Okay, so Battle Line was released on Kindle and Nook this past Friday! I’m now devoting all of my writing time to making sure that Reaping the Whirlwind will be about by Christmas. Once again I’d like to assure my readers that in Reaping the Whirlwind I won’t leave you hanging. The book will bring the Spanish Confederate War to an exciting conclusion while at the same time setting things up for FLAGS AND GLORY the first installment of an alternate history series on World War I. I’m very excited about where the story is ultimately going.
There is a special preview of Reaping the Whirlwind at the end of Battle Line. It is Captain Blake Ramsey’s first chapter. I’ve decided to release another sample chapter here on my blog in a week or two. Let me know in the comments which viewpoint character you would like to see featured.
Now lets talk briefly about “the Black Hole.” No I’m not reviewing the 1979 Science Fiction movie (though perhaps one day I will– its one of my favorites) I’m talking about the “black hole” in a good story. This post is building on my previous post. Another term for the black hole might be “crisis point.” When I’ve talked to friends and fellow writers about writing novels the vast majority have expressed the opinion that the hardest part of conceiving and writing a book is the long middle. Its relatively easy to write a beginning. If I could get my old computer from High School working again, it would have over a dozen stories that I started but never finished. A lot of writers I’ve seen have given the advice “write the ending first.” That’s a fine piece of advice. Some writers are architects and plan out and outline their entire story. Others are discovery writers or “gardeners” who just start writing and let the story go where it will. I’d like to think that I’m mid way between the two. I never make a detailed outline just a very brief list of scenes each of which I basically discovery write. But I write with basic idea of what the ending is but also what the Black Hole is. When I write a story, after I have introduced all the characters and the starting situation I start to work both the protagonists and the plot into a black hole. I try to put them into the worst situation they could ever be in. For those of you who have read Battle Line you know that at the end of that book Jack Thunder is in the Black Hole both personally and (for lack of a better word) militarily. Both the big picture of the story and his own personal life are at an ultimate crisis point. It may seem like there is no hope but remember that this is fiction–dramatic fiction. At the end of Battle Line we’re at the end of the second act and things look dark and grim. The third act is about how (more or less) the characters over come all the odds and escape the black hole.