Neither this blog nor the forthcoming fantasy series to which it’s dedicated are dead!
Much inspire, amirite?
After this summer’s writing conference failed to net me a publisher, I’ve returned to the grindstone. Book Two (the sequel formerly known as Part Two of Book One) is nearing completion as I fatten it up into a fully-fledged novel. Over the latter half of 2017 I wrote its Overture (a standalone novelette detailing an event from Hugh Conrad’s past, which I subsequently submitted to the Writers of the Future contest) and its Cadenza (a deliciously ominous vignette). Currently, I’m crafting two additional chapters for insertion in the central narrative flow. They are “breather” chapters that delve into character development and allow the reader to pause and reflect on events while the protagonists transition between tentpole action scenes.
I’m glad of the opportunity provided by my New Structure. The conclusion of Old Book One always felt rushed to me, but I convinced myself that momentum covered a multitude of omissions. Now that I’ve freed up space for various dropped subplots, however, I think their inclusion is a net-positive development for the story as a whole.
Of course, every chapter needs a plot arc to justify its existence, and “character development” doesn’t count as an arc. So that’s why it’s slow going: I need to surgically splice new sub-arcs into the existing overarching arc while preserving a sense of integral continuity. The new chapters need to be distinct enough not to feel like filler, but not so distinct that they become episodic detours. That’s a difficult balance to strike, which is why it’ll probably take me another few months to finish.
During which time I’ll have to studiously mortify my urge to leapfrog straight into Book Three (the sequel formerly known as Part One of Book Two), because I left that novel in such an exciting place.