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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

I finished the new chapter four for Vivian’s Last Cigarette late Sunday night. Coming in at 4,400 words, it contains a lot of interaction between my orc protagonists and several minor characters. This chapter definitely relays a feel for the town of Buford, something that was missing until late in the book before. It also shows them dealing with several levels of ugly behavior from assorted “normals”.

Poor, friendly Gronk gets put through an emotional wringer this this chapter as his belief in the better nature of people is challenged by his first major encounter with anti-changeling bigotry. :-( Then on top of that he feels the sting of finding out that he’s lost a friend because of his transformation.

The big guy is, of course, too good natured to do anything but get emotionally bruised and quiet. But Viv silently witnesses his rejection. Having been an orc longer than Gronk, she’s grown thick-skinned and canny in dealing and (particularly) avoiding a world that usually sees her as a monster. But writing her reaction to seeing Gronk go through rejection like she did in the past was a good scene.

Her feathers are ruffled, and the display of growing empathy and protectiveness for Gronk I wrote for her doesn’t bode well for his former friend. Viv knows how to play the role of the monster many see her as, and delivers the most intimidating pizza ordering scene ever as a result.

I’ll stop talking now, before I start dropping spoilers. ;-)

I’m at a point where I can start to judge how much of a gap remains to be bridged to weave the old chapter two back into the new narrative. I’m thinking it will take me an additional two chapters to do that, making what was once chapter two the new chapter seven.

Once that’s done, minor edits, additions and reworking will need to be made to most of the other old chapters (3-17) to get them in line with the new events. Chapters nine and seventeen will require more extensive rewrites, but I’m not expecting any big migraines. If anything, I’m excited to be putting in some revisions that will tie in the new part of the book that I’ve grown.

I also worked on my blurb for the novel. This was actually quite a bit of work, —because blurbs are hard, man— and I devoted my free time on Friday and half of my day Saturday to the task. Some of you may remember that back in November I spent about a month coming up with this version.  I got multiple feedbacks on it last week that were less than stellar, so I tried a different approach in a new version:Thoughts? Impressions? I like it better than the old one, and those that disliked the first version felt this was much better.

Over the weekend, I also had a new idea for the book: I’m strongly considering ending the novel differently. What is currently last chapter would remain, but it would be followed by a short epilogue of a few thousand words closing the story. This epilogue would call back to the new material I’ve written in expanding the opening of the novel, and unify its new whole. It would end the book on a stronger note, and set up a possible sequel much more definitively. Not quite a cliffhanger, but I defiantly think that those reading it will want to find out what happens next. :-)

In summation, a good weekend of progress made. Outside of my efforts, Lauren completed her feedback/notes on the new chapter three said she really liked it. And my second beta reader Jessica finally finished the last of her notes on the second draft after many tumultuous months that required her to delay. So now I have those chunks of editing to work on as the book keeps shaping-up!

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!