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I've started outlining the third book in my princess series: Red Hood's Revenge. (Title subject to change if I or the publisher decide it sucks.) Right now, I've got a fairly decent idea about the beginning, and I think I know the ending. But I suppose you people expect my books to have middles too, eh?

I'm actually enjoying myself right now. I've got a lot of fun ideas and themes I want to play with. Not only is there the whole plot with Red Riding Hood, but there's a romantic thread, cultural issues, deep emotional family trauma, and a closer look at Fairytown. I'll have a lot of research and worldbuilding to do, but it should be fun. A part of me wants to toss this outline aside and start writing, but I know if I do that, I'll crash and burn by the time I reach chapter seven.

Of course, if Mermaid's Madness is any indication, I'll probably crash and burn a few times on this book anyway :-P

Speaking of worldbuilding, I'm also working on a map which will hopefully go into the second book. We don't do as much travelling in Stepsister Scheme, but we're sailing all over the place in Mermaid. I've sketched maps for my books before, but this is the first time one will be published, which makes me nervous. Once this is final, I can't add in an extra country or change boundaries around or anything.

The whole process is a little odd. I'm not much of an artist. I can doodle shapes that work for my writing, but it's far from publishable. In some cases, I believe the author is responsible for getting a final map to the publisher, which means hiring an artist. I don't know yet whether I'll have to do that. The idea violates Yog's Law (money flows toward the author), but I'm told it's not uncommon. It might depend on the publisher, too. I'd be curious to hear about other mapmaking experiences, if there are any authors reading who have done this before?


I managed to forget at least two books in yesterday's new book roundup. The first is Harmony [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy], by C. F. Bentley, who is also P. R. Frost and Irene Radford and ramblin_phyl. The name change is because "Harmony is entirely different from anything else I’ve written. I call it my spiritual quest with a literary twist in a space opera landscape." Joshua Palmatier did an author introduction with Bentley/Frost/Radford earlier this week -- go read.

Book number two is Hell and Earth [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy], by Elizabeth Bear. Bear has no pseudonyms, only an LJ username (matociquala). This book concludes the story Bear began in Ink and Steel. The write-up for this one is just nifty: "Kit Marley and William Shakespeare are playwrights in the service of Queen Elizabeth, employed by the Prometheus Club. Their words, infused with magic, empower Her Majesty’s rule ... Able to walk in both worlds, Kit seeks allies to aid him in his mission to protect Elizabeth—only to encounter enemies, mortal and monster, who will stop at nothing to usher in a new age. But despite the might of his adversaries, Kit possesses more power than even he can possibly imagine."


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
I provided my publisher with my map for Warrior and Witch, but they turned around and got an artist to do a nicer version of it. (At the time, I had no idea I might be expected to hire an artist myself; I assumed that was their job.)
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
That was my assumption too, but I've heard both. Which is one of the reasons I want to pick some brains.

Nice icon, by the way! ;-)

Edited at 2008-08-06 02:34 pm (UTC)
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)

You could try the "blind assumption that they'll take care of it" road. Or, y'know, you could ask what they expect.
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've already asked, and it sounds like DAW will probably take care of it in this case. I don't have a definite answer yet though, and I'm very curious to hear about other people's experiences.

I may toss the question out there to SF Novelists as well.
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Same here. My editor at Tor asked me for several maps, but she assured me that these were only for reference. A real artist, hired by the publisher, will produce the maps used in the books.

And yeah, there's that scary feeling of "Oh no! What if I left out Important Landmark?"
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
Interesting -- thanks for the datapoint.

I keep telling myself that if worst comes to worst, I can fudge the missing info with fairy magic. "Why yes, the cursed nation of 'Awcrudiforgot' disappeared from mortal maps over a thousand years ago..."
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
I remember you talking about the process. (And I believe I still have a copy of your e-mail with the artist you used.)

I know what you mean about filling things out. Right now, the entire upper left quadrant of my map is just bare naked ocean.
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking I should find an artist to do a non-depressing version of the Eiledon map.

But then...

