Destiny's Conflict: Status Updates

Destiny's Conflict will get finished on schedule.
If I took that long to get a book down, I think I would perish of boredomā€¦the only conceivable delay would not be caused by guilty pleasures, but if financial need reared its ugly head and I had to find a day job. With gas prices and cost of living sending all expenses rocketing up, sales of the books will have to rise to compensate.

Every working author I know is swimming in the same rat race. :smiley:

Today I tighten yesterday's pages, and re-check the whole chapter for final touches (characterization and local color).

Then I face The Dreaded Blank Start of a subchapterā€¦which will, perhaps, wind the page count to another milestone.

If you think transitions to new scenes are easy - they're not so straightforward as that! I have to timeline the ENTIRE THUNDERING BOOK at this stage to see which piece of action to select, best to move the plot forward, and I only can choose ones that work in lock step. Often this entails getting out the map, the measuring stick, and the 'how many miles can be traveled in this time period, over that terrain, by which transport,' just to see where the various factions and parties ARE, and this often means - what in hell were they DOING while the last time period already written has elapsedā€¦

Then I have to figure which character/what backdrop/what tone and mood - where the current scene in progress will take place, and which point in the action to KICK IT OFF. Which entails HOW MUCH, if any, more time has elapsed, and then, back-sight - what WERE ALL THOSE OTHER CHARACTERS DOING, how far have they traveled again - so that I don't accidentally overshoot an important bit.

And if I did, it's backstep, retool - to which character, what setting, what tone and mood, etc etc etc and maybe etc and repeat.

If the first stab/second stab, or even third or forth or etc fails to grab hold, it's back to the drawing board to try a different mix. Sometimes it can take three days to a week for the fuse to ignite the fuel - other times, one just plods down a paragraph at a time, wakes up next day, adjusts said paragraph, wakes up next day and does the same until the slippery thing takes root and stays put.

Often the subchapter I THINK I am going to deploy will defer itself two chapter sets further down the lineā€¦gah!!!..which case, said draft gets set aside and reshuffled into the stack, and I find the one I really needed to start on, beforehand.

No guarantee, even at the point of finding the correct place to stick the pin in the story and move it, that some bit falling in later won't revise the whole story again.

Some chapters, these days, DO NOT write linear, because there are too many other factors in play off stage, and those have to be taken into account, EVEN THOUGH YOU AS THE READER DON'T SEE THEM. They still have to dovetail with the part in progress.

Let's not forget - either - the suspense has to ratchet up. So No Character Coffee Klatches, just because you like em, and THEY want to fling repartee and just chatterā€¦(shut UP already and give us the meaningful bits, story peopleā€¦)

Seriesā€¦you have to be loonie from the git go to write emā€¦:wink:

originally posted by Clansman

Good thing you're a loonie, Janny!

originally posted by DarthJazy

A loonie? I thought this was decided years ago

originally posted by Clansman


Loonie: slang term for the Canadian $1.00, a gold-coloured coin introduced in 1987 to replace the paper $1.00 bill


Loony (loonie, or luny): 1. extremely foolish, silly or ridiculous; 2. Crazy, insane.

Take your pick!

flip for it, Clansman?

Lo, the first tests have Spoken, and I Am Not Shot Deadā€¦you will get to find out what happens (eventually). I face the subchapter's start, and that damnable blank pageā€¦(see the brain smoke rising up to the Muse?)


I wonder what Davien is doingā€¦

Three possible moments to fill this subchapter.

The first: too soon/logistics prevents this scene happening here.

The second: is not time specific, so it could fit anywhere in the first third of the book.

The third: required to bridge the logistics problem in discarded scene one.

The third, then, shows promise: first POV, won't work; shows too little of the scope of the action. Start with view 1 and shift to a second POV, nada, either, still not enough angle. The third POV - a bit more promising, but there is a hitch - an incomplete view of what HAS to happen to assist with another snag, coming. SAME BRIDGING SCENE - a different scenario - starting to work. Then a shift in POV again - this one looks hot. Today: to play it and see.

And you were wondering what soaked up all my think time over the weekend, the sleepless wee hours and beyond?

crap. I've got the character angle. Now have to work out where to stage this bit - logistics, setting, all that stuff to work out AGAIN, backwards from the ending of last book and forward into the new storyline.

It's like stupid joke about what the blonde does at the blinking red light:

vrooom, EEEERP!, Vroooom, EEERP!, Vrooom, EEEERP!!!

originally posted by Annette

All sounds interesting and fitting somehow that a subset of three gave three possibilities none of which were quite right unless you combined them.

You ever need an extra test reader I would volunteer. :smiley:

Moving: the opening scene is two pages along, with a third splashed with notes; this is a typical 'first day' effort with a scene shift.

It will either explode forward tomorrow or bind again as more details are adjusted, worked in, or fleshed out.

This puts the page count to a nick shy of 190.

