On Writing: Characters to Love, Characters to Hate

I’ve been asked quite often why I never went back to write more books in my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle. There are several reasons — I had other things I wanted to write, I had completed the story I set out to tell, I felt that I outgrew the worldbuilding — but probably the main reason is that I got bored with my lead characters, Jaryd and Alayna. They were both so . . . nice (and I say that with as much of a sneer as I can manage) that after a while I just wanted to slap them both. They were virtuous and kind, generous and wise beyond their years. Their faults were superficial, their magical powers the stuff of future legend. They were, in short, just the sort of people I would wind up hating in real life. By the end of the series, they seemed […]

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Will Power

In keeping with the “Mistakes I’ve made” posts I’ve been running over the last few weeks I thought I’d root around in my Big Bag o’ Personal Screw Ups, when I realized that the one I had in mind is a bit more complex than the others. For years it was a major mistake. And then, without warning, it turned out not to be, a truth that has rung extra loud this past week.

Here’s the basic story. Twenty years or so ago I wrote fantasy novel I couldn’t sell. I managed to get an agent who liked it, but when she sent it out, everybody and his dog passed. I fretted, tinkered with the book, but it was—my shiny new agent assured me—dead in the water. So what did I do? I wrote a sequel.

Yep. It took the best part of a year during which time, needless to […]

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