I started on a new chapter 1 for book IV last night. and so far it is flowing pretty well. This isn’t unusual for me–in three of the four books I have written, the first chapter ends up being chapter 2 or even chapter 3. In this case I wasn’t happy with the beginning of “Beyond the Gyre” as it introduced four new characters, and left the main character from the previous books on the sidelines. I still want to keep the material, but I think having my established characters speak first is going to work much better. Also I can add in some action (and sex) into new chapter 1, which is always good for grabbing the reader. (more…)

My characters are gaining personalities. One has become painfully shy. The heroine has a relationship with his brother. The conflict, taking place in the first chapter, involves these three young people, an assault, and a case of mistaken identity. Hopefully this initial bit of excitement will hook the reader (if they haven’t been already–this is the fourth book in the series, after all.)

A word on plot. I am writing a series of books, so I have to write stories that work on a number of levels. There is the story that begins and ends within each book. There are main characters, conflict and a satisfying resolution within this framework. THEN there is the big story that stretches over the course of the four books. It also has main characters (some different,) a much larger conflict and a resolution that wraps up all the loose ends from all four books (a tall order.) In addition to this there are the hidden themes that I incorporate into each book.

More about that next time.

Yesterday afternoon I decided that the procrastination had gone on long enough.  I started on Beyond the Gyre.  Managed to get four pages written before I had to cook dinner.  This book takes place fifteen years after the closing events of Birth of the Dawnmaid.  Characters that were merely babies and children are now the protagonists/antagonists and the parents, who were the main characters in the last book have joined the second tier.  Sort of like real life actually.

It will take me a little while to get into the heads of these new characters.  I have to think, alot, about how they will speak and move and behave generally.  Even though I know how the story will develop, in general terms.  I don’t do a huge amount in the way of outlining before I start.  Just a sketchy chapter by chapter synopsis.  It often changes as I am writing–new ideas occur to me, or things I believed would work just don’t for whatever reason.

I work quite linearly.  That is the best thing for me, but I know other writers who start in the middle and work backwards and forwards.

I have a long way to go, but it is something just to have started.