Michael Brown

The Paradise Wars and Clark Ransom Thrillers


I’ve been gone from my blog for nearly half a year, but I’m back, hopefully on a more or less regular basis.

Where have I been? Well, after nearly a decade of repeating a cycle of rewrites and submissions to publishers and agents, my novel, The Consecration of Jacob Jordaens,  is being published by Lioncrest Publishers.

DallasI met with them in Dallas last December and began the process of doing what it takes to get a novel to market.

We went through a three-stage editing cycle–which was very enlightening.  I had a wonderful editor, who “got” my novel right from the start.  She would make wonderful comments like, would Moira really be this casual in her reaction this late in the novel.  Now Moira is an important character, but not the principle.  That one comment however, made me slightly change several character’s motivations–changes that rippled throughout the manuscript.  Solving the challenges that she gave me was much fun: like sophisticated puzzle work.  The last round was fixing stylesheet issues, a little tedious, but just as important.

The manuscript was locked last month, and I’m now waiting for them to put together a team of typesetters, e-book designers, covers designers, etc., made up of those who are excited about the novel, insuring quality.  There is also a separate marketing team preparing the launch.

As soon as I have a publication date, you bet, I’ll announce it here.

Meanwhile, I’m starting on the next novel: a sort of side-step prequel to The Consecration of Jacob Jordaens, whose main character will be the above mentioned Moira, but twenty years before the opening of Consecration, in 1980s New Orleans.

My pattern, since I tend to have a large cast with complicated character interactions, is to take as much time in pre-planning, almost, as I do in the actual writing.  Over the years, I’ve developed skills with a number of planning tools.  So I thought I would do a series of entries here on these tools, not just on the tech aspects of how to use them, but also on what they add to understanding the writing and construction of fiction.  That may be too lofty a goal, but I thought I’d try.

To do justice to the entries, I thought I might try for a biweekly, instead of weekly posting.

Tentative topics I hope to cover the following underlined tools:

1. Dramatica: what must a reader have to feel that he’s gotten a full and satisfying experience from a novel.

2. How not to be prisoner of the computer, yet make those handwritten doodles easily available and integrated with everything else: Note Taker HD.

3. Scrivener, Part One: Building an Outline.

4. What don’t I know? How do I easily collect it? Evernote.

5. Fleshing out the outline: Tinderbox.

6. Scrivener, Part Two: Ready for the First Draft.

7. Summary: Tinderbox Map of how all this fits together.

Hope this will be of interest to at least some of you.

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