So, it’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these. January in fact. What’s new? Well, it’s been a pretty busy first six months of the year, and here are the highlights:
- My little family grew by one: a little girl!
- A complete re-write of ‘Fear’s Union’. In fact, it’s so different, it won’t even be called Fear’s Union. A new series is born (and sadly, the old series is being retired before it gets going);
- A complete second edit of a ‘romantic comedy’ tentatively titled ‘Destination Happiness’.
- A personal ‘re-brand’. My deep-POV analysis is complete, and I like it! I am now officially a deep-POV writer.
- And loads of research for my fantasy series.
So, without further ado, this is what’s in the newsletter:
- What’s all this deep-POV nonsense?
- Where’s this romantic comedy come from?
- What’s happened to Fear’s Union?
- What happened to Dark Side of the Stone?
- And what can I expect to see in the future?
What’s all this deep-POV nonsense?
For those in the know, I picked up this little book towards the end of last year after some advice I received. And what a little beauty! The book specifies a series of tests to follow in order to ensure your work is deep-POV compliant (if that’s what you want), and it was a good read. I was intrigued by the ideas, so I started some research and documented it on this website. This is what I found.
- First I asked the question: do I need deep-POV? Being a scientist, I did not conclude straight away! Time for some research.
- Secondly I asked: do my POV structures adhere to Marcy’s rules (simply put, three POVs is top-end for deep-POV). Here’s what I found: Mandestroy: tick! Fear’s Union: not so much.
- I then applied the tests in Marcy’s book to my work, and took stock of the statistics. Gulp. That’s a lot of “errors”.
- And once I’d seen where I came from, I compared to where I got to after my deep-POV edit. Simply put: shorter average sentence length.
- Then we delved into some specific technical areas: showing vs telling and POV errors.
Now, there are more blogs to come later this year, but the upshot is that I really like the deep-POV style of writing. And more than that, when I wrote a book with no preconceptions (see my ‘rom-com’ below), the output was most closely associated with a deep-POV style. So if it’s my natural style, why fight it?
The other really interesting thing I found as a result of this research relates to Fear’s Union. I always had a niggle that the first (say) 10% of FU was weaker than the later portions, but never got to the bottom of it. Well, here’s a chart of the deep-POV errors found in FU over the course of the novel:
Without going into details, the line slopes down which means the errors decrease. And if errors make writing worse, then the book gets better as you go through it! So my hunch was right all along.
As it turns out, I dislike FU for other more substantial reasons (more on that later), but this was, nonetheless, a really interesting result. And after my revelation with my rom-com, I decided that deep-POV is definitely for me.
So there we have it: I am officially re-branded. I am a fantasy writer who writes in the intimate third-person style that is not common in that genre (not that I’ve come across). I think it’s a good move – hopefully you agree!
Where’s this rom-com come from?
I know – unexpected, isn’t it? Well, it was just as unexpected for me. This is the quick summary of how it was spawned.
My wife is not a massive fantasy geek, and therefore, I decided once upon a time to write a book that she might appreciate. She’s certainly not only into rom-coms, but that’s what I ended up conjuring for some reason. The inspiration came from something we have lying around the house – you’ll work it out if you ever read it.
Anyway, I conjured the idea, did a very high-level plan, and promptly shelved the idea. Fine. Until it came to NaNoWriMo 2015. I wanted to join in with that fantastic movement (my first time) and my rom-com was the only idea that I had remotely formed and fit for purpose. So I went with it.
And then I put it away. Again. But following my deep-POV investigations, I dusted it off and gave it a good read. And I found I liked it. And what was more concerning was that it just felt more natural than either of my current fantasy books. Yes it still needed (needs) polish, but I like it. And so does my wife!
I won’t be writing many rom-coms in the future, that’s for sure, but this was a bit of a moment for me. For that reason, it will be an important book for me, and I’m looking forward to getting it out there. I also plan to use it as a book launch guinea-pig. Dates to be confirmed, but next year some time!
What’s happened to Fear’s Union?
Well, it has been given an almighty makeover, but ultimately it will be put to bed. I’ve taken the deep-POV ‘rules’ and edited the book to death, but I still conclude that there are more structural problems with FU that I will never be happy with – hence it is being retired.
I will keep it out there, and indeed I’ll reflect the new changes in the for-sale version, but ultimately I’m going to leave it at that.
So what about the story? Does this mean the Age of Ku is dead? Not at all! It means I’m going to rewrite the story with my new deep-POV hat on. In fact, I’ve already made a good start, and have a full working draft of the first book. I’ll rename it, but it’ll be the same concept – albeit the plot has twisted substantially. For the better, of course.
I also plan to write the second instalment for NaNoWriMo this November – it’ll be nice to have books one and two up my sleeve.
When can we expect this to be released, I hear you cry? Well, I may well drop onto Wattpad and Inkitt early, but release to Amazon will probably be about a year away. Seems like a long time, but I have lots of other stuff to do (particularly release related), so it’s kind of important to take my time.
What happened to DSotS?
Good question, and the answer is: not a lot. Yet. I really like the book concept, but reading back over draft one, it came across as a bit flat. So I have to rewrite and pep it up a it. Don’t worry: this is the next thing on my agenda.
I’m expecting to finish redrafting in August, with further edits taking place later this year, so that means I should have a happy draft ready towards the end of the year. But what does this mean for release? Well, I will probably aim to release at a similar time to FU #2. That’ll be halfway through next year. It seems like such a long way away, but I know how much time all this takes, and how little free time I have! I have to be realistic.
And what can I expect to see in the future?
Well, here’s a run-down of what I think is on my horizon in 2017:
- Three more blogs on Deep POV research (they’re interesting: honest);
- Three more blots from Beagle. Things are hotting up, so I suggest you catch up;
- A few book reviews coming up;
- A website revamp and complete re-brand;
- FU#2 (to be renamed) loaded to Inkitt and Wattpad;
- First chapters of DSotS on Inkitt and Wattpad;
- Destination Happiness on Inkitt and Wattpad.
And then in 2018…
- First half of 2018: Destination Happiness released;
- Halfway through 2018: FU#2 released;
- Second half of 2018: DSotS released.
Until next time, enjoy your summer! And indeed autumn. I’ll be back with a newsletter in six months.