Weekly HotS update

Happy Friday everyone!

I am pleased to update that the first seven chapters are now complete for Heart of the Sand. In the interests of not spoiling, I will not provide chapter names or perspectives. I have, however, gone through the perspectives of all the central characters at least once, and I feel really good about those characters, their progressions, and ultimately, where they will go. In particular, I thought I would have some trouble transitioning Aerona from a woman torn apart by grief, back to the strong heroine that we all know she is. Thankfully, the transition has been very smooth and I think everyone will be very pleased with how it has been handled.

I also wanted to comment on my new-found grounded approach to story-telling. That transition has been relatively painless, and the way I am exploring the stones and their power seems to translate very well. I am really looking forward to seeing what readers think of a more grounded, but still having a low-level mysticism of the narrative.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is an experiment in pacing that I am trying in this book. Typically in character-perspective narratives you do not get a “real time” narrative. What I mean by that is, in one-perspective narratives the events between chapters can occur with minimal passage of time. This is something in novels that I really enjoy. It keeps things fast and exciting if you do it right.

So why not try it but with character-perspective narratives?

In Heart of the Sand I have several groupings of chapters that either overlap (in terms of the passage of time) or occur right after each other. It really feels like you’re watching a film. The perspective changes, but it feels like things are happening in a close-knit chronology. There are exceptions, of course; time jumps will occur, but they are kept to a minimum.

Ultimately, I think this keeps the story moving forward, maintains suspense, and keeps characters more interesting. To contrast, in my previous works it felt like there were four or five separate narratives running in parallel that, while they eventually met up, feels somewhat disjointed. By keeping events so close together, I think it comes across as much more integrated.

I hope to get in another update before Christmas, but if not, Happy Holidays everyone!

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