I’m working on a third book in the Accidental Heretics series.
Following the timeline from when my heroes last escaped being burned as heretics, Tomas the mercenary journeys into the heart of Al-Andalus in advance of the Reconquista army.
—Not be such a LARGE book that it scares people (and takes forever to write)
—Not require a Master’s degree level of research
—Build on existing characters—just let them act out in a new environment
—Have a known beginning, middle and end, so there’s no getting lost during composition
—Keep on writing—a lot; more every day.
So here I am at 100,000 words, and nearing the momentous conclusion (and missing my self-imposed “finish by Sept 30” deadline). What are my problems?
—The motivational and plausibility plot holes look like Swiss cheese.
There’s no Swiss cheese in Andalusia.
—The main character never before faced the personal problems he has here. He has to evolve in more complex ways than I’d initially imagined.
—The “strong female character” that is beloved by some in the first two books is counting the number of lines in her script and complaining viciously.
—New characters invented as plot devices came to life too vividly.
Now they’re standing on the precipice of the denouement, baking in the sun, wondering why the heck I brought them here, and do they ever get to have hot sex with the various objects of their desire.
—Too many subplots (a particular writing fault of mine).
I cut one character out this weekend, and it toughened things up completely.
Need to snip more.
Problems I’m ignoring:
— Most of the source material is in Spanish or in books too expensive to buy.
— I’d rather BE in Andalusia than write about it.
So: headed off to my imaginary Al-Andalus now to get those supporting characters off the brink of the existential precipice — or send them to a short story.
Image source: Battle of Cantigas de Santa María. From Wikimedia Commons.