Saturday, July 20, 2019

My Writing Progress...

This month's shared topic is about current projects and thoughts on future books. At this point, I think my ideas list is longer than my own future, but goals are good. However...I have several unfinished manuscripts and I keep beginning others which often makes for frustration.

When I suggested this topic a year ago, I had no idea that this August Constantine's Legacy would be published. It is a story set at the beginning of the Carolingian dynasty in Europe. I know the next four stories and what needs to happen. More research on the era needs completion, but I know the character arcs, so these books just need the writing-editing part of the production; hard enough.

I am about halfway through Angel's Tread, the fourth and final book in the Black Angel series. While I know where I want to take it, the story's trajectory has slowed and needs more thought. Plus unexpected characters and situations keep occurring.

Since Angel's Tread has frustrated me, I began another story I've been thinking about: Arcane Revenge. It is a scifi-mystery story set about two centuries from now where a successful shipping-lines owner is attacked, his face destroyed, and for seven years he works as part of a prison crew on a starship delivering mined minerals from an asteroid. Once freed he plays one person for his family, and another while planning the downfall of his nemesis. Needless to say, its development has a long way to go. If I get this done, I hope it will also expand into a series.

I have ideas for a second generation of the Magic Aegis series outlined, too.

I've also been working on two different romance series. One, Call to Duty, is set in Michigan during WWII where a woman working in the local sheriff's office becomes the de-facto county sheriff because all the men, including her husband, the sheriff, are now soldiers. The romance is carried out through letters while the wife solves a mystery.

The second romance series may never see publication, but is a contemporary set of romances in various Michigan settings. The characters and basic plots are written down, but bringing the stories to life remains.

So I have a lot planned and I love my story ideas, but have a long, long way to go for completion. I've also decided to shorten the length of my stories. With Arcane Revenge and the romance stories, I'm aiming at between 55-75K word stories rather than the 90K+ stories I usually write. Still, so much to do...

Please visit these authors blogs to see what they plan and are working on:
Skye Taylor
Dr. Bob Rich
Beverley Bateman
Connie Vines 
Helena Fairfax
A.J. Maguire 
Victoria Chatham 
Judith Copek
Fiona McGier

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Actions and Reactions

Image by John Hain from Pixabay
Newton's third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is still true at our physical level although perhaps not at the quantum level. For humans, it's often true on an emotional level, too. In novels, it is what drives the plot. Something happens to a character or happened in their past, and they have to figure out how to deal with it to hopefully reach a better future. Yet sometimes, stories end with the character's failure.

Whenever something happens in the plot, it causes something else to happen, which often leads to a chain reaction of events, just as in life although we do not always notice this. These actions are what catches the reader's interest and encourage them to continue reading. How characters react to these actions in their particular place and circumstance provides an emotional result to both the character and the reader.

If that is true, then why aren't all books the same story, especially when the situations and genre are so similar? While many actions are familiar to the reader because they've gone through them, the reactions of the characters can differ greatly just as they can in real life. Everyone is human, so physically alike, but everyone is also different in some way. Humanity's action can range from extraordinary good to unfathomable evil, and the puzzle remains that, depending on the historical time frame and the society and its mores, those unfathomable evil actions can be accepted as normal or even good, and those extraordinary good actions can be seen as ordinary or evil. In addition, there can be a very extended range of actions between the two opposites, each with both specific and non-specific reactions to each other. A person’s life is both predictable and unpredictable. Each mind behind a story's telling is human with basic human responses, but also completely different from the billions of other minds on Earth.