Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Halfway through Hush, V3

Just finished my rewrite of chapter 10 of Hush, third draft. My calendar calls for me to finish the draft by the end of the month, and since the end of chapter 10 marks the middle of the book, I'm well on track to hit my target.

Third drafts are where I try to fix problems my wise-readers have brought to my attention. They are also a draft where I try to catch continuity errors. Usually, it's just trivial stuff. In chapter 9, there was a fight scene and I rather vividly describe one of the characters involved as being red in the face while she's screaming. But, in chapter 10, Stagger says of the same character that when he'd seen her last, her face had been pale. Simple enough to fix, but also the type of error that most terrifies me. It's easy for me to keep track of the big picture and avoid continuity errors in the plot, but my cast has a dozen or more named players and trying to remember small details about them from chapter to chapter like what color shirt they are wearing can really trip me up. In the grand scheme of things, these details aren't really important. The plot will unfold exactly the same whether the captain of this ship is wearing a white shirt or a black shirt. Unfortunately, tiny contradictions can bug a reader and cause them to lose focus. At the same time, you can't leave out these minor details, since they add the sensory detail neccessary for a scene to come to life. I know some people keep "bibles" where they write down all these details, but I've never found that all that helpful. I do have a notes file where I jot down small points I know I'll reference later, but I find that I almost never look at it except to put new stuff in.

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