Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Actually this is the first time I've come to my blog page with several topics I want to write about. It's a tough choice, but I think what we're doing and where we are with writing the books will be the topic this time. Next one, either excited about fall, or what's new in the writing class I'm teaching. I can't decide.

It does feel good to have more than one choice for once!

Well, we are moving along with Fated, the novella turned novel, that we are almost finished with. As I said in the last post, we are struggling with the choreography of the ending. I really want to get it right and also make you, the reader, want to read the next book, Lore.

We are on either the last chapter, or we will add a little more and have one more short chapter, we will see how it goes. Then we still have the epilogue  which is a short one, too. I am hoping to be through this in the next two weeks so that we can make one more run through and fix or add what we need to.

We have a white board with a list of 28 fixes that we will revisit and correct, then off to the  beta readers. Hopefully by the middle of October. After that, it goes to Susan for the final edit. I just want to have it published on Amazon before Xmas. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Then there's Lore! The second novel in the series. I did some work on it and added several scenes and wrote most of one. I am fixing and, or, adding to the rough draft to get it ready for when Toni and I start on it. I bypassed one chapter and am now working on chapter 9. The previous one will get worked on next. I just happen to have the muse for the one I'm working on now.

See, the book goes back and forth between this world and Djenrye. I am trying to keep it around the same timelines in both worlds and so you know what's happening in each one. Chapter 8 is here on this side, and 9 on the other. So now you know why I jumped a chapter.

The story is coming along nicely, I think anyway. I plan to be through chapter 12-15 before we start on it. I want to be ahead so I know how the story will go. I will do some more work on it this week and at least finish that scene I was working on.

Next, and on the side, I am working on the outline for Fable still. We need all the information to stay on track with Lore. After that, I will start on the outline for Fated. 

As you can see, there's plenty for me to do. When writing a series, the work never ends! I just hope that all of you like the books and look forward to the next ones!

Is there anyone of my followers that are writing series? If so, what is your process for writing your novels and keeping track of it all?

Until Friday, I hope all of you have a great week and enjoy this nice cool Fall weather!

See ya later, Lisa


  1. Ah, series ...

    Not only do I love reading them, but I love writing them. Now granted, I haven't engaged much with a series that requires me to do the level of back and forth that you describe above (and I'm grateful I haven't needed to work out the logistics of that sort of thing), but I definitely know the pains of making sure everything falls within a certain timeline.

    My series, The Legion Rises, isn't really much of a series. When I started writing it in 2011, it was supposed to be a novella trilogy. Of course, it was only by the time I had finished writing the second novella that I realized I should have planned for four. The third one was the length of the first and second combined. The Machine.

    The Machine gave me several headaches. One, it was simply too big to be a novella. The end result was that I split it into two parts, each of which was roughly the length of the previous to entries in the series. Because the first chapters were so long, I ended up having scene breaks in them, which was never seen in the previous two. As a result, when I went to do the print edition that combined all three books into one omnibus, I removed the scene breaks and made individual chapters out of all the scenes that were separated in those chapters, including the epilogue (which went from one "chapter" to two).

    But the biggest headache was the timing. The first book, Crashed, took place over roughly 24 hours, if memory serves. The second book, Carundas, took place over the following 48-56 hours (I'd have to unbury my notes to be sure). On the other hand, the third book, The Machine (separated in print and e-book form now into two parts, Saving Alice and The Machine), took place over the months that follow. So I go from a book that represents one day, to one that represents two or three days, and finally to one that represents three months.

    To make it all match up, I had to give a time, date, and place for every single scene. It was maddening fitting it all together, but once I had it laid out, I think I managed to handle it fairly well. And it's mostly transparent, I feel. Things flow. Or so people tell me. The only criticism I generally get is of Crashed, which apparently jumps around too much. The problem of creating something into a trilogy that was meant to be one novel, is that you do certain things that are appropriate for the longer form but not appropriate to the smaller.

    1. I know what you mean and can relate to your struggle! I'm glad you shortened the chapters. I started to read a sci-fi series, and I won't say who the author was, but his chapters were so long and his info-dump was over the top, I quit reading it. Much better the way you did it. It is hard to get the overall set up for a series sometimes. I'm glad I wrote the second book when I did because now I can go back with a clear head and look at how the story was shaping and going. I can now work on the setup one chapter at a time.

      I can see where the weak scenes are, or the not needed ones, and can replace them with action and pacing that's better to move it forward. It also helped me to decide where the second book will end. I read the entire rough draft before I started and then printed it out and made notes along the way. Now I just go back through each one and add or take away accordingly. I'm only on chapter 9 but I think the story is moving much better!

  2. Shadows, on the other hand, is generally much more fun to write. While I started out with part of an outline, ended up straying from it quite substantially, then back to an outline for #2 (which I subsequently ignored), back to an outline again (which worked for one book, #3, and subsequently broke on #4), to simply taking notes. Because when it comes down to it, for me, the fun is discovering things like the reader does and to do that, I can't have planned out more than general ideas because the story might evolve in a direction the outline didn't account for (as it did with #4).

    When I make a discovery, I make a note of it. I record little vital details of the story world, what has happened. I fill out a little timeline that covers the days covered by the books and events that happen, etc. Notes on characters, companies, places, etc.

    And I rely heavily on my memory, sad as that is.

    1. I rely on my memory too since the entire book is in my head, but I did learn a few lessons when I published Fable that I can't rely on that alone!

  3. I've encouraged clients to use Excel spreadsheets to keep track of things. You can have the same timeline on multiple spreadsheets and a different character on each sheet. Then you can keep track of what the other characters are doing behind the scenes when they're not on stage. Then when you pick up with Character X again, you know how much time has passed since he's last been on stage and what he's been up to, and how it needs to tie in with Character Y, who just went off stage. :)

    1. That is exactly what we do Susan, but keeping up the Excel spread sheet is another story lol!