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Synopsis Redux

by Jonathan 0 Comments

I’ve been working on paring this down to the essentials, tweaking it in tandem with changes I’m making to the novel, which, ideally, will also result in a leaner, tighter story.

Fleeting images of Tuareg nomads near a campfire - image by Alexandre Baron

Image courtesy of Alexandre Baron


I suppose the question is, after reading the synopsis, “Does this pique your interest?”

In the crook of the Quiet Sea’s eastern shores lies the grime-ridden sprawl of Stelinople, a city of industry ruled by the Magnate Trust. Searching for new energies to fuel its furnaces and mills and manufactories, the Trust has fixed its gaze squarely upon the Jashem, seeking the energy locked in that scoured desert land. And the Yürük Çin who draw upon it.

When Yürük scout Khyrg al Wahid and his headstrong daughter witness a Trust airship crash, they discover survivors — Trust researchers. Aiding the researchers becomes a furious flight across the Jashem, sweeping Khyrg up in the Trust’s schemes, thrusting him toward Stelinople, the city that holds his deepest secret, his darkest shame.

All the while, researchers at the University conduct morbid experiments around the clock to bend the energy of the Jashem to their will.

The One That Got Away

by Jonathan 2 Comments

This week? Well, forget about it.

Been busting my hump over here. Up in the wee hours to write and then day jobbery. I’m one scene from finishing this round of edits of The Cloud Chamber then off to beta readers. So there’s that.

Started Towers of Midnight and am loving it. Something about those old familiar characters keeps me coming back. Not unlike Mr. Waits.

Earth Day and Easter. These holidays have been brought to you by the letters “E” and “A”. Have a good one.

Reading Your Own Work

by Jonathan 9 Comments

Just brutal. Not so much the work itself, though there are times I cringed at the purple prose or missing articles or non-sequiturs.  No, I’m talking about the ability to just sit and read what I’ve written without reaching for the pen. I don’t think it’s possible. But, how am I supposed to gauge how the story unfolds when I’m tightening things up?

I’m thinking of a few things that might help:

  1. Go somewhere without pens/pencils/quills
  2. Give myself permission to read without stopping
  3. Convince myself that I’ll catch some of the obvious things when I read it next time around.

It would probably only take me a few days to read through the manuscript if I could do those things. As it stands, I’m plowing through and marking things up as I go. It’s a slower process, but I feel like I’ll be that much more effective the next time through.

Damn this learning curve.

Closer. Warmer.

by Jonathan 9 Comments

These boots were made for revision.

Draft #3 is in the books. Now all I have to do is print the sucker out. It’s a little on the heavy side, weighing in at just under 130k words (520 pp. give or take). I’m sure that’ll shrink as I get into edits.

The good news is that it’s finally approaching a story that I find interesting. The bad news is that it’s taken me three full drafts (about 400k words) to get here. You can bet your ass that I’ll be outlining the hell out of the next novel.

After a read-through from my lovely wife and a bit of polishing, I’ll send this sucker out to beta readers and see what rolls in. Should be exciting/daunting/humiliating/illuminating.

When the feedback comes in, I’ll put on my good revising shoes, roll up my sleeves and get to work. For the time being, I’m off to work on some more short fiction, reading some Mervyn Peake and maybe begin outlining novel #2.

The Road Goes Ever On

by Jonathan 7 Comments

And so does my ending.

I’m making good headway, but it’s much longer than I anticipated. Maybe I’ll need to divide it into two chapters. I’d rather not split up the climax, but if it can be done in a way that keeps the tension high without wearing out the reader, I might just do it.

That’s what beta readers are for right?

Bilbo, back before Gandalf rocked his world.