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October has been a “back of house” month.

At the beginning of the month, I wrote the last few chapters of book six. After that I spent most of the month finalizing chapters for the third through to the sixth story books so they’re ready to be published on the site, and I can stop trying to balance the publishing work and the writing work at the same time.

I’ve been a committed mono-tasker for a long time, and yet the myth of multitasking still raises its head and convinces me that I can split my attention in multiple ways at once. And it’s true to an extent, I have a day job, a family, and writing, and it’s necessary to divide my attention between them, but with the writing I’m finding it’s nice to just have one piece of it in my mind at a time so I can focus on it completely. Batching publishing and writing so they don’t overlap, also means I can give myself a couple of days between books to figure out how I want to tackle the next one.

There were a few things I needed to fix about the site too, so I spent some time working on that. Previously, the site was structured with every chapter branching off from the home page, ie, www.cogs.ws/the-dragons-eye, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it did mean I couldn’t have any duplicate chapter titles between books (I’m not really planning to, but who knows), and I think the new structure is probably more helpful to readers. Now, we have the site www.cogs.ws/ the book, malicious-designs/ and the chapter, the-dragons-eye which gives us things like www.cogs.ws/malicious-designs/the-dragons-eye.

Note this has changed again with a site migration and the above URL is now www.leecarlon.com/cogs/malicious-designs/the-dragons-eye.

At the book level of the URL  (www.cogs.ws/cogs/malicious-designs) I’ve created reference pages that lists the characters in that book and the timeline up to and including that story. These pages are generated automatically by a desktop app (that sounds more professional than it is) that I built to help me keep track of the story details. As the story progresses, you’ll start to see there’s a pretty big list of characters, and the time scale is epic so these pages will be useful for readers who really like to piece everything together. The app certainly helps me keep everything straight, characters and their relationships to each other, the order of events and how the stories all fit together.

Because I want to avoid including spoilers in the character list, I’ve configured the app so that each character’s description can be a generic line that applies to them throughout the entire series, or I can override it with a description that applies to them for specific books and only appears on the pages for those books. Names can have specific meanings in these stories too and they change over time so I can override those too.

Because the stories are told out of chronological order, each of these pages includes a timeline that shows where it and the stories before it fit on the timeline (they don't follow one after another).

Here’s the timeline from Brotherhood's Curse:

The Timeline

Now that October is over and I have all the existing chapters lined up for publication, the site structure how I want it, and the book pages in place, I’m looking forward to diving into the seventh book. This one is tentatively titled The Mad God’s Playground and it picks up with Avril as he deals with the consequences of his story so far. I have a couple of ideas that I’d like to include in this one and I understand its place in the overall story, but other than that this is going to be another adventure in discovery writing to see what happens.

Wish me luck!