Knee Deep in the Writing Process

The book that was. The book that is.

Last February, when I began this blog, I intended to do many things and one of them was to occasionally let people know my novel’s status. Well, it’s been a long time since I addressed it directly.

Life has taken unexpected turns since last winter and more changes are on my horizon (I’ll get to those next week). For now, I’m going to share an actual writing update.

Shayleen's story continues.

Shayleen’s story continues here each Tuesday.

To be clear, I’m not talking about Last Word Before Dying, the online fantasy I post each Tuesday. That story, which is centered around young Shayleen Rilden, takes place in Spring 4163 in River Rock, Hartise.

The story I’m talking about is Where Light Devours, which is set in many locations across Hartise, though not River Rock (it opens in Baris and both cities are shown on the map below). Its timeframe spans mid 4162 to mid 4163 so there’s overlap, but the two stories don’t share characters.

  • Okay, “they don’t share characters” is mostly true. In Last Word Before Dying the main character from Where Light Devours is mentioned, but not by name. It would require reading both stories for someone to figure-out which reference I’m referring to and where it occurs. The two stories together, along with those that will follow, are ultimately connected and act as pieces in a puzzle.

Anyway, the main character in Where Light Devours is Ergain Cursa, a currier for the Keepers, the rebel group opposing the government and the Ministry of Magic it supports. The story was extracted from a MUCH larger tale, but after the extraction I realized there were gaping holes in the plot and no real ending.Central Hartise

Whoops.

I hate when that happens.

Filling the gaps required restructuring and the addition/subtraction/rewriting of some minor characters. I also had to write an ending that didn’t include the line, “And this is where Christina ran out of ideas.”

Further, with so many years having passed since the original, massive story was written I realized that my “vision” had changed to a degree and that required additional tweaking.

Think: Old Empire technology.

When all that was done I went through the story as a whole to make certain it held together and flowed smoothly, which it did—for the most part.

Last month was spent removing about 85% of three chapters because they didn’t add to the story and instead slowed it down. The chapters were located just beyond the halfway point so they added to the “sagging middle” problem that afflicts many novels. The story now flows more swift and true through that rocky canyon.

At present, I’m restructuring the chapter that is a crucial transition between the “middle” and the end sequence. It’s a tricky chapter to write. Before, it read like a boring information dump and that’s unacceptable. In keeping with the story’s overall feel the new chapter will possess an air of mystery about it.

After this I only have basic editing until I reach the end where some reworking is required to render it more thrilling. If I realize my ambitions the result will transform Absaka into an action-packed and terrifying conclusion.

Christina back at her desk.

If you’re new to the world, Ontyre, that I’ve created there’s much about it on this blog. Too, there are visual references on the Pinterest board, Ontyre Visions.

This is an exciting time for me and I’m loving every moment while hoping I’m also bringing some enjoyment into a few other lives.

6 Replies to “Knee Deep in the Writing Process”

  1. I am enjoying everything I have read so far! Each time I read a story, I am amazed at the ability that someone can sit down and write a story. I don’t have that gift, but I don’t mind, I would rather read anyway! 🙂 You do an excellent job!

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I believe everyone has a talent (or two) of some kind, but too often they’re dismissive of the talent. The first time my English teacher in college praised my writing my oft stated response came out, “But everyone can do that.” I thought she’d slap me. Lesson learned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*