The problem with writing long books is that when you go back to the beginning of them, you have to remember that what you just lived through has not happened yet. I am sure many of you just read that sentence and are confused. So let me explain.
Say you have two characters in a story, let’s say Reuben and Sue. In chapter one they do not know each other at all. They have never met, but since your book is very long and spans years, by the end of the book they are happily married and expecting a child. That is all good, and if you write romance, even expected.
Now, you have finished the first draft. You have felt all the feels, walked all the paths and been through all the conflicts with Rueben and Sue. You were there at their first kiss. You know every argument they ever had. After all you as the writer were both parties in those events.
Now, you go back to chapter one and they are strangers. You have to make them act like strangers. It is like invalidating a lifetime of memories to start again. It is so hard not to slip up and have them act just a bit too familiar.
This is why I employ a team of pre-readers (aka beta readers) for every book. I send them copies of the book before it goes to my professional editor. Fresh eyes looking at the text can spot these inconsistencies that creep in. Things other than simple typos. For example, I just edited a chapter where two characters swapped names mid-way through. Ops.
And on that topic watch for a future email as I just finished the first draft of book three of the Mantidom series. At 160k words, it is the longest book in the series so far. It may end up being my longest book, but not by much.
I know from past years past that many of my subscribers celebrate Christmas. Some of you do it because you are Christians, some because your family always has, and some because it is a cultural holiday or tradition.
And of course, some of you do not celebrate it at all for one reason or another. That is of course the expected outcome of having readers around the world that have found some measure of entertainment in my tales.
Whichever of those categories you fall into, I wanted to take a brief moment to say that I hope the rest of the year is joy filled and that your 2020 is the most excellent of years.
Being that we here in the Trigili Compound do celebrate Christmas, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas (or Merry Random Day In December if you prefer) and a most wonderful new year.
Thanks for being such great readers!
I am at my desk thinking about things and stuff when my outdoor cameras start going off. So I open the live view, expecting to see deer, and see a man walking around from house to house looking in windows with a flashlight.
My cameras are all in infrared mode because it is well past sunset so could not tell much about him (got a good shot of his face on my Ring though)
So I grab my jacket and go outside to see what is up. I really was not expecting any trouble, but I just wanted anyone snooping around to know they were being watched. Had I expected trouble I would have had my wife on the phone with 911.
Turns out it was a FedEx guy lost and trying to read house numbers. So I go back inside and then I hear police sirens. I am like "someone called the cops on the poor guy." Sure enough, a cop car came up the street calling out something completely inaudible with lights and sirens going full tilt.
My son came upstairs at this point and was like "maybe it is a parade" and I was like "One cop car a parade does not make."
I started to head out to see if I could tell the cop all things were fine when a fire truck came with its lights going full blast.
Turns out it WAS a parade. Santa was on the firetruck! I guess whatever the cop called out had to do with Santa. We will never know!
I just thought you might enjoy this little glimpse of life here at the Trigili Compound. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, whichever holidays you celebrate.
As for me and my house, we will be rocking around the Christmas tree I am sure.
If you are seeing this, then you are on the new web site! I am finally updating my website’s software, hosting, and the like for the first time in over a decade. The old site worked well, but as the years went on, it got harder to maintain, not to mention keeping up with security and everything else the modern web demands.
But that should now be behind us for the next few years at least. The big problem is that I will probably spend the next several months chasing down dead links and the like as we transition fully to this new platform.
So, poke around, check things out and let me know any typos or dusty corners you find that need attention. Over the next week or two I hope to get the site mainly complete. I would guess I have “enough” up for now though, so I am off to have my second Thanksgiving dinner.
This week here in America we pause our busy lives to get together and celebrate all the things we are thankful for. Sure, there will be family drama, there always is when family gathers, but the heart of the day is to remember and honor the ways in which we have been blessed throughout the year.
It is the one major holiday left that has yet to fall to the power of consumerism, though Black Friday is doing its best to change that.
In that spirit, whether or not you are an American, I encourage you to pause and reflect on the good things in your life. I know some of you face hardship and will find this hard, but search for that one piece of goodness and focus on it. Think on what you have to be thankful for. Often it is the small things.
I see one of my loyal readers fairly regularly as she attends the church where I am serving as a pastor. Unlike the vast majority of the people whom I meet in the flesh, she is not just saying she reads my books to be polite. When a new book comes out and I hand her a signed hardcover you can see the joy in her eyes. She tells me about how much she enjoys them and goes on about the love story in them. If you listen to her, you would think I was a romance author.
One thing I am thankful for is readers like her. Readers like her are why I publish books. Readers like her are why I write the kinds of stories I do. In a day and age when the darker, grittier stories are selling better, I will continue to write hopeful stories. I have nothing against dystopian writers, but that is not for me. I write stories in the hopes of bringing light to the world, and thankful that I can sometimes see the fruit of that labor in readers like her.
This year as you gather, take the time to pause and reflect. Do not let the pressures of the coming shopping days eat away at this time. Instead let peace and joy transform you and the day into something you can hold on to for the seasons to come.