adventures in dysthymia

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


So, the rewriting of COAST OF SPEARS is more-or-less done. And by rewriting, I really mean line editing. The story itself would have been worked out early, largely in the outlining stage. So the first draft is pretty close to being the final draft — it needs polishing, not radical change. Rarely have I felt the need to cut a chapter or a character, though I might trim out a conversation or unneeded descriptive passage.

I had projected the novel, at the first stages of outlining, to come to approximately 60,000 words. I ended with 63,000. Sometimes things actually go according to plan.

That outline, incidentally, does continue to change and develop throughout the writing process. If there is a change, I will work out what the ramifications are there, before putting it into the narrative. The outline, which is not formal, often takes the form of a series of questions: what if so-and-so does this or such-and-such occurs? When I have the answers, I have the book.

From here it is more of a proof-reading and formatting task. Not that I won’t see changes I want to make in the wording, right up until it is sent off to the printer!

Which should be in time for an official release date of July 1. Expect it to show up in at least some stores a couple weeks sooner, especially the ebook versions.

Although COAST OF SPEARS is much more of a stand-alone tale than the Donzalo novels, it is still part of a longer narrative. I very much have a sequel (well, probably more than one) in mind, and semi-plotted out. Tentatively, it will be titled VALLEY OF VISIONS.

But that is very tentative. We left Malvern making the decision to follow his antagonists into the mountains, both to discover what was calling him to their peaks and to rescue the woman they have kidnapped. Exactly how he feels about that woman is still somewhat up in the air at the close of COS but I guarantee it will not be by the end of the novel that follows!

There will also be many answers about the world in which he finds himself, and a better understanding of the forces at play. These include ‘magical’ forces, which I shall say right here follow exactly the same rules as in the “Donzalo’s Destiny” books. Because this is, after all, the same world but at a far earlier time.

Will I start on it immediately? I shouldn’t, for I have so many other projects in mind, but inspiration may force me to stick with Malvern. Honestly, I would probably write a better sequel if I do get the story out of my head for a while, work on something else, and return with fresh eyes and thoughts.

Then, there are the novels set in Donzalo’s time that need to be written. All those illustrations for the children’s books need drawn, and another poetry collection, oh, and the ‘serious’ novel that takes place in contemporary Florida.

Obviously, I don’t suffer from writer’s block — there is always more stuff in my head than I have time to write down. Maybe writer’s gum-up, when I’ve stared at too many words too long and can’t think straight anymore! That’s when it’s time to pour my daily three ounces of red wine and call it a day.

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