Monthly Archives: November 2012

Weekly Report for 11/30

It’s finished! Well, it has an ending now, at least. Coming in at just over 66,000 words, Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold was finally capped off with a wrap-up and an ending. It took maybe a bit longer than I hoped it would, but some of what I was writing was new territory for me and I didn’t want to rush through it without thinking some things out first. Regardless, the first draft is finished.

From now on, I will be deep into edit mode, where I ferret out all those annoying little issues and mistakes that need correcting. There are also a few things that I want to revisit after the whole story has had time to percolate in my mind for a while. Usually some good ideas bubble up to the surface when I least expect them, sometimes more than a month after the first draft and I don’t want to miss any of those good ideas. That’s likely to take up the rest of this year, so I wouldn’t expect to have the final version ready until January of next year, at the very least.

Another month of waiting, unfortunately, but that extra month will ensure that this book is the best one that I could write. Look for to it!

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Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold – The Manor

The difficulty in writing a sequel to Murder at the End of the World was in how I could writing something that was just as interesting and took place in a location that was just a interesting without simply copying what I’d done in the first book. On its surface, Illdara was a very dark and unfriendly place, a view that was only confirmed by digging deeper. So, instead of creating a similar location for the second book, I decided to create a location that looked very bright and cheerful on the exterior, but hid some very dark secrets that were uncovered in the course of the investigation.

The manor of Gregory Williams is a technological wonderland, filled with late-19th century and early-20th century technology around every corner. I’ve taken some liberties in this regard to create a more interesting location, but much of what I use is very similar to the technology of that time period. Automatons, giant clocks, rooms that can be moved by hidden mechanism. Gregory Williams is something like Thomas Edison, but with the eccentricity of Howard Hughes. He had created an isolated world and surrounded himself with the fruits of his own genius mind. But what at first glance appears to be a modern marvel, quickly proves to be something more.

The manor, and the theme park-like town that services it, are false, they’re not real. The town, despite its bright colors and inviting atmosphere is more like an elaborate tourist trap than anything that has ever existed in real life. And, in a way, it’s this false facade, and what it hides, that makes the location every bit as eerie and strange as the isolated port city of Illdara.

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Weekly Goals for 11/26

It seems like quite a long time has passed since my last update, hasn’t it? Well, it’s right back into the swing of things with writing and more writing, though the goal this week doesn’t actually include as much writing as in previous weeks. What I want to do over the next few days is to finally put an ending on Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold. As of right now, I’m very close to the ending, possibly within just a few thousand words, and I’m working to wrap up all the loose ends of the story.

I’m really happy with how this novel’s gone. The story has come together how I wanted it to and I’ve managed to flesh out the parts of this book as a mystery and as sequel that I’d hoped to improve upon from the first Allison Newberry mystery. With a little luck, I’ll be able to start editing and fixing by next week!

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Weekly Report for 11/12

Kicking off another week of writing and so far so good. This week, I’d like to get close to an ending to Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold. Maybe not quite all the way to the actual ending, but to the point where the ending is at least in sight. I think I can do that with what I have so far and what I’ll do this week. That would probably put the final tally on the word count at 65,000 words [or 260 pages], a jump up from the first Allison Newberry mystery. For right now, I’ll keep writing what it feels appropriate to write [that’s my go-to writing style], but bearing in mind that the ending is just over the horizon. So, hopefully I’ll have some very good news to report on Friday about how the story is shaping up! Of course, even when I do have the ending written down, I’ll still need quite a bit of time to iron everything out and make sure it’s ready to be released.

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Weekly Update for 11/09

It does seem like it’s been a while since I last posted an update, doesn’t it? Well, better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the writing goes on with Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold. Right now, I’m just an inch from 50,000 words, or about 200 pages. That puts it on par with Murder at the End of the World and I’m still not anywhere close to the ending. Three of my goals for this sequel were: a longer story, a more complex mystery, and a cast of characters that each have their own developed personalities and goals. Up to this point, I’ve been able to do all three of those things, while still having a story that twists and turns and never feels dull. Needless to say, I am very happy with the work I’ve done so far. With all that in mind, I’ll keep working towards the ending and I’ll see what I can do to make it just as good as everything else!

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Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold – Cast of Characters

The following is a list of all the major characters in Eyes of Diamond, Hair of Gold, including their ages and a little bit about them:

Alistair Mooney – [28] A member of the capital’s police force with three years of experience in the major crimes division. Alistair is not well liked and has a habit of voicing his opinions even when they’re not wanted.

Gregory Williams – [65] A genius inventor who was well-versed in the creation of automatons and mechanical systems.  He accumulated a vast fortune from selling his designs, which he used to build a bizarre manor and the town that surrounded it. Gregory was murdered in his study leading up to the events of the story.

Michael Williams – [38] Son of inventor Gregory Williams and a successful banker back at the capital. He arrived at his father’s manor several days before the murder, supposedly to talk with his father about the family fortune.

Lucille Williams – [26] Youngest child of Gregory Williams. She loves her father’s work, despite living away from him for much of her life. Lucille is an accomplished big game hunter and archaeologist.

Silas Rudwig – [77] Owner of a toy shop in town, where he has lived since the town was first built. Knows more about Gregory Williams than just about anyone.

Stuart Billings [37] – Manor groundskeeper, a large and quiet man.

Roland Bitters – [72] Chief of Gregory Williams’ house staff, has served in that position for years. Roland is a dour man, made all the more dour because of his master’s death. He takes his job very seriously.

Evie Glendale – [24] Apothecary for the town. She arrived ten years ago and took over from the aging man who ran the shop before her, little is known about her life before that. She would often visit with Gregory and eventually became something of an apprentice to him.

Nigel Cunningham – [34] Executor of the Williams estate.

Reginald and Stephanie Bishop [31 and 30] – Proprietors of the “Taste of Paradise” restaurant, known to pass along gossip quite regularly.

Franklyn Morris [28] – An associate of industrial magnate Daniel W. Astor.

Frederick Holland [55] – Handyman who repairs and maintains the automatons and other machines at the manor.

Xavier Vanderbilt [65] – Ruthless industrialist who will do anything for a profit. Xavier has visited Gregory Williams a number of times, reportedly in an attempt to gain control of his designs by whatever means necessary.

Maximilian [??] – The most advanced automaton Mr. Williams created. Maximilian even has the ability to speak [in Gregory Williams’s voice].

Lewis Blackburn [19] – A member of the manor’s help staff, usually works in the kitchen. Young, but dependable.

Reginald St. George [42] – Solicitor for Xavier Vanderbilt.

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