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Things Happening in the In-between

Good day, all!

Soooooo, I'm working on this second book in the Greenshore Series. Being an RPG gamer who enjoys sagas over one-shots, I'm used to the tandem thinking that goes into a personal development arc within a larger story arc. Unlike RPGs, there is no threat of player characters going rogue and taking off with the plot (or worse, leaving the game story arc behind and deciding to make the game something else).

However, it's ALL on the writer. When an RPG saga is 'working' and the player characters are into it, a wonderful synergy occurs that breathes life into the story and the meta-elements of the team. Unique ideas, unexpected sub-plots, each character with its own voice, and the rest of the laundry list of traits each player brings to the table. I have a deeply rooted fear that my characters either (1) all sound the same, or (2) are simple caricatures of the personality I am attempting to convey. The best fix for this fear this is Time: a scene with a couple of pages of quick, witty banter may take a week and a half to construct. The moment of epiphany for the hero may have been a month of planning for the author. Time replaces the Team, for there is no 'team' here in writing land...

Or is there?

I tend to (carefully) stack projects. In this, I usually have one or more books that I am editing and one book that I am nose-down, fingers-on-the-keyboard writing. One of the issues that I run into with this process is what I call "The Blindness". The Blindness is what happens to me after my third or fourth editing read-through. Here's how it breaks down:

1. Read through for Continuity.
2. Read through for a strong protagonists and antagonists voices.
3. Read through for maintained interest / pacing.
4. Read through with an eye for grammar and punctuation.
5. Annnnd this is where the editing peters out. The Blindness set in. Is this really a strong scene or is it 'good enough'? Is character X compelling or are they something that I've learned to accept as 'good enough'? The winged chattering of the self-doubt monkeys start flying out of the shadows deep in the attic of my mind. I begin missing the table talk of the RPG realm.

Enter the Team. With this series, I am calling in a select gang of misfits who I feel have very keen minds to not only review the work, but to be honest enough to shred the work if it needs it. Thus, this week I am bursting the polished Greenshore Book I out to a few trusted readers for their reaction. More to come on that development and off to hammer a little more on Book II!

-Dave

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