I’m happy to report that Patty feels much better today, thanks to lot of sleep and to your prayers–please keep ’em coming. Maybe we’ll make it to the doctor’s tomorrow. It depends on how she’s feeling.
Meanwhile, I heated myself up with a bike ride up the hill and have been out there in the cold, scribbling away.
Now the problem is that a few of my characters have asserted themselves in ways I hadn’t been expecting and pulled some fast ones on me, and I’m just writing to keep up. I suppose I ought to thank them for that: it should make the story rather livelier–as long as I don’t drop the ball. I hope I can live up to their confidence in me.
(Uh-oh, he’s losin’ it–talking about his fictional characters as if they were real…)
I do appreciate your prayers for my writing. If, in spite of all the obstacles I’ve had to deal with, this book gets finished and turns out well, to God be the glory: I certainly haven’t had that much to do with it.
I’m almost warmed up enough to go back out and resume my labors.
Two weeks ago I was trying to beat the heat. Now it’s the cold.
I don’t normally try to work on my book on Sunday, but for once it wasn’t raining, and with more rain forecast for tomorrow, I thought I’d better at least try. Only problem–the cold. I mean, it’s kind of hard when the ink doesn’t want to come out of the pen; and shivering makes my handwriting still worse.
Brilliant idea–put on a sweater, with my winter coat on top of that, and gloves, and take my bike out for a ride up a very long hill. I thought that might warm me up, and I was right, it did. Which gave me almost two hours’ writing time when I got back.
I rely on the Lord to empower me to write my books, and this time, Lord, I’m gonna need a lot of help. I still don’t have the climax of His Mercy Endureth Forever, and there’s lots and lots of wild stuff going on in Obann. Some of the characters have done things I wasn’t expecting. I’m starting to feel like the writers of an Akira Kurosawa movie: they never knew where the director was going to make them go.
Lord Orth, if you only knew what kind of trouble you get me into–!
The sun has come out, unexpectedly, so I have to seize the moment and get out there with my legal pad, to continue my work on Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. Unlike Agatha Christie, pictured above, I can’t write fiction indoors. As I write, I have to try to inhabit a world that doesn’t, in fact, exist; and I can’t do that if I keep getting robo-calls from “Your Debt Partner” and various resorts that try to convince me that I’ve been there before and really liked it.
We have a black walnut tree in the yard which day and night bombards us with nuts the size of baseballs. Thanks to the incessant rain, the nuts have begun to rot while still on the tree. A lot of them go “splat!” instead of “pow!” when they hit the ground: icky black goo all over the place. But even that is less distracting than the robo-calls.
I still don’t have the climax to this story, still waiting for the Lord to show it to me. I feel like I’m chipping away at a great block of marble to get at the shape that waits inside, with no idea of what that shape will be. Your guess is as good as mine. Suffice it to say that currently hellzapoppin in Obann.
Well, back to work! I hope the nuts keep missing me: a few of them this morning were… adjacent.
We didn’t make it to the doctor today, but please keep praying for us.
Meanwhile, I’m racing the calendar to get His Mercy Endureth Forever written before it gets too cold outside to write.
I have this weird sense of being powerfully pulled toward the story’s climax without knowing what that climax is. I rely on the Lord to give me the story, and sometimes He doesn’t let me know what I’m going to write until I write it. Without giving anything away, suffice it to say that hellzapoppin in Obann and I have no idea at all, how it’s going to turn out. That makes it somewhat stressful.
I didn’t know how The Fugitive Prince would end until one evening, while walking just a few blocks to get our Chinese food for supper, He gave me the whole thing, all at once–wham! Writing The Thunder King, I had the climax first, before the beginning of the story. And I received the climax of The Last Banquet, all at once, as I walked upstairs to the bedroom. So I never know what to expect or when to expect it.
And so, today, a little more blog, a bite to eat, and back to work. Please, Lord–help me bring the story to my readers; for I write these in your service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I’ve lost an awful lot of time due to bad weather, but the sun is finally out again, I can’t ride my bike because of a flat tire (I told the guy not to over-inflate it!), so I’m out there trying to play catch-up on my current book, His Mercy Endureth Forever (Bell Mountain No. 12). As for The Temptation, we’re waiting on Kirk DouPonce’s cover art.
