Sunday, December 20, 2015

Doesn't Look Like I Am Going To Make Deadline

I wanted to get this done by Christmas really, really badly. Unfortunately, I have been diverted by yet more vehicle trouble, and another plumbing leak in this old house. Among other things. All I can do is apologize and say that Recompense is 98-99% written, and the editing is about a third done.

Drat. I really wanted to finish it by Christmas. But I refuse to put out crap.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Content Editing

Pruning. Rewriting. More pruning. Compacting. Rectifying inconsistencies. More pruning. Smoothing rough spots. More pruning.

Argh! I need more coffee!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Still Crawling Forward + A Minor Rant

Word count for Recompense is now up to 271,200. I need to pull back and exercise some self-discipline. I intend to start a new trilogy, or at least add more books to the series anyway, so there's no point in trying to write it all at once.

Meanwhile, I am trying to make sure that my characters maintain consistency, and remain at least halfway believable. This is the foundation for today's rant.

I was watching Grimm last week, the last episode before it goes on Christmas break. I am wavering on whether to even bother picking up the show again after the first of the year. The wildly unlikely personal interactions and behaviors are getting painful to watch.

It's not like this is new knowledge. Every speculative fiction writer. I mean every speculative fiction writer knows that the more improbable the setting is, the more realistic everything else has to be. Otherwise people will snort and turn to something else. You have to make your characters REAL. You have to make your characters someone that the reader/audience will give a rat's backside about. Like them or hate them, they have to ring true to life.

Once again I say, as I have said so often before, that every story at its most basic heart is simply a case of 'once upon a time something happened to someone and this is what came of it'. Stories are about the characters, and what happens to them, and how they react to what happens to them. Without interesting characters that the reader/audience/listener can identify with, all you are doing is writing a dry recitation of events. Rather like a newspaper article.

Either that, or you are writing a (grimace) literary work. Which means that you are not really telling a story at all, just spewing out some verbal self-indulgence all over the page.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Final climax draweth nigh. Currently at 265,351 words, but that is after I did some heavy pruning of unnecessary dialog. The trigger confrontation for the final showdown is done.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Yet Another Snippet

Just to prove that I am honest to goodness still working on it. Currently at 262.824 words and climbing rapidly: 


Recompense is approaching publication, and all preview excerpts on this blog have been deleted. However, any confirmed reader who leaves a review for either Athame or Wrath is entitled to a free preview of Part One of Recompense. Just leave a review and send me an email to morganalreth (at) gmail (dot) com with the link, or if you already have reviewed, just end the link. I will return a preview file in either PDF or Kindle format, as preferred.

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's Going To Be Close

I dearly wanted to finish Recompense in time for Christmas. I don't know if I am going to make it or not. In keeping with my time honored tradition, this book is growing larger than I expected. The plot is more complex than anticipated, but it's necessary in order to avoid making it seem forced.

I intensely dislike books where the plot points are shoved down the reader's throat 'just because the author says so'. My plot points happen organically, or that's my intention. When something happens in one of my books, it is my intention for it to be a natural outgrowth of the character's nature, past history, and personal intentions.

And while I try to figure out how a book will end before I start writing it, my story conclusions are not based on forcing the characters into any particular configuration. The characters will end up being whoever they end up being. I only pre-plan the big events. Wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes in divers places, etc. Characters happen as they happen.

So, for example, I need Pete and Jess to take a trip together in the last part of the book. The trip is absolutely required in order for the plot to finish up properly, and for the story to reach its inevitable culmination. The handwriting was on the wall for this back in book 2, Wrath, so I am not forcing this ending. It is happening just as it is supposed to happen.

But the loving couple is being contrary. They like where they are at the moment. They don't want to travel. They're tired, and they're busy, and they are telling me to shove it. They have better things to do than go wandering off. So I have to lure them out, like trying to lure squirrels with a handful of peanuts. They are grumbling, but they are moving. Slowly.

I just don't know if they will get there before Christmas.