Posts Tagged ‘characters’

Well, it seems I was riding some sort of high when I wrote the second novel… so long ago now, and it makes me a little worried about #3.

‘Bindings & Spines” is still a good story, don’t get me wrong, but it is…wordy. A lot of the edits is cutting. My personal editor suggest cuts and I tried to follow as well as I could, while still holding the things I thought I need in there. Now my beta reader suggests cuts and I try to take that advice seriously as well. Tomorrow Wendell wasn’t as much about cuts, but additions to solidify the world and now I’m fighting a totally different dragon. But since both of these two, who I trust and respect, are saying ‘trim it down’, I have little choice but to do so.

There is less metaphor and more description. I think that is part of the problem. TW was rife with metaphor and simile. Instead of ‘felt like a pinate after a boisterous party’, I have four paragraphs of detailed issues. Having identified the problem will, I hope, go a long way to resolving it. This will also bring the word count down, making it much closer to ‘Tomorrow Wendell’ in length.

It’s hard to hear critiques some times. It is also far to easy to tell yourself, ‘but they don’t get it’ — thing is… they do. They especially ‘get it’ when it’s people who have read a lot of your work before

Alas, I’m human. The important thing s tat I have accepted it and, by accepting it, allowed myself to see why thus opening myself to understand the difference from the first to the second novel.

I will never stop learning my craft, that’s part of what makes being a writer such a great job.

It has begun – reviews are coming in from ARC readers. This is getting real. Two wonderful reviews on Goodreads that are making my head spin.

It seems people just might actually like my writing, my words, and more importantly–my world.

It is that last one that is most important to me, because if people don’t like the world I’ve built than they won’t want to delve into it again and again. I write because I am a writer, but the White Dragon Black world is such a part of me now that doing it just for myself seems well, almost unfair.

Jonathan Alvey’s world has become so real to me, that I don’t want to live there alone.

… Wow –didn’t that sound like I was losing my mind in a whole knew way?

The point is, that I want to share these stories with others because I believe the vignettes my Muse gives me were meant for more than just my mind to explore. Hopefully, I’m right– the reviews will have to tell me if I am.

Tomorrow Wendell by R. M. Ridley

Tomorrow Wendell by R. M. RidleyTomorrow Wendell by R. M. RidleyTomorrow Wendelly by R. M. RidleyTomorrow Wendell by R. M. RidleyAbout the Author

So I got a good writing session in this morning – 1500 words worth. That is how I like to start my day, as it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and is good for my messed up brain.

This is the fifth novel in the White Dragon Black series, and although I hope whoever is reading it (when that time comes) is already a fan, knows Jonathan Alvey, and the world — I can’t count on it. This is not a series set up to be read starting at book one and moving to book two, then to book three … but individual novels in their own right. I hope.

I want readers to be able to pick up book five, even if they have never even read  a short story in the same world. I hate coming across a novel that sounds cool, only to realize it is book two of a trilogy and I have no access to book one. I also want those readers who have started following the series right at ‘Tomorrow Wendell’, and followed diligently with every novel after, to have a sense of continuation — of progress.

So the novels are chronologically set, one after the other. I am slowly adding longer term connections from one novel to the next, which will culminate in the final installment of the series, to help give a feeling of building something over the long haul.

The issue is to balance these. I have to make each book have the required information for a new reader that will give them access to the world I’ve built. I need to explain the rules and introduce them to the characters. In doing this, I risk pummeling those readers who are avid followers with the same info, over and over, until they are sick of hearing it.

I have to balance the information so not to bore my faithful followers, and yet allow new readers to bond with Jonathan. It is an issue I have to face with each novel and it doesn’t become easier as time goes on – it gets harder.

As more characters are established with each new novel, and more history is built up, the information that needs to be imparted grows and becomes more difficult to untangle to be presented as new. I have to make it seem as new to the long term readers, as it is to the new readers. This calls for a touch of magic, as there really is no formula – especially for a ‘seat of the pants’ writer like me.

All I can do  is shoot for the best of both, hope that I hit the mark, and that my readers are forgiving of my flaws.

So today is one of a landmark in this continuing saga of ‘Getting Published’. My ARC’s go out today.

A bunch of people will be getting their hands on an e-version of ‘Tomorrow Wendell’ weeks before it goes live to the general public. These advanced readers will be the first to generate reviews. Their comments, thoughts, and critiques will start popping up on various sites designed for such things.

These early reviews will either help sell the novel, or damn it to obscurity. More important than sales, these comments will tell me what readers think about my characters, world, plot, and writing. This is were the rubber meets the road and things get real.

I hope it is well received – obviously. Not just because if it sells, I get a chance to continue getting the books published, but because I can’t seem to stop writing this characters adventures. It would be sad writing them, with the knowledge that no one will read them, or care.

I admit, I want people to get sucked in to my character’s life.  I want fans who desperately seek out every novel, and short story, featuring Jonathan Alvey. I want the grouchy bastard to be loved by others as I love him. I want people to care what happens to him. I want readers.

So it is I’ll be sending out the ARC’s with mixed reactions, glee meets dread meets hope. I don’t think I’ll be ‘relaxing’ for several weeks yet.