Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Finished! Almost

It’s odd how plotting works for me. (I am the first to admit this.)

I sent the first half of my CITY novella to my brother, asking “What happens next?” He made various comments, none of which helped. Except those comments got me thinking and almost at once the back half of the novella worked itself out for me, with that sense of OF COURSE that often attends such moments.

Now I wonder how I could have missed what obviously has to be the back half of the novella. It’s perfect. It ties together the two protagonists — Neill (always my favorite) and a new character. It gives them both a reason to be there and do that. It sorts out both their lives.

How did I possibly miss this and get stuck for months?

Anyway, I wrote the penultimate chapter yesterday. Today or tomorrow I will write the denouement. Then I will be able to check off that story and move on to something else.

It’s going to be about 20,000 words, btw. So far that makes it the longest story planned for the collection next year.

Incidentally, a gold star to anyone who suggests a good title for this collection. Dreams of Distant Shores just will NOT get out of my head, but of course it is taken (which is why it’s in my head to start with).

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6 Comments Finished! Almost

  1. Robert

    How about Beyond the Lands (or Realms or Dreams) We Know? It’s a variation of the title of an old Dunsany collection (Beyond the Fields We Know).

    It seems like it would be nicely evocative.

  2. SarahZ

    Sounds like a variation on the thing where you ask someone’s opinion (should I order A or B?), and then once they say A you realize you really wanted B.

  3. Elaine T

    Reflections from the White Road

    Ties City with White Road of the Moon .

    the collection is in an assortment of your settings, isn’t it? So a title that hints at a couple of them might be appropriate. Change specific words as suits you: Reflection -. Moon/Star Road, Floating Shadows…. Burning Shadows of Broken Earth…

    Just a suggestion.

  4. Craig N.

    That was pretty much how I hoped it would work out: since I didn’t know where it would go — throw out a bunch of reactive thoughts and see if one of them jogs something loose in your head.

  5. Rachel

    David, I like that suggestion. Elaine, yes, but there will be unrelated stories too. That kind of strategy might work anyway, though.

  6. Katie Patchell

    Maybe “Reflection’s Edge”? Since “City in the Lake” deals so much with reflections, mirrors, and images, “Reflection’s Edge” could tie it in….and if you have more “realistic” short stories, the name could work too. “Reflection” for the dreamlike atmosphere/surprising clarity /City in the Lake novella, and “Edge” for a sense of grounding (b/c the edge of a reflection is always cold steel, rough wood, or something else very tangible). Just a thought…

    Not stealing Elaine’s idea–I promise!

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