To Chapter or Not to Chapter

My distaste for chapters is well-known, but I always comply.  This time I’m thinking maybe not.  Nita takes place from Tuesday very early morning to Sunday morning.  I was thinking about going with Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday as headings to break up the book because that would help keep people oriented to the passage of time, especially since it’s a timelock plot (Nick has to become the Devil at midnight on April 2).   One problem, “Tuesday” would be 52,000 words. (It’s a long book.).   Sunday will be about 2000, so it’ll even up a little, but still, that’s a long first section, over 200 pages.   What do you think?

Nita’s Soundtrack, Revised Nov. 2017

One good thing about finally knowing the whole book, I also know the soundtrack, not just the songs that sound like they belong, but the songs that actually inform the different acts and plot moments.   Taken together, they make an odd playlist, but as background music for the book, they’re a help to me for  mood and character. They’re basically the aural version of collage, a tool that helps me stay on track with the world and the people in it that I’ve created, not meant to be a work of art. Continue reading

Nita Research: The Lemmon McMansion

Pictures can help me write a thousand words, so I do a lot of google-search.  This time it lead me to Kate Wagner’s McMansion Hell, an outstanding blog about the infernal large builder-designed houses that are too big, too ugly, and too poorly built to deserve anything but Wagner’s biting criticism (Zillow once tried to shut down the blog because it was too truthful. They failed.)

I started my search because I had this line in the book: Continue reading

Visual Discovery Drafting

Krissie and Toni and I talked about the future and the Monday Street books last weekend, and that sent me back to the VooDooPad wiki we’d set up for the entire world of that series.  I hadn’t been back there for three years, so a lot of it was out of date, including the diagrams.  And since in my story, Cat lives in the church, I went back in and redid the church diagram I’d done to show Toni the layout since her Keely was going to be moving through the different levels, too.   And just like that, I was back in the story and I remembered how important those visuals are to me.

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Avoiding Annoying Titles

So I wrote most of the Zo stories and called it Zo White and the Five Orphants.  Then Toni and I started on Monday Street about three years ago, and since Monday Street follows Zo, I thought maybe they should be place names, so I changed Zo to Paradise Park, which is the park across from the house they take over.   Only now we’ve got three books and the place names are not working, unless we do Monday Street: Catarina, Monday Street: Sophronia, and Monday Street: Keely.  Is that annoying?  If feels kind of annoying.

What’s your pet peeve about titles?  What should a title do?  Feedback, please.   We’re only going to be working on this for the next couple of years so . . . uh, no rush.


Big Book

This thing is huge.  I’ve got so many plots running here with so many people, it’s Game of Thrones with demons.  Actually, I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, I just know what I’ve read about it, so maybe Dickens is a better comparison.  The odd thing is, this time I know the major plot, it’s the details that are kicking my butt, which is the opposite of the usual progress.  Also I keep losing pieces that I’ve written and put somewhere.  

Writing books is hard, she whined.  

Anyway, it may be quieter than usual in here this week because I am writing and then on Tuesday getting a houseguest (YAY) so you’ll have to talk amongst yourselves.  Or whatever.  Good Book Thursday and Cherry Saturday will go up as usual, however.  Now I must go finish painting the floor in the guestroom.  One damn thing after another.  

So how’s by you?

Names. Argh.

So after three people said they had a hard time keeping the names Dag and Rab straight, I knew I had to change them.  Rab was too much a character for me already to change, but Dag was too non-Korean a name to work, so that was the one to change.  Then I found out that most of the Korean demons were damp women, so I co-opted a Korean supernatural entity named Jeoseung, which made him Jeo.  Jeo and Rab.  Not the same.  

And then I started rereading the first act and remembered that my murder victim was Joey.   Jeo and Joey?  No.  So Joey had to change (he’s now Jimmy, close enough) but all of this is, of course, shifting characterization for me.  Jeo seems smarter than Dag for some reason, and I always thought Dag was smart, so that’s odd.  And Jimmy doesn’t seem as big as Joey was, although of course he is.  Names, do not mess with them. Continue reading

The Unknowable Patience of Readers


 I’m looking at Nita’s book in big picture mode now, and frankly, the fun stuff starts in the second act.  Well, it always does because first acts are slow because you have to do some set-up, and you have to tell the story while you’re doing the set-up, and the set-up becomes a weight penalty for the story.  And right now my first act is over 35,000 words.  Since I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to come out over 100,000 words, that’s not the end of the world, but I do worry that’s too long before the Good Stuff starts.  

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Nita Question: Mom

Okay, here’s something that’s been bothering me: Nita’s mom.  I was swinging really wide in the first drafts, which is what you’re supposed to do, but I think I may have swung too wide on her.  For those of you who remember Mitzi, was she a deal-breaker in believability?  I need her nuts and lethal, but . . .