Looking ahead at “Great Kills Believers,” I’ve come to a crossroads in dealing with the “boss monster.” On one hand, I’m considering strict satanic cult. On the other hand, I’m eyeballing something more along the lines of an ancient evil from the dawn of creation. I don’t want to step on Lovecraft, if I can avoid it, so the cosmology will be new.
Could I ask YOUR opinion on this? The last time I crowd sourced an idea, I ended up with “Manleigh Cheese.” I’d call that a success.
Speaking of “Manleigh Cheese,” I’m around 32K words into the sequel. That’s behind my goals, but I wasn’t expecting an evil encounter with writer’s block. The important thing is that I’m writing it in the first place. Right?
Now, completely unrelated to anything else…here is an example of Uchigumori. It is a stone used in the final polishing of Samurai swords. Have I mentioned that I have a wide range of unusual hobbies?
I’m at just shy of 25k words. That’s 1/4 of my goal, and the point where things start to feel challenging.
I tend to be heavy on dialog, and light on description. It is something I go back and forth about wanting to change. To me, and you probably know this already, the characters are more important than their surroundings. Dialog tells you who they are, what’s important to them, and how they “think.”
Not to say that environment, time of day, day of the week, and so on, aren’t important! I just find them harder to deal with. MC2 is an opportunity to work on these things. I’ve actually written what I want to happen, and on what day of the week, in order. From here, it looks like it will help a bit.
I can see one hurdle coming, I need to make the timeline jump about two weeks into the future without much going on in between. The thing that bothers me about the gap is creating a reason for a pause in the action. Why is Three Ravens not proceeding with his plan? Why is Xisha not pursuing her goals, or is she just hanging out? How is the business doing?
When you’re writing, and trying to do it well, you have to limit filler that has no relation to the story line. Here’s an example from Manleigh Cheese and how it relates to MC2.
Bap and Shona will probably get engaged in #2, or early in #3 . Exploring that arc needs to fit into the broader story. But how? Sure, it will impact the members of the coven, and Murra, but what does that do to everything else?
Now, without revealing too much, Bap does play an important role in #2, due to his profession. I decided he’s a desk geek at the CIA. Consequently, he’s a window into what is going on with how the government is keeping an eye on everyone. What happens with his character is functional.
I haven’t explored how much he’ll do, but it does answer my question. Nothing he does, by virtue of his relationships, fails to involve them.
Tracking character arcs and developments is difficult when you have a bunch of active personalities. This is probably why I have notebooks full of scribbles, arrows, and comments in the margins.
Heh. This update is a little longer than I expected.
On 6/20, Manleigh Cheese will be published. This is the cover design from Burning Willow Press, and the talented Lisa Vasquez. I am beyond thrilled over the whole thing.
I was going back and forth over self-publishing it, and submitted it to BWP on a lark. They liked it, sent me a contract, and even let me tweak it. For those of you who haven’t worked with publishers, altering a contract isn’t usually as simple as it was with them. Not only am I thrilled, I’m grateful!
For those of you who might not be familiar with this book, friends of mine suggested that I give urban fantasy a try, and it never hurts to stretch your creativity. I serialized most of it here on my website as I wrote it, much like I was doing with “19 Puffs” (which I still plan to finish). Of course, you won’t find those pages now.
Just like with the Blood Soaked series, I ended up creating a cast of interesting characters that aren’t normal. They’re pleasantly odd, rather than slightly unhinged. I like them all quite a bit, and almost wish they were real.
I am grateful that these guys don’t show up in my daydreams with opinions about the plot. That gets disconcerting after a while.
The plot follows the unexpected adventures of Logan Manleigh, Donna Abrams, and John Frost, owners and operators of the Manleigh Cheese food truck in Washington, DC.
They receive an offer that, locally, virtually guarantees press coverage and success: an invitation to cater an event at the White House. There’s no way that Logan wouldn’t accept an offer like that. Fame. Money. High likelihood of a very interesting experience. He does, and things proceed to get a little strange from there.
Of course, they get more than they bargained for. Many of the characters get more than they bargained for.
Manleigh Cheese has evil bad guys, fairies, pagans, dairy farmers, and high level government conspiracies. Oh, and probably a little sex, too. I won’t tell you more than that. You’ll just have to buy it when it comes out.
I’ve mentioned before that I have notes up to book five in this series. That’s not entirely true. I have plotted out #6, too.
As always, thank you for reading, reviewing, and supporting new authors. Keep up the good work!