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

This Is A Good Book Thursday: Autumn is Coming

Although you wouldn’t know it by the weather, it was in the 80s here yesterday.  (Yes, I know it’s spring in other parts of Argh Land.  I should stop doing weather reports.)  This week I read Al Franken: Giant of the Senate.  Good stuff.  Finishing up Helen Mirren’s biography as research for Anemone in the Liz books: not as good so moving on to looking for other sources.  Mostly reading my own book and wishing it were done.  Argh.

So what did you read this week?

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 . . .  

Highly Professional Writer at Work

So I’m rewriting the opening, trying to smooth out the cuts I made, and I realize that Nick is going to have to smite something because it’s referred to over and over again (and because it sets up the Rich scene later).  But I don’t want to add much to the scene and I really like the one-two punch of the hellfire on the palm and then dropping the facade.  So he smites something small in between those, only a second’s action, for a three-beat.  It took me several minutes to figure out what and then to do the research, but I am a professional and I will spend minutes on things if it’s necessary.  Like this:

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A Stagger Down Memory Lane

I read a lot of my books this week, starting with the first one published.  Somebody had said once that she read her own books when she got stuck on a story (I’m not stuck), and I thought, “Well, why not?”  It was a lot like looking through an old photo album, the writing equivalent of “Look how thin I was in 1993!” but the big takeaway was that the good ones were pretty good although not as good as I remembered, and the bad ones weren’t that bad at all.  Also, I skim my sex scenes when I read, so obviously those weren’t working, at least for me now.  Like any other memory journey, though, it ended up being an analysis of loss and gain. Continue reading