Finding the Fun

I’ve been writing a sequel to a book I wrote a while back called “Respawned.” It’s based around the idea of a minor character in a video game deciding he’s not going to just stand around and die anymore, and starts exploring, which in turn kind of breaks the game. It’s a bit like Wreck-It Ralph except the characters don’t know their in a game, specifically. Continue reading “Finding the Fun”


Choosing the Right Villain

When I decided on my NaNoWriMo project this year, I thought I knew what I was doing. Sequel to my previous work Respawned, the characters had a preexisting pickle they were stuck in, and it should have been simple to plot. And then I had to “assign an antagonist,” and it all fell apart. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Villain”

Secrets in Our Cities Scavenger Hunt: Creating Dragons

Welcome to this stop on the Secrets in Our Cities Scavenger Hunt!

One of the great tragedies of my adulthood was being forced to acknowledge that dragons don’t exist, or else are extinct. Probably. According to most reliable sources.

(If a magical apocalypse arrives and changes the world, I’m totally going out and finding a dragon.) Continue reading “Secrets in Our Cities Scavenger Hunt: Creating Dragons”

I Can See the Light

I finally have the third act of my latest WIP (work in progress) outlined. It was painful, and it has taken me months to figure out what I’m doing with this book and where I’m going with all those vague notes I made in the beginning, but it is done now. All I have to do is write it.

First, dealing with character motivations. They didn’t change, thank goodness, but they did become a lot more defined by the time I was halfway through, and so the final act needed to reflect that. I can go back and add in the things I need to make it work, but for this all I needed to do was make sure I knew what I was targeting for sure.

Next, going through old notes and reconciling with how the story has gone, because it still works. It’s still what I was aiming for, I was just super vague. Which is probably why it still works. Filling in a few gaps, making sense of some confusing digital scribbles, turning my generalized sense of an ending into something I can actually write.

Then, connecting the dots between the character arcs and the underlying political tension and the actual surface goal of the character. That’s… going to need work. And lots of going back to act one to add more hints and clues as to where it’s all going. But at least now I know how it ties together, at least in a clumsy fashion.

And then going back and outlining the little details I’m going to need to add in order to make that tension clear. I probably shouldn’t have spent all that time on outlining the details for these things, when I’ll just change it first thing when I start draft two. It was helpful, though, in that now I know where I theoretically want readers to be coming from by the time we get to the end.

Finally, making a story out of it and finding an end point that’s not 100k words in the future. All I can do for that is write it. See if it actually meshes together the way it does in my head, or if I’m just being silly.

It feels like a triumph right now, getting all that figured out. Hopefully I can take the momentum and let it carry me to the actual end of the book. Anyone else have an epiphany moment lately?

Co-Writing: the Early Days

As a part of an exercise with my writing group, I am co-writing a novella. My partner is amazing, by the way. A published author (Find her book here!), and a fantastic organizer for (thus far) two anthologies for the group. It turns out she’s also a really great partner to write with. Continue reading “Co-Writing: the Early Days”

I Lost My Side Characters

I’m writing a sequel to a book I wrote a while back, and for this one the plot circles around revolution and how the various characters respond to it. For it to work, I need a bunch of fairly well established characters reacting in various opposing ways that still meld with their personalities. Unfortunately, except for the two mains I’m having trouble picking out details for a sequel (which tells me something about how well written those side characters were in the first place).

First problem is my notes are shoddy. I have a vague sense that certain details exist, but I don’t know them so I’ll have to read through the book to find them. Probably multiple times, when I could have saved time by just making note as I wrote it in the first place. So oops. It’s been kind of a long time since I wrote the book, so it’s not exactly fresh in my mind.

Of course, there’s not a ton of the information I need to be gleaned, anyway. These characters tend to lurk in the background, and don’t really have any plots of their own in that book. Which is fine, because too many plots spoil the book and all that. But in my experience and from what I’ve read, well-written side characters might not have much happen on the page itself, but there’s at least a sense they have lives, and rationale for being involved in the plot, and they need to be involved in the story arc in an essential way. As in, you can’t just swap out one person for another and have the story develop exactly the same way.

Not every person needs an essential role, of course, but right now almost none of them do. Which makes them all pretty flat. So now I need to go through and figure out who they are, and maybe if I’m lucky a few subplots will pop up along the way.