Editor Comments Bring Work and Smiles

Yes, this is the second post today. This was suppose to be published two weeks ago. At least I thought I had it scheduled to do that. More learning must take place I guess on how to schedule postings. Without further ado:

This post was originally written ten months ago when the first draft of The Balance was sent to the editor, Melanie Mulhall (http://www.DragonheartWritingandEditing.com ). It has been sitting in my draft box since then. Now that the major edits which were only hinted at in Melanie’s comments have been completed and the manuscript is in the hands of a proofreader, I need to, once again, distract myself from working on the second book of the series. Looking for things to do I found this and realized that it is still worth publishing. All writers need to step away from their manuscripts and let second, third and sometimes more sets of eyes look it over. Granted the major work is done on The Balance, unless the proofreader discovers a major problem, and both Melanie and I hope there are very few things to be tweaked. In the mean time here were my thoughts on the editor’s first response to this exciting second installment of The Stone’s Blade series:


July 2015 – My editor is done with her first run through of The Balance: The Stone’s Blade, #2. She will send me her notes later today. It has been a long month. I created a long distraction list so I would not be tempted to open the manuscript document while Melanie worked. Though I’ve gotten about half the list complete the draft was never far from my thoughts.

While waiting I have read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for recreation, though it was difficult not to read as a writer. It had many examples of techniques I need to learn how to use.  I also read and took notes of Story Physics by Larry Brooks (suggested reading by Melanie and has been on my Kindle since last summer) to get familiar with plot points. This is an excellent read and should be on the top of your resource book pile.

All this reading led me to send several e-mails to Melanie particularly aimed at some changes I am considering for the ending. However, from her comment below I may have worried about the ending too much. I am confident there will be many changes once I get it back but I am smiling with relief and excitement.

Here’s part of what she said: “I just made my way to the end. And what an exciting ride it is as the reader nears the end. . . . I won’t comment here except to say that the way you have pulled it together at the end (with the exception of the few paragraphs with Reslo) is very satisfying and leads the reader forward well. Well done!”

My favorite parts? “Exciting ride. . . pulled it together . . . very satisfying and leads the reader forward. . . Well done!”

The real work begins as soon as I get it back from Melanie. I promise to do my best to make this second installment of The Stone’s Blade series better than the first. I hope you will find the ride exciting and satisfying and that you look forward to the third installment.


Back in the present, ten months after that was written I am struggling with keeping my hands off the manuscript by beginning to outline the third installment, currently titled The Blades. I truly believe that the second book of a series is the most difficult to write – especially when the characters are forced to lie.  Good grief, try not to have that happen! However, in this one they had to and while they tried to keep to the truth as much as possible Melanie and I spent hours and hours on the phone trying to track when who said what to whom. We may have to go on tour speaking about the trials and troubles of writing a series. Anyway, publication for The Balance is coming up soon. I hope you enjoy it.

– An extra note here on April 1, 2016: I received the manuscript back a week ago and with more cutting and smoothing to the infamous Chapter Twenty-six it has been sent to the book designer. Hopefully his having already designed the first book and planning to use many of the design elements throughout the series, the time it takes to bring The Balance to publication will not be much longer. We look forward to the end of April, I think. We are planning to enter it in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s EVVY Awards whose entries are open now until mid-May. Plan to get your copy as soon as we can get it up on Amazon as a paperback and ebook. You can also get it directly from me with an autograph if you want one. As soon as I see the cover I will post it around so you will know what to look for. A little more patience and then we can celebrate before heading back to the notebooks and outlines for the third and fourth books.


Topics for Building Teramar and Lrakira

I found a posting on my personal Facebook page which listed seventeen topics on developing a world that a writer should brainstorm about before and during writing any kind of story. Many people assume that world building is only relevant to fantasy or science fiction genres. Every writer should look at this list and consider the impact of the world that surrounds your story has on your story. If you are writing a nonfiction piece based in another country or continent you MUST take into account all of these. If you are writing a memoir all of these will color your story – what were these things like when you were in elementary school? How was your life impacted by these things as you grew up? These topics make your story rich and flavorful and help pull in the reader or listener. World Building for writers

These topics are especially important in a series. I am working on documenting these right now to help me be consistent between books and the multiple societies in my science fiction/fantasy series. Yes, it’s not nonfiction and I am going to use them to help me in the writing of the transitions my two societies are going to go through as they discover their true identities and why they are so similar. It’s going to be fun but entails a lot of work. This list is an excellent place to start.

I will have to go back and look at the first two books, again, to make sure I have everything straight – at least in my supporting material which may not show up specifically in print. Remember that just like full character sketches much of this material may never show up in your story though it flavors every word you write because you have a deeper understanding of how your world(s), real or imagined, work. This is part of your research and the more you know about world the better your stories and articles will be.

How much detail do you need to write the current project? The next project? Should you go back to a previous project and do a bit more research or world building to improve it?