Author’s Log: Pen Of The Red Death (& #ROW80)

Warning Lots of updates this week, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

Waking Muse #2 is really coming together. I’ve got a list of 21 or so scenes, for seven chapters. My characters are still funny, despite the fact I did not plan this. In fact, I think it’s safe to say they’re no longer “my” characters–they’re now, more or less, wholly their own. Jo’s twin brothers, aka the “Dancing Kinneys”, remind me a lot of the Weasley twins. Lots of back-and-forth, aiding and abetting, a mischief more or less managed.

I also came up with ripping epiphany of Dickinsian proportions in regards to Ian. I don’t know if it will make readers roll their eyes or fall in love with the idea–but I kind of like it. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes over.

I’ve figured out my antagonist, and shifted the food critic to a helper character for Jo instead–a master sommalier turned food writer as played by Michael Gambon–very classy, and a bit swishy until it’s time for serious business, at which point he’s utterly on point. I’m severely tempted to start a “Trevor Darling” food blog or something. The Tech Monkey, being a former chef and restauranteur, is going to help me draw up a mock menu for Ian’s restaurant, Hearth. He thinks his folks might have some of his old leather bound menus lying around somewhere.

Speaking of Waking Muse, I got my edits back from The Forge this week, so I’ve added it to my revision queue. I’ve been officially hammered! *proud* I’ll do a formal review soon to let my fellow Writer Monkeys how well it worked, but as of now I give the ladies at The Forge an “absolutely recommend.”

Thanks to the lovely folks at Scrivener, I was able to figure out my word count meter problem. Under the heading of “Dorkus Maximus”, I thought my story files were under the “Manuscript” bucket, but they apparently work. We now seem to be in working order.

As far as the Revision Madness goes, the machete approach seems to be working. I’ve broken down all my revisions by project and chapter and copied/pasted each one as a new note into a Revision Queue on Evernote. Now I can print each one out a work and spend my lunch hour going through red pens like tissue. But using a printed copy shifts my perspective on my manuscripts somehow, so I’m seeing things much more clearly. The print outs then go into a folder until I’m ready to make the changes in Scrivener, with another pass. I’m feeling much more calm about things now. Really. *pant pant*

And, as if I weren’t busy enough, I got smacked between the eyes with another series idea–which led me to yet another idea.


The first idea I’m calling the “Elemental Assassin” series–I don’t know if they’ll be novellas or novels, or four or five books. The idea is to have a book told from the POV from an assassin who’s mastered one of the four elements, all following a larger story arc. This then led me to a “Four Horsemen” novella series, with each book told from the POV of one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. A writer’s job is never truly done, I suppose–add it to the queue!

ROW80LogocopyProduction Schedule (&ROW80)

WAKING MUSE #2 (Drafting): I’m really loving these characters. They’re fun, they’re funny, and they’re just damaged enough to be interesting. This week I need to write Jo challenging Ian to show her who he is as a chef, and Ian following through. I’m going to write it almost like a double interview–both asking questions and finding what they have in common. The fact that Jo once won her own Michelin star is going to be a watershed moment for Ian.

WAKING MUSE #1 (In Edits): This is my weekend project. I sent 66 pages worth of story to the Pink Hammered, and she sent me 77 pages back in commentary. I love this. Now I get to roll up my sleeves and really start crafting. I may be working at a computer, but I still consider it getting my hands dirty, because this is the hard part. I love taking raw material and shaping it, word for word, into something special.

THE MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER (In Rewrites): The Red Pen Of Death seems to be winning the struggle. I need to be done hacking through ACT I this month, so I can begin ACT II rewrites next month to get back on schedule.  Onward! *swings machete*

KEEPERS #4 (In Revision): Nothing has gone seriously wrong yet story-wise, for which I am pathetically grateful. I’m deep into ACT II this week. If nothing is too terribly awry, I can hit ACT III the week after. Then I put it away again before one more cleanup pass for an eary reader copy.

GAME PLEX #1 (In Development): This one’s a nice exercise in cleaning the palette. The fact that it’s mostly for fun takes a lot of the pressure off, so I’m having fun figuring out the logistics. I’ve got my characters and premise pinned down, so now I need to bring my gaming experience to the fore to come up with viable campaign to send my characters on. This means a ton of world-building research for my world-within-a-game. Needless to say, this makes me very happy–gaming AND research AND crazy characters? *bliss*

Hoo, this was a long post! If you’re still conscious, sound of in the comments–what are you working on and loving now?




4 thoughts on “Author’s Log: Pen Of The Red Death (& #ROW80)

  1. Eden says:

    Gaming stories tend to catch me with both amusement and dread. Too often it seems that writers like to play up the stereotypes of gamers without making them real individuals.

    Doesn’t sound like you’ll have that problem though, Cate. That could be a fun read. It sounds like it’s a fun project.

    As does Waking Muse… I love the moment a character starts to become “real”, just like the Velveteen Rabbit. 🙂

    1. catemorgan says:

      I know what you mean, Eden. I’m going for something a little like what Larry Niven and Steve Barnes did with their Dream Park series. And TPTB know I’ve done enough gaming over the years to meet plenty of non-stereotypical or cliched gamers–so I’m making a concerted effort to steer away from that.

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