Monthly Archives: April 2015

War Mage – the muse

I’ve entitled my next (maybe) series to be War Mage.

So far I’ve done more writing than researching.  (Did you know the Afghan war is STILL going on?  Since 2001?????)  13,727 transcribed words, another 2K or so left to transcribe in my notebook.

I outlined.  God help me, I actually outlined.  Not anything major, because I knew darn well that if I detail-outlined, I’d never write the book.  I just put in one or two words of what the plot points are and put them in the outline.  The muse then takes a look at it and we write.  She knows, for instance that “Sarah” is when the main character meets his old flame.  What happens?  How does he treat him?  How does he treat her?  Do they still care?

I’ve noticed that as long as I got some semblance of an outline, that I will follow a set group of plot points or action points I want to hit.  I also need to write in my notebook the beginning of the scene, at least the first two lines.  So that when I sit down and start the writing, that I will know where I need to start and what plot point I may need to hit.

The other thing is, I’ve realized, that this book is not the first in the series.  The first in the series really needs to take place in Afghanistan.  Maybe a few of the books in the series need to take place there.  But it starts in Afghanistan, goes to the States, then ends back in Afghanistan.

I’m wondering if this character is any good.  He seems flat to me.  He’s got power and ability, doesn’t use it often unless he’s angry (“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”) or passionate or has extreme emotion.  He has a short fuse, the power to back it up, and he’s got luck on his side – until…

That’s the problem.  Nothing seriously bad has happened to him yet.  I know what the big bad is.  I’ve been working on developing him as a powerful mage so much that I haven’t made bad things happen.  Or if they do, they just roll off him.

Well, something’s gotta give.  13K words, and nary a conflict.

Okay muse, let’s go to sleep and think about this.

The best muse

Ok, so I finally broke down and paid for someone to look at my query letter.  Now, the thing is, I decided to toss my old query letter and start a whole new one (since I rebooted Grimaulkin, I might as well).

I got an excellent critique back.  No, not a request for more chapters.  But an excellent idea that I think I’m going to use when I rewrite Grim yet again.  However, this time, I’m not going to squeeze it all into one book like I did with the second rewrite.  This third rewrite, I’ll go back to the original and tear it apart again.

I’m ready to do the rewrite, except…

I had a really awesome dream one night.  What if the US Army used wizards?  What if there was a special corps of wizards, the Magic Corps?  What if they were in modern-day Afghanistan?

The dream was told from the POV of a young (21 y.o.) powerful wizard.  He’s different than most wizards, in that he doesn’t even have to utter the spell – he just waves his hand and people go flying.  In the dream, the platoon is ambushed and he’s captured, and I force the dream to end there.

I forced myself awake and wrote the dream down.  The next morning, it was scribblings, but I could make out some things and most of the dream returned to mind.  I started to write it.

I haven’t stopped.

I’ve decided to write it in longhand.  It’s got a lot of padding, and I can see where I can tighten it, but I’m going to get it out on the page first.  That’s the important thing, no?

Transcribed, it’s 7,000 words with maybe another 2,500 to be transcribed.  So maybe 10K over 3 days.  Pretty slow, if you ask me.  But writing longhand slows me down and gives me a minute to think about what next.  Or what down the road.  Or what I’m going to use as Chekov’s gun.

I’m looking at the notebook here, and there’s a plot point I’m burning to hit…