I am giddy.
I would have called “Chapter 31: Escape” and “Chapter 32: Reunion,” of “Tishta the Crystal Orb” finished many days ago, but, since they are the final chapters in the book, I went through the editing process I normally do when I review the following chapter—because there is no following chapter. I spent the past few days listening to recordings of the scenes in “Reunion.” As usual, it led to lots of edits, including merging one scene into a later scene, to avoid telling too much, too soon.
I spent a lot of time going back over the previous chapter, “Chapter 30: Tishta,” to make sure everything lined up correctly with the final ones. During my review and edit of the “Escape,” it grew way too large. I split it into two chapters. I’m still struggling with placement of scenes in these chapters, but I might have it close now. I’ll have to listen some more to all of “Part 5: Heading East” before I feel comfortable with the current arrangement.
Part of what happened in Part 5 is I added a lot of stories around the Dark Wizards Baldru and Anakru. They both play major roles in the end of the book. I also added a whole new battle scene, which was great fun to write. It changed the original ending quite a bit, so that took some work to polish.
I let my writing take me where it wants to go. In this case, the Aldashi warrior, Freyl, plays a key role in how it ends. He will now have a presence in the next book, “Into the Wolf Dream.” For me, it balanced out the addition of Keldra, Baldru’s apprentice Dark Wizard. She will take over some roles in that book that I didn’t know who was going to play. I’m not sure yet what Freyl’s impact will be.
Another new character I added was Landru, who is a Dark Wizard that ends up with some holes in his body after encounters with Coltan. I already have some ideas for him in Wolf Dream, as well. It’s always interesting to me when I add a character, and suddenly something in the future resolves itself. I was really excited for this to happen in this book, so there is continuity in the long-range story line instead of creating new characters to fill the roles.
All this character development and world building have take my word count from 87,528 to 187,965. I had no idea. I like it so much better now. The hard part is going to be trimming out the unnecessary words and scenes. Like tearing a hole in the fabric of my soul. It will be a good exercise for me.
I will stop writing about Tishta now, so I don’t give anything away. My next step will be to read the book from cover to virtual cover. I might do this while listening to my recordings. I haven’t decided yet if that will be the most useful way to spend my time, or to simply read it. I might need to do both.
Now that I am one large step closer to actually publishing, there are a lot of other tasks to be completed. I’m just starting to focus on that list, which will include deciding if and when to have my editor review it, providing a vehicle for my Beta Readers to download a copy of the book, getting my cover artist set back up (and getting the artwork completed), drawing maps (which I think I might be able to do on my own, at least for the very first edition), diving more into marketing and brand building, and figuring out how to convert my audio recordings into an audio book. It’s a long list and this is definitely not everything I need to do.
One thing I’ve been struggling with is what name to publish under. Up to this point, I have been using my given and family names. I have thought about the options, including using my initials instead of my given name, but I have always been me. I need to make up my mind about this before I move forward with creating more social media. Up to this point, all the book stuff has been on The Wolf Dream Books social media—@TheWolfDreams on Twitter; The Wolf Dream Books on Facebook; of course, this blog. Many authors are encouraging me to create author accounts. I’m not certain how I want to manage that. Lots to think about.
Copyright ©2014-17 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.