Dark Magick Rising – Update

Hi everyone!

I am sloooowly feeling better from my bout with the flu. I have some lingering symptoms and I’m still low energy, but I’m starting to have some decent days mixed in with the not-so-great ones, which means (I hope) I’m on the mend at last. It feels like it’s been forever since this crud hit. I’ll be glad to see the end of it.

On the down side, due to being so sick, I managed to get absolutely no writing work done through the holidays. Which isn’t exactly how I’d planned things to go, but here we are.

What I did do a lot of, though, while I was in bed sick, was thinking. Well, okay, I also did a lot of binge watching of The Mandalorian and The Witcher. But I also did a lot of thinking. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thinking about my writing and publishing goals for 2020. And thinking about Dark Magick Rising–what’s happened thus far, where it’s headed, and how I’m going to get there. As I was picking it apart in my head, I came to a conclusion. It’s something I’ve suspected for a while now; I just didn’t want to admit it…

I’ve taken a wrong turn in this book.

I kind of warned you all about it a while back, when I took a couple weeks off because I said I needed to think about how the book was going to end and I didn’t want to give you chapters that might later get yanked. Well….it turns out I jumped the gun on that. I thought I had a handle on it but clearly I didn’t. The truth is, I have really struggled with the past several chapters (both the ones I’ve posted and the ones you haven’t seen yet) because in my gut I was pretty sure they were off the rails. But I was determined to stick it out anyway and see where things went since I’m a pantser. That’s what pantsers do…we write and see where things go. Usually, it’s kind of like magick, and everything just sort of unfolds and fits together beautifully. This time, however–one of the very few times it’s ever happened to me in my writing career–this book has gone off the rails for real, heading off to a completely different destination from where it’s supposed to go. And while it might be an okay ride, a little scenic, a bit of an adventure…if the passengers paid to go to San Francisco but the train’s heading toward Tucson instead…well, that’s a problem.

This book is massive to start with because there’s a lot going on that’s important to the series as a whole. Because of that, there’s simply no room to ramble off on side trips. I’m already going to have to do some serious tightening up of the actual important parts during the editing phase, so I can’t afford to go off on tangents. I need to get this runaway train back on course. And the only way to do that is to go back to the point where it began this meandering side journey, cut it off from those tracks, and start writing again from there, on the straight line it needs to follow.

What does this mean in plain talk? Well, it means that I’ve got to take some drastic measures. Over the next few days I’m going to be pulling down some of the most recent chapters I posted. I’m not sure yet how many of them will go away–I’ve got to do some reading and see where I want to cut and revise. A few bits and pieces of them may get used in different ways as I move forward, but, as a whole, some of these chapters won’t be part of the finished book.

This also means that, in spite of the fact I hate having to do it, I’m not going to be posting any more new chapters on my blog until the book is done. I’m sorry to disappoint all of you, but writing is sometimes a messy process. Stuff has to get cut or rearranged or rewritten along the way, and this is one of those times. I need to be able to focus on getting the book finished, once and for all, without having to worry whether I’ve posted things that weren’t ready to be posted. Putting up the not-quite-right chapters was a bad decision on my part. And I think that plays a role in why I haven’t finished the book yet. Writing slowed to a crawl as I tried to figure out how to get myself out of my own mess. I should have followed my gut instinct and hit the pause button the moment I suspected something was off.

For those of you thinking, Oh no! How long are we going to have to wait NOW to read the end?

The answer to that is…I don’t know for sure. I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. But what I can tell you is that since I am starting to feel better, I plan to dive back into work today or tomorrow. AND, I can tell you that my first goal for 2020 is to be finished with Dark Magick over the next month. I’m committed to doing that. I truly believe that by cutting out the clutter of the last several chapters, things will get back on track. In spite of being a pantser, I do know where in general this book ends–I’ve had the big final climax in my head for YEARS–so writing toward it, without the extra baggage I had created for myself, should go much more smoothly.

I appreciate you all for following me on this journey. โค๏ธ The writing process isn’t always neat and tidy, as you’ve seen. Especially for a long book. And even more especially for a long book that’s the fifth in a series. I do hope you’ll bear with me. Once the book is completed, I will probably (again, not promising, but it’s what I’m thinking right now) post the remaining chapters for you all at once.

