Author’s Log: Apocalyptic Plot Bunnies Ahoy (& #ROW80)

Warning Call me…The Bunny Chaser.

The Plot Bunny Chaser, that is.

So there I was, making with the scribbly-scribble on Origins #2, when I decided to take a brief–and fateful–research detour to verify my fuzzy knowledge of the years Prohibition was in effect. Chicago during that time (aka The Al Capone years) was incredibly violent, as anyone who’s seen The Untouchables can attest.

Now, I love research. And history. These are the second best things to writing itself, and go hand in hand. Yes, my Keepers of the Flame and its companion series (seri?) take place in the near future at the advent of the Apocalypse, but the precusors of the future lie in today’s current events, and the history that came before. But I digress.

I thought, mistakenly, this little fact-checking detour would be a quick hit. Then…BOOM! Plot Bunny at 60 miles an hour. Man, those little buggers are quick. And annoying, if useful in that inconvenient way some of the very best ideas have. This one was a lightning rod. CURSE YOU, GOOGLE!

In my search the Saint Valentine’s Massacre came up–and mystery that was never solved, and had all to do with the gang warfare generated (and escalated) over illegal licquor. (I lived in Wisconsin for a long time, both in Milwaukee and in a college town not far from one of Capone’s smuggling routes–there was even a speakeasy still going within spitting distance of my first Milwaukee apartment, where I met my husband. But I digress. Again.)

Anyhoo, the mystery was never solved, and as I got caught up in the story (er, history) surrounding the Massacre, it hit me–what if Callie (intrepid heroine of Brighid’s Mark) could have stopped it happening, but didn’t? Because, yanno, hindsight being 20/20 and all that.

Suddenly, I had a whole new ACT I to Origins #2.

Son of a wascawy wabbit. And other, not-so-nice words.

So that’s what I’m working on. Believably (I dearly hope) weaving history and demons to create the champion who battles a Greater Demon in Brighid’s Mark. I knew there was a deep, dark secret in her past–and now I know what it is.

Mind, it would have been nice if Callie had confided in me before Keepers #2 was in the final stages of release. But she never was one who trusted easily–and now I know why.

As her mentor Eva tells her in Brighid’s Mark, “It’s a lonely thing, Callie-girl. But it doesn’t have to be.”

In other news, I’ve been posting chapters of Origins #1 to Wattpad several times a week, which seems to be working well, and I’m averaging about 100 downloads per month on Perma-Free over at Smashwords (in fact, I just broke 200), while my temporary 0.99 run for a month garnered minimal sample downloads but nothing else. So there’s that.

ROW80LogocopyProduction Schedule (& ROW80)

ORIGINS #1 (Drafting): I’m a little behind on production on this, because of the aforementioned, unexpected Plot Bunnies. But I should still be able to release on time. And, if all goes well, I should be able to reveal cover art this week–YAY!

SEARCHER (In Development): We’re outlined and more or less ready to start rolling on drafting next month. SO EXCITED. See? *excitement*

MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER (In Revision): I’m deep into ACT I revisions, and have started workshopping  chapters on the Online Writers Workshop for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. I’m looking forward to getting feedback–it’s important I nip any potential problems in the bud. And thanks to Scrivener, if I play my cards right revisions should be painless, for the most part.  *more excitement*

How about you guys? How are you wrapping up ROW80 this round?

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7 thoughts on “Author’s Log: Apocalyptic Plot Bunnies Ahoy (& #ROW80)

  1. John Holton says:

    We were in Scotland years ago, and any time we told someone that we were from Chicago, they’d always ask about Capone. I guess growing up there makes one kind of blase about the whole thing.

    1. catemorgan says:

      Heh. In Ireland it’s all about John Wayne, because the Irish LOVE John Wayne, and as soon as they hear you’re from anywhere in the States that’s not NY or LA they imagine you’re living in the Old West. Plus, my family originally hails from the tiny town where “The Quiet Man” was filmed, so…yeah.

      Thanks for dropping in, John–I hope you have a successful end-of-round!

  2. shanjeniah says:

    Oh, I do love plot tribbles (related to the bunnies!). A little inconvenient, timing-wise – but I’ll bet you end up with a far better story, because you didn’t ignore the little bugger.

    You’re moving to the end in fine form, bunnies notwithstanding.

    As for me, I’m preparing for April A to Z, Story-a-Day May, and CampNaNo. I’ve also got a WIP in revision, and I’m hoping to queue some blogposts – if not by the end of the round, then before the beginning of April, so that my main focus can be on the challenges.

    Oh, and there’s that matter of a sponsor post…

    If I don’t “see” you again before the round ends, enjoy your break, Cate~

    1. catemorgan says:

      Plot tribbles–I love it! *pictures Captain Kirk buried in trilling tribbles*

      Sounds like you’re busier than I am, Shan–good luck for the rest of the round and we’ll see you next time! 🙂

  3. Beth Camp says:

    So how DID those plot bunnies get loose??? Wonderful story telling on several levels. How do you work so deeply on several different projects at the same time??? If you don’t have sales on Smashwords, does Wattpad contribute to sales in some way??? Interesting post — Now I have to check out Wattpad AND avoid cursing Google, lest the plot bunnies multiply!

    1. catemorgan says:

      Welcome, Beth! To take your questions in order:

      1) I have a fairly water tight Production Schedule that I adhere to. (I used to study theatre, so I’m trained in terms of Production Schedule–it’s how I keep the plates spinning). I also know myself well enough to realize I can only focus on three things at any given time, so each month I juggle three projects in various stages of production–one that I’m planning/plotting (to pacify my internal editor), one that I’m drafting (averaging 1,000 words/day), and one in revision. This keeps me from getting burned out on any one project.

      I also brainstorm the day’s writing session in a notebook, so 1,000 words generally comes easily. Then, when I put it into the computer, I “trick” myself by keeping it single spaced–2 pages seems a lot more manageable than 5 after a long day at the day job!

      2) The stories I’m publishing for free on Wattpad and Smashwords (and everywhere else except Amazon, who STILL hasn’t price-matched), are considered loss-leaders. The idea is to get new readers I wouldn’t otherwise reach for my traditionally pubbed flagship series, because the free stuff is a companion series to the flagship. I highly recommend reading “Write. Publish. Repeat.” to learn more about how to utilize loss-leaders (aka “funnels”). My hope is these new readers will find the characters interesting enough to follow through to the paid series distributed by my publisher.

      I hope this answers your questions–and thanks for stopping in!

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