Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward

I was moving right along on my latest novel when suddenly the brakes came on and the next thing I knew I had lost about four thousand words. Reading books on plot and structure and some heart-to-heart chats with a writer friend convinced me that whole sections needed to be sucked out of the novel and thrown into the next book. Those sections concerned the Votainion Empress Nykostra and were perfectly fine in the next book, but out of place in this book.

So Starforgers Book 2, The Rising is going to just be about how the new Alliance deals with the Silicant threat and internal strife. Before you can gear up and fight your enemy, you have to clean house. The Rising is about the house cleaning needed before the war can really get going. This means it’s back to the drawing board for me. I’m restructuring the second half of this book before I can continue writing.

The upshot of all this is that I probably won’t get the book out before next year. This will be the first time in like five years that I have not published a new book in the fall. I don’t have millions of fans waiting for me, so I probably won’t hear a peep out of anyone. But the professional side of me hates to miss deadlines. Even self imposed ones. But this is also a part of the learning process that all writers go through. Time spent getting my outline in order now, means I can write faster down the line.

I just finished reading the Save The Cat book about Screenplays and the author talks about using a cork board and index cards to lay out your story. Brooks advocates the same approach for novels. I’ll be building my Board this weekend for Book 2 and seeing where I need to tighten things up now that I have an entire plot thread yanked out of the book. I also need to focus the book more on the hero and the true villain of the book. Who until this point was largely unseen. After the book is published, I’ll do a spoiler filled post about what exactly happened. It should prove useful to my fellow writers.

Lastly, Book 2 now has a cover thumbnail! You’ve probably already noticed it up there at the top of the post. I don’t claim to be an artist, but I think you can see where we’re going with it. Exciting WWII era model airplane box art is the inspiration for this cover. The Starforgers coin will go to the back cover. Since we’re doing battle scenes on the front now, things are getting more dynamic and exciting. Hopefully I’ll lure in some new readers with this new cover.

Before you ask, yes, I’ll be building new models to be featured in this art and they’ll be doctored up by my brother in Photoshop. The effect will be more like a scene from a space opera movie than the CG inspired coins. I’ll start up a blog page for the model build for this cover soon. So stay tuned if scratch building starship models is your thing.

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2 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward”

  1. A few years ago I commented to John Scalzi on Twitter that one of his books had a starfighter on the cover and it was not at all about starfighters. He told me that’s what marketing decided to go with. Had nothing to do with the novel at all, but it was Sci-Fi-ish. So book covers don’t have to show a scene from the book or be even related to what’s inside. Apparently, that’s not false advertising.

    In this case there is a short scene at the beginning of the hero fighting Votainions in her starfighter. It’s just not what the main thrust of the book is about. Because dynamic and exciting action seems to sell books, I’m sticking with that cover idea.

  2. Just a question while I’m thinking about it. You mentioned pulling almost 4K words, specifically related to the Votainions and the Empress in particular. The Rising will, you say, focus on “cleaning house before the war”. Those two statements have me wondering about the book cover you show here. Still apt?

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