My first 100%

The progress bars seem to be helping! I got my first 100% today after going through all my major characters and working out what their story lines were all about. Each character was described in a single word (e.g. Tasya – Courage) and then a single sentence (A handmaid, suddenly crowned queen, finds the courage to lead her people). Then I wrote down where that character is at the beginning of the book, what the major turning points in their story are, what their ultimate challenge (or climax) is and how their story is resolved.

I’m hoping this road map will help me look at the overall plot of books two (and three) and have a much clearer idea of where I’m going.

Wish me luck!

– B

8 thoughts on “My first 100%

  1. As for help in structuring and writing motivation if you need it. Organizing chapters or events on an excel spread sheets that you can highlight as you write is a very satisfying way to get through it if you don’t want people reading through it chapter by chapter. Even paper lists of events to cross off are good, petty but effective.
    Another couple of reminders from Fiction Writing 101 – Some you probably know like ‘showing’ instead of ‘telling’ helping immersion, P.O.V. swapping less than a page, even in action scenes, jars reading flow. Back story needed for the plot goes down smoother when relevant to a character’s situation or conflict and must be hinted subtly (chekhov’s gun style) as not do create a sudden deus ex machina revelation, which is unanimously considered simply as bad story telling.

  2. In fact here’s why I give the reminder (I might as well be honest with you):
    Fiction Writing 101 “Telling instead of showing destroys emergence.”
    -In many parts of The Silver Hawk the setting is no longer legible because of lack of imagery, ‘telling’ the reader that the setting is a giant tree city is different than emerging the reader by ‘showing’ the workings of the tree through character interactions with it, workings and observations of it. Don’t let the reader forget if it’s important.
    Fiction Writing 101 “P.O.V. swapping less than a page, even in action scenes jars reader flow.”
    -There are multiple times the scenes are unnecessarily interrupted by the P.O.V. of the ‘god’ characters commenting on their observations, ruining a lot of the excitement of the action. Separating their ‘parts’ to different chapters entirely would have helped this flow. This is why many successful like George Marten and other authors do this.
    -As for the dues ex machina I can’t really blame you, almost any satifying ‘happy ending’ needs at least one.

    I know you can’t apply any of these lessons to your book since you have already self-published it and you would have to confront the fact that you jumped the gun before learning some of the more professional methods. The least I can hope for is that you take these on-board for your next book. Remember writing ISN’T all subjective, there are protocols and the professionals know this, that’s why they get chosen by agents and get sold to major publishers. is a website I’ve suggested before but if you really listen to it you can see why this guy is one of the best fantasy writers of the 2000s and 2010s.


    • I agree that there are many things that could be improved with my first book, but I wouldn’t take back my choice to self-publish it. Only in doing so have I had the privilege to learn everything I have and meet the people I’ve met in the last year and a half. Each step is an opportunity to do things better and add to what I’ve learned.

      Why don’t we agree to an exchange? I’ll work hard on improving my technical writing skills, including show not tell and decreasing the number of intrusions by the gods in my second book, and in return, would you mind taking a little more time to word your comments in such a way that they don’t come across so aggressively. I am hugely grateful for any and all literary criticism, but phrases like “you would have to confront the fact that you jumped the gun” are very personal and hurtful. I made an informed decision about choosing to publish the way I did, and the only person I’m hurting with any mistakes in this area is myself.

      You’ll find people are much more open to your suggestions if you avoid personal attacks of this nature.

      Thank you again for your passion and interest in my work. I really do appreciate it.

      Kind Regards,

      • I apologize if I come off aggressive, just like sarcasm it’s hard to distinguish ‘a tone of voice’ when messaging in text form. I’ll tell you what, here’s a really good way to tell if if I’m trying to be aggressive or not. If I’m using certain words like ‘fucking…’ or ‘…bitch’ (please take these out of context) then you’ll know. As for the personal message “you would have to confront the fact that you jumped the gun”. I’m sorry if this struck a nerve. Having published many books I know what it’s like to have to retract hundreds of copies when some fan finds a mistake so don’t let it get to you. I’m not saying you should regret self-publishing, no point crying over spilled etc… but learning is better for the future, which I hope was the main point that got across from my message. From ‘Only in doing so I had the privilege to learn everything I have.’ it seem you would agree with me.

        Again sorry.

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