Writing, An Update Of Sorts #writing #review

A couple of days ago I finished a first draft. It’s about time.

See, last year I set myself the task of writing something along the lines of a fantasy. I wanted it to be funny too, though that is up to the reader to decide.

I chose, as I’ve mentioned before, Pearl Barley a twenty something trainee exorcist, who’s hair is possessed by the spirit of a deceased hairdresser called Sharon – both an occupational hazard and something that is frowned upon.

When I started the book I just wrote and a few of you kindly had a read of the early ideas. One thing that became clear to me very soon was the need to break this down into at least two books and, as it’s turned out, three. It’s the first draft of book two that I’ve just finished.

Never having written anything fantastical, I decided I needed to do some reading. I alighted on another trilogy by fellow blogger D. Wallace Peach and her Unravelling The Veil series. In this we follow a goblin – Naj, an elf – Alue and a changeling – Talin on a quest to fight off the forces of Chaos (I don’t think that counts as a spoiler).

It’s an interesting exercise, reading while trying to see the stitching as it were. How does the author stitch a trilogy together? How does she leave off each book, allowing for a satisfactory ending yet pulling the reader into the next book? How does she salt the early works with the grains of plot themes to come? How does she hold it all together? Does she assume the reader of books two and three will have read book one or does she need to bring a new reader up to date without annoying the committed reader whose been along for the ride?

Diane does this in Unravelling and does it beautifully. The three novels are variably paced, allowing the reader sprint and then catch their breath.

In these books the author has built a totally imaginary world. I haven’t been so brave; mine is set neat Orpington in the nearish future. If there’s a near comparator it’s the Rachel Morgan: The Hollows series by Kim Harrison following the adventures of the eponymous witch in an alternate Cincinnati. Rachel had two constant companions, a Pixie, Jinks and a vampire, Ivy.

There’s something about this threesome, maybe. In my Pearl series, Pearl not only has Sharon but she also has her Portable Personality Enhancer, a mirror that gives life to her reflection who she christens Neddy after her middle name.

All in all, I will owe a lot to these two excellent writers. Also to St Douglas of Adams for writing the best sci fi fantasy series ever and Ben Aaronovitch for his Rivers of London series, chronicling the adventures of Peter Grant and the Magical division of the Metropolitan Police.

Do try them, especially D. Wallace Peach. Here’s the link to her blog and her books; as a fellow blogger she deserves our support and her works a worth the effort.

And finally, the next book off the ranks will be none of these. It’s a modern romance/mystery with a magical realism twist. The Art Of Spirit Capture is set in rural Sussex and follows Jason Hales who is trying to get his life back on track when he finds he’s inherited his Great Aunt’s cottage. Some of you may recall a short piece I did in response to one of the Late Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompts, on which this is based. I’m doing the final edit; then it’s off to the editor for a clean up and then it’s over to all of you. I’ll be after help with a blog tour in due course. Meanwhile, here are four possible covers for you to mull over…

Let me know what you think in the comments…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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20 Responses to Writing, An Update Of Sorts #writing #review

  1. Ritu says:

    Oooh! Exciting!!
    I think I like the last cover best, His Geoffleship!

    Like

  2. Claire says:

    Your Pearl Barley character sounds like an absolute blast! I prefer the last cover.

    Like

  3. Your dedicated research on the trilogy should hopefully pay off. I like the vial/raindrop container in the cover. Either 3 or 4 would get my vote

    Like

  4. I agree to Ritu, the last one is amazing! Have a nice week! Michael

    Like

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Like No.2 it compelled me to enter, …sign me up for the blog tour , your girl is a Pearl 😉

    Like

  6. Darlene says:

    My, you have been busy!! Looks like you´ve done some awesome research as you venture into new territory. I´m sure you learned a lot by reading Diana´s books. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are not only prolific but so…er…an every genre author. Sorry, lost for words. Do you challenge yourself to write in every genre you can? It’s amazing you can pull off so many so well. (As for the fantasy, good research. If you’re going to study the how-to of fantasy, Diana’s a great choice.)

    The covers… None scream romance to me. They look more of a cozy mystery. I love them, though. Is there more mystery than romance? I like all of them (except #3–not enough contrast). These are all very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about my trilogy, Geoff, and I’m just tickled that you read it as a study! I love the premise of your trilogy and I’m certain it’s going to be a hoot. I know what you can write very touching stories, but your humor is a delight. As far as the covers go… I like the dark background, so either 2 or 4. I look forward to the reads!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Darlene says:

    I forgot to mention that I like cover 4 as well. Very clever concept.

    Like

  10. That sounds like a great new book you’ve got coming up, Geoff. Even with what you’ve told us in this post, you’ve got me interested.
    As for the cover, it’s #2 for me. The title stood out more for me.

    Like

  11. The cover pictures bring to mind a) Pharmacy show globes, b) A nissen hut….number 4 is my preferred choice!

    Like

  12. I like number two best. sk me why? Have no idea.

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  13. That should be “ask”

    Like

  14. trifflepudling says:

    Sounds great. Thanks to your recommendation I’ve read some of the Rivers of London books.
    Second cover appeals to me.

    Like

  15. barbtaub says:

    I vote for cover 2 and a spot on your blog tour please!

    Like

  16. petespringerauthor says:

    Quite an undertaking! Diana is a fine author to model, especially in that genre. I also vote for cover #2, especially if your subject material is rather dark.

    Like

  17. Pam Lazos says:

    Congrats, Geoff! I like the second one – slightly whimsical, slightly menacing. 🤪

    Like

  18. Widdershins says:

    And her I was thinking I was going great guns. You, sir, are an animal!!! 😀 … seriously though, well done. 🙂

    Like

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