Meanwhile, the story is hurtling toward a climax–and I don’t know what it’s going to be. The Lord will tell me when I’m not expecting it. But poor Obann, what a mess! A savage horde of Hyena Men has invaded the country, and Jack and Ellayne somehow have to smuggle Lord Orth into the city so he can call Obann to repentance before it’s too late. I have no idea whether he’ll succeed.
A brief thought on fantasy-writing in general:
Overcome the temptation to give your characters names that are just too far out for the reader to stomach. If your fantasy novel starts sounding like a Russian novel translated by someone from Venus, you’re doing it wrong. I once read a Lawrence Sanders book in which the hero was named Jack Smack and the heroine, a femme fatale, Clementine Cadiddlehopper or something like that. I found those names detracting from the conviction of the story. So don’t do that.
If I don’t stop blogging and get out there and start writing, it’ll soon be too hot to write. And then the cold weather will have settled in before I can finish the book–ah, fanabla!
I reckon (as Helki would say) I’m about halfway done with His Mercy Endureth Forever, Book No. 12 of my Bell Mountain series. I have absolutely no idea what the climax is going to be. The Lord will tell me when I least expect it: He likes to surprise me.
I can’t write fiction indoors anymore. I don’t know why, and I’d be interested to hear any theories on the subject; but the fact is that I just can’t get my mind into my fictional world of Obann if I’m sitting at a table, surrounded by walls, with the phone ringing (and it’s always a call I’d rather not receive–“Hi! This is Sheryl from Meshuggah Resorts, and our records show you had a wonderful time two years ago at our Sphagnum House Motel,” etc. All a load of ridiculous lies. So glad I got up to answer that!)
Just now the problem is that it’s been raining buckets for four days in a row, I haven’t been able to get back to work on my book, and I’m losing track of my hyenas. Now I hardly know where they’ll turn up next. And Jack and Martis have just had a very close call–I think that was last Wednesday. My momentum is not where I’d like it to be.
His Mercy Endureth Forever is, I reckon, nearly halfway finished. Oh, for a sunny day tomorrow!
Well, I’m writing this novel in the Lord’s service, and I’ll have to leave the weather up to Him.
Despite a threat of rain, I finished an important chapter today in my new book, His Mercy Endureth Forever.
Back when I was writing my horror novels, in the 80s and 90s, I really stunk at titles. In three out of four published books, the publisher changed the title; and I didn’t mind, because their titles were a lot better than mine. Mine were bad enough to be blotted from my memory.
But by now I’ve been at this long enough to learn how to come up with a decent title first and then let it guide me throughout the writing of the book. I learned this by reading British crime novelist H.R.F. Keating, famous for his Inspector Ghote books. A Keating title always informs the whole story, and he did it in such a way that you can see it as you read. (To say nothing of the pleasure I and so many others get from an Inspector Ghote novel–try ’em, you’ll like ’em.)
Anyway, I ask the Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell, and open myself up to the plot playing out in ways I never expected.
And so far it’s worked out very well for me–very well indeed.
I’ve always been intrigued by this prehistoric animal from South America, Macrauchenia. In addition to having a sort of elephant’s trunk, it got around not on hooves, but on these odd, stubby little toes. Scientists have been trying to classify this animal ever since it was first discovered in the 19th century. They still can’t do it.
Herds of these have begun to move up through the plains of South Obann, followed by savage tribes and even more savage predators. This is one of those things that used to overthrow civilizations: a barbarian invasion, a whole nation on the move.
Gee, now why does that sound so familiar?
Where will the horde stop–if it stops at all? Suddenly it seems like a really good idea to hole up in Lintum Forest.
The tale will be told (I hope) in His Mercy Endureth Forever. Meanwhile I get to hang around with Macrauchenia. Think of them as funny-looking llamas who don’t spit at you.
It’s been really hard, trying to write the first chapter set of my new Bell Mountain book, His Mercy Endureth Forever. What with holidays, doctor visits, deaths in the family, and lots and lots of rain, I’m far behind where I expected to be by now. And it looks like it’s going to rain some more, so I’d better get back outside, back to work, toot-sweet.
Poor Queen Gurun. Is she being offered a chance to go back to Fogo Island, to her family? There’s a man who is pretty sure he can build a ship that could take her there.
Meanwhile, up from the south comes trouble. Big trouble. For everybody.
So I can’t stay here and try to gin up readership. Here’s hoping the readers will rev it up themselves.