Thank you so much for your patience and I’ll try to keep you updated as the month progresses.


Author: mlrhodes

Author M.L. Rhodes writes bestselling m/m romance and fantasy novels. She's also a geek, an introvert, a night owl, a potter, and a damn fine margarita maker.

6 thoughts

  1. First of all: hope you keep on getting rid of the bug. I’ve been spared the cold so far, but *rubbing the dogs tummy* (have no hares foot and wouldn’t want one) you never know.

    Secondly: it’s been a fun ride so far but if you took a wrong turn you took a wrong turn. As you are the only one who “knows” (in a panster way) where to go, we stay in the car and ride along.

    That’s it. Take care! I’ve been a reader most of my life and don’t intend to stop here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Oh, happy new year!

    1. Thanks, Iris! I have been sick more often this fall/winter than I have in ages. I keep seeing in the news, though, that this flu season has been particularly bad in my area of Colorado. I know several people who’ve had their flu shot yet have still gotten sick with strains that weren’t included in the shot. It’s been ugly. At one point in mid-December at my son’s work they had like half the employees sick, including my son. He’s a manager and every single one of the other managers had it at the same time, and they were texting every day to see who felt like going in for a few hours to keep things running. It was unreal.

      As for DMR, it’s getting back on track, so yay! Happy new year to you, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Glad you’re feeling better, hon. I’ve been fighting a cold that sort of went away, then came back in the form of allergies, which I haven’t had to deal with in four years. It sucks being sick over the hols.

    Second, if I may? It felt a bit like you had all this stuff you wanted to get to, along with the fact that the book was growing like Topsy. You were telling the story of the guy that Jarrad beat up, then jumped to Malcolm. And kinda forgot about Jax and Caleb, unless that was on purpose.I

    There’s so much going on in the world you’ve built. Perhaps backing up and taking another look will get you back to where you want to be. Just know that your constant readers will be here to cheer you on during the process, and will be ready to continue the journey with you when you’re ready. Good luck, and have fun with it. Writing should never be a chore, yes? ๐Ÿ˜˜

    1. I hope you’re feeling better now? It totally sucks to be sick period, but over the holiday, yeah. Ugh. I think I have finally turned a corner on this damned flu. I’ve actually felt like a mostly functioning human again the past couple of days (before that I’d have a good day followed by a bad one), so I’m glad to be rejoining real life again.

      And, yes, you absolutely may!! I definitely appreciate it if you or any of the readers here on my blog have thoughts about the book because now’s the time to tell me when I can still tweak and fix if necessary. ๐Ÿ™‚ I consider all of you my beta readers, in a sense, so yes! As for Jax and Caleb…I definitely haven’t forgotten about them. I know exactly where they are, what they’ve been doing, and when they rejoin the story. And that’s all I can say on that. LOL! But…yeah, there is just so much going on in this book, so many threads all coming together, and that’s why I kept feeling like…ack, this is not going where it supposed to be going! This stuff that’s happening is nice, but I don’t have time for all of this extra shenanigans when I’ve already got multiple other game pieces in play that I have to deal with! Night before last, I ended up pulling down 11…ELEVEN… chapters from here on my blog. Eeek! They won’t all be gone forever. Some of them will still be in the book, but I just wanted to play it safe, and it gives me a chance to tweak some of the older ones as needed. But once I had them down, I instantly felt better and, for the first time in months, I’m actually eager to sit down to write each day. So that’s a pretty major sign it needed to happen. Sometimes writing can be a chore, but it’s sooooo much better when it’s not! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Glad you are feeling better! No worries- we are your loyal fans and I have no doubt when you’re baby is finished it’s gonna be awesome! Thanks for sharing DM and am looking forward to the final product:-)

    1. Thanks, Tory! I’m back to work, which is really nice! I’ve actually pretty much been able to stay focused and work for a couple of days now. First time since before Christmas. And I’m happy to say DMR is getting back on track. I feel sooo much better from having dumped those chapters! They were dragging down the book (and me) so much. It’s good to be moving forward again!

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