Musings On Structuring A Multi-Part Novel

As many of you know, I’m rebuilding the first novel I wrote. In fact, we’re coming up on the 5-year anniversary of the day I sat down at the computer and typed out the first words of the first version (14 April 2009). So much has changed since those heady first days when the story was new and my confidence ran high. You might think I would have everything thought out by now for the rebuild. I would be lying if I said I did.

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Book Review — The Here And Now

This is my fifth review as a member of NetGalley, a digital review service where professional readers (such as librarians, bloggers, booksellers, educators, and those in the media) can obtain free advance copies of forthcoming books from publishers for review. The Here and Now was written by Ann Brashares, author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and My Name is Memory. The publisher, Delacorte Press (owned by Random House), categorizes the book as Juvenile Fiction—Girls and Women (ages 12 and up). The book will be published on 8 April 2014. There are no spoilers in this review.

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February’s PerNoReMo Update

I was drawing a complete blank for a blog post for this week. Then, on Saturday I realized that no matter how cold the weather, it was March 1st, and my February PerNoReMo was complete. Kate Johnston may recall one of my December or January comments where I said I wanted to keep moving forward with Death Out of Time, even when I got stuck, because I didn’t want to switch to Summer at the Crossroads and use it as a crutch.

image credit: Microsoft clip art

But I can only bang my head against a desk so many times. After making no real progress in December or January, I gave myself permission to work on Summer’s rebuild. I already had the new ideas sketched out and started a new Scrivener file.

So far, very little has come over from the original file, just a few setting descriptions and part of the original opening scene for Kat’s world. And that’s likely it. This truly is a rebuild. Although only 9,015 words into the process, I don’t recognize the stories. Catherine faces what I thought would take place in a sequel. Elements of that now-defunct sequel also now flow through Kat’s and Kathryn’s stories, tightening the weave between them. One of the “potted plants” is now a supporting character and has surprised the hell out of me. Others, once supporting, have ended up on the cutting room floor. It’s fascinating to watch these new stories take shape. Will readers enjoy them? That remains to be seen.

But without further ado, here’s a sketch from the rebuild. Previously, I gave some clips from Kat Donnelly’s adventures in her world. Here’s one from Kathryn Donnellan’s universe. It’s an initial draft of the opening for her story and, of course, subject to change.

Not the modern-day Department of State, but an impressive building in DC to set the scene

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Raising The Bar

Have you ever thought you were good at something and then encountered others who left you in their dust? If we’re honest, we should all be answering, “Yes.” After all, we don’t become experts at something overnight. There’s always a learning curve. Even if we’ve now mastered something, others were there before us.

That’s a younger me at left. The image at right is courtesy of Microsoft clip art.

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