Life at the Town’s End is whirlwind. My family and I are still sick (going on 3 months of rotating symptoms now), but since time doesn’t have a pause button, we’re carrying on as usual.
I want to say next week’s book signing is first and foremost on my writing mind, but unfortunately, it’s not. Instead, my focus has been Isto, Thanmir War’s sequel. I’m outlining! Yes, I, the pantser, am outlining. And I’m pretty darn excited about it.
Okay, so this isn’t my first attempt at outlining this book. In fact, I’ve tried it about 3 other times, including making a spreadsheet that’d make Liz proud. (See Liz, I did have something…)
I actually did have pretty good luck with my spreadsheet which is appropriately called “Figuring Out Events”. But when it came to translate those events to something readable in story format… Doh! It didn’t go over so well.
With four POVs, I wanted to have a nice flow with logical spacing between POV scenes. I didn’t want to have 16K of one POV, followed by 400 words of another, and then back to the first. But that’s what I ended up with. The timing that worked on the spreadsheet wasn’t working in the story. I started over, this time in a word doc called “Storyline”, writing out the scenes as I saw them fitting naturally in the story. (Aren’t I so creative with my names?)
I may end up being the only one capable of making sense of my jumbled mess, but it’s working so far. I’m up to 18 pages and I’m not done yet. I’ve had to cut out several “days” in my timeline. What was taking 20 days is now down to 16. The characters only have to survive a few more days at this point.
You might think, but Loni, don’t you already have a lot written toward this book? Sadly, it’s true. I have 190K written actually. And quite a bit of it is going into the trash. But the good news is that I’m totally pantsing my outline! I’ve dropped scenes, changed roles, connected plights, and even added/removed/readded a handful of characters. And that makes outlining fun (previous attempts at outlining have not been fun). Yay for fun! I even figured out why the second born between a full-blood elemental and human winds up being a jesper and why Jebaliah is even more powerful than her jesper half-brother. Granted, that explanation doesn’t make it to print, because nobody wants an infodump that doesn’t drive the plot, but hey, I have it in case anyone wonders.
Even though I’ve been consumed with my outline, I’ve still managed to get things ready for my book signing next week. (If you’re in Boise, ID on March 5th, come and visit me downtown!) My books should arrive any day now, as should my pens, and I’ve already got some temporary tattoos.
I was thinking of doing some based on my elemental clan symbols, but a friend pointed out that This World Bites is my intended primary seller at the signing, and those clan symbols don’t really mean anything until the later Ninier books.
Even so, I’m mighty tempted to get some challenge coins engraved with the clan symbols, though those are probably too expensive to use as book-signing swag. I thought wooden nickels might be a good substitute, but I’m running out of time.
Egads, I feel busy.
How are you doing so far this year? Do you have any exciting events coming up? Are you working on a project that you’re totally jazzed about? If you outline, what method works for you? What is the coolest swag you’ve seen at a signing/convention/event-where-someone-gave-you-free-stuff?