Today, I have the honor of having Lori MacLaughlin here at the Town’s End! She just released a new book and I’m stoked to be able to share it all with you. Now, take it away Lori!
Thank you very much, Loni, for having me on your blog!!
I write fantasy adventure. Traditional fantasy novels tend to run long, compared to other genres such as mysteries, chick lit, or horror. They can run up to 120,000 words or more. My second book, Trouble By Any Other Name, weighed in at around 164,000.
With stories this long, continuity can be a challenge. When you’re working on page 510, it’s hard to remember all the details that happened back on page 86. And it’s particularly difficult if you’re writing in multiple points of view. Keeping track of who knew what and when they knew it can make anyone cross-eyed.
Heroine Jane is just about to ride into the city to confront the good guy gone bad, but wait — Jane doesn’t know of his treachery. Hero John was the only one privy to the conversation in which the GGGB’s treachery was revealed.
I had several characters who knew various parts of the backstory, relating what they knew to other characters at different times. I had to be really careful to not have characters say things or act on knowledge they shouldn’t have known.
The same thing can happen with props. My biggest problem was disappearing weapons. My main character lost her weapons a few times and sometimes borrowed other people’s weapons. I had one scene where she threw a dagger at an enemy, but then I realized during a later read-through that, oh, wait — she can’t be throwing a dagger because doesn’t have one. She lost hers a few chapters ago.
And then when you start revising? Good luck remembering which details were kept and which were cut.
My solution has been to keep a notebook handy. When I finish a round of edits, I do a complete read-through in as short a space of time as I can. This helps keep everything fresh in my mind, and I find it much easier to spot inconsistencies. I jot down notes as I go along to keep track of any plot threads that have the potential for confusion. This is also good for spotting word repetition. I make notes about that, too, and go back later to replace some of the offending words.
Once I’ve done all this, I hire a good editor to go over it again. Nothing beats a fresh set of eyes and a fresh perspective.
Has anyone else run into these kinds of issues? How do you handle it? I’d love to know.
About the Book
With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara’s sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she’d killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.
Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.
TITLE: Trouble By Any Other Name
Sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble
AUTHOR: Lori L. MacLaughlin
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2016
About The Author
Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She’s been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids’ shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she’s not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
You can find her here:
Woot! Thanks for stopping by, Lori! I know I’ve changed a ton of stuff and have lost track a few times. What about all of you? Have you ever had troubles with losing your weapons?