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Pruning and Fine Tuning
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I recently finished the first major draft for The Improvisers. While I have finished a draft of the book before, I mark this at the stage where I'm comfortable enough with other people seeing it now. It also marks me moving in the fine tuning stage as I have a couple of months before I hand this over to my editor. Which seems like plenty of time, but time seems to move fast when you have a deadline, and I generally don't the stress that rushing to meet a deadline brings. I'm also trying to avoid burnout, because I'll be switching gears to The Starseekers pretty much right away. All I know I'm going to very busy at the top of next year, since Improvisers is currently slated for Fall 2023.

In other news I'm taking part of a campaign with We Need Diverse Books and National Novel Writing Month that is raising some funds to support their programs and outreach through Story is Power.
You can learn more about the campaign in the link above and if you like you can donate or place bid in an auction running from 7/28  to 8/1. A lot of great things are up for bidding and I'm donating a query critique and postcard:

Auction Link - Postcard
Auction Link - Query

Upcoming Events

Strong Women-Strange Worlds

First Friday-Third Thursday Quick Reads (Virtual)


Thursday, September 15 at 7:00pm EST


Hampton Roads Writer Conference in Virginia Beach, VA

Sept 22- 24



Authors’ Chat: Deanna Raybourn and Nicole Glover

Williamsburg Public Library  - Williamsburg VA

Oct 15  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Craft Corner

 As I revise and  I have a checklist of several things I work on a number of passes I make. One of the biggest items I look into is the number of characters I have. I have a tendency to create characters as needed for certain scenes and it can create an excess of supporting cast. While at most it's a lot of people to keep track of (especially for a mystery!), at the worst  this leads to a rather one note supporting cast. 

To lessen this I often create a character web that shows the links between all the cast. It helps me note the more isolated characters and I used it to help me combining a few characters. Sometimes it's as simple as find/replace names to put a major supporting player into a scene. Sometimes it is plucking the traits or backstory of one character into another, while quietly erasing all traces of the former. And once or twice there's has been strange alchemy that occurs when the combination of characters creates an entirely new character. But regardless of how it turns up, consolidating my character list always works out for the best for my story. The supporting cast becomes rounder and even dynamic. And this improvement also builds up even more connections with my main players.

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