I just finished the first week of school. That first week is always a challenge, but this year it was a bit of a madhouse. My school was reorganized five times in the two weeks before school started. The last reorganization was Friday afternoon before the long weekend. I didn’t get my schedule or subjects I would be covering until Monday morning and school started Tuesday. Needless to say, all those things teachers do in the weeks leading up to school didn’t get done until Monday afternoon. Even so, so far, so good. I have a lot of students (and a lot of different classes because one of my French classes became coverages) but I am not so stressed about that. I like my job. I have already had several people in observing students and one of their comments to me was that I was a very dynamic and engaging teacher. All to the good.
My writer’s ADHD has kicked in big time.
I’m working on a rewrite of Super School. I woke up three days ago with what I think is a ‘simple’ way to solve my character challenges. (Are any of them ever really simple?) The new version has a better focus at the beginning and a tighter problem sequence. I think I am going to be able to use most of the second half of the first draft with this new characterization of Marietta, but we will see as things get rolling. I changed the beginning from ‘little kid’ to ‘almost sixteen year old who has hopped around the world with her dad and now is back in her home town for the first time since her mom died when she was six’. The change is making the story work a lot better. I have done some world building, and some character sheets. I am dialing up the conflicts, and creating a better setup for the end by introducing a character who causes chaos much much earlier in the story. And, as you roll through, you suddenly start to see how the super heroes are hanging around Los Domos in a subtle but powerful group. Not quite hiding, but definitely not in plain sight either.
I am also working on the story after The Dragon’s Court. It doesn’t really have a title yet, but it will pull together the stories from The King’s Son, North Watch Keep, and the Dragon’s Court, and add a new element. I’m enjoying watching the characters develop. I don’t know if I will write myself into a corner because I haven’t plotted out the story except–everything comes out right in the end. I seem to be able to plan out about five scenes before my muse digs in her heels and refuses to play along, so I am going to keep rolling with that and hope for the best.
Good stories come out in good editing, right?
The Finder is at a stand still. I need to find some beta readers who will listen as I read the story out loud or who will enjoy reading the story in smaller chunks. My husband and children balked at the box of body parts left on the desk and the finger attached to the roses in the vase. I don’t blame them but because my usual primary audience is going’ lalala I’m not listening’ with fingers in their ears, I need to find another group to read and comment.
On the marketing and communication front, I spent three hours the night before school watching my lovely web designer fix the mess I had made of my new website when I installed the Author’s Theme. The mess was caused by a combination of things: I want a big landing page with a get a free book button on the very front top of the home page (there has to be a work around in that theme for this, but neither of us could figure it out); I want a store that works (eventually lol) and I want a bookshelf where you, dear reader, can go and buy my books in the format you want. So far, I have a book shelf that mostly works, and a lot of stuff behind the scenes that will eventually become the store and the landing page. But, at least, the website works and it is pretty. My designer does not like lots of stuff, so pages got deleted and renamed and reworked all of which was cool. And, in the end?
It looked like my old website page! Nice to know I have good taste when all is said and done.
I am still fighting with the ‘free book’ set up (but I will figure it out, I promise). I am debating about the whole ‘perma-free’ book thing. Right now I have one book published, one almost ready to go, and a short story for the subscribers to my newsletter. I would change North Watch Keep to a permanently free book but I worry that my readers who have already bought my book will be upset. So, I am wondering how to handle this issue with grace and style. I am leaning towards asking readers to provide ‘proof of purchase’ so that I can send them book two for free. Which, is a great theory if I can figure out how to get everything to work for a reader to download. Which is where I am stuck on the technology. Technology is my …friend….. really. If you sign up for the newsletter, you will get Son of the King for free.
If you are willing to write a review for The Dragon’s Court I would be happy to send you a review copy. Just email me at eli dot winfield at gmail dot com and let me know. Reviews help others find my work.
In the end, this is all about sharing stories.