Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ROW80: Summer night and a WIPpet

Just last week, I was moaning and groaning about the character arc that held together the plot line of Rivers of Stone, Book 3. My story seemed to circle back on itself, with no resolution. I pulled resources from the internet on developing character, consulted writing craft books, tried Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method, wrote long back stories for the major characters, and then the gears shifted. Suddenly, that hidden structure of the story fell into place, and happily this week, I'm writing scenes once again.

I have no secrets to share. Like a poem, when one line somehow balances the next, my characters appear conflicted at first, but now, despite betrayal and abandonment, the two lead characters remain in harmonious balance. Plot twists abound, but the overall shape is clear from beginning to resolution. Now begins serious research and the writing. 

A Wednesday WIPpet: And, as long as I'm rambling on about the writing, here's my Wednesday WIPpet, just a snippet based on the date from Book 3: Rivers of Stone, the story of Cat, disguised as a boy, and Dougal, who in 1842 traveled from northern Scotland as employees (servants) in the Hudson's Bay Company. August = 8th month + day 6 = 14 which somehow matches the 14 in 2014 = divided in two (for the 2 in 2014) = 7 paragraphs from this week's writing.

Cat scampered out of the store, past the voyageurs and Indians who stood in line to trade, and around to the side of the store where a line of men stretched from the pier to a clump of carts. She raced down to the Hayes River, searching for Dougal and Colin, and then she spotted them.  
"So, they putting you to work finally," called Colin as he hoisted a barrel on his back and tramped up the pier.
Cat wrinkled her nose. Colin was always picking on her. Maybe he wished she hadn’t come with them. Maybe he thought she should stay at home and starve. Bugger that.
"Dinna fight now. Step in here, behind me," said Dougal.
The air had a bite in it for August. Cat staggered under the weight of the burlap bag Dougal tossed onto her back as she followed the line of men off the pier. Dougal grimaced at her, but he didn't speak further. Cat spat on the ground. Some help he was.
The line of men worked as quickly as they could. Before noon, the carts were loaded for Red River, the horses hitched. People clambered onto the carts with shouted goodbyes. A few Indians on ponies followed behind. One woman, carrying a baby wrapped in buckskin and strapped onto a cradle board, stared at Cat.
Cat stared back. She couldn't imagine what they'd find past this flat lake country with few trees and patches of snow here and there. Early snow, they called it, and cold. Damn cold, thought Cat, rubbing tingles from her fingers.

M├ętis and Red River Carts (Wikipedia)
About pricing. On last Sunday's ROW80 check-in, I raised the issue of pricing -- a topic that makes many of us question IF and HOW we set the price for our e-books. Thanks to comments here and a few articles, I'm stepping back from my initial price of $4.99 for all my e-books to $2.99. 
Using the Amazon Countdown deal for Book 2: Years of Stone was an interesting experiment. Books sold well from $.99 to $2.99, but I can't reset that $4.99 price until 20 days AFTER the countdown deal ends. Learning as I go . . . 

ROW80 Goals for the week:
--Write 2,000 words on Rivers of Stone. So far: more cutting than writing, but 400 words in two days.
--Read 3 books, a mix of research, review, and pleasure. So far: read a portion of a book on Canadian history, took notes, and finished reading The Rosie Project by Australian writer, Graeme Simsion, a romantic comedy about a very bright man with few friends and many social limitations who searches for a wife with a questionnaire. 
--Community/Marketing: Complete at least one critique for NOVELS-L. Participate in 2 writers' groups this week. Schedule coffee house launch party for Years of Stone. Prep workshop on building a writer's toolbox.
--Quilting/volunteer: Work on that massive Southwestern applique project that has very small pieces and start at least one baby quilt. Organize and complete book orders, PR for quilting group.

Don't you want to see what others have written?

Check out Wednesday WIPpet posts, weekly snippets from works in progress in a blog hop hosted by Kate Schwengel HERE.

Or, jump to that list of ROW80 writers HERE who continue to inspire me with their tenacity and creativity!


  1. I love Cat and Dougal. Well, Dougal tends to irritate me, and sometimes I wish Cat would leave him by the side of the road. Hard to do in her situation, though.

  2. I do love Cat. She's great and adds a lot of character to the story.

  3. I'm glad you were able to find some answers about e-book pricing. My guess would be that there are a lot of blog posts out there on the subject.

    It's always great to read snippets from fellow writers and see what they're working on. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Must be *really* cold if she's from Scotland and it's too cold for her!

    I think with pricing you just have to experiment and try to find what works for you.

    Congrats on your progress and figuring out the character arc. That kind of work often doesn't produce many words, but it's necessary too.

  5. I'm glad you figured out a pricing structure that works for you. Great WIPpet too. I love Cat! The character brings a lot of depth to the story arc. You do a great job with it.

  6. I love how you've found a way to make the character arc and the structure work. It sounds like it took some time to work through, but I'm so glad it all fell into place and you're writing again.

    I've missed the beginning of the story as to why Cat is pretending to be a boy and is hanging around with Dougal, but it looks like the Indian woman with the baby suspects Cat is more than she appears...

    All the best for the week ahead!


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