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…)

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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.