I started book 3, and other news

Have a picture of a shaggy seal in the Orkney Islands! Book 3 will have quite a bit of action set here.

The Half-Drowned King is in Goodreads!

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I added some blurbs and praise to my Books page. Check it out to read what authors Paula McClain and Madeline Miller have said, as well as Luit van der Tuuk, the Conservator of the Dorestad Museum in the Netherlands.

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A few weeks ago I started working on Book 3, The Golden Wolf, which I think is going to be harder than Book 2–it covers more time, and has two separate climaxes. The beginning is certainly hard. I haven’t settled into a routine yet. I have some new POV characters and I’m not sure what’s going on with them. My previous POV characters are older and more settled but they still need to grow and change. It’s taking a little longer to get into this book than the last one…I think. I’m not sure. It’s hard to compare.

This time my process for getting it off the ground is:

  1. Put all the major historical and narratively necessary events/proposed chapters into Aeon Timeline. So far that’s 25 items. The previous two books have 39 and 38 chapters, so I know there will be more, stemming from various subplots. Create those chapters in Scrivener as well. (Aeon and Scrivener work very well together.)
  2. Start writing 500 words a day. This is a pretty small number of daily words. The main point is to put my mind in the world and characters; it is not as much about making forward progress.
  3. Do a lot of longhand writing in my notebook to ask myself questions about plot and characters and answering them. I find this incredibly helpful at any stage in the process. Whenever I feel slightly stuck or blah about characters or story lines, I write to myself about them longhand. I will write down, “Why am I bored of character X’s story line?” and then write down anything that comes to mind as an answer. I can’t recommend doing this enough.
  4. Recently I upped my daily word-count goal to 1000 words a day. This is still pretty small, but it’s important to me to end each writing day with a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the next day, and that means stopping well before I’m written-out. I think next week I will up it to 1500 words. I max out at 2000 or so.
  5. At this stage I’m still working on whatever story lines and POVs that seem the most fun, to keep my momentum going. At some point I will end up working more linearly. Still, the previous book, the first chapters were some of the most vague, written later, rearranged frequently.

It all feels like pulling teeth right now, and I’m just trying to trust that it will come together and gain momentum like the last book, that the more I work on it the more clear it will be and the more my brain will solve plot problems without me consciously thinking about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Fine discussion of your thoughts and process. Without giving “it” a name, you are engaging “Active Imagination” a term Jung coined for the dialogue with the Self and its many aspects. Asking questions, while holding your own, but being patient and listening attentively for a response, the dialogue from without to within unfolds. Trust the process, ask the questions, be patient, answers will come. Sometimes it takes a day or two, as the Inner World is not ‘time sensitive’ in the way our waking mind attends to. Congratulations.

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