We interrupt the epic saga of Book Three vs. Janey II to bring this public service announcement to all of you readers and writers in Oregon. Starting in September, more than two dozen authors divided into teams of eight are speaking for eight minutes per author to support independent bookstores in eight locations across the state. For free (we don’t get paid and you don’t pay to attend). Hence the name Crazy8s Author Tour.
This is the brainchild of Oregon writer George Wright, who put together the original tour in 2012. I was on that tour with George, and I’m delighted to be part of his one. On September 18, I’ll be in Cottage Grove, along with Bill Cameron, Lisa Ohlen Harris, Lindsay Hall, Karen Karbo, Gina Ochsner, Alexis M. Smith, and Ellen Waterston. On September 24, Lindsay, Alexis, and I will join up with Dana Hayes, Susan Hill Long, Cari Luna, Ismet (Izzy) Prcic, and Jody Seay in Salem. […]
The sign on the crane across the street reads: LINK-BELT. The construction crew is probably focusing on what the crane is hauling up to the roof. As for me, the Book Three writing crew of one, I am focused on the words.
Link. Belt. Link. Belt. That’s exactly the stage that Book Three is in right now. Having finished a first draft, and a second draft, and several partial revisions, I am now ready to put these 70,000 or so words to the Link-Belt test.
Link. Does every scene flow naturally into the next scene? Does every paragraph in the scene flow naturally into the next paragraph? Does every sentence in the paragraph flow naturally into the next sentence? Does every word in the sentence flow naturally into the next word? I leave the letters in every word to Spell Check and the dictionary.
Belt. Even if all the individual links work, what about the story as a whole? […]
It’s already June (how did that happen?). The construction crew is finishing up their work on the Janey II, which is supposed to have an official opening in “Spring 2015.” They are not going to meet their deadline.
Neither am I.
I am proud to say that I did put together a complete first draft in time for students at Portland State University to review a few months back. As I worked through those excellent comments (thanks, guys), I gave the draft to Viva Scriva to do their critique group thing. More comments. More ideas. That’s when I realized I wanted to add one particular scene, just a few hundred words, really. I followed the writer’s maxim that when things look easy for the protagonist, make them harder. Raise the stakes. Quicken the pace.
In other words, mess up the whole second half of Book Three.
Which is what I am doing now. […]