ROW80 Check-In: July 20.

Well, here’s another great thing to say about A Round of Words in 80 Days: it gives me material for at least two blog topics a week! Sometimes I am terribly lazy, and it’s nice sometimes to wake up and think, “Hey, I don’t have to try to come up with something to write about today; it’s Wednesday!”

But, in all honesty, though I’m no where near my initial goal, I’m very pleased with how Serpent in a Cage‘s rewrite is going. I’m about halfway through the first chapter at this part, and it’s ringing very similar to the original Chapter One, but with a slightly different angle, a bit more serious and I think in a fashion that captures Locke’s moodiness and irritability much better. I worry that I’m not putting in as much atmospheric detail as I was hoping to (that was one thing I resolved to include more of in this version), but I just have to remind myself that those things can be taken care of in the revision process and to not let it slip me up.

One thing I love about this book is how flawed the characters are. Right in time for Kait Nolan‘s great post on the challenges of writing YA, I’ve come to realize how much I enjoy writing a characters like Locke, young, self-entitled, self-important, and irritated at everything, and Gilferen, gawky, awkward, and unsure of his place in this great big wide world. Though a bit older and wiser (a bit!) than Locke and Gilferen, there’s also Awngel, a young woman who can’t seem to stop making bad choices in her life, especially when it comes to love, and Hederrick, a man trying to pursue a future considered well above his social station. Serpent in a Cage is definitely not Young Adult fiction, but the characters it focuses on are young adults, and it’s just as much a tale about self-discovery and growth as it is about magic and kidnappings and great big prophesies about gods.

I may be behind on my quote, unquote “goals” for the novel, but there’s no doubt that I’m reawakening a great love for these characters and the wonderful stories they’ve given me.



  1. That’s awesome that your rewrite is making you love your characters even more. The little glimpse of the premise in this post sounds incredibly interesting. Writing flawed characters is way more fun than writing perfect ones, where’s the challenge in that?
    Best of luck with your goals or, ya know, just your continued work on this story that you love

  2. Is really good to hear that you are reawakening a great love for your characters! I am starting to develop some characters and I hope to love them too!

    I hope the rest of your week goes well!

  3. Keep up the good work and don’t worry about not having enough sensory detail on this run through. When I write, my first drafts tend to be fairly devote of setting. That all goes in on the second pass 🙂


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