Test readers, not ready or looking for additional input, not at this pass. There is a cagy reasonā€¦:Xā€¦though thanks for the kind offer.

originally posted by Annette

Oh, I never expected such a treat, but no harm trying. :smiley:

We can expect a nice big light bulb to finally flash on after reading the next instalment then? These clues are going to drive some of us nuts waiting for the last book to get to the secret of the mysteries. I am starting to think half the fun in the writing must be choosing words and ideas to give us so much but not too much and keep us guessing.

Status update: the first scene of this subchapter is nailed down, mostly, with a bit of tuning to do yetā€¦order, order - sighā€¦looks like there may be an adjunct scene to follow and THEN another scene and viewpoint changeā€¦so it's back to the same exhaustive bit of mapping.


Timing: certain bits HAVE TO happen now, because where the story goes next, there would be too much of a time lagā€¦everything prior has to fit in THIS pocket, to keep the timeline forward or simultaneous; and it has to stop at a PAUSE POINT that can be left alone in a comfortable AND LOGICAL holding pattern for an interval.

Page count (draft) 191; lots of dead ends and false starts to get this opening nailed downā€¦

week in the life of an author, ongoingā€¦

originally posted by Annette

Thanks Janny. :smiley:

Must say my imagination is having a fair few fits and starts trying to envision a pause point for someone.

originally posted by Nurgle

you could bring in a time machine to help you out

BRAINSTORM! Yay, last night after hours as I was unloading grain sacks - a large CHUNK of stuff slid into line and fell into place - two things I was toying with (one bit vs. the other) actually flipped into a DO THEM BOTH: first this, THEN THAT, and build it this way to reach the plot crescendo that was to be there all along. Wow. THIS solves the timing problem (action moving IN PLAY with other action that must take more time.) And the ramp the tension problem. And is a lovely plot turn, to boot! wheee! Now to play them forward and see how they fit.


When these moments happen, how I love to write!

originally posted by Annette

Tension problems already, I am expecting Janny to have us on the rack by chapter 9. See how far she can stretch us before we break. I STILL have trouble reading some sections of Peril's Gate.

My grain sacks are 20kg bags so mowing the lawn looks more interesting than moving the last bag out to the aviary.

*Goes back to wondering what pauses, what takes more time and whether they are the same thing*

originally posted by Kate Phizackerley

It seems to me as though the creative process is the same whether one is writing a novel, designing a web site, or writing a piece of music. It has to contain certain things but sometimes when they come together they don't quite dovetail as imagine, then ā€¦ bam ā€¦ the magic moment you describe when you suddenly see how to do it.

Yup - grin - and then there's kicking the edges of that magic moment to MAKE IT FIT. :smiley:

Well, now - isn't THIS interesting.

Chapter start - almost ALMOST scrapped. Even with brainstorm - refused to move.

New ideas buying the farm like paper airplanes in a hailstorm.

This morning, finger above the DELETE key - (yeah, at 12 or more pages along, s*** happens)ā€¦new whisper from the muse (Author: HEY WAIT, LADY, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL ALONG WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS KNOCKING A COLD AND SWEATING BULLETS???)

Muse: whisper whisper whisperā€¦!!!

Ah - AUTHOR STOP! Full stop. NO deleteā€¦adjustment. Page count upped to 14 pages. Next scene that was two pages along - DEFERRED and kicked ahead to the next sub-chapter/along with the scrambled heap of ideas that were snarled into knots of refusal to moveā€¦

Sub-chapter I THOUGHT would be next (vague cloud of ideas with names tagged on) decides to flip places, morph with ANOTHER sub-chapter I had (shows what I know) already punted ahead to 'down the story road someplace' - haul that bit back wiggling, as a lovely, argumentative, tensioned follow up to THIS scene and voila.

Behold, this chapter passage is alive and kicking butt after all.

Day in the life of the harassed IDIOT, why not have a SANE job, um, oops, I mean, author who definitely (read that as, (let's not be hypocritical) when the muse is WORKING) adores their jobā€¦:wink:

Plunge back into the story chase, again, but this time it appears to be hopping.

Page count: 201 - WAIT!!! - 201? I've broken 200! OMG!!! how did I miss that milestone without a beer???

Here's How: sometimes you get this white HEAT BLAST of inspiration. Other days you get the staggers and the crawlsā€¦:smiley:

(hauls off staggering and crawling toward that magical fifth chapter set, whereupon the story brew is finally shaken to fizz and the lid typically flies off the "start up plod". I think I need a MUSE CATTLE PROD - yeah! Bring it on, take that, you flighty *sweetheart* - let's have some steadier inspiration around hereā€¦oy.)

originally posted by Annette

Hope you recovered from the cold Janny and congratulations on passing 200 pages and getting a good start on Chapter 4.

Wiggling, hopping and punting, has Janny perhaps gone fishing for inspiration? Now punting ahead to later on I can understand, you have been thinking about this for so long. :smiley:

originally posted by carl

I dearly love authors who will interact with their fans like this. Or maybe I just love Janny ;). Congratulations on reaching page 200 and that surely deserved a beer. I wonder if I will finish with my reread before you finish the latest book. I had so much more time in 1994. :smiley: