I've started revising From the Desk of Buster Heywood for its rerelease to herald the completion of Adjustments, and completed the brand-new artwork for its cover. Patreon supporters of all tiers have access to the first look at that artwork ... click on the orange banner to your right to sign up, if you haven't already! I also made some progress on the draft of Adjustments.
It may not seem like a lot for a month, until you consider that I've been working overtime at my current job - a mandated extra ten hours a week. This doesn't leave a lot of time for much of anything when I get home from my forty-minute commute, so I usually only have enough energy to sit on the couch with my amazingly supportive wife and eat dinner while binge-watching something. Our current fodder is Netflix's reboot of Queer Eye, though, which has inspired me to really fight for that work-love-life balance and carve out creative time wherever and however I can.
I've also found inspiration in something that's been a favorite of mine for a while now. I last flailed about how my fangirl side ties in to how I approach writing two years ago, in this post about Iron Man and Spider-Man: Homecoming. This time, I need to flail at you all about the story structure of Captain Marvel, and how it showed me that all the misgivings I've been quietly having about Adjustments are not anything I need to worry about.
"But, Ang," you say, "I either don't care for hero movies, or I don't want to be spoiled for anything." That's okay! I won't go into great detail about the actual MCU (that's Marvel Cinematic Universe, the name of the movie series, for you non-dorks). What I want to talk about more is what Captain Marvel does with its eleven-year backlog of canon.
This is the lesson that authors with a series of novels or stories should take from Captain Marvel, in my opinion: you can reference other works without beating your readers over the head with them. Slip them in quietly. Those who notice them will be, without a doubt, your greatest fans: the keen-eyed who know and love your work for its richness and depth.
I started writing the Lines of Power (formerly Novels of Aviario) knowing that they would be a series. I had the plot out to a certain point already sketched out in rough form: where things would ultimately head, who would be involved, and to what degree. Five years later, a few of the characters have surprised me by demanding larger roles. and new ones have appeared that I hadn't expected, but the foreknowledge has remained solid. The first three novels may be able to stand alone on their own - as well as "The Lost Hour" - but all are strongly connected. I hope you will all enjoy seeing them come together when Adjustments is finished. This drawing together of everyone I've written thus far is only the beginning ...
What movies really stand out to you as great examples of story structure? Drop me a comment below, and we'll have a nice cinemaphile chat.
Until next week, I remain your hostess,