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Writing Sorcerer
Dateline 2/4/2022, Cascadia, Washington
I had a conversation about the writing process with another author, yesterday. Like this crackpot, he writes numerous books at once. I have just finished arranging the text for Sorcerer!, which I completed writing yesterday.
Over the past year I have changed my method for writing novels to fit with online serialization, essentially, finally realizing my 11 year old dream of doing online pulp fiction.
This process has changed in the writing of haft and Last Whiteman, and seems better than what I was doing. Of course, I do not know how to write a novel, never passed an English test let alone went to writing school. I have been making this stuff up.
I did not plan on writing Sorcerer1 Indeed, I had scrapped an idea for a novel titled The Sorcerer, about an ailing adventure retired at a tower as a wise man and being sought for various reasons while dying. I intended to write Ditcher when I was here ditching in the rain. Then I got sick, real sick with the Rona, near a week in bed with fever and I resurrected this outline, which was not much, just two scenes framed in my mind, the first, and the last.
I began writing the story one chapter at a time, trying to connect the opening scene with the last in a blind un-plotted trajectory. By chapter 4 an outline of 19 chapters Imposed itself on my addled mind. I decided that I could not trash any of these chapters, and since I was using a ritualistic rhythm as a theme, that I would add no new chapters. Thus I decided that when exposition required more than 2,000 words for a chapter, that I would write a continuation of the chapter. This would not be necessary if I were not writing primarily for online serialization, but I am. This chem has worked out much better than my former habit of inserting chapters and has encouraged better narrative flow.
I do engage in won campy convention, the Interlude, which ends the free online posting and points the reader to the subscription posting. I have come to like this, as a review of the story threads that reminds me to address the narrative seeds that have been planted in the reader’s mind.
Another composition aspect has arisen, and is related to why I do not finish some very old novels, because it means I have to read them and risk eye strain.
I will typically write a chapter a day. Before I write that chapter, I read the previous chapter and amplify the text, usually adding between 5 and 10% of the original and often placing footnotes. I then write the following chapter, and the next day, before writing the next chapter, read and amplify and correct this one.
This has resulted in me doing a 2 our morning session and a two hour afternoon session, about 4 hours a day for the composition of the novel, with half of that time being review and amplification of the text, not rewriting, but what I think of as narrative depth expansion.
I hope Sorcerer!, which introduces an entirely new fantasy world, that could host three other novels, finds a pleased readership. The reason for the invention of this mythic New England, was my desire to write stories set in the American West where I now spend over half my year, in conflation with my long held desire to write medieval fantasy.
Sorcerer is roughly 35,000 words with an additional 2,000 words of nonfiction appendices, including this article. I have built the story in posts, with 19 slated for open posting and 6 for subscription posting. I no longer write ian simngle document, but write each chapter and sub-chapter as a separate document and past them together before a final read.
Thank you for your support,
-James
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