Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Silence is Silver

There's nothing like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and knowing that you're almost there. Well, except maybe actually emerging into the real world.

Most writers I know get pretty intense as deadline time draws near. We hole up in our writing spaces, lost in their fictional worlds. Our eyes glaze over as we work that last tricky plot point or logical inconsistency. We attack our manuscripts, pen in hand, and skewer every typo. Or at least most of them. Have to leave the copy editors something to do, lol.

Right now I'm finishing up the manuscript for my November 09 release, Silver Silence. So how does this dash-to-the-finish work? I write my first drafts on the computer, but when I've got something that I hope is close to finish, I'll print a rough draft. I prefer to do final edits on hard copy, in pen. It's more like reading a print book, and I tend to catch a lot more mistakes than when I read on the computer. After I get through this step, this is what the book looks like:



Silver Silence is the third book in my historical fantasy Druids of Avalon series, after The Grail King and Deep Magic. Counting the prologue book to the series, Celtic Fire, Silver Silence is the fourth story set in the pre-Arthurian world of the Druids of Avalon.

The hero and heroine of the tale are Rhys and Breena, characters who first appeared in The Grail King. Rhys, a Druid,was condemned at a young age to a hard life. By his grandfather's order, he roams the Celtic isles, seeking Druid initiates for Avalon. Breena, the half-Celtic, half-Roman daughter of Rhiannon and Lucius from Celtic Fire, is one of those initiates. She is quite a bit younger than Rhys, and he's known her since he was fourteen, and she was three. She's been in love with him forever; he treats her like a child, even though she's now a woman.

Breena has rare and powerful Druid magic. She's a Seer, and her visions of the future are terrifying. A woman is murdered, again and again, in her dreams. She knows she needs to prevent the death, but has no idea how she is to accomplish that task. When a mysterious old Druid appears near Avalon, offering to take Breena to the woman in her vision, she accepts the challenge. She never imagines that the Druid, Myrddin, will take her through the Lost Lands and into a war-torn future Britain, where dark forces conspire to prevent the birth of the powerful Celtic king destined to unite Britain under one throne. Readers know this future king, of course, as Arthur.

I put all those edits into the computer, changing a bit as I go. Now I have (I hope) a very close to finished draft. I print it all out again. This is what it looks like now:



Then it's time for one last read through, catching those nasty typos and strengthening the language here and there. And off to my editor.

Whew. Now it's time to act like a normal person (rather than an obsessed writer). For a few days, at least. Until I start obsessing about my next project...


Joy
www.joynash.com



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