Once More unto the Breach

It has been quite a while since I shared anything here. That lack of posting mirrors my lack of progress with my literary work in progress: A Bitter Harvest (Gideon Hawke #6). Fortunately, the drought has come to an end.

Part of the reason for my difficulty in writing A Bitter Harvest could be found in the Yojoyaneysubject matter: conveying the nuances of a noble but long-gone culture seemed an insurmountable obstacle. The change recently seems to lie in my own understanding of this novel: it is less about the Haudenosaunee than it is about the inward journey of my protagonist, Gideon Hawke. In the course of this story Gideon learns a great deal about himself, and realizes he longs to be part of something greater than himself. He also struggles with the competing priorities in his life. The cultural backdrop is important, and I want to do it justice, but it is not worth hand-wringing.

It took me a while to put this novel in focus. In recent days progress has been significant. I look forward to seeing where this road goes!

Happy Reading!

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Props to the bad guys

ANH Awards cover 2Golden Box Books Publishing publishes a monthly online magazine. The May 2018 issue is focused on “Meet the Bad Guys.”  One of the featured “bad guys” is Dan Scott, who is featured in Gideon Hawke #3, A Nest of Hornets!

Dan was a lot of fun to write: he was rude, hot headed, violent, and generally awful to be around…that opens all sorts of literary options. He was also a key player in the mystery that unfolded over the course of the novel. It was almost too bad he had to die!

Check out page 14-15!

GBBPub May Issue

 

 

A Life of its Own

Quill Pen Retro Ink Vintage Antique History Pen

I have a deliberate process for writing a Gideon Hawke novel. I build a historical timeline and then generate a story concept that fits into the timeline. I create a rough outline, break the outline into chapters, and develop scenes that fit into each chapter to tell the story. But sometimes the story takes on a life of its own.

I was recently working on the first chapter of Gideon Hawke #5: in the first scene Gideon receives news that causes a significant life change. Then he shared it with his mates, and he and Ruth prepared for this significant change (pardon my beating around the bush: I’m trying desperately to keep spoilers out of this). As I wrote it, the chapter ended with two new and significant characters knocking on Gideon’s door to take him on a short journey. Nice ending…great segue for the second chapter. All is well. Except…

In my outline, the next scene was to be in a new location, after the short journey. But then I realized I was missing a golden opportunity! You see, that short journey is chock full of potential! Here we can learn more not only about these two new characters and their backgrounds, but also the environment into which Gideon is headed. The dialogue almost wrote itself! Suddenly I realized my story had picked up a new scene on which I had not planned: a new scene which could be pivotal for introducing the reader to Gideon’s new reality.

Sometimes an author just has to let the characters be themselves, and the story will create itself. When that happens the real challenge is just trying to keep up!

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