11

07/21

“A Rook Given” continues…

5:58 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Inspiration

I’m on Chapter 6 of A Rook Given and have finally introduced one of the catalysts for the story. Maybe it’s kind of late by now.

In a way, I don’t like switching the third-person-limited between three main characters: Rook, Edwin, and Mebahel. What one does, the other doesn’t know the reasons for. Example: Rook’s friend saw everything that happened to Rook and feels the need to tell Edwin. But the reader doesn’t know why. Or how she feels afterward. How do I tie up that loose end?

I’m up to 19K words, a quarter of the way through. Seventy-five K is my goal, but because my writing style is sparse, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get that far. I meant for Chapter 2 to introduce the “call to adventure” but maybe it’s now Chapter 6, and everything else before it is going to get tossed out. I hope not.

The werewolf story… this is where it gets weird. Or magical.

In my writing group, there’s a woman who writes fantasy, and somehow the conversation got on werewolves. “I’d want to write a story where each phase of the moon, the wolf changes.” Well, the funny thing is a couple of weeks ago, the publisher and I started talking about that. I didn’t go with it because it’s been done by White Wolf Games and their Werewolf: The Apocalypse series and didn’t want it to be fan fiction. Coincidence?

In Big Magic, by Elisabeth Gilbert, she goes into a section where writers will suddenly have the same idea. It’s not that she stole the idea from the publisher and me, but it’s that the Universe has this idea, and someone is going to write it, by God. If not me, then maybe this other woman.

It hurts my heart to feel that the Universe doesn’t bless me with the story idea, Even though I rejected it. It’s like not being invited to a party so you could tell them “Oh, sorry, I can’t.” Doesn’t that hurt?

05

07/21

What to write…

8:00 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Bitten or Born,Carnival Farm,War Mage

In the hopper are War Mage, Carnival Farm, and “Death”, a short story for October.

I wrote a little bit in A Rook Given, but I stalled really quickly. In the middle of the month, I started writing a story called Bitten or Born. Not sure if it’s a novel, novella, short story, or what.

It’s a spin-off of a character in War Mage, Director’s Cut. Kurt is a werewolf, and has been in the Army for six years. Now that his tour is finished, he’s moved to New Hampshire where there are way too many werewolves. I’ve plotted most of the story, but the problem is, the plot is too short. Of course, this plot is the main plot, no sub-plots inserted yet.

Once I got that plotted out, suddenly A Rook Given seemed clear. It was like I had this other bit I needed to push out in order to continue with Rook. Bitten has male and female characters that have no romance. It took me days of thinking and five minutes with my Muse to figure out how to do that.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching too much Marvel. Bad influences.

06

06/21

War Mage

3:40 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Iron Butterfly,Methods of Writing,War Mage

I finished editing the printed-out version of War Mage. What I usually do when I finish a book or when I start to edit is print it out in 12 point Times or Book Antigua font. I grab my red gel-pen and start marking it up. I know some proofreader’s marks, like # is put in a space, and three underlines under a letter is to capitalize it.

I like it a lot better now than what got published the first time. There were a few things that I pretty obviously screwed up on, like not finishing a scene. I did enough foreshadowing that it confused me, so I had to tone that down. No wonder the first editor wanted me to trash it.

Taking that editor’s word as gospel. I rewrote it from the beginning and published a piece of crap. I should have just read a couple of months later what I had sent her, to see where the problems were. It is a good idea to let the story rest your eyes before editing.

The ending was a lot better than the one published. I’m proud of myself for it. Now, for it to see the light of day.

I also edited A Rook Given. I gave myself a target of 75,000 words for this story. I don’t think it’ll get that far. I’m on Chapter 5, scene one (according to my plotting outline) and I’m at 15,000 words. I caught myself repeating names or using wrong names and had to clear that up. I am glad that I plotted most of it out, because the writing comes easier.

Max’s reboot is going well. I sold two copies and have a SFW introduction going on the blog. Part of me wants to start something brand new, with vampires or shifters or fae for market value. Another part wants to shove Iron Butterfly out there into the world, because it’s a damn cool pair of main romantic leads I want to write, and I want to immortalize The Domina forever (yes, that’s what she called herself IRL). Interesting? Let me know.

31

05/21

Writing for the week

This week I wrote a short story for The Storyteller’s Tarot called “Death”. I’ve taken the same story and spiced it up for Maxwell Thomas’ reboot and called it “Thanatos.” That story will be available through the website mailing list.

I have been developing Max’s social media for the most part over the past week. Things to do this week?

  • Post “Descent, Introduction”
  • Edit War Mage (which is located at the bottom of my Books To Read pile)
  • Read over/preliminarily edit A Rook Given
  • Get back to writing A Rook Given
  • Plan the next M/M Romance for Max (Iron Butterfly?)

I updated Max’s social media content until August. That’s where I’ll be spending most of my time.

  • Twitter (Monday update) and Instagram (Friday update): @MaxwellTAuthor
  • Facebook (Wednesday update): MaxwellTAuthor

I’m not going to go nuts with Twitch and Tumblr and Snapchat. These three are enough for me. It’s a lot easier to shoot at a target with a rifle then with a shotgun. The rifle is targeted; the shotgun goes everywhere. Yes, the shotgun hits the paper, but it doesn’t hit the target.

