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

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday -- Series Scenes

The Friday post should have been Saturday. So this is for Saturday.

I think I've spoken of this before: including scenes that will move the series on and could (possibly) be cut from the book, or condensed.

This happens, and usually is fun for the author, and fun for the reader if they catch it.

The scene that is the best example of this is in Heart Quest. I wrap up the entire book, but I have a dangling thread of a subplot that I need to tie up. Thus the ending wedding scene of Heart Quest. I knew I wanted that thread woven in at that point in the series, but it didn't fit anywhere BEFORE in the book without taking away from the suspense and the action. BUT, this particular scene didn't need to be in Heart Quest for Trif and Winterberry's story, which was the main story of the book.

I do have some scenes like this in Heart Fate -- set ups for books down the line. One is Tannun's favorite scene which is a set up for Heart Change (writing now) and Vinni's book. I think this scene DID do good double-triple duty in that it fit well in the story, emphasizing some points.

There is also an "introduce-a-new-hero" scene which didn't need to be a scene but could have been a paragraph or two (and, by the way, I cut several bits surrounding that subplot). My mentor knew (and the savvy reader will know) exactly what is going on. But it was fun and worked into a subplot.

The ending of the first scene was a good hook, and I liked it. The identity of the person who came on stage was determined by the next books. His backstory was changed, and it also got me thinking about further stories down the line.

So there's a scene near the end, a whole subplot set up that works into the heroine's plot, that is there for the story of one of the next generation.

Yes, I do think of these things well in advance when I can.

May you enjoy your own plotting today.
Robin

6 Comments:

Blogger Tannun said...

I'd wondered how much thought you put into continuing threads.
Vinni has been an ongoing story line for 4 books now?

So when he was first introduced did you have an outline of where you were going with him?

And since you knew this was going to happen when he got his own book, it was just a bit of judicious fore shadowing, dropping in hints, cryptic comments there to keep us impatient!

At this point, I'm not sure which story I want more Vinni's or TQ's :)

5:25 PM  
Blogger Silver Phoenix said...

Speaking of Heart Fate, I just finished mine (my illegally pre-sold copy arrived Thursday afternoon and I finished at 12:20 am this morning).

Very good. Want more. :-)

It had a lot of very nice balance of current plot, backstory and foreshadowing. Then again, I could just be really biased.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

I'm not sure when I thought of Vinni's story. His subplot for Heart Duel was concerning Avellana. I knew about Avellana when I was first starting HeartMate. So Avellana came first, then her accident, then Vinni.

Because Avellana has a big role to play with the Ashes in Heart Change...

TQ just grew. As a matter of fact, the very first manuscript I completed was one with a sentient house. So TQ has long roots...

Robin

6:15 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Silver Phoenix, THANKS. I am getting more and more anxious. Already heard from someone who was quite disappointed...But in a series of books, there are going to be ones that you like better than others, some that push your buttons and you don't like, etc. That's what I'm telling myself.

Robin

6:17 PM  
Blogger Silver Phoenix said...

Eh, that's sort of how it goes, really. I mean, I wasn't wild about...oh, Straif/Mitchella's story, I forget which one that was, but it didn't stop me from twitching and pacing and then pouncing on the next in the series when it came out.

Everyone's got a favorite and least favorite in any series. Don't let one disappointed reader get you down! Actually, don't even let ten get to you--if they're bothering to tell you they're disappointed, then obviously they've READ the book, yes? All to the good! :-)

6:59 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks, Silver.

Straif's/Mitchella's book was Heart Choice, and I have a soft spot for it because it gave me the best "channeling" feeling I've ever had while writing that came out of nowhere and was almost as good as sex...I mean I'd set a scene up and knew something would happen when he opened that ballroom door, but the rest was all new...

Thanks again,
Robin

8:50 AM  

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