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!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Greatshadow 37566

I finished Chapter 8 of Greatshadow earlier this evening. Was absolutely certain I'd made it over 10k for the week, until I did some actual math and found myself exactly 75 words shy of that goal. In fairness, I have time to write another 75 words before bedtime, but I think I'll settle for "close enough." Plus, while my word count goals are important to me, an even more important goal is actually producing a story, and I feel like that's coming along swimmingly. I don't have a chapter by chapter outline, but 8 chapters is roughly 1/3 of the way through the book I have in mind, and this week a lot of haze cleared up around some of the fuzzier story elements. My supporting cast finally started showing a little personality and the first leg of my tri-pod of villianous world-destroyers has been firmly planted. I've had three fight scenes in the 8 chapters, and my main dissatisfaction is that my heroes have mainly been playing defense against an enemy that they don't know or understand. But, I'll shift gears in the next third of the book as my heroes figure out the danger they face and go on the offensive to deal with it. The last third of the book is where the true epic stuff breaks out, dragon versus dragon battles with the fate of the world at stake. I'm both eager to reach those chapters and utterly dreading them. A lot of what makes my writing work is that I'm good at grounding stuff in the material world. I use a lot of textures, temperatures, scents and non-language sounds to open gates for the reader to step into my worlds. But, I'm going deep into the land of magic and symbolism for my big final confrontations, pushing the boundaries of anything I've ever tried to put onto paper. I wish I could say that I'm currently reading a lot of books on myths and legends and symbolism to get myself in the right mindset, but instead I'm reading "The Disappearing Spoon," by Sam Kean, a book about the periodic table of elements, which is about as grounded in the material world as you can get. This coming week, I plan to shoot for another 10k, but my mother is having surgury on Wednesday so I'll be going to her house and staying there Tuesday night so I can take her the following morning to the hospital, where I'll probably be for a pretty long stretch. Then, she'll be there for a week, so my evenings will of course be spent with her. That said, I've done these hospital vigils before, and this time will be the first time I'll be doing one with a netbook at hand. Words shall be produced, but the exact level of my productivity is difficult to guess at.

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