May 04

A Productive Day

Posted: under Contents, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  May 4th, 2012

A productive day is a day on which at least 2000 words pile up.    I’ve been dealing with 1000 word days, 850 word days, 1600 word days, even 1854 word days…but the clear-sailing ahead 2000 word days have been thin on the calendar.   Today was one of them, plus some.

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May 03

Distant Snippet

Posted: under Contents, the writing life.
Tags: ,  May 3rd, 2012

You won’t see this for a long time, but I can’t resist:

As he lay wondering about this, a sound moved in the darkness, a sound for which–like everything else–he had no name.

And no, I’m not saying who “he” is or what’s going on.  There’s a book and a large chunk between now and then.

Nor is this a good topic for open speculation.    You might accidentally hit on details that would spoiler it for many.

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May 02

A Few Geographic Clues

Posted: under Background, Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 2nd, 2012

Clearly I haven’t been clear enough about the geography.   Here’s some help.

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Mar 14

Gnome Expansionism

Posted: under Background, Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 14th, 2012

There I was, writing away on Book V,  when something popped up that solved a mystery.   This should not be spoilerish, more like background material that we just haven’t seen yet.    It was clear all along that there were more gnome princedoms than Aldonfulk and Gnarrinfulk, but those were the only ones who had inpinged on the story so far.    My attempt to figure out where they were and who they were had foundered.   Until today.

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Feb 14

Unexpected Deaths

Posted: under Contents, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  February 14th, 2012

I was reminded again this weekend of the way death comes seemingly out of nowhere to shatter relationships new and old.   A friend of mine in another state was participating in a serial transport of a rescued dog from the shelter where it was first found to its future home, some two thousand miles away.   The puppy stayed at her house overnight, and the next day she drove it to the next person in the chain.   The person set off…and she and the puppy were killed in a weather-related road accident.  You can read about it on my friend’s blog, which includes a beautiful tribute to the remarkable woman who was killed.  Please do, in fact.

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Feb 10

And an Update

Posted: under Background, Contents, Website Update.
Tags: , , , ,  February 10th, 2012

The history page on the Paksworld website has now been updated and expanded.   Ever wonder what they use for money in the different realms?   Want to know more about trade?   You folks were showing enough interest that when I went into the file to fix typos (and let’s hope I didn’t just create more typos)  I decided to add more information.

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Jan 30

Book Reports

Posted: under Contents, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  January 30th, 2012

Agent had some worthwhile comments on Book IV which sent it back to me for more work.   This will result in an added chapter early in the book and the “perking up” (my term, not Agent’s)  of some fairly large chunks considered “flat” as well as showing one character more active and tough than before (hadn’t realized that character had softened that much between books.)     Some of that will involve shortening, and some will involve lengthening, as usual.   Agent has contacted Editor, who gave permission for an extension to do the work he suggested, pointing out that we could send her the version I sent him today, or a better version in ten days.  (Agent has had the book since January 20 and I appreciate the fast, analytical reading Agent gave it. )

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Dec 06

Revision, Revision, Snippets

Posted: under Contents, Echoes of Betrayal, snippet, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  December 6th, 2011

First a thank-you to y’all for your patience.    It has been a…um…very busy time here at the old homestead.  Tonight is the night of the Messiah performance, and that will make four days in a row of driving to the city for 3+ hours of singing (and on Sunday I drove in early to sing the first service at church, then drove home to do the other stuff.)

Your reward for the patience is a snippet, after a short review of revision progress.   I have finally (FINALLY) got important two important events tied in neatly with all their threads connected.    As I near the end of a book, everything has more and more threads hanging off it (it’s connected to this, that, and the other in various ways–foreshadowings that may go back several books,  links to contemporaneous happenings, hooks set that will turn out later to be significant, etc.    The next to last book in a group is even more rife with threads for every major event, internal and external.   And every one of those little stinkers needs to be woven in, as invisibly as possible, so the pattern is unbroken.    But enough about the work in progress:  Herewith a snippet from the work to come.

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Oct 30

PlotBomb Goes Kapowie

Posted: under Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  October 30th, 2011

So this afternoon I was hacking away at stuff, helped by Ms. Rancherfriend who has an excellent eye for the “enough of that, already” passages (she’s the reason the first Paks books did not chronicle every single hour of slogging through the mud. )  And while talking to her, a nagging little worry about a scene you will now never see  (because it Did Not Happen that way!)  suddenly rose up even though she hadn’t mentioned it, and I asked her what she thought about it.

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Oct 11


Posted: under Contents, Craft, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  October 11th, 2011

I am deep in chronology now, maybe halfway through, and discovering that I have duplicated some events (though the way the scenes are written varies a lot) and completely left out some very important ones.  Last night’s work session was on one such scene (a plot-mover for sure.)    Getting the others into even rough order helps a lot in seeing overlaps, duplicates, and gaps.

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