals that are falling into place nicely.

Tomorrow I will focus on characters, particularly the antagonists. There is no single evil presence in this story; just people driven by their own needs and desires. Some align with one group, others align with another, and some are just left to fend for themselves. I’d like to think someone could read the story from anyone’s point of view, but one of the two alignments is a little too greedy and blood-thirsty for me to root for.

Work in Progress #9

Mostly anthology work today. A theme emerged from the random selection of half finished stories. The title story, Palace of Dreams, is a long way from finished but it seems fitting. I think I have four solid poems to include.

The Bottle of Salvation Containing the Nectar of Ruin is going into the final manuscript form and then submission. Paltry Sums will follow this weekend. I changed the title of Eyes Behind the Veil to Eyes of Jade and Sorrow. That will go out next week.

The next story to prepare for a first read is Melina Unbound. While I’m doing that I also need to work on completing the next couple of stories. Between those and the stories for the anthology I’m focused on short stories during the week and saving the novellas for the weekend.

Work in Progress #8

The novella series has a new working name: CotFR. As I develop the storyline of the three books, the focus has changed to a different entity. I also have better titles for the first and third books. Book Two’s title isn’t clear yet, and it needs to fit with the other two. I also came up with a through-line yesterday while I was out for a walk. That through-line could be a blurb. I’ll share it once I’m sure it really fits.

Today I worked deep into story lines across the three books and developed character and plot arcs and threads. The arcs and thread identification for Book One are complete, and the resolve points for Book One noted. This is proving to be a method that works well for me. As I see the story coming together I learn who the characters are and what motivates them. It also shows me what the major plot points will be.

Only some of this character and plot development requires much worldbuilding. These are just people, in any world, acting and interacting. Still, there is some important worldbuilding. A few characters are heavily influenced by their natural environment. Others must maneuver unfamiliar cities or terrain.

I still have a lot of work to do on character backgrounds but I have a good idea of who each of the main characters are and what their main motivation is. I just need to translate them from my head to notes and deepen them.

The next step will be to use the MACE Quotient to make sure the main arcs are identified and aligned. Once I have that, I can dig into a deeper plot specific to Book One. Plotting a novella is more than a weekend’s work (for me) so I will be behind schedule. Maybe I can make that up with some good fast-drafting days.


My three book arc and thread planner is 2,700 words to this point.

If you don’t know what MACE is: it’s an arc tracing method developed by Mary Robinette Kowal. I encourage you to read up on it here and here. This has been an invaluable tool for getting longer works to feel right wrapping up all the story lines of a book.