Update: Lots of Progress, Whew

Okay, so this past week was productive in a couple of different ways.

First, very pleased to wind up this round of revision for INVICTUS and the next round should be much less trouble. It had better be much less trouble! I’m feeling fairly good about INVICTUS: CAPTIVE and don’t expect to make substantive changes to it at this point. Tweaks, maybe; possibly even extensive tweaks, but I shouldn’t be ripping into it for major remodeling. I sent off INVICTUS: CRISIS to another early reader late last week with a sigh of relief. I mean, there will be more to do with it, but every step forward is something I appreciate.

Second, I celebrated by reading  Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst

I picked it because it’s MG and I expected it to be charming and fast to read. It was both, so it worked out fine. I’ll post comments about it later this week, and by the way I am longing to live in a world with winged lions, winged cats, winged monkeys, mer-minnows, cloudfish, on and on. Preferably not giant wolf-headed flying serpents, though.

This makes me want to read this one even more:

Because wow, what a cover! Durst has had some great covers, that’s for sure. This one’s not MG, I think. I think it’s YA or maybe adult. Oh, probably YA because it’s listed in “coming of age” categories.

Third, I’m waiting for the more detailed map for the Tuyo World Companion, but it’s looking good for release this month. Note that I’m not sufficiently certain to put it up for preorder. At this point, as soon as it’s ready, I’ll just release it and let you know. Meanwhile I’m using the less-detailed map as a placeholder and a test map. I sent myself the ebook file and my first impression was that the images were not enlarging on my phone, but they actually are, so that’s good. I may increase the spacing between paragraphs — the novella has normal indenting and no spacing between paragraphs, but most of the rest is formatted with no indenting, but spacing between paragraphs. If the spacing looks too funky, I may change that.

I tried putting all the letters into various “handwritten” fonts, none of which are showing up in the kindle previewer, so I may give up on that. A brief google search confirms that KDP strips out all odd fonts and converts everything to basic fonts for kindle. Fine, never mind, it was just a thought. The various fonts do look cool in the paperback, so maybe I’ll leave them in that version.

Overall, a bit of ongoing fiddling, but largely finished and nearly ready.

So with the TWC and INVICTUS more or less under control and moving into the less intense background, that means that —

Fourth, at long last, I’m moving SILVER CIRCLE to the foreground. I mean: I’m still doing final proofing for the Tuyo World Companion, and I will be doing further (hopefully relatively minor) revision to INVICTUS and then proofing right up till it comes out — till both books come out — but I’m finally preparing to focus on the Black Dog world.

First step: re-read at least Copper Mountain and the 4th novella collection and take quick notes about all the elements I’ll need to juggle. Aargh, so many elements! There are a great many balls in the air at this point. I need to keep those balls in the air and then drop them neatly into place throughout the final novel. Let me see. There are the grimoires that have no doubt continued to appear in various libraries; and the sensitives who can spot supernatural stuff; and Tommy, who ought to get something useful to do; and those wendigos in the far north and the black dogs up there; and the Russian black dogs in Florida — including a potential love interest for Ethan — and you remember the demon that stole control of a black dog kid’s body and took off — not to mention what’s her name, the spooky witch in California who’s got magic spyware pointed at Keziah. Plus whatever’s going on with the cellphone app, a different kind of demonic spyware, probably. And none of the characters who have been important throughout the series can be dropped here at the end.

Even though I basically know where I’m going and where I want to wind up, this is going to be a bit challenging, I bet.

I have part of a novella I wrote from Grayson’s pov. It didn’t work properly and I’m going to start by seeing if I can switch it into a different pov and use it as an early-ish scene in the novel. That gives me one starting point and will permit me to move one important character into place for the endgame. One character is starting out in the right place for the endgame. Everyone else will have to move into place over the rest of the story. I have a vague notion about the actual first chapter and a vague notion about something else that should happen kind of early and in fact, kind of a lot of vague notions. Well, by the end of August, I bet I’ll have something started, and by the end of September, a much better idea of what I’m working with.

So that’s the big shift in my attention this month. Feels practically seismic!

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3 thoughts on “Update: Lots of Progress, Whew”

  1. “Because wow, what a cover! Durst has had some great covers, that’s for sure. This one’s not MG, I think. I think it’s YA or maybe adult. Oh, probably YA because it’s listed in “coming of age” categories.”

    Sarah Beth Durst is very good on her website to indicate which books are for her MG, YA, and Adult audiences, and “Race the Sands” is under the Adult category on her site: http://www.sarahbethdurst.com/booksforadults.htm

  2. I’m looking forward so much to Silver Circle. I cannot imagine how the whole witch/demon problem will be resolved, but I’m sure you will turn it around with something that doesn’t just solve it, but makes everything else better too. I’m not so worried about the wendigos and minor demon problem. It seems like in the Black Dog world, there will always be some supernatural threat popping up, and a never ending need to patrol, cooperate, and be creative. The witch problem is the biggy for me. And some of the smaller loose ends from the story collections could perhaps be revisited in the epilogue book – which I’m also looking forward to! I would LOVE a story from Grayson’s pov if you can make it happen sometime, or at least more insight into his perspective and emotions.

    Anyway, I’m glad you are ready to start working on this. I hope you have lots of fun writing it.

  3. Race the Sands is excellent–probably Durst’s best, and oneof her most ambitious. There are two main characters; a down-on-her-luck racing trainer and a young woman who runs away from an impending marriage. It’s combination of coming of age story redemption story.

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