Wednesday 1st February 2017
Some days you just don’t get a lot of time to get writing done.
After a late night, this morning was spent editing yesterday’s The Climb. It was one of the longer editions I’ve posted and because it was quite political, I wanted to double check that I’d not said anything stupid.
So by the time I’d done that and post a blog post for my swordfighting school, it was time to leave the house. I had a number of day job meetings this afternoon before heading out to see a man about a mace. Yes, my weapons collection has increased with a new mace. They were having a clear out and were looking to get rid of a couple of maces. I took the second one and was a little disappointed at the time because I thought I wanted the other. However, upon seeing it today I realise it was a monster two-hander, whereas mine is a one-handed mace and I like the balance better.
Of course, it’s far too dangerous to spar with. I knew that when I said yes to it. That amount of weight, even at a slow speed, is going to do a lot of damage, especially with all the spiky bits (as rounded off as they are). So I’m going to use it for practise / forearm workouts. Most importantly I’m really happy with my purchase.
From there I headed to training. I was teaching beginners tonight, which is less technical than the people I was teaching last week but involves you remembering a lot more names of cuts and guards. I’m back on the advanced students next week and need to spend a bit of time at the weekend lesson planning.
We ended up in the pub before I made the long journey home.
So whilst I didn’t get a lot of writing done, I did put my drives to good use. Sometimes I’ll put an audiobook on, but more often than not I’ll have some music and mull over a book-related problem.
Today I was thinking a lot about secondary characters. Some of this springs from watching Iron Man 3 yesterday and having an idea how my hero will react with them. But mostly it was thinking about a new female character and the opportunities she presents. I tweeked her a little in my head and feel that if I write her as I now imagine her she’ll really jump off the page. I think she could be a very interesting character and could grow over several books.
My problem is that I have an idea for the plot of Book 3 and the characters that will be appearing in that. And there’s part of me that wonders whether I’m just writing the character from Book 3 a book early (in effect, robbing characteristics from a future character). As a result, I spent a lot of one of my journeys contrasting the two and ensuring they will be very different people.
I also thought about some of the gang members in this book. One of the things I’ve decided needs rewriting in the next draft is that the members need to be more in conflict with one another. I like that they are all in conflict with my hero but to have some in-fighting and one-up-man-ship could really bring it alive. I like that all these characters are interesting and really strong on the page. I usually further refine characters in later drafts doing an exercise that I call “turning the dial to 11”. I think once this is done, readers will be loving them all.
Which brings me to the end of the book. As I’ve mentioned, I do privately worry that it’s not as epic as the first. However, I can see a way to bring a load of these secondary characters into the final scenes and whilst I’ve not mapped it out yet, I reckon I can do something (pretty amazing) and have a load of secondary character arcs all reach their apex at the same moment. My present thinking that this cavalcade of denouements could take the end of the novel from really good, to amazing.
It’ll need more thinking but over a couple of hour drive this evening I became more and more convinced that I can bring it together. I can’t tell you how happy I am about that.
So I might not have found the time to get a lot of writing done today, but sometimes the work is done off the page.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.