Mercury is in retrograde until June 22, so any real writing will be crappy.

29

04/21

Muse: WRITE SOMETHING!!!

7:33 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Iron Butterfly,Life Sucks,Writing

Ok, so I want to write. But I have so many ideas. I have a brainstorming notebook that I’ve been scribbling plots and ideas in.

I have A Rook Given that isn’t going to be out until 2022. Because it’s so long to wait for it to come out, I’ve lost interest in writing it. (I like writing under deadlines. Call me crazy.)

I’m trying to resurrect Maxwell Thomas. I don’t know whether I should go back to the Brothers of the Zodiac and re-explain what Ishtar’s role was meant to be and do more stories in that world, or should I redo/replot Iron Butterfly as an M/M romance instead of a heterosexual romance?

Meanwhile, the Muse is demanding me to write something. Anything. Please. Just something.

So I pulled up this blog. Hi there!

I have fallen into the trap of, “My writing needs to have purpose.” Years ago, I had a discussion with my publisher (before he was a publisher). Why do we write? Oh, said my starry-eyed self then, “I write because I like it.” He said something to the effect of, “Don’t you want to be paid for it?” Oh, no, said my naive self. “Write because it feels good.”

What a unicorn-and-rainbows thought. Now it physically hurts me to write too much (carpal tunnel and arthritis are THINGS people my age get), so I have to be cautious. That adds to the “Writing needs purpose” command. I try to rest my hands, but I need to rest them by NOT playing games or scrolling through Twitter. #1stWorldProblems

I take three Tylenol every four hours and hope for the best.

23

04/21

Nothing new

5:31 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Life Sucks,Writing

Well, this week was a bust. I’ve written a total of 300 words, for a grand total of 15,800 words. Pretty sad on my part.

Slightly depressed, to tell you the truth. First, I found out that I’m my job and I have a “mutual separation” due to medical issues. They can’t fire me, and I can’t work, so they said if I come back in a year, I regain my benefits. To tell you the truth, I don’t want to work for any more corporate companies. They want to be the center of your life and culture, and I’m sick of that.

Second, A Rook Given probably won’t come out until next year. Which is bad, because that is way too much time for me to get it ready. I think I unconsciously blew it off once finding out that the story doesn’t have to be finished for about a year.

I mean, it’s good that the Press has many more authors. I’m happy to see other books and stories come out by such a diverse group. All we have to do is sell the books.

That’s next.

14

04/21

“A Rook Given” – 13,000

7:39 am by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,War Mage

I’m going along pretty well with the plot, writing this shitty first draft. I already can see things that I need to fix and they’re bothering me as I write. I want to go back and fix them now.

My kid read some of it over my shoulder one day. “Ugh! God stuff!” Well, there is an angel and a jealous Old Testament God at the center of the story. I don’t put God in a good light here.

Did some more editing on War Mage. It’s really not that bad. I sent it to the wrong editor when I first did it; that editor didn’t like speculative fiction that much (I don’t think). Plus it does have a few typos and grammar issues. But the research is solid so I don’t have to fact-check everything. I have a habit of researching while I write, which ends up as info-dumps. I need to remember to spread the information out.

I purchased a World Building notebook (from Australia, no less, so it’ll take a few months to get to me) which was also a digital download (I’m a sucker for FB ads). Because A Rook Given is set in contemporary times (magic is considered miracles or coincidence) a lot of the questions aren’t pertinent, but they make me think. Maybe I’ll develop War Mage‘s world in a little more detail. I noticed I need to come up with different magic systems than the Ceremonial Magic that I’m familiar with. A Rook Given discusses Hoodoo and Conjure magic, considered “low magic” because it uses common, everyday, easy-to-get items to perform, along with a little bit of “high magic”. Magicians in my world are specialists, elitist, and don’t share secrets with each other.

A Rook Given is probably not going to be published until next year, which gives me plenty of time to write it, edit it, and polish it up before I present it to the editor. I don’t usually submit to critique groups, mostly because they all have their own agenda. I can’t present it to people who don’t read my genre. It’ll get ripped apart. I don’t need that.

Back to it!

04

04/21

“A Rook Given” – 8000 words

3:42 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: A Rook Given,Inspiration,Methods of Writing

My newest novel is tentatively titled “A Rook Given”. It’s about a magician who makes too many familiars and God is jealous. So God sends one of his angels to destroy the magician and his familiars.

I’m already up to 8000 words with it. My plotting is out to three chapters so far, and I’ve written two. I do have the overarching plot already written out. I decided to use a notebook to keep track of all my ideas, and then transfer them to Scrivener 3’s index cards. Scrivener 3 has a way of keeping track multiple POVs by coloring the index cards.

The good news is I now have disability starting July 1. No more worrying about whether work cares if I write or not. No more worrying about whether I have a job (I don’t have a job to go back to–I was notified last week). Just two more months of TDI (six weeks, actually) and then I’m on the dole.