Aug. 6th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
But yours is so colorful! :-)
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
When I sent in my maps for DAW, they had them redone. (And introduced tons of errors, but that's a side issue, sigh)
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
Interesting. So that's Tor, DAW, and Aspect paying the artist, vs. Roc having the author pay. (Based on my completely unscientific scan of the comments thread.)

Also, dare I ask what kind of errors they introduced?
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
Tons and tons of spelling errors--they are still there in the third book. In their defense, I will say they sent it to me to clear, but I am so dyslexic, and the print was so small, that I okayed all the errors. (And they were introduced because the artist apparently couldn't read my italic hand, shifting v's for y's and r's for v's, all of which my brain couldn't see, because it saw what it expected to see.)
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Aw, crud. That's got to be so frustrating. And it's not something they can go back and fix?

I'm thinking of scanning mine so that I can tweak and move a few details with Photoshop. I think maybe I'll also use the software to type out various names, just to be safe.
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
The dynamic is different with art/maps, but I hope to have it all fixed by next project.
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Come to think of it, I laboriously typed, printed (when I still had a printer!) hand cut and pasted the names because the artist said they couldn't read my handwriting. Ah well! That's the problem with fantasy names, no experience to fall back on!
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting the blurb.

As for maps, when I've drawn them for our mutual editor she then turned it over to an in house graphic artist who prettied it up. I'm hopeless as an artist.
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
"I'm hopeless as an artist."

Same here -- that's why we try to stick with words, right? :-)
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
UK experience, so I don't know how useful it is, but Orbit said they wanted a map and would be prepared to pay for it if I could find an artist and get it done. So I did that (yay for friends!), and when he sent in his invoice (which was not unreasonable at all, in terms of the work that had gone into it) they blinked so loudly we could hear it three hundred miles away. Oh, they said: we usually get professional cartographers to do this, for fifty quid a time...

But I think they paid him. Eventually. When Ace did a US edition, they didn't use the map.
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
I hope this was a case where "you get what you pay for," and you ended up with something gorgeous for the book.

The only figure I've seen go by for a professionally produced map was $300, so I don't know if that's typical or not.
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Lol, since I'm such a lazy worldbuilder and whatever I tried looked like Medieaval Europe with magic anyway, I simply made it Mediaeval Europe with magic. The hopefully-to-be-some-day publisher can slap a map of Europe on the book, and I'll give them the alternate names to fill in. :) If they're ambitious, they can add the Lost Kingdoms of Kêr Ys, Avalon, Cantre'r Gwaelod, and Vineta.

It's even easier for historical fiction.
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
D'oh! Where were you with this suggestion 3-4 years ago when I started writing the series?
Aug. 6th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
3-4 years ago? Writing the first draft of that sucker, with no idea it would turn into a friggin' novel. :)

The result was a bad historical novel with more coherence problems and plotholes than a C-movie. On the other hand, I tried to invent a Fantasy world that didn't fall into place, until I one day decided to put the magic into the historical novel, use the idea of the lost kingdoms having been real, and call it Alternate Something. The additional layer took care of a number of the coherence problems and connected the three MCs a lot better. Now I only have to rewrite the little monster.

When I'm not working on the Roman Empire plotbunny, that is. ;)
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Found that at the end of my lunch break, when the outline was done and my brain didn't want to deal with all of the missing pieces.

I'd probably be happier leaving this one mapless, but I had a few complaints from readers of Goblin War that they wanted a map so they could follow Jig back and forth. Jig didn't actually visit very many places in that book, so I figure if folks wanted a map for that, they're really going to want one for Mermaid.

If it weren't for all the readers, this job would be so much easier...
Aug. 6th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Readers wanted a map? That's what graph paper is for! ;)
Aug. 7th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
Good luck on the map. I'm absolutely horrified at the thought of ever having to provide one if I'm published since my drawing skills are pretty much nonexistent.

And hooray for the Tick!
Aug. 7th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I've done crude maps for D&D games and such before, and I've been told I only need to provide a usable sketch as opposed to something finished and publishable. Still, I've been stressing about this a fair amount over the past week or two.
Aug. 7th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
I just had to drop in to say, "SPOOON!"
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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