On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Series Threads

With regard to Heart Quest, one of my readers said that there are surprises to the end. True. I have a few series threads going – most notibly the disinheritance that happened in book three (Heart Duel) which has continuing Bad Ramifications/Consequences. These threads, like other subplots and returning characters (who MUST have a part to play or they don’t get back onstage), should progress incrementally through every book. And sometimes everything doesn’t quite dovetail as the other plotpoints are wrapped up (the mystery/suspense, the love story).

I don’t sit down and graph my plot and subplots, but I do spend considerable time thinking about them. How should I drop this bit? Lay this trail? Finish this off? The scenes get moved around. What would add more tension to THIS particular story? When would it be the worst possible time? When would something GOOD happen?

And since they ARE threads, sometimes my critique buddies say “What is this doing here? It isn’t moving the plot forward.” My only answer is “I need it for the next book.” Or “It has to be there from the last book.” Some grumbling.

Or “Cut, cut, cut” Then “Woops! I see what you were setting up here, ignore previous.” And there are the in jokes we talked about earlier. The hat in the Luna series, beloved of all guys, hated by all women, must get a mention….

Heart Quest was one of those books where I did some hard thinking. Pieces got moved around. I thought and thought whether to end the book as I did, and I don’t consider it necessarily good technique, the way I ended it. But the fact was, I couldn’t break the (hopefully) suspense and climx of the last part of the book with a series thread bit. The timing was just plain off. My fault, but one last bit of a series thread HAD to be done in this book to set up for one down the line and I handled it the best way I know how. Now.

So it was another one of those “I wish I could have handled this better” moments.

May all your threads lay straight today.


Blogger moonhart said...

Robin, don't mess with the hat.

We love the hat.

The hat rocks.


11:59 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yes, the hat MUST be mentioned in every Luna book.


9:12 AM  

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