Little Odds and Ends

Making changes here and there. Finally got around to putting the cover and link for Darkest Prison in the sidebar.

Also changed the blog’s tagline. I don’t suppose many people will even notice it, but I’ve been trying to figure out a tagline that better fits what I’m doing here and elsewhere. I’m planning a series of short ebooks on writing, using material taken from the blog. The tag for the series will be The Maverick Writer, so this is one step in that direction. I’d been reading and thinking about branding (ugly term) and platforms, and came across this blog post: How to Come Up With a Tagline for Yourself. Since then, the idea has been rolling around in the back of my mind, and birthed itself yesterday.

I’ve been making notes for a post that isn’t high priority, but is demanding to be written. It’s about the end of my love affair with Smashwords. I’m not quitting Smashwords, but I’m finding more and more reasons to pull back. I made the first-publication switch, drinking the Kindle Kool Aid (as some people would put it), and found that it was a smart move. But my disenchantment with Smashwords involves more than sales, so it’s taking a while to think it all out so that it makes sense.

Gift of the Ancien is coming along by fits and starts. Some days, I can tear through two or three chapters, and then there are chapters that refuse to give an inch. I’ve been wrestling with Chapter 13 for two days now and it still isn’t finished. I’ve found that there’s a pattern to problem chapters. They’re almost always transitional. The situation is changing, usually drastically, and a lot is going on that doesn’t lend itself to being nicely organized and rounded off.  Chapter 13 is one of those, but I will persevere, and I will defeat it.

In the process of expanding the scope of the novel, I’ve realized that when it’s finished, a sequel will be almost inevitable. I actually have another story about the Ancien partially written, as a standalone, but it stalled because I wasn’t happy with it. Now I can see how to revise it and link it properly to the first novel. There’s really a lot to be said for being a lazy slow writer. Stories need time to develop, to accumulate the details that make them richer and more interesting for readers.

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2 thoughts on “Little Odds and Ends

  1. I also have problems with transitional chapters. There are things that need to be said, but they don’t involve any action, and they can grow wooden and artificial-feeling. I think the third chapter of “Termite Queen” is like that – I reworked that one right up to the end and I never did become completely satisfied. I think it remained one of the book’s weakest chapters. And yet it’s an important chapter, where I introduce Kaitrin’s mother (who becomes a significant character as the story progresses) and also the protagonist Griffen Gwidian. I think one of the problems was that when I first wrote the chapter, I had not yet developed a clear conception of where Griffen’s character was going and I was never able to overcome that initial uncertainty.

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