“Teamwork,” chapter 17 of The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge, is now available. Rebecca and Abigail know who their foe is. Can they find clues to defeat him by searching in the town, in the Burning Dog, and in the Devil’s Acre?
It has been great fun writing The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge so far, even though I’ve just been going through my worst case of writer’s block with the story. It’s been even more fun because I’ve had an audience of appreciative and critical readers. However, I can see an end to the story, the end I always planned, coming closer. And that raises two questions. What do I do with Dragon Lady next? And what do I do next with this blog?
Dragon Lady is the easier problem. She’ll be published, somewhere, somehow, probably after a round of revisions to tidy up some points and sharpen others. I’ll let people know when it happens.
I began the Sillyverse blog to publish Dragon Lady as a loosely connected sequel to “The Troubles of the Farnsworths.” Clearly it has expanded beyond that simple mission. I’ve tried to set forth my theories about writing, explained some of the history behind Dragon Lady, and explored just a bit of the fictional universe in which the story is set. And the blog has become a small addition to the WordPress community, which means I have readers and other blog writers to whom I owe time, attention, and care.
I’m not sure there is any point to this blog unless I’m writing something on it. My writing doesn’t just provide entertainment (that is, when it does), but serves as my springboard to talk with you all. I certainly can lay no claim to being a pundit on current cultural or political trends!
However, I don’t have a story immediately at hand to follow Dragon Lady. This isn’t surprising when you consider it took me from May 9, when I finished “Troubles” on Facebook, until August 31 before Dragon Lady started appearing here. My best guess is that I’ll need to take off a month after Dragon Lady finishes, and that the next story will not be a sequel, but will instead be set in a different fictional universe, in which a Chicago cop wakes up in 1969 to find himself in a very bad situation. That doesn’t mean I’m finished with the universe of Dragon Lady, or even all of its characters, just that I may need a break from them.
Finally, while Dragon Lady will continue to appear on schedule over the holidays, I may not get to a blog post this Monday or Tuesday coming. Family and travel commitments have to take priority. And with that, I wish you all the best of the holiday season, whatever holidays you celebrate.
It would be a shame to lose you as a ‘blog presence’. Have you thought of recording the creative process ‘as it happens’? Although it’s said there are only two types of writers – those who work to a structured plan, and those who sit at the keyboard and type, yet there are all shades in between. I could never do as you’ve done here. Though clearly you’ve had an overall plan, each episode has the freshness of being newly written. But it would be interesting to follow the process, especially for new writers.
But regardless, have a peaceful festive season.
Thank you, CP. You’re in no danger of losing me quite yet. (By the way, I’ve read your ch. 3, just want to think my comments through before writing them.)
And you raise a point I don’t fully understand myself. Yes, I knew where I was going, but I didn’t always know how I was going to get there, which is why you’re quite right about how the work’s been written. Perceptive of you to figure it out. I wouldn’t have!
But you did say of writing 3 episodes ahead, and in reply to comments from myself and russell, have said of knowing where you’re going. I admire your skill. Although I start with a plan, my characters go off and do things I haven’t planned, so I have to make major changes to the plan. Hence multiple drafts.
I was thinking, in addition to my previous comment, you could keep us informed, blow by painful/annoying/irate/blow-your-stack blow, of the progress you’re making in becoming published. (I’m an ideas person, see!)
Well, my characters go astray, too. But you’re right: somehow I got the characters of DLS to settle down by the time I wrote, and what changes I’ve made have kept entirely within the original plan. I’ll have to see if I can explain why, but I suspect I won’t be able to publish the answer until DLS is finished, because so much has to be discussed in terms of how the story ends.
And there’s another topic in itself: why story endings are so important, and yet so often don’t seem to have been thought through.
So I’m indebted to you, CP, for ideas for several blog posts. Thank you. 🙂
“Clearly it has expAnded beyond its simple mission.” I would suggest that you not reveal the secrets of your process until you actually finish, since only then would you know what does and doesn’t work. Those of us who love laws and sausages….
Typo corrected; thank you.
Having just tried to write up an explanation of DLS’s genesis in response to CP’s comments, I have to admit that a lot of the explanation won’t make much sense until the story is over.
Indeed, I’m not sure how much of it will make sense even then. For example, Rebecca got her gray hair originally because I wanted a Shaker eldress to mistake Rebecca for an older woman. I scrapped that entire story line . . . but Rebecca’s hair is still gray because of it.
But it is just that kind of detail which would make it interesting. I am sure the evolution from idea to inclusion in published story would, for many, be fascinating. Though I do see it could cause additional heat for the author
Hey, when the book is published, I will be its translator into Hebrew, I insist! I’m actually doing it already in my head. That’s how I decided to become a translator, when I figured I was translating English sentences I liked into Hebrew, while I read them. It’s great you actually know what you are going to write next. Coupled with your incredible capability of meeting deadlines, even when you have a writer’s block, you’re an inspiration to me. Good luck!