Delicate Balance

Made more progress on Book 2 today, and it’s definitely going to some very dark places. This time the stakes are even higher, and you’ll learn a lot more about all of the characters. Everyone has something to hide, and as events unfold, they’ll all have much more to lose as well.

Today, I did a little research on Chicago and Venice in order to fill in more details on the chapters I’ve already written, fleshing out a few essential specifics and dropping some subtle foreshadowing of what’s to come while I was at it. Then I tightened the writing and completed a first revision of the text.

I tend to do at least four revisions before I do a detailed proofreading. Those are usually not done until I’m through with an entire section, but since I made a few changes/tweaks to the plot that will follow through the rest of this half of the novel, I needed to make sure the earlier chapters adequately lead up to what happens next.

Tomorrow, I’m getting back into the swing of things after work. I’ve got two more weeks till the students return, so I want to make the most of my time in the evenings between now and then. I’m setting aside three hours every night after work, and then on the weekend I’m writing at least four hours. This will be my last long weekend before the summer is over.

It matters to me that as I write, I strike a delicate balance of giving just the right amount of description. I am not likely to have long descriptive passages or soliloquizing narration that doesn’t move the plot forward. Having been a technical writer and having taught it for several years now, I work hard to keep the writing concise, tight, and compelling. Readers need some room for their imaginations to work, and too much detail can ruin a scene, bog down the flow of the story, and slow down the pace. Plus, I don’t want to give too much away too fast and spoil the surprises. Everyone has secrets, and I intend to make sure they’re not revealed until the right moment. This series should keep you on an intensely thrilling ride, and that is only achieved if I keep things moving forward. I also want each chapter to propel you into the next, driving you to keep reading to find out what happens next. That means several cliffhangers that motivate the reader to breathlessly turn the pages one after another till the end. To me, that’s the ultimate sign of success–a reader who can’t wait for the next chapter. Every piece of description has a purpose. Every factual detail is there for a reason.

I don’t have a title yet, but it’s in the works. I’m kicking around a few ideas, and once I’ve found one that sticks, I’ll be making an announcement. In the meantime, I’m promising more thrills, more danger, and more excitement.

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